RNM

October 18, 2010

When is a bug not a bug? When it’s a “design decision”

Filed under: informatica, obia, rant, support — rmoff @ 13:02

Last month I wrote about a problem that Informatica as part of OBIA was causing us, wherein an expired database account would bring Oracle down by virtue of multiple connections from Informatica.

I raised an SR with Oracle (under OBIA support), who after some back-and-forth with Informatica, were told:

This is not a bug. That the two error messages coming back from Oracle are handled differently is the result of a design decision and as such not a product fault.

Is “design decision” the new “undocumented feature” ?

September 2, 2010

Misbehaving Informatica kills Oracle

Filed under: bug, informatica, obia, ORA-28001, oracle, security — rmoff @ 13:23

This problem, which in essence is bad behaviour from Informatica bringing down Oracle, is a good illustration of unintended consequences of an apparently innocuous security setting.
Per our company’s security standards, database passwords expire every 90 days. When this happens users are prompted to change their password before they can continue logging into Oracle. This applies to application user IDs too.
It appears that Informatica 8.6.1 HF6 (part of OBIA 7.9.6.1) doesn’t handle an expired password well, spawning multiple connections to the database, eventually bringing Oracle down through memory SWAP space exhaustion.

As a side note, one of our DBAs has been investigating how to prevent a client connection accidentally (through bad coding) or maliciously (DoS) bringing down Oracle in this way, his findings are documented here.

Investigation

As the introduction to any good IT horror story goes … “Everything was running fine; nothing had changed”.

Then our monitoring showed swap space usage on our Oracle 11g database server increasing, and soon after Oracle crashed. The DBAs restarted Oracle, but shortly after the swap space usage was on its way up. The unix tool Glance showed a lot of Oracle processes on the box.

Database

Our Informatica repository user expired on the day on which this happened (Aug 27th):

select username, account_status, expiry_date from dba_users

USERNAME                       ACCOUNT_STATUS                   EXPIRY_DATE
------------------------------ -------------------------------- ---------
INF_REPO                       EXPIRED                          27-AUG-10

When a user ID expires an ORA-28001 is given at login:

sqlplus INF_REPO/password

SQL*Plus: Release 11.1.0.7.0 - Production on Thu Sep 2 08:40:17 2010

Copyright (c) 1982, 2008, Oracle.  All rights reserved.

ERROR:
ORA-28001: the password has expired

Changing password for INF_REPO
New password:

This is the throughput figures for Oracle from Enterprise Manager, note the Logons rate starting to increase at c.13:30 (The rate at 03:00AM is representative of the usual logon load on the database):

Server

Note SWAP space increase (dark blue line) at c. midday (nb GMT/BST mean not all the graphs will align):

Database server metrics

Database server metrics

Note number of Alive Oracle processes (faint yellow line!):

Database server metrics - Oracle application only

Database server metrics - Oracle application only

Informatica

In the Informatica exceptions.log and node.log are the initial errors:

ERROR [Master Elect Data Writer] [DOM_10162] An exception occurred while updating the master election row.
java.sql.SQLException: [informatica][Oracle JDBC Driver]No more data available to read.

ERROR [Master Elect Data Writer] [DOM_10162] An exception occurred while updating the master election row.
java.sql.SQLException: [informatica][Oracle JDBC Driver][Oracle]ORA-01034: ORACLE not available
ORA-27101: shared memory realm does not exist
HPUX-ia64 Error: 2: No such file or directory

ERROR [Master Elect Data Writer] [DOM_10162] An exception occurred while updating the master election row.
java.sql.SQLException: [informatica][Oracle JDBC Driver][Oracle]ORA-28001: the password has expired

Followed by the repeated error approximately every ten seconds:

ERROR [Master Elect Data Writer] [DOM_10162] An exception occurred while updating the master election row.
java.sql.SQLException: [informatica][Oracle JDBC Driver][Oracle]ORA-28001: the password has expired

There are also final errors in the log, occuring once only just after midnight:

FATAL [Domain Monitor] [PCSF_10374] Failed to persist [CpuUsageSummary] with error [[informatica][Oracle JDBC Driver]No more data available to read.].
FATAL [Domain Monitor] [PCSF_10374] Failed to persist [RepoUsageSummary] with error [[informatica][Oracle JDBC Driver]No more data available to read.].

