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BIRT: A Field Guide / Edition 3
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BIRT: A Field Guide / Edition 3

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by Diana Peh, Nola Hague, Jane Tatchell

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ISBN-10: 0321733584

ISBN-13: 9780321733580

Pub. Date: 02/23/2011

Publisher: Addison-Wesley

More than ten million people have downloaded BIRT (Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools) from the Eclipse web site, and more than one million developers are estimated to be using BIRT. Built on the open source Eclipse platform, BIRT is a powerful report development system that provides an end-to-end solution–from creating and deploying reports to


More than ten million people have downloaded BIRT (Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools) from the Eclipse web site, and more than one million developers are estimated to be using BIRT. Built on the open source Eclipse platform, BIRT is a powerful report development system that provides an end-to-end solution–from creating and deploying reports to integrating report capabilities in enterprise applications.


The first in a two-book series about this exciting technology, BIRT: A Field Guide to Reporting, Third Edition, is the authoritative guide to using BIRT Report Designer, the graphical tool that enables users of all levels to build reports, from simple to complex, without programming.


This book is an essential resource for users who want to create presentation-quality reports quickly. The extensive examples, step-by-step instructions, and abundant illustrations help new users develop report design skills. Power users can find the information they need to make the most of the product’s rich set of features to build sophisticated and compelling reports.


Readers of this book learn how to

  • Design effective corporate reports that convey complex business information using images, charts, tables, and cross tabs
  • Build reports using data from multiple sources, including databases, spreadsheets, web services, and XML documents
  • Enliven reports with interactive features, such as hyperlinks, tooltips, and highlighting
  • Create reports using a consistent style, and, drawing on templates and libraries of reusable elements, collaborate with other report designers
  • Localize reports for an international audience

The third edition, newly revised, adds updated examples, contains close to 1,000 new and replacement screenshots, and covers all the new and improved product features, including

  • Result-set sharing to create dashboard-style reports
  • Data collation conforming to local conventions
  • Using cube data in charts, new chart types, and functionality
  • Displaying bidirectional text, used in right-to-left languages
  • Numerous enhancements to cross tabs, page management, and report layout

Product Details

Publication date:
Eclipse Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.70(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Foreword xix

