Eclipse BIRT (Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools) 2.6.0

Release Date
Deliverables

This release of BIRT will focus on providing the same downloads as BIRT 2.5.

Compatibility

BIRT 2.6 will be compatible with earlier versions of BIRT to the greatest extent possible. The nature and scope of some of the key plan items for BIRT 2.6 are such that the only feasible solutions might break compatibility. In other regards, BIRT 2.6 will be compatible with 2.x and 1.x. We also aim to minimize the effort required to port an existing plug-in to the 2.6 APIs.

Compatibility of Release 2.6 with Prior Releases

BIRT 2.6 will be compatible with prior releases of BIRT unless noted otherwise. The detailed compatibility statement is listed below. In this statement, "BIRT" refers to all BIRT components: BIRT Report Framework, BIRT Runtime, and BIRT Chart SDK.

API Contract Compatibility: BIRT 2.6 will be upwards contract-compatible with BIRT prior releases to the greatest extent possible. All incompatibility exceptions will be documented.Downward contract compatibility is not supported. There is no guarantee that compliance with BIRT 2.6 APIs will ensure compliance with prior BIRT release APIs. Refer to general Eclipse document on Evolving APIs for a discussion of the kinds of API changes that maintain contract compatibility.

The BIRT Chart UI API 2.6 is compatible with the 2.x.x API's but not compatible with the v1.x APIs due to a full redesign of the Chart UI in the BIRT 2.0 release.

Binary (plug-in) Compatibility: The BIRT 2.6 plug-in framework will be upwards binary-compatible with prior BIRT release plug-ins to the greatest extent possible. Downward plug-in compatibility is not supported. Plug-ins for BIRT 2.6 will not be usable in prior BIRT releases. Extension plug-ins for prior BIRT releases will be upwards binary-compatible with BIRT 2.6.

Source Compatibility: BIRT 2.6 will be upwards source-compatible with prior BIRT releases to the greatest extent possible. This means that source files written to use prior BIRT release APIs will successfully compile and run against BIRT 2.6 APIs. Downward source compatibility is not supported. If source files use new BIRT APIs, they will not be usable with an earlier version of BIRT.

Report Design Compatibility:BIRT 2.6 will be upwards report design compatible with prior BIRT releases unless noted otherwise. This means that reports created with prior BIRT releases can be successfully opened by BIRT 2.6 and upgraded to a 2.6 format.

Non-compliant usage of API's: All non-API methods and classes, and certainly everything in a package with "internal" in its name, are considered implementation details which may vary between operating environment and are subject to change without notice. Client plug-ins that directly depend on anything other than what is specified in the BIRT API are inherently unsupportable and receive no guarantees about compatibility within a single release much less with an earlier releases.

Internationalization

Eclipse is designed as the basis for internationalized products. The user interface elements provided by the various Eclipse projects, including dialogs and error messages, are externalized. The English strings for BIRT are provided as the default resource bundles. Translations are provided with this release for French (fr_FR), German (de_DE), Spanish (es_ES), Japanese (ja_JP), Simplified Chinese (zh_CN), and Korean (ko_KR).

Target Environments

In order to remain current, each release of an Eclipse project targets reasonably current versions of underlying operating environments and other Eclipse projects on which it depends.

Most of Eclipse, and all of BIRT, is "pure" Java code and has no direct dependence on the underlying operating system. For BIRT, the chief dependence is on the Eclipse Platform, Graphical Editor Framework (GEF), Modeling Framework (EMF), and on the Java 2 Platform that runs it.

The Eclipse BIRT 2.6 release depends on the following compatibility stacks:

BIRT 2.6 Reference Stack for JDK 1.5

  • Java 2 platform Java Development Kit (JDK) 1.5
  • Eclipse Platform Runtime Binary 3.6
  • Graphical Editor Framework (GEF) Runtime 3.6
  • Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF) 2.6
  • Data Tools Platform Project 1.8 (DTP)
  • Web Tools Project (WTP) 3.2

BIRT 2.6 Reference Stack for JDK 1.6 (This is only a proposal and depends on whether various projects provide support for JDK 1.6)

  • Java 2 platform Java Development Kit (JDK) 1.6
  • Eclipse Platform Runtime Binary
  • Graphical Editor Framework (GEF) Runtime
  • Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF)
  • Data Tools Platform Project (DTP)
  • Web Tools Project (WTP)

The Eclipse Platform and BIRT run in a variety of operating environments. Testing is focused on a handful of popular combinations of operating system and Java 2 Platform; these are our reference platforms. Eclipse BIRT undoubtedly runs fine in many operating environments beyond the reference platforms we test. However, since we do not systematically test them we cannot vouch for them. Problems encountered when running Eclipse BIRT on non-reference platforms that cannot be recreated on any reference platform will be given lower priority than problems with running Eclipse BIRT on a reference platform.

