Art of BI: Fixing IE for Oracle BI and Hyperion Workspace Compatibility

By | In 11g, Art of BI, OBIEE | May 26th, 2014

You may have noticed that with both the Hyperion Workspace production and the Oracle BI portal that is does not conform to Internet Explorer’s subtle rendering tantrums, that is incompatibility.  This post quickly takes a look at the solution that you can use either for Oracle EPM or Oracle BI to ensure that any IE browser, including when trying mobile compatibility with the Microsoft Surface, will work for your end users. If you are interested in Fixing IE for Oracle BI and Hyperion Workspace compatibility then this is a good article for you to read.

The Problem

Under the covers IE does things a bit differently than other well-known web browsers.  And by “differently”, I mean “poorly”.  There are even sites that track the ongoing demise of IE standards and its usage.  However, for the time being, we all have to suffer through its slow nature in adopting WC3 standards for HTML, JavaScript, etc.

This rears itself when attempting to access Oracle BI 11g through versions of IE 10+ and likewise when using some Oracle EPM tools.  However, the IE browser is capable of backwards compatibility to its previous versions where our favorited Oracle tools were certified and working without [too many] issues.

The Solution

Using an HTTP/Web server tier such as including OHS/IIS/Apache on the server where your up-to-date Oracle Fusion Middleware application is running will give you fighting chance at allowing our constituents to view the Oracle BI/EPM implementation to been seen in any corporate browser standard. This HTTP/Web tier could also be on a separate physical machine.

For this solution, to stay in the Oracle stack, we suggest using Oracle HTTP Server as it is included in Fusion Middleware Web Tier Utilities package which is part of your Fusion Middleware software license. Using OHS follow the configuration steps listed below and your IE version to Oracle BI/EPM (including Oracle BI MAD from a Windows Tablet) should bet solved.

By installing OHS, the Oracle BI implementation gains web tier capabilities outside of the embedded WebLogic Server HTTP server.  This also means that accessing the Oracle BI application is done through a different port, 7777 by default, instead of the default port, 9704.  For example:
http://myserver.company.com:7777/analytics instead of http://myserver.company.com:9704/analytics.

The configuration for this solution is an update to the following file, $FMW_HOMEOracle_WT1instancesinstance2configOHSohs1httpd.conf

The solution below which is encapsulated between the “OBIEE IE 10 Fix” comment block inserts a snippet of code into this file under the loadmodule section located approximately a quarter of the length down the top of the file.

As see by the line,  BrowserMatch MSIE 10.0, this snippet is focus on IE version 10.  If you’d like to expand this to include any version greater than IE10 then definitely Google a few options or use something like this, BrowserMatch "MSIE [10-12]"

You may also need to play with the line, Substitute “s|IE=100|IE=9,chrome=1|ni”, which is basically a regular expression taking the the version of IE, which for version 10 equates to 100, and then changing that to IE=9,chrome=1, etc.  You’ll simply use your IE Developer tool to sort this one out.

The following logic provides the solution:

[code language=”xml”]
#——– OBIEE IE 10 Fix —————–

LoadModule substitute_module “${ORACLE_HOME}/ohs/modules/mod_substitute.so”

#

Header set Test-FileExtensionMatched “True”


BrowserMatch MSIE 10.0
Header set X-UA-Compatible “IE=9,chrome=1” env=ie


AddOutputFilterByType SUBSTITUTE text/html
Substitute “s|IE=100|IE=9,chrome=1|ni”

#

# Here is a test to see that your custom headers are flowing through. Use Firebug or IE Development Tools to validate
Header set Test-ChristiansText “ab”

#——– OBIEE IE 10 Fix (End Fix) ——-

[/code]

 

 

Additional Comments

IE is notorious for being a pain in the ass for companies looking to innovate with cutting-edge software. While Firefox and Chrome are slowly eroding at the marketshare for IE especially as corporate gold standard browser for most organization, IE is still King amongst the browser options.  So, using an HTTP server as highlighted above as the solution for this tactical issue is actually a strategic recommendation for applications that fall within the Oracle Fusion Middleware stack.  This is just smart as an HTTP/Web server provides a non-invasive and non-performance choking system from which to build upon.  In fact, an HTTP/Web tier can actually speed up your application layer responses when using such things as static file caching and HTTP compression.  Do keep this in mind for your future projects and implementations.

Christian Screen
Christian is an innovator in analytics and data warehousing design, best practices, and delivery. With more than fifteenyears of decision support and data warehousing with key experiences at Office Depot HQ, Sierra-Cedar, and Capgemini, he oversees the Oracle Analytics Practice which includes the technical development and delivery of Oracle BI collaboration software, data warehouse solutions, Oracle BI/EPM projects, and packaged analytics solutions at Datavail.

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