Changing Colors

One of my clients wanted to change to color fromat of the grand-total columns in a Pivot-view. The format of values of the grand-total should match the format of the label of the grand-total. I used to go to one of John’s blogposts; OBIEE views.css color cheat sheet. One of my colleagues pointed me to the color picker functionality in Paint.Net, although there are probably more programs with such functionality.

How does it work? Picture the following pivot;

Make a screenshot of this pivot and open it in Paint.Net. Open de colors-window (F8)

Click on the color-picker in the tools-window.

Use the color-picker to select the color you want to use. In this case I had to click on the grand-total column. Now when you check the colors-window, you get exactly the color codes you have to use to change the format of the grand-total values.

Very easy to use, but yet very handy.

Sorting the Month Name

I saw a post on the Oracle BI EE Forums today; Sorting month name. There were various solutions to the question. I think Kishore Guggilla came up with the best solution, so he deserves all the credits.

Although, it’s a very easy solution to a very simple ‘problem’, I thought I write a little post about the subject, because the solution can be used very often. Not only in a month sort.

Picture the following. I have created a dimension table with month names and month numbers.

Based on this dimension table I have created the following Business Model.

Now we can create a simple report with the month names.

As you can see the month names ar sorted alphabetically. We can verify that by the query fired.

If we want to sort the month names based on theire month number, we have various options. As said before I like the solution via the repository. In the repository you can sort a column, using another column. Just change the properties of the logical column. Now the BI Server knows that it hast to sort the month name via the month number.

Now we can create the same simple report with the month names.

As you can see now the month names ar sorted by month number. We can verify that by the query fired.

Easy but powerful in some cases.

OBIBB – Interviews (Venkatakrishnan Janakiraman)

 Next in line is Venkatakrishnan Janakiraman. He probably has the most impressive name in the Oracle BI Community, so to make my life easier, I will call him Venkat from now on. Venkat doesn’t need any introduction because any well respected OBIEE consultant must have read any of his blogposts once. Let’s see what Venkat has to tell us.

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

>: Primarily through my blog at and now at . I also present at some Oracle BI related conferences like Oracle Open World, Rittman Mead BI Forum, AIOUG, ODTUG etc. I have been conferred Oracle ACE award recently. So, I would be part of any Oracle ACE related events in some of the conferences.

2. As John said, you’re the grandfather of all Oracle BI EE bloggers. Why did you start blogging?

>: John has been kind, I would say. Yes, when I started out blogging there were only a couple of people who were blogging on BI EE (Mark Rittman and Adrian Ward). But it is really heartening to see so many blogs now on BI EE, which basically goes to show the widespread adoption of BI EE as an enterprise BI tool.

I started out blogging immediately after the acquisition of Hyperion by Oracle. The primary motive behind starting the blog was the documentation state of BI EE in general. Though the docs are good, they still have quite a few errors/bugs, which haven’t been corrected in a while.  Initially the blog was a means for myself to document how the tool actually worked especially capturing those features that were either not documented or were wrong.

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

>: There are 2 topics that I like writing and talking about. My most favorite one is the Metadata Modeling or Repository Modeling. And my second favorite topic is the integration of the BI EE in general as a tool with external applications. For example, calling Hyperion Financial Reports from BI EE, Web Service calls to update report metadata, Go URL etc.

4. I know for a fact that blogging takes a lot of time, next to other day-to-day activities. How do you manage?

>: When I started, it used to take a couple of hours to do the research and then create a blog post for it. I started out doing this after my work hours. But there were times when I did one or two blog posts a day, everyday for a month or two. I know this might sound crazy but on such occasions, I used to even write a blog post while driving especially while waiting for a traffic signal to change (Bangalore is notorious for its traffic jams). When I look back the thing that I think stands out is, the only way to achieve any sort of tool related mastery is by constantly working with the tool (everyday) and then of course by trying to answer the questions that people have (like OTN Forums that I used to frequent a lot before).

