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Best Practices from Oracle Development's A‑Team

Using Catalog Manager with Oracle Analytics Cloud

Last Validated August 7, 2019 with OAC 105.3, Windows Developer Client 105.3, and Windows 2016

Introduction

The latest releases of Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC) now support the use of Catalog Manager. Catalog Manager is a tool that lets you perform online and offline management of OAC Catalogs.

This post describes how to use Catalog Manager with Oracle Analytics Cloud. It is a step-by-step guide if you wish to perform the steps yourself. Links to Documentation are provided for all steps. Screen shots are also provided for Catalog Manager steps.

For complete details of the extensive Catalog Manager capabilities visit Configuring and Managing the OAC Catalog.

Catalog Manager may be used to:

  • Manage folders, shortcuts, global variables, and objects (analyses, filters, prompts, dashboards, and so on). For example, you can rename and delete objects, and you can move and copy objects within and between catalogs.

  • View and edit catalog objects in Extensible Markup Language (XML).

  • Preview objects, such as analyses and prompts.

  • Search for and replace catalog text.

  • Search for catalog objects.

  • Create analyses to display catalog data.

Many of the operations that you can perform in Catalog Manager can also be performed through the Catalog page in Oracle BI Presentation Services. The best use cases for Catalog Manager are large scale batch-type changes e.g. renaming all objects to add a prefix.

Updates

  • Validated February 4, 2019 for OAC version 105.1.0-217 and OAC Developer Client 19.1.1

  • Published and Validated January 31, 2019 for OAC version 105.1.0-217, Oracle Business Intelligence 12.2.5.1.0 and Oracle Business Intelligence Developer Client Tool 12.2.1.4.0

Topics

  • Preparing to use Catalog Manager

  • Using Catalog Manager in Online Mode

  • Using Catalog Manager in Offline Mode

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Preparing to use Catalog Manager

Catalog Manager must first be downloaded and installed. It runs on both Linux and Windows. This post uses a Windows 7 client.

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Downloading Catalog Manager

Catalog Manager is part of the OAC Developer Client and BI Developer Tools.

Download the latest OAC version from the Oracle Technology Network (OTN) at Developer Client Tool for OAC

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Installing Catalog Manager

Unzip the compressed download file and run the installer. Provide a home directory when prompted e.g. C:\oracle\OACclient\version

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Starting Catalog Manager

The Catalog Manager executable is found in < Your OAC Client Home >\bi\bitools\bin and is named runcat.cmd.It can be started either through a command prompt or via the Windows Start menu.

Ensure you take a current snapshot of the OAC instance before making modifications. Catalog Manager commits changes immediately. There is no undo function.

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Closing and Exiting Catalog Manager

In Catalog Manager:

Click File > Close.

Click File > Exit.

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Using Catalog Manager in Online Mode

"In Online mode, you connect to a catalog running in OAC. In this mode your permissions are applied, you can select a locale, and you can see the effects of any localization on the catalog. You can see only those objects for which you have the appropriate permissions.

Use Online mode when you want to make minor incremental changes or additions to the catalog, such as changes to permissions, updates to a single object, or migration of new objects to a production environment

Performance may be slower than offline mode for a large number of changes due to network latency between the cloud and your client and the extra security checks.

Generally, the operations available in Online mode include read-only operations and write operations that do not affect the entire catalog, such as setting permissions for an object". 

From Configuring and Managing the OAC Catalog

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Opening the OAC Catalog in Online Mode

Start Catalog Manager. Follow the steps in Opening an Oracle BI Presentation Catalog to open an OAC Catalog.

Note: The User cannot be a SSO Federated User, it has to be a native IDCS User.

The URL is in the format:
https://< Your Instance >-< Your Tenant >.analytics.ocp.oraclecloud.com/analytics-ws/saw.dll?

Choose Online for the Type

Enter the URL as noted above

Enter your OAC User and Password

Optionally change the Locale and the View Only Mode.

Click OK

 

Example Operation in Online Mode

This simplistic example demonstrates the task of creating a shared folder with default permissions.

Expand the Catalog Root

Right-Click Shared Folders

Click Create Folder

Type a Name for the Folder e.g. Online Shared Folder

Using Catalog Manager in Offline Mode

In offline mode, you connect to a local file system. In this mode, you are logged in as a super user or system user, and no permissions are applied. You can see all objects in the catalog.

Generally, working in offline mode is faster than working in online mode. This is because you are accessing, creating, and updating the individual files directly, and the catalog does not have to communicate with Presentation Services as it does when you are working in online mode.

Use offline mode when you want to make catalog-wide changes, such as globally renaming objects or moving multiple objects for reorganization, as described in the following procedure.

