|Oracle Fusion Middleware Report Designer's Guide for Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher|
Release 11g (11.1.1)
Part Number E13881-01
Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher is a reporting and publishing application that enables you to extract data from multiple data sources, create layouts for report data, and publish the report to numerous output formats. BI Publisher also enables you to schedule reports and deliver the reports to multiple delivery destinations 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:
A report consists of a data model, a layout, and a set of properties. Optionally, a report may also include a style template and a set of translations. A report designer may perform the following tasks:
Create the report data model, including parameters and lists of values, using BI Publisher's data model editor.
Design the layout for the report. The layout can be created using a variety of tools. The output and design requirements of a particular report will determine the best layout design tool. Release 11g introduces the Layout Editor, which is a Web-based layout design tool and enables interactive output. Other options include Microsoft Word, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Excel, and Adobe Flexbuilder.
Set runtime configuration properties for the report.
Design style templates to enhance a consistent look and feel of reports in your enterprise.
Create sub templates to re-use common functionality across multiple templates
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.
Execute queries against your LDAP server to retrieve user information.
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.
Oracle BI Analysis
If you installed BI Publisher as part of the Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition, then you can use the data retrieved by the Oracle BI Analysis to create your report.
Use an XML data file stored in a directory that has been set up by your Administrator as a data source.
Microsoft Excel File
Use a Microsoft Excel file stored in a directory that has been set up as a data source 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 layouts for your reports. Layouts can be in any of the following formats. Note that some formats restrict output types.
BI Publisher layout (XPT)
Release 11g introduces the Layout Editor, which is a Web-based design tool for creating layouts. Layouts created with the Layout Editor support interactive viewing as well as the full range of output types supported by RTF layouts.
Rich Text Format (RTF)
BI Publisher provides a plugin utility for Microsoft Word that automates layout design and enables you to connect to BI Publisher to access data and upload templates directly from a Microsoft Word session. The RTF format also supports advanced formatting commands providing the most flexible and powerful of the layout options. RTF templates support a variety of output types, including: PDF, HTML, RTF, Excel, PowerPoint, zipped PDF, and MHTML.
Portable Document Format (PDF)
PDF templates are used primarily when you need to use a predefined form as a layout for a report (for example, a form provided by a government agency). Because many PDF forms already contain form fields, using the PDF form as a template simply requires mapping data elements to the fields that exist on the form. You can also design your own PDF templates using Adobe Acrobat Professional. 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 save as a report layout.
Layouts can also be defined directly in XSL formatting language. Specify whether your layout 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 layouts 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, font mapping, currency formatting, 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 layout, 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 Adding a Bursting Definition to Your Data Model.
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 and Catalog Objects.
A style template is an RTF template that contains style information that can be applied to layout templates. The style information in the style template is applied to report layout templates at runtime to achieve a consistent look and feel across your enterprise reports.
For more information, see Creating and Implementing Style Templates.
A Sub Template is a piece of formatting functionality that can be defined once and used multiple times within a single layout template or across multiple layout template files. This piece of formatting can be in an RTF file format or an XSL file format. RTF subtemplates are easy to design as you can use Microsoft Word native features. XSL subtemplates can be used for complex layout and data requirements.
For more information, see Creating and Implementing Sub Templates.
New features in Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher 11g Release 1 (11.1.1) include:
Major User Interface Improvements
Shared Oracle BI Presentation Catalog
Layout Editor Design Tool
Data Model Editor
Zipped PDF Output
Enhanced Scheduling Options
The user interface has undergone major improvements in several areas, including a new Home page and redesigned editors and panes. These improvements are intended to make working with Oracle BI Publisher easier and more consistent. This guide provides detailed information on working with the various pieces of the user interface.
For installations of BI Publisher with the Oracle BI Enterprise Edition, BI Publisher now shares the same catalog with Oracle BI Presentation services.
This release introduces a new type of layout template and design tool. The Layout Editor is launched from within BI Publisher and provides an intuitive WYSIWIG drag-and-drop interface for designing report layouts.
For reports created with the new BI Publisher layout editor, a new interactive output type is available. The interactive viewer enables pop-up chart details, scrollable tables, table filtering, table sorting, and propagated filtering across different components of the report. This interactivity is achieved simply by designing the report in the layout editor, no additional coding is necessary.
This release introduces the data model editor to create your report data models. The data model editor enables you to combine data from multiple data sets from different data sources, such as SQL, Excel files, Web services, HTTP feeds, and other applications into a single XML data structure. Data sets can either be unrelated or a relationship can be established between them using a data link.
The data model is saved as a distinct catalog object. This means that a single data model can be used for multiple reports.
Previously subtemplates had to be stored outside of the BI Publisher catalog and called at runtime from the external directory. In this release your RTF and XSL subtemplates can be saved and managed as objects in the BI Publisher catalog.
A style template is an RTF template that contains style information that can be applied to RTF layouts. The style information in the style template is applied to RTF layouts at runtime to achieve a consistent look and feel across your enterprise reports. Style templates are saved and managed in the BI Publisher catalog.
This release introduces a feature to split a large PDF output file into smaller, more manageable files, while still maintaining the integrity of the report as one logical unit. When PDF output splitting is enabled for a report, the report is split into multiple files generated in one zip file. The output type is PDFZ. For easy access to the component files, BI Publisher also generates an index file that specifies from and to elements contained in each component PDF file.
A single report job can now produce multiple outputs, each with a different layout applied, and each sent to a different destination. The scheduling options have been enhanced to enable more recurrence pattern options.
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