Is anyone else experiencing extremely slow BIRT PDF report creation in version 4.7.4? Single reports that used to take a few seconds to generate are now taking 30 seconds to a minute.
Right now I am calling another workflow to generate a few hundred PDF reports. It used to take 15 minutes or so and now takes several hours… I think that I read we switched to a new eclipse version on v4.7, so I am wondering if this is a problem that others are experiencing.
Hi @iCFO ,
I’m trying to use birt for some reports, I’m new for it here in knime… but if i pass for the same problem, I’ll tell you ok?
Hi @iCFO -
First of all, thanks for the feedback here. I haven’t heard of this problem specifically, but BIRT is a bit finicky so it’s not entirely surprising. Can you clarify that you definitely weren’t running into these problems with KNIME AP 4.7.3?
Secondly, we have some new reporting tools coming in the 5.1 release - in KNIME Labs - that don’t rely on BIRT. Basically, you will be able to generate report PDFs directly from combined component views. This is available in the nightly build now if you want to try it out. I realize that this may not be directly helpful for BIRT reports you’ve already created in production, but wanted to point it out as being of future interest.
Hi @ScottF ,
It’s great to know about it… I’ve a project to build some reports and I need to export data from workflows directly to pdf files. Can it be possible?
Thanks for the responses guys.
@ScottF It is good to hear that we will have the ability to easily export pdf versions of component views. Unfortunately my BIRT reports are dynamic multi page documents that output with navigation shortcut links and a navigation table of contents. Entire multi page sections may or may not be included depending on whether that relevant data is present. It is hard to imagine pulling this off using a pdf render of a components interactive view.
I have noticed that it takes a long time to load already created pdf reports in Chrome as well, so it is possible that the underlying issue lies there. I am currently using Adobe PDF as my pdf viewer in Chrome. I will do some tests to see if it is a slowdown of the Acrobat extension itself that is causing the speed issue during report creation.
Based on what you’re describing, I think so. Would you be willing to give it a try in the nightly build and see? Or if you like, when the new release is officially available, we should have some examples showing how the new functionality works.
Thanks @iCFO, it would be useful to know if the Acrobat extension is a contributing factor to the slowdown. I can also ask the devs about a potential issue with Eclipse / Java versioning.
BIRT won’t be disappearing from KNIME any time soon, so your existing dynamic reporting won’t need to be refactored. But the hope is the new reporting system will be a much friendlier option, once it is feature-complete.
So even with the plugin removed, and switching KNIME / BIRT back over to the internal browser there is a slow down. It also occasionally fails altogether and gives a message like “a running instance of Acrobat has caused an error”. All other formats of BIRT reports are generating quickly, so it is only a PDF issue. It also seems to be related to Acrobat even when it is not directly in use in the browser as an extension… The same slow pdf issues happen when viewing a generating pdf in Microsoft Edge with its built in PDF reader as well.
@ScottF - I am switching to the nightly 5.1 as my side zip file installation now.
I am just “playing” with the new reporting possibility… but I have not found a way to create a Report Object Column (which is needed by the Report Concatenate Node) from eg an image created by Plotly… do you have any hint for me? Is there a node to convert an image into a report object?
Moreover I have not found the KNIME Labs Views. Trying to install the KNIME Views (version indicated: KNIME Views 5.1.0.v202307031056) the process stops with the message ““KNIME Views” will be ignored because a newer version is already installed.”. I do not find them in the Labs segment (neither in the Modern UI nor in the classical setup) . Just as a side note: the Plotly nodes are “there”.
Some additional info:
I am using a iMac (Intel) with Monterey as OS, 16 GB RAM.
The nightly build is KNIME 5.1.0_2023-07-08_01-00-22.
Thank you very much for the constant effort of the whole KNIME team!
Hi @Juergen ,
To use BIRT, you need to add the report extension. Then you can see the report objects at the nodes windows.
Knime have some good nodes as you can see, so try and enjoy!
Hi @denisfi ,
thank you very much for your reply.
But (?) I am referring to the new Reporting possibilities which are included in the nightly build of KNIME 5.1. By my knowledge this new way to generate reports does not rely on BIRT anymore… Sorry for being not as clear as desirable.
But… perhaps I did not understood the comment of @ScottF correctly.
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