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15 Creating Advanced Distributions

When you wish to define an advanced distribution for your report, you can design the distribution by developing a distribution XML file. In this file, you can specify the destination and format of output for each section of a report. In one distribution XML file, you can specify many different destinations, including custom (pluggable) destinations that you design (see Section 15.3.9, "destype").


Note:

An example distribution XML file (distribution.xml) is shipped with Oracle Reports in the ORACLE_HOME\samples\demo directory. You can reuse this file for your own purposes so that you do not have to create one from scratch.

This chapter provides information on creating a distribution XML file and some example use cases. It includes the following main sections:

15.1 Distribution Overview

Although distribution XML files are not required for specifying the distribution of report output, they are useful for complex distributions. For example, there may be times when you want to publish the output of one report in a variety of ways. You might want to send an executive summary of a report to senior management while mailing detailed breakdowns to individual managers. In this case, you might produce a single report with two report sections: a portrait-sized summary section and a landscape-sized detail section. You would associate the detail section with a data model group that lists the managers, then alter the destination on each instance of the group to send each department's output to its related manager.

The distribution XML file simplifies distribution complexity by enabling you to define multiple outputs for a given report in one XML file, then call that file from a command line or URL.

15.2 Introduction to Distribution XML Files

This section discusses the use of XML files related to distribution:

15.2.1 The distribution.dtd File

When you create a distribution XML file, you follow the syntax defined in the distribution.dtd file located in the following directory on both Windows and UNIX:

ORACLE_HOME\reports\dtd

As you look through the following sections, it may be useful to you to print the distribution.dtd file and refer to it as various elements and attributes are described.


Note:

Information provided in the distribution XML file is case-sensitive. You must preserve case of various elements and attributes as specified in the distribution.dtd file.

The distribution.dtd file lists all elements that are valid within a distribution XML file. Each of these elements have attributes. Attributes that come with default values need not be specified, unless you wish to override the default.

You can create a dynamic distribution by introducing variable values into many different attributes. Variable values reference columns that are present in the report that is using the distribution XML file.

15.2.2 Using Variables Within Attributes

You can use variables within attributes by entering &column_name or &<column_name> in the place of a static value.


Note:

The ampersand (&) and less-than symbol (<) have specific meanings in XML, but they are also required symbols for certain Oracle Reports command line options (for example, lexical parameters require the ampersand symbol). To avoid conflict with the XML meanings of these symbols when you set up variables, specify the encoded version of the ampersand (&amp;) and less-than and greater-than symbols (&lt; and &gt;). For example:

Here is what the variable looks like improperly coded in an XML file:

<mail id="a1" to="&<manager>@mycompany.com" …

Here is what the variable looks like properly coded in an XML file:

<mail id="a1" to="&amp;&lt;manager&gt;@mycompany.com" …>

There is no special requirement for the greater-than symbol (>) used with variables, but for consistency, we recommend that you use the encoded version (&gt;).


The variable syntax you use depends on whether the value is expressed by itself or in combination with other values or strings. For example, a value for a to attribute in a mail element might be expressed as either:

<mail id="a2" to="&amp;email" …>

or

<mail id="a3" to="&amp;&lt;first_name&gt;.&amp;&lt;last_name&gt;@myco.com …>

In the first example (id="a2"), the variable's referenced column (email) contains a full e-mail address and does not require additional information. The second example (id="a3") uses a combination of variable values (first_name and last_name) and static text to construct an e-mail address (static text is the period after first_name and @myco.com). In both cases, you will get dynamic e-mail addressing. The example you use will depend on whether the variable contains all the information you need or requires additional information in order to be complete.

For more complex layouts, you can also reference report columns you created with PL/SQL formulas. For example, in your report you may define the PL/SQL column:

PL/SQL formula CF_MAILID: return(:first_name||'.'||:last_name)

You'd reference this column in the distribution XML file as:

to="&amp;&lt;CF_MAILID&gt;@mycompany.com"

15.3 Elements of a Distribution XML File

The elements of a distribution XML file include:

Most of these elements have attributes that define the behavior of the element. The following sections describe the distribution XML file elements and their associated attributes. Section 15.4, "Distribution XML File Examples" provides use cases that demonstrate the distribution XML file elements and attributes in typical scenarios.

15.3.1 destinations

Example

<destinations>
  one or more distribution specifications
</destinations>

Required/Optional

Required. You must have no more or less than one destinations element in your distribution XML file.

Description

The destinations element opens and closes the content area of the distribution XML file. In terms of the distribution XML file's tagging hierarchy, all the other elements are subordinate to the destinations element.

15.3.2 foreach

Example

<foreach>
  <mail id="a1" to="my_addressee@mycompany.com" subject="Fourth Quarter Results">
    <attach format="pdf" name="dept_&amp;&lt;department_ID&gt;.pdf' 
        srcType="report" instance="this">
      <include src="mainSection"/>
    </attach>
  </mail>
</foreach>

or

<mail id="a4" to="recipient@mycompany.com" subject="Regional Results">
  <foreach>
    <attach format="pdf" name="report.pdf" srcType="report" instance="all">
      <include src="mainSection"/>
    </attach>
  </foreach>
</mail>

Required/Optional

Optional. You can have as many foreach elements as you require.

Description

Use the foreach element to burst your distribution against a repeating group. You can use foreach only when the associated report definition file (either RDF, JSP, or XML) has its Repeat On property for the section that will be burst set to an appropriate group. The foreach element specifies that the distribution defined between its open and close tags should be performed for each repeating group.

The Repeat On property can be set for a report section (Header, Main, and Trailer) to associate a data model break group to a section. By setting the Repeat On property for a section, you can generate multiple instances of a section, or a repeating section.

When you implement bursting and distribution in a report, you can generate section-level distribution by setting the Repeat On property for a section to a data model break group, which generates an instance of the section for each column record of that break group. Then, you can distribute each instance of the section as appropriate (for example, to individual managers in the MANAGER group).

If you set the Repeat On property for more than one of the Header, Main, and Trailer sections of a report, all Repeat On property values must be set to the same data model break group. If the Repeat On property for any one of the Header, Main, and Trailer sections is set to a different data model break group, Oracle Reports raises the following messages:

REP-177: Error while running in remote server
REP-34320: Report sections used in destination '<destination id>' do not repeat on the same group

You can also use the foreach element as a sub-element of the mail element, as depicted in the second example provided at the start of this section. (In this example, assuming that mainSection repeats on G_DEPARTMENT_ID, the example will produce a single attachment with all the instances of the report's mainSection in a single file.)

The foreach element works closely with the instance attribute of the attach and file elements. While foreach specifies that the distribution should be performed according to record groups, instance specifies whether the burst groups should be distributed in one file (instance="all") or distributed as separate files: one file for each group instance (instance="this").

When used with the mail element, foreach can mean different things according to its position relative to the mail element:

  • When foreach precedes the mail element and instance="this", each group instance is dispatched as a separate mail. For example:

    <foreach>
      <mail id="a1" to="managers@mycompany.com" subject="results">
        <attach name="department_&amp;&lt;department_id&gt;.pdf" instance="this">
          <include src="mainSection" />
        </attach>
      </mail>
    </foreach>
    
    

    If the report is grouped according to department_id, and there are four departments, then there are four group instances. This means four e-mails per recipient, each e-mail with its own group instance attached: one e-mail has department 10's report attached; another e-mail has department 20's report attached; and so on. Each recipient receives all four e-mails.

  • When foreach follows the mail element and instance="this", each group instance is attached to one e-mail going to each recipient. For example:

    <mail id="a1" to="managers@mycompany.com" subject="results">
      <foreach>
        <attach name="department_&amp;&lt;department_id&gt;.pdf" instance="this">
          <include src="mainSection" />
        </attach>
      </foreach>
    </mail>
    

15.3.3 mail

Example

<mail id="a1" to="jsmith@foo.com" subject="Results">
  <body srcType="text">
    Attached are quarterly results.
  </body>
  <attach srcType="report">
    <include src="headerSection"/>
    <include src="mainSection"/>
  </attach>
</mail>

or

<mail id="a4" to="recipient@mycompany.com" subject="Regional Results">
  <foreach>
    <attach format="pdf" name="report.pdf" srcType="report" instance="this">
      <include src="mainSection"/>
    </attach>
  </foreach>
</mail>

Required/Optional

Optional. You can have as many mail elements as you require.

Description

Use the mail element to specify distributions through an outgoing SMTP-based mail server. Use it to specify the recipients, the subject, and the priority of the e-mail.

Between an open and close tag of the mail element, there can be only one body sub-element and anywhere from zero to multiple attach and foreach sub-elements.

The mail element also has a set of related attributes. These are expressed within the mail tag. For example, the id, to, and subject attributes are expressed:

<mail id="a1" to="jsmith@foo.com" subject="Recent Hires">

Table 15-1 lists and describes the attributes of the mail element.

Table 15-1 Attributes of the mail Element

Attribute Valid Values Description

id

string

Required. A keyword, unique within a given distribution XML file, that identifies a particular mail element. This can be a combination of a text string and one or more numbers, for example id="a1". The id value must always start with an alpha character.

to

string

Required. Variable values allowed. The recipient(s) of the e-mail. Contains the full, formal e-mail address, for example:

to="jsmith@foo.com"

Multiple recipients must be separated with commas.

Can also contain variable values that reference columns used in the associated report. See Section 15.2.2 for more information.

cc

string

Optional. Variable values allowed. The recipient(s) to receive a copy of the e-mail.

bcc

string

Optional. Variable values allowed. The recipient(s) to receive a blind copy of the e-mail.

from

string

Optional. Variable values allowed. The sender of the e-mail.

replyTo

string

Optional. Variable values allowed. The e-mail account where replies should be sent.

subject

string

Default: Mail Sent from &amp;Report

Optional. Variable values allowed. The subject of the e-mail. In the absence of a specified subject, the subject line will read: Mail Sent from [Name of Report]

priority

highest|high|normal|low|lowest

Default: normal

The e-mail's delivery priority.

returnReceipt

true|false

Default: false

Indication of whether the replyto individual or account should be notified when the e-mail is received.

organization

string

Optional. Variable values allowed. The name of the organization distributing the e-mail, for example:

organization="Region 10 Sales"

Or

organization="&amp;department_name"



Note:

For the mail element to work properly, the Reports Server must know which outgoing SMTP mail server to send mail to. You specify this information in the Reports Server configuration file (server_name.conf). This file has a pluginParam element where you can enter the name of a mail server. For example:
<pluginParam name=mailServer>smtp01.mycorp.com</pluginParam>

For more information, see Chapter 3, "Configuring OracleAS Reports Services".


