Sunday, September 28, 2008

OBIEE Portal customization part 1 "the portalbanner"

After customizing the log on log off screen ( it's time to customise the portal:


Appearance: Browser {title} {/title}, content: ProductMessages.xml => kmsgProductPortal


Appearance: portalbanner.css => .Headline, content: background-image: url(bg_banner.jpg);


Appearance: portalbanner.css => .PortalLinks, .PortalLink:link, .PortalLink:visited, .PortalLink:hover , content: Portalnames.


Appearance: portalbanner.css => .PortalName

Welcome text:
Appearance: portalbanner.css => .WelcomeTextCell, Content: uimessages.xml => kmsgUIWelcome

Dashboard actions:

Appereance: portalbanner.css => .DashBarIconCell, .DashBarAlertCell, .DashBarProductCell, .DashBarActiveProductCell, .DashBarActionCell, Content: uimessages.xml => kmsgUIPortal, kmsgUIAnswers, kmsgUIProductsLink, kmsgUISettings, kmsgUILogoff

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This article was original written for the Ciber Knowledge Blog:

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

OBIEE making a custom Log On and Log Off screen

One of the first things a customer see when using OBIEE is the log on screen. So it’s important to make this a customer personal as possible. Most information on the web for this personalization is based on altering the bglogon.jpg.

Besides it possible being a copyright infringement, you run run the risk that you loose al your work on the next system upgrade. The content and appearance of the Log On and Log off screen is based on a couple of files which are highly customable. First of all make your own custom Style and Skin. (If you can’t remember how have a looke here). In the ..\OracleBI\web\app\res\sk_MyCompagny\b_mozilla_4 you will find logon.css which controls the look and feel. In the .LogonTable part you will find a reffence to the background image, you can change this to your own personal image:

(WOW: if you are on OC4J_BI be sure to keep all changes in sync with the files in ..\OracleBI\oc4j_bi\j2ee\home\applications\analytics\analytics\res\sk_MyCompagny\b_mozilla_4)

The rest of the screen is diffeded into 6 parts:


Appereance: logon.css => .Headline, content: ProductMessages.xml => kmsgProductGeneral {Info on making your own customMessages can be found here}.


Appereance: logon.css => .InfoText, content: system generated.


Appereance: logon.css => .Subtitle, content: logonmessages.xml => kmsgAuthenticateRemembermyIDandpassword

Logon Credentials

Appereance: logon.css => .PromptTable and .PromptCaption, content: logonmessages.xml => kmsgAuthenticateUser, kmsgAuthenticatePassword, kmsgAuthenticateLogOn

Select a language

Appereance: logon.css => .SAWLogonInput, content: logonmessages.xml => kmsgSelectALanguage (Note: the availble langauges are controlled by the instanceconfig.xml)


Appereace: logon.css => .Footer (font-size is overruled), content:productmessages.xml => kmsgProductGeneral, utilmessages.xml => kmsgNQuireLegalCopyright
Log Off Screen

Background: logon.css => .Logontable "background-image"



Appereance: logon.css => .Headline, content: ProductMessages.xml => kmsgProductGeneral
Appereance: logon.css => .Subtitle, content: logonmessages.xml => kmsgAuthenticateSSOThankYouHaveLoggedOff, kmsgAuthenticateThankYouHaveLoggedOff, kmsgAuthenticateThankYouWereLoggedOffText

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This article was original written for the Ciber Knowledge Blog:

OBIEE Timestamp

One of those things you keep forgetting the format on TIMESTAMP:


TIMESTAMP '1990-01-10 13:35:43'

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

OBIEE setting up customMessages folders

OBIEE allows you great flexibility in customizing the interaction with the end user, either in there native language or special systeem messages.
A big risk with these customisation it that you loose them on a systeem upgrade or restore if you edit them directly in the messagedatabase (MSGDB).
This is a XML style database found in ..:\OracleBI\web\msgdb. There are two kind off messages systemmessages, found in ..\OracleBI\web\msgdb\message and language specific messages found in ..\OracleBI\web\msgdb\l_{LanguageCode}\messages.
If you want to customize these messages you have to make some extra folders.
For the systemessages a folder called "customMessages" in the MSGDB root ( ..:\OracleBI\web\msgdb\customMessages).
For the language specific messages you have to create a "customMessages" in each language folder (..\OracleBI\web\msgdb\l_{LanguageCode}\cutomMessages). Copy the table you want to edit to this folder, and with a good XML editor, make your alterations. After a reboot of the presentation server the custommessages will be avialble.

