Wednesday Jul 15, 2015

OBI11g Analyses Hadoop data directly (without ETL) using Oracle Big Data SQL

You may have noticed that OBI can now analyse Hadoop data directly (without ETL) using Oracle Big Data SQL for Data Access (or Cloudera’s Impala), and can easily join it with other OBI data sources onto one dashboard. To find out more you can review the Big Data documentation below, and try it for yourself by downloading the Demonstration VM for OBI 11g SampleApp v506 including Cloudera and Big Data SQL.

Oracle Big Data Appliance Software User's Guide

1 Introducing Oracle Big Data Appliance

2 Administering Oracle Big Data Appliance

3 Supporting User Access to Oracle Big Data Appliance

4 Configuring Oracle Exadata Database Machine for Use with Oracle Big Data Appliance

5 Optimizing MapReduce Jobs Using Perfect Balance

6 Using Oracle Big Data SQL for Data Access

7 Oracle Big Data SQL Reference

Essentially, Oracle Big Data SQL accesses Hadoop via external tables to:

  • ORACLE_HIVE: Enables you to create Oracle external tables over Apache Hive data sources. Use this access driver when you already have Hive tables defined for your HDFS data sources. ORACLE_HIVE can also access data stored in other locations, such as HBase, that have Hive tables defined for them. The DBMS_HADOOP PL/SQL package contains a function named CREATE_EXTDDL_FOR_HIVE. It returns the data dictionary language (DDL) to create an external table for accessing a Hive table.
  • ORACLE_HDFS: Enables you to create Oracle external tables directly over files stored in HDFS. This access driver uses Hive syntax to describe a data source, assigning default column names of COL_1, COL_2, and so forth. You do not need to create a Hive table manually as a separate step: you can just define the record format of text data, or you can specify a SerDe for a particular data format.

External tables do not have traditional indexes, so that queries against them typically require a full table scan. However, Oracle Big Data SQL extends SmartScan capabilities, such as filter-predicate offloads, to Oracle external tables with the installation of Exadata storage server software onto an Oracle Big Data Appliance. This technology enables the Oracle Big Data Appliance to discard a huge portion of irrelevant data—often up to 99 percent of the total—and return much smaller result sets to the Oracle Exadata Database Machine. Therefore, End users obtain the results of their queries significantly faster, as the direct result of a reduced load on Oracle Database and reduced traffic on the network.

Note that alternatively, and similarly, Oracle SQL Connector for HDFS provides access to Hadoop data for all Oracle Big Data Appliance racks, including those that are not connected to Oracle Exadata Database Machine. However, it does not offer the performance benefits of Oracle Big Data SQL: see Oracle Big Data Connectors User's Guide.

Thursday Jul 09, 2015

Download Demonstration VM for OBI 11g SampleApp v506 with Big Data

The OBIEE SampleApp v506 virtual box appliance is now available for public download by customers and partners. The image and deployment documentation can be downloaded from OTN at the OBIEE SampleApp page.

The v506 image content demonstrates capabilities of the v11.1.1.9 OBIEE stack, Oracle DB In-Memory and v12.1.0.2 database and several other OBIEE functional integrations, such as OBI accessing Hadoop data (Cloudera CDH 5.1.2) via both Impala and Big Data SQL.

  • A “What’s-new” pdf is available here for an overview of new content on v506
  • This YouTube playlist here includes a few view-lets about major new content areas
  • NOTE: You need 130 Gb of free disk to install and 16Gb of RAM to use this SampleApp v506 

    Tuesday May 19, 2015

    OBI 11g Release 11.1.1.9 Now Available

    This new release of Oracle Business Intelligence v.11.1.1.9, includes a number of new features and a focus on overall quality improvement. Significant new features and enhancements include:

    Expanded Data Source Support, including support for Cloudera Impala and Hive2.  Users can also access information directly from their Hyperion Planning applications to build and deliver analytical content with OBI. Integration with the Oracle 12c database has been enhanced with support for compression, Exadata Hybrid Columnar Compression (EHCC), and in-memory Oracle database features.

    Improved User Experience, including a new Tree Map visualization. Subject area search makes it easier to locate elements to add to an analysis. Users can now save and re-use custom column definitions.  More options are available to users when exporting content.  Customers can now take advantage of HTML5 for rendering charts.

