Your Questions and Answers about the Migration from Oracle Reports to JasperReports

In our Oracle Reports to JasperReports projects and webinars, we receive numerous questions about the migration. These are questions about the technologies, the migration process, the methodology, the automation, the resources, the effort, the know-how, the organization, and much more. We have compiled the most urgent questions and answers for you here.



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Your most important questions about a Oracle Reports to JasperReports migration

Why JasperReports?
JasperReports is one of the most popular and best open source reporting tools TOP 10 BEST OPEN SOURCE REPORTING TOOLS and all requirements that you could implement with Oracle Reports are already covered by the community edition of JasperReports.

The IDE is very familiar for all Java Developers and the concepts of bands, lists, subreports and scriptlets are in straight line. The learning of this framework is smooth and fast. With the Oracle Data Connector and the possibilities to consume Reports via URL and web services allows JasperReports to easily integrate into a classical Forms & Reports landscape.

Can we integrate JasperReports with Oracle Forms?

Yes, that’s possible. In general there are three different layers, on which you can communicate to the JasperReports Server. The easiest one is to build an URL and call the Report via WEB.SHOW_DOCUMENT from the Forms module. The second approach allows more options for treating the output. You could consume the REST-API (described in our BLOG: Jasper Reports – Javascript & PL/SQL Integration) inside any PL/SQL Package.

If you need to run the Reports asynchronous in the background, JasperServer provides a CLI, which you could integrate via DBMS_SCHEDULER as a one-time job or on a regular base.

How does the cost of JasperReports compare to the cost of a BI Publisher license?
Roughly speaking, for Oracle Forms customers with a valid support contract, BI Publisher (nowadays called Analytics Publisher) is part of the Forms/Reports FMW license.

If you like to use them outside the Forms ecosystem, you have to purchase a license via BI Suite or as a standalone component.
JasperReports is basically an open source tool without any license fees. You can purchase a support contract for error handling and maintenance.

Beside BI Publisher, JasperReports provides different editions with diverse functionalities. Out of our experience the Community Edition (open source) of JasperReports covers all functionalities you got with Oracle Reports as well. The most complex edition (TIBCO Jaspersoft) is a full BI Solution comparable to Oracle´s BI Suite.

Does JasperReports have any limitations that BI Publisher does not have?
The functionality of the Community Edition covers the possibilities of Oracle Reports, but has less functionalities than the Oracle BI Publisher. Oracle BI Publisher provides features like self-service portals, reusable data models, multiple delivery channels, etc. If you need those functionalities you can consider the commercial version of JasperReports that has more features and is similar to BI Publisher. If you need more information, request our whitepaper “JasperReports vs Oracle BI Publisher” at
What´s the difference between JasperReports and Oracle Reports?
When you run the JasperServer you will see a similar concept. You need a WebServer that can be a lightweight one (TomCat), define some data connections and manage a repository, where you deploy your Reports in. If you like to leave Oracle Forms as well, JasperReports provides an alternative infrastructure with the server as a JAR-Library that you could deploy next to your application code.
What is the most important thing to validate before the change or migration?

Three things to keep in mind:

  • Migration is a project and you should treat it seriously. It’s not only a click on a button and runs next to the daily work
  • Take the chance to improve your reporting landscape. JasperReports provides concepts of reusability that aren’t available for Oracle Reports. Harmonizing the layout, consolidating queries and functions increases the maintainability afterwards
  • Destress yourself and run a fine grained stage approach. You can migrate and deploy one Report after the other, because the customer cannot figure out if the PDF comes from JasperReports or Oracle Reports
Is the Reports2Jasper Modeler an automated tool with minimum interaction from a developer?
Yes, that is our “WHY”, so the reason why we do it.

Our product addresses the three most important issues during a migration:

1.) #SimplifyComplexity: Finding patterns in 1000 of Reports, proof assumptions of all code fragments before deciding on a new direction, show and follow global dependencies that aren’t calculatable for a developer

2.) #LegacyCodeMatters: If you start to develop from scratch, you may miss requirements, fail during implementation of complex queries and functions and face a huge test effort. Taking care of the existing code base as a baseline or springboard, reduces the risk and effort.

3.) #DontRepeateYourself: However, you develop and will reach a point where you step into repeatable actions. That is a point where our product supports generation capabilities that could be highly customized.

How long to convert per Report?
That depends on the complexity of the existing Report. We saw implementations with dozens of queries, nearly infinite loops of repeating frames and thousands of LOC inside functions.

In some cases, not only the amount of objects derives the effort of finalizing the Report. The question is if the existing code (and requirements) addresses an existing solution in Jasper or not. As an example – DML inside a format trigger is easy in Oracle Reports, but it’s not a good idea in JasperReports.

Before you even calculate your project, our product can easily calculate the effort and obstacles of the migration, based exactly on your sources. Check it out!

Does JasperReports use the existing FMW Weblogic infrastructure?