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

OBIEE Google chrome

Installed GOOGLE CHROME as browser tonight, seems to be missing a couple of plugins on the default install:

On a personal note: Google Chrome has a look and feel you need to get used to, but it's very very fast!

Note 2:
Played around with it a little longer, had a couple of freezes using OBIEE, decided to uninstall it.......
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Friday, September 19, 2008

OBIEE CHOOSE statement

Let's assumme that one group is allowed to see the content of a column and a other group isn't. If you simple only try todo use "permissions" the whole report will crash for the group which can't see the column.
You can workaround this crash with the "CHOOSE" statement. From the Oracle documentation:

First let's make a "No Access" column:

Drag the column somewhere in you presenmtation layer, be sure that the persmission is set to everyone. In your report edit the column which this group isn't allowed to see:

Now run the report again for the "No Access" group :

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

OBIEE Setting a picture as graph backgound

One of our customers wanted a custom background for there graphs, some what in this style :-) :

So that the would end up with a graph looking like this:Step 1: from the corda archives download version 5.1.2: There is a fourteen day free license key, after that you will have to buy the product.

Step 2: With the popchart builder create a new graph using the wizard, any graph will do.

Press the add image button:In the PCXML file locate the {ChartBitmap part:

Copy and paste into the PCXML file of your OBIEE graph. between the {project} tags.

Add the following reference to make the graph visible:

Playaround with zindex, if the image isn't fully on the background.

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

OBIEE Title View

In one of my earlier enrties: I told that you are restricted in the in the usage of variables of in Title views.
On searching the net I found this document: which triggered me to revisit the subject.
It seems that using the biServer.variables prefix gives you a far more control, allowing you to use all your repository and sessions variables.


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OBIEE Custom CSS Style / Class

For a long time I wondered how this part of the columnsettings works:

If you look in the OBIEE documentation you will find very little:

What they meant to say is something like this:

In the first part "Use Custom CSS Style" you can directly add CSS code like "white-space:nowrap;". For more info on CSS see

The second part is more intressting. In your s_[StyleName]\b_mozilla_4 you will find a file called "custom.css". In this file you can add your own css classes:

.MyCell { background-color: #00ff00; font-style:italic; font-weight: bold;}

See that you synchronise the file with the one in: ..\OracleBI\oc4j_bi\j2ee\home\applications\analytics\analytics\res\s_[StyleName]\b_mozilla_4

In the colomn properties point to your Custom Class:

Note1: Somehow the font-size of the cell is dominant over the one in the personal class....
Note2: Disable your browser cache when developing with this....(some changes might take a while to be visible.)
Note3: Altough the option is availble in the conditional format screen it doesn't seem to work there....

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Friday, September 12, 2008

OBIEE setting default Graph series colors.

If you want to set the default color for your graph, goto …\OracleBI\web\app\res\s_{StyleName}\chartsupport
Open the palette.cxml file and edit the sawc:color value=. The color is represented by a web Hex color.
Save the file.
Copy the file to …\OracleBI\oc4j_bi\j2ee\home\applications\analytics\analytics\res\s_{StyleName}\chartsupport.

If you want to make a custom setting for just one graph type, make a copy of this file and rename it to paletteGraph.cxml. in the GraphType.cxml point the xi:include href="fmap://chartSupport/palette.cxml" parse="xml" to the new file.
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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

OBIEE collapse the whole dashboard with one button

I answered this one : on OTN today and decided to document it a bit beter.

First I made a "Toggle Dashboard" button jpg and put in my s_{SkinName}\portal directory (Note 1: don't forget to put in the OC4J_BI skin directory) (Note 2: when referecing this JPG, be aware that the naming is CaSeSeNsItIvE!)(Note 3: you might have to restart OC4J to let see it....)Next I made a simple dashboard: section1 with a textblock, sections 2 & 3 with the reports.

