Java : BIRT Report Printing Without User Interaction (Background Printing)

May 18, 2009 by laukik81

During one of my projects , I needed server side printing of BIRT report in which User Interaction was not required ie Background Printing. By the term “No User Interaction” , Print Dialog is not involved anywhere. It could be used for batch printing.
Or A copy of viewed report is printed on the server without letting the user to know it.

BIRT provides server side printing but again it comes to User Interaction.Here BIRT’s ReportEngine API Plays a important role.

Steps :

(1). Create a servlet which can be invoked from a simple Java Program or any stored procedure.

(2).In this servlet, run the report through ReportEngine API and generate a temp pdf of report

(3). Print this generated pdf through Java and delete it.

import java.awt.print.Book;
import java.awt.print.PageFormat;
import java.awt.print.PrinterJob;
import java.nio.ByteBuffer;
import java.util.Enumeration;
import java.util.Properties;

import javax.print.PrintService;
import javax.print.PrintServiceLookup;
import javax.servlet.ServletContext;
import javax.servlet.ServletException;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletRequest;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletResponse;

import org.eclipse.birt.core.framework.IPlatformContext;
import org.eclipse.birt.core.framework.Platform;
import org.eclipse.birt.core.framework.PlatformFileContext;

import com.sun.pdfview.PDFFile;

public class ReportPrintingServlet extends HttpServlet{

public void doGet(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response)
throws ServletException, IOException {

System.out.println("Came for printing");
ServletContext servletContext = getServletConfig().getServletContext();
Object attribute = servletContext.getAttribute("reportprintproperties");
Properties properties = (Properties) attribute;
generatePDFFile(properties, request);
catch(Exception e)
private void generatePDFFile(Properties properties,HttpServletRequest request) throws Exception
final String REPORT_ENGINE = Path of your ReportEngine
final String REPORTS_PATH = Path where .rptdesign files are kept
final String OUTPUT_LOCATION = Location where pdf is to be generated

PDFRenderOption options = new PDFRenderOption();
EngineConfig config = new EngineConfig();
IPlatformContext context = new PlatformFileContext();
IReportEngineFactory factory = (IReportEngineFactory) Platform

IReportEngine engine = factory.createReportEngine(config);
IReportRunnable runnable = null;
try {
runnable = engine.openReportDesign(REPORTS_PATH);
} catch (EngineException e) {
System.err.println("Design " + REPORTS_PATH + " not found!");

IRunAndRenderTask task = engine.createRunAndRenderTask(runnable);

ByteArrayOutputStream fso = new ByteArrayOutputStream();
options.setOutputFileName(OUTPUT_LOCATION); //

Enumeration names = request.getParameterNames();

while (names.hasMoreElements()) {
String name = (String) names.nextElement();
String value = request.getParameter(name);
task.setParameterValue(name, value);

System.out.println("Created Report " + OUTPUT_LOCATION + ".");

String printerName = request.getParameter("printer");


private boolean printPDF(String filename,String printerName) throws Exception{

FileInputStream fis = null;
BufferedInputStream bufferedInputStream = null;
ByteBuffer bb = null;

try {
File f = new File(filename);
fis = new FileInputStream(f);
//FileChannel fc = fis.getChannel();
//ByteBuffer bb =, 0, fc.size());
bufferedInputStream = new BufferedInputStream(fis);
byte bytes[] = new byte[fis.available()];;
bb = ByteBuffer.wrap(bytes);
PDFFile pdfFile = new PDFFile(bb); // Create PDF Print Page
PDFPrintPage pages = new PDFPrintPage(pdfFile);

// Create Print Job
PrinterJob pjob = PrinterJob.getPrinterJob();
PageFormat pf = PrinterJob.getPrinterJob().defaultPage();

* Use the printer which comes as parameter from URL.
* So that we can redirect the print at runtime to any of the printer.
PrintService selectedPrinter = null;
PrintService[] services = PrintServiceLookup.lookupPrintServices(null, null);
for (PrintService printService : services) {

System.out.println(printService.getName()+" = "+printerName);
selectedPrinter = printService;



Book book = new Book();
book.append(pages, pf, pdfFile.getNumPages());
System.out.println("Printer : " + pjob.getPrintService().getName());
// Send print job to default printer

System.out.println("Sent for Printing : ....");

return true;

