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I've been using iReport and really like it. With the announcement iReport will be phased out I started using JasperStudio (5.5.0). I hate it. At first I thought it was just that I was used to working with iReport. But the more I use Studio the less i like it. I've logged a few issues with the JasperSupport who've created bug tickets.
First off I think the display with iReport is much cleaner. Studio just looks so cluttered. Some of the other issues I've found include:
1) Switching to preview automatically runs the report. Wait!, I haven't set up my parameters yet. Sometimes the report takes a long time to complete before I have a chance to reset my parameters, other times it just crashes.
2) Same thing if I change the data adapter. If I switch from my test to QA connection the report takes off and runs. It seems to me to be basic to have a report run only when I tell it to.
3) $P! parameters show as errors in the Edit Query view, even when there is nothing wrong with them.
4) File Save As forces me to save in the Eclipse workspace. I have my own source control repository. Save As should let you navigate to any directory you want.
Is anyone else frustrated using JasperStudio?
Personally, I like it much more than iReport. It may be that's I'm more accustomed to using Eclipse because I'm involved in several projects which uses it. I'm not aware of any other project except iReport that uses NetBeans. I really didn't like the GUI and how they managed projects. Nevertheless, I do have to say there's still some bugs in Studio but I'm very sure the development team will be able to fix them within the next few releases.
I've found when using Studio, to parameterize as much as possible and to set default parameters before switching to the preview.
I do parameterize, and that's the problem. My default parameters are often wide. For example I have some reports where several parameters are optional. The default is empty which my query interprets as ALL (e.g., all locations, all vendors, etc.). When my users run the report, they will set one or more parameters. But the design is to initially leave the parameter fields blank. Switching to preview mode with the empty defaults would, in this case, cause the report to run for all locations and all vendors. This is a very large report and would take a long time. It's not realistic for the way the user would run the report. Sure, I could set other defaults, but then I would not be testing the report as I want to deploy it. I would also have to remember to remove the defaults or set them to what I need before deployment.
It doesn't look like Studio honors the parameter default I have set up either. I set some default start and end dates to be last month. In preview all I get is the current date which I have to actively select. Now Studio says I have to set a date before it will run. Some parameters I want to be a specific default, Studio doesn't honor the default. Other parameters are purposely not set so they can be set at runtime and Studio takes off with that then blows up. What gives?!?
I don't like the way the element properties displays in Studio either. Studio groups properties across several tabs. iReport lists the properties in one tab. In both I have to scroll. I suppose in time I'll learn which property is on what tab. But I think adding sub tabs just makes Studio more cluttered and less efficient.
Sometimes the buttons on the individual property element drop off the right edge of the screen. Resizing the frame to make it wider does not fix the issue.
Even though I have a repository view open in Studio, when I try to upload a new version of the report I have to click a different button and navigate to the correct folder in the repository. One place to download from the repository (or run). Another, completely different process to upload.
Every time I save a report file I'm asked if I want to upload it. No I don't. I like to frequently save my work. But I don't need to upload it to the server everytime. This just wastes time. There is an option (every damn time) to not see this request anymore. Most applications with such an option assume no. Studio assumes yes I want to save and don't ask again. This is the opposite of what I want to do.
iReport lets me save whereever I want. I have a source control workspace where I maintain my reports. Studio forces me to save in the Eclipse workspace. I don't want all the Eclipse project clutter in my source controlled work area.
I find Studio less than efficient, cluttered, and hard to work with. I also work with Eclipse for general Java development and with similar IDE based tools.. The issues I see with Studio are not because it's Eclipse based.
I stand by my claim that Studio is not ready for prime time. Why would I want to migrate away from something that works well in the hope they fix the problems with the replacement?