Fumbling around with the Oracle BI Message Database

not that quickly

There is a high number of posts and documentation available on the internet on how to customize the Oracle BI EE User Interface (example here), namely the content of the xml or other files (css, etc) that make up the Oracle BI message database. More commonly known as the msgdb folders.

Storing strings and configuration information in easy-to-change text files is of course a benefit but also a curse. Because unlike information stored in a relational database (such as the Siebel CRM repository) it can not be easily merged during an upgrade to a higher release.

So simply overwriting the existing files is not an option as an upgrade would just replace the files with newer versions. To avoid this there is a simple but efficient strategy: Copy the files to a custom folder.

The trick is that the Oracle BI Presentation service loads the messages from several folder locations in a specific sequence which is revealed below:

  1. OracleBIData\web\msgdb\l_xx\customMessages
  2. OracleBIData\web\msgdb\l_en\customMessages
  3. OracleBIData\web\res\customMessages
  4. OracleBI\web\msgdb\l_xx\messages
  5. OracleBI\web\msgdb\messages
l_xx in the above list stands for the language specific folders.

Standard (vanilla) files typically reside in the OracleBI folders, customers are encouraged to copy these files to the OracleBIData folders.

So when you want to change the content of a specific string such as "My Dashboard" you would do a text search in the OracleBI folder and find the uimessages.xml file.

Before manipulating the file you need to copy it to the OracleBIData\web\msgdb\l_en\customMessages folder (create the folder if it does not yet exist).

Now you can safely make changes to the file and restart the Oracle BI Presentation service to verify your changes.

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The intention of this blog is to share findings about Siebel CRM and Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (Oracle BI EE formerly known as Siebel Analytics) from technical and other (sometimes unprecedented) perspectives.

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