OBIBB – Interviews (Mark Rittman)

When I first started reading Oracle BI Blogs, Mark’s blog was one of the first I added to my bloglist. Although he has a very busy schedule, I was able to get a few anwers out of  Mark Rittman. I am sure Mark has some opinions, we could benefit from.

1. You are a well respected member of the Oracle BI community. Where could we know you from? 

>: I’ve been involved with Oracle BI and data warehousing for around 12 years now, and with OBIEE since Oracle bought Siebel back in 2006. I’ve been blogging since 2004 and am just about to start writing the Oracle Press book on OBIEE, which has been on hold for a few years whilst we waited for the 11g release. I’m also an Oracle ACE Director, a member of the ODTUG board and a regular writer on BI for Oracle Magazine. 

2. You use various different platforms to share your knowledge. Which one do you prefer?  

 >: I like writing for our blog (at, as I can get thoughts down quickly and also obtain feedback from others using OBIEE. Writing for Oracle Magazine is professionally quite satisfying, as the editing process is very rigorous and a lot of effort goes into making sure the content is technically correct, and it reads well. I also enjoy answering questions and moderating postings on the Oracle BIEE Enterprise Methodology Group forum (, as the conversation there is very focused on OBIEE architecture and best practices. 

 3. What’s your favorite topic, you share your knowledge about?

 >: My favorite topic is the data architecture layer for OBIEE – RPD data modeling, use of Essbase and Oracle OLAP, performance tuning, and leveraging the various layers of the Oracle technology stack to better improve the performance and throughput of queries. Another area I’m interested in, particularly with the coming of OBIEE 11g, is integrating the BI layer into applications, and so I’m interested in the ability for 11g to interface with Oracle ADF and the whole SOA stack. 

 4. You organized another successful Rittman Mead BI Forum this year. What can we expect for the next year?

 >: Well next year the big news will be OBIEE 11g, and by the time of the event, hopefully most of us should have worked on a few 11g projects and have some experiences and best practices to share. We’re also looking to run the BI Forum on consecutive weeks in Brighton, and in the USA, with hopefully some of the presenters traveling across the Atlantic and presenting with us at both events! 

 5. What part of the Oracle BI stack could get more attention form the Oracle BI Community?

 >: We’re all interesting in new features, and certainly OBIEE 11g is bringing lots of them. But for me, the area that could do with more attention is the technology behind the semantic layer and the BI Server, and I’ve certainly noticed that most OBIEE don’t really understand the process and meaning behind logical table sources, in-memory joins, when to have one or more LTSs and best practices for the design of the mappings between the business model and the physical layer in the semantic model. Whilst most people are focused on developing reports and getting the numbers to add up, an area I think should get more focus is on the principals behind the BI Server and best practices for setting up the semantic model. 

 6. How much of technology innovation have you seen in the Oracle BI stack over the years? Which feature/technology in your opinion was the most ground breaking one?

 >: Well most of the innovation I’ve seen over past few years has been around integration with the rest of the Fusion Middleware, and Fusion Application, stack. To answer the question directly, I’d say the best innovation since the launch of OBIEE 10g and the Siebel acquisition has been the continuing integration of Essbase into the Oracle BI stack; going forward, I’d like to see more innovation in the front-end, and also a move towards putting the whole analysis layer into memory, so that Essbase, OBIEE and potentially even ODI/OWB ran in RAM.

 7. You and Jon are running a successful business for a few years now. So it is possible; two captains on one ship. What makes you guys complementary? 

 >: Something we learnt early on is that we needed to focus on separate, but complementary areas, rather than both of us try and cover the same ground. Jon looks after the commercial side of the business, defining the strategy and brining on board new customers, projects and team members. I look after the technical side, setting the technical direction, discussing and communicating technical strategy with our clients, and working together with our delivery team to make sure we’re the best in the industry.

8. I know one of your passions is Oracle BI (EE). What are your other passions, if any?

 >: A couple of things. I’m a big Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) fan, and this year is an important one for us as it’s our first in the Champions League. I’m also into dance music, and in fact a common link between myself and Jon is that we were both dance music DJs back our student days in the 1990’s. So if the market for Oracle BI goes down in the future, we’ll have to get our decks out and go back on the road…!

9. Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

>: Only that I’d encourage anyone with an interest in the methodology behind Oracle BI EE to visit, and contribute, to the OBIEE Enterprise Methodology Group at . It’s free to join, moderated by some of the most well-known names in the OBIEE industry, and with the launch of OBIEE 11g behind us it’ll be a great place to discuss new features and techniques.

 10. Who would you like to be next in this series and why? What would you like to ask him/her?

>: I’d suggest Kurt Wolff. Kurt gave a very successful masterclass at our BI Forum this year, and was the original designer behind the BI Administrator tool. Kurt has some great opinions on RPD design and the approach to OBIEE projects, and it’d be great to get his opinion on what works and what doesn’t.

Thanks to Mark Rittman for sharing his thoughts on Oracle BI. I guess we wil need to focus some more attention on the principals of the Oracle BI Server. We should think and act like the Oracle BI Server to get the optimal results out of the Oracle BI Server. Hopefully Kurt Wolff could give his vision on this subject.

To be continued.

Oracle BI EE 11g R1 Launch Event

Today I attended the Oracle BI EE 11g R1 Launch Event in de Meern in Holland. This was an event with a life satellite connection to London where the official launch event was held. Back in London they  think Amsterdam and de Meern is the same. The should walk between these two cities ;-).

The launch event was very well organized. Although we had to wait one or two times, all the presentations and demo’s both in London as well as here in Holland integrated seamlessly. Talking about integration, this is one of the keywords, when we are talking about Oracle BI.

Complete, Integrated and Open. That is the basis for the new Oracle BI solution Oracle is offering.

  • Complete
    • Technology
      • Database
      • Middleware
      • Analytical Applications
    • Functionality
  • Open
    • Standards
  • Integrated
    • Common Enterprise Information Model

Demo Time

The moment we were all waiting for, was the moment we went under the hoods (kimono’s, kilts) of Oracle BI EE 11g R1. In Holland Nick Tusin and Mike Durran gave us a overview of what we can expect in this new release. The demo was divided into 4 parts;

  • (R)-OLAP,
  • (M)-OLAP,
  • Mobile, Collaboration and Reporting & Publishing,
  • Operational Management.

We have seen a lot of (new) improved things. As Mike has said afterwards, he could easily have filled a day of demoing. A few highlights in a complete arbitrary order: 

  • Oracle BI Answers and Dashboards
    • Improved browser UI
    • Hierarchy columns (groups / different levels)
    • Graphical Sliders
    • Geo Spatial Analysis
  •  Scorcarding and Strategy Management
  • Federated Queries
    • Multiple datasources (Oracle Essbase 11g and OLTP)
  • Oracle BI Action Frame work for Closed Loop Oracle BI
  • Oracle BI Collaboration
    • Oracle Webcentre Workspaces and Collaboration
  • Oracle BI Search
    • Secure Enterprise Search
    • Indexing
    • Search and Preview
    • In Context
  • Oracle BI Publisher 
    • Integrated and Interactive
    • Real Pixel Perfect Reporting
    • Integrated Layout editor
  • Microsoft Office Integration
    • Writeback
  •  Oracle BI Operational Mangement 
    • Enterprise Manager
    • BI Plugin
  • Oracle BI Security 
    • Identity Management

 What’s next?

  • 29 September 2010 – Official launch in Holland (Galgenwaard – Utrecht)
  • September 2010
    • Delta Trainings for Partners
    • Trainings for Customers (Instructor-Led, Online eStudy, Seminars)
    • Oracle BI Workshop
    • Test Drive Sessions
  • General Availability; Within a few weeks. Bets are still open.

For more details, check Oracle

If you would like to join the conversation, join Twitter using the following hashtags;

All in all a very informative event. Definitely more to come!

