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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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OBI Mobile App Designer Installation

The Oracle BI Mobile App Designer complements BI Mobile HD and is packaged with BI Foundation Suite and the BI Mobile option to OBIEE at no additional cost.

Follow the below steps to install Oracle BI Mobile App Designer:

Prerequisites:

  • OBIEE 11.1.1.7.1 [If your version of Oracle BI EE is not 11.1.1.7.1, download Patch 16556157: OBIEE BUNDLE PATCH 11.1.1.7.1 from My Oracle Support].
  • To support Oracle BI Mobile App Designer with Oracle BI Web Catalog, Apply OBIEE 11.1.1.7.1 MLR Patch 17004920.
  • Download Oracle BI Mobile App Designer patch 17220944 from My Oracle Support.

Installation Steps:

Stop All OBIEE 11G services (Weblogic Admin Server, Managed Server and OPMN services)
Apply OBIEE 11.1.1.7.1 MLR Patch 17004920 using OPatch utility.
Apply OBI Mobile App designer Patch 17220944 using OPatch utility.
Deploy the OBI Mobile App Designer (MAD) manually using WebLogic configuration assistant as shown in below:
Open Command prompt window and Navigate to <MW_HOME>\Oracle_BI1\common\bin\

Run ‘config.bat’ to start the WebLogic configuration assistant tool.

On welcome screen, select ‘Extend an existing WebLogic domain ‘ and click Next.

Choose the domain to extend, for example: bifoundation_domain

Choose Extend my domain using an existing extension template and Set the Template Location to: <MW_HOME>/Oracle_BI1/common/templates/applications/oracle.bimad_template_11.1.1.jar

On Configuration summary, review the deployment details and click “Extend” button.

Upon successful configuration, you see the following screen. Click “Done” to close this window.

Great. This concludes the OBI MAD application deployment in our OBIEE 11G application. Now we need to update the Security Configurations for OBI MAD. This is mandatory step to use OBI MAD in OBIEE 11G presentation services.

Update Security Configuration for Oracle BI Mobile App Designer:

This is a Python script to update the OBIEE 11G domain (bifoundation_domain) system JAZN file (system-jazn-data.xml) with the security grants required for BI Mobile App Designer. This step is required only the first time you apply the patch.

Navigate to <MW_HOME>\Oracle_BI1\bifoundation\install and run the command: <MW_HOME>\Oracle_BI1\common\bin\wlst.cmd addMADCodeGrants.py t3://<hostname>:7001 <weblogic_Admin_Username>

For example: D:\MW\Oracle_BI1\common\bin\wlst.cmd addMADCodeGrants.py t3://shivapc:7001 weblogic

After successful execution, Start All OBIEE 11G services (Weblogic Admin, Managed servers and OPMN)

Once the services are started, Login OBIEE 11G analytics (http://hostname:9704/analytics)

Right after, you logged into OBIEE 11G, click the ‘New’ Menu. In this you will see a new application category called “Mobile Application” and you see the “Mobile App” module. Click on that to start design and developing the reports.

In next blog, I’ll explain how to develop the reports using this OBI MAD.

Thanks,
Shiva Molabanti

 

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How to reset forgotten OBIEE 11G RPD password?

Forgot OBIEE 11G RPD password?

In OBIEE 10g, If you forgot the repository (RPD) password, we can easily rest with simple straight configuration change (AUTHENTICATION_TYPE = BYPASS_NQS) in NQSConfig.ini file.This was a security breach in OBI 10g versions and it didn’t have had fix for it. Fix? Why?… Yes, as a developer we might still need such a (un)fair upshot. But it is a very dangerous security breach. If anyone gets the production RPD, he can simply bypass the rpd security and can deploy it to see the valuable data. As the OBI rpd doesn’t require someone to know the production Database password, the information theft is quite possible.

So unlike OBIEE 10G, The newer OBIEE 11G has a very tight security i.e. TWO level key authentication to open a RPD in online mode and one key (RPD password) in offline mode. Either of the modes cannot open the repository with some configuration changes. So be careful if you want to reuse the OBI repository, make sure that you have memorized the RPD password.  There is NO any reset process.

But however, you can get a password for an already deployed RPD. With the help of wlst script, you can get the forgotten OBI Repository password that is deployed earlier.

To know forgotten OBIEE11G Repository (RPD) password:

Login to weblogic EM (http://localhost:7001/em) and navigate to credentials store page.

Reset_OBIEE11G_Password_1

Expand the key map: oracle.bi.enterprise. This is the key map which stores all the repository passwords that are deployed.

Reset_OBIEE11G_Password_2

For the context of this blog post, I would like to show you how to know the forgotten password of a deployed repository.

In above image, I have 4 repositories and one scheduler schema keys in my credential key map. From the list, to get the password of “New_SampleAppLite_BI0002” repository, follow these steps:

  • Open command prompt,
  • E:\>cd <OBIEE_HOME>\oracle_common\common\bin
  • Run wlst scrpt: <OBIEE_HOME>\oracle_common\common\bin>wlst.cmd
  • Connect to weblogic domain with the command:

    connect(“<weblogic_AdminUser>”,”<weblogic_AdminUser_Password>”,”<Adminserver_Hostname>:<Admin_Portno>”) 

    e.g: wls:/offline> connect(“weblogic”,”weblogic123″,”localhost:7001″)Connecting to t3://localhost:7001 with userid weblogic …Successfully connected to Admin Server ‘AdminServer’ that belongs to domain ‘bifoundation_domain’.————

  • Run listCred() command to get the password of New_SampleAppLite_BI0002 repository
    wls:/bifoundation_domain/serverConfig> listCred(“oracle.bi.enterprise”,”repository.New_SampleAppLite_BI0002″)

    Location changed to domainRuntime tree. This is a read-only tree with DomainMBean as the root.
    For more help, use help(domainRuntime)

    [Name : tempvalue, Description : null, expiry Date : null]
    PASSWORD:Admin321

That’s it, you can see the password: Admin321 for my New_SampleAppLite_BI0002 repository.

You can even get other key values listed in other key maps to avoid any guess work.

If you want to reset the weblogic Admin password look at here

Thanks,
Shiva Molabanti

 
7 Comments

Posted by on April 30, 2013 in BI Publisher, OBI EE, OBIEE 11g, Weblogic

 

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Change the OBI Repository Password from the Command Line

In OBIEE 11.1.1.7.0 there is new BI Server utility called obieerpdpwdchg to change the RPD password from command line.

Follow these steps to change the repository password using the obieerpdpwdchg utility, and then deploy the modified repository in Fusion Middleware Control:

  1. Run bi-init to launch a command prompt.

You can find the bi-init command from

  • Client installations:  ORACLE_HOME/bifoundation/server/bin
  • All other installations: ORACLE_INSTANCE/bifoundation/OracleBIApplication/coreapplication/setup

Double-click bi-init.cmd (or bi-init.bat for client installations) to display a command prompt that is initialized to your Oracle instance.

  1.  At the command prompt, type obieerpdpwdchg with the following arguments:
    • -I name_and_path_of_existing_repository
    • -O name_and_path_of_new_repository

Then, enter the current (old) password and the new password when prompted. The repository password must be longer than five characters and cannot be empty. For example:

obieerpdpwdchg -I E:\SampleAppLite.rpd -O E:\New_SampleAppLite.rpd
Give password for repository: Admin123
Give password for repository: <new Password>

RPD_PWD Change

Note that passwords are masked on the command line unless you include the -C option in the command to disable masking.

  1. Open a Web browser and log in to Fusion Middleware Control from the computer where the updated repository is located.
  2. In the navigation tree, expand Business Intelligence and then click coreapplication to display the Business Intelligence Overview page.
  3. Display the Repository tab of the Deployment page.
  4. Click Lock and Edit Configuration.
  5. Click Browse next to Repository File. Then, select the updated repository file and click Open.
  6. Enter the new (updated) repository password in the Repository Password and the Confirm Password fields.

Make sure to specify the password that has been set in the repository. If the passwords do not match, the Oracle BI Server fails to start, and an error is logged in nqserver.log.

  1. Click Apply, then click Activate Changes.
  2. Return to the Business Intelligence Overview page and click Restart.

 

Thanks,
Shiva

 
5 Comments

Posted by on April 17, 2013 in BI Publisher, OBI EE, OBIEE 11g, Weblogic

 

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OBIEE 11G – Important Security Considerations (SSL) if using external LoadBalancer

In OBIEE enterprise topology, make sure the external load balancer used should be able to terminate SSL requests at the load balancer and forward traffic to the back-end real servers using the equivalent non-SSL protocol (for example, HTTPS to HTTP).

For security purposes, and because the load balancer terminates SSL requests (Oracle HTTP Server routes the requests as non-SSL to WebLogic Server), after SSL is configured for the load balancer, turn on the WebLogic Plugin Enabled flag for the domain. To do this, follow these steps:

1. Log in to the Administration Console.
2. Click the domain name in the navigation tree on the left.
3. Click the Web Applications tab.
4. In the Change Center, click Lock & Edit.
5. Select WebLogic Plugin Enabled.
6. Click Save, then click Activate Changes.
7. Restart the Administration Server and Managed Server.

Tip: WebLogic Plugin Enabled: Specifies whether or not the proprietary WL-Proxy-Client-IP header should be honored. (This is needed only when WebLogic plugins are configured.)

In additon to above, make sure Oracle HTTP Server (OHS) to add the following SSL directives in each <location> section to the ORACLE_BASE/admin/instance_name/config/OHS/component_name/mod_wl_ohs.conf file:

WLProxySSL ON

WLProxySSLPassThrough ON

Tips: Set WLProxySSL parameter to ON to maintain SSL communication between the plug-in and WebLogic Server when the following conditions exist:

An HTTP client request specifies the HTTPS protocol
The request is passed through one or more proxy servers (including the WebLogic Server proxy plug-ins)
The connection between the plug-in and WebLogic Server uses the HTTP protocol
When WLProxySSL is set to ON, the location header returned to the client from WebLogic Server specifies the HTTPS protocol.

