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I am trying to schedule a Pivot report on Reportcaster. Curr...

Lisa Ellsmere

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I am trying to schedule a Pivot report on Reportcaster. Currently, the Web server MIME table has .xls extension set to binary. I understand that this needs to be changed to ascii for the scheduled running of a pivot report to be successful. Will changing the MIME table for .xls extension to ascii impact other scheduled excel (no pivot) reports
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Hi Lisa!

I havent tried to send back a pivot table using caster before (not that I remember anyway).

Since were all learning here on myibi, I thought Id post some docs from the Report Caster manual that I thought might be useful (8207 rc manual page 455):


image.png790784 78 KB


I thought that the plan would be to change the format of the .xls output via the redirection settings (in d:ibiWebFOCUS82clientwfcetcmime.wfs). But reading this, it tells me a couple of things.

First - the resulting xls file from EXCEL PIVOT is actually sent down as a .xht instead of .xls. When you look at your default mime.wfs file, youll see that .xht does indeed already come back to us as ascii. So the WebFOCUS default looks okay.

Next, theres just one line telling us to edit our webserver MIME table so the .xls extension is ASCII instead of binary Up to this point we thing the flow is




Once it arrives it gets the Client Rename value of .xls (at least in 8207. I notice in 8105m that this would stay a .xht).

Web Server picks this up and then sends it on to the end user.

So it looks like the last question is how to set your webserver to know to pass the output along to the user in ascii form. I think this Common MIME Types will be helpful.

I think it tells us that using application/vnd.ms-excel for .xls files in IIS (as an example webserver) should work.

In my IIS 10 webserver, the MIME types show that the .xls extension will already be set to application/vnd.ms-excel, so I think it would work.

After all that - I wondered - what Web Server are you using And - Where are you getting stuck What symptoms do you see

Sorry for the long post - just trying to unravel how its supposed to work.


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Hi Toby,

Thank you for the information.

I get stuck delivering the report via email. Reportcaster is setup to deliver to a known working email address. Reportcaster gives an error message when trying to deliver the pivot report, (unable to distribute to ). There are no other messages.

I checked the EXL2K PIVOT Report Caster manual. I have hit all tick boxes except for the part where the MIME server table needs to be edited, to change .xls extension to ASCII instead of binary (current setting on our server).

I am curious if completing the edit step will actually solve the delivery issue. We have many scheduled .xls (non-pivot) reports. My only concern is any impact this change might have on our other scheduled reports.

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Hi Lisa

A couple of thoughts.

First - it sounds like its possible the report was never generated in the first place.

If I were still working at IBI, Id like to do a remote session with you. We would look at your Report Caster Log to see what messages are there. There might be a blatant clue. If it doesnt work in Caster, but it does work when run from the normal welcome page, that would point us in a direction to look.

Things you can try though

Change the PCHOLD FORMAT EXCEL PIVOT to just HOLD FORMAT EXCEL and see if the schedule runs okay and it distributes. Here, were just trying to isolate where its going wrong. If FORMAT EXCEL fails, try FORMAT XLSX. Once again, were just looking for how this report is different from you other reports.

Go back an forth between running the report interactively and with Caster and check the logs for clues. Odd things like a (FOCXXXX) warning message might be okay when run from the Client (from the welcome page or a portal) - but Ive seen Caster declare that (FOC message to be an error even though no real error existed.

Im inclined to agree that changing the MIME table on your webserver is not going to fix the error from Caster saying Unable to distribute. This message seems to be telling you that the email step wasnt valid. Im not sure that any change to the MIME table on a webserver will matter - youre just emailing this result.

Remember that you have 2 parts that sound very similar - the Web Server (like IIS on Windows) and a youve got the WebFOCUS Client running on the Web Application Server (like Tomcat). these are 2 different things. Tomcat is running the webapp called WebFOCUS. Its also running a WebFOCUS has its own mime.wfs file that has all the mime settings. IIS or your Web Server, has its MIME information stored elsewhere.

Changing the Web Server really shouldnt affect the ability of Caster to kick off a job in the Web Application Server (tomcat if you use that). In fact, until you open the email and some logo or something is needed, your web server probably isnt even involved.

Lets review the moving parts:

Web Server (like IIS if you use windows)

WebFOCUS Client (or just the client)

WebFOCUS Report Caster

WebFOCUS Reporting Server (this is the guy who builds the report output. WFRS for short).

Caster is a service looking for things to do every so often - Ive forgotten how often it looks for work.

Once Caster fires off a job, its like its logging on to the client and running the report just like you would if you ran it manually. This is to say that the Client calls the Reporting Server to ask it to make the report - then the report flows back to the Client, then Caster picks that up to deliver it. Or thats how I think it works. Your Web Server really doesnt have much to do with any of the building of the report or transmitting it back to the client. The Web Server only matters once you open your email in Excel or a browser.

Rather than ramble as Im prone to do, Ill suggest you try holding your report in a format that you already know to work (after checking your caster log of your job). That will get us further down the road.

If youre a premium customer, be sure to prominently mention Caster in your case if you open one. Alex is still in techsupport and knows caster better than any of us.

Let us know what your log says went wrong and / or whether it works when run using a known good format that you already use for Excel reports.


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