For many companies, the constant need to generate a wide variety of reports from databases and from applications can be a significant chore. In addition, enterprises often depend on reporting tools that are integrated with their databases and applications, which can be inflexible, or on reporting tools that are flexible enough but are also complex and expensive.
Windward Studios Inc.s Windward Reports 3.1 attempts to combine low cost and flexibility by harnessing an interesting trio: XML data tags, Java server technology and Microsoft Corp.s Word 2003.
Windward Reports uses Word, an application with which pretty much everyone is familiar, as the report design and layout engine. Word documents can be easily converted into report templates using Windward Reports AutoTag tool, which made it simple to tag data access settings into a Word report.
Version 3.1s approach worked well in eWEEK Labs tests. At sites using Office 2003, users will also have Microsofts InfoPath 2003 XML-based forms component, which is superior to Word for many types of XML reports.
We would like to see integration with this tool in Windward Reports as well. Of course, because Windward Reports is based on XML and Java programming, reports can be called and created without using AutoTag.
Developing applications to use the report server should be fairly simple for any experienced Java server developer, and we could make calls using both servlets and JSP (JavaServer Pages). Reports can be output as PDF, HTML, RTF (Rich Text Format) or plain text files.
Windward Reports 3.1, which was released in February, is priced according to report volume, ranging from $495 for 25 reports per day to $795 for 500 reports per day. An unlimited-report license is also available, priced at $1,795. The AutoTag client is priced at $69.95.
For additional information, go to www.windwardreports.com.
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