} catch (Exception e) {
return false;

catch(Exception e)
throw new Exception(e);
fis = null;
bufferedInputStream = null;



private void deletePDFFile(String OUTPUT_LOCATION) throws Exception

File file = new File(OUTPUT_LOCATION);
boolean deleted = false;
if(file != null && file.exists())
// file.renameTo(new File(OUTPUT_LOCATION.replace(".", "_")));
deleted = file.delete();
System.out.println(" Generated PDF Deleted "+deleted);


Sample URL :


In above URL,

print : Is the ReportPrintingServet
printer : Parameter specifies the printer location.
__report : Parameter specifies which report is to be printed

PDFRenderer needs to be in your classpath for printing PDF files.
You can download it from here


Loading Report Engine is costly task so it is recommended to have it one time only.

Referenced by:

Whats the Difference Between dataSetRow[“FIELD”] and row[“FIELD”]

Posted by Scott Rosenbaum

One of the most common questions for people that are new to BIRT is about how to ask data from the DataSet in the report.  The question is when building expressions should I use dataSetRow[“FIELD”] or row[“FIELD”]?

So let me see if I can set the record straight.  When data is acquired, it is acquired by a DataSet, so the following query in a JDBC DataSet will create a three field resultset:


Any script or expressions written on the DataSet will be written to use the format


So if we add a computed column to the DataSet called compCityState, the expression would look like this.

Once a computed column is created, you can reference that computed column using the same row syntax.  So in the OnFetch method you could add this message to log the value of the computed column.["compCityState"]); 

The other place that you can access variable on the DataSet is through ReportItem binding.  In most cases, this means Table Binding where you have attached a table to a DataSet.  In general, when you use BIRT you associate a Table with a DataSet.  We say that the Table is bound to the DataSet.

When a DataSet is dragged to the Layout editor, BIRT automatically does the data binding and creates a bound column for each field and computed column in the DataSet.  The following shows a table and its Binding.

You will notice that all of the expressions use the term dataSetRow, which means this value is pulled from the DataSet.  Now for the tricky bit, any field that is bound to a Table can be used in another table binding.  So if we wanted to create a field that has City, State and Country, we could either:
a) go back to the DataSet
b) add a new table binding

When you add a binding to a table you are brought to the expression builder.  In this first example, I am creating a table binding that gathers data straight from the DataSet.

Because I am referencing the DataSet directly the expression uses the dataSetRow syntax.
In the next example, I will use the previously established bindings to build the expression.  In the expression builder I will select Available Column Bindings and the Table and then select the fields.  You will also notice that the Table Binding has access to any of the previously bound fields and a special RowNumber field.
The important thing is that the syntax to access those values is to use row[“FIELD_NAME”]

So the short answer is, dataSetRow syntax references the original values from the DataSet, whereas the row syntax references the bound column values.

Now for a quick test, this should be easy.

Imagine that I change the expression of the CITY expression to look like this, and all else remains the same.

If the values for the row are:
City: Kalamazoo
State: MI
Country: USA

What will a DataItem that is showing rowCityStateZip display?
What will a DataItem that is showing tablCityStateCountry display?

The answers will be after a short shameless promotion of my companies BIRT training program.  We have designed a modular training program that is focused on teaching you how BIRT works.  You can take one module or all of them.  The focus of our training is on how BIRT works, so that when you finish you really understand what is going on in the product.

Our training can be taken on-site, or through remote sessions of between two and four hours each.  We are also happy to work with your team to customize the training to match your companies needs.   If you are interested, please visit our web site and have a look.

rowCityStateZip:        { Kalamazoo }, MI USA
tablCityStateCountry:  Kalamazoo, MI USA

Remember, dataSetRow syntax (as used in tablCityStateCountry) goes back to the original data.  Row syntax use the table binding.

Referenced by:

BIRT: Connecting to MS Sql Server Database

  1. Download the Microsoft JDBC driver from
  2. Note: If youre using Java 1.5, you will use sqljdbc.jar, if your using Java 1.6, you will use sqljdbc4.jar.
  3. Open Eclipse
  4. Create a new Report or open an existing report
  5. Open the Data Explorer Tab
  6. If this is an existing report, Double Click on an existing Data Source, otherwise create a new Data Source. Call it whatever.
  7. From the Data Source editor, click on the Manage Drivers button.


