Source-control your BI Publisher reports

Version control systems (VCS) like Subversion, Git and the others has been widely adopted and became the must-have tool in any software development project. Source artifacts and checked out, modified, checked in, all the history of changes is tracked by the VCS.  But what if the development tool stores the source/configuration artifacts not in your laptop's hard drive, but in some shared repository instead? Well, we definitely need a way for export/import our artifacts from/to this repository.  
Oracle BI Publisher report development approach is based on such a shared repository model (catalog), and starting from BI Publisher 11.1.1.5 Oracle ships Catalog Utility, which can be utilized to export/import the reports from the command line.  To start using the BI Publisher Catalog Utility you should:
  1. Go to the file system of the server where BI Publisher binaries has been installed and locate the following file: <MW_HOME>/Oracle_BI1/clients/bipublisher/BIPCatalogUtil.zip
  2. Copy the file to your local filesystem and unzip it. I will refer to this unzipped directory as <BIP_CLIENT_DIR> below
  3. If you do not want to pass server BI Publisher server URL, username and password during each invocation, modify the corresponding values inside <BIP_CLIENT_DIR>/config/xmlp-client-config.xml
  4. Open the terminal window and go to <BIP_CLIENT_DIR>/bin
  5. Make sure that the following environment variables are set: JAVA_HOME, ORACLE_HOME
  6. Now it's time to run the utility:
    • if you are on Linux - just run BIPCatalogUtil.sh and pass the parameters according to the utility documentation
    • if you are on MS Windows the bad news are that the command script for MS Windows is missing, and support.oracle.com note 1333726.1 says that a temporary solution is "create a .cmd file by setting up a classpath and copying the same commands from the .sh script". The good news are that I've created this script already,  please download the it from GitHub
Hope you will find this utility useful during you day-by-day BI Publisher development. 

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