15.3.4 body

Example

On Windows 

<mail id="a1" to="jsmith@foo.com" subject="Results">
  <body srcType="file">
    <include src="c:\mail\body.html"/>
  </body>
</mail>

On UNIX 

<mail id="a1" to="jsmith@foo.com" subject="Results">
  <body srcType="file">
    <include src="/mail/body.html"/>
  </body>
</mail>

Required/Optional

Optional. You can have a maximum of one body element associated with a given mail element.

Description

The body element acts as a sub-element to the mail element. It specifies the content (or body) of the e-mail. With body, you can type a text string between the open and close tags of the body element or use an include sub-element to specify either an external file, a report, or a section of a report. For example:

<mail id="a1" to="jsmith@foo.com" subject="Results">
  <body srcType="text">
    Attached are quarterly results.
  </body>
…

or

<mail id="a1" to="jsmith@foo.com" subject="Results">
  <body srcType="file">
    <include src="d:/reports/admin/results.html"/>
  </body>
…

or

<mail id="a1" to="&amp;&lt;first_name&gt;.&amp;&lt;last_name&gt;@myco.com"   
    subject="Quarterly Results">
  <body srcType="report" format="html">
    <include src="headerSection"/>
  </body>
…

The body element has three attributes: srcType, format, and instance, described in Table 15-2.

Table 15-2 Attributes of the body Sub-Element of mail

Attribute Valid Values Description

srcType

file|report|text

Default: report

The source for content of an e-mail. The content is displayed in the body of the e-mail. In the absence of a specified srcType, the default is used.

format

html|htmlcss|ascii

Default: html

Required when srcType is report with a format other than html, the default; otherwise format is optional. The format of the content.

instance

this|all

Default: all

Used when the foreach element is also present. With a grouped report that is burst into separate reports, instance specifies whether the groups will be broken into separate content according to each group instance (this) or all contained within the same content (all).


15.3.5 attach

Example

<mail id="a1" to="jsmith@foo.com" subject="Results">
  <body srcType="text">
    Attached are quarterly results.
  </body>
  <foreach>
    <attach format="html" name="contacts.htm" srcType="report" instance="all">
      <include src="headerSection"/>
      <include src="mainSection"/>
    </attach>
  </foreach>
</mail>

Required/Optional

Optional. You can have as many attach elements as you require with a mail element. Note that attach is also a sub-element of foreach, and foreach requires that at least one of its sub-elements be used (out of mail,file,printer,destype,and attach).

Description

The attach element specifies attachments to the e-mail. Additionally, attach must have at least one include sub-element, and can have more than one if srcType="report".

Table 15-3 lists and describes the attributes of the attach element.

Table 15-3 Attributes of the attach Sub-Element of mail

Attribute Valid Values Description

format

pdf|html|htmlcss|rtf|

ascii|xml|dflt

Default: pdf

Required when srcType is report and the report format is other than pdf, the default; otherwise format is optional. The format of the attached material, for example format="htmlcss".

name

string

Optional. Variable values allowed. The filename of the attached material. Can also contain variable values that reference columns used in the associated report. See Section 15.2.2 for more information.

srcType

file|report|text

Default: report

The source of the attachment, either a file, a report, or text.

instance

this|all

Default: all

Used when the foreach element is also present. With a grouped report that is burst into separate reports, instance specifies whether the groups will be broken into separate content according to each group instance (this) or all contained within the same content (all).


Using these attributes in conjunction with the foreach element, you can design a destination that will repeat on a group instance and generate an e-mail for each group attachment. For example:

<foreach>
  <mail id="a2" to="first.name@myco.com,second.name@myco.com, third.name@myco.com, 
      fourth.name@myco.com" subject="Department Summaries">
    <body srcType="text">
      Attached is the breakdown of department summaries for the last quarter.
    </body>
    <attach format="htmlcss" name="deptsum.html" srcType="report" instance="this">
      <include src="report"/>
    </attach>    
  </mail>
</foreach>

By moving the location of the foreach element, you can generate one e-mail with multiple attachments: a separate one for each group instance.

<mail id="a2" to="first.name@myco.com,second.name@myco.com, third.name@myco.com, 
    fourth.name@myco.com" subject="Department Summaries">
  <body srcType="text">
    Attached is the breakdown of department summaries for the last quarter.
  </body>
  <foreach>
    <attach format="htmlcss" name="deptsum.html" srcType="report" instance="this">
       <include src="report"/>
    </attach>
  </foreach>
</mail>

15.3.6 include

Example

<mail id="a1" to="jsmith@foo.com" subject="Q4">
  <body srcType="text">
    Attached are quarterly results.
  </body>
  <attach srcType="report" format="pdf">
    <include src="report"/>
  </attach>
</mail>

or

<mail id="a1" to="jsmith@foo.com" subject="Q4">
  <body srcType="text">
    Attached are quarterly results.
  </body>
  <attach srcType="report" format="htmlcss">
    <include src="headerSection"/>
  </attach>
</mail>

or

<mail id="a1" to="jsmith@foo.com" subject="Q4">
  <body srcType="text">
    Attached are quarterly results.
  </body>
  <attach srcType="file">
    <include src="d:/management/reports/current/Q4.htm"/>
  </attach>
</mail>

Required/Optional

Required when used with body and attach when srcType is report or file, but not when srcType is text. Also required for file, printer, and destype. In the instances where it is required, you must have one and can have more than one include.

Description

The include element is available for use with the body, attach, file, printer, and destype elements. It specifies the file, report, or report section to be included in the body of an e-mail, as an attachment to an e-mail, in the content of a file, in the printer output, or in the content of a custom destination type.