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

>: Honestly, there are quite a few. Some of them are Hyperion DRM, Hyperion EPMA, Hyperion Planning and Financial Management. Hyperion Essbase has a good community adoption. But the other Hyperion tools still do not get a lot of coverage in the Oracle BI community in general.

6. You and RittmanMead have joined forces. What made you leave Oracle?

>: I was with Oracle for almost 6 years. I would say Oracle is probably one of the best places out there to work for. But as with any big firm, you get embroiled in lots of other non-technology related things that you do not want to.  It came to a point wherein I thought I was doing something that I wasn’t enjoying anymore.  I had been following Mark’s blog right from my non-Oracle BI related days. At that time I was working on Cognos BI but I used to follow what was happening in the Oracle BI area. Mark and Jon are also the most respected people in the Oracle BI community. So when the opportunity came up for us to join hands, I immediately took that up.

7. Is there really a difference between BI in Asia and BI in the Western world?

>: I would say there is not much difference apart from the extent of BI adoption in general. In Europe/US, as a consultant when we do an implementation of Oracle BI, we would generally stick to project plans with client driving the requirements in most cases. In majority of the cases, the client would be well aware of what BI in general can do for them. The decision to buy Oracle BI or any BI tool in general would have been made after some rounds of technical analysis/discussions/evaluations.

But here, a consultant will not only have to lead the implementation but also will have to work towards making users understand what BI in general can do for them. The purchasing decisions generally come from executives. People who might be driving the requirements might not be aware of what the tool can do for them. So, an implementation generally requires an initial phase of evaluation and then identifying gaps. Also since users are new to such technologies, significant training effort is required as well.

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

>: Well, though I blog more about Oracle BI EE, my passion is generally on OLAP tools like Essbase, Cognos Powerplay in general. I also like exploring other tools like QlikView, Cognos, Business Objects etc.

Outside of BI technology, I was a national Table Tennis player. I used to play Violin in local orchestras (long time back). But my wife says, I produce more sound than Music in my violin these days.

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

>: Change is the only constant as far as Oracle BI is concerned. What we write today in our blogs might become outdated or outright wrong one or 2 years down the line. I would recommend everyone to use blogs as a source of information. Always test everything in your instance before recommending any solution.

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

>: I would like the next person in this series to be Mark Rittman. Mark is probably the only one person who has seen Oracle BI evolving right from Discoverer 4i days. My question to him will be “How much of technology innovation have you seen in Oracle BI stack over the years? Which feature/technology in your opinion was the most ground breaking one?”

Thanks to Venkat for sharing his thoughts. One of his motivations is that these interviews will bring more sense of community to “Oracle BI”. I hope he is right. With a little bit of luck, I am able to present Mark Rittman in the next episode.

To be continued.

