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BIRT

From MIKE2.0 Methodology

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This article is currently Under Construction. It is undergoing major changes as it is in the early stages of development. Users should help contribute to this article to get it to the point where is ready for a Peer Review.


BIRT (acronym for Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools) is an Eclipse-based open source reporting system for Web applications that allows you to generate reports from various data sources: databases, XML documents, EJBs, Web services, JavaBeans, and POJOs.

BIRT has two main components: a report designer based on Eclipse, and a runtime component that you can add to your app server. BIRT also offers a charting engine that lets you add charts to your own application. The current released version is 2.1.2.

Contents

= Relationship to MIKE2.0

SAFE Architecture

  • Used to deliver the BI sub-component

Overall Implementation Guide

BI Design and Implementation Activities of MIKE2.0, which are:

Alignment with Strategic Requirements for Infrastructure Development

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Product Review

Key Features

  • BIRT reports support data supplied by databases, web services, and Java objects.
  • BIRT (release 2.1.2) also supports JDBC and XML, and code to get at other sources of data.
  • BIRT's use of the Open Data Access (ODA) framework allows anyone to build new UI and runtime support for any kind of tabular data. A single report can include data from any number of data sources.
  • BIRT supports combination of disparate data sources through using inner and outer joins.
  • Business logic can be scripted specifically for a report using BIRT's JavaScript support. If application already contains the logic, you can call into your existing Java code.
  • Tables, charts, text and more can be presented. A single data set can appear in multiple ways, and a single report can present data from multiple data sets.
  • Supports lists, charts, crosstabs (release 2.2), letters and documents and compound reports

Pros

  • Free and open source
  • Because BIRT is Eclipse-based, it does not need to be integrated with an IDE. It's easy to use in comparison to other reporting tools like JasperReports, which is a Java API and requires a Java application to run
  • A report produced in BIRT may be output as a PDF document, as an HTML document or as a editable format like RTF or DOC.
  • BIRT allows sophisticated operations such as grouping on sums, percentages of overall totals and more.
  • BIRT charts can be rendered in SVG and support events to allow user interaction.
  • BIRT allows you to can sort, filter, and group data in a report as well as add business-specific logic using JavaScript
  • BIRT allows you to implement runtime integration using the Report Engine API. This allows you to run BIRT reports directly from Java code.
  • With runtime integration, you view your BIRT report in the BIRT Viewer, which you can install in an application server or access via a URL.
  • There is also a supported version branded as Actuate BIRT

Cons

  • Issues surrounding scalability and enterprise wide large scale reporting
  • It is more effective to use BIRT around a complete BI tool, like Pentaho or SpagoBI.

Desired Enhancements

Functonality that users of the MIKE2.0 Methodology would like to see added to this product are as follows:

User Valuation Enhancements

Voting scores from MIKE2.0 Contributors on the value of the asset in the context of the overall methodology

Usage

Product Access

BIRT Download available from product website

Open Source Licensing

Comparable Open Source Products

Open Source products including BIRT

Reference Implementations through MIKE2.0

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