Monday May 07, 2012

Running BIP on Ubuntu!

I am a complete Ubuntu (Linux) convert ... my work laptop runs 64 bit Ubuntu and Im very happy with it. Yes I do still need windblows for a few things and for testing but I would say 80-90% of my time is spent in Ubuntu. Not so good is Oracle's support for Ubuntu, some of that I guess, is around Ubuntu being seen primarily for the desktop and not for servers and also Ubuntu's interesting at times, implementation of Linux.

Case in point, the recent release of the BI Publisher Trial Edition (see here) we state support for Linux but to be fair, we narrow that down to Oracle Linux Redhat and SLES. OK, but as its so lightweight it would be great to be able to fire it up on my laptop without the need for a winddoze VM. Trying the installer or more appropriately the 'configurer' it falls at the first hurdle complaining about the script.
Thats easily fixed, the pain point in question is the -s switch for the password entry for the admin user you create. Just open the configure.sh and remove the -s references (x2).

read -s -p "Enter a password for the Administrator user: " WLS_ADMIN_PWD
echo ""
read -s -p "Confirm password: " WLS_ADMIN_PWD2


Rerunning and it falls over a little further into the configuration.
At this point I want to thank Juergen in Germany for digging into the sub scripts and figuring out what to do. I have to admit, I had put the investigation on to the back burner while I have been traveling. Juergen found the problem in the ../server/wls/configure.sh file. It checks for the MW_HOME and JAVA_HOME environment variables and even if you have set them it still complains. The easiest fix is to just comment out the checks for the variables.

# Users must set $MW_HOME variable
if [[ -z "$MW_HOME" || ! -d $MW_HOME ||  ! "$(ls -A $MW_HOME)" ]]; then
  echo "ERROR: You must set MW_HOME and it must point to a directory".
  echo "       where an installation of WebLogic exists. Ensure you point"
  echo "       this variable to the extract location of the zip distribution."
  exit 1;
fi

# Users must set $JAVA_HOME variable if [[ -z $JAVA_HOME || ! -d "${JAVA_HOME}/bin" ]]; then   echo "ERROR: You must set JAVA_HOME and point it to a valid location"   echo "       of where your JDK has been installed"   exit 1; fi

Just comment out the red text with a # at the beginning of the line.

Now when you run the main configureBIP script it completes and successfully starts the WLS server and consequently BIP. Its real fast to start and fast to run and best of all I have another reason I can avoid windblows!



Yes I have boring windows colors but what the heck, its not windows!


Thursday May 03, 2012

Proxy Images in EBS

Gareth Roberts, founder of Virtuate, a consulting outfit based in New Zealand, came up with a doh! moment for me this week. He has been working with Publisher and trying to get images into his reports that are sitting behind a proxy server. This is all inside E Business Suite so no means to use the JVM proxy settings when the concurrent manager starts up. The support folks found the solution that I had completely forgotten about ... I have been away from EBS too long :(

When the concurrent manager (CM) starts a java based job (concurrent program) such as a Publisher one. It fires up a new JVM instance for it. In their wisdom the CM development folks left an 'options' field on the concurrent program definition where you can add JVM start up parameters.

So to allow Publisher to reach the proxied images adding the following to the options field:

-Dhttp.proxyHost=<proxyhost> -Dhttp.proxyPort=<proxyport>

did the trick. Why a Doh! moment? Because we also used the same field when we knew a report was going to be BIG and wanted to increase the memory heap available to that particular report at runtime i.e. -Xmx, -Xmn, etc. You can catch Gareth over on his blog waxing lyrical about all things EBS.

Pieter from support pointed out that if the application requires a proxy server then it can be done at a more global level, that is via the context file using these CP context variables:

AFJSMARG="%s_afjsmarg%"
AFJCPARG="%s_afjcparg%"

[vispb12@pbreugel4 ~]$ grep s_afjsmarg $CONTEXT_FILE
            <AFJSMARG oa_var="s_afjsmarg" osd="Linux">-server -Xmx384m -XX:NewRatio=2 -XX:+UseSerialGC -Doracle.apps.fnd.common.Pool.leak.mode=stderr:off -verbose:gc</AFJSMARG>
[vispb12@pbreugel4 ~]$ grep s_afjcparg $CONTEXT_FILE
            <AFJCPARG oa_var="s_afjcparg" osd="Linux">-client</AFJCPARG>

More on that approach here - 


Wednesday May 02, 2012

BI Publisher has hit the gym

As Pieter reminded me this morning a sleek, slim, new installer is available for BIP 11g. The Oracle BI Publisher 11g Trial Edition has been released on OTN. In comparison to the fatty monster that is, OBIEE Suite, tipping the scales at more than 7Gb; BIP Trial Ed is a svelte, muscular beauty a tad under 600 Mb. A fully functional, free server provided for evaluation purposes. It is not intended for production deployments thou. For that you have to go start the BIEE download and go for a cup of joe.

