Reports often require additional business logic to prepare data for presentation. BIRT provides a number of tools to help:
While some reports have a fixed format, others require conditional formatting. For example, a report that lists transactions may want to present a sale differently than a return. Or, a customer service report may want to show colors that indicate which metrics are above, at or below plan. BIRT provides several conditional formatting features:
BIRT integrates with the Eclipse project management features to organize related reports. BIRT also works with Eclipse CVS support for source management. BIRT's XML report design format makes it easy to compare two reports, or two versions of the same report, to track changes.
Anyone who has designed a web page knows that the same visual styles get used over and over. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) allow web designers to extract style information from content, and to reuse style over and over.
BIRT provides a similar style feature. Indeed, BIRT styles are based on CSS styles, making BIRT's visual properties familiar to web application developers. BIRT styles cascade, allowing you to set a style in one place and have it affect the entire report, a section of the report, or a single report item. BIRT also allows importing or referencing of existing Cascading Style Sheets.
Typical applications include many related reports. A simple customer application may include an alphabetical customer listing, customers sorted by geography, customers assigned to specific sales reps, customers filtered by status and more. In general, users frequently want another variation to solve specific business needs.
The result is that reporting applications consist of suites of closely related reports. The same data sources, styles, business logic, report items and more are used across many reports.
BIRT supports libraries that organize these shared resources. Libraries can contain any report element including styles, data sources, report items, scripts and so on.
The web allows worldwide access to your application. BIRT provides excellent support for internationalization and localization.