Oracle OpenWorld 2009

I received a complimentary invite to go to the OpenWorld (thank you Oracle!). Unfortunately, it came in sort of late (the conference starts very soon on the Oct 11th) and the location is on the other coast (San Francisco). I am torn – on one side – it’s an excellent opportunity to meet a lot of interesting people in person (Mark, guys from BICG, and others) and engage in learning, on the other side, I like to plan things in advance – and this is a very short notice. Another side is that even with the cost of the conference covered ($2500), I still have significant direct and indirect costs such as plane, accomodation, and lost wages. Cost-benefit analysis can’t be completed easily due to the difficulty of defining metrics. On one hand, I’m not actively seeking clients/new employment; on the other hand – there’re some interesting obiee presentations (by Mark and Deloitte). I have a general feeling that going to the IOUG in DC would be more reachable.

If you’re going to the conference, can you please comment on your reasons for doing so.

New recruiter review site

OBIEE consultants always deal with recruiters. I’ve had my share of good and bad experiences (mostly positive though) – and sometimes I wished there was a resources that would make it easier to review recruiters. Someone just sent me such a site to review recruiters. Meet – Recruiter Review. It’s still not large, but I can see its usefulness as it might help OBIEE consultants to distinguish between good,average and bad recruiters or companies.
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Oracle’s support

I saw this post on OTN and decided to take a look:

“I need to create a prototype for the following Pivot Table. I’m putting a view as I would see in Answers.
————-|9/1/2009|9/2/2009|9/3/2009|MTD|Q1|Q2|Q3|Q4|YTD
________ |_______________________________________________
Customer |Some metric (for example Income $)

I’ve been unable to come up with a way to do this in Answers without creating additional columns (such as Income YTD, Income MTD, Income Today, Income Yesterday, etc.). Even with that, I can’t figure out what’s the best way of arranging pivot columns in Answers to create this report. Does Answers allow for mixed granularity like this in pivot?”

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“The question was how to transpose various hierarchiecal levels on x-axis? Not homgenous, but different ones. For example, if I dragged columns “Year” and “Qtr” to the Columns section in Pivot I get the following:
2009
—-
q1|q2|q3|q4

What I want is to have it liks this:
2009|q1|q2|q3|q4

It seems as it’s not possible right now. But I’ll be glad if you can correct me”

Someone suggested that this wasn’t possible. Original author suggested using only tab “Measure labels” in Columns. Call appropriate metrics as Q1,Q2,Q3, etc. (use filter for them) – and use them in measures section.”

However, I thought there should be another solution. I’ve contacted metalink and was told that this wasn’t a technical, but implementation issue and as such services of Oracle Services’ were necessary.

So far, i wasn’t able to come up with anything better than using custom columns. This method isn’t ideal – since it’s very cumbersome to implement and would fail relatively easy.

Main challenge is hiding some values in Pivotal columns without affecting aggregate’s total.

I’d welcome any suggestions, since I can’t throw this out of my mind.

How to remove “My Dashboard” and keep My Folders

Someone wanted to take away from all users ‘My Dashboard’. They want that the users only have the choice between the ‘common Dashboards’.

But the users (the report creators) need My Folders.
So Manage Privileges – Catalog – Personal Storage (My Folders and My Dashboard) does not fit exactly.

Someone has created default shared dashboards that they want the users to see/read by default, but they want to restrict user access to the Shared Dashboard folders.
They want users to be able to access their My Folders directory, but not have access to their My Dashboard link or My Dashboard folders. This is not possible with out of box functionality.

The following enhancement request has been created to benefit the users.

The only way to deny access to ‘My Dashboard’ is via the “Personal Storage (My Folders and My Dashboard)” Catalog privilege. Denying this privilege to a group or user will take away access to both ‘My Dashboard’ and ‘My Folders’ – currently, you can’t separate the two.

Jay Honnavalli suggested the following solution:
“Alternatively, here is a suggestion of using current functionality would be:

1. Create a web catalog group and dashboard via “Manage Presentation Catalog Groups and Users” to be used as the default user dashboard.
2. Grant the ‘Everyone’ web group the appropriate privilege to this catalog group via “Manage Presentation Catalog” – e.g. ‘Read’.
3. In the admin tool, create a session init block to set the ‘PORTALPATH’ session variable to the webcatalog path of the default dashboard page.
3.a. You can find the path by looking at the properties of the folder under ‘_portal’ in the catalog group folder the default dashboard was created in – e.g. “/shared/user_default/_portal/Home”.
3.b. The init string could either select the literal path (e.g. select ‘/shared/user_default/_portal/Home’ from dual) so all users would be routed to the same dashboard. Alternatively, the path could be stored externally, e.g. in a table, and selected from it per userid. That way, it would be manageable outside of the admin tool.

This would force all users to the default dashboard specified in the path used to populate PORTALPATH for all users.
One issue that may occur is with existing users that have set their ‘Default Dashboard’ to anything but ‘Default’ in the ‘My Account’ link – they may be required to set it to ‘Default’, then log-off/log-on for the default dashboard setting to take affect.
I know of no way to get around this potential issue for this scenario short of each user making the change OR deleting users from the webcat such that a subsequent logon will ‘re-initialize’ their account (which will then use the init block set PORTALPATH value). Both of these options seem severe, and the second may prove problematic as long as the ‘My Account’ link is still active. ”

Quiet Time in OBIEE World

It’s been very quiet lately. Maybe because the summer is leaving and everyone is trying to take advantage of its latest days. I’m still learning my ways around newly updated Oracle’s MySupport. So far I have mixed feelings – I like the speed compared to metalink3, however, I’m still not sure if I get the new interface as well as flash-based navigation.

Tom Siebel got into problem with an elephant – but everyone probably knows about it by now. I wish him a speedy recovery.

I’ve been busy preparing environment for new project. Learning about configuring SSO for WNA-enabled security under Linux using OAS. Luckily for me, there’s a good discussion in regards to this here: http://forums.oracle.com/forums/thread.jspa?threadID=847808

Also, I’ve started re-reading “The Data Warehouse Toolkit”. It’s an awesome book.

I can’t dedicate enough attention to OTN anymore, but cheers to everyone who’s doing a great job of helping people to learn. I’m still about 15 questions away from 10th spot, so don’t relax too much Goran :-)

This is how top-10 looks like as of today:
Kishore Guggilla (2160)
Stijn Gabriels (1295)
John Minkjan (1175)
Turribeach (1155)
Madan Thota (1070)
gerardnico (925)
Christian Berg (805)
mma1709 (795)
David_T (775)
Goran O (680)

Good luck all.