Siebel Business Applications ship with pre-developed BI Publisher reports. Using views in a Siebel application, you can run such pre-installed reports or create your own custom reports in both the connected and disconnected modes. Please take a look at ‘Siebel Reporting Architecture with BI Publisher’ for the detail architecture of connected and disconnected modes. In disconnected mode, BI Publisher libraries are already installed as part of the Siebel installation by making the core libraries available (in $SIEBEL_HOME/CLASSES) for report generation. However, if you want to use Siebel Reports in connected mode through a Siebel Web Client , you must install and configure BI Publisher Enterprise Server.
So today I’ll talk about how to install the BI Publisher Enterprise Server for Siebel.
Step 1 – Make sure that you have installed necessary pre-requisite software
There are some different software pieces that you need to complete the Siebel reports with BI Publisher development.
- MS Word
BI Publisher uses MS Word to develop and design the report layout, RTF Template.
- BI Publisher Desktop Client – MS Word Add-in (Template Builder)
This MS Word Add-in called BI Publisher Template Builder provides you a graphical interface to help you develop and design the RTF Template easier and allow you to preview the report final output in many different formats. It is a MS Word Add-in that you launch from inside the MS Word.
- Siebel Tools
If you want to create a new Integration Object you need the Siebel Tools.
- JDK (Java Development Kit)
BI Publisher Enterprise Server is certified with JDK 1.5. or later so make sure you have installed the JDK 1.5 on a machine where you will install the BI Publisher Enterprise Server.
Step 2 - Download BI Publisher Enterprise Server
You can download the BI Publisher Enterprise Server media from Oracle E-Delivery page.
Step 3 - Install BI Publisher Enterprise Server
Once you have downloaded you can follow the installation guide. The installation itself is pretty simple straight forward for a basic installation. Once you click on setup.exe (for Windows) then you follow the instruction with the installation wizard to complete the installation. For an advanced installation I have written a few posts before, so please take a look at them for the detail.
Change the location of the BI Publisher repository (Optional)
Note that, by default, the Siebel application is looking for the ‘oracle.home’ JVM property value and wants to substitute the value inside the path. If you have installed the BI Publisher Enterprise Server with its embedded OC4 install option then this ‘oracle.home’ property value is automatically set by the installation. If not, then you need to manually change this value after the installation. If you are installation with WebLogic Server then you need to change this value before the installation. Please take a look at ‘Installation for Oracle WebLogic Server’ for the detail.
How to Change ‘oracle.home’
Open WEB-INF/xmlp-server-config.xml file and change the following to the appropriate path.
Step 4 - Define the outbound Web service for the BI Publisher Server
- Log in to the Siebel application with administrator privileges.
- Navigate to the Administration - Web Services screen, then Outbound Web Services view.
- In the Name field, query for ‘PublicReportService’, and then change the BI Publisher Server machine name to your BI Publisher Server using the following format:
host is the full path for your BI Publisher Server
port is the port the BI Publisher Server uses
- Verify that the BI Publisher Server is running and ready to start generating reports.
Step 5 - Copy JAR files to the BI Publisher Server
For successful report generation when running Siebel Reports, you must copy the custom Java classes—that is, the JAR (Java Archive) files—associated with individual reports. By default, these Java functions are not available on the BI Publisher Server.
To copy JAR Files to the BI Publisher Server
- Copy the following files from $SIEBEL_HOME/CLASSES to:
- Enable external file references by performing the following tasks:
2.1. - Log in to the BI Publisher Server.
2.2. - Click the Admin tab, and then select Runtime Configuration and Properties.
2.3. - Change the Default value for the Disable External Reference attribute to FALSE.
- Restart OC4J.
Step 6 - Enable Siebel Reports
Before using Siebel Reports, the XMLP Report Server Component component must be enabled. By enabling the XMLP Report Server Component, reports appear in the Reports Menu drop-down list in Siebel Business Applications.
To enable Siebel Reports
- Log in to the Siebel application with system administrator privileges
- Navigate to Administration - Server Configuration, Enterprises, and then Component Groups
- In the Component Groups list, select XMLP Report, and then click Enable.
- Click the Synchronize view tab, and then in the Component list, select XMLP Report Server
- Click Synchronize
- Restart the Siebel Server
Step 7 - Configure Database Authentication and Security
Siebel Reports supports the following two types of authentication:
- Server Component-based authentication - Administrators must specify the BI Publisher user ID and password at the XMLP Report Server Component level.
- External authentication (LDAP) - Administrators configure LDAP for both the BI Publisher Server and the Siebel Server. Using external authentication is optional.
In this post I’m going to talk about the ‘Server Component-based Authentication’. In order to call the BI Publisher’s web service you need to pass a pair of username and password. So basically you need to register a proxy user in Siebel so that the XMLP Report Server component within the Siebel application can use this proxy username and password to get authenticated first when it calls the BI Publisher’s web service to generate a report. The password can be encrypted.
To set the BI Publisher Server user ID and password
- Log in to your Siebel application.
- Navigate to Administration - Server Configuration, Servers, and then Components.
- Query for XMLP Report Server, and then select it.
- Click the Parameters tab and query for BIP*.
- Enter the user ID and password used to access the BI Publisher Server in the Default Value fields of the BIP Server Login and BIP Server Password parameters.
Step 8 - Configure Font Files
To make sure fonts display properly in Siebel Reports, you need to copy the font files, which you want to use in your reports, to a directory on the Siebel Server machine where the XMLP Report Server Component is enabled. This task is typically performed as part of the Siebel Reports installation. However, you can perform this task later or at any given time.
On the Siebel Server machine where the XMLP Report Server Component is enabled, copy the fonts you want to use for your reports from, for example, C:\WINDOWS\Fonts directory, to the $JRE_HOME\fonts directory.
That’s pretty much it. Tomorrow, I’ll talk about some tasks that you as Administrator want to perform for the Siebel reporting. So stay tuned!