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Eclipse Brings Open Source to Business Intelligence Market

The Eclipse Foundation says the Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools (BIRT) project version 1.0 is now generally available.

The goal of BIRT is to allow Java developers to easily integrate business intelligence and reporting capability into enterprise Java applications and commercial products. BIRT was created as a top level Eclipse project in September 2004. The project is part of the Eclipse strategy to provide open source tools and frameworks that span the software development lifecycle.

"Eclipse's BIRT project exploits the convergence of analytics and operations in application development, with its trend toward embedding BI functionality within Java applications,” says Wayne Eckerson, director of research, TDWI. “It's safe to say that a portion of Java developers and their organizations will prefer a free, standards-based development tool to commercial-based options."

BIRT benefits Java developers by minimizing the time and effort associated with hand coding core application functions such as reporting and analysis. BIRT enables developers to create HTML and PDF reports quickly using JavaServer Pages and Java.

BIRT 1.0 also supports internationalization and localization to save developers time in customizing reports for languages and locales. For instance, a single report can be created that displays strings in the end user's language. BIRT also provides locale-aware data formatting, meaning that a date, currency or numeric format can be applied to a report based on the end user's locale with dynamic formatting compensating for the typical lengths of language descriptors by automatically adjusting the size of report items to fit their content. This avoids having to test a report with every possible translation. The Report designer is available in Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean and Spanish interfaces.

Details of BIRT 1.0’s features are available at http://eclipse.org/birt/intro/.

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