Welcome!

Open Source Cloud Authors: Zakia Bouachraoui, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Open Source Cloud, Java IoT, Eclipse

Open Source Cloud: Article

How to Develop an Application Using the Eclipse BIRT Design Engine API

Creating a customized report design application

How To Change a Complex Property of a Report Item
The code sample in Listing 5 shows how to use PrivateStyleHandle and ColorHandle objects to change the background color of a label. The variable, design, is a ReportDesignHandle object. This sample accesses the label by name. You can also access a report item by navigating the report structure.

Adding a Report Item to a Report Design Programmatically
A reporting application can use a simple report design or a template to create more complex designs. The application can add extra report items to the design's structure based on external conditions. For example, based on the user name of the user requesting the generation of a report, you can add extra information to the report for that category of user. You use the same techniques to add content to a new design if you create a design entirely with the API.

The class that creates new elements, such as report items, in a report design is ElementFactory. This class provides methods of the form, newXXX( ), where XXX is the report item or element to create. The method newElement( ) is a generic method that creates an element of any type. To access the element factory, call the ReportDesign.getElementFactory( ) method.

You can place new report items at the top level of the report design, directly in the Body slot, in containers such as a cell in a table or grid, or on the master page. You can add a simple item, such as a label, or complex items, such as a table with contents in its cells. Wherever you add a new report item, the location is a slot, such as the body slot of the report design or a cell slot in a row in a table. To add a report item to a slot, you use one of the SlotHandle.add( ) methods. The method has two signatures that support adding the report item to the end of a slot, or to a particular position in a slot.

Table and list elements are container items that iterate over the rows that a data set provides. For these report items to access the data rows, you must bind them to a data set. The table or list element provides data rows to the report items that it contains. For this reason, you usually bind only the container item to a data set, as described later in this article.

How To Add a Grid Item and Label Item to a Report Design
The code sample in Listing 6 creates a grid item then adds a label item to one of the cells in the grid. An application can create any other report item in a similar manner. The variable, design, is a ReportDesignHandle object.

Accessing a Data Source and Data Set with the API
This section will explain how to use ROM elements that aren't report items. To use other ROM elements, such as the libraries that the report design uses, you employ similar techniques.

You access the report design's data sources and data sets from methods on the ReportDesignHandle instance in a way similar to other report elements. The model classes that define a data source and data set are DataSourceHandle and DataSetHandle, respectively. A data set provides a report item such as a table with data from a data source. For a report item to access the data set, use the setDataSet() method.

You can use a finder method on the report design handle to access a data source or data set by name. The finder methods are findDataSource( ) and findDataSet( ), respectively.

Alternatively, to access all the data sources or data sets, you can use a getter method that returns a slot handle. The getter methods are getDataSources( ) and getDataSets( ), respectively. To access the individual data sources or data sets in a slot handle, you iterate over the contents of the slot handle in the same way as for any other slot handle.

Data Source Classes
DataSourceHandle is a subclass of Report
ElementHandle. You get and set report item properties for a data source in the same way as for any other report element. DataSourceHandle also provides methods to access the scripting methods of the data source.

The two subclasses of DataSourceHandle, OdaDataSourceHandle and ScriptDataSourceHandle, provide the functionality for the two families of BIRT data sources. For more information about ODA data sources, see the Javadoc for the ODA API in the Open Data Access (ODA) 3.0.0 API Reference. The scripting methods for a scripted data source fully define the data source.

Data Set Classes
DataSetHandle is a subclass of ReportElementHandle. You get and set properties for a data set in the same way as for any other report element. DataSetHandle also provides methods to access properties specific to a data set, such as the data source, the data set fields, and the scripting methods of the data set.

The two subclasses of DataSetHandle, OdaDataSetHandle and ScriptDataSetHandle, provide the functionality for the two families of BIRT data sets. For more information about ODA data sets, see the Javadoc for the ODA API.

Using a Data Set Programmatically
Typically, a reporting application uses data sets and data sources already defined in the report design. You can use the data set's setDataSource( ) method to change the data source of a data set. For example, based on the name of the user of the reporting application, you can report on the sales database for a particular geographical region, such as Europe or North America.

Changing the Properties of a Data Set
Changing the properties of a data set means considering the impact on the report design. If you change the data source of a data set, the type of data source must be appropriate for the type of data set. You must also be certain that the new data source can provide the same fields as the original data source.

How To Change the Data Source for a Data Set
The code sample in Listing 7 shows how to check for a particular data source and data set in a report design then changes the data source for the data set. The code finds the data source and data set by name.

Alternatively, use the getDataSets( ) and getDataSources( ) methods. Then use the technique for iterating over the contents of a slot handle. The variable, design, is a ReportDesignHandle object.


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 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.

More Stories By Jane Tatchell

Jane Tatchell is a content development manager in the Developer Communications group of Actuate Engineering.

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.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Bill Schmarzo, Tech Chair of "Big Data | Analytics" of upcoming CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York (November 12-13, 2018, New York City) today announced the outline and schedule of the track. "The track has been designed in experience/degree order," said Schmarzo. "So, that folks who attend the entire track can leave the conference with some of the skills necessary to get their work done when they get back to their offices. It actually ties back to some work that I'm doing at the University of San...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
If a machine can invent, does this mean the end of the patent system as we know it? The patent system, both in the US and Europe, allows companies to protect their inventions and helps foster innovation. However, Artificial Intelligence (AI) could be set to disrupt the patent system as we know it. This talk will examine how AI may change the patent landscape in the years to come. Furthermore, ways in which companies can best protect their AI related inventions will be examined from both a US and...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
Chris Matthieu is the President & CEO of Computes, inc. He brings 30 years of experience in development and launches of disruptive technologies to create new market opportunities as well as enhance enterprise product portfolios with emerging technologies. His most recent venture was Octoblu, a cross-protocol Internet of Things (IoT) mesh network platform, acquired by Citrix. Prior to co-founding Octoblu, Chris was founder of Nodester, an open-source Node.JS PaaS which was acquired by AppFog and ...
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-c...
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...