Actuate Corporation is dedicated to providing business intelligence solutions that increase the richness, interactivity and effectiveness of enterprise data, for everyone, everywhere. Delivering the next generation open source-based business intelligence and Rich Information Applications, spanning all levels of development and deployment, Actuate boasts unmatched scalability, performance, security and reliability. Actuate today is the best choice for building rich, interactive information applications for your organization.
Why pick Actuate as your Business Intelligence Solutions standard?
Actuate's Rich Information Application-ready, open source, BIRT-based business intelligence tools can be deployed in any pre-existing or new development project to create a progressive, collaborative reporting environment that allows developers, report writers and end users to create and/or use applications rich in interactivity, depth, span and complexity. With BIRT at its core, the Actuate suite of BIRT-based products creates an environment that is virtually boundless; an infrastructure in which to build and deploy Rich Information Applications without Limits.™
What is BIRT?
BIRT is an Eclipse-based open source reporting system for web applications, especially those based on Java and J2EE. BIRT has two main components: a report designer based on Eclipse, and a runtime component that you can add to your app server. BIRT also offers a charting engine that lets you add charts to your own application.
With BIRT, you can add a rich variety of reports to your application.
Lists - The simplest reports are lists of data. As the lists get longer, you can add grouping to organize related data together (orders grouped by customer, products grouped by supplier). If your data is numeric, you can easily add totals, averages and other summaries.
Charts - Numeric data is much easier to understand when presented as a chart. BIRT provides pie charts, line & bar charts and many more. BIRT charts can be rendered in SVG and support events to allow user interaction.
Crosstabs - Crosstabs (also called a cross-tabulation or matrix) shows data in two dimensions: sales per quarter or hits per web page.
Letters & Documents - Notices, form letters, and other textual documents are easy to create with BIRT. Documents can include text, formatting, lists, charts and more.
Compound Reports - Many reports need to combine the above into a single document. For example, a customer statement may list the information for the customer, provide text about current promotions, and provide side-by-side lists of payments and charges. A financial report may include disclaimers, charts, tables all with extensive formatting that matches corporate color schemes.
The Anatomy of a Report
BIRT reports consist of four main parts: data, data transforms, business logic and presentation.
Data - Databases, web services, Java objects all can supply data to your BIRT report. BIRT provides JDBC, XML, Web Services, and Flat File support, as well as support for using code to get at other sources of data. BIRT's use of the Open Data Access (ODA) framework allows anyone to build new UI and runtime support for any kind of tabular data. Further, a single report can include data from any number of data sources. BIRT also supplies a feature that allows disparate data sources to be combined using inner and outer joins.
Data Transforms - Reports present data sorted, summarized, filtered and grouped to fit the user's needs. While databases can do some of this work, BIRT must do it for "simple" data sources such as flat files or Java objects. BIRT allows sophisticated operations such as grouping on sums, percentages of overall totals and more.
Presentation - Once the data is ready, you have a wide range of options for presenting it to the user. Tables, charts, text and more. A single data set can appear in multiple ways, and a single report can present data from multiple data sets.
What has Actuate got to do with BIRT?
In 2004, Actuate founded and is now co-leading the BIRT (Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools) open source project with the Eclipse Foundation, the home of the open source Eclipse Development Framework, the leading IDE worldwide. This project’s goal was to bring the web design metaphor to creating visualizations of structured data. Major technology companies such as IBM, Cisco, S1 and ABS Nautical Systems have incorporated BIRT into their product lines.
Actuate and its people are dedicated to making BIRT the best environment for our customers to develop Web 2.0 applications that drive revenue through higher customer satisfaction/loyalty and improve operational performance. The people of Actuate continually participate in and provide resources for the vibrant open source community that has emerged around BIRT. Anybody can participate in the BIRT movement by visiting BIRT-Exchange.
Actuate offers value-add BIRT products and services that speed the development process and bring additional functionality, interactivity and enterprise scalability to BIRT-based Rich Information Applications. Actuate has over 4,400 customers globally in a diverse range of business areas including financial services and the public sector. Founded in 1993, Actuate is headquartered in San Mateo, California, with offices worldwide. Actuate is listed on NASDAQ under the symbol ACTU. For more information, visit the company’s web site at Actuate.com
The BIRT Product Line from Actuate
Actuate offers a BIRT-based product line that adds value to Eclipse BIRT implementations that have special requirements, whether embedded, departmental, or mission critical. These products add Flash visualizations into applications developed using BIRT open source reporting, improve the user's experience viewing and interacting with BIRT web pages, supply special-purpose data access approaches, add scheduling, security, document management and finally reliability, performance and scalability features for enterprise implementations.