Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Online Oracle BI Training - Review

29-Apr-2014 ... our managing director Gerd Aiglstorfer delivered his Oracle University expert class Oracle BI Analyses Insights as a Live Virtual Class (LVC). It was his first online class at all and therefore the premiere as an online Oracle BI training event. He is giving a short review on how he experienced the training day.

G.A. itbs: "Gerd, how did you feel before starting the class?"
Gerd Aiglstorfer: "Well, I wasn't sure how student interaction will work. In the classroom events students are asking a lot of questions, I can see if they can follow the items discussed and if it's interesting for them. In an online training there is no direct contact. As I assumed discussions on additional information are reduced in comparison with a classroom training, but direct questions on training topics are equal. I sometimes asked the students if they are happy and the always replied 'great'."

G.A. itbs: "What feedback did the students give in the end?"
Gerd Aiglstorfer: "All of them said: 'Awesome'. There is a chat tool within the session. A participant stated: 'It was very interesting. Sometimes heavy stuff, but I got many tips for using OBI properly and most efficiently. Thank you very much!' There is nothing to add. It's the same feedback as on my classroom Oracle BI training events."

G.A. itbs: "What's about the technical environment?"
Gerd Aiglstorfer: "I was not sure if VoIP will work for voice communication, but it did. The connection to the students was fine. Backwards I sometimes didn't understand the questions due to reduced quality, but there is the chat tool for asking the questions if necessary. One student even participated without a microphone. After lunch screen conferencing became very slow. After just restarting the session everything was fine. Just one small issue within 8 hours, I think that's ok and quite normal."

G.A. itbs: "Would you recommend attending your online Oracle BI training?"
Gerd Aiglstorfer: "From a functional perspective, of course. Even very experienced BI professionals give outstanding evaluations and tell me that they feel very enriched by the solutions and best practices provided. If there is no classroom event near your site, then the online training event is a really good alternative. You have no travel costs and training quality is nearly the same."

G.A. itbs: "When is your Oracle BI expert class scheduled next?"
Gerd Aiglstorfer: "On the 14-Nov-2014."

G.A. itbs: "Thank you very much for your time, Gerd!"
Gerd Aiglstorfer: "You are welcome!"

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Oracle BI User Documentation

Oracle BI 11g documentation delivered by Oracle is - from our point of view - not really easy to read. Surprisingly the documents provide very often a solution for standard questions. So, find below the links for Oracle BI user documentation:
The links are for now ;-) Don't be confused, other document versions exist, but you can go ahead with these links. The complete documentation index for the developers amongst you:

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Oracle BI Mobile HD App

Oracle recently released a new version of Oracle BI Mobile HD App for Apple products (see App Store). Changes are:
  • Bug fixes including prompts, stability and much more
  • iPhone UI update and general clean-up
  • MAD external links open in Safari
Android App was updated on the same date providing some minor bug fixes (see Google Play).

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Oracle BI Bundle Patch OBIEE 11.1.1.7.140415

Das neue Bundle Patch Set für Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition und Oracle Exalytics OBIEE 11.1.1.7.140415 wurde kürzlich veröffentlicht.

Die detaillierte Beschreibung des Patches im Oracle Support: OBIEE 11g 11.1.1.7.140415 Bundle Patch is Available for Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition and Exalytics.

Weitere Information zum aktuellen Bundle Patch bzw. zu den Patch Sets von OBIEE 11g:

OBIEE 11g: Required and Recommended Bundle Patches and Patch Sets
Overview of Available Update Patches for Oracle BI Publisher Enterprise 11g

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Discussing Sophisticated Tricks with Oracle BI Answers

Last week we presented an article with title "Sophisticated Tricks with Oracle BI Answers" on the German user conference DOAG 2014 BI in Munich. Follow the link to get the English version of our slides. We discussed our point of view on self service BI with Oracle BI and introduced the following example for dynamic 3 month value comparison:

Shipped Quantity with fully dynamic filter criteria

Our solution is using only number presentation variables (see slides) and two short criteria columns which are easy to use and don't need any additional explanation. The same concept can be used on any other case. Thus, it is not restricted to date columns. Futhermore, it's in comparison to all other possible solutions easy to build when users request a month value as insert criteria (what they will do in such a case).