  1. In the Manage JDBC Drivers Dialog, click on Add…


  1. Navigate to where you have either the sqljdbc.jar or sqljdbc4.jar file, and click Open. This will add the driver to the BIRT Designer.
  2. Now, click on the Drivers Tab.
  3. Double click on the SqlServerDriver entry to edit it. Put in a name, and a URL template that will prompt you on the correct URL pattern to use.


  1. Click on OK, and OK, until you get to the Data Source Editor Dialog.
  2. Select the SQL Server driver from the drop down list. It will automatically put in the template. Replace the IP Address, and Database name with the ip of your Sql Server Database, and the name of the database.


  1. Enter the correct User Name and Password.


That’s it, your done. Test Connection to make sure the information is correct, and hit OK.

Referenced by:

Reporting with Eclipse BIRT and Java Objects (POJO’s) – Tutorial


by Lars Vogel

Reporting with Eclipse BIRT and Java Objects (POJO’s) – Tutorial

Lars Vogel Hendrik Still

Version 1.2

Copyright © 2008 – 2011 Lars Vogel


Revision History
Revision 0.1 – 0.2 07.03.2008 Hendrik Still, Lars Vogel
Created Article
Revision 0.3 – 1.2 07.03.2009 – 26.06.2011 Lars
bug fixes and enhancements
Eclipse BirtThis tutorial describes how to use Eclipse BIRT for reporting on simple Java Objects (POJO’s). The tutorial explains also how to deploy the resulting BIRT report into a webcontainer (Tomcat) and how to use it in an Eclipse RCP application. Eclipse 3.7 (Indigo) is used for this tutorial.

1. Eclipse BIRT

1.1. Overview

Eclipse BIRT allows the creation of reports based on data from different data sources. Data sources define where the data is stored.

BIRT provides for example the following data sources:

  • Databases (via JDBC)
  • Text Files (cvs, XML)
  • WebServices (via WSDL-Files)
  • Scripting Data sources

You use in BIRT “Data sets” to defines queries on data source. These data sets can be used in a report.

In a Java program it is often convenient to use Java objects as a data source for reports. This article will focus on the usage of plain old Java objects (POJO) as data sources for BIRT reports.

1.2. Example

In this tutorial we will build a report which will show us information about the stock market. We get the information from a Java Object. The data will be displayed in a chart and in a table with detailed information. The result should look like this:

2. Installation

Use the Eclipse Update Manager to install “Business Intelligence, Reporting and Charting” -> BIRT Framework.

3. Create Project and REport

Create a new Java Project with the name “de.vogella.birt.stocks”.

Create a new report “stock_report.rptdesign” via File -> New -> Other -> Business Intelligence and Reporting -> Report.

The new report is displayed in the “Report Design” perspective. Delete everything in the example report except the report header. The result should look like the following.

4. Java classes

The report will display stock data. To demonstrate BIRT we use a Mock object for providing the data.

Create package “de.vogella.birt.stocks.model” and then the following class. This class will represent the domain model.

package de.vogella.birt.stocks.model;

import java.util.Date;
/** * Domain model for stock data * @author Lars Vogel */
public class StockData {
	private Date date;
	private double open;
	private double high;
	private double low;
	private double close;
	private long volume;

	public double getClose() {
		return close;

	public void setClose(double close) {
		this.close = close;

	public Date getDate() {
		return date;

	public void setDate(Date date) { = date;

	public double getHigh() {
		return high;

	public void setHigh(double high) {
		this.high = high;

	public double getLow() {
		return low;

	public void setLow(double low) {
		this.low = low;

	public double getOpen() {
		return open;

	public void setOpen(double open) { = open;

	public long getVolume() {
		return volume;

	public void setVolume(long volume) {
		this.volume = volume;


Create the package “de.vogella.birt.stocks.daomock” and then the following class “StockDaoMock”. This will only mock / fake the data and not really get it from the Internet. As we want to learn BIRT here this should be fine.

