Data Sets - Simple, Advanced and Parameterized
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Rational Team Concert provides a 'Jazz Data Source' for BIRT reports to connect with the Jazz server. This data source can be used to connect to various snapshots. The way BIRT works is first you create Data Sets and then embed the data fields from the Data Sets in to the report.
A data set can be considered equivalent to a database query. If connects using a data source (in our case Jazz Data Source) and selects one of more fields from the snapshot. You can also add filters and computed columns to give a more consumable shape.
Rational Team Concert provides three kinds of Data Sets to connect with a Jazz Data Source. There is no difference in the way they will fetch the data for you but the difference lies in the way how you can configure them for it.
Simple Data Set
A Simple Data Set lets you quickly choose the table from which to pull the data, fields to be selected from that table and the parameters, if any, to be used for filtering. The parameters can be linked with any Report Parameter to make them dynamic. That is, when the report is run, the user is prompted for parameters and they are then supplied to the data set.
Advanced Data Set
An advanced data set is same as a simple one but with a flexible (or advanced) filtering option. Where Simple Data Set would let you select only one of the column from the selected table to be chosen for filter. The advanced data set would allow a user to specify a more complex expression
Parameter Data Set
We already saw that the Simple and Advanced Data Sets have ways of accepting parameters. Then why a separate one? The Parameter Data Set is not used for fetching fields for laying out in report. But a Parameter Data Set is used to associate to a set of Report Parameters. Suppose, the report needs to accept Project Area as a parameter. Now, instead of asking user to enter the project area name as a string, you can create a parameter data set that fetches the project areas and associate it with the report parameter. This way the user can be shown a pre-populated list of project areas to chose from. This not only increases the usability of the report, but also removes the need to validate the input parameters before consuming them. On the downside, they add performance cost. So use them only for relatively static and smaller tables.