BIRT 2.2.1 Project Plan

BIRT Project 2.2.1 Plan

Last revised September 11, 2007

Introduction

This document lays out the feature and API set for the next feature release of the Eclipse BIRT project after 2.2, designated release 2.2.1.

Plans do not materialize out of nowhere, nor are they entirely static. To ensure the planning process is transparent and open to the entire Eclipse community, plans are posted in an embryonic form and then revised from time to time throughout the release cycle.

The first part of the plan deals with the important matters of release deliverables, release milestones, target operating environments, and release-to-release compatibility. These are all things that need to be clear for any release, even if no features were to change.

The remainder of the plan consists of plan items for the projects under the Eclipse BIRT project. Each plan item covers a feature or API that is to be added, or some aspect that is to be improved. Each plan item has its own entry in the Eclipse bugzilla database, with a title and a concise summary (usually a single paragraph) that explains the work item at a suitably high enough level so that everyone can readily understand what the work item is without having to understand the nitty-gritty detail.

Please send comments about this draft plan to the BIRT Developer mailing list.

Release deliverables

This maintenance release of BIRT will focus on providing the same downloads as BIRT 2.2.

Release milestones

Friday, August 10 BIRT 2.2.1 M3
Friday, August 24 BIRT 2.2.1 M4
Friday, September 14 BIRT 2.2.1 RC1
Friday, September 28 BIRT 2.2.1

For information about new features assigned to each milestone please refer to the bugzilla database. The bugzilla database will be updated on an ongoing basis as the plan progresses.

Target Operating Environments

In order to remain current, each release of an Eclipse project targets reasonably current versions of underlying operating environments and other Eclipse projects on which it depends. 

Most of Eclipse, and all of BIRT, is “pure” Java™ code and has no direct dependence on the underlying operating system. For BIRT, the chief dependence is on the Eclipse Platform, Graphical Editor Framework (GEF), Modeling Framework (EMF), and on the Java 2 Platform that runs it.

The Eclipse BIRT 2.2.1 release depends on the following compatibility stack:

BIRT 2.2 Reference Stack for JDK 1.4.2

  • Java 2 platform Java Development Kit (JDK) 1.4.2
  • Eclipse Platform Runtime Binary 3.3
  • Graphical Editor Framework (GEF) Runtime 3.2
  • Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF) 2.2
  • Data Tools Platform Project 1.5 (DTP)
  • Web Tools Project (WTP) 2.0

BIRT 2.2 Reference Stack for JDK 1.5

  • Java 2 platform Java Development Kit (JDK) 1.5
  • Eclipse Platform Runtime Binary 3.3
  • Graphical Editor Framework (GEF) Runtime 3.2
  • Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF) 2.3
  • Data Tools Platform Project 1.5 (DTP)
  • Web Tools Project (WTP) 2.0

The Eclipse Platform and BIRT run in a variety of operating environments. Testing is focused on a handful of popular combinations of operating system and Java 2 Platform; these are our reference platforms. Eclipse BIRT undoubtedly runs fine in many operating environments beyond the reference platforms we test. However, since we do not systematically test them we cannot vouch for them. Problems encountered when running Eclipse BIRT on non-reference platforms that cannot be recreated on any reference platform will be given lower priority than problems with running Eclipse BIRT on a reference platform.

For BIRT 2.2.1, the project team plans to tests and validate the following reference platforms:


Eclipse BIRT Report Framework 2.2.1 and Eclipse BIRT RCP Report Designer 2.2.1 Reference Platforms
Operating system Processor architecture Window system Java 2 Platform
Microsoft Windows XP Intel x86 Win32 Sun Java 2 Standard Edition, version 5.0
Microsoft Windows 2000 Intel x86 Win32 Sun Java 2 Standard Edition, version 5.0
Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Intel x86 Win32 Sun Java 2 Standard Edition, version 5.0
Microsoft Windows Vista Intel x86 Win32 Sun Java 2 Standard Edition, version 5.0
Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS 3.0

Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS 4.0

Intel x86 GTK Sun Java 2 Standard Edition, version 5.0

Eclipse BIRT Runtime 2.2.1 and Eclipse BIRT Charts 2.2.1 Reference Platforms
Operating system Processor architecture Window system Java 2 Platform
Microsoft Windows XP Intel x86 Win32* Sun Java 2 Standard Edition, version 1.4.2, version 5.0
Microsoft Windows XP Intel x86 Win32* IBM SDK 1.4.2, 5.0
Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Intel x86 Win32* Sun Java 2 Standard Edition, version 1.4.2, version 5.0
Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Intel x86 Win32* IBM SDK 1.4.2, 5.0
Microsoft Windows Vista Intel x86 Win32* Sun Java 2 Standard Edition, version 1.4.2, version 5.0
Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS 3.0 Intel x86 GTK* Sun Java 2 Standard Edition, version 1.4.2, version 5.0
Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS 3.0 Intel x86 GTK* BlackDown SDK 1.4.2
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 Intel x86 YaST* Sun Java 2 Standard Edition, version 1.4.2, version 5.0
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 Intel x86 YaST* BlackDown SDK 1.4.2
*Window system only required when displaying charts within SWT or SWING windows.

