Welcome!

Eclipse Authors: Liz McMillan, David H Deans, JP Morgenthal, Mano Marks, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: Eclipse, Java IoT, Open Source Cloud

Eclipse: Article

Developing an Eclipse BIRT Report Item Extension

Architecture and framework

The Eclipse platform is an Open Source, integrated system of application development tools that you implement and extend using a plug-in interface. Eclipse provides a set of core plug-ins that configures the basic services for the platform's framework. A platform developer can build and integrate new tools in this application development system.

Business Intelligence Reporting Tool (BIRT) is a set of plug-in extensions that lets a developer add reporting functionality to an application. The APIs in BIRT define extension points that let the developer add custom functionality to the BIRT framework.

This article describes how to create a BIRT extension using the Eclipse Plug-in Development Environment (PDE). The example adds a custom report item, RotatedLabel, to the BIRT Report Designer Palette that a report developer can drag-and-drop into a report design, as shown in Figure 1.

The sample code for the plug-in creates a label in the runtime report that renders text at a specified angle. Figure 2 shows the display text rotated at an angle of 45 degrees.

A developer uses the Eclipse PDE to create, develop, test, debug, and deploy a plug-in. The Eclipse PDE supports host and runtime instances of the workbench project. The host instance provides the development environment. The runtime instance lets you launch a plug-in to test it.

To implement the report item extension, the plug-in developer does the following tasks:

  • Configures the plug-in project in the Eclipse PDE
  • Adds the report item to the Report Designer Palette using the report item UI extension point.
  • Adds the report item definition to the Report Object Model (ROM) using the report item model extension point.
  • Adds rendering behavior to the report item using the report item presentation extension point.
  • Deploys the report item extension to the Eclipse plug-in environment
An Eclipse plug-in implements the following components:
  • Plug-in manifest - An XML document that describes the plug-in's activation framework to the Eclipse runtime environment
  • Plug-in runtime class - A Java class that defines the methods for starting, managing, and stopping a plug-in instance
  • Extension-point schema definition - An XML document that specifies a grammar that you must follow when defining the elements of a plug-in extension in the Eclipse PDE
In the Eclipse PDE Workbench, the developer can create the framework for a plug-in extension by using the Manifest Editor to generate the plug-in manifest and class templates based on the definitions in the extension-point schemas.

In the Eclipse PDE, create a new project for the rotated label report item extension by choosing File->New->Project and selecting the Plug-in Project wizard. In Plug-in Project, modify the settings, as shown in Table 1.

In Plug-in Content, modify the settings, as shown in Table 2.

Figure 3 shows the host instance of the Eclipse PDE with the rotated label report item extension project open in the Manifest Editor.

After defining the plug-in project, specify the list of plug-ins that must be available on the classpath of the rotated label report item extension to compile and run. On PDE Manifest Editor, choose Dependencies. In Required Plug-ins, remove the following plug-ins:

  • org.eclipse.ui
  • org.eclipse.core.runtime

    Choose Add. Plug-in Selection appears. In Plug-in Selection, select the following plug-ins:

  • org.eclipse.emf.ecore
  • org.eclipse.birt.report.designer.ui
  • org.eclipse.birt.report.model
  • org.eclipse.draw2d
  • org.eclipse.birt.report.engine
  • org.eclipse.jface.text
  • org.eclipse.core.runtime
  • org.eclipse.birt.core
  • org.eclipse.ui
  • org.eclipse.birt.core.ui
The order of the list determines the sequence in which a plug-in loads at runtime. Use Up and Down to change the loading order as necessary. The rotated label report item extension doesn't need any changes to the loading order if you select the required plug-ins in the order listed in the previous step.

On PDE Manifest Editor, choose Extensions. On Extensions, declare the extension points required to implement the rotated label report item plug-in and add the extension element details. The Eclipse PDE uses the XML schema defined for each extension point to provide the list of valid attributes and values specified for the extension elements.

To add an extension point, choose Add. New Extension appears. In Available extension points, select the plug-in that contains the extension point.