After these Informatica shut down.

Theory

This is what I think is happening:

  • Informatica has a polling component (“[Master Elect Data Writer]“) that updates a database table (part of the Informatica repository) every minute
  • Once the user has expired, Informatica gets ORA-28001: the password has expired when it tries to connect
  • Informatica does not handle ORA-28001 correctly
  • It appears that it leaves the connection open
  • It then retries a few seconds later
  • The connections stack up, each taking swap space allocated to the Oracle process that the connection spawns
  • Eventually the server runs out of resource and Oracle crashes
  • At midnight another Informatica component (“[Domain Monitor]“) tries to update a database table (part of the Informatica repository), and gets the ORA-28001 error.
  • This second component (“[Domain Monitor]“) correctly takes the error as fatal and aborts the Informatica server process

Resolution

In my opinion, Informatica should consistently treat ORA-28001 as fatal.

At the very least, if Informatica isn’t treating ORA-28001 as fatal it should close the connection to the database correctly.


An update from Informatica here

May 17, 2010

Validating EBS-BI authentication, without BI

Filed under: obia, obiee, security — rmoff @ 15:42

Troubleshooting EBS-BI integrated authentication can be a tiresome activity, so here’s a shortcut that might help. If you suspect the problem lies with EBS then you can leave OBIEE out of the equation.

  1. Login to EBS
  2. Use FireBug or Fiddler2 to inspect web traffic as follows:
    1. Click the BI link from EBS
    2. Should be first a request to EBS server, which returns 302 and redirects to http://<bi server>:<port>/analytics/saw.dll?Dashboard&acf=101507310
    3. Record the value of acf (eg 101507310)
    4. Record the value of the cookie that’s passed to BI. It should normally match the EBS TNS name (but doesn’t have to). In this example it’s EBSBIS1A, and the value is _ACpwGUoeCKUX7GilVh7ZZKR:S
  3. Use sqlplus to open a connection to the EBS database using the ID that BI connects as (eg EBS_BI)
    $sqlplus EBS_BI/password@EBSDATABASE
    
    SQL*Plus: Release 11.1.0.6.0 - Production on Mon May 17 13:10:11 2010
    
    Copyright (c) 1982, 2007, Oracle.  All rights reserved.
    
    
    Connected to:
    Oracle Database 11g Enterprise Edition Release 11.1.0.7.0 - 64bit Production
    With the Partitioning, OLAP, Data Mining and Real Application Testing options
    
    SQL> 
  4. Enter this statement, substituting values as appropriate
    call /* acf */ APP_SESSION.validate_icx_session(‘cookie value’); eg:
    SQL> call /* 101507310 */ APP_SESSION.validate_icx_session('_ACpwGUoeCKUX7GilVh7ZZKR:S');
  5. Expect to get:
    Call completed.
    
    SQL>
  6. If the cookie ID is invalid you’ll get
    ERROR at line 1:
    ORA-06510: PL/SQL: unhandled user-defined exception
    ORA-06512: at "APPS.APP_SESSION", line 315
    

    After writing this I discovered My Oracle Support article 758392.1 which has the same info plus a bit more.

March 2, 2010

OBIA 7.9.6 Performance Recommendations

Filed under: obia, performance — rmoff @ 16:40

A new document has been published by Oracle, discussing ways of improving performance for OBIA 7.9.6 and 7.9.6.1. Its primary focus is around improving ETL performance. There’s some very interesting content including hardware sizing recommendations, and I’d strongly recommend anyone working with OBIA reads it.

It’s called “Oracle Business Intelligence Applications Version 7.9.6 Performance Recommendations” and is available on My Oracle Support through Doc ID 870314.1

November 27, 2009

I think this summarises everything.

Filed under: obia, silly — rmoff @ 12:20

Why did this make me think of the OBIA upgrade documentation?? ;-)

via I think this summarizes everything..

