OBIEE 11g – Up-gradation Catalog and Env/Config Issues/Challenges and Fixes (11.1.1.6 & 11.1.1.5)


Since(Oct 2011) I had started working on OBIEE 11g (11.1.1.5) for four different projects in parallel to up-grade the 10g to 11g lot of challenges have been faced specially with the Catalog and Environment issues. (You can see the already reported RPD issues under: https://debaatobiee.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/obiee-11g-up-gradation-rpd-gotchas-and-glitches/ )

I could report all of them in below threads with the possible resolution but as I am writing this blog now (actually I am bit late posting this thread L ) some of them already taken care of in 11.1.1.6 version however not all and bit surprised that though Oracle agreed to release the patch in .6 version and file the bug report they didn’t work out yet on those mentioned issues reported during .5 up-grade.

Worth to see the link here for possible changes in BI reports due to new features before taking the assumption that it is a bug.

As par my latest up-gradation from 10g to 11.1.1.6 is concerned it went well but still some of the defects which are already noticed in .5 not fixed yet, some of them appeared new and some of them totally ridiculous and critical too as per business perspective and some of them not reported yet to Oracle and hence no relevant information found in Support.

I am happy to categorizing them into two different areas below: (I have used .5 and .6 interchangeably to mean 11.1.1.5 and 11.1.1.6)

Environment and Configuration Issues

  • Up-gradation of RPD and Catalog separately could cause the issue with the Dashboard Privileges and Object permissions. I had experiencing the issue when upgrade the catalog first and then RPD and reason which I could think of is that until the RPD up-gradation completed successfully by the UA it doesn’t going to reflect all the Users/Groups information in the Weblogic Security store. So if you are experiencing the issue recommendation is to at-least perform the RPD first and then catalog.
  • During the migration process we have followed the approach to up-grade the same 10g RPD in the higher environment (say Test or UAT) to ensure the security store upgrades taken care of by the UA automatically. Other approach could be taken the export of the security store from the Weblogic Console for my security realm and then Import the security details to target env which basically perform a XML upgrade of security details in target environment
  • Job ManagerPassword is not upgraded with RPD upgrade .It still retains the password of source RPD and target RPD password needs to be changed manually. At-least the behavior has been seen in 11.1.1.5 and have not tried yet this in the .6 version
  • Upgrade can’t be done if the parameters are locked in FMW EM console: Upgrade will fail with below status. Need to release the lock and retry.
  • Take extra caution when you are enabling the RPD Read only option in the EM as I found this is quite weird but finally checking and un-checking multiple time resolves my problem. So there is possible bug around this features in .5 didn’t try the .6 yet.
  • Never try to deploy the RPD using the undocumented and wrong procedures except from EM .Otherwise you will find “CSK Key not found” issue during RPD deployment process.
  • Missing Application roles in catalog results the new roles to be created inside Weblogic Admin Console and map to the groups i.e. required.
  • Deploying EAR file gives: “Deployer:149082 You cannot deploy application ‘analytics’ without version” . OBIEE 11g: Error: ” <[WebAppModule(analytics [Version=11.1.1]:analytics)] Error Parsing Descriptor in Web Application” Whilst Deploying Analytics.ear File . This is 11g bug . See the resolution and patch note in Support
  • While changing the password of Administrator account in EM and Weblogic make sure both are in synchronize.
  • Loglevel Bug – NULL loglevel value set against user in external table based authorization scheme cause the user login failure however the same configuration in database level works perfectly okay with 10g setup. Resolution is to have must non-null values against all users in database records. This persists till .5 version and did not check yet the .6 version.
  • While executing OPatch utility to apply the patches provided by Support to .5 env it displays with below information:

    Running prerequisite checks…

    Prerequisite check “CheckActiveFilesAndExecutables” failed.

    The details are:

    Following files are active :

    D:\Oracle\Middleware\Oracle_BI1\bifoundation\server\bin\nqsexecutionexpr64.dll

    D:\Oracle\Middleware\Oracle_BI1\bifoundation\server\bin\nqsexecutionlist64.dll

    D:\Oracle\Middleware\Oracle_BI1\bifoundation\server\bin\nqsserviceinterfacemgr64.dll

    D:\Oracle\Middleware\Oracle_BI1\bifoundation\server\bin\nqssimutility64.dll

    ApplySession failed during prerequisite checks: Prerequisite check “CheckActiveFilesAndExecutables” failed.

