BIRT, which stands for Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools, is an Eclipse-based open-source reporting system for Java and J2EE based web applications. Including the word "Tools" in the acronym is appropriate, since BIRT is in fact a collection of development tools and technologies used for developing reports utilizing the BIRT runtime framework component on your application server. BIRT isn't essentially a product, but a series of core technologies on top of which products and solutions are built, similar in fashion to the Eclipse framework. This book has a fast-paced, task-driven, tutorial style, which provides understanding and structure, not just lists of steps to follow. The focus is on the most visible and familiar product built with the BIRT framework, which is the BIRT Report Designer. The BIRT Report Designer is an Eclipse plug-in that utilizes BIRT technologies to allow users to design reports in the BIRT document format. Also covered is the BIRT charting engine, which lets you add charts to your application.