RepCom: A Customisable Report Generator Component System using XML-driven Component-based Development Approach

Leong Chee Hoong, Lee Sai Peck
InSITE 2003  •  Volume 3  •  2003
It is undeniable that report generation is one of the most important tasks in many companies regardless of the size of the company. A good report generation mechanism can increase a company’s productivity in terms of effort and time. This is more obvious in some startup companies, which normally use some in-house report generators. Application development could be complex and thus software developers might require substantial efforts in maintaining application program code. In addition, most of the report generators use a different kind of format to store the report model. An application is no longer considered an enterprise-level product if XML is not being used elsewhere. This paper introduces a XML-driven and Component-based development approach to report generation with the purpose of promoting portability, flexibility and genericity. In this approach, report layout is specified using user-defined XML elements together with queries that retrieve data from different databases. A report is output as an HTML document, which can be viewed using an Internet browser. This paper presents the approach using an example and discusses the usage of the XML-driven report schema and how the proposed reusable report engine of a customisable report generator component system works to output an HTML report format. The customisable report generator component system is implemented to support heterogeneous database models.
report model, report schema, report generator, XML, Component-based development
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