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An In-depth Analysis and Overview of Oracle Reports

August 13, 2012 | By | Reply More

Introduction

Oracle Reports, a component of Oracle Fusion Middleware is Oracle’s award-winning, high-fidelity enterprise reporting software tool. It enables businesses to provide instant access to information to all levels within and outside of the organization in a scalable and secure environment. Oracle Reports consists of Oracle Reports Developer – a powerful design tool and a J2EE 5.0 based Oracle Reports Server with multi-tier architecture to access any data sources, generate reports in any popular format for web and paper, and to burst and distribute reports to any destination.

Oracle Reports is a tool for developing reports against different data sources. Oracle Reports consists of Oracle Reports Developer (a component of the Oracle Developer Suite) and Oracle Application Server Reports Services (a component of the Oracle Application Server). Oracle Reports Developer also known as Oracle Reports Builder is a powerful enterprise reporting tool that enables you to rapidly develop and deploy sophisticated Web and paper reports against any data source. You can publish your reports in a variety of formats to any destination in a scalable, efficient manner. Oracle Application Server Reports Services is used to publish Oracle reports which are then accessible through web interface.

Using wizards to automate report design

Report Builder has a Report Wizard, Data Wizard, and Web Wizard to automate the creation of reports. Most often, you can create a report by starting with one of the wizards, and then refining the report that the wizard creates.

For example, you can start with the Report Wizard to create an initial report, which the Report Wizard automatically displays in the Live Previewer. From there, you can make modifications to the report in the Live Previewer, Layout Model view, Data Model view, and Parameter Form view.

Using the Report Editor to view and edit reports

The Object Navigator and Report Editor appear when you first start up Report Builder. The Object Navigator provides a hierarchical display of all major objects in a report or template, including attached libraries and external queries. Using the Object Navigator, you can:

  • Select an object
  • Open the Property Palette to change an object’s attributes
  • Edit an object’s PL/SQL
  • Drag and drop PL/SQL program units
  • Search for an object by name

When you select an object in the Object Navigator, the corresponding object is simultaneously selected in the Live Previewer, Data Model view, or Layout Model view.

Overview/Key Differentiators

Building reports with Oracle Reports Developer is as easy as authoring an HTML page. Deploying your reports using Oracle AS Reports Services is as simple as copying a file. Oracle Reports means you can securely take your data from any data source and deliver it anywhere in any format.

Pluggable Data Sources (PDS)

A Pluggable Data Source (PDS) is a set of Java APIs that provides openness to Oracle Reports by enabling data input from any source. PDSs allow Oracle Reports to combine data from various data sources including multiple Oracle database connections – each with potentially a different connection.

Oracle JDeveloper integration

Oracle Reports has been integrated within Oracle JDeveloper to allow Java developers to leverage the powerful publishing capabilities of Oracle Reports within their Java applications.

Developers can create a new JSP based Web report or a Pluggable Destination from within Oracle JDeveloper. The Reports JSP objects appear in the object gallery within Oracle JDeveloper. Oracle Reports can be coded by hand, or the Oracle Reports Builder can be launched from within Oracle JDeveloper. Once the report is created and the Oracle Reports Builder exited, control is returned back to Oracle JDeveloper.

Oracle Single Sign-On Integration

By default, the Reports Server is secured and, to run a report, you must login with a valid Single Sign-On userid and password. The Reports Server is configured by default with the OracleAS Single Sign-On instance installed as part of Oracle Application Server. The Oracle Internet Directory instance installed with Oracle Application Server is used as the default repository for user and group information. You can use a different Oracle Internet Directory instance or disable security setting if needed.

Oracle Enterprise Manager Integration

Oracle Enterprise Manager (OEM) is Oracle’s single, integrated solution for administering and monitoring global enterprises. OracleAS Reports Services is completely integrated with OEM enabling you to monitor and control your servers. Starting and stopping of individual Reports Servers, monitoring the reports in the queues, viewing the amount of computer resources used are some of the features which are available through OEM.

Using Event-Driven Publishing

Modern business processes often require the blending of automation into the work environment through behind-the-scenes functions and procedures. Behind-the-scenes tasks can include the automatic production of output such as an invoice that prints automatically when an order is processed, a Web site that is automatically updated with current data, or an automatic e-mail with fresh report output when a transaction is completed.

Reports Builder Development Features

  • user-friendly wizards that guide you through the report design process
  • pluggable data sources that provide access to data from any source for your reports
  • a query builder with a graphical representation of the SQL statement to obtain report data
  • default report templates and layout styles that can be customized if needed
  • a live editor that allows you to modify paper report layouts in WYSIWYG mode
  • the ability to add dynamic report output to an HTML page by embedding custom Java Server Page (JSP) tags within an HTML document
  • an integrated graph builder to graphically represent report data
  • tools that dynamically generate Web pages based on your data
  • standard report output formats such as HTML, HTMLCSS, XML, PDF, PCL, PostScript, and ASCII
  • event-based reporting (report execution based on database events)
  • Seamless integration of Oracle Reports Developer with Oracle AS Portal for administering report security and publishing report output to portlets.
  • The ability to use metadata in your reporting software design.

You can use the Report Wizard to build eight styles of reports like Tabular Report, Matrix Report etc. The Report Wizard enables you to generate high quality output for the Web, as well as high fidelity paper reports, using the same declarative environment.

Limitations

  1. Extraction of data from a non-Oracle DB is problematic.
  2. Extensive tool training.
  3. High development costs.
  4. Not a user-friendly interface.
  5. No automatic report translations.

 

Category: General Information

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