    New Capabilities for Exalytics, including support for count distinct aggregations.  Aggregations for levels with non-unique level keys, ragged and skip level hierarchies, and time levels with no chronological keys are also supported.  A new Summary Advisor command line utility is available to assist with scripting maintenance tasks.

    New Capabilities for Administration, including Mobile App Designer installed by default.  A database policy store is available for security administration.

    BI Publisher Integration with WebCenter Content: This integration will enable customers to deliver BI Publisher output directly to WebCenter Content.

    More information:

    Wednesday Nov 26, 2014

    OBIEE Security with Oracle Access Management Webinar: Jan 2015

    January 15, 2015 @ 4:00 PM CET to 5:00 PM CET - Register Here!

    With in-depth technical detail and demos, this live session will help you learn about integrating OBI EE with Oracle Access Manager (OAM).  This integration allows a user to login once and access the various BI components without getting challenged again, allowing the BI dashboards to participate in Single Sign on with other OAM-protected applications. This session will explore the process & steps required to integrate OBI 11.1.1.7 with OAM 11gR2 PS2 (11.1.2.2).  A presentation will explain the technical details along with the demo.

    Oracle Identity Management and Access Manager enables organizations to effectively manage the end-to-end life-cycle of user identities across all enterprise resources, both within and beyond the firewall and into the cloud. The Oracle Identity Management platform delivers scalable solutions for identity governance, access management and directory services.

    Tuesday Aug 05, 2014

    OBI Foundation Demonstration Systems for Partners

    If you need to get access to a demonstration environment, hosted by Oracle, then the current version of OBI Foundation is available for partners to book and use to show to your clients. This demonstration covers all the modules in the OBIEE Sample Application v406 which provides a comprehensive out-of-the-box collection of examples and integrations designed to demonstrate Oracle BI capabilities, product integrations, and design best practice. 

    Highlights of SampleApp v406 include:

    • Showcases mapviewer HTML 5 Integration examples
    • Showcases latest Mobile Application Designer (MAD) v2
    • Internet Accessible – VPN is NOT required to demonstrate SampleApp functionality (although VPN is required for the native Mobile HD client).
    • Showcases ADF visualization & dense visualization examples
    • Essbase integration
    • Advanced Analytics (R and Data mining) integration
    • Endeca Information Discovery 3.1 with integration to OBI11g

    OPN Member Partners can Learn more and Apply for Access to GSE, and once approved can access the link to book and run demos @ Access Demonstration Systems. These Oracle Demonstration Services are run by the Oracle Global Sales Engineering team (“GSE”). GSE provides a platform to demo Oracle products in an enterprise setting in the way Oracle is meant to be used. We provide demos that are easily accessible and fast performing, consistent with product strategy and sales needs. 

    Friday Aug 01, 2014

    Rules of the Road for Enterprise Data Discovery

    The challenge many companies face today is that insights remain elusive, even though data and the tools to handle it have proliferated. In response, as discussed in the Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms (Publication: February 2014), data discovery capabilities are dominating new purchasing requirements, even for larger deployments, as alternatives to traditional BI tools. But "governed data discovery" - the ability to meet the dual demands of enterprise IT and business users – “remains a challenge unmet by any one vendor” {as seen at the time of the report}.

    Some customers have been tempted to go with more departmental solutions (as opposed to a more “Enterprise-class” product) to meet business demands for greater self-service analytics, but are often still frustrated by continuing needs to get access to the right data sources: ultimately finding they have selected a limited product solution which does not deliver on the promised business value.

    However, partners familiar with Endeca Information Discovery, especially with version 3.1+, will appreciate that its integration to OBI Foundation, coupled with ease of use and the ability to mash-up disparate data and text sources, give Oracle a pretty good response to this client need for governed enterprise data discovery.

    To help you navigate this discussion with your key clients, can I suggest you use this white paper (@ The 5 Rules of the Road for Enterprise Data Discovery) to help clarify the agenda, and to help you to guide them towards a sound strategy which will deliver to them real value.

    We do not see this as diminishing the need for a solid BI foundation: indeed this is the pre-requisite for sound data discovery. Enterprise data discovery is a natural complement to existing business intelligence practices and platforms, offering analytic agility without compromising quality. Our suggested rules are:

    Monday Jul 21, 2014

    Automated OBI Testing Improves Client Satisfaction

    A challenge for BI partners and their clients stems from normal business change over time.  BI requirements are continually flexing to maintain relevance with changing business conditions, and so data models that support BI undergo continual revisions as the systems that create and modify data are upgraded and customised.

