Oracle BI Publisher Interview Questions – Part I

What is BI Publisher?

BI Publisher is a reporting tool for generating the reports. More than tool it is an engine that can be integrated with systems supporting the business.

What is XML Publisher?

Oracle XML Publisher is a template-based publishing solution delivered with the Oracle E-Business Suite. It provides a new approach to report design and publishing by integrating familiar desktop word processing tools with existing E-Business Suite data reporting. At runtime, XML Publisher merges the custom templates with the concurrent request data extracts to generate output in PDF, HTML, RTF, EXCEL (HTML), or even TEXT for use with EFT and EDI transmissions.

What is the difference between XML publisher and BI Publisher?

XML Pub operates entirely within EBS and can only be used within EBS. BIP can be installed as a standalone version running off of several OC4J compliant engines, such as Application Server and Tomcat. BIP can be pointed anywhere, so you could do reports out of an OLTP or warehouse database, MSSQL and even within EBS. Licensing is already included in EBS, and the standalone costs whatever plus maintenance.

What are the various components required for developing a BI publisher report?

  • Data Template
  • Layout template
  • Integration with Oracle Concurrent Manager

How does the concurrent request relate both data template and layout template it should be using for generating the output?

The concurrent program ‘short name’ will be mapped to the ‘code’ of the Data template. Layout template is attached to the data template, this forms the mapping between all the three.

Is BI Publisher integrated with Oracle Apps?

Yes, it is tightly integrated with Oracle Apps for reporting needs. In 11.5.10 instances xml publisher was used, in R12 we can it BI Publisher

How does the concurrent program submitted by the user knows about the datatemplate or layout template it should be using for generating the output?

The concurrent program ‘shortname’ will be mapped to the ‘code’ of the Datatemplate. Layout template is attached to the datatemplate, this forms the mapping between all the three.

What is a datatemplate?

 Datatemplate is an xml structure which contains the queries to be run against the database so that desired output in xml format is generated, this generated xml output is then applied on to the layout template for the final output

 What is a layout template?

Layout template defines how the user views the output, basically it can be developed using Microsoft word document in rft (rich text format) or Adobe pdf format. The data output in xml format (from Data template) will be loaded in layout template at run time and the required final output file is generated.

What are the output formats supported by layout template?

xls, html, pdf, eText etc are supported based on the business need.

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Do you need to write multiple layout templates for each output type like html/pdf?

 No, only layout template will be created, BI Publisher generates desired output format when the request is run

What is the default output format of the report?

The default output format defined during the layout template creation will be used to generate the output, the same can be modified during the request submission and it will overwrite the one defined at layout template

Can you have multiple layout templates for a singe data template?

Yes, multiple layouts can be defined, user has a choice here to use one among them at run time during conc request submission.

 Where do you register data and layout templates?

  • Layout template will be registered under xml publisher administrator responsibility>Templates tab.
  • Data template will be registered under xml publisher admininstrator responsibility> Data Definitions

I want to create a report output in 10 languages, do I have to create 10 layout templates?

No, BI Publisher provides the required translation for your templates, based on the number of languages installed in your oracle apps environment requires outputs are provided

What is the required installation for using BI Pub report?

BI Publisher deskop tool has be installed. Using this tool you can preview or test the report before deploying the same on to the instance.

How do you move your layout or data template across instances?

xdoloader is the utility that will be used.

What is the tool to map required data output and layout templates so that they can be tested in local machine?

Template viewer will be used for the same.

 Which component is responsible for generating the output in xml format before applying it to layout template?

DataEngine will take DataTemplate as the input and the output will be generated in xml format which will then be applied on layout template

Can BI publisher reports be used in OAF pages?

XDO template utility helper java classes are provided for the same.

Name some business use cases for BI  reports?

Bank EFT, customer documents, shipping documents, internal analysis documents or any transactional documents.

Learn more about Oracle BI Publisher Interview Questions in this blog post.

How do you pass parameters to your report?

Concurrent program parameters should be passed, ensure that the parameter name/token are same as in the conc prog defn and the data template.

What are the various sections in the data template?

  • Parameter section
  • Trigger Section
  • Sql stmt section
  • Data Structure section
  • Lexical Section

What does lexical section contain?

The required lexical clause of Key Flex field or Descriptive FF are created under this section

What triggers are supported in Data template?

Before report and After report are supported

 Where is the trigger code written?

The code is written in the plsql package which is given under ‘defaultpackage’ tag of data template.

What is the file supporting the translation for a layout template?

xliff is the file that supports the translation, you can modify the same as required.

How do you display the company logo on the report output?

Copy and paste the logo (.gif. or any format) on the header section of .rtf file . Ensure you resize per the company standards.

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