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Oracle® Fusion Middleware System Administrator's Guide for Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition
11g Release 1 (11.1.1)

Part Number E10541-05
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14 Configuring Time Zones

This chapter describes how to configure time zones for Oracle Business Intelligence.

This chapter includes the following sections:

14.1 Why and Where are Time Zones Used?

Time zones are used throughout Oracle Business Intelligence for a variety of purposes. A time stamp can indicate when an object was changed, and users can specify a time for an agent to run. Users often are most comfortable working in their local time zones. As the administrator, you can configure the preferred time zones for users for various components.

Before you begin to set preferred time zones, see Table 14-1 for information about where time zones are used.

Table 14-1 Time Zone Usage

Type Description

Oracle BI Presentation Services

If you have users in time zones that are different from the zone for Presentation Services, then you as the administrator can specify the time stamps that those users see in Oracle Business Intelligence. For example, suppose the server is located in the Pacific time zone in the United States. You can specify that users on the east coast of the United States see time stamps that are displayed in Eastern Standard Time.

If you make no time zone settings and if a user does not specify a preferred time zone using the My Account dialog, then that user sees time displayed according to the local time zone for Presentation Services.

For information about how users specify their preferred time zones, see Oracle Fusion Middleware User's Guide for Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition.

Data from the database

The Oracle BI Administrator specifies the time zone for the data that is retrieved from the database.

If you make no time zone settings, then users see the time stamp data in the time zone of the original data as set by the Oracle BI Administrator.

Content that is displayed in Oracle Business Intelligence

Users who create analyses can specify the time zone that is displayed in their analyses and dashboard prompts. This specification overrides those made by you as the administrator and by end users if they have previously used the column in their queries and have set the time zone.

If the specified display time zone supports daylight saving time, then the timestamp values that are displayed are automatically adjusted for daylight saving time.

General time stamps that indicate when events happen

End users can specify the time zone for many general stamps including the following ones:

  • The scheduled time of agents.

  • The generated time of alerts or analyses.

  • The time on which objects in the Oracle BI Presentation Catalog are created, modified, and accessed.

Log files

Log files contain time stamps for various activities.


14.2 Setting Time Zones

Use the following procedure to set time zones for users.

To set preferred time zones for users:

  1. Determine the time zone that is set for the server on which Presentation Services is running.

  2. Use elements in the Presentation Services configuration file (instanceconfig.xml) or session variables. Consult the following for more information:

  3. Encourage end users to specify their preferred time zones using the My Account dialog.

  4. Encourage users who create analyses to do the following to set the time stamps for their analyses:

    1. Use the Data Format tab of the Column Properties dialog to specify the time zone that is displayed in the columns of their analyses.

    2. Use the Time Zone dialog to set the time zone that is displayed in dashboard prompts.

14.3 What is the Precedence Order for Time Zones

The actual time zone in which various types of content are displayed follows a precedence order that Table 14-2 describes. In the table, the items with lower numbers override those with higher numbers. For example, Item 1 takes precedence over Item 2.

Table 14-2 Precedence Order for Time Zones

Time Zone For Determined By

Data

  1. The setting of the DATA_TZ session variable.

  2. The setting of the DefaultDataOffset element in the instanceconfig.xml file.

  3. The time zone of the original data as set by the Oracle BI Administrator (because the time zone is unknown for Presentation Services).

Data display

  1. The setting that a content designer makes.

  2. The setting of the DATA_DISPLAY_TZ session variable.

  3. The setting of the DefaultDataDisplay element in the instanceconfig.xml file.

  4. "User-Preferred Time Zone"

General time stamps (not including column data and log files)

  1. "User-Preferred Time Zone"

  2. The time zone for Oracle BI Presentation Services.

Log file information

  1. The setting of the Logging element in the instanceconfig.xml file.

  2. The time zone for Presentation Services.


14.3.1 User-Preferred Time Zone

The user-preferred time zone is determined by the following:

  1. The specification that a user makes in the My Account dialog.

  2. The setting of the TIMEZONE session variable.

  3. The setting of the DefaultUserPreferred element in the instanceconfig.xml file.

14.4 Where are Time Zone Specifications Stored?

Whenever a time zone specification is displayed in a list or as the value of a session variable or element in the instanceconfig.xml file, that specification originates from the TimeZones.xml file. This file is stored in the ORACLE_INSTANCE\bifoundation\OracleBIApplication\coreapplication\timezone directory.

The TimeZones.xml file contains nearly all time zones from around the world. You should not have to add zones to this file, but you are free to edit this file if you care to. You can delete those zones that users in your organization does not use.

14.4.1 Specifying Time Zone Values

Various editors show the ampersand that appears in time zone values in one of two ways: either the ampersand character itself or its escape sequence. Use care when entering a time zone value, as follows:

  • When you use the ampersand in the value of a session variable, include the ampersand character (&) in the value, such as "Pacific Time (US & Canada); Tijuana".

  • When you use the ampersand in the value of an element in the Oracle BI Presentation Services configuration file (instanceconfig.xml), include the escape sequence for the ampersand in the value, such as "Pacific Time (US & Canada); Tijuana"

14.5 Description of Time Zone Settings

Table 14-3 describes the session variables and the elements in the instanceconfig.xml file with which you set time zones. When you include elements in the instanceconfig.xml file, you specify the time zone that all users see. When you use session variables, you can specify a different time zone for each user. If you use session variables and you specify values for the appropriate elements in the instanceconfig.xml file, then the values of the session variables override the settings in the instanceconfig.xml file.

Table 14-3 Time Zone Settings

Element Session Variable Description Value

DefaultDataOffset

DATA_TZ

The time zone offset of the original data. To allow the time zone to be converted so that users see the appropriate zone, you must set the value of this element or variable.

If you do not set this option, then no time zone conversion occurs because the value is "unknown".

For example, suppose you want to convert to Eastern Standard Time (EST), which is Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) - 5. You must specify this value to enable the conversion to EST.

An offset that indicates the number of hours away from GMT time. For example:

"GMT-05:00" or "-300", which means minus 5 hours.

DefaultDataDisplay

DATA_DISPLAY_TZ

Specifies the time zone to use for displaying data.

If you do not set this option, then the value is the "User-Preferred Time Zone".

One of the time zones that are specified in the TimeZones.xml file.

See Section 14.4.1, "Specifying Time Zone Values."

DefaultUserPreferred

TIMEZONE

Specifies the users' default preferred time zone before they select their own in the My Account dialog.

If you do not set this option, then the value is the local time zone from Oracle BI Presentation Services.

One of the time zones that are specified in the TimeZones.xml file.

See Section 14.4.1, "Specifying Time Zone Values."

Logging

na

The time zone of the time stamps that appear in log files that are generated by Presentation Services.

If you do not set this option, then the value is the local time zone from Presentation Services

One of the time zones that are specified in the TimeZones.xml file.

See Section 14.4.1, "Specifying Time Zone Values."

TimeZone

na

The parent element for the elements that modify the preferred time zone. A child of the ServerInstance element.

na


14.6 Example: Configuration File Settings for Specifying the Time Zone

The following shows a sample section of the instanceconfig.xml file in which the TimeZone element has been added.

<TimeZone>
     <DefaultDataOffset>0</DefaultDataOffset>
     <Logging>(GMT-08:00) Pacific Time (US &amp; Canada); Tijuana</Logging>
     <DefaultUserPreferred>(GMT-08:00) Pacific Time (US &amp; Canada);      Tijuana</DefaultUserPreferred>
     <DefaultDataDisplay>(GMT-06:00) Central Time (US &amp;      Canada)</DefaultDataDisplay>
</TimeZone>

See Section 3.4, "Using a Text Editor to Update Configuration Settings" for information about editing the instanceconfig.xml file.