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Oracle Reports Documentation
Mark Rittman

Useful Sources of Oracle Reports Documentation

Someone recently asked me to recommend a good book for Oracle Reports, and I thought it worth jotting down my thoughts in this area, as it's something I've been asked about a few times in the past.

Oracle Reports has traditionally 'fallen between the cracks' when it comes to books, usually getting bundled in with Oracle Forms due to their joint inclusion in the old Oracle Developer tool bundle. About the best book of this type currently in print is Peter Koletzke and Paul Dorsey's "Oracle Developer Advanced Forms and Reports", with a good few sections of the book focussing on the basics of Reports development (including the forms data model), using the object navigator, the reports layout model, and deploying the resultant client-server report.

With Reports 9iAS, as bundled with Oracle 9iAS Release 2, the product's architecture has gone through a radical evolution in order to integrate it into the 9iAS J2EE framework. Reports now runs as a J2EE application using the OC4J container, delivering reports using the Reports Servlet or as JSPs, and security is now integrated in with the 9iAS SSO server. These days, the work involved in setting up a Reports environment is as much to do with installing and configuring a J2EE application on the 9iAS platform, and you'd do well to get hold of a general 9iAS and Portal Administration book such as "Oracle9i Application Server Portal Handbook", for details on 9ias, Portal, and how Portal works with them.

Your best bet though, and one that won't cost any money, is the online documentation available on OTN. These days, with internet access being fairly ubiquitous, I don't usually bother lugging a set of books from client to client, relying instead on sites such as, asktom and MOSC. As far as Reports 9iAS is concerned, the key guides that are worth looking at are

Oracle9i Reports Tutorial
for a basic introduction to building a report from an SQL source

Publishing Reports to the Web with Oracle9iAS Reports Services
for details on how to configure the reports engine within 9iASr2

Oracle9i Reports Building Reports
for more complex reports tasks, including using Express and 9i OLAP data sources, XML pluggable data sources and so on.

Troubleshooting Oracle Reports 9iAS
includes details on how to TRACE the reports server, and resolutions for issues with initial releases

Getting Started With Oracle Reports
A general guide to Oracle Reports, lots of diagrams

Oracle Reports Plugin Exchange
central source for Reports plugins, such as the Web Service data source and the webDAV destination plugin

If you want to get hold of a single book that covers all of the 9i data warehousing product stack (including a small section on Reports), the best bet is Lillian Hobbs' "Oracle 9iR2 Data Warehousing", which also contains sections on 9i OLAP, OWB, Discoverer and Oracle 9i.



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