Oracle MOS HTML Update 20062010


 Document ID   Title   Doc Type   Modified Date 
734161.1 When using the HashUserHomeDirectories tag in instanceconfig.xml, the Presentation catalog is unavailable with the BI Office Add on. PROBLEM 15-JUN-10
757957.1 Integrating BI Office with OBIEE that has SSO. HOWTO 15-JUN-10
529233.1 Analytics/CRM Integration – executed dashboard appears in the frame of Analytics application PROBLEM 15-JUN-10
552167.1 Unable to Import Files in the Admin Tool with an OBIEE Client Tools installation PROBLEM 15-JUN-10
493202.1 OBIEE Scheduler and Fusion Intelligence PROBLEM 14-JUN-10
544802.1 Configure scheduler for OBIEE EE PROBLEM 14-JUN-10
755395.1 How to remove “Page Options” button when using GO URL & Syndicate=siebel HOWTO 14-JUN-10
1125863.1 Division Of Two Numbers Gives An Integer Result, Not Decimal PROBLEM 16-JUN-10
1128347.1 How to Retrieve Multiple Values in a List in a Session Variable? HOWTO 18-JUN-10
1123693.1 Obiee Default Filter Values Not Applied After The First Report Execution PROBLEM 14-JUN-10
543590.1 Value interaction “Action Link” PROBLEM 14-JUN-10
1128306.1 Report Shows Old Data PROBLEM 18-JUN-10
1091253.1 Date Prompt Calendar Search Incorrectly Returns Format YYYY-MM-DD HH:MI:SS And Error – A Date Was Expected QABPH2PO PROBLEM 18-JUN-10
513287.1 Error when accessing dashboard PROBLEM 14-JUN-10
1126623.1 How to Automatically Add Subtotals for the Child Column When Drilling Down a Subtotalled Column? HOWTO 16-JUN-10
1128163.1 How to apply a simple patch, which just changes a .js file? HOWTO 18-JUN-10
736263.1 [nQSError: 22040] To use TODATE function, the storage level of the query (‘[Calendar Date.Dimension Key]’) must be a static level. PROBLEM 14-JUN-10
1123878.1 NQServer crashes with LDAP authentication when used with Oracle 11g client PROBLEM 14-JUN-10
490904.1 Undocumented warnings in server file PROBLEM 14-JUN-10
504580.1 RPD and Schema Issue PROBLEM 14-JUN-10
1125091.1 ‘Repository Documentation’ utility does not work on metadata imported from a MDX / OLAP Cube Database PROBLEM 15-JUN-10
1122975.1 Essbase report doesn’t display measure values if filter contains a dimension not in report columns HOWTO 15-JUN-10
1126073.1 OBI EE Cache does not work when the Filter , Time Series & Evaluate Functions are used in a Report Request PROBLEM 16-JUN-10
1124265.1 Ago Function Bug Fix HOWTO 14-JUN-10
1125924.1 In OBIEE sawserver process consumes 99% of CPU PROBLEM 16-JUN-10
1082195.1 What Files Should You Provide when Encountering an OBI Core Dump on Linux HOWTO 18-JUN-10
496905.1 Exporting Results to Excel PROBLEM 14-JUN-10
1124282.1 Why does query miss cache when using Time Series Function e.g TODATE, AGO etc? HOWTO 14-JUN-10
1124412.1 Forecast Numbers Added Multiple Times During Rollup HOWTO 14-JUN-10
739047.1 BI Publisher login fails with oracle.apps.xdo.servlet.resources.ResourceNotFound PROBLEM 15-JUN-10
578410.1 nqsdbgatewayoci10g.dll Failed to Load DLL Error Message PROBLEM 15-JUN-10
1125874.1 OBI EE Authentication using SSO (Single Sign On) fails with Authentication Error despite all configuration settings being set correctly. PROBLEM 16-JUN-10
1126133.1 Bi publisher report is throwing An Exception: “Datatype 25 Not Supported” PROBLEM 16-JUN-10
1127294.1 Running Nqscheduler On Three Nodes Errors HOWTO 17-JUN-10
754715.1 Euro Symbol not properly displayed in PDF outputs PROBLEM 15-JUN-10
1126163.1 Internet Explorer back button Does Not Work Correctly With (Analytics)-Symbolic-Url-Views PROBLEM 16-JUN-10
1128383.1 How to implement authentication via ADSI with ssl enabled ? HOWTO 18-JUN-10
738349.1 Actuate Test using OBIEE ODBC DataSource HOWTO 14-JUN-10
1123913.1 Error message after setting LD_PRELOAD 32 variable PROBLEM 14-JUN-10
604071.1 Using BI Publisher Parameters in Embedded BIP Content Item PROBLEM 15-JUN-10
754375.1 Unable to log in to BI Publisher with BI Server Security and password with special character(s) PROBLEM 15-JUN-10
498915.1 Max Number of Columns allowed in SA PROBLEM 14-JUN-10
566604.1 Presentation Layer Object Security issues PROBLEM 15-JUN-10
785661.1 Can OBI EE integrate with Oracle Data Guard? ANNOUNCEMENT 14-JUN-10


OBIBB – Interviews (John Minkjan)

I seem to have one small addiction; Oracle BI (EE). Lucky enough for me there is a large Oracle BI community out there to fulfill my needs. Last May, at the RittmanMead BI Forum, I had a chance to meet a few guys of this community. I was able to shake hands and learn more about the persons who are blogging and logging or in any way are sharing their knowledge.

