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Art of BI: Oracle BI SampleApp VM Image – Do it Yourself

Christian Screen | | March 7, 2012

The release of the version of Oracle BI is bringing many BI enthusiast to open mouthed excitement over the last couple of weeks.  Others are quite peeved at its seemingly “silent”, laissez-faire, un-promoted release and the questionable enhancements that bring angst to upgrading the just recently installed (or dare I say version of the tool.


upgrade (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

Which ever side you happen to be on let me first state that if you haven’t already you should upgrade to this release.  Although Oracle really needs to work on their understanding of Semantic Versioning this minor release is backwards compatible, of course, to previous 11g versions and provides just enough new features to warrant an in-place upgrade. BTW, an in place upgrade is a bad idea in my opinion, and you should just deinstall and reinstall the instance if you are going to go to the latest version.

The SampleApp V107 that was released with was brilliant thanks to Lakshmi at Oracle.  I’m talking more specifically about the VirutalBox VM Image.  You know the 25GB download that you then had to tool with, load up on your machine, and over the last few months you’ve added development tools, custom scripts, etc.  There is no VM image as of yet, so you’ll need to be smart about it and just replace the OBI software with   This post tells you how, step-by-step.

One little thing to keep in mind is that the VM Image for OBI 11g ( is actually a 32-bit VM Image.  So, you must download the 32-bit (x86) version of Oracle BI for Linux in order for the installation to even start up.

Here we go….

  1. Download the 5 required Oracle BI zip (Linux x86) files from OTN to your host machine (laptop or server where VirtualBox is running).  Don’t download these files to the VM Image itself as there may note be enough disk space if you’ve never increased the disk space size (run a df -h command from the terminal to verify).  You’ll also need to download the RCU zip file again.  If running a Windows host download these files to an arbitrary folder like C:downloads.
  2. Get your existing VirtualBox VM Image of Oracle BI ready.  That is to say, take a back up of the web catalog or RPD and any other artifacts you may have post-configured from the default such as skins / styles, etc.  Back them up to the /home/oracle/ directory so that they are out of the /bishiphome path. We are only going to mess with the Oracle BI FMW directory on the VM Image, /bishiphome.  If you are really paranoid, you can zip/tar compress the entire VM Image but that will require extra disk space and more time.
  3. Start the VM Image, make sure all BI and WLS related components are stopped.  The Oracle DB on the vm image starts up at boot and again we are only focused on the BI FMW directory so everything else on the VM will remain intact while we upgrade to OBI to
  4. Start just the WebLogic Server itself so that the AdminServer is running, not the whole shebang like BI components, etc. So basically from the StartupScripts folder on the desktop, run 1-startOID and 2-startWLS (just startWLS really should do it).
  5. FTP the new RCU zip file to the VM Image or use the shared folder option to copy it to the VM Image.  The best bet is to place this zip in the /home/oracle/ path because it (besides the /epm) path should have the most available space remaining.
  6. Unzip the RCU zip file to reveal the rcuHome directory.  You’ll need this in a minute during the deinstall process to drop the MDS and BIPLATFORM scheme objects.
  7. Following the deinstall documentation for Oracle BI 11g conduct the following steps in order but with a bit of modification.
    • From /bishiphome/Middleware/Oracle_BI/oui/, run the ./runInstaller -deinstall command from a terminal window and select the option to deInstall the AS Instances Managed by WebLogic Domain.
    • Use the StartupScripts folder to now stop Weblogic server by double-clicking and running it in the terminal.
    • Once that completes start the rcu deinstall process from /home/oracle/rcuHome/rcu/bin/, run the ./rcu command.  Enter the VM Images DB system credentials (sys / oracle) and select the Drop option and on the prefix screen select the BIRCU prefix to drop.  This is where the MDS and BIPLATFORM schemes are referenced.  If you get a BIRCU_MDS is connected to the database error then you still have a terminal window open for WLS – kill it.
    • Once that completes return to the /bishiphome/Middleware/Oracle_BI/oui/ directory, run the ./runInstaller -deinstall option again and select the DeInstall Oracle Home option.  Run the process. Click Yes to deinstall the OBI directory.
    • At this point you have safely removed the BI pieces. Lastly, in a terminal window, navigate to /bishiphome. Remove the Middleware directory by entering and executing the command, rm -rf Middleware
  8. Don’t be worried about the last step above.  This works perfectly in a Linux environment because these directories are self-contained and the environment variables are not set automatically or in hard to find places like in a Windows OS.  Plus we will reinstall into the same FMW home as the one that was just removed.  Likewise we will restore the MDS and BIPLATFORM schemes to the same prefix via the RCU in the next steps.
  9. Now, create a directory off of /bishiphome called /downloads by using the mkdir /downloads command while in the /bishiphome directory.
  10. As the Oracle user, recreate the /bishiphome/Middleware directory by using the command mkdir /bishiphome/Middleware/ .  Be certain that you do this step correctly as the existing options such as StartOBI, etc. are looking to reference this path.  Be sure to use the Oracle user to create this directory and not the root user.
  11. You may at this point want to check the size of the mounts on the VM Image so run a df -h command to see how much available space you have on each mount.  This will give you a general idea if you need to add more disk space anywhere.  If you do, the instructions that come with the VM Image deployment guide are great. Just make sure to use something like 10GB instead of the 1GB increase that they use in that documentation.
  12. FTP or move from the VirtualBox shared folder, etc. the 5 large zip files to the /bishiphome/downloads directory
  13. Run the RCU utility to create the MDS and BIPlatform objects but be sure to use the same BIRCU prefix that you removed in an earlier step.  The original password for both users is Admin123
  14. Unzip all of the zip files to form the /bishiphome/downloads/bishiphome directory.
  15. Delete the zip files to retain space on the system.
  16. Then from /downloads/bishiphome/Disk1/ run the command to install OBI 11g The install should go smoothly and without issue because the dependencies are already in place on the machine.  Run the Simple Install to be exactly the same as VM Image was initially developed (i.e.: everything on port 7001).  Run the Enterprise Install option to get OBI /analytics on port 9704, etc. During the install be sure to select the Fusion Middleware Home as /bishiphome/Middleware/
  17. The install should finish and you’ve now got an VM ready to go and integrate with Essbase, Times Ten, etc. that came with the original VM Image.  The only thing you’ve really interrupted at this point should be OBI (I’m still accessing the damage but I don’t see any yet; there shouldn’t be any).
  18. Move any RPD, web catalog, etc. back to the new instance and that’s it.  You’ve now got a functioning copy of


  • Semantic Versioning
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