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Eclipse buffs up BI tools

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An open source business intelligence (BI) project has been updated for PHP developers, attracting support of Zend Technologies.

The Eclipse Foundation has announced Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools (BIRT) 2.0, which has been extended to support cascading style sheets (CSS).

CSS will make it easier for developers to establish a common look for different reports, and change the report's design in one application. The changes accompany general improvements to BIRT's web, scripting and display in HTML and Java.

Zend, which last year worked with IBM, Intel, Oracle and SAP over optimization of PHP, particularly welcomed support for CSS. Co-founder Andi Gutmans said CSS would make BIRT 2.0 "an attractive tool for broad adoption by the 2.5 million PHP developers".

PHP has seen something of a revival among developers in recent years, particularly those in business and enterprise shops, as it is deployed as part of the low-cost Linux, Apache and MySQL operating system, web and database stack. Also announcing support for BIRT were Actuate, IBM, Pentaho and Scapa Technologies.

BIRT is an open source reporting system that was established in November 2004 by Eclipse for the production of rich reports online and in PDF format. BIRT 2.0 features 200 updates and improvements, aside from CSS and including a re-use library. The library contains a set of report components and functions that developers can share and implement in different report designs.

The full list of improvements is here. ®

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