Thursday, May 5, 2011

OBIEE 11.1.1.5 is available for download

Oracle released the latest version of the OBIEE Platform. This version is available for Solaris OS. Installer is not yet available for AIX but is expected to be available soon. This version addresses problems with OBI Applications on 11g, 10g to 11g upgrade issues, support for iPad and iPhone etc..

Software can be downloaded at:

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/bi-enterprise-edition/downloads/biee-111150-393613.html

I am yet to see the documentation to get the full list of enhancements. Oracle hasn't published the documentation for this release yet.

Marketwire announcement here:


http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/new-releases-oracler-business-intelligence-software-enable-enterprises-improve-timely-nasdaq-orcl-1509102.htm

Monday, November 29, 2010

OBIEE 11g hasn't treated me well!

Every blogger in OBIEE area has posted about the installation steps and quite a few posts on new features, configuration, architecture etc. after the much anticipated and publicized OBIEE 11g launch in July. I have been thinking about getting it installed and review it myself for quiet a bit of time and it took a lot of effort due to poor planning. Anyway, I am here to put all that effort here so that everybody can learn from it.
My system configuration - Dell Studio 1558, Intel i3 CPU M330 @ 2.13 GHz, 4 GB RAM, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Attempt 1
Couple of weeks back, I was talking to a colleague of mine and heard that any program can be run as if the OS is XP Professional 32-bit by simply changing the compatibility mode in setup.exe properties. I installed OBIEE 11g R2 Database using compatibility mode and was able to connect to it just fine. I also ran rcu and it just ran great. OBIEE 11.1.1.3 installer wasn't doing anything (no changes in log) for hours at step 11 of 12. I checked couple of OTN posts and it became clear that Windows 7 wasn't an option.
Attempt 2
Then came this noble idea of VMware and thought that RedHat would be fun to install. I used to have Windows and Mandrive on my previous Dell Inspiron 700m. Also, RedHat is becoming popular at work and that also contributed for the decision to install RHEL.OBIEE 11g R2 database, RCU and OBIEE 11g got installed successfully except for few rpms missing in RHEL. It was straight forward except few minor issues. But, Administration Tool isn't available on RHEL. So, checked the platform compatibility xls and found that client is available only for Windows based OS.
Attempt 3
My elder brother uses my 6 year old Dell 700m (1.2 GB RAM, XP Professional), which I used over the weekend to install the OBIEE 11g software. The whole install took the whole Saturday night and the monitor went off in the morning before the installation was fully done and the monitor is not powering on anymore. I tested the installation successfully but I took off one entertainment option for my brother.
Attempt 4
I removed RHEL Virtual machine and installed XP Professional with 2 GB memory, 2 processors and 60 GB Hard Disk dedicated for VM. I got all of it installed on the VM successfully and trying to dig through to make sense of everything. It took about 6-7 hours for the installation, which itself is a lot of time.

Here are my first set of comments(not really complaints).
  • OBIEE 11g install is a huge footprint. 11-12 weeks were considered enough for simpler OOB Analytics applications such as Service and Order Management where as with this kind of platform install, that kind of timelines cannot be met.
  • Documentation is about 1 GB, which is just too much to even carry around.
  • Limited Platforms in Release 1 is another thing. When you cannot have software for all platforms, you always get a feeling that it is not stable. Next release is supposed to address this and the next release is expected in early 2011.
  • Only application server available to support OBIEE is Weblogic, which is a huge reason for not many upgrades planned.
  • Installer cannot install client tools alone. I am surprised how Oracle could let this out without addressing this.
  • OBI Presentation looks really great and I liked the way the samples are presented. Users will have to be trained all over on 11g due to significant differences and more complex presentation may loose its USP.
At a time when IT budgets are tightly managed, investments in technology upgrades will be  evaluated  more from value perspective. But, as economy picks up pace heading north east, upgrades will get kick started . I expect next year to be huge in terms of upgrades, trainings and lot more projects in OBIEE 11g. So, it is better to be ahead of the curve for everybody than fall behind.

