Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Downloading BIRT runtime and installation of eclipse plug-in for BIRT Report Designer

Birt Runtime Download

Below is the link for all the birt runtime versions starting from BIRT 2.2.2 to BIRT 4.2.1(latest) version :
On below link select your required birt version and download birt-runtime-(your version here).zip package e.g.:

Birt Download page for all the version

Eclipse Plugin Link for BIRT

To install Birt report designer on eclipse go to Help>Install New Software and add link from below table for required BIRT Version.

Birt Report designer version

BIRT 4.2.x

Eclipse Plugin link

  • BIRT 4.2.0/4.2.1 Release builds.
  • In Juno
  • Work with Eclipse platform 4.2.x

BIRT 3.7.x (This Release Repo NOT available yet)
  • BIRT 3.7.0 Release builds.
  • In Indigo
  • Work with Eclipse platform 3.7
BIRT 2.6.x
  • BIRT 2.6.0 Release builds.
  • In Helios
  • Work with Eclipse platform 3.6
BIRT 2.5.x
  • BIRT 2.5.0/2.5.1/2.5.2 Release builds
  • In Galileo
  • Work with Eclipse platform 3.5
BIRT 2.3.x
  • BIRT 2.3.0/2.3.1/2.3.2/ Release builds
  • In Ganymede
  • Work with Eclipse platform 3.4.x
BIRT 2.2.x
BIRT 2.1.x BIRT 2.2.0/2.2.1/2.2.2/, 2.1.0/2.1.1/2.1.2/2.1.3 Release builds

If you find this information useful please comment and share Thanks :)

Monday, 10 December 2012

Introduction to birt reporting tool

  • Birt stands for Business Intelligence Reporting Tool.
  • Birt  reporting tool has nice report designer which comes with nice eclipse plug-in where user can generate all kind reports.
  • This reporting tool generate .rptdesign file for your report.which you can deploy on web server containing birt runtime.


Basic overview of how birt works:

  • Every report needs data from database,xml or from some where. Similarly in BIRT we need create data source which will provide data to report.Below are the type data sources provided by birt:
    1. JDBC Data Source :This data source allows to fetch data from database using JDBC.User need to provide jar of database.
    2. XML Data Source :This data source fetch data from the xml file. XML file path can be static or dynamic.
    3. Web Services Data Source :This data source fetch data from web service.
    4. Scripted Data Source :This data source allows birt engine to fetch data from java collections like list,map..etc.
    5. Flat Flat File Data Source
    6. Custom Data Source : Allows to create own custom data sources.
  • After creating JDBC Data Source we can create a data set which defines sql query for fetching data and define columns,
  • Similarly data sets can be created using other data sources.
  • Multiple data sources and multiple data sets can be created and combined to create complex report. 
  • After creating data set it can be used to display in table’s ,grid’s and also in charts.
  • Data set can be process using rhino JavaScript supported by birt for e.g. calculating sum,converting date formats and many more other javascript functions.
  • After creating report .rptdesign file needs to be deployed on the web application server. The report should be deployed under web application provided by birt run-time.

Advantages using BIRT

  • Comes with nice eclipse report designer plug-in.
  • Easy deployment process.
  • Complex report can be easily generated by combining multiple data sources
  • Nice support of rhino JavaScript which is very help full.
  • Supports different type of charts.
  • Event provided by BIRT is also very use full.


Disadvantages of BIRT

  • Little bit learning curve
  • Birt report need to be deployed on web application provided by birt runtime or needs to be integrated to web application.
  • Integrating birt using birt api in web application is tedious task.

If you find this information useful please comment and share Thanks :)

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Birt Integration With Web Application Part2

Birt Integration Part1
Birt Integration Part2

Javascript for loading report using ajax:

         report.js is used for loading and downloading report using ajax.Js files are  located in /WebContent/js/  which also includes jquery-1.7.1.js.

         report.js has two functions:         
  • generateReport(rptdesignDocName):This loades report in center div.
  • downloadReport(format): Download current report in selected format.

     report.js code:
 * This js contains two method 
 * 1)generateReport(reportName) : Requesting to load the report content in div.
 * 2)downloadReport(format): Downloading the current report in given format.

//this will hold the currently loaded report name.
  * This method is responsible for loading the reports in the report div.
  * @param localReportName
 function generateReport(reportName) {
  // here relative url is given if relative url is not working try giving full url
  var reporturl ="/BirtIntegration/loadReport?ReportName="+reportName+"&ReportFormat=html";
        $('#reportData').load(reporturl ,function(response, status, xhr) {
          if (status == "error") {
      var msg = "Sorry but there was an error getting details ! ";
   $("#reportData").html(msg + xhr.status + " " + xhr.statusText);
  * Download report function
  * @param format
 function downloadReport(format){
   alert("Please Select the report.");
  //here relative url is given if relative url is not working try giving full url
  var reporturl ="/BirtIntegration/loadReport?ReportName="+currentReportName+"&ReportFormat="+format;
  window.location.href = reporturl;

Pagination Functionality (Under Development)

  The reports can have table which may have many number of rows,In such cases birt provides facility of loading particular page in their api. In a source of example project his part is partly implemented.I currently working one example having pagination in the report.

