Installing BI Publisher in Apache Tomcat on Windows 7
Facts - Other software technologies
Monday, 17 May 2010 20:51

This article applies to the BI Publisher version, Tomcat 5.5 and Tomcat 6 on Windows 7.

Installation goes by deploying the war file in the installation package. Before deploying the war file check for any recent patches that might contain a newer version of this war file. In particular patch 9546699 contains many bugfixes. I needed patch 9546699 to get web services as data source working. And no, this patch can not be downloaded by anyone, you will need a support account from oracle.

When installing Tomcat including the BI Publisher on a Windows 7 host one has to edit settings in the Tomcat webaps directory. To edit these files one needs to have elevated administrator permissions.

A file that always needs to be edited is c:\Program Files\Apache Software Foundation\Tomcat 6.0\webapps\xmlpserver\WEB-INF\xmlpserver-config.xml.
This file contains the path of your BI Publisher report repository. The default value is ${oracle.home}/xdo/repository. If you don't have administrator permissions you might want to try to set the variable oracle.home in your Tomcat Properties Manager by adding the following to the Java options in the Java tab:


In this case your repo path is c:\yourBIPHomeDir\xdo\repository. After restarting Tomcat it is indeed possible to log in and any report and datasource configuration is visible. But the BI Pulisher webservice does not work and RTF/PDF documents can not be generated either.

So there is no other way than using administrator permissions for changing xmlpserver.xml to get the BI Publisher up and running.

Other tips for getting BI Publisher up and running

  • I tried to install the BI Publisher into the integrated application server of JDeveloper but did not succeed, therefore I switched to Tomcat. I read somewhere that this is a known problem and a workaround exists.
  • If you don't define a template then you can view the data from your data source in the BI Publisher backend, using de option "View" and format "XML" or "Data". This way you can test your data source in the BI Publisher. Don't forget to set sensible default values for the parameters of your data source. After you are convinced that the data from the data source is received by the BI Publisher you can upload templates.
  • Installing the Template Builder plugin for MS-Word only succeeds if MS-Word is installed and MS-Word is not running.
  • If you are using a webservice as data source you might want to read this article.
  • XPath in templates. Often sections in your document depend on the existence of fields in your data source. To test on existence of fields create a Conditional Region in the Word Template Builder, click on Advanced and use the following xpath syntax: <?if:count(yourfield)=0?>. The if-then-else construction with namespace xdofx, e.g. <?xdofx:if...then...else...?end if> does not seem to mix with xpath functions such as position() and last(). So if you want to create a comma separated list from a list of xml elements then you will have to work with multiple if statements without the xdofx namespace, and without else constructions.