About interactive charts
BIRT Designer Professional supports BIRT charts and HTML5 charts. BIRT charts generate images in the following formats; SVG, BMP, JPG, and PNG using the BIRT chart engine and are used for static, print-based documents. BIRT charts support extensive scripting, but not animation.
HTML5 charts use an open standard for structuring and presenting content for the World Wide Web, and is increasingly regarded as the alternative to Flash for creating interactive and animated content for traditional and mobile devices. You can control chart presentation, design-time and generation‑time properties through the user interface and scripting. For example, an HTML5 column chart can highlight a column with the highest value and display an overlay on each column that defines a 10% chance of error.
Comparing HTML5 and BIRT charts
Use the information in Table 23‑1 to decide which chart format to use in a report.
Table 23‑1 Features available in HTML5 and BIRT charts
Displays in the web viewer
Displays in PDF
Displays in other document formats (DOC, PPT, XLS, etc.) as a static image
Supported on mobile devices
Provides animation
Server-side customization through scripting
Client-side interaction and customization through scripting
Table 23‑1 does not list the chart types or chart properties supported by each chart format because that list is too long. As you design HTML5 charts, you discover that many of the properties available to BIRT charts are also available to HTML5 charts.
If creating animated charts, use HTML5 charts. BIRT charts support chart options, such as building complex combination charts, that are not available in HTML5 charts. For information about building BIRT charts, see Using a chart.
Rendering platform
BIRT Designer Professional uses Highcharts, a third-party charting library, to render HTML5 charts. This charting library, written in JavaScript, is integrated into BIRT Designer Professional’s standard chart builder, where you create HTML5 charts using the familiar user interface.
Highcharts also provides a full API, which you can use to programmatically add, remove, or modify chart elements after creating the chart in the chart builder. Access to the Highcharts API is through the chart builder’s script editor and through the JavaScript chart theme editor.