Migrating OBIEE Reports Between Web Catalogs

December 12th, 2007 by

One of the questions I always get asked during my BI seminars is how you migrate OBIEE requests and dashboards from one Web Catalog to another. The context of this is usually that you’re putting your project into production, or test or whatever, you’ve migrated the RPD file (or parts of it using repository exports and imports), now you want to migrate across the reports and dashboards.

The easiest way of migrating across Web Catalog objects is to use the Catalog Manager application that comes with OBIEE and higher. You’ll be using the copy and paste feature of the tool to copy across the items, so first of all start up Catalog Manager and connect to the Web Catalog that has the objects you wish to migrate. Locate the first of the objects (or a folder, if there’s a whole set of requests to migrate), and select Copy from the application toolbar.

Then, either close this catalog and open one you want to copy to, or start another copy of Catalog Manager, and paste the objects into the other catalog.

Make sure you don’t close down all of the Catalog Manager applications before pasting the objects into the other catalog, as the objects will be lost from the clipboard – they’re only present whilst at least one copy of Catalog Manager is open.

As an alternative to the GUI, you can copy individual requests, dashboards or whole folders using filesystem copies. [Note, however, this warning from Kurt Wolff, who notes that copying the webcat files using anything other than the supported means risks introducing corruptions that may not be obvious straightaway.] If you locate the catalog you wish to copy from in your filesystem – for me, it’s at C:\product\OracleBIData\web\catalog\paint\, you can copy whole folders across to your other catalog, or individual requests, as they are (from onwards) stored as individual XML files within a catalog filesystem.

Be sure to copy both the report XML file (in the format report+name with no file type suffix) and the accompanying attribute file (the same file name, with a .atr as a suffix) to the new catalog, the first file contains the report criteria definition in XML format whilst the accompanying attribute file contains the name of the request owner, the access control list and so on. Once you’ve copied these files across, they will appear in the new Web Catalog and will run as long as the relevant logical tables are present and correct in the RPD file.


  1. Adrian Ward Says:

    Hi Mark

    We tend to find that the Production site is very well locked down, and the Administrators are not too compfortable with the Catalog method, although there is nothing wrong with doing it that way. A simple ‘hands off’ approach is to use the copy atr method, which is scripted using a batch file. The reports are burnt to a release CD and the adminstrator runs a batch command which automatically creates the folders, atr and xml files.
    Another approach is to write the reports in a development area of the production webcat (folders only developers can see). This has the added bonus of using live data for the testing, and can be UAT’s easily. When fully tested they can be saved into the visible folders.


  2. Suyog Says:

    One thing to note while copying catalog files from disk, is to make sure the destination catalog has the same security model (users/groups) as the source. Otherwise permissions for certain users will not apply

  3. Mark Rittman Says:

    @Adrian – thanks, again I was thinking of you when I wrote the post, I think I remember you mentioning the “requests as separate XML files” new feature in in an earlier blog post of yours. Thanks for the extra information on the approach that you take – cheers.

    @Suyog – yes, you’re right. I did think about mentioning users and roles having to be present in the Web Catalog you’re copying to when I wrote the post, but I left it out to keep it simple. You’re right though, I’ll try and supplement the posting later on with what happens when users and roles aren’t present.

  4. Raymond Says:

    Hi Mark,

    We have introduced the Catalog Manager as tool for releasing reports to acceptance and production. However instead of using the copy function we use the Archive / Unarchive functions found in the File menu. These functions make use of the setting found in Preferences under the Tools menu, which handle the pasting of reports in different ways e.g. not to allow over writing of reports, to use current folder user management or rather import user management etc. We have had no problems as yet. It would have been nice if the same tool could have been used for the BI Publisher reports as well.


  5. Tida Says:


    I’m using Oracle BI EE When I’m trying to copy folder from one catalog to another catalog, I have receive the error of “Destination same as source:/Shared/paintpui”.

    Could you please advise?


  6. Remc0 Says:

    We are using the archive function to migrate between web catalogs, this works fine as well! And give you a little bit more user interface then a filesystem.

    And you only have to deliver 1 file and not a bunch!

  7. Chandra Says:


    We tried the ‘Archive-UnArchive’ option. We archived and posted the folders that we want to migrate to a version control tool. From there we ‘un-archived’ to the target calalog using CM. We noticed issues with Prompts. They got migrated but did not work as intended.

    What option of migrating between CM would be best when we want to version control the folders? Is it the ‘Archive-Unarchive’ or ‘Copy/Paste’ or the ‘Folder’ option that Mark suggested in the above article?


  8. Oracle BI EE - Merging of Web Catalogs - 2-way merge with no parent « Business Intelligence - Oracle Says:

    […] to copy over the web catalog folders from one machine to the other. Mark has an excellent article here on the above two approaches. But what we shall see today is something that we can use to automate […]

  9. Rittman Mead Consulting » Blog Archive » Migration OBIEE Projects Between DEV and PROD Environments Says:

    […] Interactive migrations are carried out in a similar way to repository migrations, but this time using two copies of the Catalog Manager application open, one connected to the DEV web catalog and one connected to the PROD web catalog. Like the BI Server repository, the web catalog can be opened offline by navigating to the %ORACLEBIDATA%webcatalogcatalog_name directory (be careful that you open the correct directory, otherwise the Catalog Manager application will helpfully create a new web catalog for you rather than point out that it cannot find one at this location), or online by connecting to the BI Presentation Services URL. Once connected, you can cut and paste objects between the two catalogs as shown in this blog posting here. […]

  10. Alvin Says:


    I am well aware of migration of webcats via filesystems and Catalog Manager. Everything is goign smooth, the only problem I have is that my settings for column properties are not displaying (For example, Custom column heading and column alignments). I could see that it was transferred and apparent in the report xml files but all data is automatically displaying default settings only. Has anybody come across the same issue? Thanks in advance.


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