After running the dashboard I used "view source" to get the section id of section 2 & 3. Look for "saw.dashboard.onToggleSection"

In the text1 add the following script:

{td class="MinMaxCell" onclick="saw.dashboard.onToggleSection('d:dashboard~p:isca1c9kk1hb8ubn~s:l8052b1hagt86ms6',
saw.dashboard.onToggleSection ('d:dashboard~p:isca1c9kk1hb8ubn~s:7rfmm0f1qd4gmllh',
return false;" align="center"}{img id=""
src="res/s_MyCompagny/portal/ToggleDashboard.JPG" title="Toggle Dashboard"/}{img id="" src="res/s_MyCompagny/portal/ToggleDashboard.JPG" style="display:none"
title="Toggle Dashboard"/}{/td}{/tr}{tr}

Replace { and }.

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OBIEE Null, Nul and Nullable

Consider the following table:

After adding it to the repository make a simple report:
Hmmmmm, something is not right here..

I was expecting a "NULL" and a "0"....

Go back to you the physical layer of your repository and check the Nullable box.

Now it's right:
OBIEE converts a "NULL" in double type field to "0" if this box isn't checked.

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OBIEE PDF controls (.fst files)

One of the heritages of previous Siebel releases are the pdfstyle.fst and the pivot.fst files. These files control partly the your PDF output looks and can be found in ...\s_{skin_name}\b_mozilla_4 .
Most of the time the settings are controlled by your .CSS files or the settings you make in your report. Some setting are still controlled by pdfstyle.fst and the pivot.fst (Like Title and Tapedeck).
It looks like Oracle is trying to transfer these controls to the .CSS files, they already did it with the pivot table and the regular. Still it’s handy to know where to “hack” if you have some strange PDF behavior.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

OBIEE setting the bottomscale in a DTA Graph

1 Problem Description

1.1 General

With the introduction of OBIEE the DTA (Date Time Aware) graph became available. In there haste to release this version Oracle has omitted a usable properties editor. All properties have to be set manually.

2 Properties of the DTA graph

2.1 Preface

All manual setting are done in the “timeline.pcxml” file. This file can be found in the s_{StyleName}\popbin directory. Make sure to synchronize this file with the one found in the OC4J_BI s_{StyleName}\popbin directory. After editing you have to restart the presentation server, the javahost and the webserver.

2.2 Month Names


By default the month names are presented in English. If you want for instance Dutch presentation put the following between the <Graph> tags:


2.3 DayNames


By default the day names are presented in English. If you want for instance Dutch presentation put the following between the <Graph> tags:


2.4 First Day Of Week


By default the first day of the week is Sunday. If you want the week to start Monday put the following between the <Graph> tags:


2.5 Date Major Ticks

<DateMajorTicks Year=“%Y” Quarter=“Q%Q %y” Month=“%b-%y” Day=“%a” Hour=“%I%p” Minute=“%I:%M%p” />

There are 6 major ticks: Year, Quarter, Month, Day, Hour and Minute

2.6 Date Minor Ticks

<DateMinorTicks Quarter=“Q%Q” Month=“%b” Day=“%d” Hour=“%I%p” Minute=“%M” />

There are 5 minor ticks Quarter, Month, Day, Hour and Minute.

2.6.1 Cheat sheet

4 digit year;%Y
2 digit year;%y
Quarter number;%Q
Month Name;%b
Month Number;%m
Month Name except replace January with 4 digit year;%F
Month Name except replace January with 2 digit year;%f
Date (1-31);%d
Day Name;%a

2.7 Manual Ticks Major and Manual Ticks Minor

To tell which TickMarker should be used add to the <ValueScale Position=”Bottom” tag: ManualTicksMajor=“Month” ManualTicksMinor=“Week” (!No ; between ManualTicksMajor and ManualTicksMinor!)

If you don’t want a Minor Tag make them both the same: ManualTicksMajor=“Month” ManualTicksMinor=“Month”.

2.8 Rotate labels

To rotate the labels add to the <ValueScale Position=”Bottom” tag:

RotateLabels=”30” where 30 is the angle in degrees.