    These revisions can sometimes “break” existing reports and dashboards, and so you need to check that these are all still working after any changes.  Oracle partner Acrotrend (www.acrotrend.com) has developed a utility “Xpress Validator” which automates this scanning, and helps you to foresee and fix disruptions to OBI before production roll-outs and thus enhances the user experience, without the need for a lot of costly, time-consuming manual testing.

    For an Oracle Partner this means more cost effective delivery, improved margins, and improved client satisfaction.  Xpress Validator can be licensed from Acrotrend for use at your clients: for more information, please contact michelle.pallis@acrotrend.com, and you can register here for a webinar and demo onWednesday 6th August at 13.00 UK time / 14.00 CET.

    See here for:

    · Information on Xpress Validator for OBIEE

    · When a great BI infrastructure becomes a victim of its own success…

    · Register here for webinar and demo

    Tuesday Jul 15, 2014

    Try It Live Oracle BI Demonstration SampleApp V406

    Further to the previous Blog post Oracle BI Demonstration with BIMAD2 SampleApp V406 on OTN which provides information for downloading the Sample App, you can now access this software hosted on an Oracle server via the "TRY IT LIVE" option.

    This is a great resource if you just need quick and easy access across the internet to OBI11g and all the great examples in the SampleApp.

    To access the OBIEE Sample App V406, visit Oracle Technology Network (OTN) @ OBIEE Samples and select the "Try It Live" icon.... then enter the User ID and Password as detailed on the OBI log-In screen. Note that the SampleApp contents, its code and the Try It Live are distributed free for demonstration purposes only: it is neither maintained nor supported by Oracle as a licensed product or service.

    Monday Jul 14, 2014

    Managing Hierarchies in Financial Applications with DRM

    Hierarchies and related links are fundamental to using financial, and indeed many other applications, for example:

    • When a new Chart of accounts is designed, linking an account to its parent is key for future aggregation of data.
    • When legal entities have to be sorted, hierarchies can be built according to dimensions such as geography or organizations.
    • In a General Ledger, every accounting flexible field is a potential analytical dimension.
    • Respecting relationships is also very important when reorganizing sales territories taking into account geography dimension, human resources, client or product information.

    That’s why partners have a great opportunity to help their clients to better manage these hierarchies and relationships which are often used in EPM (Enterprise performance management) and Business intelligence. Financial Applications share entire or partial hierarchies with different levels of detail, different points of view. So, “Financial MDM” helps companies to be more efficient because hierarchies and their relationships are managed in a single place. Every modification impacts all applications at the same time. This increases consistency and data quality among all hierarchies.

    Financial MDM has got the same DNA as other MDM domains and is a key tool to help partners implement new systems, upgrades and migrations for their clients because it accelerates deployment based on these coordinated and validated hierarchies. Financial MDM manages specific types of master data, such as:

    • Charts of accounts: consolidated, corporate or local. They can be different depending on application type. For instance, granularity is not the same for actual accounting or forecasting. They can be designed to meet different regulatory requirements: local, IFRS, GRI sustainability reporting or Solvency II in the insurance industry
    • Legal entities including different dimensions: geography, activities
    • Organizational dimensions : departments, business units, cost and profit centers
    • Analysis dimensions: using general ledger accounting flexible fields such as sales channels or projects
    • Reference data: time, currencies, taxes.

    Financial master data needs to be quickly and easily adapted to business changes at the fast pace of business. Financial MDM is essential not only for minor modifications in day to day business, when creating a new cost centre or modifying an existing attribute for a legal entity, but also when making major changes such as mergers, acquisitions, reorganizations or regulatory changes.

    Flexibility is the key to allow business users to easily make their own updates, plus these changes have to be part of a data governance process. A workflow is required to define roles and responsibilities.

    Five reasons to invest in a Financial MDM

    1. Empower financial business users
    2. Ensure consistency in business hierarchies and related links
    3. Link local needs to corporate standards and consolidate all lines of business
    4. Accelerate Mergers & Acquisitions
    5. Analyze your master data across heterogeneous environments

    See more at:

    Wednesday Jul 09, 2014

    FY15 BI Modernisation Sales Campaign

    Oracle partners have a great opportunity to help their customers to modernise their reporting systems. We propose you work with your clients and engage to help them on this journey to migrate or re-implement their analytic reporting and dashboard needs using our modern strategic BI Foundation Suite tools such as OBI, Essbase, BI-Publisher, Mobile-BI and Scorecards.

