Adventures in OBIEE Upgrade Land: Quirks and Workarounds — Episode I

17th December 2013

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’Tis the season — what season you may ask? Why, the season filled with the joys of OBIEE 11g upgrades to the latest version, of course! Well, it’s that season for me anyway… Lately my brain has been inundated once again with all things pertaining to the fun minutiae that may or may not break when upgrading from one version to another in OBIEE.

I figured I’d jot down some notes in a three part series just in case anyone else out there in upgrade land comes across some of the same quirks and needs to find a fix or workaround too. Some of these that I’ll post took longer than I’d initially hoped they would before I found some sort of resolution… So maybe this will be of benefit to someone.

But first, a quick overview of the overall moving parts regarding my Oracle BI upgrade:

  • Upgrading from OBIEE 11.1.1.6.5 to 11.1.1.7.131017
  • Underlying source: JD Edwards EnterpriseOne (JDE E1)
  • OBIEE server OS: Windows Server 2008 R2
  • RCU DB and custom data warehouse running on Microsoft SQL Server 2012

Here in Episode I, we’ll cover two particular pesky issues I ran up against during this last upgrade:

  1. Strange “obips.UberBar.xml” browser pop up error
  2. Usage Tracking Not Working With SQL Server Native Client

Issue 1: obips.UberBar.xml Error

So first, let’s delve into the obips.UberBar.xml issue. Here’s what my users saw every time they clicked on a link (like “Catalog”, or “Dashboards”) in their new 11.1.1.7.131017 test system:

Error loading XML Document from /analytics/saw.dll/uicomponents/obips.UberBar/obips.UberBar.xml?fmapId=QDCZJg.
The response given was:

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At first, I thought for sure this must be related to some new “fantastic” 11.1.1.7.131017 bug, but upon further examination, there was a lot I had to learn about what can and cannot reside within the analyticsRes deployment directory. It was a custom skin/style problem due to how the client had built out their folder structure. Here’s what the new analyticsRes folder looked like initially in the new environment:

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Apparently when the skin/style designer built the folder, he or she included several conflicting versions of the same file (or files) within the analyticsRes folder.

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After updating analyticsRes with only the custom “s_silgstyle” and “sk_silgskin” (as well as customMessages folder for some page elements renaming they did), and bouncing the BI services, the error was resolved. Removing the conflicting versions did the trick.

As an aside for setting up custom styles and skins, Christian Berg’s post on Custom Style and Skin in OBIEE 11.1.1.7 gives some really good pointers on how you can merge the s_blafp and s_FusionFX skins and styles together (something I didn’t realize could be done).

Issue 2: Usage Tracking Error with MS SQL Server RCU

Next was a problematic issue occurring with Usage Tracking in the new 11.1.1.7.131017 server. This one does appear to be a bug when using MS SQL Server for your RCU database. After enabling Usage Tracking in 11.1.1.7.131017, I immediately began seeing these errors in the nqserver.log file:

[2013-11-18T15:19:38.000-08:00] [OracleBIServerComponent] [ERROR:1] [] [] [ecid: 00iIX8GTiKpFw00Fzzw0w00001I00008PG,0:1:1:19:1:1] [tid: 1330]  [nQSError: 16015] SQL statement execution failed. [[[nQSError: 16001] ODBC error state: 22008 code: 0 message: [Microsoft][SQL Server Native Client 11.0]Datetime field overflow. Fractional second precision exceeds the scale specified in the parameter binding..]]

Apparently on the old 11.1.1.6.5 environment with an RCU database ODBC DSN entry that used SQL Server Native Client 10.0, this all worked fine for Usage Tracking:

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But now in 11.1.1.7.131017, my new BI Server has SQL Server Native Client 11.0, and that causes the bug…

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SO… To work around this, I had to revert back to the more basic “SQL Server” driver as seen here, and the issue went away:

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Not ideal I realize; but it’s a bug workaround, in the meantime anyway… For more insight into this issue, check out Oracle Support ID: “Usage Tracking Not Working With SQL Server Native Client (Doc ID 1570702.1)”.

Next time in Episode II, we’ll take a look at:

  • Missing little spinny (ok, “spinning”) clock icon
  • Pivot table measure columns calculating incorrectly for CASE and FILTER(USING) functions

Oh the joys of the season!

 

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