Till Next Time

This article was original written for the Ciber Knowledge Blog:

Monday, September 8, 2008

OBIEE Setting up an Compagny custom "Skin" and "Style"

OBIEE uses “Styles” and “Skins” to generate the graphical representation.
These can be found in the ..\OracleBI\web\app\res\ directory. On a default install the content of sk_oracle10 and s_oracle10 is used. A lot of people edit directly in these two directories running a huge risk to loose everthing when an update of OBIEE is installed! It's much safer to make your own "Skin" and "Style" directories.
To make a custom “Skin” and “Style”:

1. Make a copy of the sk_Oracle10 and rename it sk_MyCompagny (Capital sensitive) both in ..\OracleBI\web\app\res\ directory and ..\OracleBI\oc4j_bi\j2ee\home\applications\analytics\analytics\res

2. Make a copy of the s_Oracle10 and rename it s_MyCompagny (Capital senstive) both in ..\OracleBI\web\app\res\ directory and ..\OracleBI\oc4j_bi\j2ee\home\applications\analytics\analytics\res

In the instanceconfig.xml file (…\OracleBIDate\web\config\) add between the {ServerInstance} tags:
{DefaultStyle}MyCompagny{/DefaultStyle} (Case Sensitive)
{DefaultSkin}MyCompagny{/DefaultSkin} (Case Sensitive)

Copy any pictures you want to use to the directories in both the Web and OC4J_BI skin and style location.

Restart the presentation server, javahost and OC4J_BI (in that order). Or even better restart the whole server.

Since OBIEE and OCJ4_BI sometimes have dominance over each other (not always in the same order). It is good practice to keep the file in both directories the same.

A good tutorial on .CSS can be found here:

Till Next Time

This article was original written for the Ciber Knowledge Blog:

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

OBIEE TimeLine graph Line settings

In Oracle introduced finally the DTA or Time Line graph. In there haste to release it the forgot the chart properties editor. This means we have to edit the PCXML files ourselfs, to get dotted lines, other colors or the plus symbol.

In the timeline.pcxml file look for the SeriesDefinition tag:

Within this tag you can set the following properties:

{the color of the line; possible colors all web RGB colors}

{the color of the Symbol; possible colors all web RGB colors}

{the color of the FillColor; possible colors all web RGB colors}

{the width of the line in pixels; possible values 'Off','1.0','2.0','3.0','4.0','5.0','6.'0'}

{the style of the line; possible values 'Plain','Dashed', 'Dotted', 'DashDot'}

{the symbol at the datapoint; possible values 'Off', 'Dot', 'SmallSquare', 'Square','SquareOutline', 'Circle', 'CircleOutline', 'Triangle', 'TriangleOutline', 'Plus', 'PlusOutline', 'Diamond', 'DiamondOutline'}

{show the area below the line; possible values 'True', 'False'}

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Monday, September 1, 2008

OBIEE OpenOffice

OpenOffice is getting more and more popular, especially with (non)-governmental organizations for the simple fact that there are no license fees.
Oracle has told that OpenOffice isn’t on the current roadmap / support list of OBIEE.

When using OpenOffice 0ne of the problems is that the default download to EXCEL is mime based which isn’t regonised by the OpenOffice Calc import engine.
I’m not sure if this is an OBIEE or an OpenOffice issue. But here is a workaround. (Actually is just downloading it in the Excel2000 format). In the customMessage folder of your language make a new viewmessages.xml with entries for “kmsgEVCDownloadExcel2000Tip” and “kmsgEVCLinkDownloadExcel2000”
Now try the Link:

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Setting up a mailserver in a VMware

Not only valid for OBIEE:

For demo purposes you sometimes need to setup a mailserver within an VMware session. Here is how you do it with ArGoSoft mail server. (
Step 1: Download and do a NNF install of the ArGoSoft mail server.
Step 2: Goto Tools > Options

On the local domains tab add the name of your VMware server. Leave the rest to default.
Step 3: Goto Tools > Users and add one or more users:

Step 4: Set up an Outlook Express account:

On the General tab:

On the servers tab:

Step 5: Create a test mail to check it:

Till Next Time
This article was original written for the Ciber Knowledge Blog: