[Phpwm] Reporting Systems

sukh virdee sukh_virdee at hotmail.com
Wed Mar 7 23:26:05 GMT 2007

I've just been doing some work with BIRT. Not knowing exactly what I'm doing 
yet but just following on screen instruction.

I'm working with using it as a web app at the moment, running the .jsp on a 
tomcat service as suggested.

My aim is to allow the user to report on anything they like buy using a gui 
front end which  uses php to generate the design files which are then in 
turn referenced through the URL upon the redirect.

What I can't get my head around is that supplying a user with a list of 
database tables will not help them in any way, really. So what's the point? 
Wouldn't it be easier to just knock up a report in 10 minutes rather than go 
through this process?

Finding it difficult to see the real benefits at the moment.

What I am looking forward to is getting the charting wizard built which 
would make a difference and cut my development time.

If anyone's got this working to a tee let me know it's impact.


>From: Ian Munday <ian.munday at illumen.co.uk>
>Reply-To: West Midlands PHP User Group <phpwm at mailman.lug.org.uk>
>To: West Midlands PHP User Group <phpwm at mailman.lug.org.uk>
>Subject: Re: [Phpwm] Reporting Systems
>Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2007 12:10:12 +0000
>On 21 Feb 2007, at 06:47, Jake Stride wrote:
>>On 21 Feb 2007, at 00:21, Ian Munday wrote:
>>>I am wondering what experience people have of integrating a  reporting 
>>>system into a PHP web application...?
>>>The two options I'm considering are BIRT (http://www.eclipse.org/ birt/) 
>>>and JasperReports (http://jasperforge.org/sf/projects/ jasperreports).  I 
>>>*must* be able to use it from PHP (something I  see documentation on on 
>>>the BIRT website).
>>>Has anyone any experience of these (or others)?  Any  recommendations / 
>>>tips / pitfalls welcomed.
>>I am currently looking into the same thing myself. I have looked at  both 
>>of those but in no detail, and also have the following on my  list if it 
>>is of any help:
>>http://sourceforge.net/projects/repgen - php based report generator
>>http://datavision.sourceforge.net/ - java based, nice front end,  can be
>>used as a web app
>>http://rlib.sicompos.com/ - c library with php bindings
>I spent much of yesterday investigating BIRT (http://www.eclipse.org/ 
>birt/).  It's something I'd taken a look at once or twice about 12-18  
>months back, but found the GUI report builder plugin for Eclipse  rather 
>buggy and frustrating so abandoned it.
>Anyway, revisiting it yesterday, I followed the instructions as laid  out 
>on the site and had the examples working very quickly (I'm  running it on 
>Tomcat).  The plugin for Eclipse is now much better and  I haven't come 
>across any issues as yet.
>One of the big appeals of BIRT is the ease of generating new reports  using 
>the Eclipse plugin.  One of our applications currently has  about 20 active 
>reports, and the new application(s) we are putting  together is/are likely 
>to have a greater number.  When you have this  sort of volume or more, easy 
>creation and maintenance of reports  becomes either the big pro or con of 
>any solution.
>So far BIRT offers all positives, but now I need to sort out  
>authentication - clearly any report request must authenticate the  user 
>(just as the web app does).  I've followed the suggestions on  
>http://www.eclipse.org/birt/phoenix/deploy/usingPHP.php whereby BIRT  is 
>hosted on its own app server (Tomcat) and reports are called using  the 
>BIRT Viewer URLs.  To add authentication it appears to me I'd do  something 
>     1)  Pass an authentication token as a parameter to BIRT.
>     2)  Use the token to reference my database containing session  
>I'd like to keep any Java coding I have to do to a minimum purely  because 
>I'm not very fluent in it after not touching it for years.
>With regards the other options you've highlighted, my initial  (possibly 
>inaccurate) impressions are:
>     *  PHP Report Generator - not very mature, too basic for my needs
>     *  DataVision - active community but less mature than BIRT(?)  though 
>at first glance appears to offer similar functionality
>     *  RLIB - looks like it has the functionality I would require,  and 
>looks easier to integrate directly with PHP, but I can't see any  GUI 
>available - maintenance a chore?
>I'd be interested to hear how you get on with whatever route you go  down.
>Ian Munday
>Illumen Ltd.
>Tel:  0121 703 3111  /  0845 00 999 00
>Email:  ian.munday at illumen.co.uk
>Skype:  ian.munday
>Phpwm mailing list
>Phpwm at mailman.lug.org.uk

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