Enterprise Reporting Tools in MyEclipse

1. Enterprise Reporting Tools – MyEclipse Reports™

MyEclipse Reports™ greatly simplifies the process of developing, deploying and testing a wide range of web reports. MyEclipse Reports consists of a suite of advanced enterprise reporting  tools and a runtime report engine. These features are designed to work in a seamless manner with the MyEclipse Web project tools, database tools and Java EE application server connectors and smart deployment facilities. The goal of this document is to provide you a quick overview of the key MyEclipse Reports features.

MyEclipse Reports is an implementation of the Eclipse BIRT framework (BIRT) specialized to the MyEclipse Web project conventions and directory layout, development workflow, and deployment and testing features. 

The Reporting tutorial provides basic reporting workflow steps. Additional report tasks include:

  • Connecting to your own data source
  • Creating charts
  • Creating cross tabs
  • Creating report parameters for user input
  • Building reports that contain subreports
  • Formatting report elements based on conditions
  • Hiding reports based on conditions
  • Adding hyperlinks to link your report to web locations or to link one report section to another

Note: Reporting features are not available to MyEclipse Standard Subscribers.

2. Report Design Perspective

The MyEclipse Report Design perspective provides a customizable organization of the key MyEclipse report design, database access and project management tools.

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MyEclipse Report Design perspective

2.1 MyEclipse Reports Cheat Sheets

MyEclipse Reports provides cheat sheets for each report type. A report development cheat sheet is a set of step-by-step instructions that guide you through the process of report creation.

To display all the available MyEclipse Reports cheat sheets, select Help>Cheat Sheets.

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Viewing the Cheat Sheet list

Selecting the cheat sheet you want to view opens the Cheat Sheets view on the right side of the workbench, making it easy to read and execute the cheat sheet instructions.

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Cheat Sheets view

Cheat sheets are intended to guide you through a process, so as you complete each step of the cheat sheet, you click on the icon at the bottom of the step to open the next step. The question mark icon allows you to open a help page that relates to that step of the cheat sheet.

3. Report Designer

The MyEclipse Report Designer is a rich set of tools consisting of a visual report editor, property editors, chart design wizards, and script editors. The Visual Report editor provides a RAD WYSIWYG, drag-and-drop report layout experience. Using the Report editor you can quickly lay out the basic structure of a report, style and format the report, and customize the report data using JavaScript expressions attached to column data bindings.

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MyEclipse Report Designer and Properties editor

3.1 Charts

Charts can greatly enhance the information value of a report. MyEclipse Reports supports the creation of a large number of chart types that can be added to any report.

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Adding a new chart

3.2 Data Scripting

In addition to supporting static data, MyEclipse Reports supports dynamically computed and enhanced data using JavaScript. The Expression Builder enables you to use JavaScript to dynamically compute almost any aspect of a report.

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Script expression editor

4. Report Preview

During the report design process, the ability to quickly preview the design without having to deploy the project and launch an application server can greatly reduce the time it takes to create a functional report. The Report Designer provides a quick Preview mode. The Preview mode is located on the row of tabs at the bottom of the Report editor.

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Preview mode of the Report editor

5. Data Source and Data Set Tools

The data used to create MyEclipse Reports™ can be retrieved from a number of physical sources such as relational databases, web-services, XML files or even flat files. In addition, The MyEclipse  Database Explorer interacts with relational database systems using the respective JDBC drivers for each specific relational database, e.g. Oracle, MS SQL Server, MySQL, DB2, etc. MyEclipse Reports is designed to allow use of the Database Explorer’s configured JDBC drivers using a programmatic abstraction known as a data source. 

The MyEclipse JDBC data source allows you to avoid repeating the driver configuration process for MyEclipse Reports that you already performed in the Database Explorer. You use the Database Explorer to create and manage report data sources.

The MyEclipse Report Designer supports using as many data sources as necessary for the report design. The data sources can be of different types; however, MyEclipse supports the use of the MyEclipse JDBC data source which is closely coupled with a corresponding MyEclipse JDBC driver.

Below is an example of setting up a new MyEclipse JDBC data source (likely one of the most common types of data sources you will use). First, you select the type of data source, and then give it a name.

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Selecting a new data source

After you set up a data source, you can create one or more data sets based on information from that data source.

Data sets represent specific information from a data source, a list of employee names in First-Name/Last-Name format, for example. Additional filters and adjustment to the data represented by a data set can be made. Once a data set is configured, it can be used as the source of information directly in a report.

