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Much waited OBIEE 12c is released – All new features, Improvements

Much waited OBIEE 12c is released. This version is another major release from Oracle after OBIEE 10g and11g. This version has many improvements, Enhancements, and advanced new features in installation, migration, analyses and dashboards, Oracle BI Mobile, Oracle BI Publisher, metadata repository development, system administration, integration and API, and localization.

Download link: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/bi-enterprise-edition/downloads/business-intelligence-2717951.html

Documentation: http://docs.oracle.com/middleware/1221/biee/index.html

Highlights:

New Features in Presentation Services:

  • Visual Analyzer: A brand new powerful visualization application in OBIEE Suite. VA provides greater flexibility to Rapidly create rich analyses through drag-and-drop configuration of new visual grammar. Using VA we can build the reports from the sources OBIEE repository and also from external content.
  • Views Enhancements: New context menu (Right Click) on all graphs & other views to sort, drill.
  • New Heat Matrix view type to represent the two-dimensional data. This is well suited for analyzing large amounts of data and identifying outliers.
  • New Data Format properties “Scale for % (x 100)”: Specify whether to multiply data by a 100 to display it as a percentage when setting the properties of a column

New Features in BI Server:

  • Logical Level Sequence Numbers for Time Dimensions for faster time series calculations. And to improve the query time.
  • DISPLAY, SORTKEY Syntax Supported in the SQL ORDER BY Expression
  • Oracle Database FAN & Connection Failover Supported by Oracle BI Server
  • Generate Fragmented Aggregates in Aggregate Persistence
  • Following New Command Line utilities are added
    • Download Repository
    • Upload Repository
    • List Connection Pool
    • Update Connection Pool
    • Rename Application Role
    • Delete Application Role
    • Rename Users
    • Delete Users
    • List Repository Variables
    • Update Repository Variables

New Features in Administration:

  • Installation: Much faster and straight forward. And mostly, the configurations & folders directories are simple and clean.
  • NO more OPMN, all services including OBI System & Java services are managed by WebLogic.
  • Migrating from OBIEE 11g to 12c: We can migrate the Oracle BI 11g metadata to 12c is a two step process, and is carried out by using the BI Migration Script (migration-tool.sh). The catalog and WebLogic Security configurations needs to be reconfigured/migrated like in OBIEE 11g.
  • BAR (BI Archive file): A new archive format which contains OBIEE Catalog, RPD and Security packaged in one file. The file will be created in current environment and imported in Target environment. The BAR file creation process has following options while creating it.
    • export all: To export everything including users and data sources are the same between two systems.
    • export without user folder content: Migrating the Catalog without the User’s Folders.
    • export without connection pool credentials: Migrating the upgraded RPD from one environment to another without connection Pool information. When Imported the BAR in Target environment, The RPD will be updated the new changed by not changing the Target System Connection Pool Information.
    • Syntax:
      • Creating the BAR File from Current Environment: 
        exportServiceInstance(domainHome, serviceInstanceKey, workDir, exportDir, applicationName=None, applicationDesc=None, applicationVersion=None, includeCatalogRuntimeInfo=false, includeCredentials=None)
      • Importing the BAR file in Target environment:
        importServiceInstance(domainHome, serviceInstanceKey, barfile)

New Features in Security:

  • BISystemUser and BISystem Removed, No need to have BISystemUser in LDAP. The system user concept is now deemed “virtual” and is represented by the credential oracle.bi.system/system.user, for which the values are securely randomly generated by the Configuration Assistant.
  • User GUIDs Removed: user GUIDs have been removed to make administration easier. GUIDs are replaced with user names. There is no longer any need to refresh GUIDs as part of lifecycle operations
  • Database Security Store: Policy & Credential store is configured in database instead of the file System-jazn & etc.
  • Easier SSL Configuration: Configuring SSL is much easier than earlier versions.

Overall this is a great release after OBIEE 11g from Oracle. Best version to start exploring and do great analysis.

Stay tuned for more interesting articles on OBIEE 12c here.