If you want to specify more than one section, but not the entire report, enter an include for each required section. For example:

<mail id="a1" to="jsmith@foo.com" subject="Results">
  <body srcType="text">
    Attached are quarterly results.
  </body>
  <attach srcType="report" format="htmlcss">
    <include src="headerSection"/>
    <include src="mainSection"/>
  </attach>
</mail>

If the preceding body or attach element has srcType of file, the subsequent include can specify the file either with a directory path and filename or with just the filename, provided the file is located in a directory listed in the REPORTS_PATH environment variable. For example:

<mail id="a1" to="jsmith@foo.com">
  <body srcType="file">
    <include src="q4sales.pdf"/>
  </body>
</mail>

If you do specify a path, use the appropriate standard for your platform. For example:

On Windows: 

<include src="c:\management\reports\current\Q4.htm"/>

On UNIX: 

<include src="/management/reports/current/Q4.htm"/>

No other XML elements are placed between an include element's open and close tag.

Table 15-4 describes the src attribute of the include element.

Table 15-4 Attributes of the include Sub-Element When Used with body or attach

Attribute Valid Values Description

src

(path and) filename

report

headerSection

mainSection

trailerSection

Required. The source of material specified in the preceding attach, body, file, printer, or destype element.

Because the distribution XML file is called when you run a specific report, there is no need to specify the report's name or location in the src attribute when src="report".

(path and) filename: The preceding element must be either body or attach, with srcType=file. Provide the directory path and file name or just a file name if the file is located in a directory listed in the REPORTS_PATH environment variable.

Other values: When the preceding body or attach element specifies srcType=report, specify the entire report (report) or provide the section(s) of the report to be included in the body or to be attached (for example, headerSection,mainSection, or trailerSection).


15.3.7 file

Example

On Windows 

<file id="a7" name="c:\management\reports\report.pdf" format="pdf">
  <include src="report"/>
</file>

On UNIX 

<file id="a7" name="/management/reports/report.pdf" format="pdf">
  <include src="report"/>
</file>

or

<foreach>
  <file id="a7" name="section&amp;&lt;department_id&gt;.pdf" format="pdf" 
      instance="this">
    <include src="mainSection"/>
  </file>
</foreach>

Required/Optional

Optional. You can have as many file elements as you require.

Description

Use the file element to specify distributions to a file. The file element has one sub-element: include. There must be at least one include sub-element and there may be more between an open and close tag of the file element.

When used with the foreach element and the instance="this" attribute, the file element can distribute each group instance of a grouped report to separate files. For example, if you group a report on department_id, and there are four departments, you can use the foreach/file/instance="this" combination to generate four files, each with a separate department's report. In this case, the file entry in the distribution XML file might look like this:

<foreach>
  <file id="a3" name="dept_&amp;&lt;department_id&gt;.pdf" format="pdf" 
      instance="this">
    <include src="report"/>
  </file>
</foreach>

In this example, all report sections (header, main, and trailer) must repeat on the same group instance (for example, department_id).

Table 15-5 lists and describes the attributes of the file element.

Table 15-5 Attributes of the file Element

Attribute Valid Values Description

id

string

Required. A keyword, unique within a given distribution XML file, that identifies a particular file element. This can be a combination of a text string and one or more numbers, for example id="a1". The id value must always start with an alpha character.

name

string

Required. Variable values allowed. The location and filename of the destination file. Enter a directory path. Include the filename. For example:

Windows: name="d:\reports\q4sales.pdf"

UNIX: name="reports/q4sales.pdf

Can also contain variable values that reference columns used in the associated report. See Section 15.2.2 for more information.

format

pdf|html|htmlcss|rtf|ascii|xml|bitmap

Default: pdf

The destination file format, for example:

format="htmlcss"

instance

this|all

Default: all

Used when the foreach element is also present. With a grouped report that is burst into separate reports, instance specifies whether the groups will be broken into separate files according to each group instance (this) or all contained within the same file (all).


15.3.8 printer

Example

On Windows 

<printer id="a1" name="\\server_name\printer_name" copies="5">
  <include src="report"/>
</printer>

On UNIX 

<printer id="a1" name="alias_to_registered_printer" copies="5" instance="all">
  <include src="report"/>
</printer>

Required/Optional

Optional. You can have as many printer elements as you require.

Description

Use the printer element to specify distributions to a printer. The printer element has one sub-element: include. There must be at least one include sub-element and there may be more between the open and close tags of the printer element.

When used with the foreach element and the instance="this" attribute, the printer element can distribute each group instance of a grouped report to a separate print job. For example, if you group a report on department_id, and there are four departments, you can use the foreach/printer/instance="this" combination to generate four printed reports, each containing a separate department's report. In this case, the printer entry in the distribution XML file might look like this:

<foreach>
  <printer id="a7" name="\\server_name\printer_name" instance="this">
    <include src="report"/>
  </printer>
</foreach>

In this example, all report sections (header, main, and trailer) must repeat on the same group instance (for example, department_id).

Table 15-6 lists and describes the attributes of the printer element.

Table 15-6 Attributes of the printer Element

Attribute Valid Values Description

id

string

Required. A keyword, unique within a given distribution XML file, that identifies a particular file element. This can be a combination of a text string and one or more numbers, for example id="a1". The id value must always start with an alpha character.

name

string

Required. Variable values allowed. The destination printer. How you enter this information differs between Windows and UNIX.

For Windows, specify the printer server name and the printer name. For example:

name="\\server_name\printer_name"

For UNIX, specify the alias assigned to a registered printer. For example:

name="sales_printer"

Can also contain variable values that reference columns used in the associated report. See Section 15.2.2 for more information.

copies

string

Default: 1

Number of copies of each report or each report group instance to print.

instance

this|all

Default: all

Used when the foreach element is also present. With a grouped report that is burst into separate reports, instance specifies whether the groups will be broken into separate printed reports according to each group instance (this) or all contained within the same printed report (all).


15.3.9 destype

Example

<destype id="acustom1" name="fax">
  <include src="headerSection"/>
  <property name="number" value="914925551212"/>
</destype>

See Section 15.4, "Distribution XML File Examples" for examples of using the destype element in a distribution.xml file to specify distribution to the following destinations: OracleAS Portal, FTP, WebDAV, and fax.

Required/Optional

Optional. You can have as many destype elements as you require.

Description

Use the destype element to specify distribution to a custom destination, such as a fax machine or an FTP site. You also use destype to specify distribution to a portal created with OracleAS Portal. The destype element allows for the use of two sub-elements: property and include. At least one include is required.


Note:

The inclusion of a custom destination type requires that you have a defined distribution handler in place to usher report content to the custom output destination. Build a custom destination type through the OracleAS Reports Services Destinations API.

For more information on the available APIs for Oracle Reports, refer to the Reports Software Development Kit (RSDK) on the Oracle Technology Network (OTN): on the Oracle Reports 10g page (http://www.oracle.com/technology/products/reports/index.html), click SDK.


When used with the foreach element and the instance="this" attribute, the destype element can distribute each group instance of a grouped report to a separate destype instance (for example, a separate fax). For example, if you group a report on department_id, and there are four departments, you can generate four destype instances, each containing a separate department's report. In this case, the destype entry in the distribution XML file might look like this:

<foreach>
  <destype id="a9" name="fax" instance="this">
    <include src="report"/>
    <property name="number" value="&amp;&lt;fax_number&gt;"/>
  </destype>
</foreach>

In this example, all report sections (header, main, and trailer) must repeat on the same group instance (for example, fax_number).

Custom destination types also have a set of related attributes. These are expressed within the destype tag. For example, the id, name, and instance attributes are expressed:

<foreach>
  <destype id="a1" name="name_of_destination_type" instance="all">
    <include src='report'/>
  </destype>
</foreach>

Table 15-7 lists and describes the attributes of the destype element.

Table 15-7 Attributes of the destype Element

Attribute Valid Values Description

id

string

Required. A keyword, unique within a given distribution XML file, that identifies a particular file element. This can be a combination of a text string and one or more numbers, for example id="a1". The id value must always start with an alpha character.

name

string

Required. The name of the custom destination. For example, for a fax, this might be:

name="fax"

For a portal built with OracleAS Portal:

name="oraclePortal"

instance

this|all

Default: all

Used when the foreach element is also present. With a grouped report that is burst into separate reports, instance specifies whether the groups will be broken into separate destype instances according to each group instance (this) or all contained within the same destype instance (all).

For example, if you custom destination type is a fax, instance="this" would mean a separate fax for each group instance, and instance="all" would mean one fax for all groups.


15.3.10 property

Example

<foreach>
  <destype id="custom1" name="fax" instance="all">
    <include src="headerSection"/>
    <property name="number" value="914925551212"/>
  </destype>
</foreach>

Required/Optional

Optional. You can have as many properties as you require under a destype element.

Description

The property element allows for the inclusion of name/value pairs expressed in terms recognized by a custom destination type (destype). Properties are merely passed along to the destination handler. They serve no function within OracleAS Reports Services. How you specify properties is entirely dependent on the requirements of your custom destination.

15.4 Distribution XML File Examples

This section provides examples, from simple to complex, of distribution XML elements. They are organized according to the main distribution.dtd elements:

15.4.1 foreach Examples

The examples in this section include:

15.4.1.1 Single E-Mail with Report Groups as Separate Attachments

In this example, each attachment contains the corresponding instance from the header, main, and trailer sections. That is, if the report is grouped on department_id, and the first department is department 10, the first attachment will be a report with header, main, and trailer sections all containing department 10 information. This example is valid only if the header, main, and trailer sections repeat on the same group instance, in this case department_id.

<mail id="a1" to="managers@mycompany.com" subject="New Hires">
  <foreach>
    <attach format="html" srcType="report" instance="this">
      <include src="report"/>
    </attach>
  </foreach>
</mail>

First of all, assume in this example that managers@mycompany.com goes to a mailing list that distributes to each department manager. If there are four departments: 10, 20, 30, and 40, the first attachment will contain header, main, and trailer sections corresponding to department 10; the second to 20; and so on. This example will yield one e-mail per recipient, each with four attachments.

15.4.1.2 Separate E-Mail for Each Group Instance

In this example, each recipient will receive a separate e-mail for each grouped report. For example, if the report is grouped on department_id, and there are four departments, one recipient will receive four e-mails, each with a separate department's report attached.

<foreach>
  <mail id="weeklies" to="managers@mycompany.com">
    <attach format="htmlcss" srcType="report" instance="this">
      <include src="mainSection"/>
    </attach>
  </mail>
</foreach>

15.4.1.3 Separate E-Mails with Separate Sections as Attachments

In this example, different sections repeat on different groups. The distribution is set up so that each recipient will receive a separate e-mail with attachment for each grouped main section and for each grouped trailer section.

