- Identifying the content of the report
- Determining how the report will be viewed
- Considering international reporting requirements
- Deciding the layout and format of the report
- Drawing a mock-up
- Considering reuse of report components
- Managing report design resources
- Deciding how the report will be deployed
Considering reuse of report components
Rarely do you create just one report. Often, you create reports for different departments in your company or to meet your clients’ varying reporting needs. You can approach report creation one report at a time, or you can plan and design a suite of reports. Consider these questions to evaluate which approach is more suitable:
- How many reports are you creating?
- Do the reports require common elements and styles, such as connections to the same data source, page headers and footers that display the same information, report titles in a particular font and color, or tables with a certain format?
- Do you work in a group with other report developers? If yes:
- How similar are the report projects?
- Do you need to collaborate on the designs?
If you create more than a couple of reports, and they contain many common elements, or if you work with other report developers on similar reports, you can streamline the report creation process by creating a collaborative and shared report development environment. Using BIRT Report Designer, you can:
- Create and store common report elements in a library, which all reports can use.
- Create report templates that define a basic report structure on which new reports can be based.
With careful planning, you can create rich sets of libraries and templates that provide you and other report developers with a head start when you create a new report.