BIRT Application Server Reference Platform
Apache Tomcat 5.0.x, 5.5.x
JBoss AS 4.0.2

BIRT JDBC Reference Platforms
MySQL Connector/J 3.x JDBC driver
Derby V10.1.2.1 JDBC driver

BIRT Browsers and Viewers Reference Platforms
Mozilla Firefox 1.5, 2.0
Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0
Adobe Acrobat Reader 7.0

Internationalization

Eclipse is designed as the basis for internationalized products. The user interface elements provided by the various Eclipse projects, including dialogs and error messages, are externalized. The English strings for BIRT are provided as the default resource bundles. Translations are provided with this release for French (fr_FR), German (de_DE), Spanish (es_ES), Japanese (ja_JP), Simplified Chinese (zh_CN), and Korean (ko_KR).

Community Tested Operating Environments

Due to the finite resources available to the BIRT project, we would like to encourage the BIRT community to contribute to testing BIRT in operating environments other than those listed as target operating environments for the 2.2.1 release of BIRT and to share this information with the rest of the community. If you have been able to test BIRT in a non-targeted operating environment please take a few minutes to update this wiki page and report this information there. If you have encountered bugs during your testing, please report these in bugzilla.

Compatibility with Previous Releases

BIRT 2.2.1 will be compatible with earlier versions of BIRT to the greatest extent possible. The nature and scope of some of the key plan items for BIRT 2.2.1 are such that the only feasible solutions might break compatibility. In other regards, BIRT 2.2.1 will be compatible with 2.x and 1.x. We also aim to minimize the effort required to port an existing plug-in to the 2.2.1 APIs.

Compatibility of Release 2.2.1 with 2.2, 2.1, 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.3, 2.0.x and 1.x

BIRT 2.2.1 will be compatible with BIRT 2.2, 2.1, 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.3, 2.0.x and 1.x unless noted. The detailed compatibility statement is listed below. In this statement, "BIRT" refers to all BIRT components: BIRT Report Framework, BIRT Runtime, and BIRT Chart SDK.

API Contract Compatibility: BIRT 2.2.1 will be upwards contract-compatible with BIRT 2.2, 2.1, 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.3, 2.0.x and 1.x to the greatest extent possible. All incompatibility exceptions will be documented. Downward contract compatibility is not supported. There is no guarantee that compliance with BIRT 2.2.1 APIs will ensure compliance with BIRT 2.2, 2.1, 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.3, 2.0.x or 1.x APIs. Refer to general Eclipse document on Evolving APIs for a discussion of the kinds of API changes that maintain contract compatibility.

The BIRT Chart UI API 2.2.1 is compatible with the 2.2, 2.1, 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.3, 2.0.x API but not compatible with the v1.x APIs due to a full redesign of the Chart UI in the BIRT 2.0 release.

Binary (plug-in) Compatibility: The BIRT 2.2.1 plug-in framework will be upwards binary-compatible with BIRT 2.2, 2.1, 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.3, 2.0.x and 1.x plug-ins to the greatest extent possible. Downward plug-in compatibility is not supported. Plug-ins for BIRT 2.2.1 will not be usable in BIRT 2.2, 2.1, 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.3, 2.0.x or 1.x. Extension plug-ins for BIRT 2.2, 2.1, 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.3, 2.0.x and 1.x will be upwards binary-compatible with BIRT 2.2.1.

Source Compatibility: BIRT 2.2.1 will be upwards source-compatible with BIRT 2.2, 2.1, 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.3, 2.0.x and 1.x to the greatest extent possible. This means that source files written to use BIRT 2.2, 2.1, 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.3, 2.0.x or 1.x APIs will successfully compile and run against BIRT 2.2.1 APIs. Downward source compatibility is not supported. If source files use new BIRT APIs, they will not be usable with an earlier version of BIRT.

Report Design Compatibility:BIRT 2.2.1 will be upwards report design compatible with BIRT 2.2, 2.1, 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.3, 2.0.x and 1.x unless noted. This means that reports created with BIRT 2.2, 2.1, 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.3, 2.0.x or 1.x can be successfully opened by BIRT 2.2.1 and upgraded to a 2.2.1 format.

Non-compliant usage of API's: All non-API methods and classes, and certainly everything in a package with "internal" in its name, are considered implementation details which may vary between operating environment and are subject to change without notice. Client plug-ins that directly depend on anything other than what is specified in the BIRT API are inherently unsupportable and receive no guarantees about compatibility within a single release much less with an earlier releases.

Themes

This release is primarily aimed at addressing identified bugs in BIRT 2.2.

Projects

Crosstab Enhancements
Time Dimension Enhancements This project looks at providing additional pre-defined date time formats for date/time dimensions. Users will be able to specify the default format for each level of a date/time item. [Bugzilla ID: 196894]
Create In-memory Cube Cubes are currently always created on disk. This project looks at enhancing performance by creating cubes in memory for small cubes. [Bugzilla ID: 185034]

Result Set Sharing This project aims to enable multiple BIRT report items to share the same data binding definition and result set. [Bugzilla ID: 196745, 196746, 196747, 196748]

Usability Improvements for XML Dataset Editor This project looks at enhancing the ease of use of the XML Dataset editor UI. [Bugzilla ID: 182027]

Support for Microsoft Windows Vista Provide support for Microsoft Windows Vista as a reference platform [Bugzilla ID: 183643]

Defects

BIRT 2.2.1 will address defects reported by project members and the community. The list of defects targeted for resolution in BIRT 2.2.1 can be found in the bugzilla database on https://bugs.eclipse.org/bugs.