Creating and Developing Custom Styles, Skins, and Messages in Oracle BI EE 11g

<Do not delete this text because it is a placeholder for the generated list of "main" topics when run in a browser>

Purpose

In this tutorial, you learn how to deploy analyticsRes, and customize and develop skins, styles, and messages to change the overall appearance of Oracle Business Intelligence 11g (Oracle BI EE 11g).

Time to Complete

Approximately 1 hour.

Overview

Oracle BI EE 11g's UI is generated by using scripts and is therefore highly customizable. The "look and feel" is controlled by skins, styles, and messages. Skins define the UI chrome (visible graphic features) outside the home and dashboard area. A prime example of chrome or skins is a toolbar. Styles control the appearance of a dashboard and its various views, such as the font style and font color within a pivot table view. Messages store the text for various UI elements (for example, brand name).

Oracle BI EE 11g is shipped with two default styles: blafp (browser look-and-feel plus) and fusion (FusionFX)—both found in the <ORACLE_HOME>/bifoundation/web/app/res directory. This tutorial uses these default styles to provide a starting point to build the custom style and skin that you want to deploy.

Scenario

In this tutorial, you use common customization examples. These examples are packaged with the name Eden (available from the link below).

Software Requirements

The following is a list of software requirements:

Prerequisites

Before starting this tutorial, you should:

Note: Screen captures for this tutorial were taken in a Windows XP Professional environment; therefore, Start menu options will vary.

Deploying analyticsRes and Developing a Custom Skin

Before you can begin to customize the appearance of Oracle BI EE, you must create a directory to house the customizations, which can then be accessed by Oracle Business Intelligence Presentation Services (Presentation Services). Presentation Services generates the UI for the Analysis Editor and dashboards, which visualize data from Oracle BI Server, the core server behind Oracle BI. Various application servers have their own ways of exposing static directories. The steps below allow you to expose the static directory within WLS by deploying it as a J2EE application.

Note: Default styles and skins located in the <ORACLE_HOME>/OracleBI1/bifoundation/web/app/res directory should not be modified because potentially it can be overwritten with any upgrade or new installation.

Exposing a Static Directory in WebLogic Server


.

The default installation for Oracle BI EE 11g creates a default directory that can be used for customization. This directory is <ORACLE_INSTANCE>/bifoundation/OracleBIPresentationServicesComponent/coreappplication_obips1/analyticsRes.

To expose this directory, you must open the WebLogic Administration Console. Open a browser window and in the address bar, enter http://<hostname>:7001/console/login/LoginForm.jsp (for example, http://localhost:7001/console/login/LoginForm.jsp). The WLS Login window appears.

 

.

Enter your username and password (for example, weblogic/welcome1) and click Login. The WLS Administration Console appears.

 

.

Select Deployments from the Domain Structure pane on the left.

The "Summary of Deployments" pane appears on the right.

 

.

In the Change Center pane on the left (directly above the Domain Structure pane), click Lock & Edit.

All applications are made available for update within the table and the Install button is enabled. Note that the "Lock & Edit" button is now disabled.

 

.

In the "Summary of Deployments" pane on the right, click the Control tab and then click Install, enabling you to install a new web application. The Install Application Assistant pane appears.

 

.

a. Select the appropriate folders within the Install Application Assistant pane to navigate to <ORACLE_INSTANCE>/bifoundation/OracleBIPresentationServicesComponent/coreappplication_obips1.The path is automatically entered for you.

b. Select the option button for analyticsRes. This is a valid application for deployment.

 

.

Click Next and accept the default value "Install this deployment as an application."

 

.

Click Next. In "Optional Settings - Source accessibility", select the radio button for I will make the deployment accessible from the following location and accept the default path.

 

.

Click Next to review the summary. In the "Additional configuration" section, ensure that the radio button for Yes, take me to the deployment's configuration screen is selected, and then click Finish.

 

.

The "Settings for analyticsRes" pane appears. Click Save.

A confirmation message appears above the "Settings for analyticsRes" pane.

 

.

In the Change Center pane on the left, click Activate Changes.