Download Birt Integration Sample Project

Downloads :
 (Note*: After downloading project copy jar from birt runtime lib to /WEB-INF/lib and refactor code as per your need.)

Update :Download below project for pagination support:

Downloads : Birt Example with pagination support

Note* : Purpose of this example is to understand how to integrate Birt engine in code. Please understand and improve as per your need. Do not use directly in production.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Birt vs Jasper

Comparison between Birt and Jasper report (Birt Vs Japser Report):

       After searching long on birt vs jasper report. I came to conclusion that both  reporting tool has there own advantages and disadvantages.In my opinion both of them are powerful if their functionality is utilized properly and correctly.

 I am listing some of the key differences between  Birt and Jasper report.

Company Birt Jasper
Note *: These differences are based on my analysis on Birt and Jasper report
Multiple data sources per report Supports multiple data sources. Jasper not allows you to create two sources inside one report. You need to create sub report to do so.
Data Sources Type less number of datasource as compare to Jasper.But supports facility to create own datasource. More types of data sources than birt.
Joining the datasources More than two data sources can be joined and report can be created. Does not support joining data sources.
Report Designer Tool used. Eclipse plugin separate iReport designer,Netbean plugin
Example Reports Variety of example reports are available. -
Javascript support BIrt support very nice mozilla rhino javascript support which is very help full when designing your reports.It give more control over every report element. -
multi-column layout Not Supported Supported: This makes life easier when designing grids and tables.
CSS in controlled forma Supported Not supported.
Commercial license No commercial license. To get the full advance reporting capabilities, you must use JasperServer which requires a commercial license. Note*:This is for advanced reporting purpose.
Documentation Birt is little better in documentation. It also has good documentation only thing need to explore more deep.
Deploying reports on server It’s very easy with birt. It’s little bit complex.

Documentation and Tutorials:
Birt :

For more detailed differences visit below link:

Maven Dependency For Birt ( Birt Maven Dependency )

       I was working on integration of Birt engine with my application and I was using maven for the dependency management. When I searched for maven dependencies for birt I found very few details related to that, But after Searching long time for  maven dependency for birt .I finally figured out the solution.

Perform the following steps  for mavenizing birt :

Birt Maven Dependency

      1)      Add the below repository in your pom.xml:
            <name>Sonatype Nexus Releases</name>

        2)      Add below Maven Dependency :Currently this dependency is for birt version 3.7.1         

Birt Maven Dependency 4.2.0 and 4.2.2

1)Birt Maven Dependency 4.2.0

2)Birt Maven Dependency 4.2.2

Check below links as well:

If you find this post useful please share and leave a comment below, thanks! :)

Birt Integration With Web Application

Birt Integration Part1
Birt Integration Part2

Birt is one of the powerful free report designing tool which comes with nice eclipse plugin having good report designing tool.
When I was designing reports with designer plugin in eclipse I found it very simple. But when it came to deployment we need to deploy it in separate web application provided by birt-runtime, but it was not the requirement for me.I was looking for birt integration with my existing application. So I started analysis for integrating birt report engine in my application and after 1 week of research I was successfully able to integrate with my application.
For better understanding I have created one simple web application.Go through following steps to achieve successful integration:

Index For Birt Integration
     1) Overview

     2) Installation

     3) Java Classes For integration

     4) Jsp and Sample Reports

     5) JavaScript for loading report using ajax.

     6) Sample report with pagination functionality (Under development).

     7) Download 


This simple birt integration web project which provides the same functionality provided by birt web application.Basic flow starts with ajax report request which is simply handled by one servlet and which is handover to report engine for processing and rendering output to the output response or downloading in pdf,xls and doc format.Note* Currently pagination feature is under progress.

Here we are using following technology:

  1. Birt 3.7.1 libs
  2. jquery-1.7.1.js (here any version will work as we are using for ajax call only)
  3. Simple servlet and jsp.
  4. Eclipse Plugin For Birt Report Designer.


         Follow below steps for installation of this example web project.

1) Download this example web project from here.
Update :Check sample project for pagination support here

2) Import the project in eclipse

3) Download birt 3.7.1 runtime or other version from here

4) Copy all the jars from birt-runtime-3_7_1\birt-runtime-3_7_1\ReportEngine\lib To web  

applications lib.

Java Classes For integration

These are the classes which are responsible for integrating birt engine in web application. These classes will simply instantiate ,initialise the report engine,process reports and destroy the engine when context is destroyed. 

Below is short description of the classes in sample web project:

1) BirtReportController : This class handles request for the report rendering or downloading.

2) ReportProcessor  : This is singleton class which takes care of starting report engine  ,processing report ,rendering report and shutting down report engine.

3) ReportRenderer : This class actually process reports and renders it to httpresponse object.It also handles downloading report functionality.

4) BirtEngineFactory : This class configures birt engine using EngineConfig class object and returns  

BirtEngine object.It has logging configuration.
5) ReportParameterConverter : Convert report parameter value between object and string.

Below is the source code of the some Class with explanation:

1) BirtReportController :

This class extends httpservlet which is responsible for handing report rendering request.


  • init() : Initialise birt engine
  • get() or post() : handles processing and downloading report request
  • destroy() :Shutdown report engine.

package BirtIntegration.Controller;
   import javax.servlet.ServletException;
   import javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet;
   import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletRequest;
   import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletResponse;
   import BirtIntegration.BirtViewer.ReportProcessor;
   public class BirtReportController extends HttpServlet {
         //this is the single tone class.
         private ReportProcessor processor ;
         public void  init(){
               processor = ReportProcessor.getReportProcessor();
               System.out.println("Engine Initialized!!");
         public void doGet(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response)
                     throws ServletException, IOException {
               processor.processReport(request, response);
System.out.println("processing report complete");
           public void doPost(HttpServletRequest request,
              HttpServletResponse response)
            throws ServletException, IOException {
                 doGet(request, response);
         public void  destroy(){

2) ReportProcessor  :

This is singleton class has BirtEngineFactory  and ReportRenderer object.

This class performs following operations using ReportRenderer:

  • Initializing Report Engine.
  • Processing report for rendering and downloading.
  • Destroying report engine.

   package BirtIntegration.BirtViewer;
   import java.util.logging.Level;
   import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletRequest;
   import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletResponse;
   import BirtIntegration.factory.BirtEngineFactory;
 * This class is responsible for initlizing birt engine configuring birt  *engine,and processing and rendering reports.
   public class ReportProcessor {
         private BirtEngineFactory birtEngineFactory;
         private ReportRenderer reportRenderer;
         private static ReportProcessor reportProcessor =null;
         //private constructor for single tone object.
         private ReportProcessor(){
         public boolean initilizeBirtEngine(){
               boolean isInitialized =true;
               reportRenderer = new ReportRenderer();
               reportRenderer.setBirtEngine( this.getBitEngineFactory().getEngine() );
               System.out.println("Bit Engine Successfully Started.");
               return isInitialized;
          * Annotated with @ bean and will create BirtEngineFactory bean.
          * @return
         private BirtEngineFactory getBitEngineFactory(){
               birtEngineFactory = birtEngineFactory = BirtEngineFactory.getBirtEngineFactory() ;
               //uncomment to use logging
               //birtEngineFactory.setLogLevel( Level.FINEST);
               //birt engine logs will be created under this directory.
               //currently this line is commented
               //birtEngineFactory.setLogDirectory( new File("E:/WorkSpaces/PracticeWorkspace/BirtIntegration/birtlogs"));
           return birtEngineFactory;
         public void shutDownBirtEngine(){
         public void processReport(HttpServletRequest request,
          HttpServletResponse response) {
               reportRenderer.processReportDesignDocAndRenderReport(request, response);
         public static ReportProcessor getReportProcessor() {
               if(reportProcessor !=null){
                     return reportProcessor;
               reportProcessor = new ReportProcessor();
               return reportProcessor;

3) ReportRenderer

This class actually process the report request. This class has method processReportDesignDocAndRenderReport(request,response), the request object has following parameters :

  • ReportName :ReportName which is processed (e.g books_report.rptdesign).
  • ReportFormat : Html,Pdf,Xls,word. If it is other than html then it’s download request.
  • pageNumber  : This used to render particular page request in pagination.
  • Other Request Parameter in request object will be converted in report parameter ,which will be  given to query or other data sources as per the need.These parameters are used for filtering the reports data.

All the reports (.rptdesign ) are located in BirtIntegration\WebContent\Reports folder.

The report is processed in two phases by

1)IRunTask : Process .repdesign and generates temp.rptdocument and it also converts  

request parameter to report parameter.

2)IRenderTask : Processes temp.rptdocument document and renders report to response 

object based on type html,pdf,xls. It is responsible for setting the current page 
and also getting the total count of pages.

