How do you add a calendar date picker to a TRIRIGA BIRT report?

Native dynamic date entry in BIRT reports requires the user to know the format of the date being entered or the report may fail to run. To prevent that, you can install a calendar widget to the dynamic date field. In the Web Viewer, the picker works, but on HTML, it does not. This is because BIRT is not shipped with an out-of-the-box HTML date picker. There are a few JavaScript solutions out there, and this article covers one of them.

This is not native BIRT code and changing it requires basic programming skills. Thus, this is not covered by IBM support and tweaking the following instructions might be necessary. BIRT Eclipse client skills are a must. BIRT 4.3.1 does a very good job of asking users for input parameters, except in one area: dates. This article will explain how to add a graphical calendar widget, so that users can visually choose a date rather than type one in.

The Problem

The default input window looks like the following when asking a user to input a date… The main issue with this parameter is: What format do I use? It is possible to add a helper caption to tell the user what format to input, but what if the user just doesn’t read it? The second issue is the work involved with typing the date in. What if your report requires more than one date? With each extra date field, the chances of your report failing increases due to typos.

The Solution

The solution to this problem is to add a calendar widget to the Report Parameters window that allows the user to visually choose a date. This solves both the format issue and the typing issue by turning typing into pointing and clicking. Of course, there is still the issue with the user choosing the wrong date, but there’s nothing that can be done to fix that… The only requirement for this is JSCal2 and you can get it in GitHub…

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