<foreach>
  <mail id="a6" to="managers@mycompany.com" subject="Personnel Reports">
    <attach format="pdf" name="attach.pdf" srcType="report" instance="this">
      <include src="mainSection"/>
    </attach>
    <attach format="rtf" name="attach.rtf" srcType="report" instance="this">
      <include src="trailerSection"/>
    </attach>
  </mail>
</foreach>

15.4.1.4 Separate File for Each Section

In this example, a separate file is generated for each group instance. Groups repeat on department_id. Each file is named with the relevant department ID.

<foreach>
  <file id="a10" name="department_&amp;&lt;department_id&gt;.pdf" instance="this">
    <include src="mainSection"/>
  </file>
</foreach>

Assuming that there are four departments, 10 through 40, this example will result in the creation of four files, named in turn department_10.pdf, department_20.pdf, and so on.

The format attribute is not included in the file element because it is not required when the srcType is file or text. It is required when the srcType is report.


Note:

If you do not specify unique filenames through the use of variable values (see Section 15.2.2), in this example, each successively created file will overwrite the previously created file. That is, the department.pdf file for department 20 will overwrite the department.pdf file for department 10, and so on, until there is only one file left, department.pdf, with information from the last department report created (for example, department 40).

15.4.1.5 Separate Print Run for Each Report

The way you specify a printer name differs between Windows and UNIX. The first example is for Windows. The second is for UNIX.

15.4.1.5.1 Windows

In this example, assuming that the report is grouped on department_id, a report will be printed for each department.

<foreach>
  <printer id="a7" name="\\server_name\printer_name" instance="this">
    <include src="report"/>
  </printer>
</foreach>

15.4.1.5.2 UNIX

In this example, assuming that the report is grouped on department_id, a report will be printed for each department.

<foreach>
  <printer id="a7" name="printer_alias" instance="this">
    <include src="report"/>
  </printer>
</foreach>

15.4.2 mail Examples

The examples in this section include:

15.4.2.1 E-Mail with a Whole Report as the Body

The report will comprise the content of this e-mail. That is, when recipients open this e-mail, they will see the report.

<mail id="a5" to="managers@mycompany.com" subject="Quarterly Report">
<body srcType="report" format="html">
<include src="report"/>
</body>
</mail>

15.4.2.2 E-Mail with a Section of a Report as the Body

A section of a report will comprise the content of this e-mail. That is, when recipients open this e-mail, they will see a section of the report.

<mail id="a6" to="employees@mycompany.com">
<body srcType="report" format="html">
<include src="mainSection"/>
</body>
</mail>

The subject attribute is not included in this mail element, so the default subject will be used: Mail Sent From &amp;Report. At runtime, the variable &amp;Report will be replaced with the name of the report.

15.4.2.3 E-Mail with Two Report Sections as the Body

Two sections of a report will comprise the body of this e-mail. That is, when recipients open this e-mail, they'll see two sections, headerSection and mainSection, joined together in one report.

<mail id="emp_addresses" to="employees@mycompany.com" subject="Employee Address List">
<body srcType="report" format="html">
<include src="headerSection"/>
<include src="mainSection"/>
</body>
</mail>

15.4.2.4 E-Mail with External File as Body and Report as Attachment

The contents of the body for this email will be an external file, and the report will go along as an attachment. The path to the file is expressed differently for Windows and UNIX.

15.4.2.4.1 Windows

<mail id="XQRSN" to="accounting@mycompany.com" subject="Salaries"
<body srcType="file">
<include src="c:\mail\body.html"/>
</body>
<attach format="pdf" name="salaries.pdf" srcType="report">
<include src="report"/>
</attach>
</mail>
15.4.2.4.2 UNIX
<mail id="XQRSN" to="accounting@mycompany.com" subject="Salaries"
<body srcType="file">
<include src="/mail/body.html"/>
</body>
<attach format="pdf" name="salaries.pdf" srcType="report">
<include src="report"/>
</attach>
</mail>

15.4.2.5 E-Mail with Whole Report and Grouped Sections Attached

In this example, recipients receive one e-mail with multiple attachments: one attachment for each group instance and an additional attachment that contains the entire report. If the report is grouped on department_id and there are four departments, recipients will receive five attachments: one for each department and one whole report.

<mail id="grx90" to="sales@mycompany.com">
<body srcType="text">
Attached you will find the summary report and breakdown by department of weekly totals.
</body>
<attach format="rtf" name="myAttach.rtf" srcType="report">
<include src="report"/>
</attach>
<foreach>
<attach format="pdf" name="myattach.pdf" srcType="report" instance="this">
<include src="mainSection"/>
</attach>
</foreach>
</mail>

15.4.2.6 E-Mail to Relevant Manager and Department

In this example, the manager for department 10 gets department 10's report; the manager for department 20 gets department 20's report; and so on. For this tag set to be valid, the variable must refer to a column that is included in the "repeat on" group used with the attached section. That is, if the section repeats on G_department_id, manager must be a column in that group.

<foreach>
<mail id="mgr1090" to="&amp;&lt;manager&gt;@mycompany.com">
<attach format="pdf" name="attach.pdf" srcType="report" instance="this">
<include src="mainSection"/>
</attach>
</mail>
</foreach>

15.4.3 file Examples

Whenever you burst and distribute grouped reports to files, be sure to specify filenames with variable values based on the repeating group or some other variable information. Otherwise, you run the risk of having each successive file that is created overwrite the previously created file. For example, if you specify an output filename of department.pdf, and you output separate instances of each department's report, the second department.pdf file will overwrite the first department.pdf file; the third will overwrite the second; an so on. You will end up with only one report, that of the final department to be output. Instead, with grouped reports that you want to output separately according to each group instance, use variable values to specify filenames, for example: name="department_&amp;&lt;department_id&gt;.pdf".

The examples in this section include:

15.4.3.1 File for Whole Report

This example will yield one file named report.pdf that contains the entire report.

15.4.3.1.1 Windows

<file id="a1" name="c:\reports\report.pdf" format="pdf">
<include src="report"/>
</file>
15.4.3.1.2 UNIX

<file id="a1" name="/reports/report.pdf" format="pdf">
<include src="report"/>
</file>

15.4.3.2 File for Combined Report Sections

This example will yield one file named sections.pdf that contains a report consisting of the header section and the main section of the report.

<file id="a2" name="sections.pdf" format="pdf">
<include src="headerSection"/>
<include scr="mainSection"/>
</file>

15.4.3.3 File for Each Group of Combined Sections

In this example, a separate file will be created for each repeating group. Each file will contain a report that combines the relevant group main and trailer sections. The main and trailer sections must repeat on the same group, and the variable file name must refer to a column contained within the "repeat on" group. That is, if the report repeats on department_id, and you have four departments, 10 through 40, then one file will contain the main and trailer sections of department 10; the next will contain the main and trailer sections of department 20; and so on. The variable value under name must refer to a column that is within the G_department_id group.

<foreach>
<file id="file9" name="department_&amp;&lt;department_id&gt;.pdf" instance="this">
<include src="mainSection"/>
<include src="trailerSection"/>
</file>
</foreach>

15.4.3.4 File for Each Report Group Instance

In this example, assuming the report is grouped on department_id and there are four departments, 10 through 40, you will end up with four files respectively named: department_10.pdf, department_20.pdf, department_30.pdf, and department_40.pdf.

<foreach>
<file id="a20" name="department_&amp;&lt;department_id&gt;.pdf" instance="this">
<include src="report"/>
</file>
</foreach>

15.4.4 printer Examples

The examples in this section include:

The way printer names are specified, differs between Windows and UNIX. Each example demonstrates both ways.

15.4.4.1 Print Whole Report

In this example, the entire report will be sent to the specified printer.

15.4.4.1.1 Windows

<printer id="a80" name="\\neptune\prtr20">
<include src="report"/>
</printer>
15.4.4.1.2 UNIX

<printer id="a80" name="10th_floor_printer">
<include src="report"/>
</printer>

15.4.4.2 Print Two Sections of a Report

In this example, two sections of a report will be sent to the printer.

15.4.4.2.1 Windows

<printer id="a1" name="\\neptune\prtr20">
<include src="headerSection"/>
<include src="mainSection"/>
</printer>
15.4.4.2.2 UNIX

<printer id="a1" name="10th_floor_printer">
<include src="headerSection"/>
<include src="mainSection"/>
</printer>

15.4.4.3 Print Grouped Report

In this example, one report will be printed. The report will be grouped by, for example, department_id. For this to work, all sections of the report must repeat on the same group.

15.4.4.3.1 Windows

<foreach>
<printer id="prt20" name="\\neptune\prtr20" instance="all">
<include src="report"/>
</printer>
</foreach>
15.4.4.3.2 UNIX

<foreach>
<printer id="prt20" name="10th_floor_printer" instance="all">
<include src="report"/>
</printer>
</foreach>

15.4.4.4 Print Combined Sections for Each Group Instance

This example will yield a number of print jobs: one for each group instance. The combined sections must repeat on the same group. If the report repeats on department_id, and you have four departments, 10 through 40, you will end up with four print jobs: one for department 10; one for department 20; and so on. The main and trailer sections must both repeat on department_id.

15.4.4.4.1 Windows

<foreach>
<printer id="prt20" name="\\neptune\prtr20" instance="this">
<include src="mainSection"/>
<include src="trailerSection"/>
</printer>
</foreach>
15.4.4.4.2 UNIX

<foreach>
<printer id="prt20" name="10th_floor_printer" instance="this">
<include src="mainSection"/>
<include src="trailerSection"/>
</printer>
</foreach>

15.4.4.5 Print Relevant Instance of a Report to Its Relevant Printer

For this example to work, the repeat on group must contain a column of printer names appropriate to the host platform (for example, the printer_name column must contain an appropriate printer alias on UNIX and a printer server/name combination on Windows). For example, if the report is grouped by department_id, then G_department_id must also have a printer_name column. Assuming the printer_name is tied to a department, then department 10's report would be printed on department 10's printer; department 20's report would be printed on department 20's printer; and so on.

<foreach>
<printer id="a60" name="&amp;printer_name" instance="this">
<include src="mainSection"/>
</printer>
</foreach>

Each group instance equals a separate print job. Each print job goes to the relevant department's printer

15.4.5 destype Examples

You can use destype to define a custom destination or pluggable destination that can be used by Oracle Reports during distribution. For more information, see Section 15.3.9, "destype". The examples in this section include the following destinations:

15.4.5.1 OracleAS Portal Destination

This example shows the generic tag structure for sending report output to the OracleAS Portal destination. When you push report output to OracleAS Portal using DESTYPE=ORACLEPORTAL, the report output is created in the PAGEGROUP folder.


See Also:

Appendix A, "Command Line Keywords" for more information on the properties shown in the examples.