[Update December 18, 2013: The lady in the picture is Kathy Sierra]

October 12, 2009

OBIA 7.9.6.1 released

Filed under: informatica, obia — rmoff @ 07:47

The latest point release of Oracle Business Intelligence Applications, 7.9.6.1, has been released and is available for download from here (direct link to download).

The version.txt reports the version as:

Build: 7.9.6.1.100609.2038
Release Version: Oracle Business Intelligence Applications 7.9.6.1
Package: 100609.2038

No updated documentation library yet through, so can’t nosey through the release notes. The docs that come with the download are labelled 7.9.6 and dated April 09 so don’t look like they’ve been updated either.

————–

Update 13th Oct:
@alex has got the scoop on the new functionality. From this and the press release here’s a few snippets:

  • 28 supported languages
  • [...] ideal for data warehouses running on the Sun Oracle Database Machine.
    • So I assume this means that it supports 11gR2 whether Exadata’d or not?
  • “adds support for Informatica PowerCenter 8.6.1 for ETL”
  • More supported DBs and OSs: IBM DB2 9.5 / Microsoft SQL Server 2008 / Teradata v13 / OEL 5 / IBM AIX 6.1 / Windows Server 2008 / RH Linux 5

Still no updated documentation on OTN. Never let it be said that the documentation lets OBIA down …. :-|
————–
Update 15th Oct:
Documentation is now available on OTN

August 14, 2009

Unix script to report on OBIEE and OBIA processes state

Filed under: Apache, cluster, dac, obia, obiee, sawserver, unix — rmoff @ 07:22

Here’s a set of scripts that I use on our servers as a quick way to check if the various BI components are up and running.

areservicesrunning

Because we split the stack across servers, there are different scripts called in combination. On our dev boxes we have everything and so the script calls all three sub-scripts, whereas on Production each server will run one of:

  1. BI Server
  2. Presentation Server & OAS
  3. Informatica & DAC

The scripts source another script called process_check.sh which I based on the common.sh script that comes with OBIEE.

The BI Server script includes logic to only check for the cluster controller if it’s running on a known clustered machine. This is because in our development environment we don’t cluster the BI Server.

Each script details where the log files and config files can be found, obviously for your installation these will vary. I should have used variables for these, but hey, what’s a hacky script if not imperfect :-)

The script was written and tested on HP-UX.

Installation

Copy each of these onto your server in the same folder.

You might need to add that folder to your PATH.

Edit are_processes_running.sh so that it calls the appropriate scripts for the components you have installed.

You shouldn’t need to edit any of the other scripts except to update log and config paths.

The scripts

are_processes_running.sh

# are_processes_running.sh
# RNM 2009-04-21
# http://rnm1978.wordpress.com

clear
echo "=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- "
echo " "

# Comment out the scripts that are not required
# For example if there is no ETL on this server then only
# run the first two scripts
_are_BI_processes_running.sh
_are_PS_processes_running.sh
_are_INF_processes_running.sh

echo " "
echo "=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- "

_are_BI_processes_running.sh

# _are_BI_processes_running.sh
# RNM 2009-04-21
# http://rnm1978.wordpress.com

. process_check.sh

########## BI Server #################
echo "====="
if [ "$(is_process_running nqsserver)" = yes ]; then
  tput bold
  echo "nqsserver (BI Server) is running"
  tput rmso
else
  tput rev
  echo "nqsserver (BI Server) is not running"
  tput rmso
  echo "  To start it enter:"
  echo "    run-sa.sh start64"
fi
echo "  Log files:"
echo "    tail -n 50 -f /app/oracle/product/obiee/server/Log/NQServer.log"
echo "    tail -n 50 -f /app/oracle/product/obiee/server/Log/nqsserver.out.log"
echo "    tail -n 50 -f /app/oracle/product/obiee/server/Log/NQQuery.log"
echo "  Config file:"
echo "    view /app/oracle/product/obiee/server/Config/NQSConfig.INI"

