|Oracle® Business Intelligence New Features Guide
Part Number E10416-07
Various fixes and enhancements have been added to Catalog Manager, as described in this chapter. This chapter applies to Releases 10.1.3.3, 10.1.3.3.1, 10.1.3.3.2, 10.1.3.3.3, 10.1.3.4, and 10.1.3.4.1 and 10.1.3.4.2.
This chapter contains the following sections:
Oracle BI EE Release 10.1.3.3 includes the following enhancements for Catalog Manager:
The popup menu on items in the Tree view is now the same as the popup menu in the Table view, with improved context sensitivity.
You can now select multiple items and update their properties or permissions simultaneously. If any of the selected items are a folder, then you can also apply those changes recursively to all the items in that folder's tree.
For example, you can set all files under /shared/DontTouch to be Read Only. Select the folder DontTouch, display the popup menu, and select Properties. In the dialog, select the Read Only box, then select the Apply recursively box, and click OK.
If you have permission, then you can set the ownership (using the Properties dialog) of items to a particular user, rather than previously when you could set ownership only to yourself (also known as take ownership).
Archiving and Unarchiving
Select Main Menu, then File to access the archiving features. The menu is context-sensitive, allowing you to select what to archive and where to unarchive it to. Also see paste options below. Archive now also works on the root folder: "/". Properties, and attributes of items are now also archived.
Menu options Smart Rename and Search & Replace
These options have been changed from using regular expressions (to search for a match) to instead use the more intuitive method of the supplied text "as is". For power users, the Search & Replace XML file continues to use regular expressions, so extra care must be taken to ensure that those search strings are correct.
The Copy to another catalog and Paste from another catalog options are now handled seamlessly by the normal Copy and Paste options. Similarly, you can now also drag and drop from one Catalog Manager to another. Note that drag and drop always makes a copy of the dragged items, even when performing a drag and drop within a single Catalog Manager. There are two new options for pasting, unarchiving, and dropping. You can set two preferences in the Preferences dialog from the Tools menu before pasting.
The Paste Overwrite options in the Preferences dialog are as follows:
None: Pastes all files, but does not paste any existing files.
Old: Pastes all files, but does not paste any existing files unless they are older than the source.
All: Paste all files, whether they exist or not. The default is 'all', which was the default behavior in Release 10.1.3.2.
Under "/users/joe" are the reports "A" (created 01-Jan-2006), "B" (created 31-May-2006) and "C" (created 01-Jan-2006). Under "/users/sue" are the reports "A" (created 28-Feb-2006) and "B" (created 01-Jan-2006) (and no report "C"). Suppose Sue copies the reports 'A', 'B' and 'C' from /users/joe, and pastes them to /users/sue. If the preference is set to "None", then Sue keeps her 'A' and 'B' reports and Joe's reports are ignored. Sue gets a copy of 'C'. If the preference is set to "All", then Sue's 'A' and 'B' reports are overwritten with Joe's, and Sue gets a copy of 'C'. If the preference is set to "Old", then Sue keeps her 'A' (Sue's 'A' is not "old"), Sue's B gets overwritten by Joe's (Sue's 'B' was "old"), and Sue gets a copy of 'C'.
The Paste ACL options are as follows:
Inherit pasted item: Inherits its permissions (ACL) from its new parent folder.
Preserve pasted item: Preserves its permissions (ACL) as it was in the original, mapping accounts as necessary.
Create pasted item: Preserves its permissions (ACL) as it was in the original, creating and mapping accounts as necessary.
The default is 'Inherit pasted item', which was the default behavior in 10.1.3.2.
Suppose Steve owns "/users/steve/MyFavReport" and has permissions (ACL) "everyone can read/execute, steve has full control". Joe (who has some administration privileges) logs in and copies MyFavReport, pasting it to "/users/sue" (which is owned by "administrator", with permissions "admins have full control, Sue has full control"). If Joe sets "Inherit", /users/sue/MyFavReport is owned by Joe with whatever permissions are set on "/users/sue" (that is, "administrators have full control, sue has full control").
