When you insert label and text elements in a report, you typically type the text that you want to display. Use literal or static text if a report will always be viewed in one language or locale. If, however, a report will be translated into multiple languages or regional dialects, use resource keys rather than static text. The resource keys are translated, or localized, in resource files.
If you are not familiar with resource keys or resource files, think of resource keys as variables, and resource files as text files in which the variables are set to their values. If a report needs to appear in four languages, you create four resource files to define text values for each language. When a report runs, BIRT uses the machine’s current locale, the resource keys, and the resource files to find the appropriate text value to display.
Figure 20‑1 shows the functions of resource files and resource keys in a localized report.
You can specify resource keys for the following items: