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Integrating XSL-FO with Enterprise Reporting

Moores, Matthew T. & Leggett, Kevin (2005) Integrating XSL-FO with Enterprise Reporting. In 11th Australasian World Wide Web Conference, 2nd to 6th July 2005, Royal Pines Resort, Gold Coast, Australia.

Abstract

This paper discusses a project to integrate the processing of XSL Formatting Objects (XSL-FO) within an enterprise reporting solution. The software components utilised in the implementation form part of Oracle eBusiness Suite. However, the findings from this project are applicable to a range of XML-based technologies, independent of vendor.

The Report Manager project is unusual in a number of ways, the main one being the use of Microsoft Excel spreadsheets as a medium for XSL-FO output, as well as for editing the XSL-FO templates. Excel is ubiquitous in business, and it is the expected familiarity of our target users with this tool that motivates this approach. The spreadsheet medium also provides users with additional means for interacting with the data and performing further analysis. It has clear advantages over PDF or HTML output for this purpose.

XSL-FO provides a high degree of control over the visual representation of an XML document, in an output-independent manner. The same template can be used to render a document to PDF, HTML and Excel (as well as any other output media supported by the XSL-FO rendering engine). This enables users to select the output medium that is most appropriate for the task at hand. HTML is useful for previewing the report in a browser without loading any external applications. PDF output gives the most accurate representation of the printed document, and is platform-independent.

XSL-FO also meets the need for high-fidelity presentation of published reports. The end goal of such a project is to achieve pixel perfect reproduction of the document, on all of the available output media. This paper will discuss the extent to which we believe we achieved that goal, and the challenges that we have faced in doing so.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 1886
Item Type: Conference Paper
Additional URLs:
Keywords: XSL 1, 0 Recommendation, XSL Formatting Objects, Oracle eBusiness Suite, spreadsheet, Data Warehouse
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > COMPUTER SOFTWARE (080300) > Computer Software not elsewhere classified (080399)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > DATA FORMAT (080400) > Data Format not elsewhere classified (080499)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 21 Jul 2005
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 22:26

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