Discoverer 11g Now Available for Download

July 14th, 2009 by

Blink and you may have missed it, but the 11g release of Discoverer is now available for download as part of Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g. Now back in the old days, a major new release of Discoverer such as this would have been big news, but of course now most people’s attention is focused on Oracle BI Enterprise Edition Plus, which by most estimates is probably due our later next year, but there are some major changes that come with this new release of Discoverer which are worth taking a look at.

The most obvious change in the 11g Discoverer release is the move away from Oracle Application Server, and OC4J, to start using Oracle Weblogic Server which is now the standard within Oracle Fusion Middleware. Weblogic performs much the same function as Oracle Application Server in that it’s a J2EE application server, so in that regard things aren’t much different when it comes to the end-user elements of Discoverer – Discoverer is now just running in a different J2EE container than it did before. From the application server administration perspective though things are a fair bit different, and the installation itself differs significantly from the 9iAS/10gR1/10gR2 versions.

Whilst there are potentially a lot of Fusion Middleware 11g components you can download, to get a bare-bones Discoverer 11g system up and running you need to download:

  • Oracle Weblogic Server 11gR1 (earlier versions might be supported, I’m not sure)
  • Repository Creation Utility
  • Portal, Forms, Reports and Discoverer

All of these components are available for Windows, Linux and Unix. Unlike previous releases of Oracle Application Server, you need to install the application server first, like this:

Install Wls

In addition, you’ll need an Oracle 11gR1 database to hold the repository metadata used by the Portal, Forms, Reports and Discoverer components, which needs to be patched up to 11.1.0.7 before you can run the Repository Creation Utility.

Running the Repository Creation Utility gives you the option to create repository schemas for the various components within the wider Fusion Middleware 11g stack, but for now I’m just going to create a schema for the Discoverer application metadata.

Rcu1

If you’ve ever installed Oracle Application Server’s previous repository into a standalone database, rather than use the packaged database that comes with the Application Server installer, this is a very similar process. What Oracle have done here is decouple the application server itself, the repository creation and the database it goes into, into separate parts. Presumably at some point in the future you’ll be able to store Fusion Middleware’s repositories into databases other than Oracle, but for now you’re restricted to an 11.1.0.7 version of the Oracle Database (though Discoverer itself can still report against 9i, 10g and 11g Oracle databases).

Once you’ve installed Weblogic and created the repository schemas, you can start the Portal, Reports, Forms and Discover installer (see what great company we keep). This lets you install all or just a selection of these components, like this:

Select Disco Components

If you want to install Portal as well, you need to use the 10.1.3.4 Oracle Identity Management installer to create an OID installation, then you need to set up Single Sign-On using either the 10g SSO disks or the 11g ones. So there’s a bit of legacy stuff in this release, you need to keep your OAS 10g disks available as you seem to need them at various points. For now though, I skipped the Portal install and was therefore able to skip all the steps around OID and SSO.

Once the install takes place, you then go through the post-install configuration steps. Now on Linux x86 this went fine, but on Windows Server 2003 the configuration failed at the OHS creation step, according to the logs it couldn’t restart opmnctl and after a lot of fiddling, I still couldn’t fix it. After switching to Linux though it worked fine, with all of the configuration steps completing as normal.

Disco Config Complete

One other thing I noticed, from running Fusion Middleware 11g on both a Windows Server 2003 VMWare virtual machine, and an Oracle Linux 5 virtual machine (each with 2GB of RAM on a 4GB laptop), was that memory consumption on the Linux VM was much less – on the Windows VM, the fan was constantly on when Weblogic was running, whilst on Linux it’s just ticking away in the background with little memory usage. This corresponds with other work I’ve done with OBIEE and EPM Suite running on Weblogic, on a Windows VM the system is constantly swapping whilst on Linux, it runs really nicely. Something to bear in mind if you’re putting a demo system together.

Now once you’ve got everything setup, actually running Discoverer is a bit of a dissapointment as it’s exactly the same as in the 10.1.2.x release. There are one or two minor changes around navigation in Discoverer Viewer, but 99% of the application is exactly the same as in the 10g release.

Disco Viewer

One thing I did notice though was that, if you’ve not got Discoverer set up with OID and SSO, you get quite a scary looking error message when bringing up the Discoverer login page telling you that it can’t retrieve the list of connections. You can safely ignore this but it does make you wonder at the start as to whether the install has gone OK or not.

Now where there are some significant changes is in the application server control web page, which in the past was provided by Oracle Application Server Control but is now provided by Fusion Middleware Control.

Disco Wls Admin1

You can see from the screenshot above that the Discoverer application pages are completely different to the 10g release of the product, Discoverer here has an entry in the Weblogic Server domain listing and you can see the new, formally supported and properly documented Web Services interface in the application list that will presumably in future be used to integrate Discoverer worksheets into Oracle BI EE Dashboards and Delivers.

There are also new pages for administering the application server itself, with most of the Oracle Application Server elements having an equivalent in this new product, but still it’ll take you a few hours to get used to the new layout and how things work in Weblogic.

