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Last Week in the Forums: BIRT and R Statistical Language, Specified Sort Order for a Table, and more...

Posted by mwilliams , 17 October 2011 · 3384 views

This blog series takes a look back at the past week in the forums, recalling how active they were and highlights some of the questions asked that seem to frequent the forums or other interesting topics. The forums have maintained high traffic all year. If the rest of the year continues how it has been going, we'll have a record number of posts and a higher community contribution percentage, which are both very good things! Great work, community! Many great questions and answers are being posted every day. As always, thanks to those users who help answer questions! It is a great help to the community!

The first topic I'll cover for this week is an unanswered one. I did this last week as well, and I think I'll continue posting an unanswered post each week to see if we can't help find it an answer. :) The unanswered post for this week is about the R Statistical Language. The poster is wanting to know if anyone has had any success using the R project with BIRT. If anyone has used these two together and can supply an answer, that would be great!

The second topic for this week is sorting a table in a specified order. The poster wants to be able to specify an order for the rows by a parameter. The solution provided is to use your SQL query to create this order and then use that. A sample query can be found in the thread. Another alternative if not using SQL or even if you are would be to create a computed column that assigns a numerical value to the rows in the order that you want them to be. Say you have row values a, b, c, and d, but you want them to show up in the order, b, d, c, a. In your computed column, you'd assign 1 to b, 2 to d, etc. Then you could use this numerical sort column to order your data with standard BIRT sorting.

The last topic for this week is alternating row colors in crosstabs. Because of how a crosstab is created, simply adding a highlight rule to do alternating highlights doesn't work. The solution to alternate highlighting in rows in a crosstab is to use script. You'll have to keep variables and check dimension values to keep your alternating colors the correct color since a crosstab works by cell rather than row or column. An example showing how to highlight the crosstab, including grand totals can be found in the forum thread.

Again, this is just a small sample of what went through the forums this past week. For more questions and answers that have been posted, check out the forums. As always, if you have a question, feel free to ask it, and if you see a question you know the answer to or have a similar experience to, feel free to post an answer or comment.