Archive for October, 2012

OBIEE provides several different options for hiding prompts.

  1.  Hidden Prompts
  2. Hiding prompts using guided navigation
  3.  Hiding prompts in a section
  4. Hiding certain UI controls inside a prompt

Although options 1 & 2 have been known for a while there are very few articles written about them.

1. Hidden Prompts

Here is the link to official Oracle documentation about this feature. http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E21764_01/bi.1111/e10544/prompts.htm#CIHCDDEG

This option is mainly used for setting default filters and variable values on dashboard. These prompts exist on dashboard page, but are hidden from users.

I will be writing a separate blog about few use cases for this feature.

2. Hiding prompts using guided navigation

This is another method for hiding prompts. Using guided navigation conditions we can make the section where prompts reside appear & disappear. This technique can be used for data driven/security driven prompts.

3. Hiding prompts in a section

This is another frequently blogged method, but the use cases were not widely discussed. Below are the links couple of blogger that have described the method. This is done by using custom css syntax “display:none” in “Format Section” dialog box.



This is a hidden gem for developers that want to provide custom UI improvements. The benefits go far beyond from adding custom headers and titles. I have written couple of use cases for this option.


4. Hiding certain UI controls inside a prompt

Last but not least. You can use this option to provide better UI for your users. I have described this technique in my previous blog. I had to edit browserDom.js file to make this work, but I have seen other experts do this without changing browserdom.js.

It all depends on the level of javaScript skills you have in your shop.


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In OBIEE, we can use couple of methods for giving users the option to choose a display of information from list of choices presented to them.

Option 1:  View Selector

Option 2:  Guided Navigation

There are several blogs on these topics. Here are couple of links I was able to quickly find.   View Selector             Guided Navigation

View Selector is an anlysis/report level feature. So it can be used for individual reports as well as for dashboards. You can insert a report with view selector view inside dashboard pages.

On the other hand Guided Navigation is a Dashboard level feature.

Below are few important distinctions between these features.

  • Because of its nature view selector can present different views of data that originates from a single query (single or union query).
  • Guided navigation can be used switch between different reports or different views from the same report. We have to submit dashboard pages to different pages. That means we making trips back & forth between presentation server and BI Server.

Above are the major fundamental differences between these two approaches.

Sometimes you will come across a dashboard requirement where you can use either of these approaches. Technically this situation arises only when all of the required views can come from same query.

So, if you have to make decision between view selector & guided navigation which one would you choose?

I’m using below rational for making my decision.

  • I would use view selector when all of these views are coming from the same granularity of data. This way there is no need to submit the page again to see the data.
  • I would use guided navigation when granularity changes between views and there is a performance impact because of it.

What would you do differently? Please share your thoughts.

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You can increase or decrease number of prompts shown in dropdowns by editing prompt XML code. This is done by adding numItemsPerPage attribut to saw:PromptUIControl element.


<saw:promptUIControl xsi:type=”saw:multiSelect” includeAllChoices=”false” maxChoices=”-1″ numItemsPerPage=”1024″>

Note: Every UI element in prompt has its own saw:promptUIControl element.

Instanceconfig.xml change affects all dropdowns.  (<Prompts><MaxDropDownValues>XXXXX</MaxDropDownValues></Prompts>)

Using numitemsperpage in prompt XML file affects only a specific prompt without changing behavior globally.

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