I benefit a lot of the knowledge which is spread all around the world wide web. That’s why I tought it would be nice to start a series of interviews with part of the Oracle BI community.

I will start the series with someone I know for a few years now. Although he shouldn’t need to much of an introduction, I let him introduce himself; John Minkjan

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

>: First of all my blog and my posting on the OTN forum. Besides that I did several presentations eg.; RitmannMead BI conference, OBI-forumlive, Oracle Netherlands, CIber.

2. We all know your weblog. You own a lot more of these weblogs. Could you name a few? Why so many? 

>: At moment I own 36 blog titles most of them are ….101 (eg. MSSQL101, SSIS101, COGNOS101.). I will reserve a blog title every time I’m working on something where I need a “scratchpad” to keep my tips and tricks. The main one OBIEE101 became sort of a hobby…..

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

>: The usage of graphs.

 4. You use various platforms to share your knowledge. Where do you get your own?

>: Basically I start with common sense… Next I like to RTFM. If I can’t find it there I use Google…..

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

>: We need a lot more information and training on WHY we should or shouldn’t use something, instead of HOW we should use it.

 6. Do you also work with tools from other software vendors like SAP BO, IBM Cognos, etc? If so, what makes Oracle BI tooling so special for you?

>: …Tough one: I just happen to like it a lot because I use it a lot, still most functionalities are available in other BI tools.

 7. Next month on the 7th of July, the next version of Oracle BI EE will be launched. What are your expectations regarding the new 11g release?

>: The changes are so big that it will take a least a year for the BI community to get a good “common knowledge”. There will be a great risk for overkill if you give everything at once to your users.

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

>: I’m also a ham operator (PH9Z) and a member of the Dutch Emergency Communications community.

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

>: Don’t keep knowledge to yourself, share and you will receive even greater knowledge.

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

>: Of course the grandfather of all OBIEE blogs Venkat and my question is; Is there really a difference between BI in Asia and BI in the Western world?

First of all I would like to thank John for his time to answer these questions. Secondly I hope the readers of this blog will follow John’s advise; Share your knowledge! I couldn’t agree with him more. Last but not least, I hope I am able to share the thoughts of Venkat with you.

To be continued.

