19 Using Variables in the Oracle BI Repository

This chapter describes how to use repository using variables invariables in the Oracle BI repository to streamline administrative tasks and dynamically modify metadata content to adjust to a changing data environment. There are two classes of variables: repository variables and session variables.
  • A repository variable has a single value at any point in time. There are two types of repository variables: static and dynamic.

  • Session variables are created and assigned a value when each user logs on. There are two types of session variables: system and nonsystem.

Initialization blocks are used to initialize dynamic repository variables, system session variables, and nonsystem session variables.

You can use the Variable Manager in the Administration Tool to define variables. The Variable Manager dialog has two panes. The left pane displays a tree that shows variables and initialization blocks, and the right pane displays details of the item you select in the left pane. Repository variables and system and nonsystem session variables are represented by a question mark icon. The icon for an initialization block is a cube labeled with a question mark and a clock.


Values in repository and session variables are not secure, because object permissions do not apply to variables. Anybody who knows or can guess the name of the variable can use it in an expression in Answers or in a Logical SQL query. Because of this, do not put sensitive data like passwords in session or repository variables.

This chapter contains the following topics: