BIRT 2.0 Announcement

Press Release

Actuate, IBM, Pentaho, Scapa Technologies and Zend Commit to Eclipse BIRT 2.0

  • Eclipse BIRT 2.0 Expected to Accelerate Business Intelligence and Reporting Adoption Among Java and PHP Developers

OTTAWA, CANADA – January 23, 2006 – The Eclipse Foundation, an open source community committed to the implementation of a universal development platform, today announced broad support from industry leaders for the new Eclipse Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools (BIRT) project version 2.0, released on January 20, 2006. Actuate, IBM, Pentaho, Scapa Technologies and Zend have announced support for BIRT 2.0 and/or plans to extend their Eclipse-based products with Eclipse BIRT 2.0 to meet their business intelligence and reporting needs. Eclipse BIRT 2.0 includes a new re-use library environment that is expected to expand the BIRT ecosystem through creation of reporting component hubs developed by service providers, education providers, online portals, and news forums, that will spring up around this vibrant platform.

BIRT 2.0 adds large persistent reports with page-on-demand for end-users. It also extends the web-style drag-and-drop report development paradigm with new analytical report types, expanded charting facilities, and debugging facilities for Java as well as JavaScript scripting. Supporting companies anticipate that these improvements in functionality and usability will speed adoption among Java developers and expand BIRT’s usage into a broader community of report developers.

“The features in BIRT 2.0 will allow a new ecosystem to develop around Business Intelligence and Reporting,” said Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation. “The ability to add and extend reporting components will allow developers to easily create specialized and reusable components for report builders. This should accelerate the number of commercial companies building Eclipse-based products, and the number of VARs developing Eclipse-based solutions.”

“Release 2.0 extends the reach of BIRT to many production web applications whose developers might not have previously considered open source reporting,” said Mark Coggins, senior VP of engineering at Actuate. “It provides a robust, thread-safe execution engine that can handle the data and user scale requirements of reporting in real world Java applications. In fact, our tests have shown that BIRT can handle reports of well over a million rows (about 20,000 pages) with linear response time and bounded memory usage.”

"The Eclipse Test & Performance Tools Platform (TPTP) Project will deliver extensions to use BIRT 2.0 in January to extend TPTP test and performance data reporting capabilities,” said Tyler Thessin, director of the Intel Performance Libraries Lab and project lead of the Eclipse TPTP Project. “And future TPTP releases will continue to grow a comprehensive set of BIRT-based reports. Compelling features provided in BIRT 2.0 promise an excellent opportunity for rapid acceptance and align with TPTP expansion beyond Java, such as delivering capabilities for testing and analyzing C/C++ applications."

"We’ve been following the BIRT project for months," said John Kellerman, manager of Eclipse strategy at IBM. "The release of BIRT 2.0 is a significant milestone for the project, both in terms of features and the potential for increased adoption. We are looking forward to participating in the BIRT project."

“We expect BIRT 2.0 to help drive adoption of our open source BI offering planned for 2006,” said Richard Daley, CEO of Pentaho. “The usability improvements, including charting and scripting, should expand the user community to include report developers as well as Java developers. The performance improvements, specifically for large reports in HTML and PDF formats, make the tool attractive to virtually any type of reporting application.”

“In the open source world, many would contend that the community behind a given project is at least as important as, if not more so, than the project's source code,” said Stephen O’Grady, vice president of RedMonk. “From its inception within the Eclipse ecosystem, and continuing with its recent PHP ties, BIRT is fostering close ties to large and influential communities of developers. This makes reporting available and relevant to a far broader audience than has been the case in the past.”

"Scapa uses BIRT 1.0 APIs to programmatically generate reports on application testing and performance,” said Mike Norman, CEO of Scapa Technologies. “With BIRT 2.0 and the community of BIRT users, additional report components will become available that we can leverage. This will allow our customers to create better reports on the performance of their mission-critical systems."

“We are excited to be a part of broadening PHP’s ecosystem with BIRT 2.0,” said Andi Gutmans, co-founder and VP technology at Zend. “We believe that reporting in the PHP world has tremendous potential. The enhancements in BIRT 2.0, particularly CSS support, make it an attractive tool for broad adoption by the 2.5 million PHP developers.”

New BIRT 2.0 Features
BIRT 2.0 includes a number of new capabilities designed to broaden the ecosystem and user community, improve report designer usability, and enhance performance. Below are some of the key new features included in the January 20, 2006 release of BIRT 2.0.


  • Re-Use Library – A report component environment allows developers with a range of expertise to share their work within the organization and the open source community. Libraries contain report components or functions for reuse in multiple report designs.
  • Page-on-Demand HTML- A page-on-demand navigation mechanism enables the efficient viewing of large report documents over the internet. Response time for end-users is optimized, ensuring that web applications are built with acceptable performance.
  • CSS Style Sheets – External style sheets can be used across multiple report designs, making it easy to establish a common look across all reports in one application. Users can quickly change the design of many reports by editing a single style sheet.
  • Scripting Editor – BIRT supports the ability to code or script the behavior of reports using a perspective for Java Code Editing for BIRT reports.
  • Large, Persistent Reports – Report developers can generate a report and then distribute a URL to end-users who, with one click, can navigate through the pages in any order. All this is done without return trips to the database.
  • Improved Charting Facility, Scripting – BIRT 2.0 includes a wizard for building common usage charts and advanced capabilities for including detailed charts within a report design.

A more detailed summary of what’s new in BIRT 2.0 is available at www.eclipse.org/birt/

About the Eclipse Foundation
Eclipse is an open source community whose projects are focused on providing an extensible development platform and application frameworks for building software. Eclipse provides extensible tools and frameworks that span the software development lifecycle, including support for modeling, language development environments for Java, C/C++ and others, testing and performance, business intelligence, rich client applications and embedded development. A large, vibrant ecosystem of major technology vendors, innovative start-ups, universities and research institutions and individuals extend, complement and support the Eclipse Platform.

The Eclipse Foundation is a not-for-profit, member supported corporation that hosts the Eclipse projects. Full details of Eclipse and the Eclipse Foundation are available at www.eclipse.org.


Press Contact
Chantal Yang/Laura Ackerman
Schwartz Communications
781-684-0770
eclipse@schwartz-pr.com

Related Links