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OBIEE Security: Catalogs, Access Control Lists and Permission Reports

April 18, 2014

The presentation catalog (Web Catalog) stores the content that users create within OBIEE. While the Catalog uses the presentation layer objects, do not confuse the presentation layer within the RPD with the presentation catalog. The presentation catalog includes objects such as folders, shortcuts, filters, KPIs and dashboards. These objects are built using the presentation layer within the RPD.

The difference between RPD and Catalog security is that Repository level restrictions give the most flexibility as they can be either course-grained or fine-grained based on the data. Catalog level restrictions are more course-grained as they are applied to entire subject areas and/or objects.

To access an object in the catalog users must have security and can use either the BI client or web user interface. The BI client for the Web Catalog is installed along with the BI Admin client.

Access Control Lists (ACL)

Access Control Lists (ACL) are defined for each object in the catalog. Within the file system the ACLs are stored in the *.ATR files which may be viewed through a HEX editor. A 16-digit binary representation is used similar to UNIX (e.g. 777). There are six different types of permissions for each object:

  • Full control
  • Modify
  • Open
  • Traverse
  • No Access
  • Custom

In 11g the catalog is located here:

$ORACLE_INSTANCE/bifoundation/OracleBIPresentationServicesComponent/catalog

 

Catalog Permission Reports

From a security perspective, the permission reports that are able to be generated from the Web Catalog client tool are very valuable and can be exported to Excel for further analysis. For example, these reports can provide system generated reports for who can avoid OBIEE security and issue Direct SQL or has rights to Write-Back to the database.  The security ACL will report on who has such Administration privileges.

OBIEE Administration Privileges

BI Catalog Client

Catalog Report

 

If you have questions, please contact us at info@integrigy.com

 -Michael Miller, CISSP-ISSMP

References