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Xls XMLP Output opening in Browser, not Excel April 16, 2008

Posted by Duncan in PeopleTools, XML Publisher.

I have an issue that I wouldn’t have thought I’m the first to encounter, but I can’t see any record online of others discussing it. The problem is as follows:

I’ve written an XML Publisher report that outputs an Excel file. When I open the output from within Report Manager it opens the file in the browser, when I want it opening in Excel.

I’m aware that XMLP doesn’t output binary .XLS files, but what’s described as Excel(HTML) – which is basically a text file containing HTML that can be read and rendered as a spreadsheet when opened with Excel. The file in the report repository has an xls extension, and the Report Manager Hyperlink points to the right place. If – instead of opening the file – I save it locally then open it with Excel it renders perfectly.

Also, if I change the output to RTF instead of XLS then it opens in Word correctly. It’s also not a template issue as if I preview the output from within the XMLP Report Definition it opens in Excel. This happens on more than one client PC, and in different browsers so it doesn’t look like it’s a local machine configuration issue.

If I place the output xls file on the web server and create a hyperlink on a PIA page it works fine. However if I repoint the hyperlink to the same output file in the report repository it doesn’t work – so it seems as though the psreports servlet might be the issue. If I use a tool to examine the HTTP Header for each of these requests I can see that the Mime Type is set to “Application/MSExcel” for a PIA page hyperlink (which works), and “text/html” for the same file from the Report Repository. The mime types are set correctly (by default) in the Web Server profile, but I can’t see anywhere to set the mime-types for psreports.

I’ve been in dialogue with GSC for the last 6 weeks or so, but they say that it isn’t a misconfiguration or bug, but a ‘”potential future development with a status of ‘Awaiting review’.” The case id is:

1750412000 – “8.50: Support MHTML Excel format in XML Publisher”.

It seems Oracle eBiz suite has the same issue, but they can fix it with a configuration change.

I do have a workaround (not a solution) for this – posted here – but has anyone else faced this issue? And if so, how have you dealt with it?



1. J.Barril - April 19, 2008

Is your report repository in a different box than the PIA server? MIME mappings are also defined in the web.xml file.

2. PeopleSoft Tipster - April 19, 2008

They’re on the same box.

3. J.Barril - May 14, 2008

Did you trying unchecking the “Browse in same window” Advanced setting in your Explorer Folder Options for File Type “XLS”?

4. Jens - May 14, 2008

I had exactly the same issue as you – actually the answer given by Barril on Apr 19th contained the answer. I added


the mime-type for xls in the mime-mapping section of my web.xml and Excel opens the file as expected

5. Jens - May 14, 2008


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