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Oracle® Fusion Middleware Publishing Reports to the Web with Oracle Reports Services
11g Release 1 (11.1.1)

Part Number B32121-06
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1.2 What's New In This Release?

Oracle Reports 11g Release 1 (11.1.1) provides many new features and enhancements. The primary themes of this release are:

Table 1-1 details the new functionality in Oracle Reports 11g Release 1 (11.1.1), along with the equivalent 10g Release 2 (10.1.2) functionality, when applicable. The new features and enhancements are grouped into the following categories:

Table 1-1 11g Functionality vs. 10g Functionality

11g New Features and Enhancements Equivalent 10g Functionality

Install and Upgrade

 

Flexible Install types. In Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g, the install type contains Oracle Reports, Forms, Portal, and Discoverer. In the installer, you can selectively install any one of these products or all of them.

Predefined install types only.

Separate installation of binaries from configuration, allowing shared binaries across servers. Oracle Installer allows for install only and then configuration only as two separate steps.

For more information, see Section 3.2, "Understanding the Oracle Fusion Middleware Installation Structure".

Single ORACLE_HOME installation including both binaries and configuration.

New and improved management screens in Oracle Enterprise Manager. Oracle Enterprise Manager provides enhanced usability for all the administration, monitoring, and diagnosability operations. For more information, see Chapter 7, "Administering Oracle Reports Services Using Oracle Enterprise Manager".

Oracle Enterprise Manager Application Server (AS) Control, and modifying configuration files.

Fully automated upgrade from 10g Release 2 (10.1.2.x). For more information, see Section 3.6, "Upgrading from the Prior Release".

Not Applicable (N/A)

For more information about installation, see Chapter 3, "Verifying Your Installation".

See Also: Oracle Fusion Middleware Quick Installation Guide for Oracle Portal, Forms, Reports, and Discoverer

 

Monitoring and Management

 

New rich and customizable Oracle Enterprise Manager user interface, providing:

  • Navigation pane showing hierarchical view of complete Farm and all components.

  • New pages for Oracle Reports to perform comprehensive administration, management, configuration, tuning, and diagnostics of complete reporting environment.

  • Large number of metrics for monitoring and tuning.

  • Administration dashboard for instant access to start, stop, restart, grouping, servlet, plug-in registration, and more.

  • Significant reduction of configuration parameters, and categorization.

  • Extensive real-time and historical performance metrics.

  • Reports Server auditing

  • Oracle Internet Directory reassociation

  • Portal metadata repository discovery and association.

  • Direct access to documentation and collateral from Oracle Enterprise Manager.

For more information, see Chapter 7, "Administering Oracle Reports Services Using Oracle Enterprise Manager".

Enterprise Manager Application Server (AS) Control and manually editing configuration files.

New trend graphs, key statistics.

Anticipation of common problems with early symptoms.

N/A

Job Administration and Scheduling

 

Advanced job queue administration. Comprehensive job queue management user interface in Oracle Enterprise Manager (search and filters, resubmit the job, view errors, and more).

Basic job queue user interface.

Rich calendar-based scheduling user interface. Comprehensive Reports Server job scheduling in Oracle Enterprise Manager.

Reports job scheduling done through Oracle Reports Queue Manager (rwrqm), Oracle Portal user interface, or command line only.

For more information about job administration and scheduling, see Chapter 7, "Administering Oracle Reports Services Using Oracle Enterprise Manager".

 

Security

 

A standards-based Java EE security model through Oracle Platform Security Services. This provides a flexible, simple to administer, and high performance security mechanism.

Reports Server authentication restricted to use only Oracle Internet Directory. Authorization of Reports Server required OracleAS Portal-based security model (using Portal metadata repository for checking authorization).

Oracle Enterprise Manager advanced user interface. Administrators can use Oracle Enterprise Manager to more easily define and manage granular security policies for reports, Web commands, and folder access.

For more information, see Section 7.8, "Securing Oracle Reports Services" in Chapter 7, "Administering Oracle Reports Services Using Oracle Enterprise Manager"

Basic UI in OracleAS Portal for defining the policies. Hard-coded Web command access to the Oracle Reports seeded roles. Access policies at file (report) level only, not folder level.

Read/write access to directories at Reports Server level. Administrators can control the input folders from which reports can be served and output folders to which the output of reports servers can be pushed. This ensures there is no security vulnerability.

REPORT_RESTRICT_DIRECTORIES as an interim feature.

Database proxy authentication. Support for database authentication using proxy users:

  • Additional security through control of users that are allowed to connect to the database through Oracle Reports.

  • Scalability, through reuse of a single database connection.

N/A

Security check for distribution destinations. Ability to define security policies for distribution jobs. For example, you can define a security policy that specifies report output may not be burst to ENHANCEDSPREADSHEET format; if the distribution XML file specifies ENHANCEDSPREADSHEET format, the attempt to generate a report to this output format displays an error.

No security check performed for destinations specified in the distribution XML file.

Security check for system parameters. A security check is performed for all system parameters, including those specified in the report definition as well as on the command line.

No security check performed for system parameters.

Security auditing. Audit authentication and authorization on the Reports Server.

 

Security for report output from Oracle Forms Services. With no configuration required, support for intermediate-level security even when Oracle Forms Services and Oracle Reports Services are not secured.

Anyone is able to see anyone else's report output by "guessing" the job ID based on sequential job ID assignment.

For more information about security, see Chapter 15, "Securing Oracle Reports Services"

 

High Availability

 

Database-backed job queue repository. Use of the database as the job repository provides the following High Availability (HA) benefits:

  • Ability to view consolidated jobs for the complete group of Reports Servers in Oracle Enterprise Manager, and perform operations on this consolidated jobs See Section 7.15.2, "Displaying a Consolidated Job Queue".

  • Scheduled jobs do not get lost even if the Reports Server where the jobs are scheduled goes down.

The administrator must view the job queues for each Reports Server separately.

If the Reports Server where a job is scheduled goes down, the job is left waiting until that Reports Server comes back up to start executing the job again.

Oracle Reports Server cluster with shared job repository and cache, including Java Object Cache. Reports Servers communicate via peer-to-peer mechanisms for job management, to minimize manual administration and for automatic failover of jobs. Access to cached output even when the Reports Server that processed the master job is not available.

Use of Oracle Reports caching mechanism. Cache not shared among Reports Servers. Cached output is not available to other servers if the Reports Server where it is cached goes down.

Proprietary clustering and HA mechanism.

For more information about High Availability, see Section 2.5, "Setting Up a High Availability Environment".

 

Font Management and Support

 

Cross-platform support for TrueType Fonts (TTF) and TrueType Collections (TTC). Report output is in most cases identical on UNIX as on Windows, allowing for simplified cross-platform deployment.

Oracle Reports reads the font metrics from the appropriate TTF files to correctly format the report output. This eliminates the issue of text misalignment due to font metrics mismatches. Fonts for which TTF files are available are found automatically. Note that if a TTF font file is not found, then the font lookup mechanism reverts to the pre-11g implementation.

New environment variables REPORTS_ENHANCED_FONTHANDLING and REPORTS_FONT_DIRECTORY.

Possible mismatches between fonts in report output on UNIX and Windows due to different font mechanisms on Windows and UNIX. Font aliasing was required, along with PDF font subsetting.

Support for older font file types (for example, AFM) supported. Difficult to get these font types for all fonts. Conversion of TTF to AFM required in many cases, but even these files did not provide the exact output as on Windows.

Support for all character sets in PDF. With the new font model, no misalignment will be seen in the PDF subsetted report output. Support for Unicode font subsetting in PDF on UNIX.

Only multibyte reports supported. PFM and PFA files must be created to resolve text misalignments in UNIX output. Dependence on AFM files.

Variable width font output was especially problematic, because Reports was unable to get width of characters beyond the first 256 characters in the file, and assumed fixed width for all these characters, resulting in misalignment.

Simplified font management and configuration through Oracle Enterprise Manager. Use Oracle Enterprise Manager to modify aliasing and subsetting entries in uifont.ali (such as global aliasing, PDF aliasing, and PDF subsetting), printer resolution, and the default font used.

Configure fonts in uifont.ali and configuration file.

PDF, password protection, and security. Specify new command line arguments to password-protect PDF reports generated from Oracle Reports. You can also suppress certain permissions to provide security for the generated PDF reports.

No capability to encrypt PDF reports or specify security permissions.

Font diagnostics. Easy to understand tracing for diagnosis of font issues. Reporting of fonts used, and other debugging tools.

Difficult to diagnose issues.

For more information about fonts in Oracle Reports, see Chapter 9, "Managing Fonts in Oracle Reports" and Chapter 11, "Using PDF in Oracle Reports".

 

Distribution and Bursting

 

Full support for bursting and distribution to all destinations and output formats, including:

  • all out-of-the-box and pluggable destinations

  • data-driven formats such as XML and DELIMITEDDATA, as well as layout-based formats such as the new ENHANCEDSPREADSHEET format.

Limited destinations and output formats for bursting and distribution.

System parameters in report definition honored for distribution. Distributed output honors the DESTYPE, DESFORMAT, and DESNAME system parameters specified in the report definition.

For example, if you define system parameters in the report:

DESTYPE=FILE, DESFORMAT=PDF, and DESNAME=/tmp/a.pdf

the report output is generated and distributed using these values without the parameter values needing to be specified in the distribution XML file or on the command line.

Additionally, if users change the values of DESTYPE, DESFORMAT, or DESNAME on the Runtime Parameter Form during runtime, or if Oracle Reports sets the value of these system parameter based on a runtime calculation, the parameter values are honored when the report is distributed.

Values for system parameters DESTYPE, DESFORMAT, and DESNAME specified in the report definition are not honored for distributed output; to change the default values of these system parameters for distributed reports, they must be specified in the distribution file or on the command line.

