OBIEE Features that makes you upgrade today!

You get what you want! Oracle is listening!

To download click here! Also like to take this chance to congratulate KScope15 which I’m missing out this year! Hopefully Chicago KScope16 will be easier for me to get to. Remember to pay a visit to BITeamwork and being able to Collaborate in OBIEE is really a great feature!

It’s been a long while since I’ve been properly writing. A list of features you will start using today! I will go through these features individually. Feeling excited!!!

  1. HTML5 (New Charting Engine) 
  2. SmartView (Best Office Integration)
  3. Treemap (New Graphics)
  4. Prompt before Opening Dashboard (Delay Execution)
  5. Save Column As (Saving Custom Column)
  6. Global Variable (Saving variables or custom formula)
  7. Subject Area Search (Searching in Subject Area)
  8. Custom Image Upload
OBIEE New Visuals
OBIEE New Visuals

Enabling HTML5 in OBIEE

Reason: Why would you want to enable HTML5? Simply because generating charts would be much quicker!!! Moreover, you don’t need flash plugin!!!

To do this, you will need to edit InstanceConfig.xml

Add under Views, add DefaultWebImageType and reminder that it is case sensitive. Use html5.


To get the following:

<!--This Configuration setting is managed by Oracle Enterprise Manager Fusion Middleware Control-->
<!--This Configuration setting is managed by Oracle Enterprise Manager Fusion Middleware Control-->
<!--This Configuration setting is managed by Oracle Enterprise Manager Fusion Middleware Control-->
<!--This Configuration setting is managed by Oracle Enterprise Manager Fusion Middleware Control-->
<!--This Configuration setting is managed by Oracle Enterprise Manager Fusion Middleware Control-->

It should look like this:


Finally save and restart your services.

SmartView (Best Office Integration)

Reason: From day 1 at work, you should already be using Excel. Apart from Outlook, Excel is the most widely used tool for daily office work. Leverage your Excel skills by using SmartView which integrates OBIEE.

You may also be interested in my article with Oracle, click here.

The new link to download SmartView is now redirected to Oracle’s site.

To download SmartView:



Brings you here to download:



Treemap (New Graphics)

Reason: Treemap is best for displaying hierarchically structured data. The space in the visualization is split up into rectangles that are sized and ordered by a quantitative variable.

The levels in the hierarchy of the treemap are visualized as rectangles containing other rectangles. Each set of rectangles on the same level in the hierarchy represents a column or an expression in a data table. Each individual rectangle on a level in the hierarchy represents a category in a column. For example, a rectangle representing a Product Group may contain several rectangles representing Products in that Group. Each rectangle representing a Product may in turn contain rectangles representing SKUs in these Groups. You can create a treemap hierarchy directly in the visualization, or use an already defined hierarchy.

OBIEE treemap allows you to drill down which is excellent for this kind of analyses.

An example of above by displaying Revenue by Size by Product Type and color fill by Discount Rate. This interprets as Audio giving highest revenue while giving lowest Discount Rate. Camera is giving a high discount rate but having relatively good Revenue. Excellent interpretation by treemap!



When put into the dashboard, it gives a very good general idea of how your company is doing individually with product groups and discount rate. If we look at the table, it is a lot harder to interpret than the treemap.



Prompt before Opening Dashboard (Delay Execution)

Reason: There are times you create a dashboard with one or more queries that requires long loading time. This inhibits users to override the default prompts before executing the dashboard.

When this is the case, delay execution of the Dashboard is required.

Edit the dashboard properties and choose Prompt before Opening, click ok and save.



Let’s take a look at the dashboard now. It clearly states that “Opening this dashboard page may take a while. Select prompt values and click Continue if you want to open this page”.

So basically, choose the prompts you want to use and click continue. The dashboard will load normally again.


Note that you may want to use this in conjunction with Apply in prompts since this feature will only happen once. When users choose new prompts, this function will not be used again.

Save Column As (Saving Custom Column)

Reason: There are power users within end users and usually, these power users cannot access the RPD. It is a common requirement that they have access to add common calculated measures or columns.

This can now be done by using Save Column As so that power users can actually save a custom column and reuse it. This can also be centrally managed so that if formula changes, all Answer reports get changed.


The saved column is under Catalogs. If you like to reuse or edit it, you can choose from the catalog. If you choose Add, it will retain the link to the Saved Object. If you choose to copy, it unlinks the saved object, hence when the object formula changes, this will not affect the local Answer report.


Global Variable (Saving variables or custom formula)

Reason: There are times when Variables are to be modified by end users or power users. When this is needed, there is currently no intuitive way in OBIEE to do this. This variable may sometimes even be a formula. This can now be done using Global Variables.

When you edit any column, you can create or reuse a Global Variable. Click Variable and choose Global…



Highlight to choose the variable you need. Else you can Add, Delete or Edit the variables as required.



Subject Area Search (Searching in Subject Area)

Reason: Majority of the time, power users, end users or even the development team would like to be able to search large subject areas rather than remembering the folders and searching through it one by one.



This is now available.Click the magnifying glass on the Subject Areas control and type in the keyword needed. Notice that you don’t need asterisks as wildcard. It searches it as a keyword throughout the Subject Area. Neat!!!


Custom Image Upload

Reason: While creating Answers or cosmetic makeups to the dashboard, often it is required to use custom images, such as a Product logo.

This can now be easily done. Below is an example of selecting an image in a Title view. Moreover, Title View now has an option to display the run time of the Answer report.



Result will look like this:


Once uploaded, the image is saved to the custom folder for future maintenance. Reminder that you will need to check “Show Hidden Items” to be able to find custom images folder.




With the mentioned features, it’s more than convincing to make your step for an upgrade. Actually, there’s just simply no reason why you shouldn’t upgrade today!


Author: Steve Yeung

Being in the EPM & BI field for more than 8 years, it's about time I contribute to newcomers! As a founder of I wish to give you all the help I can. Feel free to give any suggestions or questions. Hope you will all enjoy this blog! William Wong Essbase Certified Specialist OBIEE Certified Specialist

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