A second confirmation message appears above the "Settings for analyticsRes" pane.

 

.

Select Deployments in the Domain Structure pane.

 

.

Click the Control tab and then select the check box for the analyticsRes application. Notice that the state for analyticsRes appears as Prepared. You need to start the application.

 

.

Click Start and then select Servicing all requests.

 

.

Click Yes in the Start Application Assistant pane.

 

.

The "Summary of Deployments" pane reappears with a confirmation message. Note that analyticsRes now shows a state of Active.

 

.

Open a browser window and enter http://<hostname>:7001/analyticsRes/test.txt (for example, http://localhost:7001/analyticsRes/test.txt). Your test file should appear in the browser window.

 

Deploying a Custom Skin

After exposing the analyticsRes file to WLS successfully, you can now use this directory to develop custom skins.

To customize the skin for Oracle BI EE, perform the following steps:

.

a. Log in to Oracle BI EE. Open a browser window and in the address bar, enter http://<hostname>:7001/analytics (for example, http://localhost:7001/analytics).

b. Enter your username and password (for example, weblogic/welcome1) and click Sign In.

The image below displays the default skin associated with Oracle BI EE:

The image below displays the default skin associated with Eden:

In your normal business environment, you would:

  1. Navigate to <ORACLE_HOME>/OracleBI1/bifoundation/web/app/res.
  2. Copy sk_blafp or sk_FusionFX to <ORACLE_INSTANCE>/bifoundation/OracleBIPresentationServicesComponent/coreappplication_obips1/analyticsRes.
  3. Rename the copied skin file before performing any edits.

For this topic, you use the sk_Eden skin directory that you previously copied to <ORACLE_INSTANCE>/bifoundation/OracleBIPresentationServicesComponent/coreappplication_obips1/analyticsRes and make modifications to cascading style sheets.

c. Close the browser window.

 

.

a. Navigate to <ORACLE_INSTANCE>/config/OracleBIPresentationServicesComponent/coreappliation_obips1 and open instanceconfig.xml. At the bottom of the file but within the <ServerInstance> grouping, enter the following code:

<UI><DefaultSkin>Eden</DefaultSkin></UI>

The file should look similar to this:

b. Save the file.

Note: This option directs Oracle BI Presentation Services (Presentation Services) to look for the customized (Eden) skin rather than the default, Oracle BI EE skin.

.

In the next few steps, you modify your skin and view the changes.

Navigate to <ORACLE_INSTANCE>\bifoundation\OracleBIPresentationServicesComponent\coreapplication_obips1\analyticsRes\sk_Eden\b_mozilla_4. Because the instanceconfig.xml file is now pointing to the Eden skin, the Oracle logo will be replaced with oracle_logo.png. If you review this image file, you will notice that it is actually an Eden logo.

 

.

Edit the sk_Eden skin and change the banner color. Open common.css (a cascading style sheet for common elements found within Oracle BI EE) located in <ORACLE_INSTANCE>\bifoundation\OracleBIPresentationServicesComponent\coreapplication_obips1\analyticsRes\sk_Eden\b_mozilla_4.

Search within the style sheet and locate the .HeaderBrandName class. Carefully change the font color from #007700 (dark green) to #660066 (bright pink). Hint: Use the search feature to locate the class.

 

.

With the style sheet still open, locate the .HeaderBarSeparator class and change the color from #005500 (green) to #660066 (bright pink).

 

.

To see the change, you must restart Presentation Services. Open a new browser window and in the address bar, enter http://<hostname>:7001/em (for example, http://localhost:7001/em). The Oracle Enterprise Manager Fusion Middleware Control Login window appears.

b. Enter your username and password (for example, weblogic/welcome1) and click Login.

 

.

a. In the Farm_bifoundation_domain pane on the left, expand Business Intelligence.

b. The Business Intelligence pane appears on the right. Select coreapplication in the Business Intelligence pane.

 

.

a. Click the Capacity Management and Availability tabs in the Change Center and then expand Presentation Services.

b. Select coreapplication_obips1 and click Stop Selected.

 

.

Click Yes in the confirmation window to stop Presentation Services.

When the second confirmation window appears, click Close.

 

.

Restart the Presentation Services. Select coreapplication_obips1 and click Start Selected.

Note: Notice that a red downward-pointing arrow indicates that the service is stopped, whereas a green upward-pointing arrow indicates the service is running.

.

Click Yes in the confirmation window. Click Close when the confirmation window appears.

 

.

To test your recent changes, log in to Oracle BI EE.

a. Open a browser window. If you do not immediately notice that the logo has changed from Oracle to Eden, refresh your browser's cache.

b. Log in as you did above—for example, enter your username and password as weblogic/welcome1.

 

.

Click Sign In. Note the changes to the dashboard.

Note: If you do not see the changes to your dashboard, press Shift and Refresh (Refresh the cache) to clear and refresh your browser.

 

.

Next, make changes to the Home page cascading style sheet. Open home.css located in <ORACLE_INSTANCE>\bifoundation\OracleBIPresentationServicesComponent\coreapplication_obips1\analyticsRes\sk_Eden\b_mozilla_4.

At the top of the style sheet, change the BODY class. Change the color from #006600 (dark green) to #ffff66 (yellow).

 

.

Next, make changes to the left pane of the Home page cascading style sheet. Locate the .BIEEHomeLeft class. Change the right border color from #BFBFBF (gray) to #FF0033 (red).

Save your changes and log out of Oracle BI EE (close your browser window or tab).

 

.

To see the changes take effect, you must restart Presentation Services just as you practiced above.

a. Within Oracle Enterprise Manager Fusion Middleware Control, you navigate to coreapplication and select the Capacity Management and Availability tabs in the Change Center, expand Presentation Services, select coreapplication_obips1, and click Stop Selected.

b. Restart Presentation Services. Select coreapplication_obips1, and click Start Selected.

 

.

Open a browser window and log in to Oracle BI EE Analytics once again. Your dashboard, Home page, appears. Review the modifications to your Home page.

As you continue to explore the changes that you can make to the skin by using the sk_Eden skin directory, note that images for objects such as menu bars, can also be modified. Some of these images are located in <ORACLE_INSTANCE>/bifoundation/OracleBIPresentationServicesComponent/coreappplication_obips1/analyticsRes/b_mozilla_4/uicomponents/obips.UberBar.

Deploying a Custom Style

For this topic, you use the s_Eden style directory that you previously copied to <ORACLE_INSTANCE>/bifoundation/OracleBIPresentationServicesComponent/coreappplication_obips1/analyticsRes and make modifications to two style sheets.

You begin this topic by creating a simple analysis and adding it to My Dashboard. Adding an object to the dashboard will make viewing your style changes easier.

To begin building your dashboard and customizing the styles for My Dashboard and an analysis, perform the following steps:

.

Open a browser window and log in to Oracle BI EE as you did above. From the Home page, click New > Analysis.

.

From the Select Subject Area dialog box, select Sample Sales Lite.

The Analysis Editor appears.

 

.

In the Subject Areas pane, expand Products and double-click Products Hierarchy. Products Hierarchy appears in the Selected Columns pane.

.

Similarly, add Per Name Year from the Time folder and Revenue from the Base Facts folder. The Selected Columns pane should look like this:

 

.

a. Click the Results tab. Your Pivot Table view appears.

Note that the default view for hierarchical columns is pivot table.

b. Click the red X for the Title view to remove it from your analysis.

 

.

Click the Save icon (Save) and save your analysis as "My analysis" in the My Folders directory.

 

.

Next, you add the analysis to My Dashboard. On the global header, click Dashboards > My Dashboard.

My Dashboard appears.

 

.

Click the Page Options icon (Page options icon) and select Edit Dashboard.

The Dashboard Editor appears.

 

.

a. Expand My Folders in the Catalog pane and drag "My analysis" to the Drop Content Here canvas.

The Dashboard Editor should look like the following image:

b. Save your dashboard. Click the Save icon ().

.

You are now ready to change the stylesheet for your dashboard. From the Tools menu (Tools menu icon), select Dashboard Properties.

The Dashboard Properties dialog box appears.

 

.

a. In the General Properties grouping, select Eden from the Style drop-down list.

b. Click OK and then click Save and Run. The Eden-style My Dashboard appears.

 

.

a. Navigate to <ORACLE_INSTANCE>/bifoundation/OracleBIPresentationServicesComponent/coreappplication_obips1/analyticsRes/s_Eden/b_mozilla_4 and open portalcontent.css.

b. Change the MY Dashboard outer border. Locate the .PortalBodyInteractive class and change the border color from #006600 (gray) to #ff00ff (pink).

 

.

a. Change the MY Dashboard inner border. Locate the .DashboardPageContentOuterDiv class and change the border color from #daf1de (light green) to #9999ff (lavender).

b. Save the file.

 

.

Restart Presentation Services once again, open Oracle BI EE, clear the cache in the browser, and navigate to My Dashboard to view the changes. Your dashboard should look similar to this:

 

.

a. Navigate to <ORACLE_INSTANCE>/bifoundation/OracleBIPresentationServicesComponent/coreappplication_obips1/analyticsRes/s_Eden/b_mozilla_4 and open views.css.

b. Locate the .PTChildPivotTable class. Beneath this class, locate the classes .PCH0 through .PCH10. Change the font color from #C9CBD3 (light gray) to #ff00ff (pink) and the interior border color (for the variable headers) from #979991 (dark gray) to #ffff66 (yellow) as indicated in the image below.

c. Save the file.

 

.

Restart Presentation Services once again, open Oracle BI EE, clear the cache in the browser, and navigate to My Dashboard to view the changes. Your dashboard should look similar to this:

You can continue to experiment with the different classes within the Eden style sheets. Each style sheet manages different aspects of the display.

Deploying Custom Messages

There may be occasions when you wish to customize messages that appear to your users. For example, if you enforce constraints in your database, you might want to provide a custom error message to display to the end user when one of those constraints is violated. Another example is the use of a write-back template. The write-back template is an XML-formatted file that contains SQL statements, which are needed to insert and update records in the write-back table and columns that you have created. You can create multiple write-back templates, customizing each one for the fields that are used in each specific analysis. You use the same analyticsRes directory to store custom messages and write-back templates.

The Eden zip file provides a sample write-back XML file (testtemplate) and a sample message file (l_en). These are located in <ORACLE_INSTANCE>/bifoundation/OracleBIPresentationServicesComponent/coreappplication_obips1/analyticsRes/customMessages.

.

Typically, you or your administrator would create a directory named customMessages within analyticsRes where you store the XML templates. To create a language-dependent message file, you must also create a folder for the required language—for example, a folder named l_en, representing the English language. You would then create an XML file containing the instructions for the application (for example, an analysis that allows write-back) or a message that you wish the end users to see (the constraint example above). The XML code is structured similarly to the following:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
- <WebMessageTables xmlns:sawm="com.siebel.analytics.web/message/v1">
- <WebMessageTable protect="true" export="true" translate="false" system="ProductMessages" table="ProductNames">
- <WebMessage name="kmsgHeaderBIBrandName">
<TEXT>Report Center</TEXT>
</WebMessage>
</WebMessageTable>
</WebMessageTables>

This sample code provides a label, namely Report Center, for the message name (kmsgHeaderBIBrandName) that is stored within the CompanyName.xml file. By using this code, you can change the brading for your sample dashboard.

a. Navigate to <ORACLE_INSTANCE>/bifoundation/OracleBIPresentationServicesComponent/coreappplication_obips1/analyticsRes/customMessages/l_en/messages and open CompanyName.xml.

b. Select the text Report Center.

 

.

a. Change the text to Analytic Dashboards.

b. Save the file.

 

.

Restart Presentation Services once again, open a browser window, and navigate to the Oracle BI EE Sign In window. You immediately notice the new branding for the page:

Summary

Using your own skin, styles, and messages allows you to customize the Oracle BI EE environment to suit your business requirements.

In this tutorial, you should have learned how to:

Resources

Hardware and Software Engineered to Work Together Copyright © 2011, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved