Frequently Asked Questions
What is Blitz Report™?
Blitz Report is an Oracle Forms-based software, fully integrated with Oracle E-Business Suite. It enables your in-house IT team to easily store and edit SQL queries for reports, and to make them available to your business users. Blitz Report runs as a concurrent process and generates output files in XLSX or CSV format. Upon completion, reports automatically download and open in Excel.
Blitz Report comes with a selection of pre-built report templates linked to all functional areas covered by Oracle E-Business Suite.
I already have a business intelligence solution, why do I need Blitz Report™?
Traditional solutions mainly focus on providing high-level analytical tools for management reporting purposes.
Blitz Report on the other hand has been designed to generate day-to-day operational reporting with the possibility to quickly respond to changing requirements. Blitz Report will give you:
Blitz Report provides users with what they really need – an easy-to-use solution, maintainable by your in-house IT team.
How can I test Blitz Report™?
You can get instant access to Blitz Report by logging into our live demo environment.
Interested to see how Blitz Report processes your own data? Please contact us and we’ll send you an installation package and a free trial license key or you can contact us to arrange a personal demonstration.
How long does it take to install and configure Blitz Report™?
Blitz Report is automatically installed through a script which needs only a few seconds to run. Only a few manual configuration steps are required after installation, one such manual step is configuring Blitz Report access profiles.
Does Blitz Report™ require an additional server?
No, Blitz Report fully integrates with your existing Oracle applications technology stack.
Which EBS versions does Blitz Report™ support?
Blitz Report runs on all Oracle E-Business Suite versions from 11i to R12.2 and requires database version 11g Release 2 (11.2) or above.
Which would be the typical user profiles for Blitz Report™?
Blitz Report distinguishes three main user profile types
User: runs Blitz Report on a day-to-day basis
Developer: creates, maintains and makes reports available to the user community
User Admin: controls user access rights and provides audit reports
Users can only run their assigned reports while developers and administrators can access all reports.
How much does Blitz Report™ cost?
Blitz Report is free of charge for up to 30 different reports and an unlimited number of users.
Full-production access to an unlimited number of reports can be acquired at a license cost of US$10 per user, per month.
Please contact us for large account pricing.
How does the 30 reports free version work?
If you don’t have a valid license key, Blitz Report is automatically limited to the free version of up to 30 different reports (see Tools → License Key). In the free version, you can still store and maintain an unlimited number of SQLs, but only the 30 most recently created reports will generate an output file.
Note that the initial Blitz Report installation file comes with a trial license key, enabling all seeded reports to run for a limited period of time. After this trial period, Blitz Report automatically falls back to the 30 reports limit. To continue using particular seeded reports then, you can use the copy functionality to move them to the 30 most recent reports or alternatively contact us to purchase a license key.
Why is Blitz Report™ so fast?
Blitz Report achieves unprecedented performance for three reasons:
- Output files are created directly from the database in one single step without going through intermediate file formats such as XML, for example. While this approach limits formatting options, it enhances performance and reduces storage size.
Report SQLs are built dynamically, enabling optimal use of database indexes.
Blitz Report’s Excel generation routine is highly tuned and significantly faster than other solutions.
Why is dynamic SQL better than static SQL for reporting?
Most reporting solutions only allow static SQL scripts with one set of parameters per report. This leads to SQL script multiplication in case your business requires to run the same report using different parameters or parameter combinations.
Blitz Report on the other hand combines the extraction SQL and user-specified parameters dynamically at run-time, allowing your business to enter multiple parameters against one single report without script multiplication and avoiding performance glitches.
Does real-time reporting affect transactional server performance?
Recent hardware developments, such as flash storage, enables systems nowadays to execute real-time reporting directly from the transactional database. This gives businesses a clearer understanding of actual situations and allows users to work faster and more efficiently.
In order to prevent your business from executing reports incorrectly, potentially leading to performance issues, Blitz Report offers a range of unique features to safeguard server performance by reducing reporting load:
Time limits can be set to prevent reports from running beyond expected duration.
Any logical combination of parameters can be set to mandatory to ensure that reports remain “lean”.
The dynamic SQL engine enables the use of database indexes to maximize execution speed.