I would like to hear from people about experiences with RPD and Catalog upgrade. I will certainly take sometime in the next few weeks on the upgrade part and post my observations.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Essbase as a data source in OBIEE 10.1.3.4.1

I came across many resources on web about using Essbase as a data source in OBIEE but all the content is around configuring cube once the cube is imported into RPD. I had problems with OBIEE connecting to Essbase service and with no experience on Essbase, it just makes it difficult to debug where the problem is. Below is the error that I was getting.

Network error [146]: Unable to connect to [:1423]. The client timed out waiting to connect to Essbase Agent using TCP/IP. Check your network connections. Also make sure that server and port values are correct

The very fact that there is not much content on issues like this on web confirms my belief that there are not that many implementations hosted on Solaris. Anyway, here are the steps that should be followed to fix the issue, if the Essbase server installation is default installation. Essbase agent can be run on a different port; check with your Administrator or run netstat to identify what ports are used.

  1. Chcek what your Essbase server version is and install the same version of client on BI Server machine.
  2. Open port # 1423 (Essbase agent port) and port range 32768-33768 (ports on which Essbase clients connect to Essbase agent) in Essbase server for BI server to connect
  3. Run BI Server in 64-bit mode after adding environment variables that maintain paths to Essbase client. Changes in user.sh are pasted below.
  4. Import cubes in Admin Tool, check consistency and save the RPD
  5. Run Answers reports and validate data.
OBI uses client libraries to connect to Essbase, which means client should be installed. Below is the list of variables that should be added to user.sh in //OracleBI/setup directory.

# Essbase Parameters
#---------------------------
ARBORPATH=/Essbase/EssbaseClient
ESSBASEPATH=/Essbase/EssbaseClient
HYPERION_HOME= (up to Hyperion directory)
ESSLANG=English_UnitedStates.Latin1@Binary
export ARBORPATH
export ESSBASEPATH
export HYPERION_HOME
export ESSLANG
LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$LD_LIBRARY_PATH:$ARBORPATH/bin
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH
LD_LIBRARY_PATH_64=$LD_LIBRARY_PATH_64:$ARBORPATH/bin
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH_64
#---------------------------

Oracle created this as a documentation enhancement.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Upgrade OBIEE from 10.1.3.4.0 to 10.1.3.4.1 !! - Issues and Resolution

Hi All,


It was a long time since we posted on this blog !! Many things changed in life since my last post !! Changa moved to India recently leaving rest of the team alone !! We had a great time with him and badly missing his company in office and especially during long weekend trips !! :)
In the last 2 months, our team upgraded 16 OBIEE Environments from 10.1.3.4.0 to 10.1.3.4.1. Lets have a short discussion on the approach and achievements :
Why we took the decision to upgrade when there are no issues with 10.1.3.4.0?
OBIEE 10.1.3.4.0 is the most stable product with absolutely no issues when it comes to usage of Dashboards and Delivers. You will come across many issues when you want to implement BI Publisher on 10.1.3.4.0 especially when you are on Solaris platform and using IBM Websphere instead of OC4J. After an extended follow up with Oracle on the BI Publisher issues on 10.1.3.4.0, Oracle suggested to upgrade OBIEE to 10.1.3.4.1 which will fix maximum BI Publisher issues.
Also Oracle claimed that only BI Publisher issues are fixed in 10.1.3.4.1 and no improvement / issues in Dashboards.
So, we finally made a decision to upgrade OBIEE environments to 10.1.3.4.1.
Are there any issues identified in 10.1.3.4.1 post upgrade ?
There are 3 issues identified in 10.1.3.4.1
Multi Select Prompts : If you select multiple values in prompts and click on 'Go', it will wipe off all the values selected and report won't run.
Date Prompt : If you select a date in the date prompt and the format is 'mm-dd-yyyy', it will fire the query to database in the format 'yyyy-mm-dd' which will result in 'Not a valid month' error.
Refresh Link : If you click on the 'Refresh' button down to any report, it will not refresh the report. (This issue is first identified by our team. If you already upgraded to 10.1.3.4.1, dig for this issue and apply patch as mentioned below)
What are the patches to fix this issue ?
Oracle provided one single patch for all these. Patch # 9394038 did the magic. We got all the above issues fixed.
How about BI Publisher, the major target ?
The issues are still open and all the 10.1.3.4.0 issues exist in 10.1.3.4.1 too. We are currently working with Oracle to fix those issues and will come up with some fix soon.
That's it for now !! Will come up with a continuation for this post soon once we progress in implementation of BI Publisher.
Hope this will help OBIEE Administrators creating / upgrading to 10.1.3.4.1 environments. While discussing with Admin's I found that these issues are not identified (post testing) and asked for the related Patch. So this will help them.
Also in parallel we are implementing BI Management Pack which will be out of validation soon. Will share those details as well !!

