Missing Boilerplate Text

A security audit of our system found that not all reports generated had the correct legal notices on them. So our reports developer added the boilerplate text to all reports that did not have it. The developer tested the reports using Oracle Report Builder. The text showed up fine. So the modified RDF files were checked in for our latest build to the customer. There was a smoke test performed when the build was done. The developer did not find the text when the reports were run with the updated application. The developer asked me for some helped. Apparently management had promised this to be delivered tomorrow. That it was not working would have been unacceptable.

I usually like to know exactly what is going on. So I had the developer run the application and print out all the reports that got modified. It seemed like half of them did contain the new required text. The other half had the text missing. Then we ran those problem reports in Report Builder. Sure enough the text showed up there. I made sure we were looking at the same RDF files. We were. Then I thought perhaps it had something to do with the parameters being passed to the report. The developer checked the database (we log all parameter values). This was not the cause. I was at a loss, and had to get back to my normal job.

An hour later, the reports developer came running in. Here was the problem. The reports with the missing text get printed in landscape mode. However the Report Builder tool was displaying them in portrait orientation. In essence the boilerplate text was located too far down on the page to been seen when it was printed out. Once this was discovered, it was a trivial task to move the text where it would be seen on all pages given that they were printed in landscape mode. I am sure glad that I did not have to determine the cause of this problem. Who would have thought this was the case.