Report design files
BIRT Report Designer uses a simple document model. When you create and save a report design, BIRT Report Designer creates just one file with the .rptdesign file‑name extension. This file contains all the information that is necessary for generating a report.
Unlike many report design tools that generate files in proprietary formats, BIRT design files are written in XML. XML is a widely used markup language specification that was designed especially for web documents. Because BIRT uses XML to define the structure and contents of a report design, developers can leverage their knowledge of XML to get a deeper understanding of how BIRT constructs a report design. BIRT’s suite of report-specific XML elements and properties is called Report Object Model (ROM).
You open a report design (.rptdesign) file with the report editor, which, by default, displays the report design in the layout editor. The layout editor provides a graphical view of the report design. If you wish, you can view the report design in the XML editor. This editor displays the XML that BIRT Report Designer generates when you create a report.
View the report design in the XML editor to see its XML code or to locate, by line number, an error that was reported in the Problems view. To understand the XML code, you can consult the ROM specification at the following location:
How to open a report design
Use one of the following methods:
*In Navigator, double-click the .rptdesign file.
*Choose FileOpen File, then select the .rptdesign file from the file system.
If someone sends you a .rptdesign file, first save the file in a project folder, then, in Navigator, right-click the project, and choose Refresh. This action updates the project folder to include the file, which you then open using one of these two methods.
Eclipse saves your environment settings when you exit. If you keep a file open when you exit Eclipse, this file opens when you next start Eclipse.
How to view a report design in the XML editor
1 Open the report design file, using one of the procedures that is described in the previous section.
The layout editor displays the graphical view of the report.
2 Choose the XML Source tab at the bottom of the report editor.
The XML editor displays the XML that defines the report design, as shown in Figure 1‑40.
Figure 1‑40 XML code for a report design