    Some customers still use older Oracle reporting software tools, such as Discoverer, Oracle-Reports, and Hyperion-Interactive-Reporting (as was BRIO), as well as legacy products from other suppliers. These customers are missing out on the value of the Oracle R&D investment of recent years in Oracle’s strategic BI products. Also, with the rise of Big Data, In-memory Analytics, Cloud and Mobile, the world has changed since customers purchased these older solutions: they need a modern BI technology that can help them meet the challenges of this new world.

    If customers retire the older systems, then they can save on higher administration and maintenance costs and support fees, which can be invested in a modern solution delivering much more value to the business.

    Tools and Resources for Partners

    See on Oracle.com the materials for Better Decisions and Better Productivity.

    Being more specific, you can download a guide on why and how to Migrate Reports to BI Publisher, and here is a 3-minute video-demo on the advantages of BIP.

    The following conversion tools are available:

    • Oracle Report to BI Publisher Conversion Assistant
    • Actuate Report to BI Publisher Conversion Assistant
    • And the following white paper describes a step by step approach on how to convert a Crystal Report to BIP

    Please find the documentation on downloading and using the above tools @ the BI Publisher OTN page.

    For the full Oracle BI Foundation Suite, you can download this excellent in-depth Technical White Paper.

    You might like to see, as an example, how Oracle Consulting positions its services at:

    You might also like to check our current Oracle Lifetime Support Policies, and specifically the Lifetime Support Policy: Oracle Fusion Middleware Products (PDF).

    For some specific areas of modernisation see for example these short explanations @

    Friday Jun 20, 2014

    Oracle BI Mobile App Designer v2 is Now Available

    Oracle BI Mobile App Designer (BIMAD) v2 is a major release that incorporates significant new capabilities, including new map visualization and better navigation and contextual awareness:

    · New Map Visualization

    It is designed from the ground up for business users to easily visualize their data with Maps and to interact on mobile devices to zoom, filter, and drill down.

    · New Custom Map

    On top of the pre-seeded map types for countries, states, & counties, etc, it allows customers to add their own regions and maps by simply uploading their own geoJSON files for polygon boundaries. Flexible custom keyword matching is also included as well as support for native interaction and filtering.

    · Completely Redesigned Authoring UI

    Redesigned, modern and easy to use property pane, simplified toolbar, consistency across various components and support for multiple component selection to set and update configuration all at once.

    · Application Level Calculated Fields and Filters

    Filters and Calculated Fields can now be created and managed centrally at App level. Users can drag and drop to assign Calculated Fields to any component and assign Filers from the newly re-designed Property.

    And much more....

    For more information:

    Oracle BI Demonstration with BIMAD2 SampleApp V406 on OTN

    The latest new version “SampleApp” V406 BI VM is now available for download by partners from OTN here. This includes a wealth of examples and how-to demonstrations, as well as examples for the new BI Mobile Application Designer V2.

    This server image is based on the standard OBIEE 11.1.1.7.1 install within a VirtualBox image and will run on a 64 bit pc/laptop with => 8Gb Ram, and ~ 90 Gb disk. There is also an optional download for users who require a full standalone EPM and BI-Apps deployment.

    The SampleApp V406 R2 image includes following preconfigured and integrated software:

    · Oracle Enterprise Linux 6.5 x64

    · Oracle Business Intelligence EE 11.1.1.7.1401527

    · Mobile Application Designer V2

    · Essbase Server 11.1.2.3, Essbase Studio,FR

    · Sample Application Content

    · Oracle Endeca Information Discovery 3.1

    · Endeca Server 7.6.1,Studio 3.1

    · Oracle MapViewer Version 11g ps6 (11.1.1.7.2)

    · Oracle Database 12c 12.1.0.1.0

    · R 3.0 & ORE 1.4

    · Oracle APEX 4.2.0.0.27, Listener 2.0.1

    · SQL Developer 4.0.2

    · TimesTen 11.2.2.6

    · Standalone EPM 11.1.2.3 Suite (plug and play add-on)

    · BIApps 11g (plug and play add-on)

    Tuesday Apr 22, 2014

    UPDATED Demonstration VM for BI Partners (BIC2g 2014-03 Download)

    Most of this Demo VM is now very similar to the OTN SampleApp V309, but BIC2g has BI-Apps (with ODI) with all the extra Vision-demo data, plus it has Endeca v3.1 (the SampleApp is still v3.0 Endeca), and it includes the standard Test-Drive kits.