Some of you will say the same result will be returned by using Oracle BI TIMESTAMPADD function which requires a timestamp value as input. Yes, that's correct! From an usability point of view the prompt has to be as smart as the above prompt, e.g. only using one date:


Assuming the user will recognize and particularly accept the month of the day selected represents the calculation base value. Be aware that the design of the prompt has direct impact on the possibilities to apply filters on the corresponding report. Thus, we do not recommend to use the same prompt from the DOAG BI example, because your filter will get much more complex.

Value selection and filtering with Oracle BI TIMESTAMPADD follows the same logic as already shown in our first solution. Based on the date input you need to extract month and year separately. Using BETWEEN filters instead would require application of CAST or EVAL functions, because the user may insert any day value of a specific month. We don't recommend introducing these functions to end users as they suppose database know-how.

The current year block is defined as (see image "Oracle BI Filter Criteria"):
Oracle BI Filter Criteria
Month(@{Day})
Year(@{Day})
Month(TIMESTAMPADD(SQL_TSI_MONTH,-1,@{Day}))
Year(TIMESTAMPADD(SQL_TSI_MONTH,-1,@{Day}))
Month(TIMESTAMPADD(SQL_TSI_MONTH,-2,@{Day}))
Year(TIMESTAMPADD(SQL_TSI_MONTH,-2,@{Day}))


And the previous year block looks like:
Month(@{Day})
Year(@{Day})-1
Month(TIMESTAMPADD(SQL_TSI_MONTH,-13,@{Day}))
Year(TIMESTAMPADD(SQL_TSI_MONTH,-13,@{Day}))
Month(TIMESTAMPADD(SQL_TSI_MONTH,-14,@{Day}))
Year(TIMESTAMPADD(SQL_TSI_MONTH,-14,@{Day}))


Results of both queries are equal, but in our case the Oracle BI TIMESTAMPADD alternative isn't using a default for the Day presentation variable. Thus, when creating the report you cannot test it directly. You will need the prompt in your dashboard. Additionally, all charts have to be created before applying the filter criteria.

It is very tedious to insert defaults for date presentations variables. Therefore we didn't do it for this example, because we prefer the solution shown at DOAG BI. It's up to you which one is yours!

Friday, 4 April 2014

Rückblick DOAG BI 2014


Gestern fand die DOAG BI 2014 in München statt. Unser Geschäftsführer Gerd Aiglstorfer referierte zum Thema "Raffinierte Tricks mit Oracle BI Answers". Außerdem waren wir als Sponsor der DOAG BI in der Ausstellung vertreten.

Im gut gefüllten Salon Bialas erläuterte Gerd Aiglstorfer eine Methodik, die die Operationalisierung von Self-Service BI mit dem Werkzeug Oracle BI erlaubt. Die konkreten Handlungsempfehlungen zeigte er anhand eines konkretes Beispiels für Endbenutzer. Die gut 20 Minuten Diskussion mit allen Zuhörern im Anschluss an den Vortrag zeigte das rege Interesse am Thema. Die Vortragsfolien und das Manuskript stellen wir Ihnen auf SlideShare zur Verfügung:


Interessante Gespräche zum Vortrag und anderen Oracle BI Themen wie z.B. agile Projektmethodik, Oracle Data Integrator (ODI), BI Mobile, Lizenzen, Standard-Schulungen mit Oracle University rundeten den Tag ab.

Wir danken Ihnen für Ihren Besuch und freuen uns auf weiteren Austausch!

Oracle BI Bundle Patch OBIEE 11.1.1.7.140225

Das neue Bundle Patch Set für Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition und Oracle Exalytics OBIEE 11.1.1.7.140225 wurde kürzlich veröffentlicht.

Die detaillierte Beschreibung des Patches im Oracle Support: OBIEE 11g 11.1.1.7.140225 Bundle Patch is Available for Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition and Exalytics.

Weitere Information zum aktuellen Bundle Patch bzw. zu den Patch Sets von OBIEE 11g:

OBIEE 11g: Bugs Fixed in 11.1.1.7.140225
OBIEE 11g: Required and Recommended Bundle Patches and Patch Sets
Overview of Available Update Patches for Oracle BI Publisher Enterprise 11g