Tuesday, 25 March 2014

OBIEE 11g – Multiple Instances on Computer – Auto Ports Vs Custom Ports

The standard installation of OBIEE 11g would configure software components to default ports. These ports may be different if it is chosen manually during installation process. The problem arises when company plans to install multiple instances of Oracle Business Intelligence on a single computer; there is a need to decide on a port management strategy.

There are two options; the first option is to allow Oracle Business Intelligence 11g Installer to assign the ports for each instance automatically while other option is to assign ports through a custom port configuration file (.ini).

This blog is an attempt to discuss option of going with Auto Ports or/and Custom Ports for installation of multiple instances of OBIEE 11g.

Auto Port

The first option as suggested in the introduction section is to go with auto port, let installation process allow choosing the ports for one or more installation. Allowing all processes of the first installation running before installation of subsequent instances would enable OBIEE 11g installer to automatically identify as assign ports that are not yet in use. 
Custom Port Configuration

One can assign ports though a custom configuration file. This option is available with Enterprise Install. Installer enables to set custom OBIEE port values in configuration file (staticports.ini). A sample staticports.ini file is provided with the Oracle Business Intelligence installation package which can be edited and copied to use as pre-configuration inputs.

The sample staticports.ini file contains a template for setting custom port values for Oracle Business Intelligence components. The file would be available at bi_installer_loc/ Disk1/ stage/ Response directory. If the port is already in use, then a port from the default port range will be allocated for the component.

Review Configuration

The next important question around ports is how I find out about configured ports. Here are the configuration files which would list down currently configured prots

  • $OH/install/ports.propertiesThis file will contain the list of OBIEE system component ports assigned at the time of installation, which might be changed after installation. If it is automated install then this file is right source for configuration ports

  • Weblogic Administration and Managed server, node manager: [middleware_home]/user_projects/domains/bifoundation_domain/config/config.xml

  • OPMN: [middleware_home]/instances/instance1/config/OPMN/opmn/opmn.xml

  • OBIEE System Components (and Essbase; if integrated): [middleware_home]/user_projects/domains/bifoundation_domain/config/fmwconfig/biee-domain.xml

  • essbase.cfg (if using Essbase)

Commands to Find Active Ports

This will list tcp/udp protocols that are listening as well as the process id and program


netstat -tulpn
netstat --tcp --udp --listening --programs -n


nestat -bo

I hope this information is useful.

OBIEE 11g – Compound Layout Overlaps When Downloaded to Excel

This blog is an attempt to discuss problem of overlaps when down loaded to Excel and possible work around discussed on Oracle Support Tech note.


In OBIEE 11g, for a compound view with two tables and a graph. When exported this to Excel, the graph is overlaps one of the tables. I have seen this issue quite often. 

Work Around

OBIEE download process generates MHTML and simply change the extension of the downloaded file from .mht to .xls. Oracle believes it is limitation of Excel (which I found an amazing argument). If report is downloaded the same report as .mht , it found that the charts do not overlap.

I don’t think there is any solution available as of now. Oracle supports suggests following workarounds:

  • Export to 'Web Archive (.mht) instead of Excel. Then open the .mht file in Excel and save it to .xls format
  • Export to Excel. Open the file in Excel and drag the graph to the right place.

I believe these are not actual solutions, only work around. Sometimes it is better than something rather than nothing.

Source Document
Please refer following source document from Oracle Support.
OBIEE 11g: Compound Layout (Table, Graph) Overlaps when Downloaded to Excel (Doc ID 1536318.1)

Thursday, 20 March 2014

OBIEE 11g – How to Add New Fonts in Answers and Dashboards

This blog is an attempt to share information which I have recently came across regarding adding new fonts in Answers and Dashboards.

Add New Font

Open the file ../Oracle_BI1/bifoundation/web/msgdb/messages/commonuitemplates.xml and add the new font, e.g. Calibri is added as shown below, don’t forget to save file once done.

<WebMessage name="kuiFormatUIFontOptions" translate="false">
<option value="Arial">Arial</option>
<option value="Arial Black">ArialBlack</option>
<option value="Arial Narrow">Arial Narrow</option>
<option value="Calibri">Calibri</option>
<option value="Courier New">Courier New</option>

Add Font in Schema for Validation

Add font details in schema for validation: Oracle_BI1/ bifoundation/ web/ schemas/ analysis_formats.xsd

xs:simpleType name="fontFamily">
<xs:documentation>family of fonts supported</xs:documentation>
<xs:restriction base="xs:string">
<xs:enumeration value="Arial"/>
<xs:enumeration value="Arial Black"/>
<xs:enumeration value="Arial Narrow"/>
<xs:enumeration value="Calibri"/>
<xs:enumeration value="Courier New"/>