echo "====="
if [ "$(is_process_running nqscheduler)" = yes ]; then
  tput bold
  echo "nqscheduler (BI Scheduler) is running"
  tput rmso
else
  tput rev
  echo "nqscheduler (BI Scheduler) is not running"
  tput rmso
  echo "  To start it enter:"
  echo "    run-sch.sh start64"
fi
echo "  Log files:"
echo "    tail -n 50 -f /app/oracle/product/obiee/server/Log/NQScheduler.log"
echo "    tail -n 50 -f /app/oracle/product/obiee/server/Log/nqscheduler.out.log"
echo "    ls -l /app/oracle/product/obiee/server/Log/iBots/"
echo "  Config file:"
echo "    view /data/bi/scheduler/config/instanceconfig.xml"

echo "====="
echo "$hostname"
if [ "$(hostname)" = "BICluster1" -o "$(hostname)" = "BICluster2" ]; then
  if [ "$(is_process_running nqsclustercontroller)" = yes ]; then
    tput bold
    echo "BI Cluster Controller is running"
    tput rmso
  else
    tput rev
    echo "BI Cluster Controller is not running"
    tput rmso
    echo "  To start it enter:"
    echo "    run-ccs.sh start64"
  fi
    echo "  Log files:"
  echo "    tail -n 50 -f /app/oracle/product/obiee/server/Log/NQCluster.log"
  echo "    tail -n 50 -f /app/oracle/product/obiee/server/Log/nqsclustercontroller.out.log"
  echo "  Config file:"
  echo "    view /app/oracle/product/obiee/server/Config/NQClusterConfig.INI"
else
  echo "(Not checked for Cluster Controller because not running on BICluster1 or BICluster2)"
fi

_are_PS_processes_running.sh

# _are_PS_processes_running.sh
# RNM 2009-04-21
# http://rnm1978.wordpress.com

. process_check.sh

########## OAS  #################
echo "====="
if [ "$(is_process_running httpd)" = yes ]; then
  tput bold
  echo "Apache (HTTP server) is running"
  tput rmso
else
  tput rev
  echo "Apache (HTTP server) is not running"
  tput rmso
  echo "  It should have been started as part of OAS. Check that opmn (Oracle Process Manager and Notification) is running"
  echo "  If opmn is running then run this command to check the status of the components:"
  echo "    opmnctl status -l"
  echo "  If opmn is not running then start it with this command:"
  echo "    opmnctl startall"
fi
echo "  Log files:"
echo "    ls -lrt /app/oracle/product/OAS_1013/Apache/Apache/logs"
echo "  Config file:"
echo "    view /app/oracle/product/OAS_1013/Apache/Apache/conf/httpd.conf"

echo "====="
if [ "$(is_process_running opmn)" = yes ]; then
  tput bold
  echo "opmn (OAS - Oracle Process Manager and Notification) is running"
  tput rmso
else
  tput rev
  echo "opmn (OAS - Oracle Process Manager and Notification) is not running"
  tput rmso
  echo "  To start it use this command:"
  echo "    opmnctl startall"
fi
echo "  Log files:"
echo "    ls -lrt /app/oracle/product/OAS_1013/opmn/logs"
echo "    ls -lrt /app/oracle/product/OAS_1013/j2ee/home/log"
echo "  Config file:"
echo "    view /app/oracle/product/OAS_1013/opmn/conf/opmn.xml"
echo "    view /app/oracle/product/OAS_1013/j2ee/home/config/server.xml"

########## Presentation Services #################
echo "====="
if [ "$(is_process_running javahost)" = yes ]; then
  tput bold
  echo "javahost is running"
  tput rmso
else
  tput rev
  echo "javahost is not running"
  tput rmso
  echo "  It is started as part of the sawserver startup script"
  echo "  To start it run this command:"
  echo "    run-saw.sh start64"
    echo "  To start it independently run this command:"
  echo "    /app/oracle/product/obiee/web/javahost/bin/run.sh"
  fi
echo "  Log files:"
echo "    ls -lrt /data/web/web/log/javahost/"
echo "  Config file:"
echo "    view /app/oracle/product/obiee/web/javahost/config/config.xml"

echo "====="
if [ "$(is_process_running sawserver)" = yes ]; then
  tput bold
  echo "sawserver (Presentation Services) is running"
  tput rmso
else
  tput rev
  echo "sawserver (Presentation Services) is not running"
  tput rmso
  echo "  To start it enter:"
  echo "    run-saw.sh start64"
fi
echo "  Log files:"
echo "    tail -n 50 -f /data/web/web/log/sawserver.out.log"
echo "    tail -n 50 -f /data/web/web/log/sawlog0.log"

echo "  Config file:"
echo "    view /data/web/web/config/instanceconfig.xml"
echo "    ls -l /data/web/web/config/"

_are_INF_processes_running.sh

# _are_INF_processes_running.sh
# RNM 2009-04-22
# http://rnm1978.wordpress.com

. process_check.sh

########## Informatica #################
echo "====="
inf_running=1
if [ "$(is_process_running server/bin/pmrepagent)" = yes ]; then
  tput bold
  echo "pmrepagent (Informatica Repository Server) is running"
  tput rmso
else
  tput rev
  echo "pmrepagent (Informatica Repository Server) is not running"
  tput rmso
  inf_running=0
fi
if [ "$(is_process_running server/bin/pmserver)" = yes ]; then
  tput bold
  echo "pmserver (Informatica Server) is running"
  tput rmso
else
  tput rev
  echo "pmserver (Informatica Server) is not running"
  tput rmso
  inf_running=0
fi
if [ "$inf_running" -eq 0 ]; then
  echo " "
  echo "  To start PowerCenter:"
  echo "    cd /app/oracle/product/informatica/server/tomcat/bin"
  echo "    infaservice.sh startup"
fi
echo " "
echo "  Log files (PowerCenter):"
echo "    ls -lrt /app/oracle/product/informatica/server/tomcat/logs"
echo " "
echo "  Log files (ETL jobs):"
echo "    ls -lrt /app/oracle/product/informatica/server/infa_shared/SessLogs"
echo "    ls -lrt /app/oracle/product/informatica/server/infa_shared/WorkflowLogs"

########## DAC #################

echo "====="
if [ "$(is_process_running com.siebel.etl.net.QServer)" = yes ]; then
  tput bold
  echo "DAC is running"
  tput rmso
else
  tput rev
  echo "DAC is not running"
  tput rmso
  echo " "
  echo "  To start the DAC server:"
  echo "    cd /app/oracle/product/informatica/DAC_Server/"
  echo "    nohup startserver.sh &"
  echo " "
fi
echo "  Log files:"
echo "    ls -lrt /app/oracle/product/informatica/DAC_Server/log"

process_check.sh

</pre>
# process_check.sh
# get_pid plagiarised from OBIEE common.sh
# RNM 2009-04-03
# RNM 2009-04-30 Exclude root processes (getting false positive from OpenView polling with process name)

get_pid ()
{
 echo `ps -ef| grep $1 | grep -v grep | grep -v "    root " | awk '{print $1}'` # the second grep excludes the grep process from matching itself, the third one is a hacky way to avoid root processes
}

is_process_running ()
{
process=$1
#echo $process
procid=`get_pid $process`
#echo $procid
if test "$procid" ; then
 echo "yes"
else
 echo "no"
fi
}

August 13, 2009

OBIA upgrade 7.9.5 to 7.9.6 – first thoughts

Filed under: bug, dac, obia, oracle — rmoff @ 13:05

We’re upgrading from OBIA 7.9.5 (Financials – GL) to OBIA 7.9.6. Our reasons are for support (7.9.5 does not support Oracle 11g) and minor functionality additions.

Our architecture is: HP-UX 64 bit Itanium (11.31), Oracle 11g (11.1.0.7), separate ETL server, 4x OBIEE servers (2x BI, 2xPS). We have no customisations in the ETL except something for budgets, which is superseded in 7.9.6.