Although faster, the offline method is more complex. To justify the process, it should be used only for extensive changes. The process requires:

  • Creating and Downloading an OAC Snapshot

  • Creating Catalog Folder Archives using OAC

  • Securing the OAC Folders to be Modified

  • Decompressing the Downloaded Snapshot BAR file

  • Updating the Decompressed Catalog in Offline Mode

  • Creating Catalog Folder Archives using Catalog Manager

  • Unarchiving Catalog Folder Archives using OAC

  • Most of the tasks described here require Administrator privileges.

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Creating and Downloading an OAC Snapshot

Catalog Manager requires a complete catalog structure. An OAC snapshot contains this structure whereas a catalog archive does not.

Follow the steps in Take a Snapshot and Download Snapshots to create and download a snapshot onto your client.

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Creating Catalog Folder Archives using OAC

When the snapshot obtained above is decompressed, all time stamps in the catalog are set to the decompression data and time. Except for objects changed by Catalog Manager, these timestamps persist when the catalog folders are uploaded back to OAC.

Archiving Catalog Folders preserves the OAC timestamps and places the archived folder on your client.

Follow the steps in Save Content to a Catalog Archive to archive a catalog folder or folders using OAC. The best practice is to archive the highest level parent folders of the folder to be modified.

Ensure to check the boxes Keep Permissions and Keep Timestamps

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Securing the OAC Folders to be Modified

Follow the steps in Permission Definitions to set the OAC folder permissions so other users cannot modify the folders while you are modifying them.

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Decompressing the BAR file

Decompress the Snapshot BAR file using a utility such as Unzip, 7-Zip, etc. to obtain the complete OAC catalog structure.

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Updating the Decompressed Catalog in Offline Mode

Updating the catalog entails opening the catalog in offline mode, deleting the folders to be modified, unarchiving the OAC folders to be modified with the correct timestamps, and performing your modifications.

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Opening the OAC Catalog in Offline Mode

Follow the steps as shown below to open the OAC Catalog.

Choose Offline for the Type

Enter the Path. The path in the decompressed folder ends with content\catalog

Optionally change the View Only Mode.

Click OK

Deleting the Folders to be Modified using Catalog Manager

Deleting a folder allows the following unarchiving process to recreate the folder with the correct timestamps.

To delete a folder, right-click on it and click Delete.

Expand the Catalog Root

Expand the shared folder

Right-Click on the folder to delete e.g. Donations Overview

Click Delete

Unarchiving the OAC Catalog Folders using Catalog Manager

Unarchiving OAC folders resets the OAC timestamps to those in OAC.

Follow the steps in Unarchiving a Folder Using Catalog Manager to unarchive the folders before modifications,

The example below shows the Donations Overview folder being unarchived.

Expand the Catalog Root

Click on the shared folder to select it

From the menu bar, click File > Unarchive

Enter the File Path of the archived file

Click OK

Click OK when the operation is done.

Example Operation in Offline Mode

The very simplistic example below demonstrates the task of creating a new folder with default permissions.

Expand the Catalog Root

Expand the shared folder

Right-Click the Donations Overview Folder

Click Create Folder

Type a Name for the Folder e.g. Offline Shared Folder

In Offline mode, the owner, creator, and modifier of new objects defaults to System Account. This may be modified once the object is uploaded to OAC or left as-is.

Creating Catalog Folder Archives using Catalog Manager

I have not found a way to "Re-BAR" the decompressed snapshot folder that is acceptable to OAC without a full installation of OBIEE on your client. Archiving the modified folders is the method used here to deliver the updates to OAC instead of uploading and restoring an updated snapshot.

Follow the steps in Archiving a Folder Using Catalog Manager to archive the modified folders.

The example below shows the updated Donations Overview folder being archived to a file named Donations Overview

Expand the Catalog Root

Expand the shared folder

Click on the Donations Overview folder to select it

From the menu bar, click File > Archive

Enter the File Path of the directory to contain the archived file

Click OK

Click OK when the operation is done

Unarchiving Catalog Folder Archives using OAC

Back in OAC, Unarchive the folders you modified and archived in Catalog Manager

Follow the step in Upload Content from a Catalog Archive to unarchive the modified folders.

Ensure to select Preserve for ACL

Summary

This post described how to use Catalog Manager with Oracle Analytics Cloud. It demonstrated using Catalog Manager in both online and offline modes.

For more OAC, BICS and BI best practices, tips, tricks, and guidance that the A-Team members gain from real-world experiences working with customers and partners, visit http://www.ateam-oracle.com/dayne-carley

 

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