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As you'd expect from the winners of the Specialized Partner of the Year: Business Analytics at the Oracle UKI Specialized Partner Awards 2014, Beyond work with leading edge BI Applications primarily within the UK Public Sector. We intend to share some of our ideas and discoveries via our blog and hopefully enrich the wider discussion surrounding Oracle Business Intelligence and driving improved insight for customers

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in Technical 2574 0

It is quite common for warehouse developers to customise standard processes to add additional fields. Ideally this is done by modifying the appropriate mapping(s) to pass the field through, regardless of the technology use (Informatica, ODI etc). However in some instances, generally due to the complexity of a particular mapping process, developers implement these updates using a Post Load Process (PLP). From a technical perspective this can be done a number of ways, i.e. using a mapping, SQL statement updates and so on. The focus of this blog is the latter; specifically one of the traps that a developer can fall into when doing do.

First let's assume we have a simple mapping process which populates a table WC_DEMO_F. For demo purposes I can create that table as follows.

Create Table wc_demo_f As 
  Select level row_wid,
         'Row ' || To_Char(level,'FM999999') demo_value,
         'N' x_two_multiple
    From Dual
  Connect By Level <= 1000000;
Last modified on Continue reading
in Technical 2206 0

The new major release of Oracle BI Enterprise Edition 12c is now available.

Lots of new enhancements in this long-awaited release that brings the tech stack bang up to date with 12c of Weblogic.  Also, the type of visual analytics that were previously only available as a Cloud offering are now available on-premise.


You are initially welcomed with the "classic home page",


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in Installation and Patches 2695 2

Good to see that BI Applications is now available.  Some quite interesting features with this release including Taleo support and an interesting looking Load Plan Diagnostics and Automatic Correction Facility.  We already implement "email alerts" to users should there be any issues in the ETL, but it's great to see some proactive detection facilities now appearing natively in the product.

Certified of course with Oracle BI EE as are the older 11.1.1.X releases which is increasingly important with the May 2016 end of correction support for the older codebase.

Last modified on Continue reading
in Installation and Patches 2931 0

Note: This post relates to an issue which has been produced in Version for the purposes of this blog. It may not be present in previous versions and may be fixed in future releases.

You write an analytic and it runs fine. You stick it on a dashboard with prompts and it runs fine. So you now decide to extend that dashboard prompt a little by defaulting in some values - a common method is to use session variables. Your prompt now looks like something like this.

New Prompt

Which seems like it will work well. Apart from when you run the dashboard you see this:

Error Message

So what has gone on there? What on earth is *)nqgtu(*?? Unfortunately there is a (what appears to be) a bug in BI whereby this odd internal piece of text is passed to analytic prompts when that prompt is defaulted using a non-initialized session variable. You might see a slightly different error report (however with very similar wording) depending on how your analytic is built, however ultimately this is the same issue. The reason I've chosen to post this is that there appears to be very little information or explanation on this anywhere on the public web, and even My Oracle Support is extremely limited. I did actually find an unpublished bug listed against the standard BI Applications ( BP6) product however the resolution was simply to remove the default selection as opposed to fixing the root cause of the problem (probably because that is the OBIEE rather than OBIA team's responsibility). So if it is a bug then as always it's likely to take a very long time for a fix to surface in the product (the tendency for many OBIEE bugs these days seems to be to fix in future releases rather than release a patch!) and so a workaround must be used; Thankfully this is relatively simple and involves implementing the default selection as a SQL query instead of a variable, with the SQL query just selecting the variable.

SQL Query Variable

It doesn't really matter where you select from so long as the table returns at least 1 row.

Now we see that when the prompt is used, it instead defaults to "(All Column Values)".. and more importantly it doesn't cause the analytic to fail.

Defaulted Prompt

This does change the behaviour of presentation variables slightly however; a presentation variable set by the prompt gets a null string value '' when used in a column formula, however when displayed using the @{biServer.variables['']} syntax, it yields the value '(All Column Values)'. This is easily resolved if it affects you.

Hopefully this will be fixed in a future release, but until then we're forced to hack around it!

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in Techniques 4477 1