Thursday, September 2, 2010

Oracle BI Publisher 11G Installation

Have you already installed BI Publisher 11G and started playing around ? Well, as much as I was excited about the release news when I came back from my big vacation, I had a bit of bumps on the road of installing until logging into the initial home page. First, I couldn’t proceed on the installer wizard steps more than step 4, then after having fixed the problem I still couldn’t start some BI services and then couldn’t open BI Publisher login window.

Well, finally figured out the root cause of the issue and its solution. Basically, that my PC environment was Windows XP on a VM (Parallel/Mac) and it’s running on DHCP. And the installer and some components (it’s BI Cluster Controller Server) don’t like it. So I needed to install a Loopback Adaptor and setup a static IP address, and then register that with machine name in Window’s etc/host file properly.

After that is done and cleared up the failed installation completely, the installation worked like a charm. It took about one hour or so and was so smooth that I don’t even remember what I was frustrated about! Anyway, hope your installation went smooth without hassle like the ones I had. But if it didn’t you might want to proceed reading and hope this helps you to get going.


In order to install BI Publisher 11G you need to get the BIEE 11G installation  package either from OTN or eDelivery. Then you create a repository in your database by using RCU (Repository Configuration Utility) before you start installing the BIEE 11G.  I’m not going to talk about the detail steps of the installation here, you can find many posts on other blogs out there or the installation guide about such detail steps with screenshots. The installation steps itself is pretty simple. However, if your network is not configured well then you will get in trouble big time. So make sure your network configuration before you start installing BI 11g.

Network Configuration

This is mandatory and really critical thing to do especially when you are trying to install onto your laptop or PC desktop with DHCP setting.

Basically there are three things to do before the installation in terms of the network setting.

  1. Make sure if you have installed MSFT loopback adapter.
  2. Set a static IP address to the loopback adapter network.
  3. Set the C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\host file with a computer name and the static address you set to the loopback adapter.

All the detail can be found in this Oracle Database 11GR2 Installation guide. Click the link, it gets you directly to the network configuration section.

But one tricky thing is a domain name for your machine name such as ‘’. If you are not sure about the domain name then don’t include it in the etc/host file. My example is below.

# For example:
#          # source server
#              # x client host       localhost       .psf   knishida-vm1 

Make sure you reboot your machine once you have set the network configuration, then start the BI11g installation. Without this proper setting you will hit the following issues:

1. You can't proceed the installation steps after where you type username/password for weblogic user.
2. Your ClusteringControler or PSServer doesn't start
3. You can't login to Answers or any other BI apps
4. You can't even open BI Publisher login window
5. You can't open RPD online

I’ve already installed, Any workaround to fix it manually ?

If you have already installed BI11g and having the above issues you can workaround by setting up the etc/host file properly. If there is still a problem starting up the BI Clustering Controller Server then remove a domain name, which is '' in my case, from NQClusterConfig.INI located under C:\biee11\instances\instance1\config\OracleBIApplication\coreapplication (I installed the BI11g under C:\biee11.) if any. After removing all the domain name restart only the cluster control server manually from the Fusion Control (EM) then you should be able to start the cluster control server, and then you will be able to open BI Publisher page and login, or login to BI first then access to BI Publisher page. However, this workaround might be wiped out the next time you stop and start all the BI services. As you have realized by this time, regardless of whether you select ‘Simple Install’ or ‘Enterprise Install’ at the installation the BI Clustering Control Server gets installed. And you need that to access to the BI Server even if there is only one, and hence you need that to login to BI Publisher.

Need to Reinstall or Cleanup ?

So, while you can workaround the network issue as mentioned above I still strongly recommend that you review the network configuration and do a fresh install again. The issue like above can be work around temporally, but the workaround will be needed to perform every time you start the BI servers, which is not going to make you a happy camper.

When you do try another fresh installation then make sure you completely delete the original one by following the sequence mentioned in the installation guide. If you have something still left over from the previous installation you will get an error message during the installation. Here is a brief highlight of the steps in the order.

