D2K Reports Basics Part1

Introduction to Oracle Reports Builder:

Oracle Reports Builder is a powerful enterprise reporting tool used to build reports that dynamically retrieve data from the database, format, display and print quality reports. Reports can be stored in File or Database (Report Builder Tables).

Report file storage formats:

.rdf Report :

• Binary File Full report definition (includes source code and comments)
• Modifiable through Builder. Binary, executable Portable if transferred as binary.
• PL/SQL recompiles on Open/Run

.rep Report :

• Binary Run-Only File
• No source code or comments. Not modifiable binary, executable.
• Report Executables

You can use the Reports File Converter (rwcon60) to convert a .RDF to a .REP file. RWCON60 Report Converter/Compiler [File => Administration => Compile (rdf torep)/Convert]

Oracle Reports Builder Tools:

Oracle Reports Builder comes with the following components

• Object Navigator
• Property Palette
• Data Model Editor
• Layout Model Editor
• Parameter Form Editor

Object Navigator:
The Object Navigator shows a hierarchical view of objects in the report. Each item listed is called a node and represents an Object or type of object the report can contain or reference.

Property Palette:
A Property Palette is a window that displays the settings for defining an Oracle reports object.

Data Model Editor:
To specify data for a report, a data model should be defined. A data model is composed of some or all of the following data definition objects.

Queries are SQL Select statements that fetch data from the oracle database.
These statements are fired each time the report is run.

Groups determine the hierarchy of data appearing in the report and are primarily used to group columns selected in the query. Oracle report automatically creates a group for each query.

Data Columns:
Data columns contain the data values for a report. Default data columns,corresponding to the table columns included in each query’s SELECT list are automatically created by oracle reports. Each column is placed in the group associated with the query that selected the column.

Formula Columns:
Formulas can be entered in formula columns to create computed columns.
Formulas can be written using PL/SQL syntax. Formula columns are generally preceded by CF_ to distinguish from other columns.

Summary Columns:
Summary columns are used for calculating summary information like sum, average etc. This column uses a set of predefined oracle aggregate functions.

Summary columns are generally preceded by CS_ to distinguish them from other columns.

Placeholder Column:
Place holder column is the name of variable which can hold a calculated value like (sum, avg..) or the value can be set by function or by a pl/sql block. Use of place holder column for aggrigate function is not advised, for that use summary column.

Data Links:
Data links are used to establish parent-child relationships between queries and groups via column matching.

Layout Model Editor:
A report layout editor contains the following layout objects

Frames surround other layout objects, enabling control of multiple objects simultaneously

Repeating Frames:
Repeating frames acts as placeholders for groups (I.e repeating values) and present rows of data retrieved from the database. Repeating frames repeat as often as the number of rows retrieved.

Fields acts as placeholders for columns values. They define the formatting attributes for all columns displayed in the report.

Boilerplate consists of text (label of the column) and graphics that appear in a report each time it is run.

Anchors fasten an edge of one object to an edge of another object, ensuring that they maintain their relative positions.

Parameter Form Editor:
Parameter form is a runtime form used to accept inputs from the user.

Parameters are variables for a report that accept input from the user at runtime. These parameter values can then be used in the SQL select statements to retrieve data conditionally. Oracle reports creates a set of system parameters at runtime namely report destination type, number of copies etc.