This post is a semi-formed articulation of my frustrations encountered during an initial run through of the upgrade in a sandbox. As we progress with the upgrade I will post further, hopefully more useful, information on what we encounter.

Grumble

Oracle’s upgrade documentation is, in my opinion, not very good. Whilst I find the rest of their OBIA and OBIEE documentation in general clear and comprehensive, the OBIA upgrade document is ambiguous and completely lacking detail in areas.

There is probably also an element of failing to please all the punters all the time… OBIA is for so many different subject areas, so many potential technologies, that upgrade instructions maybe have to be generic.
If we had some highly-customised deployment on some obscure technology set then I would expect to have to work a lot out for myself, so my sense of frustration comes from using the most vanilla of vanilla – Oracle-everything, no customisations – yet still having to figure out so much for myself.

The upgrade document is a compendium of “see xxxx document for more details”. Anyone taking the upgrade half-seriously will invariably end up compiling their own version of instructions, copying-and-pasting the essence of the referenced documents into one place to produce their own upgrade instructions. This is good for understanding the process but leaves me feeling that I’m writing Oracle’s documentation for them. As a side-note to this, the HTML version of the upgrade guide doesn’t use hyperlinking to its many references to the installation guide!

“Upgrading Oracle BI Applications”

Ref: Page 6-1 of “Oracle® Business Intelligence Applications Upgrade Guide for Informatica PowerCenter Users”
This is so patently ridiculous. As I see it, OBIA is basically a combination of OBIEE, Informatica, DAC, etc etc – all individual components which are upgraded separately. Yet this section of the upgrade doc innocently states “Run the Oracle BI Applications installer to upgrade your Oracle BI Applications environment to the current version”. Simple as that! So once I’ve run the installer, my Oracle BI Applications environment will be at the “current version”, right? wrong, obviously.
What this actually installs is the bits and pieces that are the “money-shot” of OBIA — pre-built OBIEE RPD, pre-built DAC repository, pre-built Informatica repository.
OBIA is a confusing enough product, without stupid documentation like this. Maybe the marketeers or salesmen had a hand it, but OBIA is either the sum of the consituant parts (apps plus pre-built repositories), or it’s just the pre-built repositories, but it can’t be both.
It really should be called “Upgrade OBIA pre-built repositories” or something like that. Or provide an installer which does actually install all of OBIA….

Documentation errors

Out of date screenshots

Ref: p. 4-31 of Oracle® Business Intelligence Applications Installation Guide for Informatica PowerCenter Users
Screenshot is out of date, they’ve not updated the documentation for 7.9.6. Two category check boxes are missing, “User Data” and “Overwriten log file”

dacimpt01

Ref: To register Informatica Services in DAC / p. 4-33.
The screenshot is out of date, it doesn’t list the new Domain field:

dacconf01

Configuring Informatica Integration service in DAC

The documentation is wrong on this, as it does not take into account the DAC change of a new Domain field, and Server Hostname being replaced by Service. It also says to modify the record with Name = Oracle_BI_DW_Server, but by default the record has a name of INFORMATICA_DW_SERVER
Therefore when configuring this you need to set:

  • Service: The name of your Informatica Integration Service, eg. Oracle_BI_DW_Base_Integration_Service
  • Domain: The name of your Informatica Domain, eg. Domain_serverA

The rest of the fields as per the document.

Known bugs

Watch out for: 8723317 – unique constraint (DAC_REPO.W_ETL_SYSPROP_U1) violated when imported Metadata into the DAC repository

DAC and Informatica repositories

Your existing Informatica and DAC repositories are not upgraded.

The document says to “Rename and copy” your existing repositories. This comes under “Best practices for preparing to upgrade”. What it should say is you must either use new database schemas when you upgrade, or move your existing ones.
We used Oracle’s export/import to create copies of the existing repository schemas into new schemas (eg DAC_REPO to DAC_REPO_795), and then dropped and recreated the existing repository schema (eg DAC_REPO) so that they were empty to install to.
The upgrade doc simply doesn’t say to do this, or it misleadingly tells you to rename your Informatica repository, which in the context of an Informatica Repository is not possible.
If you don’t do this then you hit problems after the installation of DAC because you already have an existing repository which you get prompted to upgrade when you launch the client.

[edit] Actually – maybe your repositories are upgraded. It depends. You could upgrade your DAC repo in place and then Refresh Base from the new DAC repository metadata, or you can do it the other way around. You’d do the former if you had lots of customisations and the latter if you didn’t. [edit2] If you do the latter then you import a 7.9.5 version of the DAC repo, which throws lots of errors because tables changed in 7.9.6 with quite a lot of non-nullable columns added. Maybe you upgrade your 7.9.5 repository (you’re prompted to do so when you log in with the new DAC client), then export it, then import the new one and then refresh base on that? Or maybe if you’ve few customisations you just install a fresh 7.9.6 DAC repository and apply your few customisations to it manually?
It’s probably all patently obvious to a DAC/OBIA expert but about as clear as mud to someone just trying to figure it out just from the manuals.[/edit2]

It would be really helpful if this kind of thing didn’t have to be inferred and best-guessed from the documentation. Even if the doc just laid out the two approaches and left it to the user to chose the best. As it is the documentation states one method, or none at all. [/edit]

In summary …

If you’re doing an upgrade of OBIA then plan PLENTY of time for figuring out how it’ll work in your environment. Set up a sandbox you can play in and rollback, don’t assume you can follow the documentation sequentially and it all work nicely.

Oracle should be aiming to produce an Upgrade Guide as comprehensive as their Installation Guide. A product, especially an Enterprise one of this scale, is made up of more than its binaries. It is the binaries, the documentation, the support. An upgrade can be traumatic at the best of times – the documentation should give the user confidence to unleash it on their Production environment, not the feeling that one is half-guessing at the solution.

DAC repo your

August 10, 2009

Repository Error ([REP_51821] Failed to connect from Integration Service (pmserver) to repository Oracle_BI_DW_Base running in exclusive mode.)

Filed under: obia — rmoff @ 16:00

I keep hitting this error when setting up OBIA. I suppose it’s what it says on the tin, but Googling it didn’t match so I’m posting this so next time I hit it I remember :-)

Repository Error ([REP_51821] Failed to connect from Integration Service (pmserver) to repository Oracle_BI_DW_Base running in exclusive mode.)

The cause is the Repository Service having OperatingMode set to Exclusive. This is necessary for some of the setup operations like restoring the pre-built Repository, but if you forget to switch it back the Integration Service will suddenly stop working.

August 4, 2009

OBIA grumble

Filed under: obia, oracle, rant — rmoff @ 16:35

I’m starting on an upgrade from OBIA 7.9.5 to 7.9.6 and wading through the two main docs:

It would be nice if Oracle could come up with some less confusing terminology. It seems that not only is the whole product of OBIA referred to as OBIA (see @lex’s posting for a good explanation), but that the sub-components which are not-OBIEE-or-DAC-or-Informatica is also OBIA, c.f. page 6-1 of the Upgrade guide “[...]upgrade your Oracle BI Applications environment to the current version.”
To me that implies that once I’ve done this, my OBIA will be upgraded – but no, actually, some of the supporting bits will be upgraded, but I still have to do a heck of a lot more grunt work before what I consider OBIA (and the manual is called OBIA too!) is upgraded.

And whilst I’m at it … it tells you to “[...]uninstall [...] previous release of Oracle BI Applications [...]” – but doesn’t tell you how.
I checked the docs but found no reference, and in the end manually moved the objects listed in the Installation guide page 4-13 as being installed by the Oracle BI Applications installation (which of course installs Oracle BI Applications, but not Oracle BI Applications – spot the difference? sorry, I’m just being fatuous now) out of c:\OracleBI and C:\OracleBIData.
After running the 7.9.6 OBIA installer I noticed a c:\OracleBI\UninstallApps folder, so maybe that was there for 7.9.5 before too and I just missed it.
Still – how difficult would it have been to include in the documentation “You must install previous versions first, run c:\OracleBI\UninstallApps\setup.exe to do this“?

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