Monday, November 12, 2007

BIRT: Creating SPARQL-based charts and reports

Being based on the Eclipse platform, TopBraid Composer can seamlessly integrate with other Eclipse-based tools and services. One of the most complex Eclipse plug-ins is BIRT, an open source Eclipse-based reporting system that can be used to generate charts and other reports from input data. BIRT is typically used to take its input from relational databases or spreadsheets, but it provides an open architecture that allows programmers to plug in arbitrary tabular data sources.

A simple way of generating tabular data from an OWL/RDF data model is via SPARQL Select queries, which deliver result sets in rows with one or multiple columns. TopBraid Composer's Maestro Edition now provides a powerful interface between any OWL/RDF data source and BIRT. The following screenshot illustrates the kind of output that BIRT can create.

Details on how to use BIRT are available in TopBraid's help pages. I also made a quick screencam demo (3 minutes) showing BIRT.


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