Thursday, December 21, 2006

BIRT 2 Milestone Features

The BIRT Team released milestone 2 of the BIRT 2.2 release a couple of weeks ago. With this milestone several new features were added that are very cool. We now have a BIRT Web Project Wizard that uses WTP technology to deploy the Web Viewer. Deployment is often stumbling block and ranks as one of the top questions on the BIRT News Group. Web integration will get more updates in later milestones. One in particular is the BIRT tag library, which will allow customized parameter pages and viewer attributes modifications.

Another very interesting project is the new ODA Project Wizards. Open Data Access drivers form the heart of data retrieval for the BIRT engine and are implemented using Data Tools Platform (DTP) project technology. Coding an ODA can be quite daunting to the initiate. These new wizards stub out a working sample ODA that can be customized to your needs. We will be blogging some more on this topic in the coming weeks.

These are just two of the projects in the 2.2 Project plan. Dynamic cross tabs and a new JavaScript editor are on the way. To read more about Milestone 2 features, take a look at the New and Notable Features for BIRT 2.2 Milestone 2


Anonymous said...

Could you tell me whether a BO to BIRT converter does exist or is planned ?

Jason Weathersby said...

What do you mean by BO?


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Annerose said...

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Anonymous said...

I am assuming when you say BO, you are referring to Business Objects, specifically Crystal Reports.

I have not looked at BO, but I will let you know about the issues I faced with the other products.

The biggest obstacle is that BIRT uses a somewhat different metaphor for report development. Crystal is a banded report writer. BIRT is a table based report writer. Crystal the styles are applied to the individual elements. In BIRT you can use Styles and CSS to achieve the same things. The scripting model for both is different.

Because BIRT is so flexible, you can sometimes re-create the reports in BIRT, but you end up building 'bad' reports. In other words the design does not make sense.

The other issues in Crystal's case is that last I checked there was no official API to open the report design. I have seen some attempts but they are not supported by Crystal.

If you are interested in starting a POC to convert Crystal reports, I would be happy to talk to you, and explore this a bit further, but there is no current project to do this.

Anonymous said...

I have a project that involves converting reports written in Crystal reports to Birt. Is there a tool to do the convertion without having to write the reports from scatch in Birt?

Jason Weathersby said...

I am not aware of one currently.

Anonymous said...

I realize this thread is very old, however I'd like to ask the Birt community whether there is much demand for a Crystal to Birt converter?

Such a thing is entirely do-able.