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Oracle® Business Intelligence New Features Guide

Part Number E10416-07
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1 Oracle BI Answers-Based Metadata Dictionary Feature in Release

This new feature enables administrators to analyze metadata repository statistics in Oracle BI Answers. This chapter contains the following sections:

1.1 Overview of Accessing the Metadata Dictionary from Oracle BI Answers

The Oracle BI Server can generate a Metadata Dictionary that describes the metrics contained within the repository and the attributes of repository objects. The Metadata Dictionary output is a static set of XML documents. For more information about the Metadata Dictionary, see Oracle Business Intelligence Server Administration Guide.

In this release, this Metadata Dictionary can be accessed directly from the Oracle BI Answers selection pane where specific metadata information is shown to guide report construction. Once this Oracle BI Answers-based functionality has been enabled as described in this section, an icon is displayed next to each Subject Area, Table name, and Column shown in the selection pane for that Subject Area. The Subject Area icon is always displayed, whereas the Table name and Column name icons are only displayed on mouse-over. Clicking on the icon displays a specific Metadata Dictionary page to show information for that element and links to related repository information.

1.2 Configuration for the Oracle BI Answers-Based Metadata Dictionary Feature

This section explains how to configure the Oracle BI Answers Based Metadata Dictionary feature.

To configure this functionality, a Metadata Dictionary should first be generated using the Oracle BI Administration Tool, as follows:

  1. On the computer where Oracle BI is installed, launch the Oracle BI Administration Tool.

  2. Log in to the desired repository in "Offline" mode.

  3. Create the dictionary using: Tools -> Utilities -> Generate Metadata Dictionary.

Once the newly-generated Metadata Dictionary has been saved, it should then be packaged and deployed to the application server as appropriate for your installation. If you are using IIS as a web server, then placing the Metadata Dictionary in the "OracleBIData" directory is a recommended practice (for example, within OracleBIData\web\res\dictionary). Any http-based location also works.

The following "SubjectAreaMetadata" node must be added to the Presentation Services instanceconfig.xml file to specify this selected location. Add the element under the "ServerInstance" node. See the "Making Oracle BI Presentation Services Configuration Changes" section within Oracle Business Intelligence Presentation Services Administration Guide for more information on editing the instanceconfig.xml configuration file.

Here is an example showing a relative reference to the IIS location previously mentioned. For any other application server this path would point to where the WAR file had been deployed.


Generate the Metadata Dictionary, make this configuration change, then restart Presentation Services to use this feature. Best practices include keeping repository names to less than 156 characters to prevent truncated URLs. Access to the Metadata Dictionary through Oracle BI Answers can also be administered using a new Access to Metadata Dictionary privilege. Finally, some versions of browsers (such as Internet Explorer 6 or Firefox 1.6) might have problems showing these XML-based files if they are not configured to access data sources across domains. This setting should be enabled.