Wednesday, 19 November 2014

BI Publisher Desktop version and report template issues

Oracle BI Publisher Desktop and APEX reporting

BI Publisher Desktop template "problems" when running in APEX

Recently I had a request from a client to update some of existing reports that run in their APEX 4.2.0 version. As I have done numerous applications that interact with BI Publisher there were no reasons why I should not be able to assist with this request. 

Bearing in mind that I am no BI Publisher expert but have done some BI reporting this is a problem I ended up with. After deploying my changed template all new regions had characters in bold font. No mater how much I tried I couldn't reproduce this in BI Pub Desktop and my template.

Before I go into it just a note that BI Publisher was used here as APEX print server. There are several other posts around that describe all options how you can integrate the two so I will not cover this in my today's post.

Here is an example of my problem, this was my word template:
where all seemed fine some text is bolded some is not. Once deployed under Shared components -> Reports resulted in:
which was surprising as I never encountered this problem before when dealing with BI reports in APEX. 

It took me some time to notice where problem might be and without help of my BI colleague I probably would still be looking at it.

First thing we agreed that we should better check for BI Publisher version this report is running on. Why? 

There is this funny story with BI publisher Desktop Add-ons for MS Word that not all versions are compatible. We both have experienced this before but since change I did in above template was really a minor one (adding 1 table, fields and bolding few of them) it never occur to me this might be the problem.

To verify this all that was needed (after Instance settings provided me the details and the link to the server) was try to open my BI Publisher and check out the version installed.  It was vs
Now question was are Oracle BI Publisher Desktop and Oracle BI Publisher version mutually supported? And I am still am not for sure about this one. :)
Eventually even though we tried everything with an older version of BI Pub Desktop 10.x it hasn't sorted this problem so we turned back to my original template.

At the end it came down to, all problems were caused by this new table that was holding my new data. For some reason BI Publisher printer didn't like the formatting of it (still not sure why) so I had to recreate it from scratch using preexisting table as base for it. After lots of copy and pasting things started working again and report finally looked like it was expected.

This probably isn't directly related to APEX but it may help. I learned my lesson. :)

Till my next post,

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