Security check for distribution destinations. Ability to define security policies for distribution jobs. For example, you can define a security policy that specifies report output may not be burst to ENHANCEDSPREADSHEET format; if the distribution XML file specifies ENHANCEDSPREADSHEET format, the attempt to generate a report to this output format displays an error.

No security check performed for destinations specified in the distribution XML file.

Other improvements such as tolerance support for burst jobs and improved diagnostics.

N/A

For more information about distribution and bursting, see Chapter 20, "Creating Advanced Distributions".

 

ENHANCEDSPREADSHEET Output Format

 

Support for large data sets output to spreadsheets. Significantly enhanced support for large data sets (up to 75,000 rows) and matrix reports with new ENHANCEDSPREADSHEET output format.

For more information, see the Oracle Reports online Help and the Oracle Reports Building Reports manual.

Failed attempts to generate output for large data sets to SPREADSHEET output format.

Graphing

 

New graph types: New funnel and curved line graph types allow for more variety in graphing.

N/A

Enhancements for existing graph types.

Support for number formatting in the Graph Wizard (independent of the Data Model), and plotting irregular time periods on the time-axis.

Restrictions on plotting time data.

Scalable Vector Graphic (SVG) image support. SVG provides for high resolution and smaller file size in graph output. Graph image output scales up better without losing resolution.

Support for only PNG, JPG, and GIF output formats.

For more information, see the Oracle Reports online Help and the Oracle Reports Building Reports manual.

 

Diagnosability

 

Log files in ODL format. All Oracle Reports log files follow Oracle Diagnostic Logging (ODL) format, the standard across Oracle Fusion Middleware, for log format, message types, and log management directives. The log file entries are in Text format (default) or XML format. Searching of log files from Oracle Enterprise Manager is easy and effective

N/A

More comprehensive choices for tracing:

  • Multiple tracing levels for fine-grained control.

  • New tracing options: NOTIFICATION, WARNING, ERROR (standardized across Oracle Fusion Middleware components).

  • Better naming convention, mechanism to control file size.

N/A

Enhanced trace viewer and search. New tracing options, levels, log file sizes, and so on can all be specified, viewed, and searched using Oracle Enterprise Manager.

Tracing options specified in configuration files or on command line.

Extensive diagnostic enhancements. Improved actionable errors with cause and action, job-level tracing, critical errors logged even when tracing is off, better health check mechanisms, and hyperlinks to contextual help and error message registry.

N/A

For more information about diagnosibility, see Chapter 24, "  Diagnosing and Tuning Oracle Reports" (Section 24.3.2, "Log Files" and Section 24.3.7, "Tracing Report Execution").

 

Forms-Reports Integration

 

Forms-Reports non-SSO security. With no configuration required, support for intermediate-level security even when Oracle Forms Services and Oracle Reports Services are not secured. Other users are not able to see the report output, as job IDs can be random non-sequential numbers.This setting is optional.

For more information, see Section 17.6, "Oracle Forms Services Security Considerations".

Anyone is able to see anyone else's report output by "guessing" the job ID based on sequential job ID assignment.

Pluggable destinations support from Oracle Forms Services. Report requests can be submitted to all destinations, including any Oracle Reports-registered pluggable destinations from Oracle Forms Services using RUN_REPORT_OBJECT.

For more information, see Section 13.1.1, "Pluggable Destinations from Oracle Forms Services.".

Report requests can be submitted to a fixed specific set of destinations, so newly defined destinations can not be used for report output from Oracle Forms Services.

JVM pooling. Oracle Forms Services uses the shared JVM controller for all Oracle Reports requests, reducing memory consumption.

 

Server Stability

 

Database-backed job queue repository. Use of the database as the job repository helps to avoid Reports Server DAT file corruption, and also ensures no loss of scheduled jobs. It is also easier to manage jobs in the database.

Only file system-based DAT file repository.

New command line argument: JOBRETRY. When specified, this value takes precedence over the retry attribute of the job element. Jobs are retried for all unexpected errors. For more information, see Section A.6.15, "JOBRETRY".

Number of times to retry a failed job can be specified in the server configuration file using the retry attribute of the job element, or on the command line for scheduled jobs only Jobs are retried only in the case of engine crash failures.

For more information about Reports Server, see Chapter 2, "Understanding the Oracle Reports Services Architecture".

 

Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) Integration: Oracle BPEL Process Manager

 

Oracle BPEL Process Manager integration. Users can submit Oracle Reports jobs using the Oracle BPEL Process Manager to automate and monitor reporting requirements.

For more information, see Section 18.9, "Running Reports Using Oracle BPEL Process Manager".

 

Enhanced Printing Support Based on Common UNIX Printing System (CUPS)

 

CUPS Support

Standard and modularized printing system that can process numerous data formats on the print server and also supports Internet Printing Protocol (IPP).

For more information, see Section 10.5, "Enhanced Printing on Linux Using CUPS".

 

Others

 

Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) Support

IPv6 support is available out-of-the-box. For more information about IPv6, see Request for Comments (RFC) 2460 at http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2460.txt.

For more information about IPv6 Support in Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g Release 1 (11.1.1), see Oracle Fusion Middleware Administrator's Guide.