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          Interactive Dashboards and Business Answers  




Cannot display web page at http://localhost/analytics


Q: I’m following the OBIEE tutorial on creating interactive dashboards.  When I enter the address http://localhost/analytics to login I get a “cannot display web page” error?


The web address given in the tutorial is incorrect – it’s missing the port number.  If you try entering


*  http://localhost:9704/analytics


instead, then the address should change to


*  http://localhost:9704/analytics/saw.dll?Dashboard


and the logon screen should appear (the “saw” in “saw.dll” stands for “Siebel Analytics Web”, and you’ll find frequent references to this TLA throughout OBIEE, as in the “SAW protocol” used by the “J2EE Server” and the “Oracle BI Scheduler” to connect to the “Oracle BI Presentation Services”). 


You’ll find that “http://localhost:9704” or, more generally, “http://<machine name>:9704” is used as the web prefix to access the various components of OBIEE from your web browser.  If you enter the address “http://localhost:9704” into your browser you’ll find it brings up the “Oracle Containers for J2EE” (OC4J) home page.  This J2EE application server acts as a bridge between the “HTTP Web Server” and the “Oracle BI Presentation Services” process:


*  You can check that the OC4J installation is working by running the tests under “Quick Check”.


*  The “Application Server Control” link in the top right-hand side brings up the same page as “Systems Management” from the “Oracle Business Intelligence” menu.


*  You’ll find a link to the OC4J documentation at the bottom right.



“Amount Sold” displayed in the wrong units


Q: In the interactive dashboards tutorial the “Amount Sold” displayed doesn’t match the tutorial.  It’s not in units of thousands?


Display the “Criteria” pane.  Click on the “Column Properties” icon (the pointing finger) within the “Sales Facts” column header box.  Select the “Column Format” tab from the “Column Properties” pop-up, tick the “Custom Heading” check box, and then modify the “Column Heading” to “Amount Sold (000)”.  Press “OK” to return to the “Criteria” pane.


Click on the “Edit Formula” icon (fx) within the “Sales Facts” column header box.  In the “Column Formula” box of the “Edit Column Formula” pop-up, modify the text to read:


*  ”Sales Facts”.”Amount Sold” / 1000


Press “OK” to return to the “Criteria” pane.  Click on “Results” to redisplay the report and the column title and data format will now conform to that specified in the tutorial.



Pivot table missing “Amount Sold (000) Current Month” column


Q: When I display the default pivot table, the “Amount Sold (000) Current Month” column is not displayed?


If you look to the right of the layout controls above the pivot table you’ll find a box labelled “Excluded”.  If this box contains the “Amount Sold (000) Current Month” then drag it to the “Measures” box within the layout controls to its left.  You’ll find the “Amount Sold (000) Current Month” column will be added to the report.


The tutorial displays the screens in the wrong order.  As part of the tutorial you’ll reverse the change described above.



Don’t know how to modify the report format


Q: I clicked in the heading in the pivot table report and an extra “Time Id” column appeared.  I deleted it and now the report is only displaying for a single month.  But I can’t see how to fix it?


One downside to the Answers layout is the vast number of formatting options.  When you get stuck, it’s a good idea to click on the “Advanced” tab and examine the text in the “SQL Issued” box.  In this case you’ll probably find that an extra predicate has been added to the where clause to restrict the results returned by the query to a single month.  Delete this predicate, press “Set SQL”, and then click on the “Results” tab.  The report should now be restored to its original format.



“Access denied for user to path /shared/Learn/Category Sales”


Q: I was trying to save the request for the pivot table in the tutorial when I got an “Access denied for user to path /shared/Learn/Category Sales” error message.  I was already able to login, save a previous request, logout and login again, so everything was working fine.  And I haven’t touched any of the security settings.  So I logged out.  When I tried to login again I got the same error message.  So I stopped all the services and restarted them again.  Then when I tried to bring up the Presentation Services screen I got a “HTTP 500 Internal Server Error” message.  So finally I rebooted the system, and now when I try to start the Presentation Services process I get the error message “Error: 1067 The process terminated unexpectedly”.  What a heap of junk!


There are many out there who will say, “Amen, brother!” to that.  Welcome to the curse of SOA.  There was a time when if you wanted a life full of adventure, excitement, and the unexpected you had to join the army; now all you have to do is to become an OBIEE Sysadmin!


All I can say is to keep on hard-booting a few more times, and you should clear most of the errors.  The “access” error however shouldn’t have occurred as you haven’t changed any credentials, and the problem arose in the middle of a session.  If you do get back to the stage where only the “access” error is occurring then try stopping the Presentation Services service, try changing the catalogue back from “sh” to the default of “samplesales” (edit file “instanceconfig.xml” in directory “<oraclebidata home>\web\config” and replace “sh” within the “CatalogPath” tag pair with “samplesales”).  Then start the Presentation Services service and try logging in again.  If you can, then it suggests that something in the set of “sh” catalog files has been corrupted – or “Oraclized” if you prefer (there, I’ve just added a new word to the English language; if you find it useful as a term of abuse, then use it, and it will eventually make it’s way into the OED!)  If you can log in using the default catalog, then your best bet is to replace the “sh” catalog with the original you downloaded for the tutorial and start all over again.  Who knows, maybe it will be second time lucky!



Oracle gets its sums wrong


Q: I don’t see how they got “Hardware declined by -12.37% compared with last month”?


Well you or I might say “Hardware increased by -12.37% compared with last month” or, preferably, “Hardware declined by 12.37% compared with last month”, but then “Oracle-speak” is a language onto itself – let’s hope Oracle is a little more careful when it comes to their suite of “BI Applications”!