Yesterday, I wrote about the possibilities and limitations of using BIP templates with the FSG engine from GL to get Excel formats out. That was what was possible 'today', today's post is about what is going possible 'tomorrow.' Now, dont get excited, thats not a literal 'tomorrow' ... we have been working with a customer on the templates. We are a little ways away from prime time - Im happy that they are ready for non-FSG applications but the existing FSG Excel solution ie ADI (not the web version) has a raft of cool features that we need to replicate - I'll get into those.
The basic functionality lets you map cells and groups of cells to your incoming XML data source and then add almost any native Excel functionality to the template. The report can then be executed via the concurrent manager and then, via the OPP the Excel template applied to the data and the final Excel file generated. Users can then access the output just as they would any other report in the system via the SRS forms/pages.
Those of you that know the FSG engine will know that you can run a 'content set' on top of a given FSG report. For the uninitiated this is the ability to run the report for a given set of say companies or cost centers within EBS - generating a single data set for how wver many members there are in the content set. The neat FSG feature here is that we 'burst' the result for each member of the content set onto its own sheet in the workbook and allow you to control the name of the sheet tab.
On the FSG product side they have implemented some very neat drill down features. Those of you using the ADI or WebADI products will know that your outputs can have links on every number in the Excel output that when clicked drill you into the GL inquiry pages. This will be available in the Excel and RTF templates when generally released. Enabling users to drill back into the application to discover where that huge and erroneous looking number in the report came from.
We are working on other enhancements to the FSG solution namely the ability to run an FSG Report Set and have each report and its content set members (if applied) burst on to their own sheets in the Excel output - this is a tough one to implement so no promises at this point.
Sorry, I can not commit to a GA date right now. We are working on R12 and there are plans to back port to 11i10 when its all wrapped up - but its coming and it aint far off.