Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Oracle BI Bundle Patch OBIEE

The new bundle patch set for Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition and Oracle Exalytics OBIEE was released recently.

Detailed patch description on Oracle Support: OBIEE 11g Bundle Patch is Available for Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition and Exalytics.

Further information on the current bundle patch respectively on OBIEE 11g patch sets:

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

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Standard Oracle BI Training - Story

As official Oracle University partner we sell all available Oracle Education services. Our partnership covers the right to deliver standard Oracle BI training. Thus, our Oracle University expert trainer Gerd conducts standard courses like Oracle BI Create Analyses and Dashboards or Oracle BI Build Repositories quite often. Attendees benefit from his excellent knowledge.

Not long ago a client from entertainment industry requested a training event for his international team. Team members will be responsible for creating reports using Oracle BI Answers at locations worldwide. Sounds easy, but there was a challenge to solve:
  • Project situation only allowed one day training for about 12 people coming from different departments and holding diverse positions.
  • Participants' know-how was very different - from nearly beginners to users experienced to some degree.
Usually such preconditions handicap an optimal training execution. We normally recommend to take at least two training days to achieve an ideal balance between theory and exercises. But the setting was as described. The customer accepted our solution proposed:
  • One training day with focus on theory respectively trainer instruction.
  • Only a few direct exercises on key functionalities. Detailed questions are handled separately when they come up on the job.
Challenging when your minimal objective is to give a perfect learning experience to each attendee. But we succeeded! See the feedback we received: "Really impressed with Gerd, he ran a comprehensive class that catered well for different requirements and competency levels." and "I would definitely like to take part in another training session."

Sunday, 18 May 2014

OBIEE Client Success and Typical Issues

Recently we received an enquiry from a multinational logistics company just replacing MS Access and Excel with a reporting solution based on Oracle BI (OBIEE). A really good idea by the way, but the client and particularly the key users described some issues:
  • It's already cumbersome to just create simple reports.
  • Why do we have to implement all measures and key data on our own?
  • There is no possibility to drill into detail data.
  • Multi star respectively cube comparison is not supported.
  • We want to keep using Excel with Smart View instead of Oracle BI Answers.
  • OBIEE isn't the BI tool to use.
From our expert perspective we could already guess what's going wrong without having a look to the system at all. Especially Oracle BI is solving the first four issues mentioned. And - to be honest - that's just standard BI functionality. Furthermore we wondered why Smart View should solve the issues whereas Answers isn't appropriate.

After a superficial review taking just some minutes we had a clear and unfortunately horrible picture. Clients' current solution is mixing dimensions and facts ignoring common usability aspects. Our statement after verifying the Oracle BI source code: "We would never roll out such a repository to our customers." We received the impression that Oracle BI application was build with nearly no OBIEE know-how. Thus, users' dissatisfaction is comprehensible.

All issues above come along with this fact. We arranged a 1.5 days workshop to gather and understand users' needs. Simultaneously we managed to create a positive perspective on how Oracle BI can support and solve existing business requirements. In comparison to the starting point a turnaround.

To prove we will build a customer specific prototype within one day and outline the next steps to perform. In the end we are sure to have an up and running OBIEE application fulfilling our new clients' requirements.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Oracle Smart View for Office and Oracle BI

Our mission is to pass more self service BI know-how down to end users. That's the key to turn BI strategies into success stories, as already discussed in BI success factors and Tricks with Oracle BI Answers.

Oracle Smart View Excel Chart
Having a look to specific user groups preferring Microsoft Excel Oracle BI provides Oracle Smart View for Office, the successor of Oracle BI Office Add-In. Office Add-In should not be used any more, because Smart View for Office facilitates better functionalities. Even if you won't get the same functionality in Smart View as by Oracle BI Answers it has some potential to cover user requirements and enhance those users' self service BI capabilities.

If users assume Oracle Smart View should replace Answers, because they want to stay within their familiar environment (Excel), they may attend our expert class on Oracle BI. You cannot compare Smart View functionality with the solution power of Oracle BI Answers. Users learn optimal handling of Answers in our seminar. We introduce implementation concepts giving you at least the same possibilities as Excel does. Attend online if not scheduled near your site.

But back again to Oracle Smart View for Office and its functionalities splitted into two main parts: integration of Oracle BI web catalogue objects into Microsoft Office products and designing of new views in these applications themselves using View Designer.

Excel Pivot Table within Smart View
Coming from presentation web catalogue you can import Oracle BI tables, pivot tables and charts into Microsoft Excel, Word or PowerPoint. Concerning tables you choose between standard tables and e.g. Excel tables providing Office layout options. Charts appear in changeable Office style. When using Excel pivot tables settings even allow the creation of new calculations based on report fields. Common reports prompts as well as view prompts are editable via Smart View. And of course, Smart View objects can be refreshed with current data. But be aware that Smart View doesn't import all Oracle BI views as view objects. Some of them can only be added as static image with no refresh option.

View Designer in Oracle Smart View
Creating of new views is done via View Designer giving users access to all available Oracle BI subject areas. Selecting fields and chart types is quite easy. Once done insert your request and start editing style with Office layout options. Saving is performed on local file system or you publish a report back to Oracle BI presentation catalogue allowing you to edit your report in Oracle BI Answers although it was set up in Excel via Smart View. But for now only one view is published to Oracle BI when pressing the button Publish View.

Naturally, that's not all to be said about Oracle Smart View for Office.
Don't hesitate to ask if question come up.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Oracle Dojo: Big Data - DWH - BI

Oracle Dojo Nr. 6
Trainieren im Oracle Dojo bedeutet kompakte Theorie und Praxis zur Vertiefung und Verbesserung der eigenen Fähigkeiten. Und zwar in kleiner, handlicher Form in deutscher Sprache. Stand heute existieren neun Oracle Dojos, die neben der online PDF-Version teilweise in gedruckter Form zur Verfügung stehen.

Darunter sind aktuell drei Oracle Dojos mit direktem Bezug zu Big Data, DWH und BI:
  • Oracle Dojo Nr. 2: Big Data: Eine Einführung. Oracle NoSQL Database, Hadoop MapReduce, Oracle Big Data Connectors
  • Oracle Dojo Nr. 4: Oracle Data Warehouse. Konzepte und Methoden
  • Oracle Dojo Nr. 6: Oracle GoldenGate 11g R2. Aktiv-Aktiv-Replikation
Aber auch die anderen Oracle Dojos behandeln interessante Themen.
Download und Bestellung via OTN.