Thanks,
Shiva Molabanti

 
9 Comments

Posted by on October 25, 2015 in BI apps, BI Publisher, OBI EE, OBIEE 12c, Weblogic

 

OBIEE 11.1.1.9.0 is released – Improved UI and features

Oracle has released new OBIEE 11.1.1.9.0 and available for download. Some highlights of the new features in this version are:

  • Improved installer
  • NOT supported on 32-bits Operating Systems.
  • Better Administration Features: New monitoring operations via Mbeans,additional information in Usage Tracking tables, new INSTANCECONFIG.xml and NQSCONFIG.INI settings
  • Improved Aggregate Persistence wizard to generate the aggregates with levels auto-correct and etc.
  • Selection Steps & Hierarchical columns can be override with the initialization blocks with its initialization string written in JSON syntax.
  • New light weighted UI Skin: Skyros, Similar to Oracle BI Cloud Service
  • HTML5 output is supported and can be configured as default output format. So flash limits will not stop your analysis on any devices.
  • More settings to configure the exports: columns formatting, Width, No.of rows etc..
  • Ability to save calculated column to reuse in other analysis
  • Better and simple UI (skin & Style) customization with a centralized master CSS and images in one directory.
  • Improved Scheduler WebService methods gives more flexibility to manage the OBIEE Agents programmatically.

And many more can be found in New Features document: https://docs.oracle.com/middleware/11119/biee/BIEUG/whatsnew.htm#BIEUG13418

References:

Download at: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/bi-enterprise-edition/downloads/bi-downloads-2537285.html
New intuitive Documentation Link: https://docs.oracle.com/middleware/11119/bisuite/index.html
System Certification Matrix: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/ias/downloads/fusion-certification-100350.html

Thanks,
Shiva Molabanti

 

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Oracle BICS and Identity Management – A New Security Architecture

Oracle BI Cloud Service, a part of PaaS, offers a highly scalable, multi-tenant Oracle BI environment that is integrated with Oracle Cloud store. Oracle BI Cloud Service features Presentation Services to create analyses and dashboards, Oracle Database Cloud Service integration, self-service web-client Data Loader and Data Modeler, simple administration, and integrated Identity Management for Security (Authentication & Authorization) Services.

When you subscribe BICS service, you will be to register for access to the Oracle Public Cloud at cloud.oracle.com. The Oracle Public Cloud is that it is built on Oracle’s Identity Management platform. Here, the Identity Managementis part of the Common Services layer and secures Oracle Public Cloud.

Out of the gate, the identity management services of the Oracle Public Cloud consist of an LDAP based identity store and a Single Sign-On (SSO) access management service. When you subscribe any oracle Public Cloud service of any type, i.e. whether it is a BI Cloud Service or a DB service, it is automatically added to your Tenant Services Group. All applications in your services group are integrated and SSO with IDM automatically and you will be login to all your Service Group apps seamlessly, without typing the login credentials for each one.

Oracle BICS Architecture:

In oracle Public cloud, when a user registers, their account and credential information is stored in Oracle Internet Directory. When a user has access to several services across Oracle Public, the single sign-on is handled by Oracle Access Manager. When a user account is disabled, it can be disabled across all services.

Oracle Identity Management Platform consists of three functional pillars and underlying platform services, as shown in the following figure:

BICS and IDM:

In Oracle BI Cloud Services, the Authentication and Authorization have been configured and maintained in Oracle IDM. That means, you have to maintain all your Oracle BI Cloud Service User accounts and Roles in integrated IDM.

Oracle BI Cloud Service – Security: simpler View:

Only the Identity Management administrators perform user management for Oracle BI Cloud Service in the Oracle Cloud Portal by managing identity domains. The identity domain contains users and roles that provide authentication to multiple Oracle Cloud services.

To secure your Oracle BI Cloud Service, apart from Authentication integration, everything is same as in OBIEE 11g. Oracle BI CS enables service administrators to provision identity domain users to use specific functionality in their Oracle BI Cloud Service instance by assigning application roles. An application role controls access to functionality available in Oracle BI Cloud Service.

Quick look at the hierarchy of predefined application Roles in BICS:



Highlights:

The Oracle IDM has been Optimized Directory as a user store and policy store, Single Sign-On via Oracle Access Manager for web access control, perimeter protection for all pages and a single point to manage user access and password management for all Oracle Public Cloud applications including Oracle BI Cloud Services.