package de.vogella.birt.stocks.daomock;

import java.util.ArrayList;
import java.util.Calendar;
import java.util.List;

import de.vogella.birt.stocks.model.StockData;

public class StockDaoMock {

	public List<StockData> getStockValues(String company) {
		// Ignore the company and always return the data
		// A real implementation would of course use the company string
		List<StockData> history = new ArrayList<StockData>();
		// We fake the values, we will return fake value for 01.01.2009 -
		// 31.01.2009
		double begin = 2.5;
		for (int i = 1; i <= 31; i++) {
			Calendar day = Calendar.getInstance();
			day.set(Calendar.HOUR, 0);
			day.set(Calendar.MINUTE, 0);
			day.set(Calendar.SECOND, 0);
			day.set(Calendar.MILLISECOND, 0);
			day.set(Calendar.YEAR, 2009);
			day.set(Calendar.MONTH, 0);
			day.set(Calendar.DAY_OF_MONTH, i);
			StockData data = new StockData();
			double close = Math.round(begin + Math.random() * begin * 0.1);
			data.setLow(Math.round(Math.min(begin, begin - Math.random() * begin * 0.1)));
			data.setHigh(Math.round(Math.max(begin, close) + Math.random() * 2));
			data.setVolume(1000 + (int) (Math.random() * 500));
			begin = close;
		return history;

5. Datasource and Dataset

To use Java Objects (POJO’s) as datasource in Eclipse BIRT you have to map the fields of your Java classes to JavaScript. This JavaScript is used in your report and will access the Java Object.

5.1. Create Data Source

The data source connects your data with your report. BIRT provides different types of data sources, we use the “Scripted Data Source”. Go back to your stocks_report, use the “Report Design” perspective and select the “Data Explorer” View.


You have to select your report to display the content of the datasource view.

Create a new datasource, named “srcStocks” in your report.

5.2. The Dataset

The dataset defines the mapping for the datasource data and the BIRT data. Create a new dataset named “dataSetSocks”.

Press next and define the columns for your report.

5.3. JavaScript

Now we have to write the JavaScript for our dataset. Select the dataset and choose “open” as script. The open script is called before the first access to the dataset. We use this to load our List with the stock objects. To access a Java class you only have to use the following syntax: Packages.myJavaClass where myJavaClass is the full qualified Java class name.


In case you don’t see the script please node that the editor for the report has several tab. One of it is labeled “source”.

count = 0;

// Create instance of
// the GetStockHistory class
gsh = new; 

//Load the List

stock = gsh.getStockValues("Java");

Place the following coding in the fetch script.

if(count < stock.size()){
       row["columnDate"] = stock.get(count).getDate();
       row["columnOpen"] = stock.get(count).getOpen();
       row["columnHigh"] = stock.get(count).getHigh();
       row["columnLow"] = stock.get(count).getLow();
       row["columnClose"] = stock.get(count).getClose();
       row["columnVolume"] = stock.get(count).getVolume();
       return true;

return false;

Check if your Script works by doubleclicking on the dataset -> Preview Result.

6. Display the data in a table

6.1. Overview

We will now display the data in a table.

6.2. Create a table

Switch from “Data Explorer” to the “Palette”. Select the tab “Layout”.

Drag and drop the table element on the report.

Define the following settings for the table.

Change back to the “Data Explorer”. And drag and drop the dataset columns into the “Details row” of the table.

The result should look like the following.

Done. You can see a preview of the report if you click on the “Review” Tab. The result should look like the following:

7. Chart

7.1. Create a Chart

Switch back to the Palette, select a chart and drag and drop it on your report.

Choose the Line Chart with the standard settings.

Press Next and select your data set.

At the next step we have to assign the columns to the axis. We assign the date to the x axis and the open value to the y axis via drag and drop.

Define 5 series in total. Assign the columns to these series by dragging the column to the Sum sign.

Currently the x axis shows first the newest date. Reverse the x axis by you have to sort the data ascending. Press the highlighted button.

Go to the next tab and give titles to your columns. Hide the last one.

The display of the dates use a long format, we would like to change this. Perform the following and choose “short” as date type of the x axis

Change the display of the lines via the following.

Press finish to include your chart into your report.

8. Deploying in Tomcat

8.1. Overview

The following explains how to use BIRT reports in Tomcat. In general you have to:

  • Install the BIRT webviewer in Tomcat
  • Export your BIRT project into a .jar file
  • Move the .jar file to the birt-install-directory/WEB-INF/lib directory
  • Move the report design file into the root directory of birt in tomcat
  • Restart Tomcat

8.2. Install BIRT in Tomcat

We will use a standalone Tomcat 6.0 which we assume is already installed. See Apache Tomcat Tutorial for details.

You need the “Deployment components of BIRT”

Copy the birt.war of this download into the Tomcat webappsfolder.


Currently you have to install org.eclipse.commons.logging separately into Tomcat. Download this lib from and put the jars into the lib folder of Tomcat.

The Birt example should be available under http://localhost:8080/birt/.If you see something like this, your Tomcat an your Web Viewer should work correct.

