Business Intelligence – Oracle

Oracle BI EE – Customizing look and feel – Styles and Skins

Posted by Venkatakrishnan J on September 12, 2007

OBI EE provides options to do customizations to the look and feel of dashboards and answers. One can change the images and put in custom images depending on what they need. I had one of the customers today saying that it does not work in the same way as it has been documented. Before we go into that, lets first explore the customization options. There are 2 types of customizations. One is by using Styles and the other is by using Skins. Both of them have their own purposes and have to be used in coordination with one another.
   1.   Styles
   2.   Skins

A style controls how dashboards and answers are displayed to an end user at run time. Where Skins are assigned to an end user while logging in. Generally, styles can be changed and skins consist of objects that are non-alterable like corporate logos etc. One can find all the styles and skins under the {ORACLEBI}/web/app/res folder. All the folder under this folder that start with s_ are styles and those that start with sk_ are skins. Now lets see how to modify the styles for an end user. Log into BI Dashboards and go to the edit dashboard page and click on dashboard properties.



Lets try modifying the style to siebel77. This would give the old siebel look and feel to the reports that we have created and also for the dashboards. If you are an user who likes the siebel look and feel, its still there but has been pushed to the background by the sleek new Oracle style. Lets choose the siebel style and see how it looks like.


Now, that we know how to change the styles, lets start with creating a new style. Just to be clear here, changing styles and skins might vary from on App server to another. The one that i am demonstrating is for the default OC4J. So, if you are on the default install you can go ahead and follow the list of steps. If not, you can still try and let me know whether it works since i have not tried. I am not sure whether there is a documentation bug since it somehow does not seem to work when you follow the documentation. Lets start creating a new style from out old siebel77.

1.   Lets copy the s_Siebel77 folder under {ORACLEBI}/web/app/res under the same directory.
2.   This would result in a copy of the style which we shall rename to s_newSiebel. For styles, it is mandatory to have the folder name starting with s_.
3.   Now lets copy the new renamed s_newSiebel folder to {ORACLEBI}/oc4j_bi/j2ee/home/applications/analytics/analytics/res folder.
4.   Lets make some changes to the style like changing the logo etc. I have changed the bg_banner.gif (logo in dashboard).
5.   Remember, the changes you make have to be done to the folder under the oc4j directory.
6.   And you would have to restart the OC4J for this to get reflected in your dashboards.


The above is way different from what has been stated in the docs. Either the older docs have not been updated or i might be missing something. The customizations that you have made above would go when you do an upgrade since all the styles which are created under {ORACLEBI}/web/app/res would be overwritten during the upgrade.

26 Responses to “Oracle BI EE – Customizing look and feel – Styles and Skins”

  1. Nene said

    Hi Sir,

    For the step-4, does we need to change at the {ORACLEBI}/web/app/res as well?

  2. Venkatakrishnan J said

    I dont think that is required. You would have to change the image under the OC4J res folder.

  3. Venkatakrishnan J said

    Nope. Just checked. I think it is a standard to make changes to both the folders. So, while making any change ensure that both the folders have the same modified images/styles etc.

  4. varma said

    COuld u please let us know how to modify the skins

  5. Joey H said

    Can you please discuss how we can deploy custom skins oc4j on Solaris 10

    Thank you,


  6. Venkatakrishnan J said

    Hi Joey/Varma,

    I am planning to discuss this in a seperate article.


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  8. Venkatakrishnan J said


    Check out I have written about how to go about modifying skins here.


  9. Manohar said

    Hi Venkat,

    We have a requirement where we have to show the users the total number of records of a table as follows

    1- 25 of Total – Total is the total number of rows.

    Each page has to show only 25 records and the page numbers have to be shown with hyperlink like

    Page 1|2|3|4|5

    The users should be able to jump to a particular page on clicking on the number.

    How to achieve this in OBI.

    Thanks in advance.


  10. Manohar said

    Hi Venkat,

    We have a requirement in OBI where we need to show the number of rows of a table like

    1 – 25 of Total and we need to display 25 rows per page and the page numbers like

    Page 1|2|3|4|5 – giving an hyperlink on page number so that user can directly go to the page he wants to . Can you let me know how to achieve this in OBI?


  11. Venkatakrishnan J said

    You can have 25 rows per page using the pagination option that is available out of the box in the properties of a tabular report.

  12. Manohar said

    The default feature gives the 25 rows per page like

    1- 25
    but what we want is to display the total records also in the page like

    1-25 of 100 ( Where 100 is the total records.

