Check Printing with XML Publisher

Check Printing with XML Publisher
Check Printing using XML
Publisher
An Oracle White Paper
June 2005
Check Printing using XML Publisher
Executive Overview.......................................................................................... 3
Introduction ....................................................................................................... 3
Process Overview ......................................................................................... 3
Setup the XML Publisher Responsibility....................................................... 4
Responsibility Assignment .......................................................................... 4
Add the XML Report Publisher Program to Request Groups................... 5
Register the Report as a Data Definition with XML Publisher.................. 5
Create the Check Print Template.................................................................... 7
Check Overview............................................................................................ 7
Basic Layout................................................................................................... 8
Creating the MICR data placeholders........................................................ 8
Creating the signature image placeholder.................................................. 9
Mapping the MICR font................................................................................. 10
Register the template in the Template Manager ......................................... 11
Set the E-Business Suite report to generate XML output......................... 11
Run the format payment process to obtain the XML data file ................ 12
Submitting the XML Report Publisher Program................................... 13
Printing the Check Format Output .............................................................. 14
Conclusion........................................................................................................ 14
Check Printing using XML Publisher
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Check Printing using XML Publisher
EXECUTIVE OVERVIEW
Generating payment checks from the E-Business Suite has traditionally required
either a third party or considerable customization of the delivered check print
reports. The check print format is very specific to each banking organization,
requiring specific fonts and pixel-perfect layout. The existing E-Business Suite
reports generate flat text output and do not support theses features. Oracle XML
Publisher now offers an integrated, cost-effective method to generate the check
output directly from the E-Business Suite.
INTRODUCTION
Check printing from the E-Business Suite has historically required a third-party
solution that can either query the necessary data and format the output or accept
the existing flat text output generated by the provided check print programs. To
then generate the checks, the format components had to be placed with pixelperfect precision onto the page using the necessary MICR font to format the bank
routing number and bank account of the payee. Alternatively customers could take
the existing check print program and customize it to format the output correctly.
These solutions are costly in terms of their implementation, their ongoing
maintenance and their complexity. This all adds to the total cost of ownership for
the E-Business Suite.
Oracle XML Publisher offers integrated functionality that allows customers to
design their own check format using familiar desktop tools that can then be applied
to a check print data source, whether that is the seeded Oracle Report or a custom
solution. This format is easily maintainable and can include all the necessary
components required in the final output to be printed onto blank check stock.
Taking this approach reduces the complexity of the systems surrounding the check
generation and thereby reducing the total cost of ownership of the E-Business
Suite.
Process Overview
This solution will work with XML Publisher 4.5 and forward. Later releases offer
more functionality in the templates to make the process even simpler. This white
paper assumes that the reader is familiar with the Template Manager and the
templates themselves.
Check Printing using XML Publisher
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1.
Set up the XML Publisher responsibility.
2.
Register the E-Business Suite report as a Data Definition with XML
Publisher.
3.
Design the check print template.
4.
Register the template in the Template Manager.
5.
Set the E-Business Suite report to generate XML output.
6.
Run the format payment process to obtain the XML data file.
7.
Run the XML Report Publisher request to merge the data with the
template.
SETUP THE XML PUBLISHER RESPONSIBILITY
XML Publisher provides a responsibility and a concurrent program that require set
up in the E-Business Suite.
Responsibility Assignment
The XML Publisher Administrator responsibility allows access to the Template
Manager. Assign the responsibility to the appropriate users as follows:
1.
From the System Administrator responsibility, navigate to the Users form.
Navigation path: Security > User > Define
2.
In the Responsibilities region, select XML Publisher Administrator from
the Responsibility list of values.
Figure 1: Adding the XML Publisher Administrator responsibility to a User
Check Printing using XML Publisher
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ADD THE XML REPORT PUBLISHER PROGRAM TO REQUEST
GROUPS
With the 11i10 CU1 patch the concurrent manager application added tighter
integration with XML Publisher, allowing users to select a template as a runtime
option when they submitted their concurrent requests. If you have installed this
patch on your system then this step can be ignored.
Add the “XML Report Publisher” program to the appropriate request group
depending on what concurrent program is to be published and which responsibility
is being used. The XML Report Publisher program should be added to the request
groups that the base programs reside in. In the case of check printing, the program
should be added to at least the Payables All Reports reporting group.
To add the XML Report Publisher program to a request group:
1.
From the System Administrator responsibility, navigate to the Request
Groups form. Navigation path: Security > Responsibility > Request
2.
Query the request group.
3.
Add XML Report Publisher as a Program.
