installation, OBI, obiee, OTN, sampleapp

Every week between OTN, stackoverflow, and direct questions sent to my email accounts there are 2-4 occurrences of “How do I install OBI on Windows 7/8/10” or “I am having issues with installing OBI on Windows”.

In order to clear up this topic once and for all – here is the ultimate guide to running Oracle BI on your Windows desktop OS:

  1. Download VirtualBox

  2. Install VirtualBox on your machine

  3. Download all image files for the Oracle BI Sample Application
  4. Deploy the VM in your local VirtualBox installation according to the Deployment Guide
  5. Start your deplyoed SampleAppVM via your VirtualBox Manager

  6. Use the “Start” icon to start both the database and the full Oracle BI stack inside the VM

  7. Let the script run its course until all services are up and the leave that terminal window open

  8. Open Firefox inside the VM and click the “OBIEE Login” bookmark

  9. Log on using “weblogic” / “Admin123” (without the quotes)
  10. You’re in. You’re done. That’s it. You have a fully functioning OBI environment with about 5 gazillion more things compared to what you could ever come up with yourself.

Now it you haven’t stopped reading yet because you thought “Hey wait this isn’t a Windows installation” let me explain a couple of things:

Point #1: Oracle BI is a server tool. It isn’t your WhatsApp desktop, it isn’t your Chrome/Firefox/Safari. It’s actually a whole range of servers and as such not something you run on a desktop operating system. And because of that:

Point #2: It is NOT supported on Windows desktop operating systems!
If you go to the Fusion Middleware Supported System Configurations page and open the certification matrix for the current 12.2.1.2.0 version you will find that the only mention of anything “Windows” are 2012 and 2012R2:

No 10, no 8, no 7, no ME, no XP, no 98, no 3.1 … you get the point. No. Desktop. OSs.

Point #3: That means that Oracle will never bother to test things fully or help you out if you mess up things or can’t get something to run because you installed on a Windows desktop OS. You’re on your own.

Point #4: Even if you make it run or clamour “But I’ve seen tons of videos where” it works like someone recently did – I don’t care and neither will Oracle in terms of their product development or support. Sooner or later you will run into follow-up issues and scratch you head and go mad because things just don’t work or not as expected / in a weird fashion.

People this is how technology works. An Android app is an Android app and not usable on iPhone unless the company making it actually releases an iPhone app. Ask any iPhone user and gamer how they felt between the Android release of Pokemon GO and the iPhone release last year.

To use another example: You shouldn’t fill up a diesel-engined car with petrol just because you always took petrol from the pump or whatever unvalid reason you can conjure up. Well you can but don’t complain afterwards that your engine is busted

Got it now? Thanks!

OBI, OTN

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:

obi_data_sources

 

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!

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” oracle.security.jps.ResourcePermission yields 14 results.

Funny enough we don’t find all four of the permissions in the screenshot above. Two catalog permissions are present – “oracle.bi.presentation.catalogmanager.manage” and “*” for the oracle.bi.catalog permission type. “*” for oracle.bi-repository 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…

12c, dashboard, OBI, obiee

A new functionality has been introduced in the latest release of OBI – 12.2.1.1.0 – 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:

dashboard_add

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.

gist_top

gist_bottom

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.

sysvars