OBIEE 11G – Error in Importing Metadata

Recently I start creating a repository (11g version) in offline mode and I want to import metadata which failed by the error ‘The connection has failed’.. I have searched for a solution and I will explain this in the next sections.

We can import some metadata from the Oracle BI Administration Tool > File > Import > from Database …  In the Import dialog box, we have to select a connection type, in my case ‘OCI 10g/11g’. Next step is to enter a Data Source Name (orcl) and a username and password from which you want to import the tables.

Import Metadata

By clicking on the ‘next’-button it troughs an error ‘The connection has failed..’ This was very weird because my Oracle DB and Listener were up-and-running. I had checked this before to make a connection via SQLdeveloper.

At this point I had to find a solution before I could go further on my repository modeling. On Oracle forums I found a nice tip which solves the problem.

The root cause can be found in the following directory:


There you will find a file named ‘user.cmd’ respectively ‘’. When you open the .cmd file you will see that you can set a TNS_ADMIN. This was not done earlier and this causes the problem of importing metadata through the wizard.

Solution: you have to set the TNS_ADMIN to an appropriate path such as <biee11>\Oracle_BI1\network\admin. This is the location where your tnsnames.ora is stored.

Edit User Command

Afterwards, you have to save the .cmd file and try again to import some metadata in the Administration Tool.

Note: maybe you have to close the Administration Tool or restart your BI-services. For me it was sufficient to restart the Administration Tool and everything was working fine!

Important remark: when you are creating Dashboards & Answers or you are working in Online mode and you want to retrieve some data for a certain table by selecting the option ‘View Data’, you will also get the error: ‘The connection has failed..’. This problem will only occur when your tnsnames.ora is not stored in the Oracle_BI1 directory.

Oracle BI EE 11g Launch Day!

Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition 11g, the new, industry-leading technology platform for business intelligence, which offers:

- A powerful end-user experience with rich visualisation, search, and actionable collaboration
- Advancements in analytics, OLAP, and enterprise reporting, with unmatched performance and scalability
- Simplified system configuration, life-cycle management, and performance optimisation

A first impression of the new BI Suite:

OBIEE 11g Lauch Website on

OBIEE 11g – New Features Overview

OBIEE 11g – Technical Overview paper

OBIEE 11g – New Interface Screenshots

Unfortenately still no news on the official product launch date.

Will be continued..

Oracle BI & BPM

When you talk about Business Intelligence, the true added value lies in real-time reporting. The dashboards or reports presented to you need to present accurate information about e.g. stock, human resources, bench marking, etc. This real-time reporting could be augmented even more when you can take action straight away when benchmarks aren’t met, campaigns need to be organised etc. In other words tighter integration with your reporting environment to make your company more agile and lean.

So let’s have a look at both technologies briefly:

  1. BPM = Business Process Management
  2. BPM gives you the opportunity to manage the existing business processes End 2 End. In other words you will define a portfolio of all existing business processes, analyse these business processes using the standards based language BPMN (Business Process Modelling Notation), simulate these processes to check if KPI’s are met, if needed re-engineer them, to finally start automating and executing these business processes using the standards based language BPEL (Business Process Execution Language).

  3. BI = Business Intelligence
  4. BI gives you the ability to gather and provide access to real-time information. It can deliver dynamically generated content, provide insight regarding benchmarks, forecasting and actionable tasks and most important of all guide users towards insight and action. The focus of BI is moving towards insight-driven business processes, to give users the ability to optimize these processes on unified, real-time and predictive data.

So how can we make this happen, how can we provide insight-driven business processes without loosing the focus on the data?

Some of the functionalities we can perform with the Oracle BIEE Web Services:

  1. Extract results from BI and feed them to external applications
  2. Execute queries and retrieve results.
  3. Execute iBots (BI Alerts).

By invoking these web services from within bpel processes we can interact with in flight business data and react when needed.

For more information regarding this integration and interaction, have a look at Oracle BI Webservices & BPEL.

Oracle BI – Dashboard Prompts & BI Publisher

One of the common questions that generally come up with regard to BI EE and BI Publisher is ‘how does one pass parameters to BI Publisher reports in Dashboards?’. One of the solution is to create a BI Publisher Report using HR-scheme as data source. Define a parameter for the BI Publisher report and then match this parameter name while assigning the presentation variable for the dashboard prompt.

This method is generally the most used since most of the BI Publisher reports would have database as the data source.

We create a simple BI Publisher report with data coming in from HR-schema of the database.


  • Default Data Source: HR
  • Parameters per line: 1
  • Show Controls: unchecked

Overview BI Publisher Report:

First we will create a new data model, called DS_HR. SQL query will be:

Now add a parameter to the report. In our case, we will have ‘pDept’ as the parameter name.

Create a new RTF-template with following fields:

At least add a template to our report. Upload the template you’ve created before and create a new template name ‘TemplateHR’.

Save Report and test your BI Publisher report to be sure everything is OK.
Then go to the BI Answers and create a dashboard prompt on ‘department name’.

Note: The name of the presentation variable must exactly match that of BI Publisher parameter name.

We set default value to ‘IT’ and assign presentation variable to ‘pDept’.

Include this dashboard prompt and the BI Publisher report into the dashboards.

Final result in Oracle BI Dashboard:

When you checked ‘show controls’ in the BI Publisher report:

With this option enabled, you can choose different templates and output formats.