Business Intelligence – Oracle

Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Some News, Updates and Changes

Posted by Venkatakrishnan J on April 17, 2008

Well its been sometime since i last posted anything personal. Couple of weeks back i made an internal move within Oracle and moved into a full time Consulting role. Thngs got finalized yesterday and i might get to meet people more often. Previously my role involved part time consulting, part time biz oriented giving demos, presentations, architecture overviews etc. I hope this is a move in the right direction and i have some plans in place to make some changes to this blog (still not finalized yet. More news to come later).

As a first change in that regard, i have added one more page in this site here. The rationale behind creating that page is, i would like to make the content of the blog here to be driven by you. No, this is not just another forum. Please use the BI EE forums for questions that need quick, immediate answers. Again, this is not a substitute for Metalink which is where you should direct your production issues to. Please post questions that you think will be useful to others if the answer is in the form of a step by step guide. For example, a question like “How do we make BI Delivers to publish reports to a FTP server? How do we call BI Publisher APIs from BI Delivers?” would be of more relevance to that page. I would be blogging about those questions in the near future. You can also post the challenges that you face in using BI EE, BI Publisher, Hyperion etc. I will try to find an answer to your questions and i will blog about them here. If someone else has already blogged about it, i would point you there. But the idea is to have your questions answered in the form of a simple step by step guide. If it is a simple question which has been asked already in the forums, i would point you to the URL. So if you feel that your question warrants a step by step answer or an elaborate answer, feel free to post them there. This is again an attempt from my end to blog about relevant topics which people would need. This might or might not work. Lets see how this goes.

On a side note, lots of people have been asking me about presenting in events like Oracle Open User Group conferences which i have been neglecting so far due to some commitments. Well, i now have plans of attending and presenting in some conferences (yet to decide on which ones though). Any comments/feedback on which conferences to attend are most welcome. Also, feel free to post any feedback with regard to the changes which you would like to see in this blog.

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Posted in All Posts, General | 5 Comments »

Google – Something Strange – Decimal Characters and HTML

Posted by Venkatakrishnan J on January 24, 2008

I noticed something very strange today(atleast strange for me). While i was looking at some XML WebMessage code in BI EE, i noticed the usage of some decimal HTML codes like  . Well i thought i would search for them in Google to find out what exact HTML characters they point to. I know for a fact that they are actual decimal character references for special characters in HTML. But when i wanted to search for them in Google, all i got was their actual characters. If you are not sure what i mean look at the screenshots below or enter in your Google search. All i wanted was to list all the pages that had reference to this decimal character .

      

      

But all i got was an apostrophe i.e the actual HTML character to which this decimal character reference pointed to. I tried this in other search engines and they dont seem to have a problem displaying these special characters. Is this expected? Well, if you are wondering how to search for these characters then just search for them without their semi-colons. This website here has more details on these special characters

Posted in General | 2 Comments »

Its a day of Acquisitions – Oracle to Acquire BEA and SUN to Acquire MySQL

Posted by Venkatakrishnan J on January 16, 2008

What more does one need after a nice little vacation. News of acquisitions of course :-). Well it looks like a day of acquisitions. I am not sure how many of these is true. Use your own discretion to validate these since i am just pointing you to some market news of which i have absolute no knowledge before hand or even now for that matter. If it is indeed true wonderful days ahead for the entire Java, SOA and BI community. We would have the best of breed of everything interacting with each other seamlessly. I am thinking far too ahead of course but again i am entitled for free thoughts aint i? :-). Coming to the actual acquisitions themselves following are some news articles.

Oracle to Acquire BEA: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aNvBPJQ_cvio&refer=home

Sun to Acquire the Open Source Database Vendor MySQL: http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gBphtwc5ZhkRHmUBQAj_6yJmvLpAD8U70OOO1

Posted in Acquisitions, All Posts, General | 2 Comments »

Oracle BI EE 10.1.3.3.2 – New Release – Essbase Support is now available

Posted by Venkatakrishnan J on January 7, 2008

Thanks to Bryan for this info. Somehow Bryan seems to be the first in finding out these new releases :-). Thanks Bryan. The new features that have been added in this release are

1. The long awaited Hyperion Essbase support as a Data Source using XMLA.
2. Listener config for IIS. This is for enabling support for routing BIP and BI Office requests to OC4J directly from IIS (one cannot configure BIP and BI for Office in IIS).

One can download the documentation here and the software here

In addition to that 7.9.4 version of BI Applications has also been released.

Posted in All Posts, General, OBI EE Plus | 2 Comments »

IBM to buy COGNOS

Posted by Venkatakrishnan J on November 12, 2007

Close on the heels of SAP acquiring BOBJ, it looks like IBM is all set to buy out the remaining well known pure play BI Vendor Cognos. More details on the acquisitions can be obtained here and here. Well, it looks like the battle is only among  the big wigs now. Its only a matter of time before Microstrategy and the other remaining small vendors are acquired. Based on the reports it looks like this acquisition would help furthering IBM’s on-demand initiative. If you have any thoughts on this acquisition feel free to post them in the comments section.

Posted in Acquisitions, All Posts, General | 1 Comment »

Feedback Needed – Issues with Oraclebizint

Posted by Venkatakrishnan J on November 4, 2007

I just got an email from one of the readers of the blog saying that there were some issues while accessing this blog. Has anyone else experienced any issues before? It would be great if you can let me know about the issue you faced in the comments section or via email so that i can raise it with the blog host. Thanks Everyone!

Posted in General | 2 Comments »

Oracle BI EE 10.1.3.3/2 – Top 10 Common Errors

Posted by Venkatakrishnan J on October 18, 2007

Now that BI EE is gaining traction among a lot of users, i thought i would document a list of most common errors that users might encounter while using OBI EE. I will also be giving in the possible workarounds/solutions possible for these errors. Feel free to chip in with the error that you got and the solution which you used in the comments section.

1.   Failed to load the DLL D:\Oracle\OracleBI\server\Bin\nqsdbgatewayoci10g.dll. Check if ‘Oracle OCI 10G’ database client is installed.

         There can be many variations of the above error. But what this error essentially means is that BI Server is not able to identify the Oracle OCI drivers. So, first thing to check is whether you have installed Oracle client or database on the same machine as the BI Server. If you have these installed already but still getting this error, then if you are on windows check the Path variable. Check my blog entry here to know what your path should have. If you are Linux/Solaris check whether you have ORACLE_HOME, TNS_ADMIN, LD_LIBRARY_PATH properly set. For AIX, check whether ORACLE_HOME, TNS_ADMIN, LIBPATH are properly set. This should get you started and hopefully solve it. Of course there could be many other reasons, but the common reasons are that the environment variables are not properly set.

2.   Unable to start the BI Scheduler Service.

      For this one would have to go through a list of configuration steps. Scheduler is not configured by default since it requires a database to run the schedules on. Check my blog entry here.

3.   Unable to save an ibot. Errors out saying “Authentication Failed”.

      The most probable cause for this is that cryptotools utility was not run in the Scheduler configuration step. Check the 7th and 8th step of my blog entry here

4.   Errors while using Writeback option.

      a.   Template not found.

            This error occurs if the XML template that you have created is not identified by BI Server. Place the Templates in {OracleBI}/web/msgdb/custommessages folder.

      b.   Errors while doing the writeback.

            Check this forum entry here. Try all the options that are mentioned here. Always use OCI drivers for updating/inserting back to the database.

      For detailed step by step instructions, check my earlier blog entry here

5.   Unable to view the charts in BI EE.

      There can be a couple of reasons why this could happen. The display of charts depend on the Java Host service. Try starting that service. If it still does not work, then it could be so that you do not have a flash plugin installed. Check whether the other chart types like SVG, PNG are working. To set up SVG or PNG charts use my blog entry here

6.   Unable to start/stop the BI Server/Presentation Services/ Java host.

      If you are unable to stop/start the services, try starting them from command line. Use the following commands to start/stop the services from command line.

      net start/stop “Oracle BI Server” – For BI Server
      net start/stop “sawsvc” – For presentation Services
      net start/stop “sawjavahostsvc” – For Java Host
      net start/stop “Oracle BI Scheduler” – For scheduler

7.   While setting up external authentication, one might get error messages like init block not initialized.

      One of the possible reasons, if you think everything has been properly setup, is the overlap of users between the repository and the external directory. Remove the overlapping users from the RPD and test it out. For more info on how to setup LDAP/OID authentication check my blog entry here and here

8.   While using Evaluate function, common errors like “Union of non-compatible types. (HY000)”.

      I believe this is a bug in the Evaluate function implementation. One must cast all the arguments to the same data type before passing them as arguments.