Oracle MOS HTML Update 04072010

Document ID Title Doc Type Modified Date
738475.1 Issue with Version PROBLEM 01-JUL-10
499410.1 cryptotools64 fails with could not be loaded PROBLEM 02-JUL-10
1140493.1 Can a Non Administrator Group User be Set to View the Job Scheduler in Job Manager for iBots? HOWTO 02-JUL-10
1120622.1 Ibot Sends The E-Mail With “The Request Was Cancelled.” As The Contents Of The Report HOWTO 01-JUL-10
745315.1 sending graphical message to mobile phones HOWTO 30-JUN-10
1140667.1 Unable To Select Recipients Dialog Box whlie creating the ibot PROBLEM 02-JUL-10
732808.1 iBots: How to specify the parameter values (prompt values) and time to run a report HOWTO 02-JUL-10
1139665.1 Local Balance Amount Values show as zero in the General Ledger (GL) Trial Balance Report PROBLEM 01-JUL-10
466551.1 Oracle BI Answers Responsibility Fails With Internal Server Error PROBLEM 01-JUL-10
856762.1 Consecutive Selection of Same Request with “Filter based on results of another request” PROBLEM 28-JUN-10
1140884.1 Only Production Dashboards Show RPD Consistency Errors : Error Codes: Opr [nQSError: 10058] Unable to Navigate Requested Expression PROBLEM 02-JUL-10
1137375.1 Inactive Users HOWTO 29-JUN-10
542791.1 Catalog Manager Error as SSL is enabled PROBLEM 30-JUN-10
526789.1 Query failed because of an unknown query preparation error. (S1000) PROBLEM 30-JUN-10
857449.1 How to configure Tmp File Path In Linux Platform HOWTO 01-JUL-10

Oracle BI EE 10G – The Farewell Competition!

In a few days time, the new 11g version of Oracle BI EE  will be launched commercially.  Still John Minkjan wants to spent some time playing around with the 10g version.

If you like a challenge and some competition please join!

I will be one of the judges, so I am looking forward to your contributions.

Good Luck!!

Change a Physical table to an Alias of a different Physical table

Sometimes you have to make some changes in your physical model, because of changes in the underlying datamodel. This could be a lot of work. In this case UDML could come in handy. I am sure Andreas Nobbmann will agree.

Picture the following;

You have created a physical table with relationships.

When you want to change the actual source of your  physical table you realize that you should have used an alias instead of the actual physical table.

What to do?

With the following scripting you can change the physical table to an alias of a different physical table. This could also be used to change the source of an already existing alias or multiple aliases, or add columns etc.

For an example and reference of how to use udml to change a repository variable script-wise, please check Venkat’s ‘old’ blog.

Step 1.

Produce a UDML script of your source repository:

C:\oracle\bise1\bi\server\Bin>nqudmlgen -U Administrator -P Administrator -R C:\oracle\bise1\bi\server\Repository\OBIBB.rpd -O C:\temp\udml\source.udml

Look for the definition of your physical table in source.udml. The definition runs from “DECLARE TABLE” until “PRIVILEGE ( READ);”

Step 2.

Copy the statement to a seperate text-file:

Step 3.

Modify the statement and add new source to physical table:


In essence the physical table “DIM_TABLE_CONF_1” will become an alias which references a different physical table “DIM_TABLE_CONF_3”.

Save as update.udml

Step 4.

Execute update:

nqudmlexec -U Administrator -P Administrator -I C:\temp\udml\update_source.udml -B C:\oracle\bise1\bi\server\Repository\OBIBB.rpd -O C:\oracle\bise1\bi\server\Repository\updated_OBIBB.rpd

Step 5.

Check the result in the updated repository, in this case; updated_OBIBB.rpd

Bookmark and Share

Oracle BI EE 11g – Launch (Update)

Tension rises. One week to go till the commercial launch of the 11g release of Oracle BI EE. There is no specific launch-event planned in Holland. Instead Oracle Netherlands has organized a local variant with a live video-stream with London.

In London there will be a specific breakout session for existing Oracle Partners, at 3.00 pm after the main event, to learn how to gain the inside track to getting the most out of this new OBI 11g release as fast as possible.