In Simple terms, Oracle IDM is Authentication and Authoriztaion Source for Oracle BICS. The IDM platform approach is industry standard integration and pays huge dividends in the Oracle Cloud.

Thanks,
Shiva Molabanti

 
 

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Reporting Capabilities in Oracle BICS with respect to OBIEE 11g

In today’s technological landscape there’s an ever-accelerating demand for increased efficiency and effectiveness. As organizations evaluate new solutions, they must consider the effective end-user adoption of every technology prior to implementation, particularly as the cost of deployment and training are often driven by the rate of user adoption. So every organization requires a careful evaluation of the tool, as well as its potential for end-user adoption.

To enable all users to tap into the most pertinent data, whenever and wherever they need it, Oracle has introduced, Oracle BI Cloud Service. The new Oracle BI CS is familiar with the users of OBIEE 11g. In some areas, Oracle BICS provides nearly identical features and functionality to Oracle BI EE. These similarities enable users to become more productive more quickly using Oracle BI Cloud Service. That said, you don’t need any special skills/training, just your current OBIEE analyzing and visualizing hands on skills are enough to adopt this new BICS.

What’s new?

Oracle BICS is designed with a fresh, lighter weight UI by integrating a new style called Skyros. It is exciting to see how quickly oracle is enhancing BI capabilities and visualizations components that provide significant graphical and tabular capabilities for analyzing data. In that direction, Oracle BI CS is being modernized and introduced following new features/components (in this V1 release).

Treemap view

Treemaps organize hierarchical data by grouping the data into rectangles (known as tiles). Treemaps display tiles based on the size of one measure and the color of the second measure.

The following figure shows an example of simple treemap view.
It shows the rectangles space filled with the “Size” and “Color” proportional to the “#Leads” across different Lead Sources.

By default, the first measure of the analysis in the Criteria tab is selected as the Size By measure, and the second measure is selected as the Color By measure. If there is only one measure in the analysis, this measure is the default for both Size By and Color By options. Additionally, the Style element defaults to Percentile Binning with “quartile” as the value for the number of bins.

Treemap view has the following characteristics:

  • Tiles are colored by percentile binning or continuous color fill.
  • First Group By dimension is displayed as the group (header) label.
  • The order of the Group By dimensions implies the nesting order within the treemap. The last dimension in the Group By is the lowest level and this dimension name is displayed as the tile label. If the label is too long to fit on the tile, then it is truncated. Full values for the labels display in the tooltip.

Global Variables

In addition to session, Presentation and Request variables, BICS introduces a new variable called Global Variables. A global variable is a column created by combining a specific data type with a value. The value can be a Date, Date and Time, Number, Text, and Time.

You create a global value during the process of creating an analysis by using the Edit Column Formula dialog. The global variable is then saved in the catalog and made available to all other analyses within a specific tenant system.

The global variable is evaluated at the time the analysis is executed, and the value of the global variable is substituted appropriately.

Syntax for calling Global Variables in BICS Analysis:

                                   @{global.variables.variablename}

where variablename is the name of the global variable, for example, gv_region. When referencing a global variable, you must use the fully qualified name as indicated in the example.

For example: @{global.variables.gv_txt_multiply_rev}

Note: Only users with the “BIAdvancedContentAuthor” role can manage (add, edit, and delete) global variables.

 

Thanks,
Shiva Molabanti

 
 

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Oracle Business Intelligence Cloud Service (BICS) – Overview

Oracle has release new Oracle has introduced Oracle Business Intelligence Cloud Service (BICS) and now it is GA and available for subscriptions. Now With the advent of Oracle BICS, You can bring critical analytics to those who need them and can use the information to improve business operations when it counts, and not have to learn of problems weeks and even months after they appear, as is the case with many traditional BI systems. And Over the past few weeks I have been participated in Oracle BICS beta program. And, evaluated various real world scenarios and possible deployment options.

