OracleAppsBlog
A day in the life of an Oracle Applications Consultant

Reports

Thursday, August 14, 2008

BI Publisher Webinar

Simon Tomey of BeLife will be running a Webinar for BI Publisher at the following dates and times: -

  • Thursday 21st August 2008 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM GMT - Register Here
  • Thursday 28th August 2008 @ 7:00 AM - 8:00 AM GMT - Register Here

A short description of the webinar:

Oracle XML/BI publisher is possibly the richest new piece of functionality in E-business suite and certainly the easiest to implement. It means you can forget the text based reports you have been struggling with and delight your users with clean attractively formatted documents and spreadsheets.

This series of webinars will include some ‘quick wins’ and the steps to building and customising great XML output. Simon will demonstrate how to:

  • implement the templates which already exist in your system
  • convert GL reports to produce clean MS Excel output
  • build templates to create documents and spreadsheets (such as dunning letters, customer open balance letters, remittance advices and listings). 
  • include tables, logos, pictures, headers and footers, first and last page only content, and conditional statements (e.g. if..then). 
  • Apply some tricks (e.g. getting different XML reports from the same output file)

The first in this series of presentations will cover the seven steps to producing a BI publisher report using a very simple example. I recommend you download the slides from Simon’s presentation.

Audio Services will be provided for the following countries and it is essential that for this particular webinar you can access the audio services.

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • United States

Hence when you have registered and are given the conference call number, please check to ensure that you can actually dial that number. If, for example, you live in India and would like to make use of the audio features you would have to dial in to the conference using a U.S. number. Using VOIP services such as skype for the audio is not ideal as you may experience some network latency, in most instances you will be better off using a landline or mobile to access the conference audio.

Please also note that the webinar allows up to 25 panelists for the audio, a panelist being someone who can have a two way conversation with the presenter. Anyone who is not a panelist will only have the ability to listen to the presenter. When signing up please let me know if you would like to be a panelist. As there is a limit to the number of panelists the option to be a panelist will be awarded on a first come first served basis.

Note: If you’re unable to attend the webinar live or cannot utilise the audio facilities (as a result of your country not being included in the list of countries above) a recording of the session will be available for subsequent download and playback.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Integrating Financial Management with Project Management using EcoSys Financial Manager

Recently I been working with a company called Ecosys Management to learn and implement one of their products, EcoSys Financial Manager. According to their site: -

EcoSys Financial Manager Architecture EcoSys Financial Manager (FM) is a web based enterprise project financial management system. Project financial management involves all aspects of managing and monitoring the flow of funds from the organization into discrete initiatives, programs, projects, and ongoing operations. These discrete efforts execute and should align to strategic objectives and priorities. The project financial management cycle encompasses long range planning, fiscal period budgeting, forecasting, spending requests, allocations, performance measurement, controls, closeouts, and adjustments.

Large organizations need to be agile and responsive - financial processes and workflows need to flow top down and bottom up. Finance and Accounting needs to reconcile information flowing in both directions: down from executives responsible for strategic planning and up from the people in the field who are close to the work required.

EcoSys FM successfully bridges corporate strategic planning and project financial management for our customers in a varied range of industries. Particularly if you are looking to integrate project management with financial management, EcoSys FM is a proven solution in organizations using Primavera and other enterprise project management systems.

If you’re interested in learning a bit more then download this EcoSys Financial Manager Presentation. If you’re potentially interested in implementing this product in your organisation then contact EcoSys

 

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Oracle Reports using BI Publisher

I’m currently working as an associate consultant with an organisation called BeLife Ltd. We are interested in showing organisations how they can transform their Oracle Reports using BI Publisher (formerly XML Publisher) and would like to offer a free 1 hour demonstration of this product to anyone that’s interested.

BI Publisher is standard Oracle Financials integrated functionality, but it is only used by a few organisations. Recent feedback suggested that this is because organisations just don’t know how to start with using BI Publisher even though users are eager to experience the benefits. We’d like to show you in an hour how you can get started.

We can show you how to use BI Publisher to generate:

  • Remittance Advices
  • Dunning Letters and Customer Statements
  • General Ledger Reports for downloading direct to Excel, including grouping and formulae (sums, average, maximum, minimums)
  • Management information reports with tables, graphs and conditional formatting.

Whether you’re a super user, end user or implementor if you’re interested in potentially using this reporting tool or know of anyone that may be interested in a demonstration please contact me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Update:

This demonstration will be run as a webinar. Details of the first part of a series of BI Publisher webinars are outlined here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

ITtoolbox Cognos Blog

I came across a Cognos blog at ITtoolbox the other day which I though I would give a mention. Cognos has been around for as long as I’ve been implementing enterprise systems. In my former days as a BaaN consultant we used to use it and even with Oracle it’s a viable option when it comes to reporting.

According to the Cognos site:

Cognos is the world leader in business intelligence (BI) and performance planning software for the enterprise. Our solutions let companies improve and direct corporate performance by enabling all of the key steps in the management cycle—from planning and budgeting, to measuring and monitoring performance, to reporting and analysis. Cognos is the only company to support all of these key management activities with a complete solution that spans all of the essential components of CPM—enterprise planning, scorecarding, and business intelligence.

The About section of the Cognos Blog states the following:

I’ve been developing financial, accounting, and production reports for the last 20 years. Follow along as I share practical experiences in making Cognos Impromptu and Powerplay have a major impact on how organizations do business. I’ll also talk real life systems development, work philosophy, and more about the kind of people I’ve met along the way.

The Author is none other than Atlanta Dan and his bio reads as follows:

I have been developing financial, accounting, and production reports for the last 20 years. I started as a CPA who fell in love with the Apple and Supercalc. Over the years I have had to master Dbase II, Lotus, MS Office (Excel and Access), SQL, and dozens of other languages to make all kinds of reports work. Powerplay and Impromptu captured me 14 years ago and I have yet to find better reporting tools. I started developing for IWR and PPES 5 years ago. Hand-in-hand with these tools I have been developing the related SQL server queries and objects, including developing and implementing data warehouses, marts, and other data staging techniques to provide the data in the format needed by Cognos Powerplay and Impromptu.

Some interesting articles have been posted to date. Enjoy reading!

Monday, August 16, 2004

Printing Reports in PDF format with Oracle Applications

This post explains how you can modify an Oracle Applications report output format so that it displays as a PDF document. It also outlines how to fix a recent error I received when trying to generate PDF reports.

Oracle Applications allows you to print your reports in a variety of formats. To change the report output format you will need to have access to system administrator responsibility and navigate as follows: - Concurrent > Program > Define. Using the Query or find facilities retrieve the report name you would like to print in PDF format. In the “Output” area of the form as displayed in Fig.1 you will notice a drop down box which gives you the following options: -

  • HTML
  • PCL (HP’s Printer Control Language)
  • PDF
  • PostScript
  • Text
  • XML

It should be noted that if you choose HTML or PDF as the output type with Oracle Reports Programmes, you should use a printer driver that handles HTML or PDF files. Selecting PDF as the format output will ensure that the next time you print the report and view the output, it generates in PDF format (you will only be able to view it if you have Acrobat PDF Reader installed on your PC).

Figure 1: How to modify your report output format to print a PDF Document

Click to view an enlarged image of where you should choose the report output format

Personally, I quite like this option to view output in a PDF document type since it looks a lot “prettier” than looking at the report in plain text or HTML format. You also have the option of saving a copy of the file to your local PC in much the save way as you could save the text or HTML output locally.

One thing I would like to know from any readers that have utilised this feature is whether it’s possible to make use of the security features of Acrobat (such as controlling content copying or extraction) within Oracle Applications so that when the report is generated you have control over the content and form of the document.

Fixing an error received on PDF generation

Last week I received a bizarre error message when trying to view the output of a report whose format was PDF. The error message was - File does not begin with ‘%PDF-’. Considering I was not encountering this message when using other PC’s it became clear to me that the problem was related specifically to my PC. A quick search on Metalink revealed note 206727.1 which made me realise that somewhere along the line I needed to change my browser settings for Internet Explorer. I made the following changes to my brower options which rectified the problem.

Selected Tools > Internet Options > General tab > Settings. Under “Check for newer versions of stored pages” there were four possible selections: -

  • Every visit to the page
  • Every time you start Internet Explorer
  • Automatically
  • Never

I had “Every visit to the page” selected and discovered that choosing any of the other three options would now successfully generate my PDF report within IE when choosing to view report output.