DataVision v1.2.0 The Open Source Report Writer


DataVision is an Open Source reporting tool similar to Crystal Reports. Reports can be designed using a drag-and-drop GUI. They may be run, viewed, and printed from the application or exported as HTML, XML, PDF, Excel, LaTeX2e, DocBook, or tab- or comma-delimited text files. The output files produced by LaTeX2e and DocBook can in turn be used to produce PDF, text, HTML, PostScript, and more.

DataVision is written in Java and runs almost anywhere. It can generate reports from databases or text data files. Any database with an available JDBC driver should work: Oracle, PostgreSQL, MySQL, Informix, hsqldb, Microsoft Access, Progress, and more. Columns read from text files can be separated by any character.

Report descriptions are stored as XML files. This means you can not only use the DataVision GUI but you may also edit reports using your favorite text editor.

DataVision was developed by Jim Menard (jimm@io.com). The project's leader is now Frank W. Zammetti (fzlists@omnytex.com). The latest version of DataVision can be found on the DataVision Web page. New releases are also announced on Freshmeat and on the DataVision mailing list.


July 13, 2008 After an unexpected delay, the official DataVision version 1.2.0 is now available! This release is the first to be made available as a single easy to install Windows .exe file, as well as in the traditional 'tarball' form. The Windows installer was created using the very flexible open source NSIS installer creation system.

April 21, 2008 Hot on the heels of 1.2.0rc1, version 1.2.0rc2 is now available. Thanks to those who tested 1.2.0rc1, especially those who rapidly reported issues with it! Please also test this release, so we can soon get to a 'real' 1.2.0 release!

April 13, 2008 Version 1.2.0rc1 is now available. Thanks to everyone that helped make this happen. Please do test this release so we can soon get to a 'real' 1.2.0 release!

February 29, 2008 Jonathan Marsden has joined the DataVision team as a developer.

December 12, 2007 Version 1.1.0 is now available. Thanks to everyone that helped get to this point!

June 14, 2007 Pete Williams of Seriosoft has posted some tutorials showing how to use DataVision on his blog here and here. He says more are to follow, so stay tuned to his blog! These tutorials are geared towards first-time users and can serve as a good starting point for anyone just coming to DataVision. Thanks Pete!

February 9, 2004 Frank W. Zammetti has published Reporting For The Web With DataVision, an article that shows you how to design a simple report and run it from within a Web application.


Here is a list of DataVision's features, presented in a mind-jarring random order:


Other than updating the version number, there are no changes in DataVision between 1.2.0rc2 and the 1.2.0 release.

Here is a summary of the changes in DataVision version 1.2.0rc2 since version 1.2.0.rc1.

Here is a summary of the changes in DataVision version 1.2.0rc1 since version 1.1.0.

Documentation errata may be found on the Documentation page.

User Community

This list of countries includes those from which I have received emails and those subscribed to the DataVision Users mailing list. It exists solely because I have an ego, and that ego likes to see how widely DataVision is used.

  1. Afghanistan
  2. Australia
  3. Austria
  4. Belgium
  5. Brazil
  6. Bulgaria
  7. Canada
  8. Colombia
  9. China
  10. Czech Republic
  11. Denmark
  12. Dominican Republic
  13. Egypt
  14. France
  15. Germany
  16. Greece
  17. India
  18. Indonesia
  19. Ireland
  20. Italy
  21. Latvia
  22. Malaysia
  23. Mexico
  24. Netherlands
  25. New Zealand
  26. Pakistan
  27. Panama
  28. Paraguay
  29. Philippines
  30. Poland
  31. Portugal
  32. Romania
  33. Russia
  34. Singapore
  35. Slovak Republic
  36. South Africa
  37. Spain
  38. Sri Lanka
  39. Sweden
  40. Switzerland
  41. Taiwan
  42. Uganda
  43. Ukraine
  44. United Arab Emirates
  45. United Kingdom
  46. Uruguay
  47. USA
  48. Yugoslavia
  49. Vietnam
  50. Zimbabwe

Copying and Warranty

The notices that were displayed here have moved to the Copying and Warranty section of the User's Manual.

Other Projects

Projects Used by DataVision

The images (toolbar icons) are courtesy of Sun Microsystems. They can be found at the Java Look and Feel Graphics Repository. On that page is a link to the file jlfgr-1_0.jar which contains the images.

JCalendar is the calendar widget by Kai Toedter (kai@toedter.com).

The Bean Scripting Framework (BSF) is an Apache Jakarta project is a Java framework for executing scripting languages that can access Java objects.

JRuby is a Ruby interpreter for Java that also implements the BSF interface.

iText is the free Java-PDF library by Bruno Lowagie used in the PDF layout engine.

Thanks to FindBugs for helping me find some potential bugs in the code.

MinML2 is the XML parser that DataVision used to use. It has been superceded by the built-in Java 1.4 SAX parser.


Pascal Pochet of P3 Consulting has written a Mac OS X wrapper for DataVision (here's a mirror). It's freeware, and includes source code.

Projects Using DataVision

Evaristo is an open source ERP solution. Evaristo includes an embedded version of DataVision.

The Open For Business Project is an open source enterprise automation software project licensed under the MIT Open Source License. The goal of the project is to build a community of end users and developers that work together directly to create easy to customize business software based on best practices. Open For Business uses DataVision.

Cotsec plans to use DataVision as its preferred/default reporting Enterprise Component for their Enterprise Components suite.

Other Reporting Tools

JasperReports is a powerful report-generating tool that has the ability to deliver rich content onto the screen, to the printer or into PDF, HTML, XLS, CSV and XML files.

JFreeReport is an open source report writer for Java with features like full on-screen print preview, XML-based report definitions and output to PDF.

JFreeChart is an open source Java class library for generating charts. JFreeChart is brought to you by the same people that created JFreeReport.

Report Manager "is a reporting application (Report Manager Designer) and also a set of components for Delphi, Builder and Kylix, also supports development environment accepting ActiveX controls (Visual Basic, Visual FoxPro, any Visual Studio.Net language...), also a C dynamic standard library with exported functions is provided to use the engine with any other language like GNU C. It also includes a TCP enabled Report Server so thin clients can obtain reports processed in the server. Also a fully functional web report server application is available, generating Adobe PDF files on the fly. A true net and web report server with no license fees and multiprocessor support."

Agata Report is a Database Reporting Tool and EIS, MIS tool (graph generation), like Crystal Reports. Its written in PHP-GTK and allows you to edit and get SQL results from several databases as Text or PostScript Files.

Business Objects, makers of Crystal Reports and other fine reporting and analysis tools.

RLIB, a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) reporting engine.

"SpoolTemplate is a report system based on templates. Based on XML configuration file it allows to build easyily report from database query, using few lines of PHP code."