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Thursday, January 3, 2008

BI Publisher / XML Publisher CAN produce XML as an output format

In the above diagram, we see quite a few formats on the right that are available as output formats. PDF, RTF (mostly Microsoft Word), HTML, EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer), and Microsoft Excel. I have implemented every output format thus far except XML. I figured, why implement BI Publisher to output XML if I am already getting XML for BI Publisher to start working with in the first place? Well sometimes you need to add a little or take a little away from the XML that BI Publisher is fed to start the whole XML output creation process.

You CAN have BI Publisher create XML as an output however not using a template that you may have used before, such as an RTF or PDF template. To transform incoming XML to another form of an output XML, you need to create an XSL stylesheet

From that point, you can upload it to the Apps XML Publisher Template Manager (as I have discussed in some other BI Publisher posts here) and it has to be registered as an XML-XSL template, not an RTF or other format. The concurrent manager will then be able to process this like any other BI Publisher template and give you the transformed format.

If you were wondering, we decided to go with BI Publisher and outputting the XML with BIP instead of Oracle Reports because our client is adopting BIP not only inside Apps, but as the standalone Business Intelligence reporting tool of choice, and they need bar codes and other nice things to be able to print out on Zebra Printers over their network. Zebra printers have a proprietary format and XML is something that will work for them.

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