OBIEE 11.1.1 - User Interface (UI) Performance Is Slow With Internet Explorer 8

The OBIEE 11g UI is performance is slow in IE 8 and faster in Firefox.  For VPN or WAN users, it takes long time to display links on Dashboards via IE 8. Cause is IE 8 generates many HTTP 304 return calls and this caused the 11g UI slower when compared to the Mozilla FireFox browser.

To resolve this issue, you can implement HTTP compression and caching. This is a best practice.

Why use Web Server Compression / Caching for OBIEE?

  • Bandwidth Savings: Enabling HTTP compression can have a dramatic improvement on the latency of responses. By compressing static files and dynamic application responses, it will significantly reduce the remote (high latency) user response time.
  • Improves request/response latency: Caching makes it possible to suppress the payload of the HTTP reply using the 304 status code.  Minimizing round trips over the Web to re-validate cached items can make a huge difference in browser page load times.

This screen shot depicts the flow and where the compression and decompression occurs:

Solution:

a. How to Enable HTTP Caching / Compression in Oracle HTTP Server (OHS) 11.1.1.x

1. To implement HTTP compression / caching, install and configure Oracle HTTP Server (OHS) 11.1.1.x for the bi_serverN Managed Servers (refer to "OBIEE Enterprise Deployment Guide for Oracle Business Intelligence" document for details).

2. On the OHS machine, open the file HTTP Server configuration file (httpd.conf) for editing. This file is located in the OHS installation directory.
For example: ORACLE_HOME/Oracle_WT1/instances/instance1/config/OHS/ohs1

3. In httpd.conf file, verify that the following directives are included and not commented out:

LoadModule expires_module "${ORACLE_HOME}/ohs/modules/mod_expires.so
LoadModule deflate_module "${ORACLE_HOME}/ohs/modules/mod_deflate.so

4. Add the following lines in httpd.conf file below the directive LoadModule section and restart the OHS:

#HTTP Compression
<IfModule mod_deflate.c>
SetOutputFilter DEFLATE
SetEnvIfNoCase Request_URI \.(?:gif|jpe?g|png)$ no-gzip dont-vary
SetEnvIfNoCase Request_URI \.(?:exe|t?gz|zip|bz2|sit|rar)$ no-gzip dont-vary
SetEnvIfNoCase Request_URI \.(?:pdf|doc?x|ppt?x|xls?x)$ no-gzip dont-vary
SetEnvIfNoCase Request_URI \.avi$ no-gzip dont-vary
SetEnvIfNoCase Request_URI \.mov$ no-gzip dont-vary
SetEnvIfNoCase Request_URI \.mp3$ no-gzip dont-vary
SetEnvIfNoCase Request_URI \.mp4$ no-gzip dont-vary
</IfModule>
#Caching of static files
ExpiresActive On
<IfModule mod_expires.c>
ExpiresByType image/gif "access plus 3 months"
ExpiresByType image/jpeg "access plus 3 months"
ExpiresByType application/x-javascript "access plus 3 months"
ExpiresByType text/css "access plus 3 months"
ExpiresByType text/javascript "access plus 3 months"
ExpiresByType image/png "access plus 3 months"
ExpiresByType application/x-shockwave-flash "access plus 3 months"
</IfModule>
#This stops the HTTP 304 replies in IE 7/8 browser
<IfModule mod_headers.c>
<FilesMatch "\.(gif|jpeg|png|x-javascript|javascript|css|swf)$">
Header set Cache-Control "max-age=7889231"
</FilesMatch>
</IfModule>


The following screen shot summarizes the before and after results and improvements after enabling compression and caching:


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A blog focused on Tips & Tricks about Oracle Business Intelligence (OBI), Oracle Exalytics and Oracle Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) products.
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