Introduction to Oracle BICS

The Oracle Business Intelligence Cloud Service (BICS), a part of Oracle Analytics Cloud, which offers the most comprehensive analytics cloud suite on the planet. With built-in mobile capabilities, Oracle BI Cloud Service helps speed and improve decision-making across the organization by lowering the barrier to entry for users providing secure, comprehensive information access with the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of the cloud.

Oracle BICS is the industry’s first BI platform in the cloud that makes analytics available to everyone, from the workgroup to the enterprise. BI Cloud Service endues users of any skill level, from any department, to easily combine data from diverse sources and quickly create rich, interactive analytic applications and reports.

Why Oracle BICS?

  • Multi-tenant OBI
  • Based on Oracle’s proven BI technology, it helps users to quickly create rich, interactive data-driven insights and data visualizations to users throughout an organization.
  • Integrated with industry-leading Oracle Database Cloud (At this moment, this is a Schemas-as-Service).
  • BICS is optimized for the cloud and empowers users to combine data from diverse sources, including other cloud solutions, as well as on-premises and third-party applications. There are multiple ways to load data, from importing files self-service to ongoing data integrations, including web-based file loading, direct queries, ETL integrations, a REST API, and more.
  • Built-in Mobile capability. It provides better support for device-delivered information, such as to dashboards or reports intended for smartphones and tablets.
  • The service simplifies both the preparation of data for reporting and the creation, management, and deployment of analyses. The service offers many self-service capabilities such as loading your data and creating reports for your line of business.
  • Most importantly, it is secured with industry’s highest level security standards (SSAE 16 Type II Certified).
  • 99.5% Availability.
  • SaaS model – Oracle Managed Patching and upgrades (you don’t need to chase the patches. now they are just automatic for you).
  • The Oracle BI Cloud Service is offered as-a-service subscription model rather than a huge one-time purchase cost. So customers can deploy this right away, to small groups, business departments, or the entire organization, with no capital costs.

Features

The new Oracle BICS has togged with all the features of OBIEE 11g and newfangled cloud-native developer tools to model, integrate and analyze your data. Currently BICS does not include other OBIEE components: BI Publisher, Delivers, Essbase, Smart View, MapViews or Invoke Actions.

  • Proven Rich Reporting platform based on OBIEE Dashboards
  • Powerful Analysis platform based on OBIEE Answers
  • Mobile ready support based on OBIEE Mobile HD
  • Browser based thin Data modeling (RPD gone to cloud)
  • Seeded Time Dimension
  • Variety of Data Integration Options:
    • BICS Data Loader: Simple File upload
    • BICS REST API*: Recommended for ETL integration
    • SQL Developer: Interactive data loading and administration
    • DBCS REST API: Define your own custom API
    • PL/SQL Data Import: Generic Web Services data import
  • Intuitive Security and Administration
  • A fresh, lighter weight UI with new Skin & Style called “Skyros”: Skyros leverage’s the newest standard in page stylesheets, CSS3, and is less image-based than the earlier FusionFX-simple skin, improving speed, flexibility, and consistency. As you can see in the screenshots below, this includes changes to things like borders & gradients in all pages. It is also easier to customize, for example all colors have been organized into related anchor and derivative groups, making extensive changes much easier

Benefits

Oracle BI Cloud Service allows users of all technical levels to quickly and easily create meaningful analytic applications by providing a service that is:

  • Quick to start: With simple, wizard-driven data import and data model introspection, business users can build analyses, BI applications, or data mashups, without any programming or specialized analytics skills.
  • Easy to adopt: An interactive user interface with integrated guidance and tutorials improves productivity and adoption. Users with prior knowledge of Oracle BI can utilize the service right away, without retraining. Cloud-based industry best practices will also be included.
  • Mobile: Built-in mobile capabilities offer analysis on-the-go, including touch, drill, and interact features, with no additional development necessary. Additionally, Oracle BI Cloud Service is equipped for offline use, with fine-grained security to manage access and visibility.
  • Flexible: For more custom queries and data-loading choices, users can leverage programming interfaces for deeper integration.

How secure is the Oracle BICS?

1. Identity

Oracle BICS is built on Oracle’s Identity Management platform. And BICS is multi-tenant and so every subscription is identified with its Identity Domain. The Identity Domain specifies the Company tenant ID.

