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Oracle Fusion Middleware Administrator's Guide for Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher (Oracle Fusion Applications Edition)
Release 11g (11.1.1)
Part Number E20837-01
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Setting Up Data Sources

This chapter covers the following topics:

Overview of Setting Up Data Sources

BI Publisher supports a variety of data sources. The data can come from a database, an HTTP XML feed, a Web service, an Oracle BI Analysis, an OLAP cube, an LDAP server, or a previously generated XML file or Microsoft Excel file.

This section describes how to set up connections to the following:

About Other Types of Data Sources

Connections to an HTTP XML feed or a Web service are configured when you define the data model for your report (see Creating Data Sets, Oracle Fusion Middleware Data Modeling Guide for Business Intelligence Publisher). Connection to Oracle BI Presentation Services is automatically configured by the Oracle BI Installer.

About Data Sources and Security

When you set up data sources, you can also define security for the data source by selecting which user roles can access the data source.

Access must be granted for the following:

By default, a role with administrator privileges can access all data sources.

The configuration page for the data source includes a Security region that lists all the available roles. You can grant roles access from this page, or you can also assign the data sources to roles from the roles and permissions page. See Configuring Users and Roles for more information.

If this data source will be used in guest reports, you must also enable guest access here. For more information about guess access see Enabling a Guest User.

The following figure shows the Security region of the data source configuration page:

the picture is described in the document text

About Proxy Authentication

BI Publisher supports proxy authentication for connections to the following data sources:

For direct data source connections via JDBC and connections via a JNDI connection pool, BI Publisher enables you to select "Use Proxy Authentication". When you select Use Proxy Authentication, BI Publisher passes the user name of the individual user (as logged into BI Publisher) to the data source and thus preserves the client identity and privileges when the BI Publisher server connects to the data source.

Note: Enabling this feature may require additional setup on your database. For example, your database must have Virtual Private Database (VPD) enabled for row-level security.

For more information on Proxy Authentication in Oracle databases, refer to Oracle Database Security Guide 10g or the Oracle Database Security Guide 11g.

Note that for connections to the Oracle BI Server, Proxy Authentication is required. In this case, proxy authentication is handled by the Oracle BI Server, therefore the underlying database can be any database that is supported by the Oracle BI Server.

Choosing JDBC or JNDI Connection Type

In general, a JNDI connection pool is recommended because it provides the most efficient use of your resources. For example, if a report contains chained parameters, each time the report is executed, the parameters will initiate to open a database session every time.

About Backup Databases

When you configure a JDBC connection to a database, you can also configure a backup database. A backup database can be used in two ways:

To use the backup database in either of these ways, you must also configure the report data model to use it.

See Setting Data Model Properties, Oracle Fusion Middleware Data Modeling Guide for Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher for information on configuring a report data model to use the backup data source.

About Pre Process Functions and Post Process Functions

You can define PL/SQL functions for BI Publisher to execute when a connection to a JDBC data source is created (preprocess function) or closed (postprocess function). The function must return a boolean value. This feature is supported for Oracle databases only.

These two fields enable the administrator to set a user's context attributes before a connection is made to a database and then to dismiss the attributes after the connection is broken by the extraction engine.

The system variable :xdo_user_name can be used as a bind variable to pass the login username to the PL/SQL function calls. Setting the login user context in this way enables you to secure data at the data source level (rather than at the SQL query level).

For example, assume you have defined the following sample function:

 FUNCTION set_per_process_username (username_in IN VARCHAR2)
   RETURN BOOLEAN IS
     BEGIN
     SETUSERCONTEXT(username_in);
     return TRUE;
   END set_per_process_username

To call this function every time a connection is made to the database, enter the following in the Pre Process Function field: set_per_process_username(:xdo_user_name)

Another sample usage may be to insert a row to the LOGTAB table every time a user connects or disconnects:

CREATE OR REPLACE FUNCTION BIP_LOG (user_name_in IN VARCHAR2, smode IN VARCHAR2) 
RETURN BOOLEAN AS
   BEGIN
   INSERT INTO LOGTAB VALUES(user_name_in, sysdate,smode);
   RETURN true;
   END BIP_LOG;

