I attended a session today at the MySQLConf2008 by Mark Matthews on adding extensions to the mysql jdbc connector. There are some exciting implications as an alternative to the BIRT ODA Plugin project. The idea of that project is to create a series of REST calls to only require the end user of the BIRT reporting application to have a high level knowledge of OpenMRS objects (instead of low level knowledge of the OpenMRS data model).
Sometime last year Burke laid out his dream BIRT (or other reporting frameworks) connection. It entailed writing a custom jdbc connector that didn’t act on the database, but instead acted on our API. The “available tables” as the user would see it in BIRT would actually be a subset of our higher level Java objects.
In the session Mark discussed the new intercept-ability of the MySQL Connector/J (new in version 5.1ga of the connector). The relevant/interesting addition to the connector is the “statement interceptor”. We could use this to intercept the select calls from BIRT that look like “SELECT AGE, GENDER, WEIGHT, HEIGHT, LATEST CD4 FROM PATIENT WHERE DATE > 1/1/2008”. These calls could be turned into some LogicService calls on AGE, WEIGHT, LATEST CD4, etc to get the ResultSet instead of passing that (unusable) query to mysql. The LogicService’s resultSet could then be returned to BIRT for display as a data set. There isn’t any documentation on MySQL Forge on how this would work yet. Mark’s slides should show up as an option on the mysqlconf’s wiki soon though.
Side note: The jdbc driver’s version number does not match with the mysql version numbers. Version 5.1 of the driver can be used with the current 5.0 of MySQL.