  13. Venkatakrishnan J said

    I believe you would have to do it in custom XML messages and skins. Or add a narrative view which would get the count of records and display it below the report in the compound layout. And have the pagination set to 25 rows. That will atleast let the users know about the number of records. But to get the exact layout as you said has to be done via custom XML messages.

  14. Manohar said

    Can you point me to any meterial on Custom XML messages. Any examples would be very helpful

  15. Sofia said

    Hi Venkat

    I tried to change the Oracle Interactive Dashboard banner but it is not changing.Pls let me know why…


  16. Aniket said

    Hi Venkat,

    I am trying to customize the start up page of oracle dashboards for one of the client. I tried to follow your steps but I couldn’t find {OracleBI}/oc4j_bi/j2ee/home/applications/analytics/analytics/res
    folder on my machine. I have oracle BIEE fully installed on my system. Please let me know what could be the problem.

    Thanks and regards


  17. Venkatakrishnan J said

    Aniket – Did you install it on an App server or the default OC4J?

  18. Aniket said

    Hi Venkat,

    Default OC4J.



  19. Aniket said

    Hi Venkat,

    I have managed to get the solution. I created couple of more style folders under {ORACLEBI}/web/app/res folder. Initially it did not reflect in the dashboard properties but after restarting the Oracle BI presentation server, I am able to apply the new styles to dashboards. Could you please explain what are the disadntages of changing the s_* folders in {ORACLEBI}/web/app/res folder itself than copying and pasting in a different folder as suggested by you.

    Thanks and regards


  20. Ashok said

    Hi Venkat,

    I followed your steps in creating the dashboard banner by duplicating s_Siebel77 and renaming it as s_newSiebel77 . I created my own style in bg_banner and saved it in OC4J and was able to view the changes in the front end dashboard.GOOD!!

  21. Ashok said

    I followed your steps in creating the dashboard banner by duplicating s_Siebel77 and renaming it as s_newSiebel77 . I created my own style in bg_banner and saved it in OC4J and was able to view the changes in the front end dashboard.GOOD!

    But i am not able to do this when i duplicate s_oracle10. Do we have to change anything the Portelbanner content.??

    Please let me know

  22. Thowfeek said

    Where i have to paste the copied style foler in sibel analytics 7.8.5. The folder oc4j does not exist.

    Let me know. Thanks

  23. Aaron said

    I have confirmed that Aniket is right. You must restart the “Oracle BI Presentation Server” service before the new style will show as a choice in the list of styles. Venkatakrishnan, you may want to update these instructions to reflect this.

  24. Nathan said

    Hi, can you tell me why do you copy to OracleBi not OracleBIData?

    The oracle doc

    E10415_01 Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition Documentation Library
    Oracle Business Intelligence Presentation Services Administration Guide

    10 Customizing the Oracle BI Presentation Services User Interface
    Creating a New Dashboard Style for Oracle BI Presentation Services


    Copying to the data directory rather than to the main installation directory prevents any customized CSS files and images from being overwritten during a software upgrade – this seems like a good idea to me

    to create a new style is to copy the
    SAROOTDIR\web\app\res\s_oracle10 directory (where SAROOTDIR is the installation directory)

    and paste it into the
    SADATADIR\web\res directory (where SADATADIR is the data directory).

    for example,
    cp /data/app/oracle/product/10.1.3/OracleBI/web/app/res/s_oracle10/* /data/app/oracle/product/10.1.3/OracleBIData/web/res/s_mystyle
    cp /data/app/oracle/product/10.1.3/OracleBI/web/app/res/sk_oracle10/* /data/app/oracle/product/10.1.3/OracleBIData/web/res/sk_mystyle

    ok so this only half works – the new style appears in the drop down on dashboards properties style – but the dashboard shows with _no_ style

    it seems from your thread that the solution is to also copy to oc4j (and only if you did a basic not advanced install) – great – but why? – anyone raised this as a bug? – are oracle planning to fix this problem ? I failed to find anything on metalink.

  25. Kopi said

    Iam trying to create a symbolic link s_mystyle and link that to another folder area. Symbolic links are not workign with the current Oracle Applications Server?. Any ones know any configurtion changes to allow Symbolic links to work. Apache config (httpd.conf) looks fine where SymLinks are turned on.

  26. Vinayak said

    Hi Venkat,

    I want to set the style of a dashboard using the BI web services API. Is it possible. If so how do I go about executing it?


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