The BIRT Perspective
So we are ready to begin. We have defined a clear objective for our basic report, and
now is the time to jump into the basic concepts of the BIRT Environment.
Once you start BIRT/Eclipse the first time, you will be asked to select a location for
A Workspace is a location where projects get stored. This is very useful for Java
developers, who may want to re-use projects; however for a report developer, a
single Workspace should suffice. In our case, we will set our Workspace to
If you're running the BIRT All-in-One package, you will start up in the default
Eclipse screen and will need to change to the BIRT report perspective. Eclipse uses
different perspectives as interfaces for different functionality and tools for particular
tasks. For instance, if you are writing a Java program, you would use one of the
several Java perspectives available, which would allow you access to outlines, class
views, and other tabs. If you are debugging a program, you would use the debug
perspective, it gives you access to a tab with variables, tools bars for controlling the
flow of programs, breakpoints, and other debugging functions.
For our purposes, we will use the BIRT reporting perspective, which will give us
access to the BIRT report-building elements that we need in report development. The
BIRT report perspective can always be accessed from one of the several ways to open
perspectives in Eclipse. One such way is from the menu bar, under Window/Open
Perspective, Report Design (if available), or under Other/Report Design. Typically
on the upper right-hand side is the Open Perspective icon for quicker access.