In APEX 3.0 it's possible to print pdf's using an externally defined report server.
There's a good document on OTN to configure this printing feature in Oracle Application Express.
Below the steps I did with some screenshot and an example of the first PDF report I ran through BI Publisher:
- Pre: I already have an Oracle Database 10.2.0.3 with APEX 3.0 installed
-- BI Publisher part --
- Download and install BI Publisher 10.1.3.2.1
- Installation of BI Publisher was amazingly simple! After 6 minutes the Basic installation (on Windows XP - btw unsupported!) was done and my server was up-and-running.
- Testing the installation by going to the url OUI specified at the end of the installation. On my laptop that's: http://digixp:9704/xmlpserver/
- Logging in into BIP for the first time with Administrator/Administrator
Go to the Admin link - JDBC connection - to add your database (see picture)
-- APEX part: Configuration --
- Login into the INTERNAL workspace
- Click on Manage Service > Instance Settings > Report Printing
- Put the details of the BI Publisher reporting server
- That's about it to configure it in the INTERNAL workspace
-- APEX part: Report --
- Login into your development workspace
- To create my first report I went to the Sample appication
> Page 3 > Products Report
- Click on the Report link and go to the tab (from APEX 3.0 onwards): Print Attributes (see picture)
- In this screen you can configure how your report will look like and make pdf printing possible for that report
- Minimal you should:
Set Enable Report Printing to Yes and give it a Link name
- The rest of the options are also very useful and necessary to make the report exactly as you want it to look like
- When running the page you'll see a Print link somewhere near the report (left picture)
- Clicking on that link will give you a pdf that looks like your report (right picture)
The report is not yet completely like I would have it to be (for ex. with pictures, nicer scaled, headers and footers), but that will be another post.