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Oracle Fusion Middleware Report Designer's Guide for Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher
Release 11g (11.1.1)
Part Number E13881-01
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Overview of the Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher Report Designer's Guide

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.

Overview for Report Consumers

A report consumer may perform the following tasks:

The topics in this book that describe performing report consumer tasks are:

Overview for Report Designers

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:

About the Data Source Types

BI Publisher relies on XML data to format and publish your reports. BI Publisher supports multiple methods for retrieving this data for your report.

About the Layout Types

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.

About Setting Runtime Properties

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.

About Bursting

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:

For more information, see Adding a Bursting Definition to Your Data Model.

About Translations

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.

About Style Templates

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.

About Sub 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

New features in Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher 11g Release 1 (11.1.1) include:

Major User Interface Improvements

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.

Shared Oracle BI Presentation Catalog

For installations of BI Publisher with the Oracle BI Enterprise Edition, BI Publisher now shares the same catalog with Oracle BI Presentation services.

Layout Editor Design Tool

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.

Interactive Viewer

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.

Data Model Editor

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.

Sub Templates

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.

Style Templates

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.

Zipped PDF Output

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.

Enhanced Scheduling Options

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.