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Weird prompt values in dashboard prompts after upgrade

Have you noticed weird prompt values in your reports after upgrading OBIEE from 10g to 11g?  Below is an example of what you might see …

Weird_Prompt_Values

This is usually caused by calculated columns in the report.  You will need to remove those columns, and then add them back to the report.  And then, depending on what your calculated columns were being used for, you may want to consider using Selection Steps instead to accomplish the same logic.

If you know of another way to fix this scenario, please share.

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Informatica Unconnected Transformations

There are 3 Informatica transformations (External Procedure, Lookup, and Stored Procedure) that can be unconnected in a valid mapping.  An unconnected transformation is one that is not connected to the pipeline – that is, it is not connected to any other transformation via a link.  Unconnected transformations, especially unconnected lookup transformations, are widely in OBIA mappings.

Unconnected transformations are defined in a mapping and are called / invoked from another transformation in the mapping.  They can be called from any transformation that supports the transformation expression language.

Below is a list of the 3 Informatica Unconnected Transformations and how they are called or invoked from another transformation:

 Transformation  How its called / invoked
 External Procedure  :EXT.external_procedure_transformation(argument1, argument2, …)
 Lookup  :LKP.lookup_transformation(argument1, argument2, …)
 Stored Procedure  :SP.stored_procedure_transformation( argument1, argument2, [, PROC_RESULT])

Any mapping with an unconnected transformation must also include another transformation that calls the unconnected transformation.

All of the 3 Unconnected Transformations can also be used in connected mode.  However, when you want to execute the transformation logic for a subset of the rows passing through the mapping (especially when it’s a small percentage of the rows), you will want to consider using the transformations in unconnected mode and with conditional logic.  The conditional logic will cause the unconnected transformation to execute only when necessary, and therefore, may improve perfiormance.

The example below shows a call to an unconnected lookup transformation (lkp_item_id) that is invoked only when the desired item_id value is NULL.  In a case where only a small percentage of the rows have an item_id that is NULL, then the lookup would only be invoked for a small number of rows, as opposed to all rows if the transformation was connected.

                       IIF  ( ISNULL(item_id),   :LKP.lkp_item_id ( item_name ),   item_id )

As a side note, the Sequence Generator transformation can also be invoked from a function call, but it is a connected transformation.

 Transformation  How its called / invoked
 Sequence Generator  :SEQ.sequence_generator_transformation.CURRVAL

Creating a new Security Realm in OBIEE 11g

When setting up security in OBIEE 11g, you may modify the default security realm (myrealm) that installs with OBIEE.   But even better, you may create a new security realm and leave the default realm untouched.

My preference is to leave the default realm untouched and create a new realm – this is a best practice in my opinion.  I think it is helpful to always be able to go back and look at the features and settings of the default security realm.  And you can name your new security realm more appropriately, such as, ABCIncSecurityRealm.

The link below (Paul Cannon’s Blog) brings you to a blog post about configuring OBIEE to use LDAP authentication, and the first part of the post covers creating the new security realm.  It is very detailed. I used it the first time I created a new security realm.

http://paulcannon-bi.blogspot.com/2012/07/configuring-ldap-authentication-for.html

Good luck creating your new security realm.

Adobe Flash 11.8.800.168 causing graphs/charts not to show in Internet Explorer 8

There is an issue with Internet Explorer 8 and Adobe Flash browser plugin that causes graphs/charts not to show up in OBIEE 11g.  This is not the same as the issue that can be resolved by setting the thousand place separator property. 

The versions that have the issue are Adobe Flash 11.8.800.168 and IE8.  The same Adobe release works fine with IE9 and also works great with Firefox.  So users on those browser versions would not have been affected.

The good news is … Adobe released an emergency release within 3 days of this problem release.  The new version is 11.8.800.174.  After downloading and installing this version, we were able to see all graphs/charts.   

You can access the latest and previous Adobe Flash versions here …
http://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/kb/archived-flash-player-versions.html#main_Archived_Flash_Player_versions_for_developers

Good luck.