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Peh: Birt: FG Reporting _p3
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Table of Contents

Foreword xix
Preface xxiii
Acknowledgments xxix

Part I: Installing BIRT 1 Chapter 1: Introducing BIRT Report Designers 3

Understanding BIRT components 3
Understanding Eclipse BIRT packages 4
About types of BIRT builds 5
Chapter 2: Installing a BIRT Report Designer 7
Installing BIRT Report Designer Full Eclipse Install 7
Installing BIRT RCP Report Designer 8
Troubleshooting installation problems 9
Installing a language pack 10
Updating a BIRT Report Designer installation 11
Updating BIRT RCP Report Designer installation 12
Part II: Getting Started 15 Chapter 3: Learning the Basics 17
About BIRT reports 17
Overview of the report design process 17
About the report design environment 19
Tutorial 1: Building a simple listing report 24
About report files and supported formats 45
Viewing sample reports 48
Chapter 4: Planning Your Report 51
Identifying the content of the report 52
Determining how the report will be viewed 53
Considering international reporting requirements 54
Deciding the layout and format of the report 54
Drawing a mock-up 56
Considering reuse of report components 56
Managing report design resources 57
Deciding how the report will be deployed 57
Part III: Accessing and Binding Data 59 Chapter 5: Connecting to a Data Source 61
About BIRT data sources 61
Connecting to a database using JDBC 62
Connecting to a text file 68
Connecting to an XML file 70
Connecting to a web service 72
Creating reusable data sources 73
Setting connection properties when a report runs 77
Troubleshooting data source problems 84
Chapter 6: Retrieving Data 85
About data sets 85
Selecting data 86
Viewing and changing output columns 107
Adding a computed field to a data set 108
Joining data sets 110
Verifying the data returned by a data set 112
Specifying the data to retrieve at run time 113
Chapter 7: Binding Data 117
Understanding column bindings 117
Creating column bindings 120
Editing and deleting column bindings 122
Copying data elements 123
More about column-binding expressions 124
Part IV: Designing Reports 125 Chapter 8: Laying Out a Report 127
Understanding the layout model 127
Creating the sections of a report 130
Placing report elements 138
Chapter 9: Displaying Text 149
Types of textual elements 149
Deciding which textual element to use 151
Using a dynamic text element 153
Using a label element 155
Using a text element 155
Displaying text from right to left 159
Chapter 10: Formatting Report Content 163
Formatting data 164
Formatting with styles 171
Formatting data based on conditions 181
Alternating row colors in a table 186
Specifying alignment of content in a table or grid 189
Adjusting the spacing of content in a report 190
Specifying auto-expand layout for HTML output 195
Displaying data values in one row 197
Displaying content across multiple columns 200
Specifying alternate values for display 202
Hiding elements based on conditions 204
Chapter 11: Sorting and Grouping Data 207
Sorting data 208
Grouping 213
Tutorial 2: Grouping report data 232
Chapter 12: Aggregating Data 253
Types of aggregate calculations 254
Placing aggregate data 257
Creating an aggregation 259
Filtering aggregate data 265
Calculating percentages 267
Creating a summary report 271
Chapter 13: Writing Expressions 277
Basic concepts 278
Using the expression builder 279
Manipulating numeric data 282
Manipulating string data 285
Manipulating date-and-time data 294
Using Boolean expressions 297
Chapter 14: Filtering Data 299
Filtering opportunities 299
Specifying conditions on row retrieval 300
Filtering data after row retrieval 304
Chapter 15: Enabling the User to Filter Data 317
About report parameters 317
Planning to use report parameters 318
User filtering options 319
Enabling user filtering at query run time 319
Enabling user filtering after data retrieval 326
Designing the presentation of report parameters 329
Testing the report parameters 351
Tutorial 3: Creating and using report parameters 352
Chapter 16: Building a Report That Contains Subreports 367
Creating the report structure 367
Tutorial 4: Building a report containing side-by-side subreports 372
Chapter 17: Using a Chart 399
Surveying the types of charts 399
Tutorial 5: Creating a stand-alone chart 406
Exploring the chart builder 419
Using a chart in a table 423
Chapter 18: Displaying Data in Charts 427
Linking data to a chart 427
Understanding the axes of a chart 430
Grouping and sorting category data 434
Grouping optional Y value data 438
Using multiple y-axes 442
Transposing chart axes 443
Filtering data 444
Changing default report parameters 444
Creating data bindings 445
Previewing data and chart 445
Creating a combination chart 447
Defining a meter chart 449
Chapter 19: Laying Out and Formatting a Chart 453
Overview of formatting 454
Formatting specific types of charts 454
Setting chart area format attributes 472
Formatting the chart legend, plot, and title 478
Formatting axis titles, markers, lines, and labels 488
Formatting a series 500
Chapter 20: Presenting Data in a Cross Tab 511
Tutorial 6: Creating a cross tab 512
Setting up data for a cross tab 527
Building a cross tab 537
Displaying empty rows and columns 550
Displaying user-defined values in row and column headings 551
Sorting cross tab data 554
Limiting the amount of data the cross tab displays 556
Chapter 21: Presenting Different Views of the Same Data 559
Ways to share data 560
Building a dashboard report 561
Part V: Enhancing Reports 575 Chapter 22: Designing a Multipage Report 577
Planning the page layout 577
Controlling pagination 578
Customizing the master page 587
Using multiple master pages 598
Chapter 23: Adding Interactive Viewing Features 601
Creating hyperlinks 601
Creating a table of contents 611
Adding interactive chart features 614
Adding interactive elements to an HTML report 618
Identifying report elements for data export 620
Chapter 24: Building a Shared Development Framework 623
Sharing report elements using a library 624
Designing libraries for a shared environment 629
Using a library 635
Sharing a report layout as a template 643
Chapter 25: Localizing Text 651
Overview of the localization process 652
Assigning a resource file to a report 653
Assigning resource keys 655
Editing a resource file 664
Previewing a report in different locales 665

Glossary 667
Index 739

About the Author

Diana Peh, Nola Hague, and Jane Tatchell are members of the extended BIRT development team and have backgrounds in both computer science and technical writing. Collectively, they have many years of experience in technical consulting, training, writing, and publishing about reporting, business intelligence tools, and database technologies.

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