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10 Best and Free Reporting Tools

Reporting Tools are highly useful in the presentation of data in attractive ways. Learn more about reporting solutions in the market and what kind of results you can get.

What is Reporting Software?

Reporting Software synchronizes with databases and sources to source information and generates insights in the form of charts and graphs on the data generated to find it useful. 

Reporting tools ensure data are more useful, readable, and presentable.
Reports can be generated in two ways - static and interactive reports.

Static Reports Vs. Interactive Reports

You cannot alter static reports as an end-user, while an interactive report enables you to secure detailed insights as you drill down into the data.

Interactive/live reports also offer you the capability to dive, filter, sort, and display the data. Whatagraph presents its own live reporting version as well.

live reports

Live reporting tool

Report Tools can produce different forms of reports in diverse ways, as indicated below:

  • Enterprise Reporting
  • Self-Service Reporting
  • Visualization and Reporting
  • Reporting for Business Intelligence
  • Finance Related Reporting
  • Application performance reporting

In some instances, people usually confuse reporting tools with business intelligence software. There are not the same.

Business Intelligence Vs. Reporting Tools

Reporting software or tools are components of a business intelligence suite; meanwhile, Business Intelligence Tools includes different categories of software. The significant distinction lies in their capabilities to perform data correlation.

What are the advantages of utilizing free reporting tools?

  1. They can meet your reporting requirements.
  2. They are free compared to premium tools
  3. They have a discussion board for resolving queries and user problems.

10 Best Free Reporting Tools That Are Open Source

1. JasperReports

The Jaspersoft ETL free version is one of the most common free reporting software. The tool is written in Java and licensed under GPLv2. The tool supports different exporting formats like HTML, PDF, XML, and CSV formats. It also supports multiple databases.

The multiple components of JasperReports include:

JasperReports Studio- The studio is an eclipsed-based business report designer that can be used to develop complex reports such as images, charts, crossovers, subreports, and more.

JasperReports Library- It's an open-source reporting database

JasperReports Server- It's an independent, embeddable reporting server that's capable of analyzing data and offers scheduled task solutions

Jaspersoft ETL- It's an open-source ETL framework that can be easily deployed and executed to establish a comprehensive data sore and data set.

2. FineReport

FineReport is a reporting software that can be used for free without any time and function limits. 

The interface resembles that of Excel, and you can quickly generate, export, as well as print irregular or complex reports. FineReport has the capabilities of Microsoft Excel reporting tools like the importation of data from excel in groups and ensuring convenience while creating reports.

Its data entry features distinguished FineReport software from other tools. You can write data back to the data source through the web reports instituted by FineReport.

Not only that, different open APIs make this tool easy-to-use than other tools that require integration with several other systems.

3. JFreeChart

JFreeChart is a 100 percent open-source tool based on Java. You can generate pie charts, bar charts, line charts, graphs, Gantt charts, area charts, mixed graphs, dashboards, and other charts. You can export these charts to JPEG, PNG images. 

The tool is stable, lightweight, and free, and it supports different chart formats. Its flexible design makes it extensible and can be applied to both client-side and server-side applications.

It provides supports for different exporting formats such as JavaFX features, Swing components, vector graphics file formats like PDF, SVG and EPS, and image formats like JPEG and PNG.

Live reporting tool

4. iReport

iReport is a free report tool also created for JasperReports Server and JasperReports Library. It is capable of created complex reports like sub-reports, images, charts, cross-tables, etc.

The files can be produced and exported in different file formats.

5. Pentaho

Pentaho is a free set of tools that include reporting engine, reporting designer, and reporting SDK. The Pentaho Community Edition is free, and it is licensed under ASL or Apache Software License.

It enables you to prepare reports that can be exported to PDF, Excel, HTML, rich text, text, CSV, and XML. The sourced reports can change different sources to readable data. 

6. BIRT

BIRT is a free and open-source tool that is eclipsed based. You can create reports which you can embed in web applications and clients.

BIRT consists of two major features- a visual designer for developing BORT designs, and runtime features which can be used in any JAVA environment.

BIRT also incorporates a diagram engine that can be synced to any of the BIRT application diagrams. 

The design templates are stored as XML and can access several databases such as SQL databases, jfire script objects, JDO data store, POJOs, Web services, and XML. 

7. Seal Report

Seal Report is a free and also an open-source reporting software that is written entirely in C# and tailored to suit the Microsoft.net Framework. Seal Report offers a holistic framework where users can generate dashboards and Report from any database or source daily.

The focus of the product is on simplifying the installation process and report design. The entire component is open-source, and it is written in the C# language.

Key functionalities incorporate:

  1. Dynamic SQL database: SQL can be used, or you can instruct the dynamic SQL of the Seal engine to query the data source. 
  1. Local pivot tables: You can display the element in the pivot tables and reports using drag and drop. It also supports HTML5 charts. 

8. Open Reports

Open Reports is another web-based reporting service that enables users to preview reports that are dynamically created in HTML, PDF, or XLS format via a web browser. The reporting software is created in Java. 

Open Reports supports various types of reporting open-source engines. Some of these engines include JFreeReport. Eclipse BIRT, JasperReports, and JXLS to generate a different form of reporting requirements.

9. Easy Report

EasyReport is a Microsoft Excel plug-in that is written in C#. This web reporting tool is easy to use. Its main capability includes the conversion of a row as well as column structures in SL statements to HTML tables.

Accessible Report also provides support for Colspan and RowSpan. The Reporting tool enables users to perform the following functions- export Excel Reports, fixed table header, chart display, and left column functions.

10.  SpagoBI

It is a 100 percent open-source BI suite that is designed and managed by SpagoBI lab's Engineering Group. It provides latent analytics features which include traditional reporting, charting capabilities and bespoke solutions like geo-location analytics, social network analytics, self-service analytics, and what-if analytics.

Not only that, but the reporting tool also possesses the timing of task function and also supports query engines like Hive for the big data solution. The latest adaption includes the client as well as the authority management module. 

Conclusion

Aside from the advantages of these free reporting tools out there, their downsides cannot be ignored. For instance, bugs may not be resolved on time; the speed of updating may be slow. Our solution would be to try a free trial of Whatagraph at first before using other free solutions on the market. 

Live reporting tool

Wendy Gooseberry
whatagraph
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