XML/BI Publisher Interview Questions

    What is BI Publisher?
       A. It is a reporting tool for generating the reports. More than tool it is an engine that can be
            integrated with systems supporting the business.

    Is BI Publisher integrated with Oracle Apps?
        Yes, it is tightly integrated with Oracle Apps for reporting needs. In 11.5.10 instances xml publisher was used, in R12 we can it BI Publisher

    What is the difference between xml publisher and BI Publisher?
        Name is the difference, initially it was released on the name of xml publisher( the initial patchset), later on they have added more features and called it Business Intelligence Publisher. In BI by default we have integration with Datadefinitions in R12 instance. Both these names can be used interchangeably

    What are the various components required for developing a BI publisher report?
        Data Template, Layout template and the integration with Concurrent Manager.

    How does the concurrent program submitted by the user knows about the datatemplate or layout template it should be using for generating the output?
        The concurrent program ‘shortname’ will be mapped to the ‘code’ of the Datatemplate. Layout template is attached to the datatemplate, this forms the mapping between all the three.

    What is a datatemplate?
        Datatemplate is an xml structure which contains the queries to be run against the database so that desired output in xml format is generated, this generated xml output is then applied on to the layout template for the final output

    What is a layout template?
        Layout template defines how the user views the output, basically it can be developed using Microsoft word document in rft (rich text format) or Adobe pdf format. The data output in xml format (from Data template) will be loaded in layout template at run time and the required final output file is generated.

    What are the output formats supported by layout template?
        xls, html, pdf, eText etc are supported based on the business need.

    Do you need to write multiple layout templates for each output type like html/pdf?
        No, only layout template will be created, BI Publisher generates desired output format when the request is run

    What is the default output format of the report?
        The default output format defined during the layout template creation will be used to generate the output, the same can be modified during the request submission and it will overwrite the one defined at layout template

    Can you have multiple layout templates for a singe data template?
        Yes, multiple layouts can be defined, user has a choice here to use one among them at run time during conc request submission

    Where do you register data and layout templates?
        Layout template will be registered under xml publisher administrator responsibility>Templates tab.
        Data template will be registered under xml publisher admininstrator responsibility> Data Definitions

    I want to create a report output in 10 languages, do I have to create 10 layout templates?
        No, BI Publisher provides the required translation for your templates, based on the number of languages installed in your oracle apps environment requires outputs are provided

    What is the required installation for using BI Pub report?
        BI Publisher deskop tool has be installed. Using this tool you can preview or test the report before deploying the same on to the instance.

    How do you move your layout or data template across instances?
        xdoloader is the utility that will be used.

    What is the tool to map required data output and layout templates so that they can be tested in local machine?
        Template viewer will be used for the same.

    Which component is responsible for generating the output in xml format before applying it to layout template?
        DataEngine will take DataTemplate as the input and the output will be generated in xml format which will then be applied on layout template

    Can BI publisher reports be used in OAF pages?
        XDO template utility helper java classes are provided for the same.

    Name some business use cases for BI  reports?
        Bank EFT, customer documents, shipping documents, internal analysis documents or any transactional documents

    How do you pass parameters to your report?
        Concurrent program parameters should be passed, ensure that the parameter name/token are same as in the conc prog defn and the data template

    What are the various sections in the data template?
        Parameter section
        Trigger Section
        Sql stmt section
        Data Structure section
        Lexical Section

    What does lexical section contain?
        The required lexical clause of Key Flex field or Descriptive FF are created under this section

    What triggers are supported in Data template?
        Before report and After report are supported

    Where is the trigger code written?
        The code is written in the plsql package which is given under ‘defaultpackage’ tag of data template.

    what is the file supporting the translation for a layout template?
A. xliff is the file that supports the translation, you can modify the same as required.

  Q. How do you display the company logo on the report output?
A. Copy and paste the logo (.gif. or any format) on the header section of .rtf file . Ensure you resize per the company standards.

--All the Best


  1. .Freeze report column headers: when user scrolls down the column headers should stay so that user knows which column contains what data.(Printing Header on Every Page)

  2. Do you know if an HTML page break will transfer to excel when report is exported/printed to excel?

  3. Column heights in HTML/excel mode are too big even when the cells do not contain enough data. Can you apply autofit to contents?

  4. .HTML format should be defaulted on all reports regardless of last format selection. Currently, after exporting to excel, BI remembers the last format selection and does not display HTML report if you go back to BI
    and re-run the report. It tries to open the report in excel.

  5. After selection of the parameter values and then hit apply report should run.It shoud not run automatically.

  6. To know or gain knowledge on xml publisher or bi publisher please follow this web page or go through it

  7. Nice Collection. Thanks for Sharing.
    Here are few good articles on BI Publisher. Hope these help as well to your readers.

    RTF Template : Working with variables

    How to re-group XML data in RTF Template

  8. Excellent man. Excellent data in very good form. Keep it up

  9. very useful for an inetrview guys..............

  10. Thanks for sharing

    Kashif M

  11. Thanks For providing Valuable Information to attend the Interview.

    Thank you very much Post some more question on SQR ,App Designer, People code Component interface.

  12. I have a question in BI Publisher. I am trying to generate an xml with http request which should have live data in it. Is there a possibility to get a http link? I want to use this http ling in a third party web service to generate reports with live data coming from http link. Reports need to be generated on demand using the http link

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.