For BIRT 2.6, the project team plans to tests and validate the following reference platforms:

Eclipse BIRT Report Framework 2.6 and Eclipse BIRT RCP Report Designer 2.6 Reference PlatformsOperating systemProcessor architectureWindow systemJava 2 PlatformMicrosoft Windows XPIntel x86Win32Sun Java 2 Standard Edition, version 5.0, 6.0Microsoft Windows Server 2003Intel x86Win32Sun Java 2 Standard Edition, version 5.0, 6.0Microsoft Windows VistaIntel x86Win32Sun Java 2 Standard Edition, version 5.0, 6.0 Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS 4.0

Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS 4.0, 5.0 Intel x86GTKSun Java 2 Standard Edition, version 5.0, 6.0

Eclipse BIRT Runtime 2.6 and Eclipse BIRT Charts 2.6 Reference PlatformsOperating systemProcessor architectureWindow systemJava 2 PlatformMicrosoft Windows XPIntel x86Win32*Sun Java 2 Standard Edition, version 5.0, 6.0Microsoft Windows Server 2003Intel x86Win32*Sun Java 2 Standard Edition, version 5.0, 6.0Microsoft Windows VistaIntel x86Win32*Sun Java 2 Standard Edition, version 5.0, 6.0Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS 4.0

Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS 4.0, 5.0Intel x86GTK*Sun Java 2 Standard Edition, version 5.0, 6.0SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9Intel x86YaST*Sun Java 2 Standard Edition, version 5.0, 6.0*Window system only required when displaying charts within SWT or SWING windows.



BIRT Application Server Reference PlatformApache Tomcat 5.5.x, 6.0.16JBoss AS 5.1Oracle Weblogic Application Server 8.1, 9.0, 10.3IBM Websphere Application Server 6.1

BIRT JDBC Reference PlatformsMySQL Connector/J 3.x JDBC driverDerby V10.5.1.1 JDBC driver

BIRT Browsers and Viewers Reference PlatformsMozilla Firefox 2.0, 3.0 Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0, 8.0Adobe Acrobat Reader 7.0, 8.0, 9.0

Community Tested Operating Environments

Due to the finite resources available to the BIRT project, we would like to encourage the BIRT community to contribute to testing BIRT in operating environments other than those listed as target operating environments for the 2.6 release of BIRT and to share this information with the rest of the community. If you have been able to test BIRT in a non-targeted operating environment please take a few minutes to update this wiki page and report this information there. If you have encountered bugs during your testing, please report these in bugzilla.

Themes

Visual notifications to highlight modified library properties

Libraries provide report developers with the ability to write and share code and report items in a team development environment. This theme aims to provide more visual notifications on the status and relationship of the library items used within a particular report design so that the report developers can fully understand and leverage libraries especially in large development teams. The outline view will be enhanced to give a visual indication of report items that have been further customized by the report developer. In addition, the report developer will be able to easily revert back to the original properties of the report item.
No items.

New Polar / Radar Chart

BIRT provides a very extensive set of Charts with support for thirteen main chart types and many subtypes. This theme aims to enhance the set of BIRT charts by adding the Polar/Radar chart. The Radar charts can be used to display multivariate observations with an arbitrary number of variables. This new chart type would support standard radar style, bulls-eye and spider charts.
No items.

Miscellaneous Enhancements in Charts

This theme aims to enhance the flexibility of the BIRT chart creation process by providing the report developer more options to customize the data intervals and display of charts.
No items.

Support multiple resource files for localization

This theme aims to enable the report developer to be able to specify multiple resource files for localization. This capability will allow a developer to share resource elements across multiple reports without having to create a resource file specific for each report.
No items.

ODA Context Sensitive Help

This theme aims to improve the usability of the data setup part of the report development process by adding support for custom context-specific help text. This capability will enhance the ODA framework to enable the report developers to provide their own specific context sensitive help for their data source properties in the BIRT Data Source and Data Set Editors.
No items.