Disco Wls2

One final thing to bear in mind is that, if you running Discoverer 11g on Linux or Unix, you’ll also need to download the BI Tools 10.1.2 CD from OTN as you still use these old versions to create and administer the End User Layer for Discoverer 11g (shows how much it’s changed in this new release). If you install the Windows version of Portal, Forms, Reports and Discoverer it installs a single copy of Discoverer Administrator and Discoverer Desktop along with the application server files, but if you install the Unix versions you’ll need to download the tools CD separately. And “opmnctl” is still there and available with a command-line interface, so you can still bring up, down and view the status of the various application server components from the command line.

Comments

  1. Manish Says:

    So, for Oracle BI Standard Edition customers who currently don’t need a repository, they will be forced to create one when they upgrade to Disco11g? And what does that (repository) get us? Since the EULs are on the “customer” database, what is this repository used for?

    Thanks,

    Manish

  2. Mark Rittman Says:

    Manish,

    Last time I looked, this schema just contained tables used to store Discoverer workbook results used by the Discoverer Portlet Provider. It’s not used by Discoverer per-se, more when its used in conjunction with Portal, and there were equivalent tables in the previous release of OAS held in the DISCOVERER5 schema.

    See this blog posting (http://www.rittmanmead.com/2008/02/06/discoverer-portlet-refresh-tuning-and-the-new-cachethreshold-setting/) for examples of how these tables were used in previous releases.

    regards

    Mark

  3. Jorge Anicama Says:

    One of the features Discoverer 11g is Discoverer Webservices, which now is documented and supported. So any third party application can access discoverer workbooks, execute them and get the results using Discoverer WebServices. There is no need to have OID as in previous release for this to work.

  4. Asif Says:

    Manih,

    Check Metalink Note 858748.1 for you query.

    Regards,

    Asif

  5. Iain Sear Says:

    Even if it were exactly the same the most important aspect of there being a discoverer 11g is that it is now on the new Oracle lifetime support policy. i.e. we know we will have a supported product for many years to come, so no panic any more to migrate to a new reporting tool. Especially if you dont want/need a datawarehouse approach like OBIEE with all the complexity, cost.

  6. Manish Says:

    Mark,

    I was finally able to install disco 11g on Linux. I am also able to reach the Connect page where you enter your connection info. But at this stage, it give me a the cannot resolve tns error. On the server I have verified that the tnsnames.ora exists and I can do a tnsping .

    I am at a complete loss as to where Discoverer 11.x is looking as far as the connection string is concerned. Any pointers would be much appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Manish

  7. Veronique Says:

    If we plan to migrate to OBIEE, do you think it’s a good move to migrate to Disco 11g before? Will the migration to OBIEE will be easily? (we are now using Disco 10.1.2.55.26)

  8. Ramana Says:

    Hi Mark,
    Is Discoverer 10.1.2.54.25 CP6 supported /certified with IE 8. Our EBS is on 11.5.10.2 and we plan to use IE 8 on all the client machines. Will there be any issues for our discoverer users where Discoverer 10.1.2.54.25 is integrated with the EBS?

    I could not find the certification matrix for Discoverer in the new metalink site and also there are 2 metalink notes which have conflicting info. One says only 11g disco is certified for IE 8 (note id: 843865.1)where as the other metalink note says we can use 10.1.2.54.25 with IE 8 provided discoverer patch 5673463 is applied over 10.1.2.54.25.

    Could you please advise?

    Thanks,
    Ramana

  9. Mark Rittman Says:

    Hi Veronique,

    There’s no requirement for you to go to Discoverer 11g before migrating to OBIEE. The OBIEE RPD migration wizard works with both 10g and 11g End-User Layers, and whilst I don’t know full details of the Workbook Migration Wizard that is due out later in 2010, I don’t think it’ll require an upgrade to Discoverer 11g (an upgrade that is still pretty rare at the moment).

    regards

    Mark

  10. Mark Rittman Says:

    Hi Ramana,

    I’ve no idea, I’m afraid, we rarely use Discoverer now and certainly haven’t worked with any production 11g installations, most people we work with have migrated to OBIEE. Best place to check would be My Oracle Support, or raise an SR to get a definitive answer from Oracle.

    regards, Mark

  11. Tim Says:

    Hi Mark

    I am looking at the differences between BI Discoverer and OBIEE – I understand OBIEE is much better to connect different data sources, however I also have read it is possible to do a similar thing with generic connectivity for discoverer?

    What are the major differences between the two?

  12. Manohar Says:

    Hi Mark,

    Can you please help on this issue.

    I have invoice report in BI publisher i am using 3 different queries to populate the values on the report. I need to link these three queries. I have taken a single parameter and passing same parameter to all queries. This is working fine for single invoice. Now I need to print Multiple Invoices at a time.
    Can you please tell me how can i link the 3 queries in Data model.

