Business Objects Builds Eclipse Plug-in for Crystal Reports

Company is answering challenge from Actuate's open-source Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools project.

Business Objects S.A. is nearing completion of an Eclipse plug-in for its Crystal Reports application that will let developers working in the open-source framework add Crystal Reports query and reporting capabilities to their applications.

The move is the companys response to the Eclipse-based BIRT (Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools) system, an open-source reporting system for Web applications; Actuate Corp. is spearheading its development.

BIRT provides core reporting features such as report layout, data access and scripting, mainly for Java and J2EE (Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition)-based applications. Business Objects officials in San Jose, Calif., said their plug-in will deliver a more complete reporting offering for Eclipse developers, providing functionality such as the advanced report design and management capabilities that are in the current Crystal Reports XI version.

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here to read about Business Objects XI.

Unlike the open-source BIRT, the Crystal Reports plug-in for Eclipse will be a commercial product. Company officials said it is important for Business Objects to have a presence in the Eclipse community as part of maintaining its leadership position in the reporting space.

Actuate officials in South San Francisco, Calif., welcomed the forthcoming Business Objects offering, saying it will serve as validation for Eclipse as a development environment of choice.

Michael Norman, president and CEO of Scapa Technologies Ltd., which uses BIRT to provide reporting within its application performance testing software, said he thought BIRT may have some advantages compared with a Crystal Reports plug-in for Eclipse.

"Were not reporting off relational data but off [Eclipse Modeling Framework] models, so theres an integration job to do one way or another," said Norman in Edinburgh, Scotland. "I dont know how you would start that in Crystal."