One of the strongest features of BIRT is the ability to extend BIRT in order to support very specific requirements. These BIRT extension points support building your own custom report items, charts, output types, functions, and even custom editor pages. There is a nice article on building your own extension here if you are interested.
This week in the BIRT Exchange Marketplace, a couple of items were submitted that will make building your own extensions quite a bit easier. These free libraries were jointly created by Innovent Solutions and Blackboard Inc. and serve as example BIRT extensions as well as best practices for anyone developing their own BIRT extensions.
The examples I downloaded and tested were:
- BIRT Controls Library - This library uses the ReportItem extension point and includes two example controls, the DotBar control and a RotatedText control. This example was easy to install and use by following the directions with the download at http://www.birt-exchange.com/be/marketplace/app-showcase/?app=22. There are screenshots of these controls and a video showing them in use at the same link.