Figure 2: Adding XML Report Publisher program
REGISTER THE REPORT AS A DATA DEFINITION WITH XML
PUBLISHER
XML Publisher provides a Template Manager to register your report data
definitions and templates. Register the report data definition in the Template
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Manager to make the data source available to XML Publisher for use with the
designed templates. This will depend on the check format program you are
currently using. The currently seeded payment formats are:
Check Print Program Name
Format Payments (Bank Transfer Request)
Format Payments (Evergreen)
Format Payments (Evergreen, Form Feed)
Format Payments (Evergreen, Laser)
Format Payments (Standard Oracle)
Format Payments (Standard Oracle, Form Feed)
Format Payments (U.S. Treasury)
Concurrent Program Name
APXPBFTR
APXPBFEG
APXPBFEF
APXPBFEL
APXPBFOR
APXPBFOF
APXPBFUS
To register the check print Data Definitions:
1.
From the XML Publisher Administrator responsibility, navigate to the
Create Data Definition page. Navigation path: Data Definitions > Create
Data Definition.
2.
Enter the required fields. The data definition Code must match the
concurrent program’s short name. At runtime this allows the XML Report
Publisher program to provide a list of reports that can be published; that
is, those that have been registered as data definitions with XML Publisher
and the list of appropriate templates for those reports.
Figure 3: Registering check print program with the Template Manager
For a complete description of the fields required to register your data definition, see
the XML Publisher User’s Guide.
Check Printing using XML Publisher
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CREATE THE CHECK PRINT TEMPLATE
Check Overview
Figure 4: Check Features
The major features of a check are:
•
Check Amount – this value needs to be expressed in words as well as in a
numeric format.
•
Multiple Address blocks – the payee and payer's addresses need to be
displayed.
•
Banking Information - this appears at the bottom left of the check, it
contains the bank routing number, the payer's account number and the
check number. These values must be rendered using a specific MICR font
and printed using magnetic ink.
•
Signature block – for any company generating more than five to ten
checks per day, a signature image is the only real solution. This image
needs to be secured and only available during a check print run.
•
Layout – banks are very specific about how the check objects should be
laid out on the page.
The seeded Oracle Reports provide all of the above data information. All that
needs to be done is to format the data correctly with regard to position, fonts and
signature images.
You can create the check print template just as you would any other XML
Publisher template using Rich Text Format (RTF) or the Portable Document
Format (PDF). This paper will cover the RTF approach.
There are several variations on typical check prin layouts. For example, the check
may appear at the top or the bottom of a list of invoices that the check is paying, or
the check may appear above or below a letter or form data. No matter what layout
is required, an RTF template can be written to handle the format required.
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Basic Layout
The basic layout of the check can be created using table structures in the RTF
Figure 5: Basic Check Layout
You can see that images and boilerplate can be embedded directly into the layout
using tables with selectively hidden borders to organize the layout. The incoming
data can be mapped into the MSWord form fields supported by the XML Publisher
parser. To get the layout to match the check stock paper layout may require some
adjustment to the RTF template. A combination of adjusting table/row/cell
properties and the use of carriage returns can be used to achieve this.
Creating the MICR data placeholders
XML Publisher has the ability to use external fonts at runtime; as long as the font is
accessible at runtime on the server. XML Publisher does not currently license a
MICR font but a quick search on the web will find both freeware and commercial
fonts that can be used.
Once you have the MICR font you will need to make it available to MS Word. Do
this by installing it in the <<windows root>>/fonts directory. The font can now
be accessed from Word. You can check this by looking for it in the font drop box.
To insert the MICR strings into your template, insert the appropriate number of
form fields and map them to the XML data that will come in at runtime. Highlight
these fields and set the font to the MICR font installed earlier.
Figure 6: MICR information fields
Check Printing using XML Publisher
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Once this is completed you have completed creating the MICR placeholders in the
template.
Creating the signature image placeholder
If you are likely to be printing more than a few checks per day it does not make
sense to have the checks signed personally. XML Publisher provides the means to
insert a dynamic signature image on the output.
Figure 7: Signature image substitution
The signature image can be secured quite simply by creating a dummy image in the
template. You can then use the image substitution features of XML Publisher to
have the image rendered at the time of document generation.
Mounting a floppy drive on an Apache web
server can be achieved using the Alias
directive.
Within the web tab of the dummy image enter a URL that points to the location of
the image. In this example we use “url:{"http://www.oracle.com/signature.gif"}”.
You may not want to hard code the location in the template. In this case you could
extract the location into an XML element and then reference that, e.g.
“url:{SIG_LOC}”. XML Publisher will resolve the value at runtime. This could be
in a secured directory on a server, or you could map a floppy drive containing the
image, to your web server. At runtime, insert the floppy into the drive and the
image is accessible and imported into the output document. If the image is not
presen, then the check will contain the dummy image only and not the valid
signatures.
If you require multiple signatures on your checks the same method applies to all the
images. You can use conditional formatting around the images if different people
have to sign different checks based on some attribute. This can all be supported in
the template.
Your template is now complete. Now load it to the Template Manager so that
XML Publisher can access it at runtime.
