|Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher Report Designer's Guide|
Part Number E12187-01
Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher is a reporting and publishing application that enables you to extract data from multiple data sources, create a template to lay out the data in a report, and publish the report to numerous output formats. BI Publisher also enables you to schedule reports and deliver the reports to any delivery channel required by your business.
This guide is for report consumers and report designers.
A report consumer may perform the following tasks:
Run and view reports from the BI Publisher reports repository
Schedule reports to run at selected intervals and to be delivered via any channel set up by your administrator
Create an ad hoc analysis of report data using BI Publisher's Analyzer feature
Open and manipulate reports in Microsoft Excel using BI Publisher's Analyzer for Microsoft Excel
The topics in this book that describe performing report consumer tasks are:
Your work environment may be integrated with Oracle Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) Workspace. If so, the way you navigate to BI Publisher tasks will be different. See Using Oracle BI Publisher in Oracle Enterprise Performance Management Workspace for more information.
Your work environment may be integrated with Oracle Smart Space, Fusion Edition. If so, the way you navigate to BI Publisher tasks using this tool will be different. See Using Oracle BI Publisher in Oracle Smart Space, Fusion Edition.
A report consists of a data model, a layout, and a set of properties. A report designer may perform the following tasks:
Create the report data model, including parameters and lists of values, using BI Publisher's report editor.
Design the layout template for the report. The layout can be created using different tools depending on your output requirements, including Microsoft Word, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Excel, and Adobe Flexbuilder.
Set runtime configuration properties for the report.
Define a bursting control file for reports that are to be burst.
Enable translations for a report.
BI Publisher relies on XML data to format and publish your reports. BI Publisher supports multiple methods for retrieving this data for your report.
Submit a SQL query against any of the transactional databases set up by your Administrator. BI Publisher also provides a Query Builder that enables you to build your SQL query graphically.
HTTP (XML Feed)
Use an RSS feed off the Web that returns XML.
Supply the Web service WSDL to BI Publisher and then define the parameters in BI Publisher to use a Web service to return data for your report.
The BI Publisher data engine enables you to rapidly generate any kind of XML data structure against any database in a scalable, efficient manner. The data template is the method by which you communicate your request for data to BI Publisher's data engine.
Oracle BI Answers
If you have integrated your BI Publisher installation with Oracle Business Intelligence Presentation Services, then you can use the data from an Oracle BI Answers request to create your report. For more information on this integration, see Integrating with Oracle Business Intelligence Presentation Services, Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher Administrator's and Developer's Guide.
Oracle BI Discoverer
If you have integrated your BI Publisher installation with Oracle Discoverer, then you can use the data from an Oracle Discoverer worksheet to create your report. For more information on this integration, see Integration with Oracle Business Intelligence Discoverer, Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher Administrator's and Developer's Guide.
Use an existing XML data file stored in a directory that has been set up by your Administrator.
Construct a multidimensional (MDX) query against an OLAP database that has been set up by your Administrator.
BI Publisher offers several options for designing templates for your reports. Templates can be in any of the following formats. Note that some formats restrict output types.
Rich Text Format (RTF)
BI Publisher provides a plugin utility for Microsoft Word that automates template design and enables you to connect to BI Publisher to access data and upload templates directly from your Word session. RTF templates support the most output types, including: PDF, HTML, RTF, Excel, PowerPoint, and MHTML.
Portable Document Format (PDF)
PDF templates are used primarily for using predefined forms as templates for your reports. For example, you can download forms from government Web sites and load them to BI Publisher as report templates. You can also design your own PDF templates using Adobe Acrobat Professional. BI Publisher provides a mapping tool to enable you to map fields from your data source to the form fields in the PDF template. PDF templates only support PDF output.
Microsoft Excel (XLS)
Use BI Publisher's Analyzer for Microsoft Excel to download your report data to an Excel spreadsheet. Create a layout for the data in Excel and then upload the spreadsheet back to BI Publisher to use as a template.
You can define a template in XSL formatting language. Specify whether your template is for FO, HTML, XML, or Text transformation.
These are specialized RTF templates used for creating text output for Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) or Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) transactions.
BI Publisher's support for Flash templates enables you to develop Adobe Flex templates that can be applied to BI Publisher reports to generate interactive Flash output documents.
BI Publisher provides a variety of user-controlled settings that are specified via an easily accessible Runtime Configuration page. These include security settings for individual PDF reports, HTML output display settings, and other output-specific settings. For more information see Setting Runtime Properties.
Using BI Publisher's bursting feature you can split a single batch report into individual reports to be delivered to multiple destinations. You can apply a different template, output format, delivery method, and locale to each split segment of your report. Example implementations include:
Invoice generation and delivery based on customer-specific layouts and delivery preference
Financial reporting to generate a master report of all cost centers, bursting out individual cost center reports to the appropriate manager
Generation of payslips to all employees based on one extract and delivered via e-mail
For more information, see Enabling Bursting.
BI Publisher provides the ability to create an XLIFF file from your RTF templates. XLIFF is the XML Localization Interchange File Format. It is the standard format used by localization providers. Using BI Publisher's XLIFF generation tool you can generate the standard translation file of your RTF template. You can then translate this file (or send to a translation provider). Once translated, the file can be uploaded to the report definition under the appropriate locale setting so that at runtime the translated report will automatically be run for users selecting the corresponding locale. For more information, see Translating Reports.
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