Source Document 
Please refer following source document from Oracle Support.
OBIEE 11g: How To Add new Fonts in Answers and Dashboards (Doc ID 1572003.1)

OBIEE 11g – Important Files for troubleshooting Authentication or Security Issues

This blog is an attempt to list down the process of creating clean set of logs which would simplify the process of diagnosing authentication or security issues.
Log and Configuration Files to Collect

For the majority of BI security issues, a clean set of following log and configuration files for diagnosing the issue

Domain Configuration files:

MW_Home\user_projects\domains\bifoundation_domain\config\config.xml - Always Required
MW_Home\user_projects\domains\bifoundation_domain\config\fmwconfig\jps-config.xml - Always Required
MW_Home\user_projects\domains\bifoundation_domain\config\fmwconfig\ovd\default\adapters.os_xml - Required if using multiple Authenticators (virtualize=true)

Log files from the Managed Server(s)

The following files are always required unless using a Simple Install

MW_Home\user_projects\domains\bifoundation_domain\servers\bi_servern\logs\bi_servern.out - note that this file is not created by default if you start the Managed Server from a command prompt/shell. Instead, you should start the Managed Server from the Weblogic Console.

Log files from the AdminServer

The following files are always required when using a Simple Install. These logs are sometimes useful for an Enterprise /Software Only Install

AdminServer.out – Make sure that following commands are used to create AdminServer.out file

e.g. windows: C:\MW_Home\user_projects\domains\bifoundation_domain\bin\startWebLogic.cmd
1>>C:\ade\BIGA1\user_projects\domains\bifoundation_domain\servers\AdminServer\logs\admin.out 2>&1
e.g. Linux: C:\MW_Home\user_projects\domains\bifoundation_domain\bin\startWebLogic.cmd
1>/MW_Home/user_projects/domains/bifoundation_domain/servers/AdminServer/logs/admin.out 2>&1

Oracle BI Configuration Files

MW_Home\instances\instance1\config\OracleBIPresentationServicesComponent\coreapplication_obips1\instanceconfig.xml .

Oracle BI Server and Presentation Services Log Files

Log Collection Process

It is important to include all the relevant logging including the standard out and standard error which would normally only be visible in the console that started the Web logic server. The logs should be created using the appropriate logging levels to collect necessary information for diagnosis of the issue.

The following process should be followed to generate a clean set of logs and configuration files for diagnosing security issues.

  • Enable Web Logic logging at appropriate level
  • Enable FMW logging via EM and persist changes using the settings
  • Stop Web Logic and BI processes
  • Enable additional logging for Oracle BI Presentation Services
  • Move or delete existing log files so that the clean logs start from the time the issue is being re-produced
  • Re-start the Weblogic and BI Processes
  • Re-produce the error
  • Stop Weblogic and BI processes
  • Log Levels Setting for Re-production of Issues
  • Following setting are recommended for log level settings to get meaningful information via log files which would help in process of diagnosis and troubleshooting.

Log Configuration for Web Logic Console

Set DebugSecurityAtn – Enabled

WLS Console > Environment > Servers > AdminServer > Choose Debug tag > Expand ‘weblogic’  under 'Debug Scopes and Attributes' > Expand 'security' -> expand 'atn' -> check the 'DebugSecurityAtn' and click 'enable' button

Log Configuration for Enterprise Manager

Login to EM> Web Logic Domain > bifoundation_domain > bi_cluster > bi_server1 (or Navigate to Weblogic Domain > bifoundation_domain > AdminServer) > select Logs > Log Configuration> In the Log Levels tab, navigate to Root Logger > oracle >
- Select the loggers listed below and set logging level to TRACE:32

Logger Names: - to TRACE:32 - to TRACE:32
For multiple Authenticators (i.e. if they have set virtualize=true) please also set
oracle.ods to TRACE: 32

Log Configuration for Oracle BI Presentation Services

For SSO issues which uses headers, cookies and tokens. Additional Instanceconfig.xml settings:

<FilterRecord writerClassGroup="File" disableCentralControl="true"path="saw.httpserver.request" information="16" warning="32" error="32" trace="32"incident_error="32"/>
<FilterRecord writerClassGroup="File" disableCentralControl="true" path="saw.httpserver.response" information="16" warning="32" error="32" trace="32" incident_error="32"/>

Source Document 
Please refer following source document from Oracle Support.
What Files To Provide To Support When Encountering Authentication Or Security Issues in OBIEE 11g (Doc ID 1434514.1)