Oracle BI Publisher Interview Questions

Oracle BI Publisher Interview Questions

Q. What is BI Publisher?

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

Q. 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

Q. What is the difference between xml publisher and BI Publisher?

Name is the difference, initially it was released on the name of xml publisher( the initial patchset), later on they have added more features and called it Business Intelligence Publisher. In BI by default we have integration with Datadefinitions in R12 instance. Both these names can be used interchangeably

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

Data Template, Layout template and the integration with Concurrent Manager.

Q. 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.

Q. 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

Q. 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.

Q. What are the output formats supported by layout template?

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

Q. 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

Q. 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

Q. 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

Q. 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

Q. 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

Q. 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.

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

xdoloader is the utility that will be used.

Q. 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.

Q. 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

Q. Can BI publisher reports be used in OAF pages?

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

Q. Name some business use cases for BI  reports?

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

Q. 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

Q. What are the various sections in the data template?

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

Q. What does lexical section contain?

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

Q. What triggers are supported in Data template?

Before report and After report are supported

Q. Where is the trigger code written?

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

Q. 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.

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

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

Q. Is BI Publisher included with Oracle EBS R12?

Yes, BI Publisher is installed with R12 with a “limited use license” which allows you to report on data that exists in Oracle’s seeded tables. Reporting on custom tables is prohibited with this license so you should address any licensing questions with your Oracle Sales Representative.

Q. What will happen to my existing Oracle Reports?

In R12, you can continue to use your existing Oracle reports as the concurrent manager will still run reports. However if you would like to transition to BI Publisher, you can change the report output to XML by editing the Concurrent Program definition and changing the output type to ‘XML’. BI Publisher can then use the data to format the report.

Q. But aren’t Oracle Reports going away?

It’s true that Oracle reports are not being actively developed for R12, but they still exist within the application. Oracle continues to support the majority of existing reports and the report developer through the latest version of Oracle. Moving forward however, new reports or modified reports are being pushed over to BI Publisher data template format.

Q. How are BI Publisher generated reports different from standard Oracle reports?

Standard Oracle Reports are the result of queries and data combined with layouts – the formatting is inseparable from the report generation which is why you may have multiple copies of similar but slightly different reports on your system. However, BI Publisher separates the layout from the data model which allows a variety of layouts to be applied to a single data model making BI Publisher faster and more flexible than standard reporting.

Q. Is it true that BI Publisher in R12 allows me to deliver reports from Oracle EBS?

BI Publisher offers some limited capabilities, but it comes at a cost:

Implementation Duration – An unnecessary bottleneck can occur in accessing  IT resources when considering the amount of programming, configuration, and testing required

Troubleshooting Speed – Even after implementation, significant IT resources are required to maintain and troubleshoot day-to-day issues and delivery failures

Functionality –  Native delivery’s limited controls lack the ability to conduct basic actions like, confirm the status of a delivery, quickly re-send failed documents, and add multiple attachments to a report

With a prepackaged solution like AventX Oracle Connector, technical teams can set and forget the application, empowering users to service their own day-to-day delivery challenges. In addition, a packaged solution allows IT to avoid complex development, keeping resources focused on other projects and further limiting customizations to your EBS environment. Users have greater flexibility over how and what they send, and receive the confirmation they need to be confident their documents were delivered successfully to the right recipients.

While BI Publisher may be a step in the right direction for Oracle, be sure to investigate your organization’s delivery needs and do not assume they can be met natively in R12.View this Quick Reference Guide to understand the pros and cons of native delivery options from EBS R12.

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