JasperReports is an engine that takes an XML file and forms a report out of that file using the data source specified in the XML file. This file defines exactly what appears where in the report. Writing this file by hand is not practical. This is where iReport comes into play.
iReport is a visual tool to obtain XML files for JasperReports. It provides a WYSIWYG environment to design reports. Anything that can be placed in a report (static text, geometric shapes, images, subreports, groups, texts and images coming from a data source)can be put together in drag’n’drop fashion.