BI Publisher Form Table Column Limit

This is another post in our series drawing on the Oracle Intelligent Advisor public Forum where we, like many other practitioners, are often to be found. This post is from a recent question regarding creating a form using BI Publisher Desktop, and specifically how to get around the following limitation. When building a table that is in Word, you can only have 63 columns in the layout using BI Publisher Desktop. In fact there is even a specific error message that you will see when you try it.

63, not 64!

So how can you create a layout that has more, and get round the BI Publisher Form Table Column Limit? The example in the forum called for 500 columns, which is pretty extreme I grant you, but 100 columns does not sound too much. I guess it just depends on the context of your BI Publisher Form. Anyway, the only way to do it using Oracle Policy Modeling is to build a BI Publisher template that uses this little trick:

Create a Word table using the standard functionality with, for example, 6 columns. And in each table cell, build a BI Publisher Table using the Wizard, that contains a number of fields that is less than 63. Do that until you have filled out as many cells as you need to get to your BI Publisher Form size (with 100 columns, for example, two cells would be enough, one with 63 and one with 27 columns). Your table will look sort of ugly:

BI Publisher Table with lots of columns

You might find you have to do a lot of zooming in and out to get the picture. Once you have done this, you can go ahead and set up your Form link in the Oracle Intelligent Advisor Interview:

 Form Link for BI Publisher in Oracle Intelligent Advisor

Then, with the Form link selected like in the image above, set the output type to Excel. The user can then download the Excel file, with the multitude of columns. You might need to play around a little with the Word BI Publisher Form template to eliminate any borders, extra columns and the like, but the result will be a bigger table than previously possible:

BI Publisher Form output in Excel

Thanks to the user on the Forum who asked us such an interesting question. Don’t forget that the Forum is a great place to learn about Oracle Intelligent Advisor. See you there!

Richard Napier

Author: Richard Napier

After 8 years in case management and ERP software roles, Richard Napier joined Siebel Systems in 1999 and took up the role of managing the nascent Siebel University in Southern Europe. He subsequently was Director of Business Development and Education for InFact Group (now part of Business & Decisions) for 8 years. He now runs Intelligent Advisor IT Consulting OÜ. Owner of, he also is Co-Founder of the Siebel Hub.

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