Wednesday, February 07, 2007

BI Publisher and BI EE Suite Integration - Dashboards

Continuing on my earlier post on the integration between BI Publisher and BI EE (BI Publisher and BI EE Suite Integration - 1), this post looks at how you can add BI Publisher content to your BI Dashboard.

In case you are wondering what BI Publisher is (formerly known as XML Publisher), look no further than this page on OTN (well actually, look at this page, and then come back to this post):
Oracle BI Publisher reduces the high costs associated with the development, customization and maintenance of business documents; while increasing the efficiency of reports management. Utilizing a set of familiar desktop tools users can create and maintain their own report formats based on data extracts from diverse sources.
BI Publisher is built on open standard technologies. It is a J2EE application that can be deployed to any J2EE container.
If you see the screenshot below, I have a Dashboard page in edit mode, with two columns. The right column already contains a dashboard prompt, and a couple of Answers reports.
On the left column I want to add some BI Publisher content, which I have created and have available. This could be anything: from pixel perfect reports, to invoices, to standard reports, or just about anything else I may want to create using BI Publisher.
There is a new Dashboard object that has been added in BI 10.1.3, a "BI Publisher Report". This is what I shall use to add BI Publisher content to my Dashboards page.

Select and drag this "BI Publisher Report" object and drop it into the "Section 1" placeholder.

To specify the BI Publisher content, click the "Properties" in the object region above. This pops up a dialog where you can specify the content as well as how the content should appear...

For my purposes, I navigate to the "Shared Folders >> Business Intelligence" folder and select the "Paint Demo" report.

Click 'OK' and click the 'Save' button on the Dashboard page.
See below that the Dashboard page has updated with the BI Publisher report. I have two formats available for this report - PDF and RTF. Mind you, I could have specified HTML and other supported formats also, but for this report I have these two formats specified.
Since BI Publisher also allows me to associate multiple 'templates' or layouts to a single report, I can even select from these available templates, right here in my Dashboard page.

In this case I have a second template, "Revenue Grouped by Year, Region" also available, in case the charts are not what I want to look at.

And there you have it - a nicely formatted report, with all the correct headers, footers, page breaks, etc... The world of adhoc analytics meets the world of pixel perfect reporting.

Related links (I promise to stop including these related links in every post soon, real soon):