Using database data in a report
Like the open-source BIRT Report Designer, Actuate BIRT Designer supports connecting to many relational databases, such as Oracle, Sybase, Informix, DB2, SQL Server, and Derby, through database-specific JDBC drivers. Actuate BIRT Designer provides these JDBC drivers, whereas, users of the open-source designer must download and install the appropriate JDBC drivers.
Both designers provide a query editor for typing the SQL statement to specify the data to retrieve. In addition, Actuate BIRT Designer includes a SQL query builder that you can use to create SQL statements graphically. The query builder provides two advantages over the query editor:
The ability to create and edit SQL statements quickly without typing SQL code. This feature is particularly useful when creating multiple joins, using SQL functions, or writing complex expressions.
The ability for BIRT to modify a SQL query when you sort, group, or filter data using the graphical tools. BIRT maps these user-interface actions to the equivalent SQL expressions, and because the database processes the data, the report’s performance improves.
This chapter describes how to access database data using the query builder. For information about using the query editor, see BIRT: A Field Guide.

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