Thursday, December 9, 2010

OBIEE 11g: Getting Started - Part I

A few weeks ago I procured some nifty hardware. Slowly but surely I've begun to build out certain VMs. Currently, this one computer serves as 4:

* Host - Ubuntu 10.10
* Guest - Ubuntu 10.10 - running my wiki, subversion and other documentation type things.
* Guest - Windows XP - Work. This is a VM specific to my current client.
* Guest - Oracle Enterprise Linux 5.5 (Carthage) 64bit. This is my OBIEE 11g playground I'm trying to build out. I have installed the 11gR2 database. I have run the repository creation utility (rcu) that installs the metadata for WebLogic and finally I have installed and (mostly) configured OBIEE 11g.

I'm barely using 10 GB of my 24 available. I so happy.

Anyway, I've configured my database to automatically startup/shutdown when the VM is started/shutdown. I followed Dr. Hall's guide here. Now I'm in the process of getting WebLogic configured to do the same thing automagically. (I should never have shut it down once I got it running...)

Believe it or not, I'm reading the documentation. 11g is a drastic change from 10g, especially with the integration of WebLogic. It's a downright beast.

I still don't know the difference between the Administration Console and Enterprise Manager. But I'm hacking away, as usual.

Since I'm trying to automate this whole thing, I don't necessarily want to use either of those tools. I want to start up the server and have everything running. Here's where I'm at now:

How did I get there you ask?

I opened up a shell and then navigated to:


In that directory you will find
[oracle@obiee ~]$./
You'll be prompted for a username and password; weblogic is the username and whatever you entered for the password upon installation.

From the Administration Console, I go to bifoundation_domain -> Environment -> Servers

Click on the Control tab, select bi_server1 and select Start:

Awesome. What's a freaking Node Manager?

Here's the text for easier reading:
* For server bi_server1, the Node Manager associated with machine localhost.localdomain is not reachable.
* All of the servers selected are currently in a state which is incompatible with this operation or are not associated with a running Node Manager or you are not authorized to perform the action requested. No action will be performed.
Great...I need to start something else?

Back to the docs.

That took me down a rabbit hole ending up at the wlst (web logic scripting tool and all the examples are in windows).

I looked around the file system for config or log directories to see if I could spot something. Somehow I ended up in:


Makes sense right?

In there, 2 files: and

Run first and you get this:
[oracle@obiee bin]$ ./ 


Your environment has been set.
Now run (too much output, you don't get to see it).

Finally, back to the Administration Console, select bi_server1 again and click on Start:

Much better message this time.

And now I wait...

A minute or 2 later:


Or so I thought. I navigated to Answers and was greeted with the wonderful 500 - Internal Server Error

I'll worry about that one tomorrow. It's a start though.


Anonymous said...

"It's a beast" - Yeah, I figured that out. After installation, I am afraid to shut it down since I am not quite sure it will start back up...waiting to see how things workout for you. After taking a cursory look at OBIEE11g, I am all the more in love with Oracle Reports and Discoverer...I dare say, this version of OBIEE is many steps in the opposite direction from a productivity perspective.

oraclenerd said...

I wouldn't go that far, but it's certainly raised the bar in regards to complexity. No more 30 minute installs and probably more separation of duties in the future (i.e. we won't get to be the admin as well).

Some of the features I have seen are very nice. The BI Publisher (online, not Word) is very nice. It took about an hour to figure out how to use it without any experience in BIP (but with plenty in Reports...concepts seemed the same, just different terminology).

Anonymous said...

Do you think companies in this economy "want" to have additional head-counts in maintaining it's infrastructure?

The BIP in general is following the right path although it's way too early to say whether it (online layout editor) can be used for complex reports. The Online layout editor is a step in the right direction, but a baby step. It's still too constrained, I know because I tried building a complex report it just fell apart. For simple Chart + table report, it's ideal, for anything more complex, you would have to use Word template builder.

oraclenerd said...

The vast majority of companies do not, but some of the larger ones may already have WebLogic setup.

I'm not arguing for a deployment of 11g just yet. It ain't for the weak at heart.

I do believe it is headed in the right direction though.

Kurt Wolff said...

Well, it's 10 months are you all feeling at this point? Is it any less of a "beast" after you've spent 10 months getting to know it?

Kurt Wolff said...

Well, 10 months later, is it more of a "beauty" than a "beast"?

oraclenerd said...


It's still a beast, but some of the beauty is poking through. It still isn't for the faint-of-heart...meaning it still requires some significant investment in time to simply get it up and running (not to mention the computing resources necessary)...I'm probably talking more about the educational side (people running it locally).

As for the production aspects, it seems to be fairly stable (I haven't had a ton of late night calls or anything). Bugs here and there, but I think that's to be expected given the sheer amount that has changed. I have a much better opinion of it now than I did 10 months ago, that's for sure.