Oracle MOS HTML Update 14062010

Document ID Title Doc Type Modified Date
517517.1 Browser will not display the correct Analytics Page (Blank Page) as the wrong Port Number was being specified PROBLEM 09-JUN-10
764055.1 Can OBI EE be installed on a Storage Area Network (SAN)? FAQ 10-JUN-10
726717.1 Manually Deploy BI EE applications in OC4J HOWTO 10-JUN-10
1095393.1 Is Multiple BI Presentation Service Instances Supported On a Single Machine? HOWTO 10-JUN-10
1109461.1 “Logon Failed” error when open RPD online PROBLEM 07-JUN-10
1058163.1 Analytics Page Not Displayed when Accessing Presentation Services “http://Hostname:9704/analytics” PROBLEM 07-JUN-10
1118336.1 Not Able To Access Any Report. PROBLEM 07-JUN-10
836994.1 PowerCenter 8.1.1 installation errors during connection to repository service PROBLEM 07-JUN-10
1083856.1 Email delivered via Ibot left justifies numbers PROBLEM 10-JUN-10
544802.1 Configure scheduler for OBIEE EE PROBLEM 09-JUN-10
814043.1 How to Choose Between to, bcc and cc Options When Sending eMail Messages from iBots in BI Delivers HOWTO 07-JUN-10
738678.1 More information about the queueing of iBot jobs is required. HOWTO 07-JUN-10
1109533.1 Core Dump File Created When Scheduler Is Started PROBLEM 10-JUN-10
519389.1 iBots not seeing subscribers PROBLEM 11-JUN-10
566314.1 Siebel Data Warehouse Data Model Reference for Industry Applications, Version 7.5 REFERENCE 07-JUN-10
884724.1 How to translate and display non-English (eg. Traditional Chinese) Request in Dashboard ? HOWTO 07-JUN-10
1097529.1 How to Remove [nQSError: 22047] “The Dimension used in AGO function..” Error HOWTO 07-JUN-10
498493.1 Issue on total number of cells in a pivot table PROBLEM 09-JUN-10
753172.1 Default dates in prompt fields PROBLEM 10-JUN-10
514984.1 Report column sorting resulted incorrect result on the navigated requests/dashboard PROBLEM 11-JUN-10
504640.1 CURRENT_DATE is Populating Incorrectly PROBLEM 11-JUN-10
527195.1 Dashboard Prompt issue PROBLEM 11-JUN-10
1105770.1 Obiee Subquery Contains Too Many Values For The In Predicate PROBLEM 07-JUN-10
1098652.1 Need Work Around On How To Pass The Value Of A Column Selector Column To Detail Report HOWTO 07-JUN-10
871632.1 Blank window opens when downloading report from OBIEE HOWTO 07-JUN-10
982119.1 Is it Possible to Assign A Certain Dashboard to All Users With Empty “My Dashboard” Programatically HOWTO 10-JUN-10
1118653.1 Several Issues in BIEE with Firefox 3.x PROBLEM 07-JUN-10
1118073.1 Running prompt on a dashboard causes clock to freeze until mouse is moved PROBLEM 10-JUN-10
1060000.1 How to add an image in a narrative view HOWTO 07-JUN-10
750260.1 Query Failed: Sort has no work space PROBLEM 07-JUN-10
808553.1 How to Convert Julian Date into Normal Date? HOWTO 07-JUN-10
545577.1 Aggregate tables do not work as expected. The Aggregate table is ignored in favour of the detailed level. PROBLEM 08-JUN-10
486488.1 [nQSError: 46036] Internal Assertion PROBLEM 07-JUN-10
477698.1 Configuring and troubleshooting Siebel Delivers across a firewall BULLETIN 10-JUN-10
748783.1 “unknown error occurred” and “AXIS error” messages when attempting to connect to BI Office via Excel PROBLEM 10-JUN-10
493951.1 Logical dimension table that does not join to any fact source PROBLEM 07-JUN-10
503822.1 Maximum field length restriction in OBI PROBLEM 11-JUN-10
602291.1 BI Publisher Link Doesn’t Work PROBLEM 07-JUN-10
1098063.1 OBIEE on Solaris 64bit, Problem Connecting to Database PROBLEM 07-JUN-10
1096954.1 Procurement And Spend Analytics Rpd, Posted On Date Issue HOWTO 10-JUN-10
1109260.1 Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition Certification Matrix BULLETIN 07-JUN-10
943644.1 Oracle BI Office (EXCEL) Add in query is cancelled after 5 minutes PROBLEM 09-JUN-10
1098053.1 OBIEE on Solaris 64bit, Problem Connecting to Database PROBLEM 07-JUN-10
748462.1 How can we automate purging the Presentation Server Cache? HOWTO 10-JUN-10
942332.1 Pipe when used for concatenation truncates the text after a character concatenation PROBLEM 10-JUN-10
942027.1 Does OBIEE access to Database at regular intervals? HOWTO 07-JUN-10
963432.1 How can I change an RPD ‘online’ and distribute the changes to other Servers without having to restart them manually? HOWTO 10-JUN-10
1095443.1 Distinct Command In Logical Request And Execution Plan Not Issued To The Database Query HOWTO 07-JUN-10
1097853.1 Analytics Hanging For Users. “Unable To Load Subject Area: Core.” HOWTO 07-JUN-10
475487.1 Siebel Analytics 7.x to Oracle BI EE 10gR3 Components Equivalence HOWTO 10-JUN-10
478251.1 How To Troubleshoot OBI Hangs on Windows TROUBLESHOOTING 07-JUN-10
820366.1 How to Use a Dynamic Hierarchy Column to Pass Context? [nQSError: 27005] Unresolved Column HOWTO 07-JUN-10
790758.1 OBIA customer type PROBLEM 07-JUN-10
579959.1 Heap memory and not enogh space PROBLEM 10-JUN-10
752121.1 The Oracle BI Server service terminated unexpectedly PROBLEM 10-JUN-10
1118203.1 How Can I Use Multiple Implicit Fact Columns HOWTO 06-JUN-10
735249.1 Understanding Memory Management in Oracle OBI EE (Siebel Analytics) ANNOUNCEMENT 10-JUN-10
731511.1 Analytics Not Launching with ‘[nQSError: 12002] Socket communication error at call=recv: (Number=10004) A blocking operation was interrupted by a call to WSACancelBlockingCall’ error as Network issues PROBLEM 09-JUN-10
745042.1 Oracle Business Intelligence Certification Matrix BULLETIN 11-JUN-10
1070547.1 Where is the OBIEE software available to download ? FAQ 07-JUN-10
1121774.1 Integrating OBIEE Answers with BI Publisher PROBLEM 10-JUN-10
1116834.1 State: HY000. Code: 10058. [NQODBC] [SQL_STATE: HY000] The Cache Entry, xxx.tbl, has been corrupted; could not finish the operation in ConstructHeader() PROBLEM 10-JUN-10
1114684.1 Error [23014] The Variable with Object ID nnnn is still referenced and could not be loaded, when trying to delete repository variable HOWTO 07-JUN-10
527900.1 Error: The session vairable,NQ_SESSION.ICX_SESSION. ICX_SESSION_COOKIE,has no value defined. PROBLEM 09-JUN-10
579562.1 ‘[nQSError: 14026] Unable to navigate requested expression:’ error received when ‘Year to Date’ (YTD) Measures have not been configured correctly. PROBLEM 09-JUN-10
744487.1 OBI BASICS: Viewing Values in Variables REFERENCE 07-JUN-10
1123146.1 Changing the Date Format causes coredump On Analytics Webserver PROBLEM 11-JUN-10
542311.1 Administrator login error of the volumn in Advanced Reporting PROBLEM 09-JUN-10
727958.1 Notification when Oracle Server goes down HOWTO 07-JUN-10
787044.1 Capping on Online report HOWTO 07-JUN-10
1096396.1 How To Archive A Specific User’s Catalog For Moving To Another Instance HOWTO 09-JUN-10
1097636.1 *F: How Do You Create Shared Filters HOWTO 10-JUN-10
1110721.1 Page Permissions Are Not Copied Using Catalog Manager PROBLEM 07-JUN-10
1111655.1 How to configure multiple OBIPS repositories BULLETIN 09-JUN-10
837060.1 Workflow name already exists in Informatica 8.1.1 PROBLEM 07-JUN-10

