Some 2 weeks back Tim Hall had the wonderful idea of getting together on a specific date and making our love for the Oracle Technology Network known to the world.

Continuing on Robin’s list of what OTN does for us I would like to add their conference tours across the different continents like the current one running in the EMEA nordics. Secondly – and obviously – the ACE program which is quite simply the most amazing community I was ever a part of.

Anyone who know me knows that I quite literally worship the power and flexibility of the core BI server which harks back to the end of the 1990 when a couple of extremely clever guys created a metadata engine which was so far ahead of its time that its core remains pretty much the same until today and serves as the basis for Oracle Business Intelligence (OBIEE, OBIA, OTBI, etc), Visual Analyzer, BI Cloud Services, Data Visualization and Data Visualization Desktop.

One of the key functionalities of the BI Server is its ability to read just about any source of data you can imagine or come up with:



Add to this list of natively supported source types the power of reading literally anything based on ODBC and it becomes almost problem to find something you can’t analyze with OBI and its children.

Databases, multidimensional cubes, flat files, Hyperion applications, XML are at your fingertips just like many of the new kids on the block. Hive, Impala and Spark that is…not these guys.

I raise my glass to OTN. Prost, Zum Wohl, Santé, Cheers, Kampai, Na Zdrowie and Salute!

community, event

I’m currently sitting in yet another very good talk at the Polish User Group 2016 conference – first of it’s type ever to happen in Poland. Second-to-last of my conferences for this year according to current planning I have to really tip my hat to the team here for a very well organized conference with a brilliant line-up of speakers and topics. Especially if you’re considering that it’s their first one ever. Massive turnout in terms of participants as well! ……looking at you there SOUG. Learn from your peers guys.

I think Robin’s gesture here speaks for itself.

In terms of content I’ve managed to grab a number of sessions:

  • “DBA, Heal Thyself: Five Diseases of IT Organizations and How to Cure Them” – Jim Czuprynski: I really hope he uploads the slides so speakerdeck or slideshare. Basically he spent the hour denouncing management stupidity, procedural ridiculousness and political rubbish and why + how this destroys your project, your initiative and generally IT in general.
  • “Introduction to graph databases” – Hans Viehmann: Heard it several times already but it’s always nice to see how Hans makes a rather extra-normal topic in the Oracle family accessible and understandable as a concept to people who have never run into it.
  • “(Still) No Silver Bullets : OBIEE 12c Performance in the Real World” – Robin Moffatt: What can I say on this one. “I agree” or “+1”? Or basically: IF you don’t get this please leave the industry. NOW.
  • “Why has my plan changed” – Neil Chandler: Brilliant analysis of just how badly many things around the optimizer…many times…are gotten wrong, ignored etc. As I said on twitter: Something to give your DBA to ponder.
  • “Analyze This! Practical Examples of Oracle Analytical Functions” – Jim Czuprynski: Another great talk by Jim. I really think analytical functions – even when you’re just talking about PIVOT/UNPIVOT or windowing – are in many cases where a proper analytical environment doesn’t exist just underused. Let alone all the 12c stuff which has been added.
    And with him and his twitter handle “TheWhyGuy” it’s really all about what I constantly preach: WHY you should do things in what way is all that it’s about. Not brainless repetition of things someone said or you’ve read or heard.
  • “Tips on Bulk Data Processing with SQL and PL/SQL” – Martin Widlake: Currently ongoing but as it is with Martin: Very down-to-earth and to-the-point. No flamboyant rubbish or embellishment. Because this is just how things work. Couldn’t agree more.

All in all a very good conference. Very glad I invited one of my client teams to participate in these two days and introduce them to conferencing and the Oracle community! I really wish POUG all the best for the future. A new proud member in the family of Oracle User Group conferences.

Oh yeah. And the beers. Good grief. A place for Jeff Smith 😉

12c, security

Following up on my last post it turns out that the conundrum is nothing but Enterprise Manager currently displaying things in a somewhat sub-optimal manner. The permissions etc are all there but they are just not being displayed under their respective permission class.

WLST confirms this when listing things with listResources(appStripe=”obi”)

So conundrum = just a hick-up 🙂

11g, 12c, application policies, OBI, permissions, security

So we know that 12c made some small changes in the security area – the most well known being “BI Administrator” being renamed to “BI Service Administrator”.