Reference: https://blogs.oracle.com/pa/entry/obiee_11_1_1_important1

Thanks,
Shiva

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2012 in BI Publisher, OBI EE, OBIEE 11g

 

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Things to remember for OBIEE 11G on Microsoft SQL Server

The basic things to remember when configuring OBIEE 11G on Microsoft SQL Server:

1. While running RCU:

  • Use case-sensitive collation in order that the database can reflect any case-sensitivity in your repository naming conventions.
    Run this sql command: ALTER DATABASE OBI COLLATE Latin1_General_CS_AS 
    (This command is for UK English installation, for US locale installation use Latin1_General_CP1_CS_AS)
  • Activate the mechanism of row versioning, so it`s require to enable Read Commit Snapshot.
    Run this command: ALTER DATABASE OBI SET READ_COMMITTED_SNAPSHOT ON

2. When configuring OBIEE 11G Scheduler with MS SQL server:

When installed with a Microsoft SQL Server 2005/2008 database, the Oracle Business Intelligence installer configures Oracle BI Scheduler with a SQL Server 2005/2008 driver. If multibyte data is used, scheduled jobs might fail. To avoid this issue, use Oracle Enterprise Manager to configure the Oracle Business Intelligence system to use a SQL Server 7.0/2000 driver instead.

To configure Oracle BI Scheduler to use the SQL Server 7.0/2000 driver with Microsoft SQL Server 2005/2008:

  1. After you install Oracle Business Intelligence, log into the system through Oracle Enterprise Manager.
  2. Navigate to the Scheduler tab for the Oracle Business Intelligence server.
  3. Click Lock and Edit Configuration.
  4. Click the Database drop-down list and select SQL Server 7.0/2000.
  5. Click Apply.

3. When configuring OBI Publisher 11G Scheduler with MS SQL server:

Prerequisite: Ensure that the Microsoft SQL Server is set up with mixed mode authentication. Also ensure that the user that you enter to configure the scheduler has the “db_owner” role.

The below table describes the fields for the DataDirect driver to connect to a Microsoft SQL Server 2000 or 2005 database.

DataDirect Driver Fields for SQL Server Databases

Field Entry
Database Type: Select Microsoft SQL Server 2000 or Microsoft SQL Server 2005 from the list.
Connection String: Enter the following connection string parameters: jdbc:hyperion:sqlserver://<hostname>:<port>;DatabaseName=<DATABASENAME> For example: jdbc:hyperion:sqlserver:// mydatabaseserver.com:1433;DatabaseName=bipscheduler
Database Driver Class: hyperion.jdbc.sqlserver.SQLServerDriver

4. in RPD Development:

  • When you are creating DSN for SQL Server, use sql server native client 10.0 instead of any other drivers. From Sql server 2008 onward, it is strongly recommended even some documents says dont use ODBC native drivers.
  • In RPD, the Query DBMS for SQL server in 11.1.1.6 only work when you specify the DSN name directly (by default it comes with OLAP_DSN session variable).
  • If you have a column with UNIQUEIDENTIFIER as its data type in MS SQL server, then change that column datatype to BINARY(16) or VARCHAR(40) in OBI RPD Physical layer.

5. Performance Tuning:

The following guidelines pertain to performance tuning parameters for Microsoft SQL Server databases. For more information about these parameters, see your Microsoft SQL Server documentation.

  • Store tempdb on a fast I/O device.
  • Increase the recovery interval if perfmon shows an increase in I/O.
  • Use an I/O block size larger than 2 KB.

Thanks,
Shiva

 
2 Comments

Posted by on July 2, 2012 in BI Publisher, OBI EE, OBIEE 11g

 

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IS OBIEE 11G/FMW supported on VMware?

Virtualization or Raw Metal?

(Orginal link: http://blogs.oracle.com/proactivesupportEPM/entry/virtualization_or_raw_metal)

With the growing number of customers who want to run the Oracles EPM/BI (or other Fusion Middleware Software) in a virtualized environment, we face a growing number of people asking if running Oracle Software within VMware is supported or not.

Two KM articles reflect Oracles policy towards the use of VMware:
249212.1 and
1063937.1.

The bottom line is: you may use it at your own risk, but Oracle does not recommend it.

So far we have seen few problems with the use of VMware (other than performance and the usual limitations) but Oracle does not certify its software for the use in VMware (and specifically for RAC Software actively refuses any support) and any issue that may occur will be fixed for the native OS only.

It is on the customer to prove that the issue is NOT due to VMware in case that an issue is encountered.

See: “Oracle Fusion Middleware Supported System Configurations page

And also

Supported Virtualization and Partitioning Technologies for Oracle Fusion Middleware

Thanks,
Shiva

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2011 in BI Publisher, OBIEE 11g

 

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