Preface xxiii

Acknowledgments xxix

Part I: Installing BIRT 1

Chapter 1: Introducing BIRT Report Designers 3

Understanding BIRT components 3

Understanding Eclipse BIRT packages 4

About types of BIRT builds 5

Chapter 2: Installing a BIRT Report Designer 7

Installing BIRT Report Designer Full Eclipse Install 7

Installing BIRT RCP Report Designer 8

Troubleshooting installation problems 9

Installing a language pack 10

Updating a BIRT Report Designer installation 11

Updating BIRT RCP Report Designer installation 12

Part II: Getting Started 15

Chapter 3: Learning the Basics 17

About BIRT reports 17

Overview of the report design process 17

About the report design environment 19

Tutorial 1: Building a simple listing report 24

About report files and supported formats 45

Viewing sample reports 48

Chapter 4: Planning Your Report 51

Identifying the content of the report 52

Determining how the report will be viewed 53

Considering international reporting requirements 54

Deciding the layout and format of the report 54

Drawing a mock-up 56

Considering reuse of report components 56

Managing report design resources 57

Deciding how the report will be deployed 57

Part III: Accessing and Binding Data 59

Chapter 5: Connecting to a Data Source 61

About BIRT data sources 61

Connecting to a database using JDBC 62

Connecting to a text file 68

Connecting to an

Connecting to a web service 72

Creating reusable data sources 73

Setting connection properties when a report runs 77

Troubleshooting data source problems 84

Chapter 6: Retrieving Data 85

About data sets 85

Selecting data 86

Viewing and changing output columns 107

Adding a computed field to a data set 108

Joining data sets 110

Verifying the data returned by a data set 112

Specifying the data to retrieve at run time 113

Chapter 7: Binding Data 117

Understanding column bindings 117

Creating column bindings 120

Editing and deleting column bindings 122

Copying data elements 123

More about column-binding expressions 124

Part IV: Designing Reports 125

Chapter 8: Laying Out a Report 127

Understanding the layout model 127

Creating the sections of a report 130

Placing report elements 138

Chapter 9: Displaying Text 149

Types of textual elements 149

Deciding which textual element to use 151

Using a dynamic text element 153

Using a label element 155

Using a text element 155

Displaying text from right to left 159

Chapter 10: Formatting Report Content 163

Formatting data 164

Formatting with styles 171

Formatting data based on conditions 181

Alternating row colors in a table 186

Specifying alignment of content in a table or grid 189

Adjusting the spacing of content in a report 190

Specifying auto-expand layout for HTML output 195

Displaying data values in one row 197

Displaying content across multiple columns 200

Specifying alternate values for display 202

Hiding elements based on conditions 204

Chapter 11: Sorting and Grouping Data 207

Sorting data 208

Grouping 213

Tutorial 2: Grouping report data 232

Chapter 12: Aggregating Data 253

Types of aggregate calculations 254

Placing aggregate data 257

Creating an aggregation 259

Filtering aggregate data 265

Calculating percentages 267

Creating a summary report 271

Chapter 13: Writing Expressions 277

Basic concepts 278

Using the expression builder 279

Manipulating numeric data 282

Manipulating string data 285

Manipulating date-and-time data 294

Using Boolean expressions 297

Chapter 14: Filtering Data 299

Filtering opportunities 299

Specifying conditions on row retrieval 300

Filtering data after row retrieval 304

Chapter 15: Enabling the User to Filter Data 317

About report parameters 317

Planning to use report parameters 318

User filtering options 319

Enabling user filtering at query run time 319

Enabling user filtering after data retrieval 326

Designing the presentation of report parameters 329

Testing the report parameters 351

Tutorial 3: Creating and using report parameters 352

Chapter 16: Building a Report That Contains Subreports 367

Creating the report structure 367

Tutorial 4: Building a report containing side-by-side subreports 372

Chapter 17: Using a Chart 399

Surveying the types of charts 399

Tutorial 5: Creating a stand-alone chart 406

Exploring the chart builder 419

Using a chart in a table 423

Chapter 18: Displaying Data in Charts 427

Linking data to a chart 427

Understanding the axes of a chart 430

Grouping and sorting category data 434

Grouping optional Y value data 438

Using multiple y-axes 442

Transposing chart axes 443

Filtering data 444

Changing default report parameters 444

Creating data bindings 445

Previewing data and chart 445

Creating a combination chart 447

Defining a meter chart 449

Chapter 19: Laying Out and Formatting a Chart 453

Overview of formatting 454

Formatting specific types of charts 454

Setting chart area format attributes 472

Formatting the chart legend, plot, and title 478

Formatting axis titles, markers, lines, and labels 488

Formatting a series 500

Chapter 20: Presenting Data in a Cross Tab 511

Tutorial 6: Creating a cross tab 512

Setting up data for a cross tab 527

Building a cross tab 537

Displaying empty rows and columns 550

Displaying user-defined values in row and column headings 551

Sorting cross tab data 554

Limiting the amount of data the cross tab displays 556

Chapter 21: Presenting Different Views of the Same Data 559

Ways to share data 560

Building a dashboard report 561

Part V: Enhancing Reports 575

Chapter 22: Designing a Multipage Report 577

Planning the page layout 577

Controlling pagination 578

Customizing the master page 587

Using multiple master pages 598

Chapter 23: Adding Interactive Viewing Features 601

Creating hyperlinks 601

Creating a table of contents 611

Adding interactive chart features 614

Adding interactive elements to an HTML report 618

Identifying report elements for data export 620

Chapter 24: Building a Shared Development Framework 623

Sharing report elements using a library 624

Designing libraries for a shared environment 629

Using a library 635

Sharing a report layout as a template 643

Chapter 25: Localizing Text 651

Overview of the localization process 652

Assigning a resource file to a report 653

Assigning resource keys 655

Editing a resource file 664

Previewing a report in different locales 665

Glossary 667

Index 739

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BIRT: A Field Guide 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Shook her head.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He looks around helplessly and goes to lap some water
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"Hello" she said