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Getting started with Oracle BI: a virtual experience – Part IV

(continued from Part III)

Step 6

Once the VirtualBox app informs you that the process completed successfully the imported VM will show up in the left pane with “Powered Off” label  as shown on Figure 1.

You’re almost ready to start the machine; there is one more task that needs to be completed before you could launch your OBIEE sample - make sure that hardware virtualization support (VT-x for Intel platforms, and AMD-V for AMD based machines) is enabled. The setting is in your system’s BIOS, normally under Security menu (here is a link to an article explaining how to access BIOS settings on a computer )

Step 7

After you’ve enabled the VT-x setting, save it and exit the BIOS; allow the machine to boot up. Start up VirtualBox and select the imported VM image.

Before you start the image you need make sure that your system’s settings are within recommended optimum. Click on Settings button, and then on System menu option as shown on the Fig.2

Make sure that Base Memory is in the green area of the ruler (click and drag the central marker to adjust settings). While there might be temptation to increase memory allocated to VM (with the idea that it might speed things up), allocating too much might crash the system; keep in mind that your Windows and VM Linux+Oracle Applications will be competing for the same RAM.

Click OK to exit the screen

Step 8.

With SampleApp_V107 entry selected (see Figure 1), click Start button on toolbar (alternatively you may select Start option from right-click pop-up menu).  The VirtualBox will load VM image containing Oracle Enterprise Linux system which might take some time (20 min for my machine), as shown on Figures 3 and 4

Along the way you might see several pop-up messages informing you that you have “Auto capture keyboard turned on” or that “Host OS does not support mouse pointer integration” as shown on the pictures below -  click OK each time, you may also check the “Do not show this message again” box at the bottom of each pop-up message (Figures 5 and 6)

Finally, the VM will be loaded and you will be prompted to enter your user name to log onto system (Figure 3). The user name is “oracle”, password is “oracle” (both lower case; press Enter after typing in eachoracle).  NB: You could also selects a different the default language for the system by clicking on Languages option at the bottom of the screen (see Figure7)

Upon login the desktop (GNOME) would look similar to the one shown on Fig. 8

(continued in Part V of  Getting started with Oracle BI:  a virtual experience)






Getting started with Oracle BI: a virtual experience – Part II

(continued from Part I)

Step 3.

Download OBIEE Sample application (V107) from the Oracle’s site. The download includes deployment guide, VirtualBox VB Image Key - the deployment descriptor which is needed to convert VMDK image disk file into a working virtual machine, and the VMDK files themselves; the downloads descriptor on the Oracle site is shown on Figure 1.

The VMDK files are hosted at FTP server and you could use an FTP client of your choice (default port 21, user “robic1”, password “1pertg9edq”), or use your browser’s FTP capabilities. I went with the latter option; Figure 2 shows the directory structure for the FTP site:

The number of archives available for download was a bit puzzling, and for some reason- in my experience - the downloaded files were invariably corrupted upon assembly; downloading straight VMDK  files from the Unzipped_Version directory worked for me.

(NB: verfying CHECKSUM - see file [checksum.md5] on Fig.2 - would provide reasonable assurance that the files were not tampered with; for instance, you could use FastSum free utility for this)

As part of the download, click on VB Image Key (.ovf) link shown on the Figure 1; both the OVF key file and four .VMDK files must be in the same directory.

The downloads take approximately 25GB of space. Make sure that you have plenty of space for the download and installation.

(continued in Part III of  Getting started with Oracle BI:  a virtual experience)


Getting started with Oracle BI: a virtual experience – Part I

Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition is a suite of that integrates a number of different applications acquired by Oracle during its shopping spree for the last 10 years. At the heart of the system is Siebel Analytics which Oracle had acquired in 2005, and at the heart of Siebel Analytics is nQuire which it gobbled up in 2002.

The Oracle analytics platform is facing stiff competition in the enterprise arena from the entrenched rivals in a rapidly consolidating market such as Cognos (acquired by IBM in 2008 ), Business Objects SA (acquired by SAP in 2007 ), Microstrategy Inc. (the only remaining independent heavy-weight) and Microsoft Business Intelligence Solutions ( MS SQL Server, MS Office and Microsoft SharePoint Server). In the Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for business Intelligence Platforms all these are in the Leaders quadrant (along with SAS, Information Builders and QlikTech).

As with every enterprise piece of software the users who want to have a hands-on experience face a challenge - procuring, installing and configuring OBIEE components is a daunting experience. Realizing this Oracle had provided prebuilt virtual environments that could be downloaded free of charge - a full-blown installation of OBIEE, complete with database server , application server and demo applications built on top of the stack.

This post (and a couple of follow up) describe my personal journey of installing OBIEE on a woefully under-powered 32-bit Windows XP Pro/SP3two-core 1.86GHz machine which barely met requirements set by Oracle:

  • 4GB of RAM (the max under 32bit systems)
  • 75GB free space (double this number for better performance!)
  • NTFS file system (non-negotiable on Windows machines!)
NB: If you are using old FAT32 system for your Windows XP machine, stop right here - since the VM image files are larger than 4GB supported by the FAT32 file system you wont't be able to download/unzip files, let alone run the application. You can convert FAT32 into NTFS (e.g. by running CONVERT /FS:NTFS command from command line) but keep in mind that this will be a one-way process.

It took me several hours to download, unzip, install and configure the appliance - and I had to start from scratch a couple times... Here is my step-by-step journey of downloading, installing and running OBIEE - Sample Application (V107) virtual machine - hopefully it might help you along the way!

Step 1.  

Get Oracle VM VirtualBox application here (you might need to create an Oracle Technology Network account to download trial products); select the installation for your particular operating system - Windows, Mac OS X, Solaris or various flavors of Linux. The download is about 90MB in size.

Step 2.

Install Oracle VM VirtualBox. On my Windows XP 32-bit machine the process was rather straightforward - accept all defaults by clicking Next button.... The installation takes additional ~120MB.

The application appears in the Programs menu as shown on Fig. 1


(continued in Part II of  Getting started with Oracle BI:  a virtual experience)