    Thanks in Advance
    Manohar

  13. Mark Rittman Says:

    Hi Manohar

    Check out “data templates” in the BI Publisher documentation.

    regards, Mark

  14. Hasnain Says:

    Hi,

    From the Farm i can see WLS_DISO server is not up. I know from the admin page you click control and startup but How would you startup from the backend in Linux? services like WLS_DISCO or WLS_REPORT?

    Thanks,
    Hasnain

  15. Hasnain Says:

    Hi,

    How can i restart WLS_DISCO services from backend? i know From the Farm you can start it but how can i do it from the back? how can i Start and shutdown of the service from the backend(sequence)

    Thanks,
    Hasnain

  16. Ana Says:

    Where can I download Discoverer Administrator 11g for windows platform.

    Thanks

  17. Naga Says:

    Hi Rittman,

    I need a small suggestion from you.
    we are using oracle discoverer 10g(9.0.4). which is not supported by oracle anymore .
    So my team decided to upgrade this to new version either 10g(10.1.2) or 11g. we have nearly 1200 users.
    the database we are using is 10g. Can you please provide me any links or docs where i can find the installation/upgradation steps quite easy(with screenshots will be great) .

    Thanks..! an early reply will be highly appreciated

  18. Yi Says:

    Hi Guys, ust found out that the Discoverer 11g apparently is not available for download at all. did you guys know why?

  19. Sudheer Says:

    Hi,

    We are planning to upgrade discoeverer 11g from 10g on SOLARIS SPARC. I could not find the Repository Creation Utility (RCU) software for Solaris?

    Please advise

  20. Mark Rittman Says:

    Download the Windows one instead, and create the repository from Windows, connecting to the Solaris server for the database.

  21. Abdul Hameed Says:

    Dear Mark,

    Can you explain me what is the different between 11g Forms & Reports in Desktop tier ( In Developer Machine ) and in the server !!

    because i have done the installation in Developer Machine with Weblogic server.

    But no idea and any start place to do it as a server.

    Hope you understand my bad knowledge.
    Kindly explain me the steps involved in 11g forms and reports installation in server side.

    Regards
    Hamid

  22. Ashwani Gupta Says:

    Hi,

    We are going to migrate Oracle database 10g to 11g R2 and for that very reason we want to migrate/upgrade our oracle discoverer 10g to oracle discoverer 11g.

    I found out installation procedure of FMW 11g but I still have some doubt regarding Discoverer 10g End User Layer schema.Once we create new schema using RCU for oracle discovere 11g , then how can we migrate our old schema of oracle discovere 10g in to new oracle discovere 11g schema created by RCU.?

    Also how can we see our current EUL that we are using in 10g in 11g, either by export , import or any other way?

    Your help would eb much appreciated.

    Thanks,

  23. kanna Says:

    Hi..

    we are trying to do a performance testing ( load test) on 11g Discoverer with hp load runner for 200 concurrent users .

    i have modified the maxprocs parameter in opmn.xml to 1000 and maxsessions in configuration.xml to 1000 . we are not getting any specific error in logs but in load runner we see that it is not getting into next page ,meaning the login has failed

    wea re failing with 20 concurrent users .

    Please advice if we are missing anything . this is a new environment without any patches . 11.1.1.2 Discoverer with 26 gb ram on RHEL 5 .

    we really appreciate your help

    thanks

  24. Ashwani Says:

    Hi ,

    Long time back someone in our organization created one public connection in Oracle Discoverer.

    Here, I need to know what EUl, username, password and database they used to create that public connection, can you please let me know the steps to check the same either from database side or from frontend?

    Your help would be very much appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Ashwani

  25. Luis Porciúncula Says:

    Hi Mark,

    Can you please help me on the following issues?
    I´m using Discoverer 10gR2 and I´m evaluating to migrate to Discoverer 11g.
    Should I discard my OAS installation? I mean… should I install Weblogic?
    Another question: is the Oracle Database 11g a requisite for install Discoverer 11g?

    Thank you for your time,
    Luís Porciúncula

  26. Mark Rittman Says:

    Hi Luis,

    Discoverer 11g only runs on WebLogic I believe, legacy OAS is no longer an option for that product.

    An Oracle Database is a pre-requisite for Discover in terms of creating an end-user layer, reporting on data etc. The WebLogic Server element (via the Repository Creation Utility) can use Oracle Database 10.2.0.4+, 11.1.0.7+ and 11.2.0.1+ for the various FMW repository schemas – see the “System Requirements and Supported Platforms for Oracle Fusion Middleware 11gR1″ doc on OTN for the definitive certification list : http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/downloads/fmw-11gr1certmatrix.xls

    regards

    Mark

  27. gregor Says:

    Hello Mark,

    At the moment we run Oracle BI Standard Edition on 10g, the next step to upgrade with no further cost to ourselves looks like going with 11g database and updating our reporting solution from disco 10 to disco 11?

    i know there is answers/dashboard options with oracle bi standard edition one and enterprise edition but we dont want to say out anymore than what we are doing.

    is this a natural progression for us keeping within the restrictions of just having the licensing for standard edition?

    Thanks,

    Gregor.

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