8.3. Install your BIRT reports in Tomcat

To run your own reports you have to copy the .rptdesign file in the root of the birt folder in Tomcat. To make your Java classes available export your project into a jar file.

After that the jar file has to be copied to the Tomcat webapps/birt/WEB-INF/lib/ directory. Restart the Tomcat and navigate to your report.

Your report should be found under http://localhost:8080/birt/frameset?__report=stock_report.rptdesign


If you want to export your report to PDF you also need the library iText from ( ) . Copy the iText.jar in “/birt-viewer/WEB-INF/platform/plugins/com.lowagie.itext/lib”. Now restart the Tomcat.

9. Deploying in Eclipse RCP application

9.1. BIRT deploying to an RCP Application

We can use the Birtviewer also in a local RCP Application, it isn’t more than an browser view which shows a HTML Page generated by an integrated Webserver.

The following assumes that you are already familiar with Eclipse RCP development. See Eclipse RCP Tutorial in case you need an introduction.

Convert “de.vogella.birt.stocks” to a plugin project, via right mouse click -> Configure -> “Convert to plug-in project”.

Create an new plugin project “de.vogella.birt.stocks.rcp”. Select the template “RCP Application with a view”.

Add the following plugins as dependendies to “de.vogella.birt.stocks.rcp”.

Manifest-Version: 1.0
Bundle-ManifestVersion: 2
Bundle-Name: Rcp
Bundle-SymbolicName: de.vogella.birt.stocks.rcp; singleton:=true
Bundle-Version: 1.0.0.qualifier
Bundle-Activator: de.vogella.birt.stocks.rcp.Activator
Require-Bundle: org.eclipse.ui,
Bundle-ActivationPolicy: lazy
Bundle-RequiredExecutionEnvironment: JavaSE-1.6

Copy your report to “stock_report_rcp.rptdesign” into this new project. Open this report and change the “open” JavaScript to the following.

count = 0;
/* * load and init data reader * import Platform from org.eclipse.core.runtime */

/* load bundle with POJOs and data loading class */

myBundle = Platform.getBundle("de.vogella.birt.stocks");

/* load data reader class */
readerClass = myBundle.loadClass("de.vogella.birt.stocks.daomock.StockDaoMock");

/* create new instance of DataReader */
readerInstance = readerClass.newInstance();

/* read data */
stock = readerInstance.getStockValues("Java");

Use this code as

package de.vogella.birt.stocks.rcp;


import org.eclipse.core.runtime.FileLocator;
import org.eclipse.core.runtime.Path;
import org.eclipse.core.runtime.Platform;
import org.eclipse.swt.SWT;
import org.eclipse.swt.browser.Browser;
import org.eclipse.swt.widgets.Composite;
import org.eclipse.ui.part.ViewPart;
import org.osgi.framework.Bundle;

public class View extends ViewPart {
	public static final String ID = "de.vogella.birt.stocks.rcp.view";

	public void createPartControl(Composite parent) {
		String path = "";
		try {
			Bundle bundle = Platform.getBundle("de.vogella.birt.stocks.rcp");
			URL url = FileLocator.find(bundle, new Path(
					"stock_report_rcp.rptdesign"), null);
			path = FileLocator.toFileURL(url).getPath();
		} catch (MalformedURLException me) {
			System.out.println("Fehler bei URL " + me.getStackTrace());
		} catch (IOException e) {

		Browser browser = new Browser(parent, SWT.NONE);
		// Use the filename of your reportWebViewer.display(path, WebViewer.HTML, browser, "frameset");
/** * Passing the focus request to the viewer’s control. */
	public void setFocus() {

10. Thank you

Please help me to support this article:

Flattr this  

11. Questions and Discussion

Before posting questions, please see the vogella FAQ. If you have questions or find an error in this article please use the Google Group. I have created a short list how to create good questions which might also help you.

12. Links and Literature

12.1. Source Code

Source Code of Examples

12.2.  Eclipse BIRT resources

Eclipse BIRT Wiki

12.3. vogella Resources

Eclipse RCP Training (German) Eclipse RCP Training with Lars Vogel

Android Tutorial Introduction to Android Programming

GWT Tutorial Program in Java and compile to JavaScript and HTML

Eclipse RCP Tutorial Create native applications in Java

JUnit Tutorial Test your application

Git Tutorial Put everything you have under distributed version control system

Referenced from: