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The Many Faces of BI Publisher Webinar Q&A

Posted on by Brent Lowe

Thanks for attending this week’s webinar on ‘The Many Faces of BI Publisher’. As promised, below you will find links to the presentation as well as a video recording. I have also included a listing of the question and answer session. I apologize that we did not have more time for questions, I tend to talk too much! If you have other questions, comments or some feedback, please let me know.

Presentation Materials
Many Faces of BI Publisher – Presentation Slides
Many Faces of BI Publisher – White Paper

Q&A

Q: How people are handling the printing of these PDF outputs from E-Business Suite directly?
A: I believe this question has to do with printing the actual PDF data itself. Most printers do not support the printing of PDF directly, instead they require a printer language such as PostScript or PCL. When you print the PDF directly to the printer, the printer will likely just spit out garbage. You do have some options though. You can either use a ‘filter’ to convert the PDF document to PostScript prior to printing (with a BI Publisher configuration file) or you can use CUPS’ native conversion functionality. I covered both of these methods in this post awhile back: Printing BI Publisher PDF Output to PostScript Printers

Q: Do you know if Oracle is creating a tool specifically for creating the data template, instead of just using notepad or wordpad?
A: Unfortunately, I do not know. What I do know is if you take a look at the latest version of BI Publisher Enterprise (11g), they have included a GUI data model template builder. It does not actually create these data templates, but it comes really close. It would be nice and likely help a lot of people out if they did something similar for the EBS side. Right now, the best thing you have as far as not creating data templates from scratch is the conversion API. I would recommend you take a look at the documentation for more details on what this conversion API is capable of doing.

Q: Is bursting available on 11.5.10?
A: Yes it is. It is available with a patch. The patch number is: 5968876

Q: Can we use packages (like ones provided for advanced procurement) to generate xml data templates instead of manually creating the data templates?
A: It’s all going to depend on the application itself. So, if you’re using the standard application functionality provided by Application Technology Group, no. Because they’re going to require you to either have an Oracle report that you’ve set to output XML or a data template to do that for you. Depending on the application though, they may have their own specific functionality like payables and procurement did.

Q: Do the templates and/or the data definition documents save to a specific $XX_TOP? If yes, which directory on UNIX?
A: When you upload this information, they actually do not go onto the file system; they end getting uploaded into the database. I believe they get uploaded to the table XDO_LOBS.

Q: Would like to get that patch number mentioned about rtf templates for PO Communicate.
A: It’s patch # 4670662

Q: I heard that the conversion API will not consider the format triggers on rdf into rtf file?
A: That is correct. That is one of the limitations of the conversion API. It is not going to do anything with any of your format triggers – it’s just going to leave those behind. You’ll have to manually do that in your RTF file to format it appropriately. The documentation for the conversion API does a good job of noting all of the known issues.

Q: Any additional documentation on using the BI Publisher Desktop tool?
A: Documentation for BIP Desktop is included with the tool itself. There is a Help menu included that documents the tool.

Q: What’s the version after 5.6.3 desktop?
A: Probably good to note here: The version of BI Publisher that’s integrated into EBS today is 5.6.3. Right after 5.6.3, they started making the release numbers 10.1, .2, .3, and just kept going. What is really important is when you’re using this desktop tool, you want to use the tool that has the same engine that EBS uses. You’re welcome not to, but if you use the latest and greatest of the desktop tool against EBS, you’re going to have greater functionality in that tool than what EBS is going to support. So you’re going to have a nice looking template that you’ve set up that works great in the template editor but when you upload into Oracle EBS and run through the concurrent manager, it may not work because it may not understand those instructions. So definitely stick w/the 5.6.3 and I believe the “10 version” of that is 10.1.3.2 version of that BI Publisher desktop tool cause that will make your life a lot easier. The patch number for this version is 5887917.

Q: Reports with huge data output in the excel output and via BIP does not open do you know of any solution for the Excel to open? Currently we provide the output file from APPLCSF to user and ask them to load to word.
A: I believe what you are asking is how do you open Excel BIP output? If so, I do not seem to have a problem on my system. I can run a report through that has the output type of Excel and when I ‘View Output’, it opens just fine. I found this note that may be similar to your problem: 404512.1 Sorry I do not have a definitive answer, if you’d like to contact me or leave me a more detailed comment about the problem, I’d be happy to take a look.

Q: Reports based on data template – are they optimized on the resulting file size more than the oracle reports based?
A: The data template is only going to create the actual XML, the size of that file compared with the size of the report output in XML will likely be pretty similar as it’s just the number of characters you are outputting. As far as the end result, that’s an interesting question. I have not done any benchmarking on the actual PDF file size that is produced.

Q: Patch required to load latest BI menu to Word?
A: You can always download the latest BI Publisher Desktop tool from technet.oracle.com, however I would recommend you stick with version 10.1.3.2 which is patch 5887917. Use this version because it is built on the same version of BI Publisher (5.6.3) that is included in Oracle EBS. This will ensure consistency between Word and EBS.

Q: We use currently this data template and rtf template combo and we use it for large amount of PDF creation. We find an issue that if you kick off these reports sometimes XDOTEXE executable which runs these process loses the context like org_id and data template then creates a null output which results in a blank PDF. Is it a known issue or something unique to our environment?
A: Hmmm… I have not heard of this symptom before. It might be best to open an SR with Oracle Support and see if they can get to the bottom of it.


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