  1. Run the deinstall script and select the Deinstall instances managed by a WebLogic domain option.

  2. Stop all Oracle Business Intelligence processes and servers, including all OPMN-controlled components and JEE components.

  3. Drop the Metadata Services (MDS) and Business Intelligence Platform (BIPLATFORM) schemas using RCU.

  4. Run the deinstall script and select the Deinstall the Oracle home option.

  5. Deinstall the Oracle Common home manually or by running the deinstall script that it contains.

  6. Use the Oracle WebLogic Server uninstaller to uninstall WebLogic Server.

  7. Remove the Oracle home (if necessary).

  8. Remove the Middleware home and any other homes (Domain home, Applications home, and Instance home) that might have been installed outside of the Middleware home.

After following the steps documented in the installation guide to delete everything, make sure you don’t have any entry in the registry if you are installing onto Windows system. Especially the following stuff.

1. Remove all the registry entries that contains the Oracle - OHxxxxx. (e.g. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ODBC\ODBC.INI\coreapplicatin_OH868503665)
2. If you have followed the steps mentioned above you shouldn’t see this. But if you still see this Oracle Common Home menu (‘Oracle – OHxxxxx’) from the Start –> Program File menu then remove it by going to ‘C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs’ in the registry then delete such.
3. Even If you have followed the steps above you might still see the OPMN and Node manager windows services, you can do this by deleting these entries from registry, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Services

Share Your Experience!

Well, hope you have installed BI Publisher 11G successfully and start playing around and getting excited about the new features and products as I do now. But if you have found any issue and workaround during the installation and configuration please share!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Here Comes BI Publisher 11G!

It’s been long since the last post. I’ve been on vacation plus leave of absence and traveling around northern Europe with my bike ‘Surley’. It was the best trip in my life and maybe the best thing I’ve ever done. But now back to work, another thing I love!

Well, first thing I found when I came back is the news of BI EE 11G being released finally! This is the long waited and much needed release with a lot of innovative new features and products. It provides much winder solutions and functionalities and it is the most competitive product in today’s BI and Reporting market. It’s Complete, Integrated, and Open.

And sure enough it goes the same for BI Publisher too. This is the most anticipated and the most innovative release with a lot of new offereings. Let me go through briefly.

Data Model Editor


This is a new product targeted for the reports developers. Well, probably I don’t need to explain how this product improve your development productivity. Now you don’t need to see or edit the Data Template XML files anymore! You can build queries, create calculations and define the data structure all in the Data Model Editor Web UI. Along with this, now the data model you create is completely separate from reports. That means you can choose any existing data model when you create a report. This makes the report maintenance much easier and improve the data quality and governance.

Layout Editor

image image

This is another new product targeted for both Business Users and Reports Developers. This is a tool that you can use to create from a simple report to a management report to a pixel perfect report within the Web UI. You don’t need to install anything, not even need an add-ins or anything. The Web UI is similar to the MS Office 2007 , it’s very intuitive so the business users don’t need to have any special training. You can open the Layout Editor with your browser, select data columns you want to display, format and layout as if you use MS-Word, then boom, you get your report output the way you want and many different formats.

Interactive Viewer


This is personally the most excited new product in this release for me. Finally BI Publisher brought your reporting experience complete and rich. You can not only generate the reports in a pixel perfect, but the same report allows you to interact with the data to get deeper insight. You can click any chart or pivot table within the report and all the data presented in the report automatically and instantaneously updated and filtered based on the Click! I’ve been working on many BI and Reporting projects where often the reports requirements contains both pixel perfect and interactivity nature. Until recent the users either needed to sacrifice some functionalities or requirements for a sake of selecting one reporting tool or needed to have two reports with two different reporting tools or components. This brought a tremendous frustration and maintenance headache on both the report users and developers. But not anymore. This is the complete reporting solution for both interactive reporting and product reporting, and for both the users and the developers.

Well, there are many other new enhancements like Enterprise Security and Scalability, Scheduler, UI, Reports editor, new diagnostic capability, etc. I will talk about them some time soon. So stay tuned!