Partner breakout agenda:
3.00 Introduction – Jackie Down (UK A&C Dir)
– OBI 11g Specialization : Why and How
3.10 OBI 11g Partner Enablement – Mike Hallett (Emea BI A&C Dir) -Training plan to become delivery capable fast
– Software & Demo access
3.25 Panel Discussion Q&A
– Mark Rittman of Rittman Mead
– Roger Cressey of Qubix
– Mike Pell (Oracle UK BI Sales Dir)

Focus topics :

The Beta programme

Competing to WIN with OBI 11g

EPM Platform Integration

3.50 End of Session

The material from this breakout will be posted on the EMEA BI/EPM partner community Portal for you to access after the event.

For those of you who are not able to attend physically, there will be a  Oracle Business Intelligence 11g Launch Webcast

Hopefully afterwards we all could say it was worth all these years of waiting.

Definitely more to come.

Oracle MOS HTML Update 27062010

Document ID Title Doc Type Modified Date
1129765.1 BIEE Server On Aix 64 Bit Fails With Error “Not a Valid Oracle BI Home Directory Path” PROBLEM 21-JUN-10
1135013.1 How to Keep Track of OBIEE Patches Applied? How To Handle Version.Txt Files When You Have Multiple Patches? Are Patches Cumulative? HOWTO 25-JUN-10
1132513.1 Obia Vm Template HOWTO 23-JUN-10
487529.1 Click on the “Delivers” link in Analytics and right panel is blank, so cannot create iBots PROBLEM 21-JUN-10
534652.1 Siebel Delivers: [nQSError: 77006]The fault code ‘insufficientPrivileges’ was returned by the server PROBLEM 24-JUN-10
1134864.1 Multi Select Prompts Not Working since applying Patch: 9280334 PROBLEM 25-JUN-10
1115957.1 Unable To Navigate Through Answers Reports Using Links And Drill-Downs In Firefox PROBLEM 21-JUN-10
1133004.1 Some Payables Screens Show 100% Of Payments Overdue, Yet Aging Views Show No Data At All PROBLEM 23-JUN-10
726355.1 OBIEE: Limit the number of records fetched from the database HOWTO 24-JUN-10
1133534.1 Presentation Catalog Names Which Include Variables Are Improperly Displayed PROBLEM 24-JUN-10
1134944.1 Top 5 Discontinued Inventory By Plant Or Product Type HOWTO 25-JUN-10
751137.1 Troubleshooting Oracle BI Publisher with OBI EE HOWTO 20-JUN-10
1085413.1 Error “Couldn’t Create Image” In OBIEE 10.1.3.x When Downloading Chart To Excel or PowerPoint PROBLEM 23-JUN-10
1134919.1 Sessions failing causing assertion error PROBLEM 25-JUN-10
740369.1 Update on Bug No. 7277480 – Error when Bursting a BI Publisher Report PROBLEM 20-JUN-10
1131147.1 Accessing Appllication Server Control gives HTTP 404 not found error….OBIEE Services are up HOWTO 22-JUN-10
1129713.1 Rm: Cannot Remove `/U01/Obiee/Bi/Oraclebidata/Tmp/Nqs_.Tmp’: No Such File Or Directory* HOWTO 21-JUN-10
1129724.1 How to resolve error [nQSError: 27023] Ambiguous Connection Pool object HOWTO 21-JUN-10
1102662.1 Unable to start OBI Server PROBLEM 21-JUN-10
1134203.1 BI Management pack and OBIEE HOWTO 24-JUN-10
475475.1 Incorrect Order for Two Tasks in ETL Execution Plan in Oracle Business Intelligence Applications Version 7.9.x ALERT 22-JUN-10
1129844.1 Obiee Login Case Sensitivity Causing Issues For Ldap Group Lookups PROBLEM 21-JUN-10
759312.1 OBIEE : How to change the default ports ? HOWTO 22-JUN-10
513508.1 Analytics report not running PROBLEM 20-JUN-10

Bookmark and Share