If Joe sets "Preserve", /users/sue/MyFavReport is owned by Joe with whatever permissions were set on "/users/steve/MyFavReport" (that is, "everyone can read/execute, steve has full control"). If Joe pastes in a second Catalog Manager and if "steve" does not exist in this Catalog, then the permissions for Steve are discarded.
If "steve" exists but has a different user ID, then Steve's user ID is mapped to the new one. If Joe sets "Create", /users/sue/MyFavReport is owned by Joe with whatever permissions were set on "/users/steve/MyFavReport" (that is, "everyone can read/execute, Steve has full control"). If Joe pastes in a second Catalog Manager and if "steve" does not exist in this Catalog, then the user "steve" is created. This is used by OnDemand, where they create accounts in a staging area before moving the user to the production environment.
After the paste, the object is owned by the person doing the paste. Thus you must likely select the newly pasted item and set ownership recursively to whomever you want (if you have permission to do that).
Oracle BI EE Release 10.1.3.3 includes the following fixes for Catalog Manager:
Preferences. The dialog now allows 'browsing' to find a user's preferred browser.
Create Report functionality. For import to Excel 2003, save to a file with a .tab extension.
Search and replace.
Renaming and deleting "special" folders (for example, _portal and _ibots) provides user warning.
Hidden attributes can now be edited offline and online.
Sorting by type.
Editing xml. Manual edits are not checked for validity.
Synchronization of permissions between Catalog Manager and the online Manager Catalog feature.
Renaming existing properties.
Expanding and collapsing the tree view.
Table view - Owner and Attributes parameters have been added.
You can use Catalog Manager to upgrade EBA ("EBA" stands for Enterprise Business Analytics) catalogs from Version 18.104.22.168 to 22.214.171.124. Catalog Manager does the following:
Compares the content in both the Baseline EBA Presentation Catalog and the Production Presentation Catalog with the content in the Latest EBA Presentation Catalog.
Merges any changes into the Production Presentation Catalog, which is why it is imperative that you use a copy of the Production catalog and perform the upgrade in a development or test environment so as to confirm the upgrade has worked properly.
Produces a list of upgrade differences, which you must resolve by indicating how you want the differences handled.
If the catalogs have conflicting content, then you can choose which catalog the content is taken from. The end result is a upgraded presentation catalog that contains the site-specific changes and new metadata.
You use a dialog to select the catalogs to include while upgrading an EBA catalog, as described in the following steps:
Make a backup copy of the Production Catalog, which is the catalog that is currently in use at your organization. Rename the directory to catalog_name_old and move it to a temporary location.
Start Catalog Manager in offline mode and open the copy of the Production Catalog.
From the Tools menu, select Upgrade EBA Catalog.
The Upgrade Customer Modified EBA Presentation Catalog dialog is displayed. The presentation catalog that is currently in use at your organization is automatically entered in the Production Presentation Catalog field.
In the Baseline EBA Presentation Catalog field, browse to locate the unmodified, read-only presentation catalog that you received with the Oracle BI EE release that you are upgrading from.
In the Latest EBA Presentation Catalog field, browse to locate the read-only presentation catalog for EBA Version 126.96.36.199 that is installed in the OracleBIData\web\catalog directory with the latest installation of Oracle BI EE.
Provide a log file to write the results of the process.
The upgrade process can take several minutes for a large catalog.
Resolve any upgrade differences as follows:
Review each conflict in the Resolve Conflicts dialog, selecting which version you want to keep. The default is to keep the version from the Production Catalog and to disregard conflicting changes from Oracle.
Review the log file that you selected in Step 6, which holds information about the merge process. This log file is written to the OracleBI\web\catalogmanager directory. If you see an error logged in the file, then the path in question had a problem that did not allow the merge mechanism to resolve the merge. No action was taken. To merge that particular item, go into the original presentation catalog and merge it manually.
Review the upgraded presentation catalog and if necessary, set permissions for objects.
Save the new presentation catalog.
Each object in the catalog is stored in its own file. For example, an analysis called Analysis 1 is stored in a file named Analysis1. The object name that is visible to users, such as Analysis 1, is referred to as the logical object name.
The following list provides guidelines for object names:
No restrictions exist on which characters are allowed in the logical name of an object in the catalog, provided that the characters are valid Unicode characters. The following are valid logical names:
Hello World Profit / Loss % Sales * $ Cost ~~ $ "Expense"?
The length of the logical object name must not exceed 256 Unicode characters.
For more information on Unicode, see Section 8.6, "File System Guidelines for Catalogs."
The length of the logical path name for an object must not exceed 16000 Unicode characters.
The number of directory segments in a logical path name for an object must be not exceed 255 segments.
For example, a directory with a name such as /n1/n2/n3/n4/…./n253/n254/n255 is acceptable, while a name such as /n1/n2/n3/n4/…./n254/n255/n256 is unacceptable.
When you pass the path name of an object using SOAP, you must escape the following characters:
Forward slash (/) Backward slash (\) Tilde (~) Asterisk (*) Question mark (?)
The following logical path names are all valid:
/shared/test/Hello World /shared/test/Profit \/ Loss /shared/test/% Sales \* $ Cost \~\~ $ "Expense"\?
Use care when building a catalog path. It is very common to see code that assumes the forward slash (/) is always a path separator. Always verify your path code with an object name such as "Profit / Loss".
When you pass a catalog search filter using SOAP, you must escape the following characters:
Forward slash (/) Backward slash (\) Tilde (~) Asterisk (*) Question mark (?) Caret (^) Dollar sign (?)
The following search filters are all valid:
Hello World Profit \/ Loss % Sales \* \$ Cost \~\~ \$ "Expense"\?
This section describes the following guidelines for working with objects in catalogs in file systems:
The catalog is designed to scale to thousands of concurrent users. To achieve this scaling, the catalog adheres to the following guidelines:
The average user typically only reads from the catalog and rarely, if ever, writes to it. In Release 11g, each user is constantly and automatically updating his or her Most Recently Used file, but each user's "read" operations still far outweigh the user's "writes" operations. Therefore, the read-to-write ratio is typically at least 100 to 1.
While a locking mechanism guarantees that only one user can write to an object at a time, it is rare for multiple users to attempt to write simultaneously to the same object. A feature called "lazy locking" allows users to continue reading an object even when another user is updating that object.
Modern file systems cache "small" files directly inside the directory record, such that reading any information on a directory simultaneously loads all small files directly into the operating system's memory cache. Therefore, it is good practice to keep files in the catalog "small," especially the frequently "read" .atr metadata files. When these metadata files remain small, then all the .atr files in a directory are loaded into memory with one physical hard disk read. Every file that exceeds the "small" threshold adds another physical hard disk read, which can cause a 100% degradation for each large file. In other words, use care when considering storing arbitrary "Properties" in .atr files.
Reading an object's .atr metadata file using NFS is far slower than reading it directly from a local disk. For this reason, Presentation Services additionally caches all .atr files internally. This cache can become briefly "stale" when another node in the cluster writes data to the file that is newer than the data that is cached by the current node. Therefore, all nodes are refreshed according to the setting of the MaxAgeMinutes element in the instanceconfig.xml, whose default for a cluster is 5 minutes. This default setting commonly achieves the best trade-off between the possibility of stale data and the known performance impact. (The default for an environment without clusters is 60 minutes.)
To allow heterogeneous nodes in a cluster, the catalog adheres to the following guidelines:
The maximum length for the name of an object on disk is 256 bytes, which is 64 Unicode characters. The logical name is restricted to 256 Unicode characters. To adhere to this restriction, logical names greater than 32 characters are hashed.
The maximum length for the name of a path on disk is 32KB, which is 8000 Unicode characters. The logical path is restricted to 16000 Unicode characters.
All path names on disk are all lowercase. The logical path name allows mixed case, but is still case-insensitive.
Certain characters are not allowed for path names on disk, while the logical path name allows all characters. For example, Windows systems disallow certain characters such as the colon (:), so those characters are mapped using standard HTML escape sequences. For example, the period character (.) becomes "%2e".
Certain file names are not allowed on disk, while the logical object name has no restrictions. For example, Windows systems disallow certain file names such as COM, so those names are mapped using standard HTML escape sequences. For example, "com" becomes "co%6d".
Keep the following points in mind when handling catalog files on various platforms:
For UNIX Platforms: UNIX kernels must commonly be configured to allow more than 4000 subdirectories per directory. See Chapter 18 for information on the HashUserHomeDirectories element.
For Windows Platforms:
When users want to navigate catalog files using a tool such as Microsoft Windows Explorer, then they want the catalog structure based on a short path name such as c:/obi/demo, rather than the long default path name. Note that such navigation is not recommended.
FAT is not supported, and NTFS is required.
Performance on Windows platforms degrades noticeably when more than 8000 files exist in a single directory. Because each catalog object has two files (the data file and the .atr metadata file), it is strongly recommended that you not store more than 4000 catalog objects in a single directory. See Chapter 18 for information on the HashUserHomeDirectories element.
Windows Explorer does not handle long path names properly, and it is recommended to not Windows Explorer to navigate the internal structure of the catalog. While the file system can handle path names as large as 32KB and Presentation Services is not negatively affected, you cannot use Windows Explorer with any path name that is longer than approximately 2KB.
Because a single Unicode character can require as many as 4 bytes, you might be unable to use Windows Explorer with path names of only 500 Unicode characters. This limitation does not affect Presentation Services. Because of this limitation, place the catalog in a top-level directory, such as c:\mycatalog\sales.
The following issues are known when working with catalog files:
Locking across NFS systems is difficult, but Presentation Services provides an effective locking mechanism in recent patches. Obtain key patches to update older versions of Oracle BI EE as necessary.
For more information, see Section 13.2, "Validating the Catalog."
Various third-party FTP programs have issues handling '%' escape sequences, which often results in a renamed file that is doubly escaped. For example, a file that is named sa%2epaint (whose logical name is SA.Paint) is incorrectly renamed to sa%252epaint (whose logical name is SA%2ePaint).
Avoid using an FTP program directly against a catalog. Instead, download and use the 7-Zip utility to compress the catalog files, then use an FTP program to transfer the resulting compressed file.
Ensure that you keep the following items in mind when working with Catalog Manager:
Attempts to copy, archive, or drag files from the /system/security directory cannot be performed within the Catalog Manager as these functions should be performed elsewhere.
While working in the online mode, catalog contents cannot be pasted into or out of a read-only folder. To achieve this result, turn-off the read-only property of the folder tree before copying, then re-apply read-only after pasting.
Items with special characters in their names might not be displayed correctly.
Even if a resize indicator is not shown, Catalog Manager panes might still be resizable.
After exiting the Catalog Manager after working in offline mode, its Java engine might continue to display in the Windows Task Manager.
The Catalog Manager cannot be run from the Windows Start > Run menu. To start the Catalog Manager using Windows, double-click the executable within Windows Explorer or provide the full path from the command line.
Attempting to use the Upgrade Catalog feature on an empty catalog might cause an error. If you see an error, then restart the Catalog Manager.
If the Catalog Manager becomes unusable after closing both the tree and table panes, then restart the Catalog Manager.
The Catalog Manager's Status Log provided little value and has been removed.
Archives created using compression through the online Manage Catalog feature found in Answers cannot be loaded using the Catalog Manager application's unarchive facility.
Archives created in 10.1.3.2.x are not binary compatible with 10.1.3.3. Migrations can be made using unarchived Presentation Catalogs.