Theoretically speaking yes – you could also deploy Jasper Server on WLS, but I haven’t seen any customer doing it yet. With a lightweight WebServer, the administration overhead is even smaller than with a WLS instance. Beside starting and stopping the managed server there aren’t any benefits for this infrastructure, isn’t it?

What about our Oracle Reports that we are executing in batch files? Do we have the same functionality with Jasper Reports?
Yes – you could run Jasper also from command line
What are the componants required to convert from oracle to Jasper? (server, license, cost, integration time frame, etc....)?
The typical starting point is: Tomcat with Jasper Server, Jasper Server in open-source community edition, integrate via WebService. Time Frame depends on the complexity of your reports
Could you connect more than one database to one report?
How does Jasper handle dashboards?
From the JasperReports Server User Guide: “A Jaspersoft Dashboard displays several reports in a single, integrated view. A dashboard can include other dashboards, input controls for choosing the data displayed in one or more frames, and custom frames that point to URLs for other content. By combining different types of related content, you can create appealing, data-rich dashboards that quickly convey trends.”
How long does it take for an Reports developer to become competent with Jasper?
I take a 5 day training and I’m able to migrate the simple reports. My colleague, which are more familiar, have a very cool learning curve and after 2-3 month they are ready to take the biggest one. It’s importent to train on the job and start with the easy once.
How to connect with oracle database before migration?
Use setup database connections via JDBC inside the IDE. The report reference to the name of the db-connection, which could differ from IDE to test and production environment.
Are there any Oracle Reports features that the conversion tool has difficulty converting? Such as conditional formatting, Graphs, etc?
We don’t cover matrix reports by now (matter of not realy used by the customers so far) and we advise to redo graphics, because they are cool in Jasper and fast to setup.
Is it possible to send a Jasper report directly to a specified printer ?
That is typically a task for a java post processing implementation. There is no out-of-the box solution in the jasper server, but this could be easily enhanced.
We call and use a lot of database functions, can they be called and used in Jasper?
Yes – in the Query and within the scriplets.
Does Oracle Apex have a report development tool? Can it create complicated reports like Oracle Reports and Jasper?
There is no APEX internal reporting tool available. You could use the export functionalities of Interactive Grids. Oracle tend to integrate AOP – we are also work on migration to this approach.
Is the development tool for the Pro and Community versions the same? Does it have the same functionality?
If you cover the functionalities from Oracle Reports the „basics“ in Community and Pro are enough and the same. There are some addons in the Pro, which enhance the functionality (e.g. customizable Dashboards, etc.) but we do not rely on this in the migration. Most of our customer use the community edition
Can Jasper reports be called from Oracle Forms? We need to embed Jasper or whatever reporting tool we use into our application.
Yes – you could integrate this via WebServices and Web.Show_Document features in Oracle Forms.
Does BI Publisher have a true development tool like Jasper and Oracle Reports?
BI Publisher provide three different ways to create a layout for a designed data model:
1.) There is a webbased online design tool for simple reports. It’s easy to use but with limited functionalities.
2.) Microsoft Word. With this you create a RTF Template in the way you create classic form letters in Word.
3.) Direct writing of XSL without an IDE.
From the developer point of view, none of them is an IDE like Oracle Reports developer or Eclipse.
You said that Jasper reports is open source but on I see only a "Try Jaspersoft Free for 30 Days". It's open source or not?
There are different downloads on the Jasper WebSite. There is a community edition and a pro edition available.
Beside Oracle Application server also a Jasper Server is needed?
You could integrate Jasper as a Java-class in your application or you could use the jasper server. This is usualy deployed on a lightweight server like TomCat or in Forms environment also on a WLS.
How the reports can be integrated into our current Banner CIS system and how we can create a Jaspersoft Dashboard to run the reports
JasperReports typically provide two different ways of integration. On one hand you can use the JasperReports Javaclasses and embedding them into a Javabased application. With the API you could run the reports. On the other hand you could use the JasperReports Server and communicate with them via webservices.
JasperReports Dashboards are a functionality of the Server and you could configer them directly in the WebUI of the server.
Is Character based printing (invoices, pay checks) possible?
Yes, you could also create reports like invoices, pay checks, etc. with Jasper.
Is there a way of automatic conversion?
Yes, try our Reports2Jasper Modeler!
What about licensing to jasper reports? What about BI publisher/OAC and another open source reports options?
Jasper provide different Versions (community, professional, etc.) which have different licence costs. The community edition is the only free version of those you mentioned. BI Publisher and OAC are not free and need a licence of the Server or the cloud offerings. If you like to discuss other reports solution (BIRT, AOP, PLPDF, etc.) or if you are interested in any kind of licence, please get in contact with
Is there any solution in APEX that will replace printing with Reports in Forms?

The answer could be given in two levels of complexity. If reporting is very easy, like a tab report of a query, you could use export functionality of an APEX grid. This allows you to create HTML, Excel or PDF Formats which could slightly be customized.
If reporting is getting more complex and see a lot of implementation in Oracle Reports, you should consider a separate solution. Preferred frameworks are BI Publisher, Jasper Reports or AOP.

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