My journey with BI Publisher...
By Ashish Shrivastava on Mar 02, 2009
It was just last week when I moved out from BI Publisher development and join the Fusion Financial Application development group. All these years working for a great product and with a great team, it was a wonderful experience.
My association with BI Publisher is more then six years old. It was the time, when I was working as a part of Oracle Financial Globalization team on EBS Reporting Strategy project with Tim Dexter. We were trying to create Java applet based Layout Editor to modify the Oracle Report Layout without changing the underlying Data Model. This was the requirement from most of EBS customers for simple customization of report layout. Oracle Report Designer was/is available but it was hard for PMs to use it. During the same period, ATG Internationalization team came up with some exciting prototypes on RTF templates. I still remember about very first POC from Internationalization team on RTF template with one single Form field and the PDF output. That was so exciting that after the demo we dumped the Report Layout Editor project. It was decided to work together to explore further on the same line. Later the product called XML Publisher. First Tim Dexter moved to XML Publisher and subsequently I joined the team as well.
After joining, I start working on XML Publisher integration with EBS. The first integration between Publisher and EBS was through 2 steps Java Concurrent Program to submit a XML Publisher report through EBS. XDO Common Region was another integration with EBS, where XML Publisher report can be embedded within OAF pages.
During up-taking the Publisher within EBS, one of the critical questions was, what we are going to do with 3000 existing EBS reports. Are we going to re-write all these reports? The answer was RDF to RTF migration utility to migrate the RDF Layout.
Data Template (Data Engine) was another exciting contribution to the product. After migrating RDF layout section to RTF Templates, the existing Oracle Reports was still in use to generate the XML Data. It was like two reporting solution for a single report. we came up with the Data Template concept. The very first Data Engine was written in PLSQL and later we migrate it to Java. The Data Template functionality helped us to come up with a complete RDF to XML publisher migration utility. EBS teams has successfully migrated around 2000 Oracle Reports to BI Publisher report with the help of these utilities.
Bursting is one of my most lovable babies. Bursting Engine is very dynamic and supports a wide range of bursting requirement. It has two flavors. Control file based bursting, which is well integrated with EBS and JDE, is much more powerful compare to Delivery SQL based bursting supported through Enterprise Release.
Moving forward, I look after Scheduling functionality of Enterprise Release. I did contribute to enhance this area, but frankly speaking, I don’t see any major contribution over that area.
Here it comes Fusion, It was time again to work closely with Oracle Application Teams. I always feel pleasure while working with developers, customers.
While I moved out last week from the BI Publisher development, I still can’t leave the product. It is too close to my heart and the best way to be in touch with the product, I decided to share my knowledge with the community though this media.
Most of my post will be specific to developer’s point of view. I will start with one of my favorite features Bursting. I feel its is under-documented and the feature is most widely used by the developers community. So stay tune and wait for next post.