3 Tips for Smooth OBIEE Administration
OBIEE administration is frequently an avoided topic. However, I believe that it is important for OBIEE projects to have processes and procedures in place to ensure smooth operation and administration of OBIEE services. I have witnessed how issues related to OBIEE administration can wreak havoc on development deliverables and timelines, contributing to delays and unnecessary costs. Regardless of the project maturity, OBIEE projects frequently struggle with issues such as multiuser development and migration across environments. So, in this blog, I offer three tips that will help to make your OBIEE implantation a smooth one.
Tip 1. Keep good documentation of the OBIEE administration processes.
Make sure you document everything related to the OBIEE administration. This includes passwords, paths to the necessary configuration files (such as NQSConfig.INI and instanceconfig.xml), security tables with application roles and mappings, RCU schema information, and installation paths. Later on, when the project is more mature, you might want to start flowcharts of the various processes (such as RPD or webcat migration). Finally, keep a spreadsheet with the detailed environment information, including server names and ports for various services. For your technical team, having proper documentation will improve operational efficiency. For management, this documentation reduces risks assumed in transitions.
Tip 2. Automate your most common tasks.
This is a no-brainer. Automating your day-today tasks — such as Fusion Middleware stack startup/shutdown, migrating RPD and webcat, and testing connection pools — will save time, reduce the risk of errors related to manual actions, and allow you to focus on important items. Well-written scripts enable you to use a single command to launch multiple processes at once (such as starting Node Manager, Web Admin Server, Web Managed Server, and all OPMN processes). They also allow for things like changing connection pools with scripting or populating weblogic security users/groups with a script.
Tip 3. Establish clear deployment schedules and procedures.
There is nothing worse than ad-hoc deployments when it comes to development, test, and production environments. While they are sometimes necessary for critical issues, many times the ad-hoc migrations can be avoided with good planning. For this reason, clear expectations need to be set with development teams as to how many times an RPD or webcat could be migrated to another environment. While there are no universal recommendations since every project is unique, frequent production updates may indicate an issue with QA. Agile BI is a great way to run the project, but it is not acceptable cover for not following the change management process. Finally, establish what OBIEE Administrators require for a successful deployment (such as RPD, webcat, connection pool information, and any security changes). That, along with an open communication plan, will play a huge role in making your project successful.
I hope these tips are helpful to you whether you are starting a new project or trying to refactor a current one.