Code of processReportDesignDocAndRenderRepor() is below for whole class code download the example project :


    * This is overridden method which responsible for processing report  i.e .rptdesign document.and also rendering the report.
It also handles downloading the report.
   protected void processReportDesignDocAndRenderReport(HttpServletRequest request,
               HttpServletResponse response) {
         //get report name from request object.
         String reportName = request.getParameter( this.reportNameRequestParameter );
         //"Processing report:"+reportName);
         //get format in which we are going to render report i.e:html,pdf,excel
         String format = request.getParameter( this.reportFormatRequestParameter );
         //pagination handling
         String pageNumber = request.getParameter("pageNumber");
         int currentPageNumber=0;
               currentPageNumber = Integer.valueOf(pageNumber);
         //give the download report Name here.
         String downloadFileName = "MyReport";
         //Base URL
         String baseUrl = request.getScheme() + "://"  + request.getServerName() + ":"  + request.getServerPort()+request.getContextPath();
         ServletContext sc = request.getSession().getServletContext();
         if( format == null ){
               format="html";//default format
         IReportRunnable runnable = null;
         //opend design document
         runnable = birtEngine.openReportDesign( sc.getRealPath("/Reports")+"/"+reportName );
         //first process the report using Iruntask which will create the temp.rptdocument
         IRunTask iRunTask = birtEngine.createRunTask(runnable);
         iRunTask.getAppContext().put( EngineConstants.APPCONTEXT_BIRT_VIEWER_HTTPSERVET_REQUEST, request );
         //put the parameter values from request to the report parameter
         iRunTask.setParameterValues(discoverAndSetParameters( runnable, request ));
         //create temp rpddocument"/Reports")+"/temp.rptdocument");
         //now do the rendering operation
         IReportDocument reportDoc = birtEngine.openReportDocument( sc.getRealPath("/Reports")+"/temp.rptdocument" );
         IRenderTask iRenderTask= birtEngine.createRenderTask(reportDoc);
         //set the format
         response.setContentType( birtEngine.getMIMEType( format ));
         IRenderOption options =  null == this.renderOptions ? new RenderOption() : this.renderOptions;
         //if html set html related options
         if( format.equalsIgnoreCase("html")){
               HTMLRenderOption htmlOptions = new HTMLRenderOption( options);
               htmlOptions.setImageHandler(new HTMLServerImageHandler());
               htmlOptions.setBaseImageURL(baseUrl+"/images");//TODO:Change from local host to actual path
               //if pdf set pdf related downloading options
         }else if( format.equalsIgnoreCase("pdf") ){
               PDFRenderOption pdfOptions = new PDFRenderOption( options );
               pdfOptions.setImageHandler(new HTMLServerImageHandler());
               pdfOptions.setOption(IPDFRenderOption.PAGE_OVERFLOW, IPDFRenderOption.FIT_TO_PAGE_SIZE);
               response.setHeader(  "Content-Disposition", "attachment; filename="+downloadFileName );
         //if XLS set XLS related downloading options
         }else if(format.equalsIgnoreCase("xls")){
                 EXCELRenderOption xlsOptions = new EXCELRenderOption(options);
                 response.setHeader(   "Content-Disposition", "attachment; filename="+downloadFileName);
                 xlsOptions.setImageHandler(new HTMLServerImageHandler());
                 //xlsOptions.setOption(IRenderOption.EMITTER_ID, "");
                 xlsOptions.setOption(IRenderOption.EMITTER_ID, "");
               response.setHeader(  "Content-Disposition", "attachment; filename=\"" + downloadFileName + "\"" );
          * This is used for pagination and setting the page number we want to display
         long pageCount = iRenderTask.getTotalPage();
               if(pageCount >=currentPageNumber){
         //save the page count in session to use for pagination.  
         //using this page count we can implement pagination.
         request.getSession().setAttribute("pageCount", pageCount);
         //render report
         //close task and doc
         //"Processing report completed successfully:"+reportName);
         }catch (Exception e) {
               //logger.error("Exception while proceessing report ",e);

BirtEngineFactory  and ReportParameterConverter classes are pretty straight forward.
Please click here to download source.
Jsp and Sample Reports

        There is one Reports.jsp located in /WebContent/jsp/Reports.jsp which used for handling report loading . This is simple jsp which has left navigation div and center div. When report is selected from the left navigation it will be loaded in center div and this is an ajax call for loading report.Also download option are above the center div which allows user to download report in pdf,xls and doc format. Screen shots of jsp is in below section.

I have created two sample reports. These reports are located in /WebContent/Reports directory.

  • First_Report.rptdesign (Hello World Report)

This is simple report contains one Hello world message and one image.

  • books_report.rptdesign

This report will show the details books in table and it will show pie chart of total price by book type below the table.This reports uses xml data source to load the details.The books.xml is located in /WebContent/ReportXmlDatasource/books.xml.

To locate the books.xml check the data source url is working by hitting test connection

as shown below. If it is not working then browse to the books.xm manually.
Currently url is :http://localhost:8080/BirtIntegration/ReportXmlDatasource/books.xml

Data Source window:

Screen Shot for Books Details Report:

Visit below link for part2 and downloading example project:
Birt Integration With Web Application Part2