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    Copyright 2009 Solution Beacon, LLC All Rights Reserved Any other commercial product names herein are trademark, registered

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    BI Publisher Quick Start Guide

    Karen Brownfield Susan Behn Solution Beacon, LLC

    Reports provided with Oracle Applications are not often in a format that is required by the end users. The data is there, but the users need it in a different format or need to add logos, grafts and/or other material not included in the seeded report. Unfortunately, modifying the underlying Oracle Report is difficult, time consuming and requires extensive knowledge of the tool used to develop the report. BI Publisher removes this limitation. BI Publisher separates the extract of the data from the presentation of the data. While BI Publisher also provides the ability to extract the data, this presentation will focus on using a standard report from Oracle EBusiness Suite and using BI Publisher to tailor the look of the report without customizing Oracles code.

    Overview

    BI Publisher separates extracting data from the database from the presentation of that data in a report. This provides several advantages

    The same data file can be used for multiple reports Output can be set to be Word, PDF, Excel, XBRL, XML without changing program that extracted

    the data Anybody proficient in Word, Excel can design the output

    The program that produces the XML file is called the Data Template. The portion of BI Publisher that takes the XML file as input and creates the report is the Report Template or Presentation Template. Since both pieces have template in the name, this can cause confusion.

    Any tool that can output XML can create the Data Template. This can be Oracle Reports, JDeveloper, PL/SQL etc. Data Templates can even contain embedded SQL to do further extracts.

    Presentation Templates cannot create XML, cannot contain SQL, and cannot add data to the template. Within limits, they can reorder the data, can reformat it, and add conditions to exclude data in the XML file.

    Presentation Templates can be created with common desktop tools like Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat. BI Publisher works with Office 2000, 2003 and 2007. This paper will use Microsoft Word 2007 to build the sample template. If you are using Office 2000 or 2003, the menus will be slightly different.

    There are three versions of BI Publisher. One version is the Desktop version, more commonly called the Template Builder. This is the add-in to Word or Adobe that allows you to build the templates. You can download the Enterprise version of the desktop BI Publisher from OTN (current version is 10.1.3.4) and use it against the E-Business Suite embedded version as long as you dont need to use pivot tables. Or you can download the E-Business Suite client side version from MetaLink. This will actually download version 10.1.3.2 of the Enterprise version. This presentation will be using the E-Business Suite BI Publisher Desktop.

    The other two versions reside on the database and are also called the Processing Engine. One is embedded in E-Business Suite. You may also hear this version referenced as XML Publisher or BI Publisher 5.6.3. This version of BI Publisher is included in your E-Business Suite license as long as you do not reference any custom tables or any custom columns added to Oracle tables.

    The second version that resides at the database level is BI Publisher Enterprise Edition. This version allows you to use any field in any table, but requires additional licensing.

    Whether you use the E-Business Suite embedded version or the Enterprise version, it is this processing engine that merges the XML data with the Presentation or Report Template. The following three diagrams represent how the processing engine works

  • Page 2 of 34

    Copyright 2009 Solution Beacon, LLC All Rights Reserved Any other commercial product names herein are trademark, registered

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    The following picture shows just a few of the formats that you can produce using the Template Builder. The Template Builder supports special formatting such as logos, charts and graphs, tables, and bar codes. It also supports the use of any special formatting offered by Word or Adobe.

    The Processing Engine supports multiple methods of report delivery such as print, fax, email, and web. Reports can be burst according to your defined criteria and each section delivered to a different person.

    BI Publisher is a tremendous improvement over the traditional method of writing and delivering reports.

  • Page 3 of 34

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    The Payables Invoice Register

    For the remainder of this paper we will focus on creating a presentation template for the AP Invoice Register. The following picture shows how this report looks without using BI Publisher. The seeded parameters for this report are:

    Supplier Name Invoice Type Batch Entered By First Entered Date Last Entered Date Accounting Period Cancelled Invoices Only? Unapproved Invoices Only?

  • Page 4 of 34

    Copyright 2009 Solution Beacon, LLC All Rights Reserved Any other commercial product names herein are trademark, registered

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    The next picture shows the report layout we will build.

  • Page 5 of 34

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    Creating an XML File for the Template Builder

    We do not have to customize Oracles code to create this report. We just have to set up the report registration so that it generates XML instead of text. The first step then is to decide whether you want to still be able to print the text version of the report. If so, then a 2

    nd registration of the same execution file

    must be made. 2nd registrations are easy. From System Administrator responsibility, navigate to the

    Concurrent Programs window (Concurrent => Program => Define). Query the program Invoice Register for the application Payables. Then click the Copy to button.

    When the next screen appears, enter a new program name and new short name. Click Include Parameters and Include Incompatible Programs, then click OK.

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    This will return you to the Concurrent Programs screen with your new definition. Change the Output Format to XML. Save your work noting your new Short Name. You will need it later.

    Add your new Concurrent Report Definition to the appropriate Request Group. The navigation from the System Administrator responsibility is Security => Responsibility => Request. Query the appropriate group, navigate to the Requests zone and add your report.

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    Now we need to run the report to generate a XML file for the Template Builder. After running the report, select View Output. The result will now be an XML file. Save this file to a drive where you will be able to access it from Word.

    One thing that should be done is a review of the resulting XML data. Oracle may (or not) furnish the report name. Note the various data groups provided. Data groups are identified with a line that starts with a dash.

    Data Group

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    Look also at the end of the report for fields that can be used such as the parameters and constants

    Setup Options for the Template Builder

    The Template Builder is accessed from the Add-Ins menu of Word. This opens a custom Toolbar

    Click Tools, and then select Options. Click the UI tab. Make sure Original XML Element Name is clicked.

  • Page 9 of 34

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    Now click the Build tab. If you want to change the default table color, click Select, then pick a new color. Note that each time you click Select, the color will return to the default color.

    Notice that Abbreviated is clicked for For-each form field. You can choose this or Descriptive

    Load Sample XML Data

    Building the template is much easier when the XML file is loaded which the template will be used against. So, again from Add-Ins menu, click Data, then Load XML Data. Locate and choose the file saved earlier. You will receive a Data loaded successfully message. Click OK. Note

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