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Wrapping Up on XML Publisher - Part II
March 23, 2006
Mark Rittman

To use the demo you first upload the ".xdo" file - in this case, EmpDept.xdo, the same as the example I've reproduced above, and a template file to define how the report is layed out. These get uploaded by the demo application to a location on the server filesystem, and you can then switch from the upload tab to the repository tab to run the report, like this:

You can then click on the View button to view the templates associated with a report name, like this:

and then run the report by using the Run button. The report looks like this:

Note how you can change the report layout by changing the template that you're using, the language and the output format. Note also that the report parameters - job title, department, salary and so on - are defined in the .xdo file and are render automatically when the report is displayed.

So, in summary, what does this tell us about XML Publisher, and deploying reports in a production situation? Well, firstly, XML Publisher Server isn't a product you  install as such, it's a set of libraries you include within a Java application, that you then deploy to an application server as a WAR or an EAR file. XML Publisher is then implemented as a servlet that then takes a minimum of two files you create - an XML file with a ".xdo" extension that defines the report, a template file that defines the report layout, and an optional XML file that contains the data - and renders your report as either a HTML page, a PDF, an RFT (Word) document, an Excel spreadsheet or an XML file. All of the aspects around the production of the report - securing access to reports, providing a framework to list out available reports, scoping access to data, providing a means to report against non-XML or SQL data - is outside the scope of XML Publisher and would need to be provided by the host application.

As a final wrap-up I noticed a few interesting postings on the XML Publisher OTN Forum that I though worth making a note of:

There's also a section in the readme.html for the server product that goes through how you can add XML Publisher functionality to your Java application - what you have to do here is copy the XML Publisher libararies into your java project, together with the fonts, and include a configuration file called "xdo.cfg" to define how the XML Publisher functionality works.

That's it for me on XML Publisher for now. If anyone has any successes with the product or any tips or tricks, let me know. My understanding is that another version - 5.6 - should be out afer Christmas, so when that's out I'll try and do an update.


 

 
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