Can Blitz Report™ run on a standby database to avoid performance impact?
Yes, while the Blitz Report form is accessed from within the EBS production system, the SQLs executed can also query data from remote databases, such as a standby server, via database links.
Retrieving data from a remote database involves adding database link information to the underlying report SQLs, e.g. to table, view and function names.
Using a standby system to run reportins is a reasonable strategy, as that hardware is available anyway. Due to advances in recent hardware technology however, we usually see zero to little performance impact when running Blitz Report on live EBS systems. This is also a result of it’s efficient lightweight architecture and additional features to protect servers from getting overloaded.
What is the Blitz Report™ online library?
The Blitz Report online library is a repository of reports covering a variety of business requirements. Blitz Report customers can download and use reports from this library for their own environments. New and high-quality reports are regularly added.
Which output formats does Blitz Report™ support?
Blitz Report extracts data in Microsoft Excel XLSX or delimited text such as CSV or TSV formats. While XLSX is the most commonly used spread sheet file format, delimited text might be required e.g. for interfaces or exports of more than the excel limit number of rows.
How does Blitz Report™ compare with Oracle BI Publisher?
BI Publisher has a two step report generation process, creating an intermediate XML data file first and then performing postprocessing to generate an output defined by a formatting template. While this design offers great flexibility for document formatting, it does not perform well for larger datasets. The intermediate XML files can grow very large and often exceed output postprocessor’s capacities, causing them to crash or choke. To create new reports, the need for a separate datasource and template definition means increased complexity and requires additional skills and development time.
Furthermore, BI Publisher for EBS can generate XSLT or XLS files only, which are limited to a maximum of 65 536 rows per sheet (Oracle note 2336999.1).
Blitz Report on the other hand does not offer much flexibility for output formatting, but is very easy to use and flexible for report creation and maintenance. It generates native XLSX direcly in one single processing step, which makes it very lean and fast with regards to server space and resource usage.
Depending on server hardware and data queried, Blitz Report can generate output files at a speed of up to 200 000 records per second, which can contain up to 1 048 576 rows of data.
In short, while BI Publisher is good for document printing, Blitz Report is designed for ultrafast large volume data exports.
Why is Blitz Report™ based on Oracle Forms?
Blitz Report has been designed to use Oracle Forms technology. This enables simple keyboard navigation and makes working with LOVs faster and more efficient. Moreover, the majority of Oracle EBS core modules run using Forms.
The result is a solution that provides greater productivity and a more consistent user experience.
How is access to reports and data secured in Blitz Report™?
Data security in Blitz Report works very similar to the security in Oracle’s standard reports.
First, there is control governing which user has acces to which reports. This works in Oracle standard by assigning report concurrent programs to request groups. Blitz Report however, offers significantly more flexibility through it’s built-in assignment framework, which allows access to be defined at a more granular level than just request groups.
Data access is secured by Oracle’s standard session security in the same way as when running Oracle’s standard reports. Every Blitz Report runs as a background concurrent process under the APPS database user with the session context initialized using the currently logged in application user.
When running custom SQL, it the responsibility of the developer to make use of Oracle’s standard data access security features, e.g. to restrict operating unit access by selecting from policy secured synonyms such as oe_order_headers, or alternatively, when selecting from _all tables, to enforce additional operating unit restriction by adding a required report parameter with a restricted operating unit LOV.
Can sensitive HR and other data be secured from developers using Blitz Report™?
Yes, securing sensitive data is possible using custom database policies (VPD) to restrict this data from being accessed by any SQL running through Blitz Report.
Unlike direct database access through Toad or SQL Developer which use a read only database account without application session context initialized, Blitz Report runs all queries with the security and session context of the currently logged in application user.
This allows each client to define database policies to enforce access restrictions based on the developer’s application user access. For example, hiding sensitive HR information when querying base tables directly through Blitz Report.
Contact us if you would like to see a demo and examples on how this can be done.
Can Blitz Reports™ be scheduled through the Oracle EBS concurrent manager?
Yes, Blitz Reports can be scheduled in the same way as other Oracle standard concurrent requests. To schedule, we recommend running a report from the Blitz Report form first and then copying the request to have all parameter values pre-populated as described in our user guide.