Introducing BIRT iHub F-Type: Sharing Designs and Other Resources

Actuate’s BIRT iHub F-Type is an easy to use, feature packed, data visualization platform that takes all the grunt work out of building your data visualization applications.

One of the great, new features BIRT iHub F-Type makes available to open source BIRT developers is the ability to enable the secure sharing of reports between users. This is now as simple as a few clicks of your mouse.

First, before we can share anything, we need to create groups and users to share with.

To create new users and groups, login as Administrator and navigate to BIRT iHub Administration.


In the top left of the administration page you’ll notice two links, users and user groups. We’ll start by clicking user groups so we’ll have the groups available during user creation.


This is where the rubber meets the road with iHub F-Type. Instead of doing things the old fashioned way, with terminal commands such as groupadd and useradd, we can create all our users and groups from this UI.


Let’s go ahead and create two groups. Click “Add User Group.” This is where you’ll name the new group. Let’s call it “developer,” select “save,” and “ok.”


You’ll notice you can also assign users to the new group at the same time using “Assign Users” from the left.


Go ahead and repeat the same steps, this time naming your group “users.” Take note of the down arrows next to the group names. You can edit or delete groups from this menu, which again is easier than the method many server administrators are used to.


Now that both of our groups are created, we can add users to the system. Select “Users” from the upper left of the page. If this is a fresh install of iHub F-Type, then you will only see one user, Administrator.


Let’s create a user by selecting “adduser.” On this page you’ll find everything you’d expect to see when creating a new user. For more information about this, visit the iHub documentation.


We’ll create two users, Developer and User. After entering the required information for the new users click “Assign User Groups.”


You can assign, one, multiple, or no groups to the user account from here. Assign developer to the developer account and user to the user account, and click “Save.” Just as with the user groups, you can choose to edit user details from the drop-down menus next to each user name.

So you have groups and users created and your users are assigned to the groups. Now the fun begins. As administrator, go back and view your default volume. From here, locate a report that you’d like to share and show. Before we can share this, we need to allow “Developer” access to read the folder.

Hover your mouse over the folder icon and select “Share.”


Next, assign Developer and give that group “Read” permissions. This allows that group to read that folder. To actually see the items we’ll need to share them individually.


Now locate the “rptdesign” that you’d like to share, show the Options drop-down by selecting the down arrow next to it, and select “Share.”


From here, you can get as specific or as broad as you want. You can restrict a report to be viewed and executed by one user or a handful. For more of a broad scope, you can also assign permissions to entire groups. To switch between users and groups, use the two radio buttons located near the bottom labeled “User Groups” and “Users.”


Go ahead and assign Visible, Read, Execute, and Write to the group “Developer.”


Log out and log back in as Developer. You’ll notice that you can see, execute, and edit this “rptdesign,” but you can’t share it with other users. This is because we didn’t give Developer grant rights to this design.

To correct this, back in as Administrator and find the design that you had shared. Click the drop-down and select “Share.” Find the group under the “Selected” portion of this screen, choose Developer, then select “Grant” and “Save.” You just gave the entire group Developer rights to share this design with other groups and users.


Log in is as Developer, find the design, and choose share from the drop-down. Let’s give User both “Read” and “Execute” privileges. With the just a few clicks of the mouse we’ve changed that group’s permissions; no extra work was needed. By assigning the right groups to the right users, we’ve made it easier to focus on more important aspects of your application. Now you don’t need to fiddle around with the small details that should just work.

If you want to test this and make sure it works, login as User, then find and run the report that we just shared.

As if that wasn’t enough for your sharing needs, Actuate’s JavaScript API (JSAPI) makes sharing just as simple when viewing the report. With just a click of a button, you can choose to share the report you’re currently viewing straight out of the toolbar. By clicking the drop-down menu from the JSAPI toolbar, you’re given a Share option. From here you are given the direct URL to the report. In that same place, JSAPI also gives you the code needed to embed the report in a web application. For more information on how to share a report via JSAPI you can read the documentation here. Use the live report below to interact with this feature.

There you have it, the basics of how you can easily and securely share and collaborate with other BIRT iHub F-Type users. Thanks for reading. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to use the comments section below or visit the BIRT iHub F-Type forum. You can also find more information about the BIRT iHub F-Type in the deployment guide and documentation.


For more blogs in the “Introducing BIRT iHub F-Type” series, see the list below:

About Kristopher Clark

Kristopher is a Solutions Consultant for OpenText Analytics.

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