As an alternative to my article on Deploying BIRT on JBoss, this article will cover BIRT and Tomcat.
Background information on BIRT and the usefulness of hosting BIRT reports on a central server is covered in that prior article.
I’m using a CentOS 5.5 server for this article.
Installation of Tomcat is quite straightforward with
# yum install tomcat5 tomcat5-admin-webapps xml-commons-apis
Configuring Tomcat is just as simple as its installation. The only item I had to complete was to add an admin user. I did this by editing the file
/etc/tomcat5/tomcat-users.xml file and adding the following line:
<user username="admin" password="admin" roles="admin,manager"/>
Note, please pick a better password.
The admin panel of Tomcat can now be accessed via
http://192.168.255.2:8080/admin or whatever your server’s IP address or hostname is.
I found that the latest version of BIRT would not run without Java 1.6 installed.
I downloaded the Java 1.6 JDK from its homepage. The exact file name was
When the download finishes, run the file as a shell script:
# sh jdk-6u24-linux-i586-rpm.bin
This installs the various Java components as RPM packages.
/etc/sysconfig/tomcat5 and change the
JAVA_HOME environment variable to
Installing the BIRT Viewer
The BIRT Viewer can be downloaded from here as the Runtime package. Once it has downloaded, unzip the package and then copy the
WebViewerExample directory to
# unzip birt-runtime-2_6_2.zip # cd birt-runtime-2_6_2.zip # cp -a WebViewerExample /var/lib/tomcat5/webapps/birt
Also make sure that the
birt directory has the correct permissions for the user running the Tomcat server – in this case,
# chown -R tomcat /var/lib/tomcat5/webapps/birt
Next, restart Tomcat
# /etc/init.d/tomcat5 restart
Finally, make sure BIRT is running by accessing the Tomcat Manager page at
http://192.168.255.2:8080/manager/html. If it is, you can access the BIRT Viewer at
Once the BIRT Viewer is working, you can now copy reports to the server anywhere under the
/var/lib/tomcat5/webapps/birt directory and view them online through the URL
http://192.168.255.2:8080/birt/frameset?__report=whatever.rptdesign. I usually put all reports under the existing
/var/lib/tomcat5/webapps/report directory and then access the report through
Enabling JDBC Access
If the data of your reports is located in a database, you will need to install the appropriate JDBC driver for BIRT. I’ll use MySQL for this example.
You can get the MySQL JDBC driver from here.
Once the download is finished, copy the
mysql-connector-java-3.1.14-bin.jar file to BIRT:
# tar xzvf mysql-connector-java-3.1.14.tar.gz # cd mysql-connector-java-3.1.14 # cp mysql-connector-java-3.1.14-bin.jar /var/lib/tomcat5/webapps/birt/WEB-INF/platform/plugin/org.eclipse.birt.report.data.oda.jdbc_2.6.2.r262_v20110127/drivers/
Note, depending on the version of BIRT being used, the actual destination directory could be different. I use the following method to find the right destination:
# find /var/lib/tomcat5/webapps/birt -iname \*jdbc\*
This article covered an alternative configuration to the article Deploying BIRT on JBoss by using Tomcat instead of JBoss.