InetSoft Tools & Techology: Reporting Function as Web Service

Style Intelligence provides a number of server side reporting functions that are accessible as Web services. These Web services enable clients which may be running on different operating systems and using different programming languages to access server side enterprise reporting tools through remote procedure calls. There are two Web services provided:

  • SoapRepository - This Web service facilitates execution, archiving and scheduling of reports deployed in the replet registry.
  • SoapDataService - This Web service facilitates execution of queries and worksheet assets defined in the Asset Composer.
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IIS Web Server

Microsoft IIS (Internet Information Server) is a commonly used Web server on the windows platform. From a request-serving perspective, IIS natively supports serving only static files but has the facility to execute add-ons/plug-ins. This applies to all IIS versions. These add-ons/plug-ins are configured as 'Application Mappings' on IIS and are mapped to certain resource extensions (e.g., ".jsp"). IIS simply executes the configured add-on to handle a particular resource extension whenever it is requested. IIS is not inherently J2EE compliant and therefore cannot directly deploy servlets/JSPs. Since Style Intelligence is a 100% Java tool, it can only be deployed on a J2EE compliant application server. There are many available options for Java add-ons/plug-ins, and a few of those options are discussed here.

Discrete Web Server and Reporting Server (Recommended Approach)

Since InetSoft Enterprise products are servlet based, all commands to the reporting engine are sent via a servlet (repository servlet) in the form of HTTP URL requests with appropriate parameters. It is a common practice to run your reporting server separately and simply use HTTP URLs to link to the report server. For example, your portal framework could contain simple HTML pages which have framesets pointing to the report server URL as their source.

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IIS Tomcat Redirector

A popular add-on which allows IIS to run JSPs/Servlets on Tomcat is isapi_redirect. This plug-in allows IIS to redirect requests for JSPs and servlets to a Tomcat server. It still requires you to run Tomcat's Web server separately on a certain port so that JSP/Servlets can be configured and executed. It registers an ISAPI on IIS to steal JSP requests from IIS request processing, opens a connection to the Tomcat Web server, and shuttles these requests to Tomcat (i.e., it proxies the request). In this case, Style Intelligence will be deployed on a Tomcat server but will receive requests from an IIS server.

Share Point Portal Framework

Share Point is a popular portal framework developed by Microsoft (usually deployed on an IIS server). The 'Contents' of a Share Point portal consists of one or more components referred to as 'Web Parts'. A Web Part may retrieve its content from any third party source by simply specifying the appropriate URL. Therefore, by adding a new 'Web Part' and specifying the appropriate content URL we can display an InetSoft dashboard or even a single replet as a 'Web Part', e.g., http://localhost:8080/sree/Reports?op=portal_portalWelcome. Note that this seamless integration is only possible when the reporting server is running on the same host machine as the Share Point Portal. If the reporting server is running on another host machine, InetSoft replets and dashboards will still be viewable; however, interactive operations on them will fail due to browser security restrictions (due to cross-domain references within the same browser frame). The solution to this issue is the use of InetSoft's proxy servlet, a light weight component which runs on the same machine as your portal and proxies all requests to the reporting server. For information on how to set up the InetSoft proxy servlet please refer to the Administration Reference.

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