The installer includes the Derby database and BIP is configured out of the box with a bunch of new demos and samples so just download, unpack, run the config script and you're ready to roll. You can of course hook it up to your own data sources and get building. Check the links below.

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/bi-publisher/downloads/index.html

BI Publisher Trial Edition 11g for Windows 64 bit (587 MB)

BI Publisher Trial Edition 11g for Windows 32 bit (582 MB)

Windows installers include Java SE 6 Runtime Environment

BI Publisher Trial Edition 11g for Linux 32 and 64 bit
(533 MB)

Linux installer requires Java SE 6 Runtime Environment (download)

Install Guide | Quick Start Guide | Getting Started Tutorial

BIG NOTICE ... right here, read this!

BI Publisher Trial Edition is not supported for production deployments. 
You can save any reports developed on the Trial Edition and upload to your production environment.

Thursday Apr 26, 2012

Macro Can not be Found Error

There have been messages on the forum and via email in the past few weeks about an issue that occurs with MS Word Template Builder. It appears that the latest MSOffice patch breaks all versions of the Template Builder prior to 11.1.1.6. You'll get an error similar to: 

'The macro cannot be found or has been disabled'

It actually appears to not only break our plugin but any VBA based code that might be embedded inside MSWord.

Rather than re-regurgitate the current work around (we're assuming MS will get a fix out at some point) Im pointing you to Damir's blog entry here.

http://damir-vadas.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/macro-cannot-be-found-or-has-been.html

Jim from S&C Electric let me know of another solution:

We had a similar issue.

Our fix was the find the files with exd extensions and change the name so they were not available.

Maybe this will help.

Thanks Jim

Friday Feb 17, 2012

Rocky Mountain User Group Preso

For those of you that could not make the Rocky Mountain User Group session yesterday. Nikos, from the product management team has kindly loaded my presentation and the sample templates I showed, up to OTN. Its a bit of a monster so be patient.

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/bi-publisher/beyondthelistingreport-1526340.zip

Its worth 'running' the powerpoint for the fantastic comedic moments we shared in the room, well, kinda. You need my deep southern Louisiana accent for the full effect :0)

Wednesday Oct 26, 2011

Tricky Grouping

A week off trying to catch up with all the stuff that builds up was not enough but it was pretty fruitful. You clear the decks the week before you leave, you even answer a few mails in the first few days of vacation, until your manager slaps your wrists. But there is always a pile of work waiting when you get back. It was not too bad this time; I at least deleted the crap mail during the week via my phone.

How the heck did we survive without smart phones? I took a trip to north Denver last week to pick up a part for our bear ravaged pop up camper. I think he wanted a cold beer from the fridge just wish he'd used the front door rather than slicing the camper open. That gaping hole is meant to be covered!
I guess I could have checked a map before we left but my phone got us through the mess of roads up there. An 80 mile round trip for a $10 louvered cover! Still, we found a great Indian place for lunch, delicious curry!

Today's tidbit (titbit for my British brethren) is a bit tough to describe. It comes from Charlotte in New Zealand. On the surface it looks simple and it is when you know how :0) But there's a wrinkle in to smooth out.
Here's the data:

