Thursday, January 31, 2008

BIRT Reportlets

BIRT process reports by reading the xml design file (.rptdesign) and optionally producing a binary file called a report document (.rptdocument) and finally renders to one of the supported output formats. One nice aspect of using the report document is that a report can be generated and rendered multiple times at a later date or on a different machine. Running a report this way also allows the user of the engine to optionally render portions of the report document. When using the example web viewer application that comes with BIRT this can be achieved by using the _pagerange and _page URL parameters. For example, if the report document contains a 500 page report you can specify __pagerange=1,5-10 to render only those pages using the /preview servlet mapping.




Note that if you are using the /frameset servlet mapping with HTML output that this will have no effect. In this particular case you can specify a __page URL parameter and the entire report will be rendered and the specific page will be loaded. The __pagerange parameter will be used with the /frameset mapping, if you select another output such as PDF.

BIRT also supports using bookmarks to locate and render content. Most BIRT report elements support a bookmark expression. The expression can be a simple tag such as “mytable”; or can be complex and based on data retrieved from data sources. The bookmark expression can be set using the BIRT properties view. To render a specific bookmark use the __bookmark URL parameter. When used with the /frameset servlet mapping the viewer will render the entire report and load the page containing the bookmark. When using the bookmark parameter with the /preview mapping the entire report will be rendered and the browser will be scrolled to the proper location. The bookmark parameter can also be used in conjunction with the __isreportlet URL parameter to only render the specific bookmark. When used with /preview mapping only the bookmark will be rendered no matter what output format is rendered. The isreportlet parameter will have no effect if, using the /frameset mapping and rendering to HTML. Rendering to other formats such as PDF will cause the engine to only render the specific bookmark though. As an example assume you have a three page report, where a chart exist on each page. The bookmark expressions for the charts are as follows:


Using the following URL will render only the second chart.

Using the following URL will render all three charts and the viewer will load page 2.

If you are using the Report Engine API, these results can be achieved using methods of the RenderTask.

IRenderTask task = engine.createRenderTask(myreportdocument);



Blogger said...

How can i access iText api through BIRT.iText has api to embed javascript in pdf(for silent printing).Is there any api to access the api of iText throught BIRT??. I apologize if i do any wrong query.

Jason Weathersby said...

The iText packages are available in the com.lowagie.text plugin. You can access these from the RE API by importing the required packages and then using them.

import com.lowagie.text.pdf.PdfReader;
import com.lowagie.text.pdf.PdfCopyFields;

You can also call them from script by using the importPackage command

Preeti said...

Hello Jason,
Sorry for putting my question here.
I have arequirement of generating CSV from BIRT report engine. I am using BIRT 2.2.1 and Eclipse I found out CSV emitter generated for birt 2.1 version. But it's giving unsupported version error for my current reports.
Can you please help me out with this.


Jason Weathersby said...


Where did you get the emitter?


Anonymous said...

Hi Jason,

We have a requirement to generate pdfs by specifying multiple bookmarks using the BIRT Report Viewer. This will enable a user to select which bookmarks they would like to see in the PDF report. eg. we would like to use URL syntax such as __bookmark=Coverpage,Chart1,Chart2

BIRT does not allow multiple bookmarks to be passed by URL. We can't use __pagerange either as we don't know the page number of the bookmarks.

Can the above be achieved another way in BIRT? Or could this be a future enhancement to the BIRT Report Viewer URL Parameters?


Jason Weathersby said...


Great question. There currently is no code to handle this in the viewer, but the api has a call to return the page number of a specific book mark. It is in the IReportDocument interface, and the call is getPageNumber(Bookmark).

You may also want to log a bugzilla request for an enhancement.


slash said...

Hi there,

I'm wondering if is there any release of birt 2.3.1 that is compatible with eclipse 3.3? and if any where can i find it (links)?

thanx in advance


Jason Weathersby said...

BIRT 2.3.1 requires Eclipse 3.4.

Carmelo said...

Is it possible to silent print a report generated by BIRT?

Thank you in advance for your help

Jason Weathersby said...


If you are calling BIRT with the report engine api, you should be able to use iText calls to add java script to the pdf to do a silent print. Take a look at this thread from the news group


Jason Weathersby said...

Vishal P said...

hi jason

my requirement is like on click on number that page should be shown

can u help me in this.

Jason Weathersby said...

can you give some more details?