Oracle E-Business Suite: XML Publisheroverview for consultant

By: Andrew Karasev

Oracle Reports, Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle Applications, Oracle XML Publisher

In 2004, Oracle has delivered a new tool for developing reports on Oracle Applications. It was named Oracle XML Publisher and it is available within the technology stack of the E-Business suite (sometimes also called Oracle Financials).

Most of the companies that utilize Oracle Applications as its ERP system have a long backlog list of reports to be constructed. Oracle has delivered this tool for helping organizations on this issue. Using this tool, users can create a template of the reports layouts using a set of familiar desktop tools such as MS Word and Adobe Acrobat or instead of creating, a user can just enter a template, such as a Government PDF form. The data is still handled by the E-Business suite, but now users can design and control how the report outputs will be presented using a familiar desktop application.

The classic approach to create reports was to combine 3 components: Data Logic, Layout and Translation in a single file what makes it very inflexible. Even a simple change on the layout of a report, a new report file has to be generated with all components. With this new product, just a minor change on template file is necessary.  The picture below shows how the three components are treated separated by the XML Publisher at the design time, and at runtime they are brought back together by XML Publisher to generate the final formatted output.

XML Publisher allows user to choose the output format of the report. The most common formats are PDF, RTF, HTML, Excel, XML, EDI and EFT. This tool also has a delivery service where users can choose what they want to do with the report. Using this service, it is possible to send the output directly to an email address, to a printer, to a fax or to a WebDAV server.

This is a powerful tool for building reports; the only thing that I am wondering is how it fits in with Oracle?s existing tool for reporting. Is it going to substitute Oracle Reports? In the statement of directions Oracle doesn’t says that, so probably we will have to wait a little bit more to have this answer, probably from the market.

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