<destinations> 
  <destype id="customforPortal" name="oraclePortal"> 
    <property name="outputpage" value="sample_report"/> 
    <property name="statuspage" value="Reports_Status"/> 
    <property name="desformat" value="pdf"/> 
    <property name="pagegroup" value="REPORTS_OUTPUT"/> 
    <property name="itemtitle" value="MyReport"/> 
    <include src="report"/> 
  </destype> 
</destinations>

15.4.5.2 FTP Destination

This example shows the generic tag structure for sending report output to the FTP destination.

<destinations>
  	<foreach>
    	<destype id="ftp1" name="ftp" instance="this" format="pdf">
      <property name="desname"
      		  value="ftp://username:passwd@ftpServer/dir/myreport_&amp;&lt;
      		   DEPARTMENT_NAME&gt;.pdf"/>
      		<include src="mainSection"/>
    	</destype>
  	</foreach>
</destinations>

15.4.5.3 WebDAV Destination

This example shows the generic tag structure for sending report output to the WebDAV destination.

<destinations>
  	<foreach>
    	<destype id="webdav1" name="webdav" instance="this" format="pdf">
      <property name="desname" 
        value="http://user:passwd@WebDAVServer/dir/myreport_&amp;&lt;
         DEPARTMENT_NAME&gt;.pdf"/>
      		<include src="mainSection"/>
    	</destype>
  	</foreach>
</destinations>

15.4.5.4 Fax Destination

This example shows the generic tag structure for sending report output to the fax destination.

<destype id="faxdest" name="fax">
  <property name="number" value="123456789"/>
  <include src="report"/>
</destype>

Alternatively, for ease of use, you can specify a custom, more specific tag structure:

<fax id="faxdest" number="123456789">
  <include src="report"/>
</fax>

Note:

All you need to do after you modify the distribution.xsl file is save it back to the same location under the same file name. Oracle Reports will automatically look for this file when resolving distributions.

15.5 Using a Distribution XML File at Runtime

The method for using a distribution XML file at runtime is essentially the same whether you use it in a URL or a command line. Include the options:

destination=filename.xml distribute=yes 

where filename is the name of the distribution XML file. You are required to specify either the relative or absolute path of the XML file. For example, for Windows, you might specify:

destination=c:\%ORACLE_HOME%\reports\distribution\filename.xml distribute=yes 

For UNIX, you might specify:

destination=$ORACLE_HOME/reports/distribution/filename.xml distribute=yes 

For example, the full command in a URL would be similar to:

http://your_server:port/reports/rwservlet?report=rep.jsp&userid=db_credentials 
&destination=$ORACLE_HOME/reports/distribution/distribution.xml&distribute=yes

The paths in these examples are used for illustrative purposes only. There is no requirement for where you store your distribution XML files. You can store them wherever you like.


Note:

In some cases, Microsoft Internet Explorer ignores the mimetype of a URL's return stream and instead sets the type by looking at the URL. This can be a problem when you are using the distribution feature of OracleAS Reports Services because your URL might end with the destination parameter; for example:

...distribute=yes destination=c:\oracle\reports\distribution\mydist.xml

In this scenario, your URL ends with the extension .xml and Internet Explorer treats the return stream as XML, when in fact it is HTML. As a result, you will receive a browser error. To work around this issue, you should never use recognized file extensions at the end of a URL. In the preceding example, you could switch the positions of the distribute and destination parameters in your URL.


For detailed information on running reports from command lines and URLs and using the cgicmd.dat file, see Chapter 13, "Running Report Requests".

15.6 Limitations with Using Distribution

This section outlines the limitations with using distribution in Oracle Reports:

15.6.1 OracleAS Portal Destination

Beginning with Oracle9i Reports Release 2 (9.0.2), Oracle Reports supports OracleAS Portal as a destination. By using DESTYPE=ORACLEPORTAL, you can push a report to an output page specified in OracleAS Portal.

However, there are a few limitations in using this destination:

  • The ORACLEPORTAL destination cannot be used with distribution. Instead, you can use DESTYPE=WEBDAV for advanced XML-based distribution to OracleAS Portal.


    Note:

    Ensure that the OracleAS Portal instance is WebDAV-enabled. Refer to the OracleAS Portal online Help for more information on how to enable WebDAV.

    For more information on how to use WebDAV for distribution to OracleAS Portal, refer to Note 241821.1 on Oracle MetaLink at http://metalink.oracle.com: How to Send and Distribute Reports 9i Output to Oracle Portal?


  • The DESTYPE=ORACLEPORTAL destination cannot be used with the rwrun executable as it causes Reports Server to stop responding. Use this destination only with rwservlet, rwclient, or rwcgi.

15.6.2 XML Output

Using reference parameters for report bursting (that is, by specifying instance=this) is not supported for XML output. If used, it results in the following error message:

REP-34310 "Reference parameter not allowed in distribution list for XML destination files" 

You can use the XML format in distribution without the reference parameter.

15.6.3 Delimited and DelimitedData Output

Distribution and bursting are not supported in delimited output. You cannot specify a DELIMITED or DELIMITEDDATA output format in a distribution.xml file.

15.6.4 Spreadsheet Output

Distribution and bursting are not supported in spreadsheet output. You cannot specify a SPREADSHEET output format in a distribution.xml file. Thus, the current mode of generating paginated default output in a distribution module will not work for spreadsheet output.

15.6.5 Dynamic Format Values

XML distribution supports only static values for the format attribute (as seen in distribution.dtd). Thus, you cannot specify lexical parameters (to be resolved at runtime) for the format attribute. Hence the format cannot be dynamically determined either for the entire report or for a specific section.