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Practical Data Analysis and Reporting with BIRT

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John Ward

Use the open-source Eclipse-based Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools system to design and create reports quickly
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Book Details

ISBN 139781847191090
Paperback312 pages

About This Book

  • Get started with BIRT Report Designer
  • Develop the skills to get the most from it
  • Transform raw data into visual and interactive content
  • Design, manage, format, and deploy high-quality reports

Who This Book Is For

This book is for Java developers who want to create rich reports and get started with BIRT to do this. Readers will need a basic understanding of SQL to follow along.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction
Introduction to Business Intelligence
The Current State of the BI Market
The Need for Open-Source Reporting
What is BIRT
The Origins of BIRT
Features of BIRT
Eclipse Framework
BIRT Distributions
Why BIRT?
Conventions Used in This Book
Summary
Chapter 2: Installing BIRT
Requirements
Where Do I Get BIRT?
Installing BIRT from the All-in-One Installation
Installing BIRT All-In-One under Linux
Installing iText for PDF Support
Installation of BIRT through the Eclipse Plug-in Update Program
Summary
Chapter 3: The BIRT Environment and Your First Report
A Basic Scenario
The BIRT Perspective
The BIRT Workbench
Setting up a Simple Project
Creating a Simple Report
Summary
Chapter 4: Visual Report Components
Adding Labels
Adding Images
Using Text and Dynamic Text
Adding Grids
Summary
Chapter 5: Working with Data
BIRT Data Capabilities
Understanding the Data Components of BIRT
The Data Source
Data Sets
Tables
Groups
Lists
Aggregation
Table of Contents
Crosstab
Summary
Chapter 6: Report Parameters
Why Parameterize Reports?
Data Set Parameters and Report Parameters
Getting Input from the User
Dynamic Report Parameters and Filters
Cascading Parameters
Parameter Grouping and Reports with Multiple Parameters
Summary
Chapter 7: Report Projects and Libraries
Report Projects
Creating New Report Projects
Importing and Exporting Report Projects
Other Project Options
Libraries
Summary
Chapter 8: Styles, Themes, and Templates
Style Sheets
Creating Themes
Using External CSS Style Sheets
Templates
Summary
Chapter 9: Charts, Hyperlinks, and Drill-Downs
Pie Chart
Gauge Chart
Bar Chart
Summary
Chapter 10: Scripting and Event Handling
Types of Scripting
Expressions
Event Handling
Scripted Data Source
Using Java Objects as Event Handlers
Summary
Chapter 11: Deployment
BIRT Viewer
Command-Line Tools
Report Engine API
Outputting to Different Formats
Summary
Chapter 12: Practical Example— Building Reports for Bugzilla
The Environment
Requirements
Create the Libraries
First Report—Bug Detail Report
Bug Status
Developer Issues Reports
Summary
Conclusion

What You Will Learn

  • Installing and setting up a BIRT environment
  • Creating structured reports and adding visual report elements
  • Working with data from JDBC, XML, flat files, and web services
  • Filtering down data to just the information you need
  • Creating cross-tab reports using the new BIRT cube designer
  • Creating a shared development environment using libraries
  • Using style sheets and themes in report designs
  • Using and creating Templates for rapid development of similar reports
  • Everything you need to work with BIRT's chart engine
  • Scripting in BIRT to add business logic, manipulate report elements and handle events
  • Deploying BIRT reports
  • Case Study—Building Reports for Bugzilla

In Detail

BIRT, which stands for Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools, is actually a development framework. Including the word "Tools" in the acronym is appropriate, since BIRT is in fact a collection of development tools and technologies used for report development utilizing the BIRT framework. BIRT is essentially not a product, but a series of core technologies on top of which products and solutions are built, similar in fashion to the Eclipse framework.

The focus of this book is on the most visible and familiar product built with the BIRT framework, which is the BIRT Report Designer. The BIRT Report Designer is an Eclipse plug-in that utilizes BIRT technologies to allow users to design reports in the BIRT document format. You can integrate it with your Java/J2EE applications to produce compelling reports.

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