Understanding a report rendering extension
BIRT Report Engine provides report rendering extensions that render a report in HTML, PDF, XLS, PostScript, and Microsoft Word and PowerPoint. This section provides sample implementations of customized CSV and XML report rendering extensions, org.eclipse.birt.report.engine.emitter.csv and org.eclipse.birt.report.engine.emitter.xml. The sample code creates plug-ins that write the data contents of a report to a file in the specified format.
A BIRT plug-in typically loads and runs in the BIRT Report Engine environment rather than the Eclipse run-time environment. BIRT implements a separate plug‑in loading framework for the BIRT Report Engine, giving the BIRT Report Engine complete control of report execution. A BIRT engine plug-in extension is functionally similar to an Eclipse plug-in extension.
A rendering extension adds an emitter to the BIRT Report Engine framework by implementing the extension point, org.eclipse.birt.report.engine.emitters. The XML schema file, org.eclipse.birt.report.engine/schema/emitters.exsd, describes this extension point.
The extension point enables support for a new output format in the presentation engine. The BIRT plug-in registry uses this extension point to discover all supported output formats specified for the report engine environment.
This guide uses the customized CSV and XML report rendering extensions in this section as examples of how to create a report rendering extension. The BIRT user interface also provides a built-in data extraction feature that can export data from a report document in CSV, TSV (tab-separated values), and XML formats.
You can download the source code for the CSV and XML report rendering extension examples at http://www.actuate.com/birt/contributions. For reference documentation, see the BIRT Report Engine API Javadoc in Eclipse help for the org.eclipse.birt.report.engine.emitter and org.eclipse.birt.report
.engine.content packages.