This can cause some issues when importing 11g BAR files with old “BI Administrator” roles but set “security model=false” during import. Well this isn’t what this post is about but still something you may want to remember 😉

What this post IS about is the little weirdness which is happening in Application Policies and the Permissions you can grant to a policy and its principals.

Let’s look at the permissions granted to “BI Service Administrator”. There’s two set of rights which look suspiciously similar:

Can you spell “redundant”?

Ok let’s turn this upside down and create a new application grant for a “close to Admin”-type set of rights:

Searching by “Permission Class” yields 14 results.

Funny enough we don’t find all four of the permissions in the screenshot above. Two catalog permissions are present – “” and “*” for the permission type. “*” for isn’t there though. Hmmm. Let’s search by “Resource Type” and try to find the four in question one by one.

Why hello there. Not only do we find all four but also a nice little remark on the two known ones: Legacy Permission from BI 11g

So it seems that those two are about to get dropped and be replaced by the new “*” resources. But why is only one of the two new permissions visible when searching by “Resource Class” when it seems to actually HAVE the correct resource class assigned to it?

Smells like something needing a little fix. Most important though: going through permissions by resource type and checking the ones labeled as “Legacy 11g” is a good idea in order to not be relying on things on their way out of the product…

community, kscope

The ODTUG KScope16 speaker evaluations just arrived in my inbox and I wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude to everyone who came to listen to my sessions and for their magnificent feedback.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart – this is why I do these conferences!

Thanks also to everyone from ODTUG and all my friends from the community. I hope to see you all next year in San Antonio for KScope17.

12c, dashboard, OBI, obiee

A new functionality has been introduced in the latest release of OBI – – which has gone a bit unnoticed since it hasn’t been included in the documentation anywhere. This is surprising since it’s been requested since a long time.

Dashboard subpages!

As of this release the usual 3-level dashboard hierarchy has been transformed into a 4-level one:

  • Dashboard group
  • Dashboard
  • Dashboard page
  • Dashboard subpage

dashboard sub-pages

Configuration is very straight-forward. Just click the usual “Add” button which will give you two options as of now:


admin, answers, OBI, obiee

Working on a system without full access can often be a pain and prevent you from being able to get information necessary for your work. One of those areas is access to system variables. Good thing is. that bits and pieces are flying around all over the web and can be found for example both Oracle’s own SampleApp or this little gist here from @rmoff.

I’ve started mixing and matching together as much as possible of “things you can potentially get out of the system” without having anything else than Answers access and combined it into a single analysis. You can find the gist here. To put it into your system all you need to do is create a new analysis, copy over the XML and reference any of your Subject Areas (two locations; top and bottom of the file). Doesn’t matter which one as long as it parses correctly. Not a single query against actual data sources is run.



I’ll keep adding to this and expand it with whatever hack I can find to circumvent the pesky “you’re not an Admin” situations.


event, kscope, obiee, odtug

Next week from June 26 to 30 it’s time again for the epic ODTUG KScope16 which is happening in Chicago, Illinois this time. After unfortunately missing last year’s KScope15 in Florida I am happy to be back with two presentation slots of my own plus a joint presentation.

You can find the full agenda here including my three sessions in the BI and Data Warehousing stream of the event:

  • 50 Shades of #Fail: OBI Worst Practices in Real Life
  • Back2Basics: A Day in the Life of an Oracle BI Query
  • OBIEE Security: It’s a Jungle Out There(joint presentation with @G_Ceresa)

This year I had the pleasure and privilege to be a member of the content committee for the BI/DWH stream in order to do my part of making the event as epic an experience as possible for all participants.

Looking forward to seeing all my friends and fellow Oracle ACEs again.


“If you have a tool and arn’t aware if what it can do, its dangerous. A jedi can do amazing things with a lightsaber. A roomful of chimps with lightsabers… would get messy. 


blog, general

I am currently in the process of moving all assets over from blogger and it seems that a miraculous multiplication of blog posts is happening – once with and once without images as it seems. Will clean up in the coming hours.

Update: So it seems that even after trying 3 different import tools not all images have made it over. A pity but that’s life – you’ll still be able to see the original posts including all images under the old URL: