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How to embed a QlikView dashboard into an OBIEE dashboard page

In this post, I will explain how to embed a QlikView dashboard into an OBIEE dashboard page.

This can be useful if you have a scenario where OBI is your primary platform, but there are also dashboards built in QlikView or some other BI Platform, and you want to direct the users to one place for all dashboards instead of having to explain to them to “go here for this, and there for that”.

So, I am assuming you already have a QlikView dashboard built that you would like to embed into OBIEE.

Create or edit your OBIEE dashboard page. While on the page in edit mode, drop in/drag in an “Embedded Content” object.
DashboardObjectsMenu_EmbeddedContent

With the Embedded Content Object on the dashboard page in Edit mode, edit the “Embedded Content” Object.
Edit_EmbeddedContent_Object

In the Embedded Content Properties dialog …
– Enter the URL to your QlikView dashboard
– Check the box for “This URL Embeds an Application”
– and enter the Width and Height you desire for the embedded area.
– Optionally, check the box for “Hide Scroll Bars”. Make sure not to check this box if your dashboard is vertically longer than a typical monitor.
EmbeddedContent_properties

Click OK, and then Save your dashboard page.

When you now open your dashboard in OBIEE, you will see your QlikView dashboard embedded within the page.

QlikView_Embedded_in_OBIEE

Thanks for reading!  I hope you found this article useful.

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How to conditionally set Interaction (Action Links) on a column in OBIEE 11g

This post shows an example of how to conditionally set Interaction (Action Links) on a column.

Most times, when you set “Interaction” on a column, you set it for the column under all conditions – this is the default.  However, it is possible to conditionally set “Interaction” on a column – so that the Interaction link is conditionally available.

Let’s look at an example …

You have a pivot table displaying Values by day range as shown below.  Interaction is set on the measure value, and therefore, a user can click on any of the measure values (in any column and any row) to drill/navigate to a more detailed report for example. 

(Note that all the measure values are “blue” indicating that they are hyperlinks allowing navigation to some other BI content).
1-Pivot_with_Interaction_Set_On_Measure_Value

Let’s now assume that you only want to make the Interaction available for the measure values associated with “Value A”.  Therefore, the row in your pivot table associated with “Value A” will have measure values that are clickable (hyperlinks), while the “Value B” row values will not.  In other words, you only want to allow drill down/navigation on “Value A” data.

To do this, from your analysis, edit the column properties, and go to the Interaction tab, and Edit the relevant Action Link.

3-Edit_Action_Link

Change the “Show Link” property from “Always” to “Conditionally”.

4-Show_Link_Conditionally

Then enter the condition(s) in the Conditions box. Such as in our example, we want to show/activate the action link only for “Value A” values.  So, choose the column, and then select “Value A” (and of course, do not select “Value B”).

5-Select_Value_for_Action_LInk

Now when you go back to your report, action links will only be available on the measure values for “Value A” row.

(Note that only the measure values associated with “Value A” are “blue” indicating that they are hyperlinks allowing navigation to some other BI content; while “Value B” values are black indicating that they are not clickable.)
6-After_Setting_Conditionally

You can add more conditions and more complex conditions as necessary. One thought that came to mind … I could even see this being used to conditionally set Action Links based on users – allowing some users to be able to click the action links while others just see the data without being able to click and navigate to other detail.

Changing the maximum number of values in a drop down list in OBIEE 11g – MaxDropDownValues

When you create a prompt that uses a drop down list in OBIEE, the drop down list is limited to 256 values by default.  If your list contains more values and you would like to see more values without having to click the “More” button, or if you would like to show less values, there is a configuration parameter that you can change to increase the number of values shown up to 1000.  You can set it to any value up to 1000, including values less than the default of 256.

To do this, edit the instanceconfig.xml file.  This file is located at …
[$FMW_HOME]/instances/instance1/config/OracleBIPresentationServicesComponent/coreapplication_obips1

Add the MaxDropDownValues parameter to the file.  If you do not already have a Prompts section, add it, and then add MaxDropDownValues between the Prompts tags.  And make sure that all this is between the ServerInstance tags which will already be there in the file.

Your config file will look something like this …

<ServerInstance>


    <Prompts>
        <MaxDropDownValues>1000</MaxDropDownValues> 
    </Prompts>

</ServerInstance>

Setting_MaxDropDownValues_InstanceConfig

After making these changes, you will need to restart BI Presentation Services for them to take effect. Then your drop down list will show up to 1000 (or less) values by default…

DropDownList_ShowingMax

Note: The numbers shown in the screenshot have no meaning whatsoever; they are just randomly generated sample data for example purposes. So, any similarity that they may have to any other number is strictly coincidental.

Direct Links to various OBIEE User and Administration Presentation functions

These are some direct links to various OBIEE User and Administration functions.  These can be useful to know for efficiency and at times can also be useful for debugging security.

To go directly to “Home Page”
http://servername:9704/analytics/saw.dll?bieehome

To go directly to “Dashboard”
http://servername:9704/analytics/saw.dll?Dashboard

To go directly to “Manage Privileges”
http://servername:9704/analytics/saw.dll?PrivilegeAdmin

To go directly to “Manage Catalog Groups”
http://servername:9704/analytics/saw.dll?ManageGroups

To go directly to “Manage Sessions”
http://servername:9704/analytics/saw.dll?Sessions

To go directly to “Manage Agent Sessions”
http://servername:9704/analytics/saw.dll?ManageIBotSessions

To go directly to “Issue SQL”
http://servername:9704/analytics/saw.dll?IssueRawSQL&Done=%2fanalytics%2fsaw.dll%3fAdmin

To go directly to “Manage Map Data”
http://servername:9704/analytics/saw.dll?ManageMapData

To go directly to “Manage BI Publisher”
http://servername:9704/analytics/saw.dll?bipublisherEntry&Done=%2fanalytics%2fsaw.dll%3fAdmin&Action=admin

Components of Oracle Business Intelligence Applications (OBIA)

The Oracle Business Intelligence Applications (OBIA) is made up of a number of components that are brought together to create a great prebuilt BI solution.  The components can be categorized into 4 major components.

1. Prebuilt reports and dashboard content + Embedded dashboard/report building tool
This prebuilt content is contained in the Oracle BI Presentation Services Catalog, and some of the content is built on the Oracle BI Repository metadata.
The tools include Dashboard Editor and Answers.

2. Prebuilt metadata content (Oracle BI Server Repository) + Administration Tool      
This metadata content is contained in the Oracle Business Intelligence Applications repository file (EnterpriseBusinessAnalytics.rpd).
This content is built and administered using the BI Administration Tool, and is built from the metadata in the OBAW.

3. Oracle Business Analytics Warehouse
The prebuilt data warehouse that holds data extracted, transformed, and loaded from the transactional sources.  The OBAW contains best-practice star-schemas and conforming dimensions.

4. Prebuilt ETL processes and tools
Prebuilt Informatica content + Embedded Informatica ETL Tool
+ Prebuilt DAC metadata repository files + Embedded DAC Tool
Informatica is a third-party application that performs the extract, transform, and load operations for the Data Warehouse.  The Informatica content includes Extract-Transform-Load (ETL) repository objects, such as mappings, sessions, and workflows, and is contained in the Informatica repository file (Oracle_BI_DW_Base.rep).
The DAC is a tool that is used for setup, configuration, administration, and monitoring of data warehouse processes.  The DAC content includes repository objects such as tables, subject areas, execution plans, and tasks, and is contained in XML files.
These tools and processes together extract data from sources, such as Oracle EBS or PeopleSoft, and load the data into the OBAW.

Report-Based Total Pivot table calculation option in OBIEE

If you have a scenario where your pivot totals are not matching your pivot numbers (in other words, the total is not correct) in an OBIEE pivot table, this post may help.

There might be times when your pivot table shows a set of numbers that do not add up to the Grand Total calculated by OBIEE. This could be due to the grain of the data returned from your SQL, possibly from performing different calculations on multiple columns.

If already checked (default), then uncheck or deselect the “Report-Based Total” option as shown below to see if this solves your problem. (And if unchecked, then check it to see if that helps you).
From within your pivot view, select the button on your measure value, then select “Aggregation Rule”, then uncheck “Report-Based Total”.

Report-Based-Total

According to the OBIEE documentation … “If the option Report-Based Total is not selected, the Oracle BI Server will calculate the total based on the entire result set, before applying any filters to the measures.”

Basically the difference is … instead of the BI Server generating SQL that will calculate the total based on the grain of your rows (how the data rows look in the table view), it will calculate the total based on the how the data is partitioned over the rows and columns (the pivot table values). 

This is an often overlooked option that can, but rarely, affect your results. Based on your scenario, you may need the selection checked or unchecked.  Try it and see if helps your situation.

OBIEE data source types and data retrieval methods

OBIEE is capable of connecting to and retrieving data from a variety of data sources.  The type of data sources that OBIEE can connect to are OLTP, OLAP, Data Warehouses (ROLAP), and Files.

  • OLTP databases – these include the normalized-design databases including ERP, CRM and other LOB systems.
    – The relational databases supported are: Oracle databases, Microsoft SQL Server, IBM DB2, and Teradata Warehouse.
    – And the ERP/CRM sources supported are: Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle Peoplesoft, Oracle Siebel CRM, Oracle JD Edwards, and SAP.  Note: any ERP/CRM system running on one the databases mentioned above can be supported, but those mentioned here are special ERP/CRM sources.
  • OLAP databases – these include dimensional-databases including applications based on dimensional databses.
    – The OLAP datases supported are: Oracle Essbase, Oracle OLAP, Microsoft Analysis Services, and SAP Netweaver BI.
    – And the OLAP applications sources supported are: Oracle Hyperion Planning and Oracle Hyperion Financial Management.
  • Dimensionally-modeled data warehouses – these are relational databases designed with a star-schema / dimensional model, on one of the 4 supported relational databases mentioned above.
  • Files – Microsoft Excel, XML files, Flat files.

The data retrieval methods used to connect to these sources are:

  • OLTP – SQL
  • OLAP – MDX
  • Data Warehouse – SQL
  • Files – ODBC

OBIEE has the ability to connect to multiple of these data sources at the same time, and the data sources can be of the same or different types.  So, for example, an OBIEE Server can source data from an Oracle 11g Data Warehouse, and from an Oracle Essbase 11g OLAP cube at the same time, and join the data together for user consumption.
Similarly, file datasources can also be added to provide additional information, for example from an external source, and joined to data from the other sources mentioned above.  This “joining” of data is handled by the OBIEE BI Repository and BI Server.

To the end user accessing the data from a front-end tool (Analysis Editor / Answers), it seems like a single data source. That is one of the features that makes OBIEE such a great tool particularly for heterogeneous database environments.