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Oracle BI Suite Enterprise Edition

For Discoverer Users

Mark Rittman, Rittman Mead Consulting
Who Am I?

• Oracle BI&W Architecture & Development Specialist

• The “Rittman” of “Rittman Mead Consulting”
– Specialist provider of Oracle BI&W consulting and education
• 10+ years with Discoverer, OWB etc
– Now working with BI EE, BIP, Data Integrator
• Oracle ACE,
• Articles at OTN, Oracle Magazine etc
• Chair of UKOUG BI & Reporting Tools SIG
• Co-Chair of ODTUG BI&DW SIG
• Author of forthcoming Oracle Press book
“Oracle BI Suite Developers Guide”
Oracle BI Discoverer Overview

• Oracle’s standard ad-hoc query and reporting tool

• Part of Oracle Application Server 10g (10.1.2)
• Access Oracle data, and other RDBMS through Oracle database
• Now at 10.1.2.x
• Web-based, with
MS Windows admin tool
• Integration with
OracleAS Portal,
Oracle Warehouse Builder
Discoverer Strengths

• Easy to use, lots of wizards, many years of UI refinements

• Leverages calculations, analytics etc in Oracle RBDMS
• Integration with Oracle RDBMS and OAS security
• Native access to Oracle OLAP multi-dimensional model
• Integration with
Oracle E-Business Suite
Discoverer Weaknesses

• Oracle-dependency
– difficult to connect to other RDBMSs
– requires Oracle database to hold EUL and provide security
– Routes all data through Oracle (database links)
• Performance
– Difficult to “tune” its SQL
– Sluggish performance
• No alerting, distribution
• OracleAS Portal as a dashboard
• Use of Java applet
– Security, installation issues
• No APIs, connectivity from
and to SOA
Oracle BI Suite Enterprise Edition

• Oracle “Next-Generation” BI tools platform

• Based on Siebel Analytics
• Originally developed by nQuire
• Standards (J2EE) based
• Heterogeneous connectivity
• Server and Web-based
– Oracle BI Server
– Oracle Presentation Server
– Oracle BI Answers
– Oracle BI Interactive
– Oracle BI Delivers
– Oracle BI Administration
OBI EE Architecture
Oracle BI Answers

• Equivalent to Discoverer
– Ad-hoc analysis
• Report against business model
– Tables, Cross-tabs
– Graphs, Gauges
– View and column selectors
– Narratives
• Publish to Oracle BI
Interactive Dashboards
• Database-neutral
– Connects through BI Server
Common Enterprise Information Model

• Equivalent to End User Layer

• Physical layer – connections to DBs
– RDBMS, XML, MDX, MS Excel etc
• Semantic Object Layer – business model
– Logical tables, columns
– Dimensions (hierarchies)
– Calculations
• Presentation Layer
– Equivalent to custom folders
Oracle BI Interactive Dashboards

• Main method of interacting with reports

• Fully interactive
– Drill on data, graphs
– Switch between views
– Drill out to detail
• Incorporate images,
web content
• Role-based security
• Lightweight, DHTML
Oracle BI Publisher

• Publishes Answers reports as PDF, XLS, RTF etc

– Also direct access to metadata layer
• “Pixel-perfect” reports
• Used for distribution-
quality reporting
• Integrated into dashboard
Oracle BI Server

• “Virtual data warehouse”, connects to source databases

– Integrates incoming data in real-time
– Translates SQL against business model
into optimal SQL against
physical data sources
• Own dialect of SQL
– Common functionality across platforms
– SQL passthrough also possible
– Caching, summary management
– Security
• Partly equivalent to Discoverer Server,
partly to Oracle RDBMS EE
Oracle BI Delivers

• Scheduling and distribution

• Uses iBots (“Intelligent Bots”)
• Integration (through Java) with BPEL
– iBot chaining, calling from BPEL,
calling BPEL
• Permits alerts, through execution
of Answers reports
– If report returns rows, alert triggered
– Alert appears on dashboard,
via email, SMS, cell phone
– Can trigger narrative and
conditionally-appearing reports
on dashboard
OBIEE Benefits Compared to Discoverer

• Connectivity to non-Oracle data sources

– DB/2, SQL Server, MDX, XML etc
• More visualization options
– Charts, gauges, pictures, controls
– Interactive dashboards, drill-in-place
• Performance
– Easier to tune SQL
– Caching, summary management
• Alerting, distribution
• SOA and Web Services connectivity
• All end-user tools thin-client
Moving from Discoverer to OBIEE

• Coming soon: Migration utility

– Migrate EUL to OBIEE Common Enterprise Information Model
– Migrate workbooks to Answers
• Some post-migration work will be necessary
– Make OBIEE model “time-series aware”
– Workbook fine-tuning?
– Take advantage of all the new features
• Now: Manually recreate in OBIEE
– Easy to do
– Useful for simple proof-of-concepts, demo systems
– Helps you understand how it all works
Manual EUL Migration Steps

