Oracle Reports, like Oracle Forms, is a part of the Oracle Developer Suite and has been a part of the Oracle technology stack for many years. We discuss the use of Oracle Reports in the context of business intelligence solutions in Chapter 12, but an in-depth discussion of the use and capabilities of Oracle Reports is beyond the scope of this chapter.
In brief, Oracle Reports enables a developer to combine data from many sources (including an Oracle database, XML data, JDBC data feeds, and even customizable data sources) into a report that can be distributed either on paper or within the web environment. Reports can be generated as HTML, XML, PDF files, RTF format, and many other formats as well.
This section concentrates on Oracle Application Server Reports Services, the component of Oracle Application Server that is responsible for providing a middle tier for deploying Oracle Reports. OracleAS Reports Services is responsible for creating Oracle Reports engines to generate reports, for distributing reports across multiple servers, and for caching reports for rapid reuse.
OracleAS Reports Services can be used either inside or outside a web environment. The architecture of OracleAS Reports Services within a web environment is shown in simplified form in Figure 9-2.
Figure 9-2. Simplified OracleAS Reports Services architecture
Requests come into the ...