In the Pre Process Function field enter: BIP_LOG(:xdo_user_name)

As a new connection is made to the database, it is logged in the LOGTAB table. The SMODE value specifies the activity as an entry or an exit. Calling this function as a Post Process Function as well will return results like the following:

the picture is described in the document text

Setting Up a JDBC Connection to Your Data Source

Prerequisites

Setting Up a JDBC Connection to Your Data Source

  1. From the Administration page click JDBC Connection. This will display the list of existing JDBC connections.

  2. Click Add Data Source.

  3. Enter the following fields for the new connection:

  4. Click Test Connection. A confirmation will display.

    The following figure shows the general settings of the JDBC connection page:

    the picture is described in the document text

  5. (Optional) Enable a backup database for this connection by entering the following:

  6. Define security for this data source. Use the shuttle buttons to move roles from the Available Roles list to the Allowed Roles list. Only users assigned the roles on the Allowed Roles list will be able to create or view reports from this data source.

    The settings defined here will be passed down to the backup data source, if one is defined.

Setting Up a Database Connection Using a JNDI Connection Pool

BI Publisher supports connecting to your JDBC data source via a connection pool. Using a connection pool increases efficiency by maintaining a cache of physical connections that can be reused. When a client closes a connection, the connection gets placed back into the pool so that another client can use it. A connection pool improves performance and scalability by allowing multiple clients to share a small number of physical connections. You set up the connection pool in your application server and access it via Java Naming and Directory Interface (JNDI).

After you set up the connection pool in your application server, enter the required fields in this page so that BI Publisher can utilize the pool to establish connections. For information on setting up a connection pool in WebLogic Server, see the chapter "Configuring JDBC Data Sources" in the Oracle Fusion Middleware Configuring and Managing JDBC for Oracle WebLogic Server 11g.

  1. From the Administration page click JNDI Connection. This will display the list of existing JNDI connections.

  2. Click Add Data Source.

  3. Enter the following fields for the new connection:

  4. Click Test Connection. A confirmation message will display.

  5. Define security for this data source. Use the shuttle buttons to move roles from the Available Roles list to the Allowed Roles list. Only users assigned the roles on the Allowed Roles list will be able to create or view reports from this the data source.

Setting Up a Connection to an LDAP Server Data Source

  1. From the Administration page select LDAP Connection. This will display the list of existing LDAP connections.

  2. Click Add Data Source.

  3. Enter the following fields for the new connection:

  4. Click Test Connection.

  5. Define security for this data source. Use the shuttle buttons to move roles from the Available Roles list to the Allowed Roles list. Only users assigned the roles on the Allowed Roles list will be able to create data models from this the data source or view reports that run against this data source.

Setting Up a Connection to an OLAP Data Source

BI Publisher supports connecting to several types of OLAP databases. Note that to connect to Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services, BI Publisher must be installed on a supported Windows operating system.

  1. From the Administration page click OLAP Connection. This will display the list of existing OLAP connections.

  2. Click Add Data Source.

  3. Enter the following fields for the new connection:

  4. Click Test Connection. A confirmation message will display.

  5. Define security for this data source. Use the shuttle buttons to move roles from the Available Roles list to the Allowed Roles list. Only users assigned the roles on the Allowed Roles list will be able to create or view reports from this the data source.

Setting Up a Connection to a File Data Source

BI Publisher enables you to use existing XML or Microsoft Excel files created from other sources as input to your BI Publisher reports. To use a file as a data source, it must reside in a directory that BI Publisher can connect to. Set up the connection details to the file data source directory using this page.

  1. From the Administration page click File. This will display the list of existing file sources.

  2. Click Add Data Source.

  3. Enter the following fields for the new data source:

  4. Define security for this data source. Use the shuttle buttons to move roles from the Available Roles list to the Allowed Roles list. Only users assigned the roles on the Allowed Roles list will be able to create or view reports from this data source.

Viewing or Updating a Data Source

  1. From the Administration page select the Data Source type to update.

  2. Select the name of the connection to view or update. All fields are updateable. See the appropriate section for setting up the data source type for information on the required fields.

  3. Select Apply to apply any changes or Cancel to exit the update page.