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Using BIRT Viewer Toolkit as the Default Viewer

Editor’s note: If you already have BIRT Viewer Toolkit (BVT), the information in this blog post will help you make it your default viewer. If you do not currently have BVT, try  iHub Free Edition. BIRT iHub Free Edition provides a much richer and more powerful experience at no cost.

The BIRT Viewer Toolkit (BVT) has brought a new look and feel to the way a design is consumed. This left me wondering how to use BVT as the default viewer from Eclipse. By following these steps you’ll be able to go from this


To this


  1. Download BVT
  2. Rename the WAR to viewer.war – viewer is the default value BIRT will be looking for on your application server.
  3. Deploy the war to your application server.
  4. From Eclipse go to Window → Preferences → Report Design → Preview → Preview Server
  5. Change the hostname or IP in the first field. For me this was localhost.
  6. Change the port to match your application server. For me this was 8080.
  7. Select “Always use an external browser” from Report Design →Preview
  8. You’ll need to make sure you’re workspace is in a location that tomcat can access. If you’re using windows then you can create a new workspace inside of the viewer location. I run Mint 16, so I created a workspace in the same location as the viewer and chmoded the new workspace to 777 since I’m running this locally for report development.
  9. View your design

If all went well your default output will now be BVT and you can start testing your reports against it before they are deployed. If you haven’t downloaded BVT yet then now’s the time to get started! Not only will you’re designs get an updated look and feel, but you’ll also have access to the JavaScript API for easier, more flexible integration.


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