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MAPPING THE MICR FONT
XML Publisher needs to know the location of the MICR font at runtime so that it
can use it in the final output. XML Publisher uses a configuration file to set
document properties such as security and font mappings. You will need to create
this configuration file if you have not done so already.
For the check printing solution XML Publisher only needs the MICR font location;
however, if you wish to secure the output, other properties can be set on the
document. The configuration file takes the following format:
<config version="1.0.0" xmlns="http://xmlns.oracle.com/oxp/config/">
<properties>
<property name="system-temp-dir">/tmp</property>
<property name="pdf-compression">true</property>
<property name="pdf-security">true</property>
<property name="pdf-open-password">user</property>
<property name="pdf-permissions-password">owner</property>
<property name="pdf-no-printing">true</property>
<property name="pdf-no-changing-the-document">true</property>
</properties>
<fonts>
<font family="MICR" style="normal" weight="normal">
<truetype path="/usr/fonts/MICR.ttf"/>
</font>
</fonts>
</config>
You can see the font entry for the MICR font is pointing to the /usr/fonts
directory. This directory must be accessible by XML Publisher at runtime. Now
place the configuration file in an accessible runtime directory and make a note of
the directory location. For further information on the location of the configuration
file please check the XML Publisher User’s Guide.
If you have XML Publisher 5.0 installed you have an alternative to the
configuration file. All of these properties can be specified in the RTF template
document as custom properties. Simply enter the properties, prefixing them with
'xdo-', and their values into the property dialog in MSWord.
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Figure 8: Entering document properties
This feature is very powerful the template now becomes a self-contained document
that XML Publisher can understand at runtime. For instance, if you wanted to add
the font location to the template properties you would enter
xdo-font family="MICR" style="normal" weight="normal"
as the property and
truetype path="/usr/fonts/MICR.ttf"
as the value.
When the template is processed, XML Publisher will read this information and be
able to locate the font. For more information on this feature please consult the
XML Publisher User’s Guide.
REGISTER THE TEMPLATE IN THE TEMPLATE MANAGER
Now you are ready to register the template in the XML Publisher Template
Manager. From the XML Publisher Administrator responsibility, navigate to the
Create Template page. Navigation path: Templates > Create Template.
When you create your template, you register it against an existing Data Definition.
In this case you need to register it against one of the check print programs you
registered earlier.
Upload the RTF or PDF template file and select the language and territory.
SET THE E-BUSINESS SUITE REPORT TO GENERATE XML OUTPUT
You now need to set up the check print program to generate XML data rather than
TEXT as the output when the concurrent manager executes the report.
1.
From the System Administrator responsibility, navigate to the Concurrent
Programs form. Navigation Path: Concurrent > Program > Define.
2.
Query the check print program report you wish to use. The report must be
able to generate XML; Oracle Reports 6i supports XML output and this is
the format of the check print programs.
3.
In the Output region, select XML from the Format drop down list.
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Figure 9: Updating program definition to generate XML
The program will now generate XML data when executed by the concurrent manager.
RUN THE FORMAT PAYMENT PROCESS TO OBTAIN THE XML DATA
FILE
Now run the payment format program via the Oracle Payables interface.
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At the time of writing, Oracle Payables have not integrated the XML Publisher
functionality into their payment formatting flow. The Payment form
programmatically submits the formatting program to the concurrent manager.
Because the XML Publisher template is not set during this process, the output will
be XML. This will be addressed in a later release.
To generate your checks in PDF output, submit a second request, the “XML
Report Publisher” program.
Submitting the XML Report Publisher Program
Use the Submit Request form to run the XML Report Publisher program. You will
be prompted for the following parameters:
1.
Report Request – the LOV will contain a list of requests that:
a.
Have produced XML.
b. Have been run by the same user or responsibility
2.
Report Template – the LOV will contain a list of available templates that
are registered with this data definition in the Template Manager.
3.
Template Locale – the LOV will contain the language/territory
combinations for which templates have been registered.
4.
Ouptut Format (appears in release 5.0 and later) - select PDF.
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When you execute the program, remember to ensure the signature image is
available.
PRINTING THE CHECK FORMAT OUTPUT
You can now print this output using the standard concurrent manager printing
functionality or open the resulting PDF and print locally to the check printer.
CONCLUSION
The solution offered by XML Publisher offers an integrated E-Business Suite
process that allows customers to design their own check formats using familiar
desktop tools that can then be applied to check print data sources to generate check
output directly from Oracle E-Business Suite.
Taking this approach will reduce the complexity of the systems surrounding check
generation and will help to reduce the total cost of ownership for the E-Business
Suite.
Check Printing using XML Publisher
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White Paper Title
[Month] 2000
Author:
Contributing Authors:
Oracle Corporation
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Copyright © 2000 Oracle Corporation
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