May 8, 2012

Improving BIRT report style

I have always been an admirer of beautifully designed web sites. Today's mobile and desktop application have beautiful and eye-catching UIs. To my eyes the current design of out of the box Maximo BIRT reports has an old-fashioned style that doesn't sound pleasant to my eyes. That's why I decided to tweak the Maximo out of the box styles in order to be able to quickly improve the look of any Maximo report.
All the customer I have worked with have really liked this reporting style and asked me to apply it to all their custom reports.

Maximo report templates uses a library of styles stored in a file named MaximoSystemLibrary.rptlibrary stored under birt\libraries folder. Starting from this, I have created a MaximoSystemLibraryCustom.rptlibrary file adjusting some default styles and adding few other that may be used to create grouped tables.

Setup the custom report library

Download the MaximoSystemLibraryCustom.rptlibrary file from here and copy into [SMPDIR]\maximo\reports\birt\libraries folder.
Rebuild and redeploy the maximo EAR file.

Modify report
Now that we have set up the custom report library into Maximo application we have to use it in a report. For this example we will start from the Asset Move History report that is provided by Maximo.
Go under [SMPDIR]\maximo\reports\birt\reports\ASSET and copy assetmove_history.rptdesign report definition into a new file named assetmove_history_new.rptdesign.
You may want to import this report in your BIRT editor but this in not required for this example because changes can be made with a simple text editor.
Now open the assetmove_history_new.rptdesign and replace the following row (should be around line 20)
<property name="fileName">MaximoSystemLibrary.rptlibrary</property>
with this
<property name="fileName">MaximoSystemLibraryCustom.rptlibrary</property>

This will tell BIRT to use our new styles library.

On many out of the box reports there are awful black borders on tables and section. A light blue border if nicer and also helps the reader to focus on data instead of report layout.
To further improve the report, replace all occurrences of Color">#000000</property> with Color">A0B0C0</property> in the report XML definition.


This is the result that we have achieved.

Original style

New style

The new style has:
  • Slightly bigger report title.
  • Bluish lines and table borders
  • Lighter solid (non-dotted) lines between the table rows
If you like this template feel free to use it and leave a comment here or give a Google +1 to this post.

BIRT Resources
For Maximo Base Services up through 7.1.1.4, BIRT Designer 2.1.2 is used.  For Maximo Base Services starting with 7.1.1.5, BIRT Designer 2.3.2 is used.


The BIRT 2.1.2 designer can be downloaded here. Information on installing and configuring the BIRT Designer for use in Maximo is located here.

The BIRT 2.3.2 designer can be downloaded here. Information on installing and configuring the BIRT Designer for use in Maximo is
located here.

3 comments:

  1. I'm trying to change the date format of date fields within QBR Reports. (yyyy-MM-DD HH:mi:ss) Do you know of anyway to achieve this?

    MXReportScriptContext.get().getUserDate()]]>

    ReplyDelete