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Building SQL reports with Eclipse BIRT

Dec 19, 20051 min
Eclipse FoundationEnterprise ApplicationsOpen Source

Is there desktop software (preferably open source) that can easily generate reports from SQL databases connected to our network? We want to pull report data from the database into a format that we can edit by hand. Is there something you recommend?

I’ve recently become a fan of the Eclipse Business Intelligence Reporting Tools (BIRT), which does almost exactly what you’re asking.

With BIRT you define a SQL query that pulls your data, then you use a drag-and-drop report creation interface to lay out the data fields for your report. The report is generated in HTML, which you can save to disk, print or export as a PDF.

To get started, download Eclipse and unzip the package into a fresh directory. Then go to the BIRT downloads page and download the BIRT package.

You also need two packages (EMF and GEF) that are linked to the BIRT download page requirements section.

Unzip all three into the Eclipse directory and start Eclipse. Follow the instructions in the tutorial. The ease of report generation once the tools are in place is worth the trouble of downloading the four component packages. If you try it, you will be pleased.