    System intact, OPatch will not attempt to restore the system

    OPatch failed with error code = 74

    Resolution is to change the Privilege of “C:\Program Files\Oracle\Inventory” directory from read-only to Read-Write with Full-Control . However that was never documented in Oracle OPatch Readme.

  • While changing the BISystemUser password make sure those are in sync with EM security store and Weblogic Console and till .5 version there was issue with using special character as BISystemUser password. Make sure that it should not have special characters.

Catalog Issues

  • “Act As” doesn’t populate the list of users and throwing functionality disabled by Admin. For Act As to work for the LDAP based users required configuration needs to be done (except what is the to-do configuration for 10g) as the security model for 11g is different from 10g. I will detail the change in “Act As” process in separate thread.
  • There are always problem with the report or prompts decimal issues .Either new decimal value appended , decimal value missing, 3 decimal places appears in place of 2 or decimal values not appearing at all in Charts mouse over option. Also the issue persist in aggregate calculations which possibly results the wrong value in Sub-Total or Grand total. The problem needs to be diagnosed and isolated before fixing.
  • 11.1.1.6 causing the issue for Multi Path navigation . While there is single navigation path in 10g there is no needs to have a pop-up with the Action link text name but UA not being able to trace the link name while it is a single path. Also if there is ‘&’ character in the Action Link text it improperly translate it as ‘&’. However there is no quick fix available as of now and you need to go to individual navigation where problem exist and fix it by clicking option ‘don’t show pop-up in place of single navigation”
  • Upgrade Assistant (UA) not really able to up-grade properly the navigated links/interactions against column header, value name and hence post up-gradation we had to manually remove all the unwanted navigation paths from column values. This typically occurs if any column of the table/pivot view has interaction, it is going to add the same interactions/Action Links to the measures columns across the reports.
  • Typical problem has been faced in the Aggregate calculation and the conditions specified in the pivoted report. Those have been faced case by case.
  • There is severe issue with Count Distinct measures specially to calculate the Grand Total and results the calculation mismatch between 10g/11g reports.
  • Sorting of columns having the hard-coded customized values not works for Combined request. Special tweaking needs to be done to fix the issue by appending some space characters once, twice, thrice etc.
  • Problem with SQL_TSI_WEEK function and Can’t properly cast the value caused CASTing errors. Not sure if that fixed in .6 version and not tried yet.
  • iBots causing the issue after executing it and reports : “AgentID: /shared/Test – DxP/DxP_iBot” , Invalid subscribers skipped: DEBA . The reason is SASystemSubject area enabled . The problem found in .5 version and the fix is to disable the SystemSubjectArea using the special tag inside instanceconfig.xml file
  • OBIEE 11g: Error While Fetching a Large Pivot Table: “Exceeded Configured Maximum Number of Allowed Input Records” while downloading the reports with more than millions of rows . However it has been observed that the problem not exist in 10g and aligning the required parameter in instanceconfig doesn’t resolve the issue. The same issue persists if download operation of the report triggered using the JavaScript’s and the iBots scheduler. Below error reported in the downloaded excel file. So far the issue persists in .5 and bug opened for that. Not sure if that is fixed in .6 yet

                 “Exceeded configured maximum number of allowed input records” onclick=”SAWMoreInfo(event)

