Oracle BI Publisher: Everything You Need to Know
Most organizations have different ways of generating reports and documents, such as invoices and purchase orders. They also require data in different output formats with multiple delivery destinations, such as email or fax. With traditional reporting tools, this process tends to be time-consuming and uses vast amounts of space.
Oracle BI Publisher, formerly known as XML Publisher, is a complete enterprise-level reporting solution from Oracle that streamlines report and form generation. It is a part of the Oracle Business Intelligence or Analytics platform and helps organizations to efficiently create, manage, and deliver highly-formatted reports and documents.
Through this blog, we explore Oracle BI Publisher, its features, benefits, and different components in a report. We also look into how BI Connector provides an easy way to directly connect Power BI to BI Publisher reports.
What is Oracle BI Publisher?
With Oracle BI Publisher, users can create customized reports from numerous data sources, including databases, BI servers, web services, REST services, and any local Excel file, and combine them in a singular data model for multiple reports.
BI Publisher enables users to utilize common desktop applications such as Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat. The reports are available in multiple output formats such as PDF, HTML, MS Office (Excel, PowerPoint, and Word), and XML. It can then be delivered via email, fax, FTP, or web portal.
This approach dramatically reduces report maintenance, enabling users to adjust report templates without the involvement of IT resources. Further, BI Publisher reports can be integrated with Oracle BI products to provide better flexibility and performance for users.
The reporting solution finds application across multiple industries, such as healthcare, finance, and manufacturing. BI Publisher can be used to publish any type of reports and documents, including invoices, checks, government forms, and performance reports.
Key features of BI Publisher
BI Publisher provides a wide array of pre-built templates that can be used to create reports for common use cases such as invoices, financial statements, checks, and purchase orders.
Customizable interactive reports
The design layout templates can be customized to set a consistent look for reports in an organization in terms of logo, font, and existing design. You can also have Excel features such as filtering and sorting data when viewing the report.
Supports multiple data sources
It merges multiple data sources and supports numerous layouts per report so you can format and display data in desired ways. The output can then be viewed or printed as per customer requirements.
BI Publisher enables you to create reports and schedule them to be sent to stakeholders at regular intervals.
Bursting is another feature of BIP that allows users to generate reports for specific fields and deliver them to end users associated with the field value. For instance, project budget reports can be split into multiple reports based on numbers and sent to different project managers for review.
This auto-distribution and delivery approach helps save time and resources.
Enhanced layout features
BI Publisher offers a complete range of layout features such as conditional formatting, charting, use of formulas and functions, watermark, and drill down support, making it highly efficient and scalable.
BI Publisher enables users to implement advanced security by using features such as password protection, role-based access, digital signature, and single sign-on options.
Data extraction in Oracle BI Publisher
Oracle BI Publisher is part of many Oracle products such as Oracle BI Suite Plus, Oracle BI Foundation, Oracle Transactional Business Intelligence (OTBI), Oracle BI Enterprise, and Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC) as well. The solution is also available for Oracle Fusion applications (HCM, SCM, ERP, and CX).
Extracting data from the Oracle applications can be done through different methods such as querying, SOAP Service, REST APIs, and File extract. Fusion Analytics Warehouse, Export Management, HCM Extracts, Item/Product Data Publication, and many more possible connectivity options are also available.
Components of BI Publisher Reports
A BI Publisher report generally consists of a data model, a layout template, and some properties. A report may also include a style template and a set of translations. Let’s look into each of these components.
Data models define the relationships between the data elements in a report. You can use the data model editor to create required data models.
BI Publisher provides several options for designing report layouts. The Layout Editor is a web-based design tool for creating and viewing interactive reports. BI Publisher also
Offers a plug-in utility for Microsoft Word. The different formats include RTF, XLS, PDF, and Flash.
A style template in a BIP report is an RTF template with style information to be applied to RTF layouts during runtime, providing a consistent look for enterprise reports. It helps users to include similar company logos, headings, fonts, and other elements across all reports.
It is essentially a formatting functionality (in RTF or XSL format) that can be defined once and used multiple times within a single or multiple layout template files. For example, an address block that needs to be reused in all reports.
BI Publisher supports translation in two methods: Catalog and template translation. It enables translation to any language supported by Unicode and does not require a special algorithm for rendering.
Benefits of Oracle BI Publisher
Pre-integrated with Oracle
Oracle BI Publisher is seamlessly integrated with Oracle BI solutions, including Oracle E-business suite, Oracle BI Suite Plus, Oracle BI Foundation, and PeopleSoft Enterprise.
Enhanced user experience
Users can generate pixel-perfect reports using intuitive drag-and-drop style layout editor tools. BI publisher also supports multiple layouts for a single dataset which helps reduce the number of reports.
BI Publisher can handle extensive data, thousands of documents per hour, using low CPU and memory levels, making it efficient and scalable.
BI Publisher has separate data logic, layout, and translation capabilities, which makes it easier to maintain and improves flexibility.
It supports multiple languages and territories along with translated user interface, so it can be used as a single global instance model.
Connect Power BI directly to Oracle BI Publisher data models
For Oracle users who visualize data in Power BI, bringing BI Publisher reports to the data viz tool enables numerous benefits.
- Error-free reporting and data visualization
- Time and cost savings with direct connection
- Better user experience
BI Publisher Connector is a unique product in the market that allows users to enjoy all these benefits and many more.
You no longer have to rely on time-consuming Excel extracts and writing queries.
The solution helps connect Power BI directly to Oracle BI Publisher data models and visualize data with just a few clicks. It’s easy to set up and requires only a few minutes to complete installation.
Here’s a step-by-step guide showing how to connect Power BI to Oracle BI Publisher data models using BI Publisher Connector.
- Select Get data option in Power BI and choose BI Connector.
- Next, select the data source type as ‘data model’ and enter the BI Publisher URL.
- Finally, enter your BI Publisher credentials. You can start visualizing now.
To know more, check out here.
Oracle BI Publisher, formerly known as XML Publisher, is a complete enterprise-level reporting solution from Oracle that streamlines report and form generation. The reports are available in multiple output formats such as PDF, HTML, MS Office (Excel, PowerPoint, and Word), and XML. BI Publisher helps deliver these reports to multiple devices, including email, fax, FTP, or web portal.
The key features of BI Publisher include pre-built templates, customizable interactive reports, layout features, scheduling, and bursting capabilities with advanced security. It is a highly-scalable and flexible solution that helps users better manage their reports.
With numerous features and benefits, BI Publisher is a holistic reporting solution that mitigates the challenges of traditional tools and paves the way for adopting future technologies.