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Revision as of 11:46, 10 July 2006

Back to BIRT FAQ Index

Application Server

Q: How do I install the BIRT Report Engine in my app server?

The Eclipse (BIRT) Reporting Engine (ERE) is a series of Java class files that can be deployed in any Java/J2EE environment – this could be within a server based application, or a client-side application. The ERE is the runtime component of BIRT – when you call it in the context of your application, you pass it a report design. The ERE then will access the data source, retrieve the data, do the required aggregations/sorting, etc., and then format the report for presentation as HTML or PDF, for example.

The BIRT report viewer is included with the report designer and is used to preview reports. It doubles as an example of how to integrate the Report Engine into a J2EE application.

Q: How do I install BIRT in Tomcat?

See complete instructions on the BIRT Integration pages.

Q: How do I install BIRT in JBoss?

Take the viewer deployment from the BIRT designer (as described for Tomcat), and copy it to your JBoss deploy directory as viewer.war.

However, BIRT uses an older version of the Rhino scripting engine, and this causes a conflict with the version installed with JBoss. To work around this temporarily, put BIRT's js.jar in JBoss's server/default/lib.

BIRT Viewer

Q: Why does a red asterisk appear next to some of my parameters in the Viewer's parameter UI?

The asterisk indicates that a parameter is required. A parameter is required if:

  • The parameter is a string, the default value is blank, and the parameter does not allow blank values.
  • The parameter is other than a string, the default value is blank, and the parameter does not allow null values.

Note that a blank value is considered to be a blank string ("") for string values, but a (database null) value (unknown) for non-string types such as numbers and dates.

Other Integrations

Q: Can I use BIRT within a Rich Client Application (RCP)?

Community member Stavros Kounis made an Eclipse plug-in that starts BIRT's Viewer webapp using the Eclipse internal application server and views reports inside RCP using an editor that contains a browser control. He posted it on his blog at

Q: Can I store report designs in a location other than the file system?

Not at present, but we are looking into possible changes to support this. Also, Eclipse itself may be looking into this.

Q: Do BIRT reports need to be compiled before they are run?

No, there is no compile step. The BIRT Report Engine directly executes the report design XML file. (This is one reason that BIRT uses interpreted JavaScript instead of compiled Java as its scripting language.)

Q: Can BIRT reports be saved on disk?

Reports in release 1 are run on demand, then discarded. A BIRT report run creates the report, converts it to HTML or PDF, then discards the report. A later release will add the ability to save the report document on disk.

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