1. Create an ODBC data source for use with Oracle BI Administrator

2. Import physical tables in to BI Server metadata layer
3. Create logical model (drag and drop from physical layer)
4. Add dimensions
derived columns
5. Drag and drop in to
presentation layer,
create complex
folders as required
Analytical Calculations

• Calculations can either be created in the metadata layer,

or within the Answers report
• In the metadata layer, OBIEE uses its own SQL version
– Creates “logical columns”
– Consistent calculation ability
across DB platforms
• In Answers, can create using
or pass-thru native SQL
– Allows you to leverage
analytical SQL
Time-Series Calculations

• AGO – value of a measure x months, quarters, years ago

AGO(Videostore."Sales fact view".Sales,

Videostore.TimesDim."Month", 1)

• TODATE – value of a measure to the end of a month, quarter, year

AGO(Videostore."Sales fact view".Sales,

Videostore.TimesDim."Quarter", 1)

• Requires at least one “time dimension” in the metadata layer

Creating the Videostore Time Dimension

1. Create logical columns in logical model to derive descriptions

and sortable IDs for each time dimension level (or create view in DB)
e.g. “Jan-2000”, “200001”
2. Sort description fields by sortable ID fields
3. Add new level IDs and descriptions in to time dimension
– Ensure sortable IDs are unchecked as
“drill-down” columns
4. Select Transaction Date (usually DATE)
as chronological key
– Optional: select keys for other
levels as additional chronological keys
(useful when creating month, quarter
etc summaries)

The Migrated Videostore End User Layer

New Reporting Capabilities with OBI EE

• Oracle BI Answers is the equivalent to Discoverer

– Tables, crosstabs (pivot-tables)
– Additional graphing options (funnel, gauges etc)
– Formatting improvements
– View switching
– Narratives
– Tickers
– Works across all databases
• Oracle BI Interactive Dashboards is the equivalent to Portal
– Portlets, web clippings
– More interactivity, all activity takes place in dashboard page
• Oracle BI Delivers, Oracle BI Publisher add completely new
Answers Views

• Each report (“request”) contains a single query

– Possible to union, minus etc with similar queries
• Query has one or more views associated with it
– Table, pivot-table
– Chart, gauge, funnel chart
– Title, narrative
– View and column
• Views are combined in the
compound view
• Compound view generally
displayed in dashboard
Answers Formatting Options

• Columns can be formatted on column, or other column value

• Colors, fonts,
• Images and icons
– Can replace or
supplement figures
• Images can be added to
report titles
– Comes with a library of
stock images
Dashboard Interactivity

• Prompts can be added to dashboard

• Drop-down lists, multi-select
• Passes parameters to reports
• Switch between different views
• Change columns used in reports
Dashboard Alerts & Guided Analytics

• Enables content and layout of dashboard to change based on

information analyzed
• Sections or links can be defined to only appear when there is
“interesting” information in the data

Videostore Reports in Oracle BI EE

What’s Missing?

• OLAP functionality
– Answers is essentially a relational query tool
– OLAP data converted to tables and columns
• Some analytical and time-series functions
– Rank, TopN, BottomN etc present
– Limited time-series (ago, todate)
– SQL pass-through possible
• ETL tool integration
– ODI possible future solution?
Fusion Intelligence for E-Business Suite

• OBIEE pre-Built integration with Daily Business Intelligence (DBI)

and other E-Business Suite data
• Role-based dashboards
• Guided navigation
• Full ad-hoc analysis
• Covers the following Intelligence
– Financials
– Procurement
– Human Resources
– Supply Chan
• Integrated with SSO

• Alternative option – integrate Discoverer with OBI EE

– Delivers: alerting, distribution, guided analytics
– Dashboard: integrate Discoverer worksheets in dashboard
– Publisher: use Discoverer worksheets as data source
• Additional option, use instead, of or as well as migration
• Requires you to license relevant OBIEE components
• Due “pre-11g”

• Migrating Discoverer to Oracle BI Suite Enterprise Edition

is a relatively straightforward task
– Do now manually, or wait for migration utility
• Some post-install work needed
– Create or enhance time dimension
– Take advantage of new Answers and Dashboard features
– Add alerts, guided analytics
– Publish and distribute reports using Publisher
• E-Business Suite customers can migrate to Fusion Intelligence
Next Steps

• Talk to Mark about OBIEE, Discoverer during SIG breaks

• Download OBIEE, and coming soon, OBI Standard Edition One
– OBI SE One comes with Answers, Dashboard, BI Server for
$1k per named user
– Ideal migration path for departmental Discoverer deployments
• Free One-Day Migration and Interoperability Workshop with Mark
– Assess current use of Discoverer
– Review range of workbooks, End User Layer
– Discuss requirement for new features (alerting, publishing, dashboards)
– Demonstration of migrated Videostore data
– Initial roadmap for migration and/or interoperability
– Discuss proof of concept
– Produce report on next steps
Oracle BI Suite Enterprise Edition
For Discoverer Users

Mark Rittman, Rittman Mead Consulting