When it comes down to it, XMLP is a great reporting tool inside the E Business Suite but the greatest value is that offered by the products that use it and provide enhanced reporting functionality to their users. 11i10 got the ball rolling with the HRMS, Purchasing, Contracts, Advanced Collections and other teams moving some of their reporting functionality over to XMLP. In the case of Advanced Collections they jumped in a the deep end and based all of their reporting on XMLP including document delivery.
With the release of R12 you are going to see many more products taking advantage of the reporting gains XMLP offers them and ultimately you. The new Payments team are standardizing on a single extract and then providing you EFT formats (EText templates), Check formats (RTF Templates), the Global Finanacials teams have reduced the number of extracts they have and are shipping you layouts. But the most obvious thing to notice is the number of out of the box templates now available, roughly 870 templates across 60 or so teams means that there is a high chance the product as now developed the template you are interested in. So it should be a simple case of getting their template, copying it, customizing it and then deploying it - done.
I have generated a list of templates by product then by concurrent program available here. These are the templates shipping with the baseline R12 release. There is also a project going on to migrate the remainder of the Oracle Reports based concurrent programs to the XMLP platform, slated for release later this year you'll have more than 2000 templates available ... having met many of you and discussed the canned reports you either use none of them or very few and those you have to customize ... hopefully with this many templates available life will become easier for you.
What of your own custom reports, how can you migrate those? Well in R12 there are a set of libraries to help you move your Oracle Reports to a data template (extract) plus a layout template (RTF) ... the libraries are being used internally to convert the canned reports so they have been put through their paces ... more on this in another future post.
Hey, Im an 11i customer what do I get?
Well one of the carrots to come to R12 is the better reporting and the number of templates available. There are tentative plans to build a Template Bank on metalink to allow you to download development delivered templates, hopefully consulting templates and even other customer templates ... this is all still on the drawing board but a distinct possibility. With the 5.6.3 release, coming soon, you also get the migration libraries to help you move your own Oracle Reports. Of course if you can find a friendly R12 customer and do some template negociation and you're off to the races, hey we'll have an gray market in template swapping before you know it.