    Compared to the prior version, the new BIC2g 2014-03 has:

    Ø Updates to the Executive Vision Demo (EVD).

    Ø Merged SampleApp content with both EVD and BI Apps 11g rpd/webcats.

    Ø Test-drive customer workshops:

    o BI Apps

    o BI Foundation

    o Endeca Information Discovery 3.1

    Ø Updates to BI Apps 11g Demos

    o New OM and Projects Mobile demo scripts

    o New 11g DW for future demo script development

    Ø Updated demo process control features

    The OBIEE installed is 11.1.1.7.1. with BI Mobile Application Designer (BIMAD) added.

    The “BIC2g” demo VM is downloadable from our BIC2G Beehive Online Workspace portal for OPN member partners.

    The access details, for OPN member partners only, to get added to the BIC2G Beehive Online Workspace portal are shown from this page @ BI Solutions Engineering Partner Portal.

    This Oracle Business Intelligence Linux VM virtual appliance (“BIC2g”) was developed to support Oracle OBI, BI-Apps and Essbase sales and Oracle partners in product demonstrations, training activities and POC activities.  If you do not need BI-Apps, or everything combined, then there is a smaller VM OBI Sample-App you can get from OTN: see @ Oracle BI and EPM Demonstration SampleApp V309 on OTN.

    • Join this live WEBCAST to learn more about the BIC2G 2014-03 Partner Edition – on Thursday, May 22nd, 2014 at 5.0 pm UK / 6.0 pm CET @ WebConference URL    ( Meeting Number: 597 781 081 / Passcode: Oracle123 ).

    For Endeca 3.1 only, you can also get this @ Endeca Information Discovery 3.1 VM Download

    While for a “Big Data” demo setup including Hadoop, see @ Demonstration VM “BigDataLite 2.4.1” Available on OTN

    If you are new to them, the Test-drive customer workshops use a ‘seeing is believing’ approach with real world data that everyone can related to, and provide an opportunity for partners to invite their customers to interact with the solutions and with you, the BI experts. See here for more on Test Drives.


    Thursday Apr 10, 2014

    Get OPN Specialized in Business Intelligence & Hyperion EPM

    Get yourself and your company recognised and branded as an “Oracle BI / EPM Specialized Partner”. This will bring more business to you, because being OPN Specialised means your prospective clients can find you at Oracle.com by searching for a Specialized Partner. You can also enhance your profile here by Managing your Partner profile in the Solutions Catalog.

    Consultants from Oracle partners can become Certified Implementation Specialists by passing the proctored (supervised) exams for OBIEE, Essbase, Hyperion and BI-Apps. These exams are offered at Pearson VUE testing centres and some Oracle University training locations, which are located in most EMEA major cities: see the links below for more details.

    We also have on-line tests for “Sales” and “Pre-sales” knowledge, which also provide these levels of specialisation certificate.

    To get certified as Specialised, check the Business and Competency Criteria linked below for each specialisation area and take the Assessment Tests:

    Friday Apr 04, 2014

    OBI11g and BI-Apps Partner Training Bootcamps

    In UK, but open to all EMEA OPN member partners, OBIEE 11g and BI Apps OPN bootcamps will take place in May, in Reading, UK. These are run by Oracle OPN, through our VAD Avnet, and are chargeable at £750 per student. These provide skills to pass the OPN Specialisation exams, and to implement projects for your clients.

    For more information and to register:

    Plus - Oracle Exalytics Hands-on Workshop - June 18-20, 2014: Oracle Reading, UK

    This 3-day training is only available to EMEA OPN member partners, and is free of charge. To find out more about the Exalytics training, and to Register for this, click here.

    Plus - Oracle ENDECA 3.1 Hands-on Workshop - June 24-26, 2014: Oracle Reading, UK

    This 3-day training is only available to EMEA OPN member partners, and is free of charge. To find out more about the ENDECA training, and to Register for this, click here.
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