Digest of some OBiEE errors (not necessarily NQSErrors)

A. “Ago function returning wrong results in answer when comparing this year versus last year” This actually happened to me once – and i thought it was an incorrectly configured time dimension. You can experience this error when your “Time Series functions gives incorrect results when leap years are involved”. Oracle support suggested the following action plan :

1) Leave the logical column definition as earlier i.e. Ago(Measure, Year, 1)
2) Change the filter condition in the request to filter on year and months instead of date range e.g.
year = 2009 and month in (1,2,3,4)

B. “Value Suppression doesn’t work for Level Based Measures”. Someone had a requirement where they wanted to use level-based measures for reports accessing several fact tables in the future. To realize a prototype before starting with the necessary reports they tried to implement an easy example to test the ‘value suppression’ functionality

Unfortunately they are not able to build a nice looking report with four simple columns showing the year, # of orders (per year), quarter and # orders. Their problem is that the level based measure ‘# of order (per year)’ is shown line by line. They wanted to suppress these values and only show the value once per year. They tried to use the ‘value suppression functionality’ without success. They were able to Work around this issues by using a Pivot Table.

C. This issue in pivot table is very common –

OBIEE says “governor exceeded error”. The pivot tables and the charts might give these errors:

Error Generating Chart
An exception occurred in the cube.
Error Details
Error Codes: MOJ5XVNL:QBVC92JY
Governor limit exceeded in cube generation (Maximum data records exceeded.)

and for pivot table

View Display Error
Governor limit exceeded in cube generation (Maximum data records exceeded.)
Error Details
Error Codes: QBVC92JY

Theses messages mean that users are trying to return more rows to the pivot table then the governor will allow. One needs to adjust the following parameters until the report runs successfully.

Adjust the parameters below in instanceconfig.xml (add those tags if you don’t have them – since those values are by default) and then restart Presentation Server (sawserver)

< CubeMaxRecords >40000< /CubeMaxRecords >
< CubeMaxPopulatedCells >150000< /CubeMaxPopulatedCells >

LDAP Authentication against multiple servers

Someone asked the Oracle support if Siebel Analytics could use 2 LDAP servers for authentication. “We currently use one of the LDAP server for authentication and it works fine. We have some users from another LDAP server and want to add it to our authentication.”

Response was:
Siebel Analytics can only authenticate against on LDAP server at a time. If you define multiple LDAP servers, the 2nd LDAP server is not being looked at unless the connection to the 1st failed.

You define multiple LDAP server by putting the LDAP server names in a concatenated string and use space as delimiter in the Host Name entry, i.e. “ldap1.siebel.com ldap2.siebel.com:9872 ldap3.siebel.com” in AN78x release

In the latest Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition, you can define multiple LDAP server definitions in the Manage > Security > LDAP Server.

But Authentication tries the first LDAP server, if it fails then it uses the second LDAP server defined in the repository

“Product change request 12-HOAZ87 has been logged to ask for authentication against multiple LDAP servers simultaneously.”

Configuring System Subject Area

I’ve been working on helping to configure system subject area to automate configuring Delivery Profiles. Unfortunately, Oracle’s documentation is severely lacking – and there’re only a few tutorials online. Even though they’re good – something isn’t working out yet – there’s an error in the Sessions log – that says something like nqsError “unable to locate table SET”. The only SET which is there looks like “Set Loglevel=2″. I’m trying to recreate all steps from the beginning.

On the other hand, I strongly believe that a partial in-place drill-down should be a feature in the OBIEE. Even though clicking on a column in BI Answers partially solves the issue – it doesn’t do in in such a way it would be useful. I’ve seen OBIEE being used for transactional type of reporting where users want to go deeper into detail level without loosing focus on other items.

OBIEE learning – never stopping

One thing that’s making the serious IT consulting field less desirable for a lot of people is the constant need for learning new things. Learning by reading blogs, studying new documentation, and constantly experimenting with new features. nQuire / Siebel Analytics / OBIEE has evolved into a very complex product – and clients often expect one person to be proficient in everything, starting from ETL and ending with BI Publisher. I know several people who’re indeed masters in all products, and they could probably complete a BI project single-handedly (from planning to execution, from ETL specs to data modelling, from OBIEE repository design to front-end customizations). However, such knowledge doesn’t come for free. These people put a lot of extra time into learning new things as well as polishing their existing ones. In the end, it pays off, because they can commend higher rates and it’s what they love – it’s something they can be passionate about.

I haven’t written much lately for several reasons – the major one – dealing with the new project, getting into loop of things. Second one, I’m having much fun reading some new blogs (to which I will definitely link once I find some time). Third, it has something to do with being in New York in the fall. It’s a magnificent city, but it’s very demanding – sometimes I feel it’s taking all my energy. Last reason, it’s more and more difficult to come up with new posts.

Have a good week-end! Stay well! (don’t catch a cold like I did)

Mark Rittman’s take on Google BI tool

This is a very interesting post Taking a Look at Panorama and Google Apps. Mark is comparing some quick OLAP solutions with OBIEE.

Mark shows some limitations of those products, however, he also mentions that it’s a big improvement on what’s been available before.

Should Oracle be threatened? I don’t think so. Even though BI is a lucrative market for anyone, the cost of entry is way too high, even for a company like google. Sales reps take years to develop solid client relationships, and even though Google might take a stab at that by poaching Oracle’s talent – I seriously doubt it.

Finally, I don’t think google’s tool is positioned to compete with OBIEE.