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<p class="head">BIRT Overview</p>
<p class="subhead">Integrating BIRT into your Application</p>
<h1>BIRT in a J2EE Application</h1>
<p>
The BIRT Report Engine is packaged as a JAR file that you add to your J2EE
application. The Report Engine is a series of POJOs (Plain Old Java Objects)
that your JSP pages can call to integrate reporting into your application.
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BIRT has four main integration points with your application:
<dl class="arrow-list">
<dt>Parameter UI
<dd>Most reports allow the user to specify some kind of input, called a
<i>report parameter</i>. For example, a customer report might ask for the
customer to display. Your parameter page can be static: custom designed
for each report. Or, you can use a dynamic page powered by parameter
meta-data so that a single page works for any report.
<dt>Running the Report
<dd>When the user submits the parameter form, your web application passes the
parameters to the BIRT report engine which reads the report design file,
reads the data, and produces the report output. BIRT uses the term
<i>factory</i> when the engine runs a report.
<dt>Data Access
<dd>Reports obtain data from your application as explained above. Java applications
often provide data to the BIRT factory via Java objects.
<dt>Viewing
<dd>Additional JSP pages, called the viewer, enable the user to view the output
of the report.
</dl>
<dt>
A reporting application includes a <i>parameter page</i>
that you can create a custom UI for each report, or you can
use the parameter meta-data provided by BIRT to provide a single report that
handles many different reports.
<h1>Example Viewer</h1>
<p>
The BIRT project provides a sample "viewer" to help you get get started. The
sample viewer is also used to preview reports within Eclipse: BIRT includes an
Apache Tomcat server invoked each time you preview your report. The viewer
can also be used in any JSP-compliant J2EE server.
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BIRT Release 1.0.1 provides web output as a single page. The plan is to provide
multi-page output in upcoming releases, and the viewer UI will provide the
means for navigating among the pages.<p>
More information about the sample viewer is available in the <a href="../deploy">
integration</a> section.</body></html>