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Actuate, Pentaho, Others Throw Support Behind Open-Source Report-Builder

A group of vendors announce their support or plan to extend their Eclipse-based products with the new version of the open-source report-building platform, released last week.
A set of technology vendors put their hats into the ring for the new Eclipse Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools (BIRT) project version 2.0, an update to the open-source report-building platform for Java developers that premiered last week.

BIRT is designed to let Java developers integrate reporting into their own apps and to facilitate the production of third-party commercial software that makes use of open-source reporting. Developers cut the time and effort they spend on hand-coding core functions, especially reporting and analysis. BIRT enables HTML and PDF report-production in a matter of hours.

The list of vendors who either announced support this week for BIRT 2.0 or plan to extend their Eclipse-based products with Eclipse BIRT 2.0 include business intelligence software firm Actuate, IBM, open-source BI entrant Pentaho, the Eclipse Test & Performance Tools Platform Project, application performance testing firm Scapa Technologies, and Zend, a maker of products focused on the PHP Web scripting language.

New features of BIRT 2.0 include a report component re-use library that lets developers share their work within organizations and the open-source community, and a page-on-demand navigation mechanism that allows the viewing of large report documents over the Internet. Also new are external style sheets that make it easier to establish a common look across reports; a scripting editor; a function that lets report end-users click on a URL to navigate through report pages in any order, and a wizard for building common usage charts.

"The ability to add and extend reporting components will allow developers to easily create specialized and reusable components for report builders," said Eclipse Foundation executive director Mike Milinkovich in a prepared statement. "This should accelerate the number of commercial companies building Eclipse-based products, and the number of VARs developing Eclipse-based solutions."