Externalizing the connection profile properties on the iServer
You can use the iServer database connection configuration file to externalize the data source properties for any data source connection property in a BIRT report design. The data source properties are externalized in the connection configuration file that is made accessible to the iServer.
As Connection Profile Store URL is the ODA data source property, OdaConnProfileStorePath, the file path to the connection profile can itself be externalized. To externalize Connection Profile Store URL ODA data source property, specify it in the iServer‘s connection configuration file. When the report is deployed to the iServer and executed, the server reads the connection profile from the file path specified in the iServer database connection configuration file. The file path specified in the report design is ignored.
Understanding externalization precedence
Data source properties in a report design can be externalized to the connection profile and to the iServer connection configuration file. In addition, Connection Profile Store URL itself can be externalized. The following precedence rules explain how iServer and Information Console determine the final list of data source properties for report execution:
Information Console – Data source properties in the connection profile override the data source properties in the report design.
iServer – Data source properties in the iServer connection configuration file override the data source in the connection profile that overrides the data source connection properties in the report. The ascending order of precedence for iServer is as follows:
The following sample connection configuration file externalizes the file path to the connection profile and shows the required structure:
<ConnectOptions Type="org.eclipse.birt.report.data.oda.jdbc_SQL Server Data Source">
  <Property PropName="OdaConnProfileStorePath">
The connection profile referenced by the BIRT report design is read when the report is executed in Information Console and iServer. The path to the connection profile in the design has to be visible to Information Console and iServer applications.
Referencing an external connection profile
The path to the external connection profile is stored in the BIRT report design. The ODA data source property, ConnectionProfileStoreURL, holds this value. The path can be a relative or an absolute file path, or a URL. File paths, whether relative or absolute, must be accessible by the Information Console web application when the report is deployed to Information Console. Similarly, this path must be accessible by the iServer when the report is deployed to the iServer. Actuate does not recommend the use of absolute file paths. Typically, the location of the connection profile in all three environments, Actuate BIRT Designer, Information Console, and iServer, resolves to a different path. Absolute paths have the disadvantage that the absolute path used in the Actuate BIRT Designer environment on Windows will not be available when the report is deployed to Information Console or iServer on UNIX. On UNIX, you can use relative paths with the use of soft links, but these links are not available on Windows.
Using a relative path, you deploy the connection profile to iServer, and this resolves the issue with different environments and not accessible absolute paths.
When the absolute file path to the connection profile is different in the design environment compared to the Information Console and iServer deployment environments, there are some options to avoid having to change the report design file before deployment, as described in the following section.
When specifying network paths in BIRT reports always use the Universal Naming Convention (UNC) to describe the path, instead of a mapped drive letter. Windows XP and later do not allow processes running as services to access network resources through mapped network drives. For this reason, a report that uses a mapped drive letter to access a resource runs in Actuate BIRT Designer Professional. The same report fails when running on iServer or Information Console, because the iServer or Information Console processes cannot resolve the mapping address.
For example, a BIRT report uses a flat file Production.csv as a data source. The flat file is located on a shared network drive on a machine, named ProductionServer. The UNC network path to the file is \\ProductionServer\e$\Data and it is mapped as X:\ in your system. Using the path X:\ to define the data source HOME folder works only in Actuate BIRT Designer. Using the UNC path \\ProductionServer\e$\Data in the data source definition is the correct way to define network paths.

Additional Links:

Copyright Actuate Corporation 2012