                 Error Codes: EKMT3FK5

  • Redundant Legend for Chart View in OBIEE Pivot and Table based Charts causing the weird legend display. However part of that has been fixed and still some of the customized charts the issue retained in .6 version.
  • 45 degree angle Chart axis label causing blurred labeling which is un-readable and pretty difficult to understand. Support suggests ‘EmbedFonts’ tag under instancconfig which also doesn’t help and I have seen the problem still persists in .6 release.
  • Some of the crowded/busy charts axis labeling doesn’t plot the label value at all in the axis .However data and bar shows perfectly fine during hovering but the axis label under some of the vertical or horizontal bar seems missing. Resolution as of now is to increase the charts width and height, reduce the axis label fonts and make the label as 0 or 90 degree. The problem typically found in .6 version
  • Pivot table column header formatting not properly upgraded for some of the reports and not all. The problem typically found in .6 version
  • Additional row in every table or pivot view cause the format difference with 10g reports. Not sure when the fix or ever the fix will be available
  • In .5 release if we want to remove some column from the view of the table in Dashboard page it was possible but you couldn’t add those later and never find those removed column. But it seems that Oracle fixed the issue in .6 release.
  • In .6 version critical data issue exist if the presentation column (P1) (where P1 and P2 refers the same logical column) used in reports with combination of other measures. In those cases it was causing weird data issues. So has been fixed by pulling correct relational presentation dimension column relevant to the logically same place of the metrics
  • Critical catalog issue has been observed while Navigating from the Chart or Pivoted Chart where the value in the database having & character like (‘HOME & BEAUTY’) .In those case navigation to the detail report caused no results as the value itself from the chart passing to DB is like ‘HOME & BEAUTY’ in the where clause of the query. Didn’t got any response yet from Oracle about the fix and the patch. Latest Update(June/08/2012) — Oracle agreed the defect and raise the priority bug fix with no estimated SLA .However the issue escalated and waiting for Development team response. They also confirmed that the same issue will be there while Drill down from data value having special characters (like ‘&’) .
  • In Chart pivoted result one of the metric value which is NULL, appeared in Pivot table and not in Chart for 10g, but in 11g it is coming for both Pivot and Chart . No solution apart from segregating the view into new Chart view.
  • The expression like “CAST(((max(saw_3 by saw_1) /max(saw_4 by saw_1))*100) AS VARCHAR(50)))” no more valid in 11g at-least in .5 version.
  • Presentation variable report filter default values are no more Case sensitive in 11g at-least observed in .5 version
  • BI Publisher issue in one of the up-graded report as “oracle.xdo.XDOException: oracle.xdo.XDOException: Unable to create saw session. Please verify the server connection” and entire report needs to redesign for that using different security approach.
  • Sometime it will be seen that until the Results tab returns the values if you bring the column from presentation area to criteria it will not reflect and sounds like column not added yet .However after results returns come back to Criteria you will see the column added. There are possible synchronization issue which still persists in .5 and .6 version.
  • Clicking on Hierarchy column will show the results in left pane while we are in Results tab but same doesn’t exist if we click the column left pane in Criteria tab. This could be possible enhancement req on top on .6 version
  • In 10g we can press Control from keyboard against the presentation column and the filter condition pop-up can be appeared automatically but same feature doesn’t exist in 11g .This could be a future and very useful enhancement request.
  • In 11g .6 version has some issue with the Saved Filter post up-gradation and clicking on that filter view doesn’t pop-up the filter criteria and even the view doesn’t display anything in Dashboard page if we clicked it. However building the Saved filter from scratch resolves the problem. So issue there in catalog copy post .6 up-gradations. The problem identified later with the Integer value based column in filter criteria and the resolution is convert that to advanced SQL based values and that will sort out the problem . This is definitely another 11g .6 version bug.
  • Sorting issues are there for charts and on measure while using RANK order
  • In some of our Charts we have seen there is display issue in IE8/9 and Chrome but not in Mozilla Firefox after up-gradation . However re-creating or building the same using IE8/9 browser fixes all the display issues and it is working perfectly fine. Also in some situation I have observed creating new view doesn’t help, in that case bring the attribute from presentation once again and create the derived expression once again and that sorts out the issue.
  • In one of our request we have found the partial data  issue/mismatch with Combined request with Union . After digging into the details it has been found that the issue is due to a calculated column in pivot section (whereas the same view didn’t have any calculated column in 10g !!) .The issue is bit strange . Deleting the unnecessary calculated columns/ or recreating the same view from scratch caused the issue fixed.
  • Couple of the iBots not properly up-graded by UA and cause Bad XML instance error while executing the same. Even those iBots are not editable and can’t be saved during the XLM error. Support bug opened for that but not sure whether it has been fixed in .6 yet.
    This thread will be updated frequently to add more and more defects observed and the progress/resolution for it .
    So stay tuned 🙂
    Also just keep eye on OBIEE 11.1.1.6.1 and 11.1.1.6.2 patches and the related bug fixes to be up-to-date !

Performance Tuning and OBIEE 10/11g


Hello friends, after long time , I am again back on track … I was quite busy with couple of my mandatory schedules for last couple of weeks!

So today my topic is what are the Performance tuning key measures useful while doing report Performance testing. There are lots and I just tried to pull most of them and cover the highlights which would be very helpful while doing the Report Performance testing. Actually this could be separated across several areas like sometime it would be from DB perspective, sometime Environment parameters and sometime it would be the Repository design perspective. However the target objective is same but we need to work well to understand the performance bottleneck from which angles! This will definitely come with the experience and the different challenging environment and every places different rules needs to be applied.

Database Environment Framework:

  • RAC/Cluster / Grid based in NAS and SAN storage – This is recommended in Enterprise Architecture Platform with robust and performance resilient framework.
  • Exadata / Greenplum Architecture – For high performance and high throughput the database Architecture should be robust and especially when there lot of in memory operations intended for better performance especially for transactional analysis.
  • Memory SGA/PGA/Buffer Cache/ Temp, Undo, Redo tablespaces should be optimized using the best practice guided suitable for the underlying hardware.
  • 64 bit Processor (Multicore- Parallel server) and hyper-thread architecture required for better performance on CPU based calculations

Database Tuning Aspects:

  • Bitmap Index / Unique Index (lookup Explain Plan for less Query Cost and Index required suitable for your scenario …typically for all the join keys involved in Dimensional Star modeling)
  • Partitioning is very important and key areas to get most effective performance benefit as most of the analysis involve the time dimension.
  • Gather Statistics or analyze 30% sample of table at-least for Cost Based Optimizer to use, otherwise Rule Based Optimizer will be used . Oracle recommendation to use DBMS_STATS.AUTO_SAMPLE_SIZE for fastest gathering of stats.
  • DB Compression significantly reduces DB block read and enhance performance
  • De-normalization required rather Normalized Snowflakes
  • Parallel query(DB Environment parameter) to get benefit of report accessed on partitioned data leveraging the parallel CPU processing speeds
  • Faster Aggregation – enable Oracle DB Star Transformation (Bitmap join Indexes)

Tuning OBIEE Environment :

  • Multinode Clustering – Horizontal/Vertical scale-out in terms of multiple Admin and Managed Server in Weblogic domain.
  • Leveraging BI Server Caching to get most benefits out of the Cached queries and return the same result without hitting the database multiple times.
  • Switch off Usage Tracking to avoid extra DB operations running against each query.
  • Tuning WLS Param / JVM memory parameters

RPD:

  • Remove Snowflake across dimensions and create the Foreign Key for each Dim into Fact to create Star model
  • Bitmap Index for all Foreign Key columns (for Summary reports) and Bitmap Join Index (lowest granularity based query for detailed data)
  • NULL and NOT Null column in sync with RPD and Database to avoid full outer join with NVL
  • Number of Elements in OBIEE hierarchy definition to determine efficiency of Aggregated table
  • Fragmentation specification wherever required to logically hit different LTS based on fragmented data value sets
  • Limit the number of Initialization blocks to avoid the login performance degradation. However this feature improved in 11g to allow the database query fired once when that corresponding Values referred by Init block hitted.
  • Optimize setting of some NQSConfig.INI parameters (SORT_MEMORY_SIZE,SORT_BUFFER_INCREMENT_SIZE,VIRTUAL_TABLE_PAGE_SIZE)
  • Setting the query limit for a certain number of records and certain time window helps performance improvement for long running Ad-hoc analysis.
  • Limit the Concurrent user access by setting additional parameters
  • Number of DB connection to open settings in connection pool
  • Turn off higher Query log level to avoid File system IO based operations and performance degradation.
  • Manage optimally some key values like MAX_SESSION_LIMIT (to specify how long DB connections remain open with the accessed session), SERVER_THREAD_RANGE , DB_GATEWAY_THREAD_RANGE (DB and Server execution threaded execution)

Catalog:

########

  • Charting thread and Queue related parameters amendment (MaxQueue, MaxThreads)
  • Cache related tunable parameters:

<!– Remove from the cache everything older than N minutes –>

<MaxAgeMinutes>240</MaxAgeMinutes>

<MaxLastAccessedSeconds>14400</MaxLastAccessedSeconds>

<MaxEntries>10000</MaxEntries>

<!– AbsoluteMaxEntries is the enforced maximum number of entries. When this maximum is reached –>

<!– subsequent queries will fail until the maximum is no longer exceeded. –>

<AbsoluteMaxEntries>20000</AbsoluteMaxEntries>

<!– CruiseEntries is amount of entries the OracleBI Presentation server tries to maintain in its cache. –>

<CruiseEntries>3000</CruiseEntries>

<!– Forces the cache to attempt to remove an old entry when MaxEntries is exceeded. –>

<ForceLRU>true</ForceLRU>

<!– Cleanup this cache every N minutes. –>

<CleanupFrequencyMinutes>

Design:

  • Aggregated Tables /Mviews – Follow this approach if there are huge volume of data in detail fact table. Multi-level aggregated table based design return best results.
  • Typically the biggest gains for “Detail” reports performance is :

    •Star Transformation

    •Bitmap Join Indexes

    •Partitioning

  • The biggest gains for “Summary” reports:

    •Gathering Stats 30%

    •Aggregation

    •Star Transformation

    •Partitioning