Table of Contents
MyEclipse Reports is an implementation of the Eclipse BIRT framework (BIRT) specialized to the MyEclipse web project conventions and directory layout, development workflow and deployment and testing features. This document describes the key conceptual and physical differences between MyEclipse Reports and BIRT. For a general overview of the report development and deployment features provided by MyEclipse Reports, see the MyEclipse Reports Overview.
This document is intended to provide users, familiar with the BIRT framework and tools, an overview, comparison and contrast between MyEclipse Reports and BIRT. If you do not have any prior BIRT experience, we recommend moving on to the MyEclipse Reports Quickstart guide.
Industry statistics indicate that a majority of Java developers,
when required to develop an application report, resort to
expensive manually coded reports rather than employ specialized
report development tools. Additionally the majority of reports
developed these days have a web accessibility requirement. There
are numerous reasons for the lack of use of report development
tools but the net result is that there is a need to improve
the report development productivity of Java developers. MyEclipse
Reports fills this need by providing a rich feature set to help
developers rapidly create, deploy and test custom web application
reports. MyEclipse Reports is part of the MyEclipse -
Professional Edition product.
Figure 2-1, MyEclipse Report Design Perspective
Section-2 highlighted the need for web accessible reports. Thus MyEclipse Reports is optimized towards providing a simple, intuitive project type know as the Report Web Project. In its simplest form you can think of this type of project as a conventional MyEclipse web project extended to include a meta-folder structure for design-time and runtime reports and web resources, datasource connection resources, web report viewing facilities and a deployable report engine. MyEclipse Reports provides wizards for creating new report web projects and adding report capabilities to existing MyEclipse web projects.
The most noticable difference between the MyEclipse report web
project and the WTP-BIRT web project are their respective
default project structures and library organization. The
following figure illustrates the clean simplicity of the
MyEclipse report web project organization when compared with that
of the WTP-BIRT web project structure.
The WTP-BIRT project is an Eclipse Web Tools Platform project
enabled with an additional BIRT Reporting runtime facet. For WTP
deployment support and team sharing purposes the WTP-BIRT project
must contain the BIRT report engine and the BIRT web report
viewer component. The combined size of these runtime report
components when installed into a standard WTP-BIRT project is
approximately 30 MB.
A MyEclipse report web project is MyEclipse web project extended to support the report design-time tools and runtime report engine and report viewers. The roles of the project directories is defined in the web.xml deployment descriptor. Thus you can restructure the project any way you choose by manually adjusting the report-specific folders and then redefining their WebRoot relative path in the web.xml. Another key optimization of MyEclipse Reports is the avoidance of repeatedly bulking up every report web project with the 30 MB of report engine Jar libraries common to every WTP-BIRT project. MyEclipse report web projects use an advanced MyEclipse library container named "Report Web Libraries" to minimize the number of report engine resources that must be physically resident in the project at design-time. During a runtime deployment action, the MyEclipse web application deployer dynamicallly merges all of the Jar libraries from the Report Web Libraries container into the deployed version of the project as it is being published to the app-server. This optimization keeps the memory footprint of the report web project small and light-weight.
3.2 Unsupported BIRT Project Types
MyEclipse Reports does not directly support WTP-BIRT web projcets or standalone BIRT report projects. See Section-8 to learn more about porting WTP-BIRT projects to MyEclipse Report Web Projects.
In order to provide MyEclipse users a seamless, cohesive
development experience across all of its feature sets, MyEclipse
Reports reorganizes and integrates the key BIRT user interface
elements to conform with the MyEclipse UI conventions. Some of
the key BIRT UI changes include:
Figure 4-1, New MyEclipse Report Wizard and MyEclipse Report Design Perspective
Figure 4-2, MyEclipse Reports Help
MyEclipse Reports enables the direct use of MyEclipse JDBC drivers as report datasources. The New Datasource wizard available from the Data Explorer view includes the MyEclipse JDBC driver option. During the report web project creation and configuration phase MyEclipse Reports installs a special MyEclipse JDBC ODA driver corresponding to a MyEclipse JDBC datasource. This ODA driver enables the BIRT report engine to recognize the MyEclipse JDBC datasource at runtime.
5.1 DTP JDBC Connection Profiles Unsupported
MyEclipse Database Explorer has long provided a superset of the
Eclipse DTP project features. Therefore MyEclipse does not
directly support DTP functionality. Because of this BIRT
DTP JDBC datasources is not supported MyEclipse Reports.
MyEclipse 6 ships with the integrated MyEclipse Server Sandbox. The server sandbox includes an Integrated Tomcat 6 web server, Derby database server, example schema and preconfigured MyEclipse Derby JDBC driver. To take advantage of the Server Sandbox MyEclipse 6 incorporates a new online resource known as Examples On-Demand. This web site provides a suite of 1-click installable MyEclipse projects that demonstrate the use of popular Java EE and related technologies and frameworks. These example projects are designed to run on the MyEclipse Server Sandbox with zero configuration. The Example On-Demand hosts several example MyEclipse Reports projects that can be installed, deployed and run in 2-clicks.
6.1 BIRT Derby Database and Sample Reports Unsupported
The MyEclipse Server Sandbox and Examples On-Demand are the
supported infrastructure and example demonstration mechanisms
supported by MyEclipse Reports. Therefore the BIRT embedded Derby
server and sample reports are not supported by MyEclipse Reports.
Following is an outline of the process for creating a MyEclipse
Report Web Project equivalent of a WTP-BIRT web project. Before
you begin you should be familiar creating MyEclipse report web
projects and setting up MyEclipse JDBC driver-based data sources.
Step-1: Create a MyEclipse Report Web Project
While MyEclipse Reports is implemented using the BIRT framework
this does not imply that MyEclipse Reports and BIRT can be
installed into the same MyEclipse environment. The overlap
between the plugins of these two products when installed into
the same MyEclipse environment can cause serious plugin conflicts
that can impede the operation of both products. Therefore you
should only install one of these products per MyEclipse
If your MyEclipse installation does not include MyEclipse Reports you can install this feature set using one of the following methods based on the method in which you installed MyEclipse:
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