My first steps with Oracle BI Publisher Enterprise Edition 10.1.3.2: create a report based on the OraBlogs rss-feed

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After receiving a new, pretty powerful laptop, on Thursday and installing the Oracle BI Enterprise Edition on Friday, this weekend sees my first steps with the BI Publisher (previously known as XML Publisher).  My colleague Marcos is our (AMIS’s) real expert in this area – you may have seen some of this articles on our weblog in the recent past. He writes about Matrix Reports and other more advanced topics, I am just starting out with the tool. I will tell the tale of getting started and creating a first report – one that displays an overview of the most recent blog articles aggregated by the orablogs site.

Here is the report I create in this article, shown as Excel document :


 

The steps are:....

1. install Oracle BI EE 10.1.3.2

2. install Oracle BI Publisher Desktop Edition 10.1.3.2

3. start Oracle BI EE’s OC4J instance and go to homepage

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4. go to BI Publisher; login as Administrator (or any other account if you have created one)

5. create a new report; call it for example OraBlogsOverview



6. create a new DataSet: type Url Dataset; enter the OraBlogs’ RSS-feed’s URL:


7. Start MS Word, with the Oracle BI Publisher plugin. Create a new document and some boilerplate for the report we are creating.

 

 

8. Connect to the BI Publisher EE server. 

 

 

 9. Connect as Adminstrator (or the account you used earlier)

10. Open the OraBlogsReport – this makes the data set available to BI Publisher Desktop – or at least that is what I expect…

11. Replace the text REFRESH_DATA_ORABLOGS with the PubDate field from the Data Set behind the report.

12.  Show a preview of the report – to see the date replaced by the date from the live-data feed:

 

13. Choose PDF, accept saving the document as RTF document and watch the report: 



14. When I now try to insert a Table with the data from the individual blog-articles I run into a problem. Let’s step through the table wizard: 

15. It turns out that the data set we acquire thus is not what we are looking for: instead of the XML document we know the RSS feed returns, we get a much simpler one from the BI Publisher Server:

 

 16. In order to be able to create a proper report, we need to use the correct XML Data Source. So we open the RSS feed in our browser and save the XML content to a local file.

 

17. Load the XML Data from the RSS feed in our Word environment. 

18. Select the correct file and Load.

19. Start the Table Wizard again. 

 20. Group by Author (that is: the original Blog that has published the article)

21. Specify the prompts/labels for the fields in the table in the report: 

22. After closing the Table Wizard, this is how the report is shown:

24. Running the PDF preview now shows a much nicer report:

25. Let’s turn the title field into a hyperlink that links to the URL that is in the link element by setting the address to {link} (where {link} refers to the value in the link field. We can then remove the Link column from the table. Let’s also change the font for the Author to a somewhat more impressive one.

26. The preview in PDF is now like this:

 

26. Now it is time to publish the Report Design or Template to the BI Publisher EE Server: 

27. Specify the name: 

 

28. And done publishing :

 

29. Back in the BI Publisher EE Server, we can View the Report in various formats, including HTML, RTF, PDF as well as Excel: 

 

After a few hours, when I rerun the report, the PDF preview looks like this (obviously this very article itself has been been included):

You can download the entire PDF report from this time:  bipub_orablogs5feb.pdf

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About Author

Lucas Jellema, active in IT (and with Oracle) since 1994. Oracle ACE Director for Fusion Middleware. Consultant, trainer and instructor on diverse areas including Oracle Database (SQL & PLSQL), Service Oriented Architecture, BPM, ADF, Java in various shapes and forms and many other things. Author of the Oracle Press book: Oracle SOA Suite 11g Handbook. Frequent presenter on conferences such as JavaOne, Oracle OpenWorld, ODTUG Kaleidoscope, Devoxx and OBUG. Presenter for Oracle University Celebrity specials.

4 Comments

  1. Marcos Claver on

    Great article Lucas.
    BI Publisher has an enhanced gui for building the reports compared to XML-Publisher. I did not check the documentation yet, but I hope that this one has also been enhanced.

  2. Great work, I am just now taking baby steps in the OBIEE world, I have downloaded the 10.1.3.2. Why is that your interface has a significant look and feel while, I get to open the template builder in MS Word. Are you using this with Oracle Applications?
    Thank you
    Siva