Cheating with Graphs in OBIEE

Monday, November 16, 2015

Now and then I get a request to create a graph in OBIEE that touches the boundaries as to what OBIEE is capable of. A quadrant like report, in which every quadrant has a different color was one of them. Naturally we succeeded.


We used a scatter plot, set the major and minor ticks to 3 and 21, the minimum and maximum axis limits to 0 and 200 and added scale markers in order to achieve all of this. (The colors are my choice, not the client’s :).


When the client asked if we could put data on each quadrant, showing the number of elements that moved from one quadrant to the other, I knew we were close to a limit. No standard graph that I knew of allowed this, but I also know that OBIEE uses basic html elements to build its pages and flash for the graphs. Combining this knowledge with the use or narratives would allow me to easily display the data coming from the report. Using css absolute positioning , I can place text almost everywhere I want.


<p style="z-index: 100; position: absolute; left: 290px; top: 150px;" title='@6 points'>How many points do you see?</p>


I used the code above in a narrative; it describes a paragraph element (it doesn’t have to be a paragraph, I just used it in this example) with a z-index of 100 to make sure it’s always on top. The next 3 attributes describe the positioning of the element; the absolute position indicates that the p element will be positioned relative to the first parent element that has a position other than static. If there’s no such element, the containing block is <html>. The left and top attribute indicate the element’s positioning.

A final attribute is the title attribute which will show a tooltip when someone hovers over the text, just to illustrate that columns used in the criteria tab can be addressed. Don’t forget you’re dealing with html so check the checkbox that reads ‘Contains HTML Markup’! Next, drag the narrative in the compound layout and you’re good to go!



The hover over the text shows the number of data points that can be found. This information is contained in the report and is the result of the @6 notation that I used in the narrative. This can easily be replaced by any other column from the criteria tab.


Good luck!