When a user registers, their account and credential information is stored in Oracle Internet Directory. When a user has access to several services across Oracle cloud, the single sign-on is handled by Oracle Access Manager. When a user account is disabled, it can be disabled across all services. The Identity Management is part of the Common Services layer and secures Oracle Public Cloud services.

2. Data

And Data is stored in the Oracle Database Cloud Service which is hosted in the Oracle Public Cloud. The Oracle Database is well-known for its data security, and the Oracle Cloud keeps your data completely isolated from that of other companies. Oracle Cloud services also offer market-leading security features – including encryption, virus scan and whitelist support. Oracle Cloud data centers offer embassy-grade physical and logical security. The services employ management controls, operational controls, and technical controls and are aligned with the security framework of ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), specifically ISO/IEC 27002:2005, Code of Practice for Information Security Management and ISO/IEC 27001:2005 standards.

Lastly, BICS greatly reduces Administration efforts:

With Oracle BI Cloud, organizations can reduce the costs and resources required to deploy analytic applications, while retaining comprehensive governance of the data pipeline. Benefits include:

  • Scalability: The cloud-based model allows organizations to add new users and applications as requirements change.
  • Availability: Oracle Cloud delivers high availability, while Oracle optimizes speed by offloading analytic workloads to the cloud.
  • Security: Data and BI applications are part of the Oracle Cloud, which meets the industry’s highest security standards and is completely owned and operated by Oracle, helping ensure data does not travel to third parties.
  • Simplicity: Oracle manages patching and upgrade cycles, further freeing up IT resources and ensuring immediate availability of the latest capabilities.
  • Elasticity: The service offers the power of the Oracle Database and sophisticated Oracle BI capabilities to support current and future comprehensive analytic needs.

Subscription and Pricing:

We can subscribe Oracle BICS monthly. Each subscription has been offered with two independent environments (Pre-Prod and Production) with separate Database and BI Service.

The Pricing information can be found at https://cloud.oracle.com/business_intelligence_saas?tabID=1410551506786

Thanks,
Shiva Molabanti

 
 

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SAML – A go-to tool for Enterprise – Cloud Applications Security

What is SAML?

SAML is the XML-based Security Assertion Markup Language being standardized at OASIS. SAML enables Single Sign-On and other security scenarios, and provide details about the authentication, attribute, and authorization information between security domains. SAML has the specific XML-based protocol by which security information can be transported securely across domains from SAML Authorities i.e. Identity Provider and the SAML Consumers i.e. Service Providers.

The SAML 2.0 is the latest ratified OASIS standard.

Terminology

The SAML architecture is surrounded with the following actors:

Identity Provider (IdP): An Identity Provider (IdP), also known as Identity Assertion Provider, is responsible for issuing identification information for all providers looking to interact / service with the system in any possible way, this is achieved via an authentication module which verifies a security token as an alternative to explicitly authenticating a user within a security realm.

An example of this could be, where an external website allows users to log in with Facebook credentials, Facebook is acting as an identity provider. Facebook verifies that the user is an authorized user and returns information to the external site such as username and email address (specific details might vary). Similarly, if a site allows login with Google or Twitter, Google and Twitter are acting as the identity provider.

Service Provider (SP): A Service Provider (SP), also known as consumer of SAML assertions. Basically, A Service Provider means your application/resource who wants to be SSO with SAML federated services.

An example of this could be OBIEE, Salesforce.com, Tableau and NetSuite etc…

How does SAML Work?

At its core, SAML is a series of XML-based messages that detail whether a person has authenticated, and frequently information about that person. SAML is primarily used for SSO between organizations and websites that are “external” to the organization. However, it can be used just as well for internal SSO applications.

The three main components of the SAML specification are:

  1. Assertions – The two most commonly usedSAML assertions:
    • Authentication assertions are those in which the user has proven his identity.
    • Attribute assertions contain specific information about the user, such as an email and phone number.
  2. Protocol – This defines the way that SAML asks for and gets assertions, for example, using SOAP over HTTP.
  3. Binding – This details exactly how SAML message exchanges are mapped into SOAP exchanges.

