Thursday, August 30, 2007

BI Publisher Discoverer Integration - 4 - getting the software

After the grand success of my first three posts on BI Publisher and Discoverer integration (BI Publisher Discoverer integration, BI Publisher Discoverer integration 2, and BI Publisher Discoverer Integration - 3) I considered retiring and moving to a life of book tours and guest lectures. Then I thought of something better - why not a fourth post. Well, why not? And mind you the thought was merely rhetorical (कभी कभी मेरे दिल मे ख़याल आता है - kabhi kabhie mere dil me khayal aata hai). So here goes.

This post describes how to get the Discoverer patch that contains the secret sauce that makes the magic of Discoverer web services come alive.

Since it is a bit late at night here, and I have to complete a document this week (preferably tonight), and since I have been making very little progress, I want to get this post done quickly, and also with the hope that writing this post will get me back into the groove of writing the bit that remains in the other document.

Let's get the simple stuff out of the way:
This integration is available in the release of BI Publisher (Download the software - home page, or download the standalone version of BI Publisher for Windows or Linux). You can read is now available for more information on I shall describe the details of the integration in a future post; for now let's just focus on getting the software.

For the Discoverer bit, you need to have Oracle Application Server 10gR2 (version installed. That's mandatory, no getting round it. Then, you need to download a patch, a Discoverer specific patch that contains the BI Publisher integration code. Actually it is the code that exposes certain functionality via SOAP based web services, but since this code was built primarily for the reason of integrating BI Publisher and Discoverer, we have been calling it the 'XMLP web services' - which is horribly wrong for at least two reasons: (i) the correct product name is 'BI Publisher', 'XML Publisher' was the old name, and certainly calling it 'XMLP' is a no-no, and (ii) these are not 'xmlp web services', these are Discoverer web services. But you know what I am talking about, right?
So where was I? Web services patch. Right. You can download the patch from Metalink ( Good. Can I go? May I go? I forgot to mention some specifics, didn't I? The devil is in the details, as they say.

Ok. Let's do it in a cleaner, more 'brevitous' manner, shall we?
- Download and install Oracle Application Server 10gR2 (version
- Choose the 'BI & Forms' type install.
- Verify that Discoverer is working.
- Go to Metalink and search for all patches for 'Discoverer Plus or Viewer' for 'iAs'.
- Select patch '5648158'; the one that says 'Merge XMLP API to Main' (see what I said about using non-standard abbreviations externally?)
- Download it.

The 'Advanced Search' screen for patches on Metalink

The Discoverer web services patch

The patch download page


Ok, just one more bit that I have to tell you.
The patch is password protected.
You need to get the password from your support analyst.
The support rep shall provide you with the password.
The support analyst shall first verify with you that you really need the patch and that you are not mistaking the patch for something that it's not (turn-by-turn instructions on how to get to Jhumri Tilaiya).

It (the patch) is a 12MB zip file for both platforms (Windows and Linux).