Tuesday, July 10, 2007

BIRT is not evil

I'm at the point in my project that most programmers dread. It is report generating time! Yeah, its not very exciting stuff to code. With the growing buzz around BIRT (2.2) (Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools) I thought I would give it a try.

I'm using BIRT with Eclipse Europa (3.3). Talk about a nice reporting tool. Building a report using the design tools was easy and obvious. I hooked it up to one of our Postgres databases (8.2.3) using a type 4 JDBC driver without any problems. A little SQL coding for a query and I was dragging and dropping fields into the report.

Creating customized formats for the duration fields and integrating the report into our application wasn't obvious so I went and bought the only two books available about BIRT.

BIRT: A Field Guide to Reporting (The Eclipse Series)
by Diana Peh, Alethea Hannemann, Nola Hague
ISBN: 0321442598
Integrating and Extending BIRT (The Eclipse Series)
by Jason Weathersby, Don French, Tom Bondur, Jane Tatchell, Iana Chatalbasheva
ISBN: 0321443853
Both are easy to read, gave me additional background to how BIRT works and most importantly saved me a good deal of time learning how to use BIRT and integrating it into our application.

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