Business Intelligence – Oracle

Oracle BI EE – Integration into External Applications/Portals

Posted by Venkatakrishnan J on January 28, 2008

This question generally comes up in almost all the customer calls that i go into. So, i thought i would blog about all the possible options for integrating BI EE into any external application. Though i have talked about the individual options before i thought it would make more sense if one has a complete list of all the possible options(let me know if you find more). The various possible options are listed below

1.   Integration using GO URL and URL Parameters.

2.   Integration using SOAP APIs(BI EE Web Services).

3.   Integration by deploying BI EE JSR-168 compliant portlets to a WSRP standard Portal

4.   Integration by calling BI Server metadata using ODBC from other tool sets.

Now lets discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using all the above 4 options.

1.   GO URL is the easiest and best approach for integrating BI EE into any kind of a web environment. Currently, BI EE is integrated into Siebel CRM using this methodology. One of the major advantages of using this approach is that it gives the end user a lot of flexibility. One does not lose any kind of in-built features of BI EE and at the same time one call the reports and the dashboards from an application using a single URL. Parameters can be passed back and forth between the application and BI EE since both have HTML based UI. So, if you are one of those users who want to integrate some BI EE reports into one of your own custom application i would recommend you to evaluate this approach first before going into any of the other 3 approaches. For the list of all known and unknown parameters check my blog entries here and here.

2.   SOAP APIs or the BI EE Web Services also provide very good integration capabilities. But just understand that these are APIs that expose the nuts and bolts of OBI EE. In most scenarios, these might not be useful at all. But this can be useful in situations wherein you would like to leverage some of the BI EE reports and would like to do something in your application based on the output of a report. For example, assume that you have a web application that creates and manages workflows. Now, assume that an end user creates a workflow request asking for 5 days of vacation. This workflow request would be sent to the manager if he has more than 5 days of vacation balance left for approval else it will go one more level up for approval. Whether the end user has enough vacation is determined from a BI EE report that can accept parameters. In such a case, WSDL SOAP APIs can be very useful. Also, it can be useful in situations wherein you would like to synchronise user authentication in your custom application and BI EE. For more details check my blog entry here.

3.   JSR-168 portlets – This method of integration is useful in those situations if you have a standard portal that is WSRP compliant. In such a case you can deploy these portlets directly into a WSRP container of the portal and can view BI EE reports directly from your portal (for example Oracle Portal). But i would recommend going through GO URL approach first and see whether it is applicable in your situation. If it is not only then should this approach be used. For more details on how to deploy these portlets check my blog entry here

4.   Using BI Server ODBC – This is not an integration methodology per se. But again i have seen users using this approach for leveraging BI Server Metadata. So, if you have any other reporting tool that can create reports using a ODBC connection then and if you want to leverage BI Server metadata then this option is for you.

7 Responses to “Oracle BI EE – Integration into External Applications/Portals”

  1. mitchell said

    hello – in the option 4 noted above, how can i find documentation related to accessing OBIEE metadata via ODBC?


  2. Aneesh said

    Hi Venki,

    We are trying to implement BI DashBoard reports in WebCenter. Using any of the above options, how can we configure both these tools, so that BI engine can extract the user authentication parameters from webcenter request and generate the report based on what the logged in user is authorized to view in BI.


  3. Ataulla said

    Hi Venki,

    Can you please let me know if there is a way to access the session variables in the dashboard. Actually i am trying to pass the username to another application using the embedded content feature.

    Any help on this will be greatly appreciated


  4. Kevin said

    Hi Venki,

    I need to open OBI from external web application in iframe.
    The problem is that I need a single sign-on between theese two applications but I can’t pass the UserName in the URL due to our security policy. What I thought to do is to pass only a password (which will be a token generated by the external web application on each session). my steps will be as follows:

    1. User perform a login to the site by entering username & password.
    2. The site check that the username & password are valid.
    3. The site generate a token and insert it, among with his username into a table which will be used as the external table for OBI.
    4. The site will open OBI report (itrame) and will pass the token as the “password” parameter of the url.
    5. The OBI check the token against the external table by sql and return the username.
    6. The “USER” session variable will get the value of the username.
    7. The OBI knows who is the user for this session and will log his name for every query.

    Please let me know if this scenario can be done and how?


  5. srikanth said

    Hi Venkat,

    we are looking for “How can we pass headers, parameters from an external application to OBIEE”. Explained below is the scenario.

    Our clients will be accessing a common external portal where the authentication (single sign on) is done by LDAP. Now OBIEE will be a new application in our portal. Assuming a client is having access to the OBIEE had entered the external portal and how can we pass the headers from the application to the OBIEE as it will be single sign on authentication from LDAP.

    We are really running out of time and please help us.


  6. Yogi said

    Hi I need to pass parameters from Webcenter/ADF to OBIEE and get the Report back.
    Can you please help me with steps or sample example.
    Appreciate your early response.

    Using Webcenter 11G (Jdev 11G). OBIEE 10.1.3.X

  7. BI Developer said


    I need an urgent help in integration of OBIEE with Peoplesoft application. We need to have a SSO implemented for this also. So, when ever we call a report from Peoplesoft session, it directly needs to logged in and the relevent report should be called.

    could you please suggest the workarounds if any?

    Thanks in advance.

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