Business Intelligence – Oracle

Oracle BI EE – Customizing Skins, Styles and XML Messages – Dashboard footer Customization

Posted by Venkatakrishnan J on May 29, 2008

I have been receiving quite a few emails recently asking for a list of steps required to customize various parts of dashboards/answers. So, instead of blogging about each and every one of them seperately i thought it would be more relevant if i can write about the list of steps involved in identifying what to customize. So, typically any customization request can fall broadly into 3 categories. They are

1. Styles
2. Skins
3. XML Messages

In most of the cases, we can identify in which category our customization would fall into. But there are cases, wherein it would be difficult to identify the categories. So, lets take an example question. “How do i add a background image to the dashboard footer?”. Basically, we need to add a background image to the below dashboard footer.


As you see above, the user’s request was to find a way to add an image to this footer. So, in order to find out what to customize, lets open up a firefox browser with the Firebug extension installed. If you are not sure what the Firebug extension does, check my blog entry here. As a next step, start inspecting the HTML code of the footer. Firebug has this nice option called inspect that would allow anyone to findout the HTML code corresponding to any part of a HTML page.


As you see here, the entire footer is comprised of 2 td tags within a tr tag (2 columns in one row).

<td class="PoweredByMsg">
<td valign="bottom" align="right">

Our aim is to add an image spanning the entire row. As you see, this tr tag does not have any style or CSS class assigned to it. So, in order to achieve what we need we would have to modify a custom XML message(not a style). If it was a style we would have got the class attribute. The next step is to find out how we can identify the XML message. If you look at the above HTML source for the footer, you would see a class called PoweredByMsg. Lets search for all the files under {OracleBI}\Web\msgdb, which is where all the custom XML files exist, for the PoweredByMsg.


You would get one file viewscontrolmessages.xml which would be referring to this message. Now search for the message PoweredByMsg within this XML file. This would in turn give you the below XML message.

<WebMessage name="kmsgEVCPoweredBy"><HTML><table width="100%" height="24px" cellspacing="0">
<tr><sawm:if insert="1"><td class="PoweredByMsg"><sawm:param insert="1"/></td>
</sawm:if><td align="right" valign="bottom"><sawm:messageRef name="kmsgPoweredByAnchor"/>

Now as you see, this the source XML message that is responsible for the tr and 2 td tags in the dashboard. Once you have identified the source XML message, copy the XML file to {OracleBIDate}\web\msgdb\customMessages (if you dont have this folder, create one). And then change the above message to the one shown below.

<WebMessage name="kmsgEVCPoweredBy">
<table width="100%" height="24px" cellspacing="0" style='background-image: url(res/s_oracle10/images/report_serviceRequest.jpg);'>
<sawm:if insert="1">
<td class="PoweredByMsg">
<sawm:param insert="1"/>
<sawm:messageRef name="kmsgPoweredByAnchor"/>

Now, restart the presentation services.


This should give you the list of steps for identifying what to modify while doing a dashboard/answers customization.

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