Basic Tutorial. This is the place to start. To begin the tutorial click here. Video Tutorials. This guide takes you through what you'll need to know to get started with integrating BIRT into your application.
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Want to build compelling and meaningful data visualizations that can be integrated into rich-client or web applications? Go with BIRT. With components for both designing and deploying data visualizations, BIRT provides core features such as design layout, data access and scripting. I have compiled this overview to provide a practical introduction to both the design and deployment aspects of BIRT.
I start by describing the overall BIRT architecture and the various packages available for download from eclipse. Then I introduce the report designer tool, called BIRT Designer; I also describe some basic options for customizing BIRT designs, walk you through creation of a simple design and explore some scripting possibilities.
Open Source BIRT has two main components: a design engine that is integrated into the report designer based on Eclipse and the report engine which you can add to your application. The BIRT Web Viewer is also available as an example web application deployment that uses the report engine to render reports.
These components will be discussed in more detail throughout the article. There are several different packages containing BIRT, so you can choose one that is right for your needs.
BIRT Designer is a visual report development tool with task-specific editors, builders and wizards that enable you to create data visualizations that can be integrated into web applications. The BIRT report designer supports:. This is where you start when you open BIRT for the first time. Once you have created your project and design file in the Navigator, go here next. The BIRT project has been designed to natively access and support many data sources, as shown in the table below.
Supported data sources can be extended using the Eclipse ODA framework to support any data to which you have access. The main portion of the designer is the Layout view. To insert an element into your layout from the Palette, simply drag and drop it. The table below lists available items, including a breakdown of the available chart types.
Several of the charts are offered in 2D, 2D with depth and 3D formats. Most charts also have more than one sub-type, such as a bar chart with options of side-by-side, stacked and percent stacked, or a stock chart with options of candlestick and bar-stick. This area allows you to customize your design or individual elements with just a few clicks. Options include filtering, grouping, sorting, mapping and highlighting. The outline shows your design in a tree structure.
You also use the outline view to create and edit master pages, add styles, import CSS formatting, embed images and locate scripts within your design. Take some time to explore other options in the property editor, e. Customization, in this case, refers to things like localization, internationalization, styles and scripting.
BIRT supports internationalization of report data, including support for bidirectional text. BIRT also supports the localization of static report elements within a report, allowing you to replace report labels, table headers and chart titles with localized text. Reports created with BIRT Designer can be richly formatted to adapt the look and feel of your existing web application or company color scheme.
I have collected some examples of CSS styles here. You can modify many aspects of reports in BIRT Designer using drag-and-drop capabilities and by setting properties, but the designer also supports more advanced customizations through expressions, scripting and events. The expression builder in BIRT allows you to do conditional report processing instead of hard coding values.
You can add scripting to report object, data source and data element event types. Each of these event types has several events that you can overwrite. I have collected a variety of sample scripts here. You can also use head. For an example on this, see this blog post. There are several different ways to generate the output.
A few key tasks are listed below. With some simple code you can start up the BIRT Runtime Engine and Platform, create a task to accept the parameter value, generate and render the design to PDF, then destroy the engine and shut down the platform when finished. I have collected sample code to do that here.
This viewer demonstrates report pagination, an integrated table of contents, report export to several formats and printing to local and server side printers. Many URL parameters can be used with the Servlet mappings. In addition to delivering paginated report content to a web browser, BIRT also supports several other output formats. These extensions can be in the form of custom data sources, report items, chart types, output formats and functions. Once implemented, these custom extensions will show along with the built-in types.
For example, you can create a custom report item, like a rotated text label, that will show up in the BIRT Palette along with the existing items. Below are some of the most used extension points. Jesse Freeman OpenText.
Beginning BIRT: A Practical Introduction Want to build compelling and meaningful data visualizations that can be integrated into rich-client or web applications? Report Design and Report Engine Components Open Source BIRT has two main components: a design engine that is integrated into the report designer based on Eclipse and the report engine which you can add to your application.
Where to download and which version to get? Make sure you check the dependencies and update those too. Be sure to also select the Data Tools Project when using this approach. It provides a simplified report designer without the additional perspectives of the standard Eclipse platform. Tour the BIRT Designer BIRT Designer is a visual report development tool with task-specific editors, builders and wizards that enable you to create data visualizations that can be integrated into web applications.
Red numbers refer to descriptions below. The starting point for a BIRT report. Data Explorer 2 Once you have created your project and design file in the Navigator, go here next. Data Sources The BIRT project has been designed to natively access and support many data sources, as shown in the table below.
JDBC Supports connections to relational databases. Scripted Allows you to implement custom logic, communicate with Java objects, or get access to data within your application. It can be used to access virtually any data source that is structured or that contains an API.
Web Services Supports connections to a web service. A wizard helps you point at a service through a WSDL and select the data. Excel Initially contributed by the community, this connector allows you to pull in data from Excel Workbooks.
Layout 4 The main portion of the designer is the Layout view. Tool What it does Label Use to include static or localized text within a report. Typically used for report titles, column headers or any other report text.
Text Use to include richly formatted text to your report, including HTML formatting integrated with dynamic data. Dynamic Text Use to integrate static text with dynamic or conditional data. Data Use to include data from a connection in your report. Image Use to include images from various sources and locations. Grid Use to define the layout of a report. A grid can be nested within other grids to support complex layouts.
List Use to display data elements from your data sources that repeat and create a new report row for each data set row. Lists can contain multiple levels of grouping. Table Use to display repeating data elements within your report. Tables support multiple columns and multiple levels of grouping. Cross Tab Use to display grouped and dynamic data, organized by both the row and column level. Aggregation Use to build totals for tables and groups.
Outline 8 The outline shows your design in a tree structure. Enter a name for your project and hit Finish. Right click on your new project in the Navigator and create a new report. Be sure your project is selected, give the design a name and hit Next. Choose the blank template and hit Finish. Go to the Data Explorer, right-click on Data Sources and create a new data source. Next, right-click on Data Sets and create a new data set.
Make sure your data source is selected, give your data set a name and hit Next. Drag your data set from the Data Explorer into your layout, below the label. Select all of the columns in the pop-up and click OK. Go to the Groups tab in the property editor and select Add. Localization BIRT supports internationalization of report data, including support for bidirectional text.
Type of style How the style is used Built-In Styles Built-in styles can be shared in a report library for managing style across multiple reports. Customization with Expressions, Scripting and Events You can modify many aspects of reports in BIRT Designer using drag-and-drop capabilities and by setting properties, but the designer also supports more advanced customizations through expressions, scripting and events. This task does not create a report document.
IRunTask Use this task to run a report and generate a report document that can be saved to disk. IDataExtractionTask Use this task to extract data from a report document.
Beginning BIRT: A Practical Introduction
Eclipse BIRT allows the creation of reports based on data from different data sources. Data sources define where the data is stored. These data sets can be used in a report. In a Java program it is often convenient to use Java objects as a data source for reports. In this tutorial we will build a report which will show us information about the stock market. We get the information from a Java Object. The data will be displayed in a chart and in a table with detailed information.
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