<DATA_DS>
 <G_1>
  <SERIALNUMBER>HSS0000156</SERIALNUMBER>
  <LOCATION>1 The Street Anytown USA</LOCATION>
   <ATTRIBDESC>Lettable Date</ATTRIBDESC>
  <ATTRIBVALUE>15/JUN/11</ATTRIBVALUE>
  </G_1>
 <G_1>
  <SERIALNUMBER>HSS0000156</SERIALNUMBER>
  <LOCATION>1 The Street Anytown USA</LOCATION>
   <ATTRIBDESC>Status Reason</ATTRIBDESC>
  <ATTRIBVALUE>Planned Major Repair/Upgrade</ATTRIBVALUE>
  </G_1>
 <G_1>
  <SERIALNUMBER>HSS0000276</SERIALNUMBER>
  <LOCATION>11 The Street Anytown USA</LOCATION>
   <ATTRIBDESC>Lettable Date</ATTRIBDESC>
  <ATTRIBVALUE>18/MAY/11</ATTRIBVALUE>
  </G_1>
 <G_1>
  <SERIALNUMBER>HSS0000276</SERIALNUMBER>
  <LOCATION>11 The Street Anytown USA</LOCATION>
   <ATTRIBDESC>Status Reason</ATTRIBDESC>
  <ATTRIBVALUE>Planned Major Repair/Upgrade</ATTRIBVALUE>
  </G_1>
 <G_1>
  <SERIALNUMBER>HSS0001046</SERIALNUMBER>
  <LOCATION>21 The Street Anytown USA</LOCATION>
   <ATTRIBDESC>Lettable Date</ATTRIBDESC>
  <ATTRIBVALUE>21/JUN/11</ATTRIBVALUE>
  </G_1>
 <G_1>
Heres the desired output:

Serialnumber Status Reason Date
HSS0000156 Planned Major Repair/Upgrade 15/JUN/11
HSS0000276 Planned Major Repair/Upgrade 18/MAY/11
HSS0001046 Planned Major Repair/Upgrade 21/JUN/11
HSS0001303 Planned Major Repair/Upgrade 19/MAY/11
HSS0001403 Planned Major Repair/Upgrade 14/JUN/11

Hok-Min, Zen Master of the RTF template, jumped on this for me and nailed it first time. On first look you think, ah this is just a simple re-group left, using some xpath to repeat the ATTRIBVALUE element twice in the table based on the ATTRIBDESC. Along the lines of:

<?ATTRIBVALUE[../ATTRIBDESC='Planned Major Repair/Upgrade']?> and <?ATTRIBVALUE[../ATTRIBDESC='Lettable Date']?>

But you oh so very easily end up with this:

Serialnumber Status Reason Date
HSS0000156
15/JUN/11
Planned Major Repair/Upgrade
HSS0000276
18/MAY/11
Planned Major Repair/Upgrade
HSS0001046
21/JUN/11
Planned Major Repair/Upgrade
HSS0001303
19/MAY/11
Planned Major Repair/Upgrade
HSS0001403
14/JUN/11
Planned Major Repair/Upgrade

and start scratching your head? With the 10.1.3.4.1 and 11g template builders there is a nice Group Left feature that removes the need for nasty nested tables but for this slightly corner case, it drops you into a world of misery. You need to take a step back from what the wizard has given you.

Yes, you need to group by serial number but you do not need to loop over the remaining data (current-group().) Rather, you just need to drop into that current-group() and bring the values you need up to the level of the serial number group. So you just need to modify your XPATHs thus:

<?current-group()/ATTRIBVALUE[../ATTRIBDESC='Status Reason']?>

i.e. provide a complete path to the element you want within the serial number re-group level. Neat!

Template and sample data available here.


Sunday Oct 09, 2011

BIP and Mapviewer Mash Up III

This is the third installment of the BIP and Mapviewer Mashup, for the previous entries:

BIP and Mapviewer Mash Up I

BIP and Mapviewer Mash Up II

BIP and Mapviewer Mash Up III

Its been a hectic couple of weeks which has included all things mapviewer and integration. I have finally got my piece de resistance in mapping integration working but more on that next time. Its very cool in a geeky BIP, kinda way; my wife was completely fascinated when I told her all about it over dinner last night. Either that, or she has become very adept at nodding and saying 'that's nice honeycakes' at appropriate times. I hope the former but suspect the latter :0(

The next part of this mashup series, I said we would parameterize the map call. That's actually pretty easy to do, just a bit more effort with the parameters and the concat functions.

1. Set up your parameters in the data model. These do not have to be tied to the query. We support 'template ' only parameters. they just all have to be defined in the datamodel. Note the name you give to the parameter(s)

2. In your RTF template you need to declare 'interest' in the parameters. Its the same as the CURRENT_SERVER_URL format.

<?param@begin:name;defaultvalue?>

3. In the fields where you are building the encoded request string you can use the concat function to drop the parameter values into the string. In this case we are changing th map title with a parameter called 'title'

 <xsl:param xdofo:ctx="begin" name="pMapRq">concat
("%3Cmap_request%20title%3D%22",$title,
"%20basemap%3D%22world_map%22%20datasource%20%3D%20%22
obiee_navteq_sample%22%20width%3D%22640%22%20height
%3D%22480%22%20bgcolor%3D%22%23a6cae0%22%20antialiase
%3D%22false%22%20format%3D%22JPG_STREAM%22%3E")
     </xsl:param>

Its not tough but boy is it a bit of a nightmare to manage and keep track of everything in that encoded URL.