9.   Unable to create a new style by following the documentation.

      Again, you have not done anything wrong. I believe there is a documentation bug on this. Check my blog entries here and here

10.   Unable to view/change the images in Answers Title view using FMAP.

      This is again a common problem due to a documentation bug. Try using my blog entry here. One would have to copy the images to 2 folders instead on 1 as given in the documentation.

There could be many other reasons why you might get these errors. But the above list would give you an idea of where to start looking if you are new to OBI EE. Feel free to share your thoughts here.

Posted in All Posts, General, OBI EE Plus | 33 Comments »

Business Objects to be acquired by SAP

Posted by Venkatakrishnan J on October 8, 2007

It looks like the rumor mills that have been going around for some time is indeed true. Atlast, BOBJ would be acquired by SAP. I picked this up from Mark’s Blog here. According to me, there are some positives as well as negatives which is true for any acquisition i believe. One of the strange things about this possible acquisition is, it is as expected. None of Oracle’s acquisitions were. For quite some time there have been news that BOBJ had hired Goldman Sachs for finding out possible acquirers, if i can put it that way. Following are some of my thoughts

Positives:

1. Good for the BI space in general as we can expect both Oracle and SAP to bring out the best in the BI tools as they pan out for both Technology and Applications space.

2. SAP can leverage BOBJ to get a foothold into Technology space.

3. Good for BOBJ since SAP can afford to invest more.

Negatives:

1. Nobody knows whether this acquisition has been completely thought through considering the timing of the acquisition. This is immediately after BOBJ had put itself up for grabs.

2. Nobody knows what would happen to the acquisitions done by BOBJ. Since, currently all these acquisitions are not yet integrated into BOBJ.

3. It would take time to integrate BOBJ with SAP since acquisitions are new to SAP.

4. What would happen to Outlook Soft that was acquired by SAP since BOBJ has similar toolsets.

5. What would happen to the custom BI offerings from SAP? These cannot be sold seperately since they work only with SAP.

6. SAP still does not have a complete EPM solution.

More negatives come to my mind since i have been used to the Oracle’s way of acquisitions. Others can correct me if i am wrong here. But poor Cognos. It is the only one that is left behind. Lets hope there is someone out there to buy it. Maybe Microsoft or IBM? But still, interesting times ahead indeed!!

Posted in All Posts, General | 2 Comments »

Power of Data – Importance of BI

Posted by Venkatakrishnan J on September 22, 2007

I was going through the following presentation by Hans Rosling, a renowned professor of World Health. An amazing presentation which makes anyone understand the value of data that is hidden behind the behemoths called databases. It would make even more sense if you can compare this to the importance of Business Intelligence or the Intelligence derived from various Reporting toolsets. Amazing video. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to know the power of data.

http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docId=2670820702819322251

What i like in this video is the 2 main aspects

1. The way it was presented.

2. The analysis that Hans has applied on top of the data.

What BI tools can do is, exactly this. Give a new perspective of the data that we already have in our databases.

Posted in General | Leave a Comment »

It’s Time – Blogroll Update

Posted by Venkatakrishnan J on September 20, 2007

It is high time that i updated my blogroll. I am a regular reader of many wonderful Oracle related blogs out there and its time that i put them all here and of course add them to my blogroll.
New blogs added in no particular order are,

1.   Frank Buytendijk – http://blogs.oracle.com/frankbuytendijk/ 
2.   Eddie Awad’s Blog – http://awads.net/wp/ 
3.   Justin Kestelyn – http://blogs.oracle.com/otn
4.   Pawel Barut – http://pbarut.blogspot.com/
5.   Peter Scott – http://pjsrandom.wordpress.com/
6.   David Aldridge – http://oraclesponge.wordpress.com
7.   Doug Burns – http://oracledoug.com/serendipity/
8.   Tim Hall – http://www.oracle-base.com/blog/
9.   Borkur Steingrimsson – http://www.be-ice.eu/
10.   Adrian Ward – http://majendi.blogspot.com/
11.   Dimitri Gielis – http://dgielis.blogspot.com/
12.   Pete Finnigan – http://www.petefinnigan.com/weblog/entries/index.html
13.  Laurent Schneider – http://laurentschneider.com/

Posted in All Posts, General | 1 Comment »