The assertions are exchanged among sites and services using the protocol and binding, and those assertions are what authenticates users among sites.

Why is SAML Used? And how it is related to Cloud?

The Users authenticate to the enterprise, but resources are increasingly moving to the cloud. How do we allow users to securely access resources spread across multiple providers without spreading user credentials too?

Cloud_Security_Funny

The simple answer is, Of course, SSO. There are many ways to achieve single sign-on, and as organizations use an increasing number of cloud applications, support for various methods of single sign-on became too expensive and time consuming.  SAML 2.0, the newest version currently in use, borrows protocols and intellectual property from a number of the most secure frameworks to standardize SSO across all enterprise cloud applications.

It enables web-based authentication and authorization scenarios including cross-domain single sign-on (SSO), which helps reduce the administrative overhead of distributing multiple authentication tokens to the user. Which means we can configure all applications in an organization including Cloud and On-Premise apps with SAML to allow users to login seamlessly without punching login credentials multiple times.

A schematic diagram of SAML SSO for Cloud and Enterprise Applications:

SAML_CLoud_Enterprise_APP

What are the benefits of SAML?

SAML provides the following benefits with supporting multiple protocols can provide an enterprise-wide, architecturally sound Internet SSO solution.

  • Platform neutrality: SAML abstracts the security framework away from platform architectures and particular vendor implementations. Making security more independent of application logic is an important tenet of Service-Oriented Architecture.
  • Secured: Web applications with no passwords are virtually impossible to hack, as the user must authenticate against an enterprise-class IdM first, which can include strong authentication mechanisms. And also User passwords never cross the firewall, since user authentication occurs inside of the firewall and multiple Web application passwords are no longer required.
  • Built-in Gateway: “SP-initiated” SAML SSO provides access to Web apps for users outside of the firewall. If an outside user requests access to a Web application, the SP can automatically redirect the user to an authentication portal located at the Identity Provider. After authenticating, the user is granted access to the application, while their login and password remains locked safely inside the firewall.
  • Loose coupling of directories: SAML does not require user information to be maintained and synchronized between directories.
  • Improved online experience for end users: SAML enables single sign-on by allowing users to authenticate at an identity provider and then access service providers without additional authentication. In addition, identity federation (linking of multiple identities) with SAML allows for a better-customized user experience at each service while promoting privacy.
  • Reduced administrative costs for service providers: Using SAML to “reuse” a single act of authentication (such as logging in with a username and password) multiple times across multiple services can reduce the cost of maintaining account information. Centralized federation provides a single point of Web application access, control and auditing, which has security, risk and compliance benefits.
  • Risk transference: SAML can act to push responsibility for proper management of identities to the identity provider, which is more often compatible with its business model than that of a service provider

SAML usecase:

SAML developed three “use cases” to drive its requirements:

  • Single sign-on (SSO)
  • Authorization service
  • Back office transaction

The following process explains how a user logs into a hosted Service Provider application/resource through a partner-operated, SAML-based SSO service:

SAML_SSO_Sequence_Diagram

  1. A user first accesses a resource hosted by a web server (the Service Provider) that has SAML content protection enabled.
  2. The SP resource/application generates a SAML authentication request. The SAML request is encoded and embedded into the URL for the partner’s SSO service. The RelayState parameter containing the encoded URL of the SP application that the user is trying to reach is also embedded in the SSO URL. This RelayState parameter is meant to be an opaque identifier that is passed back without any modification or inspection.
  3. The SP application sends a redirect to the user’s browser. The redirect URL includes the encoded SAML authentication request that should be submitted to the Partner’s (IdP) SSO service.
  4. The Partner (IdP) decodes the SAML request and extracts the URL for both SP Application’s ACS (Assertion Consumer Service) and the user’s destination URL (RelayState parameter). The partner then authenticates the user. Partners could authenticate users by either asking for valid login credentials or by checking for valid session cookies.
  5. The partner generates a SAML response that contains the authenticated user’s username. In accordance with the SAML 2.0 specification, this response is digitally signed with the partner’s public and private DSA/RSA keys.
  6. The partner encodes the SAML response and the RelayState parameter and returns that information to the user’s browser. The partner provides a mechanism so that the browser can forward that information to SP Application’s ACS. For example, the partner could embed the SAML response and destination URL in a form and provide a button that the user can click to submit the form to SP resource.
  7. The SP Application’s ACS verifies the SAML response using the partner’s public key. If the response is successfully verified, ACS redirects the user to the destination URL.
  8. The user has been redirected to the destination URL and is logged in to SP Applications/resources.

Conclusion

SAML is the oldest federation protocol, has the widest adoption. It has have proven the viability of organizational federated identity. SAML is the paradigm of good SSO breeding. It has emerged as the go-to SSO protocol for business-to-business (B2B) applications and is an important tool in the enterprise security stack.

Thanks,
Shiva Molabanti

 

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A very helpful OBIEE Cache Purge/Seed utility – download it for free here!!!

We all know how to purge OBI Server Cache to see the reports with the most up-to date data from recent ETL. The most common job we do for this is “Cache Purge”. There are several ways to Purge OBI Server Cache: for e.g.: with ibots/Agents bursting, Dynamic repository variables or with our own nqcmd command. Either that, or it means we can script the process and run it periodically. However, to execute these commands in any automated process, you have to depend on another app/skillset and you need to be compromised at security to access OBIEE Server. Because some of the OBIEE command line statements can’t be executed external to the Server. To do this either you need be compromised at OS security level or you need to setup the sshpass (password-less login). But many organizations will not support this in ther Production environments due to various reasons of password sharing or bypassing limitations. And this has been a must have attempt in 90% of OBIEE implementations that we have seen till now (At least in my case).

So to address this issue, I am very excited to tell you guys that I have developed a simple handy tool. This is completely free for you for the benefit of OBIEE Community…. Using this, you can simply Purge or seed the OBIEE Server Cache remotely. Yes, you don’t need to login to OBIEE server or Application. You can simply do that from your own system. Only thing that you need is that you should be able to ping the OBIEE hostname/ipaddress on BI Server port (e.g: 9703). That’s it, you are done.

Instructions to Install:

  1. Pre requisite: Make sure you have Jdk 1.6+ installed in your system.
  2. I have created two versions of BICachePurge v1.0 utility for both Windows and LINUX/UNIX Operating Systems.
  3. You can just download the version of your choice for free from here

  4. Unzip the downloaded file into a directory of your choice.
  5. Now, navigate to the BICachePurge_v1.0 folder.
  6. In the BICachePurge_v1.0 root folder, Open the BIS_Param (BIS_Params.bat for WINDOWS and BIS_Params.sh for Linux/Unix) in a text editor.
  7. And now, edit the following variables to reflect the OBIEE server where you would like to purge the cache.
    1. BI_SERVER
    2. BIS_PORT
    3. BI_USER
    4. BI_PASWD
    5. OBI_QUERY

    Note: All the variables are mandatory and so make sure to setup all of them. And if you have any spaces in the values, then add that in quotes (). For eg. call SAPurgeAllCache() and DON’T FORGET TO SAVE.

    Sample BIS_Params.bat file configuration:


  8. Now you all set. To purge cache from your terminal:
    1. On windows: open a DOS command prompt and navigate to <install drive>/BICachePurge_V1.0 and execute Purge_Cache.bat command.
    2. On Linux/Unix: on command line, Go to <install drive>\BICachePurge_V1.0 and execute ./Purge_Cache.sh command.

    Sample output of Purge_Cache.bat command:


OK, Now how it helps to automate the Cache Purge/Seed process?

Hmm, you can use this code in different ways.

  1. You can purge the OBIEE Server cache from your own system without logging into OBIEE online RPD or Presentation Services.
  2. You can use this in crone job on server to do this on regular interval of time if you wish to.
  3. You can execute this from your own ETL servers (for e.g.: from DAC server to execute it as POST Task).
  4. And in many ways wherever you want to run without depending on OBIEE Server…

Enjoy guys!!!.. And feel free to give your feedback and do let me know if you have any issues in installing this.

Thanks,
Shiva Molabanti

 

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