As I mentioned in my last post its a good idea to maintain the parts of the URL as un-encoded text in the template surrounded by an 'if:1=2' if statement to keep it hidden at runtime.

Next post, we get to a much more robust, easier to manage and as I mentioned cooler solution ... enter the mapping servlet. It acts as a map request broker between the BIP template and the mapviewer server. The RTF template is not full of encoded URLs but just a simple URL call to the servlet that will call the mapviewer server and stream the image back to BIP for rendering. I have built in a couple of tricks but more on that next time.

Tuesday Sep 27, 2011

BI Publisher sessions for Oracle Open World 2011

OOW

Are you coming to Oracle Open World 2011?

No?  There's still time to register!  The conference starts Sunday, Oct 2nd

Yes?  Great!  This year, in addition to the awesome sessions and demo pod, there are several hands on labs where you can get your hands on the product.

For a list of all the sessions that will highlight BI Publisher, please check out the Focus On Business Intelligence Publisher handout.

Be sure to add these sessions using the Schedule Builder, so you can be assured a spot. 


BI Publisher Demo Pods:
Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher    Moscone South, Right – SR-287
PeopleSoft PeopleTools     Moscone West – W-074

Oracle DEMOgrounds Schedule:

MONDAY, OCTOBER 3:     9:45 am – 5:30 pm
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4:    9:45 am – 6:00 pm
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5:    9:00 am – 4:00 pm



Sessions and Hands On Labs:

Everyone


Sun 2-Oct 1:00 pm – 1:45 pm

28541: Upgrading Your Oracle BIEE Software? Leverage 11g New Features
Moscone West 2011

Mon 3-Oct 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm    32020: Building Reports and Data Models in Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher 11g

(HANDS ON LAB)    Marriott Marquis - Salon 5/6

Mon 3-Oct 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm    14982: Create All Your Reports More Easily and Quickly with Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher   

Moscone West 3024

Mon 3-Oct 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm    12426: Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher: The Reporting Platform for Oracle Applications  

Moscone West 2022

Wed 5-Oct 1:15 pm – 2:15 pm    32020: Building Reports and Data Models in Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher 11g 

(HANDS ON LAB)    Marriott Marquis - Salon 5/6

Wed 5-Oct 5:00 pm  - 6:00 pm    16762: Become a Reporting Superstar with Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher Best Practices  

Moscone West 2002/2004

Thr 6-Oct 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm    15010: Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher: Anatomy of a Template

Moscone West -  2000



JD Edwards Enterprise

Tue 4-Oct 10:15 am  - 11:15 am    8009: Operational Reporting with Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher and JD Edwards: Success Story     Moscone West 3008

Wed 5-Oct 1:15 pm – 2:15 pm    15308: Simplify Your JD Edwards Reporting with Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher   

St. Francis - St. Francis Suite East

Thr 6-Oct 10:30 am -11:30 am    21406: Empower JD Edwards Users with Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher for Ad Hoc Reporting

(HANDS ON LAB)
Marriott Marquis - Nob Hill AB

Thr 6-Oct 12:00 pm -1:00 pm    21406: Empower JD Edwards Users with Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher for Ad Hoc Reporting

(HANDS ON LAB)   
Marriott Marquis - Nob Hill AB


Primavera


Tue 4-Oct 10:15 am  - 11:15 am    9774: Primavera Application Users, Welcome to Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher

Moscone West 2016

Thr 6-Oct 9:00 am - 10:00 am    29803: Using Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher with Primavera Contract Management

(HANDS ON LAB)   
Marriott Marquis - Nob Hill CD


E-Business Suite


Sun 2-Oct 11:45 am –  1:00 pm    28214: Business Intelligence (BI) Publisher OAUG SIG  

Moscone West 3006


Siebel

Tue 4-Oct 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm    18234: Building More-Insightful Reports with Siebel Reporting Solutions
Moscone West 2010


PeopleSoft


Thr 6-Oct 10:30 am – 11:30 am    14002:  PeopleTools Developer Series: Mastering PeopleSoft's Reporting Tools  

Moscone West 2024

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