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SQL data set editor and MyEclipse Database Explorer editor with code assist

To learn more about creating custom data sources, read Setting Up a JDBC Data Source for Reporting.

5.1 JDBC Data Source Validation and Synchronization

When you modify a Database Explorer JDBC driver, MyEclipse Reports automatically initiates a validation phase to identify stale JDBC data sources. If any are identified, the Data Source Synchronization tool is launched. The Synchronization dialog displays a list of the reports, libraries and templates in your workspace that are bound to the modified JDBC driver.

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JDBC data source synchronization

During the validation process, if there is a mismatch between any of the JDBC properties or the driver JAR files, the report is marked with a warning icon. This warning can be seen in the Problems view. The report is also marked with a warning if it references an unsynchronized data source in a library.

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Properties view with stale JDBC data source warning


6. Multiple Report File Formats

MyEclipse Report generates reports in a number of popular file formats. You can choose the report file format using the Quick View action on the MyEclipse toolbar. The report file format choices are:

    • HTML
    • HTML with advanced web viewer
    • Microsoft Word (DOC)
    • Microsoft PowerPoint (PPT)
    • Adobe PDF
    • Microsoft Excel (XSL)
    • Postscript

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Quick Report Viewer action on the MyEclipse toolbar

7. Report Templates and Wizards

When creating a report, you have the option to create from scratch or use a MyEclipse report template. MyEclipse Reports provides a set of report templates that you can choose from when creating a report. A report template is a semi-completed report with the physical layout and data binding preconfigured.

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Choosing a report template

8. Report Web Projects

MyEclipse Reports tools are specialized towards the creation and deployment of web reports. MyEclipse Reports includes a Report Web project that is structured as a Java EE web project with the additional runtime libraries and resources that make up the project’s report engine. You can either begin a new report web project using the wizard, or add the Report Web Runtime facet to an existing MyEclipse web project

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Creating a Report Web project
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Report Web project details
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Report Web project structure

9. Report Libraries

A MyEclipse JDBC data source can be used by multiple reports. If you do plan to use a data source in multiple report projects, you can create it in a library and reuse it from the library. The advantage of this approach is that updates to the MyEclipse JDBC data source in the library are subsequently available to all reports that use the library through a sophisticated report-data source synchronization process.

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Example library and its components

10. Report Designer Preferences and Customization

The operation of the Report Designer is highly customizable. Select Window>Preferences, and expand MyEclipse>Report Design to view preferences.

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MyEclipse Report Designer preferences

11. Report Access Web Page

For quick access to viewing a report, MyEclipse Reports generates a sample JSP web page containing code snippets for embedding or link to a MyEclipse report. The access web page options are part of the New Report wizard.

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Creating a sample report access webpage

12. Report Project Deployment and Testing

Report web projects can be deployed on over 20 different Java EE application servers (Java EE 1.4 or higher compliant servers) using MyEclipse application connector and project deployer technologies. MyEclipse provides the 1-click application launcher feature and support for manual project deployment and testing.

12.1 1-Click Application Launcher

The 1-Click Application Launcher packages the target project for Java EE deployment, deploys the project, starts the server and opens a web page to the application’s welcome or index page. Right-click the project, and select Run As>MyEclipse Server Application from the menu.

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Running a project
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Servers view displaying a deployed and running Report Web project

12.2 Manual Application Deployment and Launch

If you would like to control each step of the application deployment and server launch process, you can use the Add/Remove tool. This wizard allows you to select the projects to deploy to a specific server and the form of the deployment, i.e., exploded archive deployment or packaged archive deployment.

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Adding a project to a server

12.3 Hot-Sync Deployment and Round-trip

When you deploy a Report Web project in exploded archive format to an application server that supports hot resource reloading, the MyEclipse application deployer performs incremental hot-sync deployment of resources that change in the project. This allows you to continue editing report and web resources and have them instantly reflected on your test server when they are saved. This feature greatly reduces the need for time-consuming application server restarts.

13. Example Report Web Projects – Examples On-Demand

Examples On-Demand provides a suite of 1-click installable MyEclipse projects that demonstrate the use of popular Java EE and related technologies and frameworks. These example projects are designed to run on the MyEclipse Server Sandbox with zero configuration. The Examples On-Demand hosts several example MyEclipse Reports projects that can be installed, deployed, and run in two clicks.

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Examples On-Demand