Using Report Package Variables

Report Package Variables provide centralized maintenance of common text, numbers and dates that are displayed in doclets throughout a report package. Variables can also be used to reference content between doclets, such as inserting Microsoft Office Excel data from a reference doclet or a reference file into a doclet paragraph.

Watch these videos to learn more about Creating and Managing Variables in Report Packages and Inserting Variables into Doclets in Narrative Reporting.

video icon Creating and Managing Variables in Report Packages and Inserting Variables into Doclets in Narrative Reporting.

Note:

For PDF-based report packages, you can insert variables only into the point of view of Management Reporting reports that are inserted as doclets. You cannot insert variables directly into PDF doclets.

The variables may be created using either Narrative Reporting on the web, or the Narrative Reporting Extension for Oracle Smart View for Office. Smart View is required to define the reference variable value. The character limits for variables is as follows:

  • Static variables have a maximum size of 125 characters.

  • Reference variable values that are sourced in Microsoft Excel have a maximum size of 255 characters.

  • Reference variable values that are sourced in Microsoft Word have a maximum size of 2,000 characters. However, you cannot insert reference variables from Microsoft Word into Microsoft Excel if the number of characters is greater than 255.

After the variables have been created, use the Variables option in Smart View to insert the variables into a doclet (in headers, tables, cells or paragraphs) and Microsoft Office Excel doclet cells.

Use the Variables option from Smart View to add variables to static and reference variables.

If an Author or Report Package Owner updates any variable values or delete variables from the report package, then a notification is sent to the respective Report Package Owner or Author. The notification includes:

  • A summary in Messages with a link to report package.

  • Details in the notification e-mail with variables and doclets affected, as well a link to report package.

When the report package is rolled forward, the variables are easily updated to reflect the current date or information. If you modify a variable value during doclet creation, that change is automatically populated to all inserted instances of the variable to ensure consistency and accuracy.

Two types of variables are available:

  • Static Variables use static input that is defined by the user, such as a date label or a set value, which can be used throughout the report package. These static variables can be easily updated, and all doclet instances of the variable value reflect the change. The static variables help to centrally maintain common dates, numbers and text across the document content.

  • Reference Variables are created by referencing another doclet or reference file within the report package as the source, and selecting the value for the variable, such as text in a Word paragraph or an Excel cell value. If the source document is subsequently updated, those changes are automatically updated in the inserted instances of the variable in the report package. Reference Variables can be used to insert Excel cell values into a Word paragraph, or to create Excel formulas to implement cross-footing rules for increased data accuracy, or to create directional words for the report narrative, such as “an increase” or “a decrease”. Watch this video to learn more about Using Variables for Directional Text and Cross Footing.

    video image icon. Using Variables for Directional Text and Cross Footing

A list of all Variables is available on the Variables tab Variable tab icon on the Report Center, and it provides details about the usage and history of the selected variable.


Variables page in the Report Center
  • Under Name, the name and description of the variable are displayed, and the variable type is identified by an icon:

    • Static variable Static variable icon
    • Reference variable Reference Variable icon
  • Under Value, the Variable value is displayed, and the source for a reference variable is also listed.

  • The In Use column indicates how many times the variable is being used. Click the usage number to display the location of each usage.

See the following sections: