6.5. Eclipse Birt

Eclipse BIRT is a reporting system to generate pixel perfect reports in diverse output formats. A BIRT report is defined in form of an XML document. For the creation and editing of reports usually the BIRT Report Designer is used which simplifies your draft report by a graphical presentation. Some of the sample reports realized in Eclipse BIRT are given in the demo data supplied with ReportServer as well as in the annex. For further information on Eclipse BIRT refer to http://www.eclipse.org/birt/.

Apart from the XML documents defining the actual report, BIRT reports can additionally include resource bundles and library files. These will be stored in a specifically identified folder in the file server separate from the actual report.

To create a new BIRT report in ReportServer, proceed as follows. Switch to the Administration module and then to the section Report management. From the context menu of a folder you create a new BIRT report. The configuration mask presents the same fields as all other report types do and allows to enter a name, description and key. In addition to these data, it is required to upload the Rpt-design-file of the report.

Possibly available report libraries or resource bundles need to be copied to a folder in ReportServer' internal file system. Which folder is controlled by the configuration file etc/reportengines/reportengines.cf. For further information on this refer to the ReportServer configuration guide.

Finally, you may select the datasource to be used. If a datasource is provided in ReportServer, it will be used instead of a datasource possibly defined in the report itself. But if you wish to use the datasource given in the report, you may not select a datasource in ReportServer.

Similarly to parameters in JasperReports, parameters are defined directly in Eclipse Birt, but have to additionally be specified within ReportServer. ReportServer supports you by trying to extract parameter settings from your report. This will, however, only capture basic parameters and for more sophisticated parameter settings (for example cascading parameters), manual adjustments will be necessary.

Birt allows to specify datasets directly within the report. Theses data sets are often used as data basis for parameters. ReportServer allows to use these data sets as ReportServer datasources. For further information see Chapter 4. (Datasources).