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Eclipse focuses on reports in new business intelligence tool

Posted by iMark - 2006-02-04

Seeking to offer an industry standard for report development, the open source Eclipse Foundation on Monday is releasing Version 2.0 of its Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools (BIRT) project.
Version 2.0 focuses on report development and adds support of the PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) scripting language for Web development. Previously, BIRT 1.0 was geared to Java.

"BIRT allows the application developer to add reporting" for generating Web reports or PDF reports, said Mike Thoma, a member of the BIRT marketing committee at Eclipse and vice president of product marketing at Actuate.

Featured in BIRT 2.0 is a reuse library, for collecting information for use in report development. A report component reuse function in BIRT 2.0 enables organizations to share reports and premade report components.

The report engine in Version 2.0 has been re-architected to produce reports of any size. Previously, the limit was two to three pages.

Additionally, reports can be generated and sent to many users. New report types are supported; for example, a report could be developed that provides information such as who the top 15 percent of customers are.

Version 2.0 also adds new scripting features for Java and a debugging environment. New charting types also have been added.

Like other Eclipse open source projects, software companies can take BIRT and build commercial products on top of it. Actuate, for one, plans to announce its BIRT 2.0 products at the EclipseCon 2006 conference in Santa Clara, Calif., which begins on March 20.

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