Business Intelligence – Oracle

Oracle BI EE – Same Page Navigation Drills and Passing Parameters

Posted by Venkatakrishnan J on November 26, 2007

We had a couple of questions on our internal blogs with regard to navigation drills and passing parameters. I thought i would blog about both of them since this might prove useful for others who are attempting the same. The first question was, how do we enable “Drill in Place” for navigation drills. The reason why i included it here is that we would using this to answer our second question. If you enable Navigation Drills(drills to another report instead of standard drills) in your report, you would notice that you would lose the ability to drill in place even if you enable the “Drill in Place” option within the Dashboard. This might be pretty annoying for end users. So, in order to enable this drill in place option, one way is to include the report using the “Embedded Section” option within the dashboard rather than dragging and dropping the report into the dashboard. So, while including your report in the dashboard, instead of dragging and dropping it into the Sections, include the Embedded Section and then enter the GO URL for the report in the properties of the Embedded section.





Now, if you use the above procedure to enable drill in place, then you would lose the ability of using dashboard prompts on these reports. Yes, one cannot use dashboard prompts on a report that has been included within an Embedded Section. One of the main reasons for this is that, Embedded sections create a seperate sub-pages(iframes) within the same page and the prompts actually lose their scope. This takes us to our next question. How do we have drill in place for Navigation drills and at the same time have the ability to pass parameters to the report included in the Embedded section. The following list of steps outlines what we will be doing to achieve this

1.   Create a dashboard Prompt on a column and make the prompt to set a presentation variable. In our example, i have created a prompt on the COUNTRY_NAME column.


2.   In the report containing the Navigation drill have the filter enabled with this presentation variable. In our example, we will be filtering on COUNTRY_NAME column of the report using the iframeprompt presentation variable.


3.   Create another report with 1 dummy column(this is for the report to work). Create another column and put the presentation variable as the column.



4.   Go to the narrative view of the report and enter the GO URL for the navigation drill report inside an iframe. Remember we need to pass the parameters to this report from the presentation variable. So, the GO URL would be like the one below


Here, @2 denotes the presentation variable column that we included. So basically we are building a dynamic go url using the narrative view iframe.


5.   Go to the dashboard, then include the dashboard prompt and the narrative view report. Now you would notice that you are able to pass parameter and at the same time you are able to drill in place.


The reason why we included the narrative view was to dynamically build the url and at the same time not to lose the scoping the presentation variable that was passed.

7 Responses to “Oracle BI EE – Same Page Navigation Drills and Passing Parameters”

  1. Prashant said

    Nice write up. Presentation variables work great for passing parameters, but they do have some bugs that oracle needs to iron out ..some of them have been fixed in

    Is there a way to Hide the password? GO URL exposes the NQPassword …Hard Coding the values is not a very good idea.


  2. Venkatakrishnan J said

    Then in that case you need to use POST method. Check my blog entry here which has an example of using the POST method. Just make the form to submit everytime you come into this page and that would make it secure and achieve the same functionality.

  3. Thomas Dodds said

    I can set the parameter value with a prompt, I can navigate to another dashboard, I can retreive the value over there (in a narrative) – how can I have it used as a default for a prompt on the destination page? I’ve tried a bunch of different things and think I am close. I’m dealing with a date and I’m not sure if it is the format or what that is causing the destination prompt not to default to the presentation variable value.

    Any help appreciated.

    PS: very informative blog! Keep up the great work!


  4. ia said

    Hi Venkatakrishnan,

    Thanks for the article, a good one. Any idea how to adjust the size of iframe dynamically depending on which request you’re showing on it? Say, the first request is smaller size than the one to which you navigate. So first you’d want to show small iframe and then for the second request make the iframe bigger. (And when navigating back to the first request again make it smaller etc.)


  5. Vikram Takkar said

    Hi, Thanks for writing & giving us this information.

    But i have one queryin this case. If i use same page navigation drill using Iframe how can i use Return & Back button?

    Secondly i have tried creating custom back button using javascript history funcion but whn i click it it take me to the page not to the dashboard.

    Can you please help me in this regard. its bit urgent.

  6. Kurt Wolf said

    I’m sure this is cool, but this “explanation” is not clear enough for me to follow and I suspect I’m not alone. How many reports were created to get this to work? Which report does what? Which reports were in an embedded section? What does it take to get each report to work? What’s in the “dummy column”? What’s the entire string in the narrative view? What does the whole sequence of events look like to the user? After navigation, how do you get back?

  7. Sharmin said


    Probably one of the strangest experience you ever heard. First of all, my OBI version is
    I have two dashboards. One is a landing page which has a gauge. On click of this gauge, the user needs to navigate to another dashboard which shows up the details page. It has a prompt with 3 things; USER List, Start Date and End Date.
    Do not be surprised, on click of the gauge, I am able to navigate to the details page. But all the graphs and reports are showing as “No Results”. When I click on the Details dashboard link directly I am able to see all the information. It looks really strange. But have you ever come across this?

    Note: The details page has some filter criteria with the session variables. Otherwise, it is a straight forward page.

    Thanks in advance and would appreciate if you could help

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