Oracle Spatial Workshop – Impression

Last week we had an Oracle Spatial Workshop at Scamander. The goal of the evening was to highlight a fundamental different technique in the Oracle database.
Instead of the usual WHERE-clause and JOIN syntaxis the database provides a set of similar tools but based on the spacial technique.

For the attendants it proved to be very descriptive to be able to execute an insert-statement and to display the result with the push of a button.

The relative simple techniques addressed was enough to show that this is a very different technique and requires a different point of view on data. Just as the “regular” SQL-toolset in the Oracle database, this is a complex and broad topic.

We used Oracle Spatial tools. Mapviewer serves for the display of maps with navigation and other functionality, but we need something to compile the maps, layers, styles, etc.  For that purpose Oracle provides for a tool called Mapbuilder (source: Oracle Wiki)

To give an example:

** INSERT Vierkant (square)


** INSERT Circel (circle)


** INSERT  the Union of the two inserted objects (square, circle) 

 ** CREATE a buffer around the UNION:

** SELECT addresses within the square:


It was nice to have a visual representation of the subject; Oracle Spatial. We are certainly no experts at this time like Maarten Jan, but we have a good impression of what the capabilities of Oracle Spatial are.

Next time we will make a link between Oracle Spatial and Oracle BI EE. Hopefully we can use Oracle BI 11g for that.

Useful Links