Pentaho Reporting Transition Questions

The following is a list of FAQs concerning the transition from BIRT and Jasper to Pentaho as the reporting solution for Mifos.

More details will be added as they're formalized. Please feel free to add your questions here or post them to the mailing list.
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  • Will there be a cost associated to MFIs with this transition?
    • There will be no cost for our base solution. We will use the Open Source version of Pentaho.
    • MFIs can upgrade to the Professional version if they want for an additional cost - this adds to the open source version the following:
    • It's likely we will use the Professional version on our Mifos Cloud deployments.
  • Do we need to rewrite existing reports (BIRT and Jasper) to Pentaho?
    • Pentaho can run Jasper and BIRT reports. We are testing and confirming that now. MFIs who plan to run BIRT reports in Pentaho should make sure to test them first as there might be display issues. We will still have the integrated BIRT report system until the first half of 2011.
  • Will there be an integrated Web Viewer like Mifos currently has with BIRT?
    • We do not intend to integrate Pentaho as tightly as the current BIRT system. Reports are viewable as HTML, PDF, and other formats via a separate reporting server. There will eventually be single-sign-on.

Standard Reports

  • When will a new set of standard reports be provided?
    • The first set of standard reports will be delivered by winter 2010.
  • What standard reports will be provided?
    • We are still defining these reports. If members of the community have reports that they'd like to see included as standard reports in our next release, please send them to us.
  • When will old Mifos standard reports in BIRT be replaced?
    • To be determined, but standard reports will continue to work in Mifos.

Current Existing Reports

  • For MFIs, what do we do with our current reports? Will they break on upgrades?
    • Yes, current reports will need minor adjustments to run properly on future upgrades. We will be introducing a data warehouse soon, and reports written to use the data warehouse will not break for at least 12 months, possibly longer. We will have a policy on this soon.
    • Our standard reports will not break - either they will be written to use the data warehouse, or will be adjusted to use the new database schema.
    • Once the data warehouse is in place, tables in that version of the data warehouse will be stable for at least 12 months. This means that MFIs that write reports using those database tables will not have to adjust their reports for 12 months, but may eventually have to update them. Customers will be kept closely informed.
    • Ideally, as the core set of standard Mifos reports grows, they will cover at least 80% of the reporting work needed by MFIs.

Building Reports

  • What should Specialists or MFIs who are currently building reports in another tool do?
    • If they are more than 50% done with a report, we recommend finishing it in the tool they are using. If less than 50%, we recommend porting the report to Pentaho.
    • We will make a determination soon whether we will support BIRT and Jasper reports running on Pentaho.


  • What documentation will be provided? Will Mifos-Specific Pentaho documentation be provided?
    • We will be publishing documentation in the next few months. We welcome any contributions from the community in this area!
    • For now please visit the suggested Pentaho documentation described in apos;s Pentaho announcement to the mailing list.
  • When can we anticipate training?
    • MFIs will be responsible for training themselves on Pentaho. For writing Pentaho reports, you can use Pentaho's online courses or use books. We also recommend 5-day Pentaho BI Suite Boot Camp where they teach all aspects of this solution.

BIRT Transition

  • How are we phasing out BIRT reports? What level of support will there be for reports in BIRT?
    • We will begin phasing out BIRT in 2011. Users can still post questions about BIRT to the users mailing list and we will try to answer what we can. Going forward, however, we suggest users begin writing new reports in Pentaho.
    • The final BIRT-Pentaho transition plan will be worked out by next month. We will support an integrated BIRT at least until Release F comes out, near the end of 2010, or beginning of 2011. After that, we will remove the integrated BIRT viewer. Pure SQL BIRT reports may run in the Pentaho system, if we determine that is possible. We have not decided whether this will be a supported feature or not.

Administrative Documents

  • What will occur with administrative documents (receipts, vouchers, etc.) written in BIRT and integrated into Mifos?
    • We will begin migrating Admininstrative documents to Pentaho in 2011. We will keep users posted of this progress. Administrative documents will be BIRT-riven until then.
  • Will administrative documents be part of the standard reports set?
    • No, we do not have plans to ship standard admin documents with Mifos.