Its funny how a post you wrote a few years ago can come back and bite you on the bum, rather hard. Im not even going to link to the post. Suffice to say that, it covered how you might write an XSL template to generate Excel output that was better and more robust and offered more features than the Excel generated by the RTF templates. Please, dont go and look for it, it will end in tears. In fact I ought to delete it except it still has some merit, if only in the fact that it covers a little XSL code that is still useful these days in Publisher.
But that post came and bit me, a customer found it and not knowing about the newer; more shiny and altogether more friendly Excel templates, gave it a whirl. They struggled to get it working and consequently logged an SR with support. Who found me and asked the obvious, I of course did not 'click' as to what context they were running the report in and came back with the glib reply that 'it works for me!' Not very helpful I know but I did follow up.
You see in the small print of that post is a caveat about being able to run and then view the output. The XSL created XML not an xls file so the user needed to download the file and force Excel to open it. Trying to view it from the report viewer interface resulted in misery for the user ... lesson for me, make my small print larger!
Once we had clarified what was actually needed, we turned the customer on to the all singing, all dancing lead on a Broadway show, Excel templates.
Now I'll be the first to admit, we still do not have any formal doc out there on them, it's coming I promise.
Update: Leslie has has slapped me upside the head and reminded me that the 11g doc is available here. For you 10g'ers, they are documented in the new new features guide here.
In lieu of that, Robear (super support person) has put together a really great Note on building multisheet Excel templates. Packed full of info and more importantly examples - check it out on Oracle support site here. Yes its on the flash site but it will come up eventually I promise, if not look for
Note: 1352000.1 : BI Publisher: How to create Multisheet in Single Excel file using Excel Template
If per chance, you are in Boulder, CO this Saturday (9/3) and want to see a 'not quite so fat as he used to be guy' swim (Im not bad), ride (I'm awesome) and run (I know I'll be crawling again) around Boulder Reservoir drop by. Not the most inviting image I know but we can have a laugh and joke about it afterwards and I promise to wear a shirt. We hit the water at 2pm! If you come, please bring, oxygen, beer and a spanking new Cervelo P4 .... I'm dribbling! I'll be the bald guy, trying to look slim in lycra shorts, looking even sillier in a swim cap. Hang on, that's what most of us look like ... just shout TIMMMMM!