Some time ago I experimented with XML-Publisher 50 Desktop. The tool of which it looks like it is going to replace Oracle Reports in the future. Although the desktop version gives you a possiblility to create reports in several formats like RTF, PDF, Excel and HTMl it does not offer you an interface to do adhoc reports. Since juli XML-Publisher 5.6.2 Enterprise edition is available which does offer you a gui interface. Now I finally had some spare time I decided to have a go at it so I downloaded Oracle XML Publisher Enterprise 5.6.2 for Microsoft Windows (458,014,900 bytes) and started to read the installation guide. Several options are presented, Automatic and Manual.
I performed the automatic install for Windows because I did not have an application server available. The manual instructs you to run the install\setup.exe executable and follow the instructions. After starting it you will be prompted for the directory where you want to install it and that is it. Piece of cake . The installer creates the directory and deploys XML-Publisher. The auto install automatically uses the first free port between 15101-15110 for XML Publisher Enterprise on your machine and provides you with the server url in the last dialog of the install. The only thing you now have to do is start XML-Publisher using the /xmlpserver/xmlpserverstart.bat file in the Oracle home you used during the install.
After navigating to the provided URL we see the login screen of XML Publisher. You can use the user admin with the password admin to logon and enter the console to maintain and run your reports from.