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Category Archives: BI apps

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

 
 

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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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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New OBIEE Sample Application V406

Oracle has released a new OBIEE 11G Sample Application V406. it has everything you think of in OBIEE.. like HTML5, Java and ADF visulations and what not…?

Its available to download as a preconfigured VM image.. download a copy at http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/bi-foundation/obiee-samples-167534.html

Sample_App_V406_1

What is the fresh meat at a glance?

Sample_App_V406_2

 

Thanks,
Shiva

 

 

 

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OBI Mobile App for Android devices available now

Whew.. The wait is over…Oracle released OBIEE Mobile app for Android devices. We can download it on Google Play @ https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.oracle.obi&hl=en.. Now no limits.. Take your data with you wherever you go.. enjoy.

Some screenshots:

OBIMobileapp_Android1

OBIMobileapp_Android2

OBIMobileapp_Android3

 

Thanks,
Shiva

 

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OBIEE 11G configuration’s Maximum Limits

In OBIEE 11G, The instanceconfig.xml file stores the OBI PS configuration settings. Many configuration settings are available in EM and those should be controlled within EM only unless if we disabled centralConfigurationEnabled option. If any particular setting is not available in EM then we should make changes directly in instanceconfig.xml file. There are many situations where we need to change the default OBI configuration settings to a new value.

Interestingly, The OBIEE 11g have the following information on Maximum limits for these configuration settings, in system MBean called “BIDomain.BIInstance.PerformanceConfiguration”. This helps to asses a safe value without guessing.

Cache:

Be careful when you are setting the Cache attribute values. For implementations under significant stress increase this value to 1000 or a higher value as mentioned below. The main factor that affects its size is the memory consumption.

  • Maximum range of Global Cache storage size (in Megabytes) to use when BI Server cache is enabled – 9,999
  • Maximum number of cache entries; used to tune cache performance – 99,999
  • Maximum size (in Megabytes) for individual server cache entries – 9,999

Data Display/Download:

The Maximum no.of rows that we can set to display/download in the Table/Pivot views. But keep in mind OBIEE is NOT meant to be a tool to extract huge amounts of information.

  • Maximum number of rows of data to include in Table views – 9,999,999
  • Maximum number of rows of data to include in delivered emails – 9,999,999
  • Maximum number of rows to export to excel – 9,999,999

Topology:

This is the Maximum no.of OBI Components instantiated for the BI Instance within the Oracle Instance when you are scaling out the OBIEE 11G.

  • OBI Presentation Servers – 99
  • OBI Servers – 99
  • OBI Java hosts – 99
  • OBI Cluster Controllers – 2
  • OBI Schedulers – 2

IMHO, this is something every OBIEE Consultant have to know before hand to update the OBI PS configuration settings. I’ll keep this blog post updated with more information I attain and updates from you…

Stay tuned…

Thanks,
Shiva

 
7 Comments

Posted by on October 8, 2013 in BI apps, OBI EE, OBIEE 11g, ODI, Weblogic

 

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