More Stories By Jason Weathersby

Jason Weathersby is a member of the extended BIRT development team at Actuate Corporation and has backgrounds in both computer science and technical writing. He has many years experience in technical consulting, training, writing, and publishing about reporting, business intelligence tools, and database technologies.

More Stories By Iana Chatalbasheva

Iana Chatalbasheva is a member of the extended BIRT development team at Actuate Corporation and has backgrounds in both computer science and technical writing. She has many years experience in technical consulting, training, writing, and publishing about reporting, business intelligence tools, and database technologies.

More Stories By Tom Bondur

Tom Bondur is a member of the extended BIRT development team at Actuate Corporation and has backgrounds in both computer science and technical writing. He has many years experience in technical consulting, training, writing, and publishing about reporting, business intelligence tools, and database technologies.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business...
SYS-CON Events announced today that GrapeUp, the leading provider of rapid product development at the speed of business, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market acr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ayehu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara California. Ayehu provides IT Process Automation & Orchestration solutions for IT and Security professionals to identify and resolve critical incidents and enable rapid containment, eradication, and recovery from cyber security breaches. Ayehu provides customers greater control over IT infras...
We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA
With the introduction of IoT and Smart Living in every aspect of our lives, one question has become relevant: What are the security implications? To answer this, first we have to look and explore the security models of the technologies that IoT is founded upon. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nevi Kaja, a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company, discussed some of the security challenges of the IoT infrastructure and related how these aspects impact Smart Living. The material was delivered interac...
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks. We’re in the midst of a wave of excitement around AI such as hasn’t been seen for a few decades. But those previous periods of inflated expectations led to troughs of disappointment. Will this time be different? Most likely. Applications of AI such as predictive analytics are already decreasing costs and improving reliability of industrial machinery. Furthermore, the funding and research going into AI now comes from a wide range of com...
"When we talk about cloud without compromise what we're talking about is that when people think about 'I need the flexibility of the cloud' - it's the ability to create applications and run them in a cloud environment that's far more flexible,” explained Matthew Finnie, CTO of Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
When growing capacity and power in the data center, the architectural trade-offs between server scale-up vs. scale-out continue to be debated. Both approaches are valid: scale-out adds multiple, smaller servers running in a distributed computing model, while scale-up adds fewer, more powerful servers that are capable of running larger workloads. It’s worth noting that there are additional, unique advantages that scale-up architectures offer. One big advantage is large memory and compute capacity...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
In his session at Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, an entertainment executive/TV producer turned serial entrepreneur, presented a success story of an entrepreneur who has both suffered through and benefited from offshore development across multiple businesses: The smart choice, or how to select the right offshore development partner Warning signs, or how to minimize chances of making the wrong choice Collaboration, or how to establish the most effective work processes Budget control, or how to ma...
Amazon started as an online bookseller 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a technology juggernaut that has disrupted multiple markets and industries and touches many aspects of our lives. It is a relentless technology and business model innovator driving disruption throughout numerous ecosystems. Amazon’s AWS revenues alone are approaching $16B a year making it one of the largest IT companies in the world. With dominant offerings in Cloud, IoT, eCommerce, Big Data, AI, Digital Assista...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy named "Bronze Sponsor" of 21st International Cloud Expo which will take place October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud com...
No hype cycles or predictions of zillions of things here. IoT is big. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, Associate Partner at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data analytics considerations, edge-to-cloud tec...
IoT solutions exploit operational data generated by Internet-connected smart “things” for the purpose of gaining operational insight and producing “better outcomes” (for example, create new business models, eliminate unscheduled maintenance, etc.). The explosive proliferation of IoT solutions will result in an exponential growth in the volume of IoT data, precipitating significant Information Governance issues: who owns the IoT data, what are the rights/duties of IoT solutions adopters towards t...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st Int\ernational Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to focus on the core of their ...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), provided an overview of various initiatives to certify the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldwide re...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business - from apparel to energy - is being rewritten by software. From planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...