Bye for now,
Aneel Kanuri

Friday, April 30, 2010

Warm Welcome to Aneel!

I have been bit busy for last few months due to some recent changes in my work activities. I have been trying to get some of my colleagues to take up the task of blogging or contributing to this blog but didn't get any positive responses. I was afraid at sometime that the blog will become inactive in a while as I get busy with my new role but thankfully, Aneel agreed to become a contributor and I am more than happy to have him contribute to this blog. His unique skills and areas of expertise add not just more technical value but also more variety to this blog and I am sure readers will be greatly benefited.

Aneel has experience with Discoverer Configuration and Administration for quite a bit and in his current role, he administers a huge OBIEE & OBIA Infrastructure. Aneel's posts will speak for his experience than me. I sincerely thank Aneel for doing this and for the kind words about me in his own introduction post. I wish Aneel all the best and I am sure readers will see great benefits from the posts as always.

You will see posts more on OBI Applications and OBI Administration hereafter. Happy reading!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Configuring iBots

Here goes my first post...

I was asked to configure iBots in our Staging environments last week. I came across a error while configuring iBots and it was observed that our paths are not set in Solaris. I believe this is a common error and might occur in many of your servers too.

The following steps will let you configure the iBots in minutes.

Issue : I got the following error when I ran ../OracleBI/Server/Bin/schconfig :
libnqsutilitygeneric.so is not found in specific path.

Resolution :
Export the following paths :
1. export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=../OracleBI/server/bin (give full path)
2. export PATH=../OracleBI/server
3. export ANA_INSTALL_DIR=../obiee/OracleBI
4. export SAROOTDIR=${ANA_INSTALL_DIR}
5. export SADATADIR=../obiee/OracleBIData
6. export SATEMPDIR=../obiee/OracleBIData/tmp
7. export SAWROOTDIR=$SAROOTDIR/web

P.S: Test the paths randomly by running the echo command.
Exporting only the LD_LIBRARY_PATH also worked for me but it is recommended to export all the above paths. Also, you can find these paths in the common.sh of BI Presentation Services box.

You are now set to configure your iBots.
Now run the schconfig.
1. Configure the database by providing the valid TNS Name, Username and Password.
2. Configure the mail server and SMTP Ports.(SMTP server configuration is needed for scheduler to deliver report content to mail).
3. Restart the Scheduler.
     ./run-sch.sh stop
     ./run-sch.sh start
Create an iBot in Delivers and run it to verify whether the iBot is working. Hope, that helps!


Aneel Kanuri

Hi All

I am Aneel Kanuri working as OBIEE Administrator. I feel it was a great opportunity to work with such a genius, Changa Reddy, in my career. I thank Changa for giving me this opportunity to share my knowledge with you all !!

Here, I would like to share some of my research work on Oracle Products focusing more on OBIEE.
Hope our work will help you all !!

Aneel Kanuri