Few recent Knowledge-based updates

I’ve found the following items to be very interesting as I’m very much interested in running OBIEE in a cloud.
Question someone asked on OS:
Q:How to cluster OBIEE that is installed on two virtual machines?
And their response was:
A:It is not currently possible to use Virtual machine names for OBIEE within a Cluster. The following Enhancement Request exists:
BUG#7576055
VIRTUAL MACHINE NAME FOR CLUSTERED OBI SERVER

This one is interesting, because it’s not just applicable to headers, but to some other elements that may contain HTML:
Q:Is it possible to add HTML code into a Column Header in OBIEE?

A:In order to render HTML in OBIEE (i.e. Answers, Dashboards, etc) please ensure you have set the following parameter “HardenXSS” to FALSE in the instanceconfig.xml file.

Example:


[ServerInstance]
[HardenXSS]false[/HardenXSS]
[/ServerInstance]

Last one is related to using external methods to get in to OBIEE.

Goal
1) Customer has a JSP and java application running on web sphere application server which uses OAM for single-sign-on.
2) In the same JSP application they have embeded a report which gets the data from OBIEE webservices. The actual report is deployed on OBIEE presentation server and uses OAM for authentication. When the user logs in to java application and clicks on the page which invokes a report from OBIEE customer doesn’t want to prompt for authentication again.
3) Customer does not see any OBIEE login webservices which takes as input parameter the authentication token or cookie generated in JSP application.
A:
There is currently no mechanism within the OBI Web Services to use Single Sign-on (SSO).

There are some methods that may assist further with customer requirement (i.e. impersonate() Method and impersonateex() Method). These methods should allow the users to logon and impersonate another user when customer only have the Administrators Login and Password.

However, these methods are not SSO as customer would still need to provide a username and password for the SOAP client (i.e. Administrator/Administrator) from within their J2EE application.

In order to overcome the fact the OBI Web Services does not use SSO, customer may want to install a new Presentation Server. The dedicated Presentation Server can then have the SSO disabled and can be used solely for the WEB Services application and nothing else.

I wonder what are security implications of such arrangement.

Have a good day!

BI Forum 2010 is going extremely well

I wish I was there …

I’m very happy that BI Forum 2010 is going well. It seems as all BI consulting gurus and those wishing to join their rank are having a blast – just read their Twitter feed Bi Forum tweeter feed.

I want to make a point to attend next year. Unfortunately, due to some passport-visa circumstances beyond my control (hint – New Schengen visa rules which invalidates passports issued more than 10 years ago – even if they’re still valid) , it’s not possible for me to travel to Europe until I replace my passport. Unfortunately, I’m not the only one affected by this – I know that there’re many people from India in the US (issued passports with 20 year validity) who are not able to travel to Europe due to new Schengen rules, and for them, it’s burdensome to travel to India, since they have to get the new passport at the same place where it was issued.

My warm greetings to everyone. I hope I can make it to DC this year for Kaleidoscope.

Tips for OBIEE recruiters – headhunters

Dear recruiters,

Please don’t ask for people with 15 years of OBIEE experience – OBIEE’s 1st version was officially released on Jan 27th 2007 – http://www.oracle.com/corporate/press/2007_jan/012907-OBIEE.html UPD: actually, it was available for download throughout 2006 – and many people used it back then (like beta, except it wasn’t). Just wanted to correct myself.

However, to be honest, the grandfather of OBIEE was a product called nQuire Suite (I believe there were versions 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0) which was initially shipped in 1999. A few years later, the company was purchased by Siebel. The software was re badged as “Siebel Analytics” and became even more successful. Oracle acquired Siebel in the end of 2005, and the product remained largely unchanged (I’m pretty sure someone commented they they have seen code from pre-2000).

I know this has been discussed numerous times, I just wanted to emphasize this one more time.

Good luck

OBIEE – state of the market – rates

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Good afternoon all. In this post, I wanted to give my analysis of the current state of OBIEE market in the US. There’s a regular disclaimer that these opinions of mine – and not of my employers’, clients’, or other 3d party.

First observation: Dice. I’m trying to be cautiously optimistic, but it seems as Business Intelligence market in general is picking up. I use my own Dice job index, where, I enter keyword (OBIEE) – and track it through out time. The results aren’t statistically correct, since it’s been my experience that there’re many similar positions advertised on Dice by different consulting companies – which means that in reality it’s the same position. During fall of 2007, there were very few positions (150+) . In 2008, there were stale (150-200). 2009 starting to grow (on average 250-290).  Now, I see 350+ on a regular basis (again remember -that doesn’t mean there’re actually 350 open positions, as frequently various vendors compete for the same position). Other trend I’ve noticed, most companies demand US Citizens/Green-Card holders, and many companies specifically exclude H1Bs (even through 3d parties).

Second observation:  OBIEE blogging has cooled down. That might indicate that first, people are busy on their current assignments; second, there’s plenty of business to handle, so not much incentive to be involved in self-promotion. Third, warm weather could be attributing to general blogging cool-down.

Third:  it seems as OBIEE has penetrated federal and state organizations throughout the U.S. It’s literally golden time for OBIEE consultants who are US  Citizens and who are able to obtain security clearance (usually that means  no criminal history of any kind, decent credit report/score,  references/education check). I’ve seen full-time salaries on federal projects offered at 150-180k  range + benefits, and I’m sure there’s potential for more. Hourly rates for independent consultants could also be above average. Unfortunately, for H1B consultants, it’s very difficult (if not impossible) to find a federal project which would allow foreigners. Some agencies (such as USCIS, DOD) will not even consider Green Card holders employees/consultants. Some agencies (such DOE) would allow consulting companies to place GC holders, provided they can obtain clearence. I’ve also seen a strong trend in state agencies to utilize OBIEE for reporting purposes. As US government is becoming more and more keen on disclosing various data gathered from federal agencies, OBIEE will be there to stay (foot-in-the-door-principle).

Fourth: even though the amount of positions/jobs have bounced back, the rates haven’t fully bounced back to 2005-2007 levels. However, with proper negotiation skills and market research, one can live a comfortable living. Without getting too much into details, I suggest ignoring ads that advertise their willingness to pay $50 Corp-to-corp to an OBIEE senior architect.  On the other hand, people make mistakes while creating ads, so buy beware.

Fifth: There’re a lot more full-time OBIEE jobs than ever before, mostly in three types of companies: a) large consulting companies growing their OBIEE practice b) companies that have invested heavily in OBIEE and would like to make the best use of their investment c) small consulting vendors bidding on pieces of larger projects with their small-disadvantaged-minority-owned status

I invite you to participate in the discussion. I avoided discussing hourly rates for the reason that there’re many key factors that influence rates, mainly: immigration status, location, form of contract, consulting company’s cut, etc. etc.  So that makes it difficult to weight-in. Do you think that an anonymous rate survey would be in order?