Saturday, 21 July 2012

Comparison between XML Publisher and Oracle Reports

Comparison between XML Publisher and Oracle Reports

In Oracle Reports, a single executable RDF file contains the data source, layout, business logic, and the language-specific prompts. However, BI Publisher separates these components into different layers. Following are some of the key limitations of Oracle Reports that are overcome by BI Publisher:

     · Multiple layouts If you wish to publish the data from a report in more than one format—for example, in both an Excel and HTML layout—then multiple RDF files have to be prepared. If any bug fixes are required, fixes will have to be applied to both RDF files.
     · Multiple language Global implementations for a large organization usually require the same report to be developed in multiple languages. In case of Oracle Reports, developers will have to create different copies of the same RDF files and place them in the <application top>/reports/<language> directory. In case of any bug fixes to data or any changes to layout, all the copies of reports have to be amended.
     · Trivial tasks Even trivial tasks like changing the prompt or minor changes to the layout require a developer in Oracle Reports. Using BI Publisher, these tasks can be implemented by trained support staff or business analysts.
     · Distribution The distribution capabilities in the Oracle Reports tool within E-Business Suite are very restrictive. To distribute the output of Oracle Reports, many companies implementing E-Business Suite have to purchase third-party products or even build their own in-house reports distribution framework. With BI Publisher, a mechanism named bursting can automate distribution of the reports using industry standard delivery protocols.
      · Securing the output When distributing the output of Oracle Reports in E-Business Suite, it is not possible to secure the output using a password. BI Publisher facilitates password protection of the documents.

Due to the previously listed limitations, the cost of customization and maintenance is very high for Oracle Reports in Multilanguage implementations. In the case of BI Publisher, the data layer, presentation layer, and the translation layer are separate. Additionally, BI Publisher is based on open standards and thus overcomes many of the limitations of Oracle Reports. In addressing some of the limitations of Oracle Reports and adopting open standards, Oracle has allowed implementations to potentially reduce the overall cost of build, customization, and ongoing maintenance of reports.