Thursday May 19, 2011

11.1.1.5 New Feature – More Data to Audit and Monitor

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We believe Auditing and Monitoring capability for Reporting is crucial for the IT management and governance regardless if it’s enterprise level or department level deployment. So we are always committed to improve our BI Publisher Auditing and Monitoring capability since we introduced it for the first time

With the first release of 11g (11.1.1.3) we added this Auditing and Monitoring capability, which enables you to monitor who access to which report at what time.

With this new release of 11.1.1.5, we added more data to audit and monitor especially more BI Publisher reports specific information such as:

  • Report output format type
  • Layout Template name
  • Reporting locale
  • If the reports is run online (on-demand) or through the scheduler
  • Processing time
  • Reporting data size
  • Report error message
  • Scheduled job information

And these information can be all available through the database tables so you can use BI Publisher to generate your Auditing reports or visualize the data to gain more insights about how your users are doing on your reporting platform.

If you are interested in the power of the new BI Publisher Auditing and Monitoring, here is a video.

And, if you want to know how to enable the Auditing with the new data sets I’ll cover that below.

Enable Auditing Data

There are three things you need to do to enable the Auditing data.

Setup basic Auditing configuration

I have already talked about these steps before, take a look at these two posts for the detail.

Run ‘xmlpserver_audit.sql’

There is a SQL script that you can run to create an additional table, which will store more BI Publisher reports specific data to audit and monitor.

Let’s take a look how to run the script step by step.

1. Change the current directory to ‘%BI_HOME%user_projects/domains/bifoundation_domain/config/bipublisher/repository/Admin/Audit’.

This directory should contain a file called ‘xmlpserver_audit.sql’ file.

2. Run this script as SYS or SYSTEM user and alter the session user to the schema who owns the AUDIT tables.

Example:

Let’s say you have created the Audit schema with the RCU with ‘KAN_IAU’, then you can follow something like below.

$ sqlplus / as sysdba

SQL*Plus: Release 11.2.0.1.0 Production on Mon May 2 13:53:49 2011

Copyright (c) 1982, 2009, Oracle.  All rights reserved.

Connected to:
Oracle Database 11g Enterprise Edition Release 11.2.0.1.0 - Production
With the Partitioning, OLAP, Data Mining and Real Application Testing options

SQL> alter session set CURRENT_SCHEMA = KAN_IAU;

Session altered.

Now you can run the ‘xmlpserver_audti.sql’ script. Note that, when you run you'll be prompted to enter the following three schema names.

  • Basic Auditing Schema name
  • Edit Auditing Schema name
  • View Auditing Schema name

With the above example of using ‘KAN_IAU’ as your basic schema, it would be something like below.

  • KAN_IAU
  • KAN_IAU_APPEND
  • KAN_IAU_VIEWER

Here is the example:

SQL> @xmlpserver_audit

Table created.

Index created.

Enter value for 1: KAN_IAU

old 1: GRANT ALL on xmlpserver to &&1

new 1: GRANT ALL on xmlpserver to KAN_IAU

Grant succeeded.

Enter value for 2: KAN_IAU_APPEND

old 1: GRANT INSERT on xmlpserver to &&2

new 1: GRANT INSERT on xmlpserver to KAN_IAU_APPEND

Grant succeeded.

Enter value for 3: KAN_IAU_VIEWER

old 1: GRANT SELECT on xmlpserver to &&3

new 1: GRANT SELECT on xmlpserver to KAN_IAU_VIEWER

Grant succeeded.

old 1: CREATE OR REPLACE SYNONYM &&3..xmlpserver FOR &&1..xmlpserver

new 1: CREATE OR REPLACE SYNONYM KAN_IAU_VIEWER.xmlpserver FOR KAN_IAU.xmlpserver

Synonym created.

old 1: CREATE OR REPLACE SYNONYM &&2..xmlpserver FOR &&1..xmlpserver

new 1: CREATE OR REPLACE SYNONYM KAN_IAU_APPEND.xmlpserver FOR KAN_IAU.xmlpserver

Synonym created.

After that you need to restart the WebLogic Server to take that in effect. Once that’s done, BI Publisher will start feeding all the auditing and monitoring related information into the auditing tables, and you should be able to start access to the data to create reports and visualize it with BI Publisher.

Create Reports to Visualize

If you have already finished the steps mentioned on the previous blog posts then you should already have a JNDI/JDBC connection created. If you haven’t yet, then take a look at the following post. 

  • Make sure you assign appropriate application roles to this data source connection so that you or any users who need to create reports for the BI Publisher Auditing and Monitoring data will have an access to the data source.

    image

    With this new set of data available, you can now start creating reports to gain more insights about how your users use the reporting platform and prepare for a better reporting experience by responding and adjusting promptly.

    Start with Sample Reports

    We’re planning to release a set of sample Auditing and Monitoring reports as part of our sample reports inside the catalog some time soon but till then you can start creating your own reports against the Auditing tables by using BI Publisher. For those looking for something quick, I’m attaching a sample report here

    You can download the above files and upload them to your BI Publisher 11g (11.1.1.5) environment from the BI Publisher Catalog UI, but make sure the following three points before you run.

    1. Change the Data Model reference inside the Auditing report to point to the Auditing Data Model that you uploaded

    audit_datamodel_reference

    2. Change the Data Source inside the Auditing Data Model to your JNDI connection

    audit_default_datasource

    3. Update the SQL query to point to appropriate schema name.

    audit_sql_query

    Path to Improve Reporting Experience

    Again, the Auditing is not just about collecting the auditing data and record it. It’s about how you as IT manager or administrator understand your users and reports on the reports environment in order to improve the reporting experience. The more you understand them the better service you can provide. We believe that the new release of BI Publisher 11.1.1.5 would provide you a wide range of data to help you understand your reporting environment better and quickly. Hope you’ll enjoy the power of new BI Publisher Auditing and Monitoring capability.

    Also, as always, we’re very interested in your feedback. Please let us know what do you think about the data currently available, the sample reports, any additional requirements or improvement suggestion.

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