Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Oracle Business Intelligence SE One

Small Business Computing Mon, 25 Jun 2007 9:35 AM PDTOracle today rolled out its new Business Intelligence Standard Edition One, a pre-configured BI package targeted at small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and workgroups.


The MODEL clause of the SELECT statement Oracle 10G

The MODEL clause of the SELECT statement enables you to treat your relational output like a spreadsheet. The MODEL clause identifies which columns to aggregate (measures), which columns serve as unique array indexes (dimensions), and which formulas calculate the values (rules).


The MODEL clause has many options for calculating data beyond what is shown here. For more information on MODEL, see the Oracle Database Data Warehousing Guide, Chapter 22, SQL for Modeling:

Oracle BI Applications

"Oracle’s applications have given the company a large, heterogeneous applications and infrastructure installed base. These customers need an integrated way to access, analyze and deliver information and insight from multiple business applications," the trio notes. "[T]he newly branded Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition from the Siebel acquisition—which Gartner previously rated as visionary [in its magic quadrant]—has given Oracle a new opportunity to create a compelling BI platform strategy and become a significant BI platform and applications vendor in 2007 and beyond."


Business Process Management

I just completed two tutorial for for Oracle JDeveloper which I recommend to every one who consider themselves a BI resource. They are:

Defining Business Requirements using UML Use Case diagram in JDeveloper 10g

Modeling Activities for E-Business Integration

I could not complete the last one since I do not have the menu option to complete "Step 8 - Setting E-Business Integration Properties"

Now days, everyone that works in the BI field needs to take into account BUSINESS PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT, BPM, why? Because applications like Siebel Analytics now Oracle BI set a trend in which drilling into analytics dashboards from the OLTP application is a simple technical procedure; nevertheless, not easy to implement effectively.

It is my believe that in order for a BI application to be truly pervasive. It needs to answer the basic questions who, what and when at the instance the user can pro-actively take action from the information which is being supplied through the interface between OLTP and BI applications.

The following quote is from Jim Ericson editorial "Step By Step" BI Review June 2007.
"I think a casual observer at most companies we study would find that the greatest stumbling block in operational Business Intelligence lie in those neglected, unknown or ad hoc business processes. I do catch myself going overboard on this topic, but how many times does it have to be said: Business processes make up the language that is least abstracted from the psyche of the business itself"

Technical people needs to learn how to speak the business language in order to communicate to its pears in the Business team. I also think Business people need to be less resistance to learn new technology and procedures in order to meet its pears in the Technical team half way. Only then we would be successful implementing the next generation of application which Oracle is bringing to the market.

Oracle Data Integrator Technical Brief

Oracle Data Integrator Technical Brief

Oracle Data Integrator is built on several components all working together around a centralized metadata repository. These components—graphical modules, runtime components, and a Web interface—in conjunction with other advanced features, make Oracle Data Integrator a lightweight, legacy-free, state-of-the-art integration platform. This technical brief describes the Oracle Data Integrator architecture in detail

The Oracle Data Integrator architecture is organized around a modular repository,
which is accessed in client-server mode by components—graphical modules and
execution agents—that are written entirely in Java. The architecture also includes a Web application, Metadata Navigator, that enables users to access information through a Web interface.

The four graphical modules are Designer, Operator, Topology Manager, and Security Manager. These modules can be installed on any graphical platform that supports Java Virtual Machine 1.5 (J2SE), including Windows, Linux, HP-UX, Solaris, AIX, and Mac OS, among others.

  • Designer defines declarative rules for data transformation and data integrity. All project development takes place in this module; this is where database and application metadata are imported and defined. The Designer module uses metadata and rules to generate scenarios for production. This is the core module for developers and metadata administrators.

  • Operator manages and monitors production. It is designed for production operators and shows execution logs with error counts, the number of rows processed, execution statistics, the actual code that is executed, and so on. At design time, developers can also use the Operator module for debugging purposes.

  • Topology Manager defines the physical and logical architecture of the infrastructure. Servers, schemas, and agents are registered in the master repository through this module, generally by the administrators of the infrastructure or project.

  • Security Manager manages user profiles and their access privileges. Security Manager can also assign access privileges to objects and features. This module is generally used by security administrators.

All modules store their information in the centralized repository.


WhereScape RED

WhereScape RED provides integrated DW life cycle management functionality for Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle and Teradata deployments. The company’s go-to-market approach includes direct sales to clients, OEM relationships with transactional application vendors, and a network of resellers and consulting partners in the geographic regions in which it operates. WhereScape also provides a freely down loadable working version of its software, which has been an effective method for allowing prospective clients to test-drive the software prior to production deployment,
by building fully-functional small-scale warehouses and marts with WhereScape RED
prior to purchase.

WhereScape RED is a meta data driven DW life cycle management environment. WhereScape RED includes 5 integrated components that support all stages of the DW life cycle process:

  • Source data extraction and loading facilities (native database connectivity, ODBC, XML, flat file)

  • WhereScape RED Applications: Administrator is a developer’s interface for creating repositories within the data warehouse and maintaining schedulers. Integrated development Environment (IDE) is a desktop interface for designing and managing the data warehouse. Scheduler is an optional interface that is used primarily by administrators for job status information.

  • Repository housed within the target DW, the RED Repository is a set of database tables that are installed in each target DW environment. Meta data tables can be accessed by business intelligence tools for query, reporting and analysis purposes. The data warehouse objects created by WhereScape RED are standard database objects such as tables, views, scripts, procedures and indexes. They are always specific to the details of the target database’s SQL or data manipulation dialect: scripts in Teradata can be Multi Load or Fast Load,
    procedures are PL/SQL in Oracle and Transact SQL in SQL Server. RED uses the database as the data transformation engine and also stores all meta data about the objects created in the target DW and about the dependent objects within the repository.

  • Scheduler polls meta data to identify tasks that can be run. It also manages the work flow of dependencies that may exist among jobs or groups of tasks. Tasks can run in the target database or on a separate scheduler platform and initiate loads or procedures specific to databases being used. The scheduler supports multi-platform scheduling and can be called from an existing enterprise scheduler.

  • Dependent Objects located outside the RED repository, dependent objects include OLAP cubes or exports for other downstream systems whose meta data is stored within the RED repository. The scheduler also manages these objects.

Addressing the DW Life cycle Management Process with WhereScape RED

WhereScape RED provides support for all steps of a DW life cycle. It supports both the developers and business users in their collaborative efforts from the definition stage to deployment stage through a series of iterative steps and feedback loops.

Some of the key strengths of the WhereScape RED software include:

Rapid Prototyping
WhereScape itself describes its software as enabling developers to "fail fast and fail early." With WhereScape RED, developers can create prototypes of candidate production schema, populate it immediately with source data (familiar to business users), and adjust the schema in response to business users’ feedback as needed during joint design-prototype-iterate sessions . all within days and in some cases hours. This practices allows business users to see, in real time, the translation of their requests into working data warehouses and/or data marts, and helps BI/DW
practitioners make appropriate accommodations while they themselves get comfortable, incrementally, with those accommodations.

Self-documentation was highlighted as one of the key features of WhereScape RED during interviews with WhereScape customers. Within RED, meta data is created automatically while an architect interacts with the RED desktop interface during the various stages of the data warehousing process. Meta data and other documentation can also be edited or added manually on an as needed basis.

Single Source for Metadata
WhereScape RED stores meta data not only about source systems and the data warehouse objects, but also about the external dependent objects such as OLAP cubes as well as ETL routines. Having a single source for all meta data related to the various steps in DW life cycle management enables administrators, architects and developers to manage and access this meta data more efficiently than if it was distributed in individual repositories of the component tools.

Users of WhereScape RED can also reuse existing tables designed with third party DW modeling tools. In this case the software automatically recognizes that RED was not used as the design tool and retrofits existing DW tables into the RED Repository. This process has been identified as a considerable time saver at organizations, that for various reasons, may chose to work with another modeling tool. This is an example of WhereScape ensuring its product’s compatibility with existing data warehousing tools and environments.

I was given a demo of this product by WhereScape which I called then a framework to build Data Warehouse Application based on industry best practices. I was literally blown away by it. Kind of the same way when I saw Siebel Analytics SRMW model for the first time. The only way I will work on a stand alone implementation of Oracle BI EE would be if client agrees on purchasing this amazing product. Otherwise, they better buy Oracle BI Application since I do not build Data Warehouse from the ground up. Why reinvent the wheel and add unnecessary risk to project which success rate still below 50% when there are product such as this one and Oracle BI Applications in the market?

I recommend everyone to go for a free demo of this amazing product.


Team Collaboration

I am a strong believer on the following quote:

"When teams work together with a common goal and a passion for success, their projects succeed. When the opposite occurs, everyone loses, including the team, the employer, and their customers.

In the course of my normal consulting assignments, I’m often told that there’s something wrong with the data or with the process models being prepared by the team architects, but what I often find is that there is a significant disconnect between what the architects are doing and what the rest of the team expects them to do.

In this paper, I will look at some of the problems that data and process architects face in working with other IT roles and seven easy and inexpensive steps they can take to ensure a collaborative team environment."

Labs Tip Dont Reinvent the Wheel

It is amazing how much similarity I found between the subject of this article and common mistake made by most Siebel Analytics professionals in the field. My opinion has always been to improve upon existing ideas or solutions. It is a waist of time and resource to reinvent the wheel.

I have clients calling with performance problems of ETL recurring daily jobs that takes more than 34 hours to complete. Just recently, I had a talk with a a fortune 500 with query performance of its application when the OLAP database is not more than 10 GB in size. Whenever I ask if they have built custom stars instead of trying to re utilize the one that come out of the box. I get an excuse that I have proven so many time to be wrong "Our needs were to specific or our OLTP is heavily customize"

People, you are dealing with a new paradigm now. It is call service oriented architecture (SOA) Stop looking for programmers to implement these applications. They are all moving to the offshore centers so they can write the reusable code of these wonderful applications. What you need is the collaboration of your business and IT teams in your BI efforts. You will also need architects who understand the new technology and are able to interact with your team.

Siebel Analytics Applications answer the who, what, where and when. Who are customers, vendors, employees, partners, etc. What are tangible and intangible products. Where is usually a refer to a geography dimensions or markets where you conduct business. When is your time dimension. It is unreal to believe what this client just told me yesterday "We had to build custom dimension because they were missing from the OOB model" I still thinking what does this client mean by that. I bet you own or have owned a product item from this client. That means that you are or were a customers of it. So why they did not use the W_PRODUCT_D, W_CONTACT_D and W_TIME_D is beyond me. Just take a look on how rich this model is by the picture of the star schema attached to this entry.
Come on people, be serious, the model provides more than what any company needs. I believe the root of this problem is the lack of understand to dig into the intellectual property that comes with these applications.

How much is a Siebel Analytics Consultant worth now days?

They are a lot of people out there who claim to be a Siebel Analytics consultant. Most of them do not have the experience or knowledge they claim in this technology. In order situations I found consulting firms claiming to specialize in it but in reality do not have the personnel nor the skills to handle the implementation.

These people and/or organizations get the contracts because the underbid us. Then again, having the knowledge does not guarantee success. Chip Camden in his blog entry "Getting beyond the ‘bull’ perception" http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/project-management/?p=128
says it all.

Clients most often go for the lower bid. It is understandable from the point of view of minimizing cost and bring profits up. Then again it is true what they say "you get what you paid for it".

ETL tool from Talend a member of Open Solutions Alliance

Talend Open Studio http://www.talend.com/products-data-integration/talend-open-studio.php provides advanced capabilities that dramatically improve the productivity of data integration job design; and proven scalability to ensure optimal execution.

Talend Open Studio key benefits include:
Business modeling
Graphical development
Metadata-driven design
Real-time debugging
Robust execution

This is an Open Source ETL solution from Talend, a member of the Open Solution Alliance.

The architecture is similar to Oracle Data Integrator and WhereScape Red. I recommend all three products to be included in an ETL solution selection task when it is required.

Informatica is the tool of choice for an implementation of Siebel Analytics Application/Oracle BI Application. It is the leader in the market and it is a great product reason why Siebel chosen to partner with it. Nevertheless, these new products specificall WhereScape Red, are offering embedded best practices for multidimensional modeling and data warehouse design, part of the new paradigm of Service Oriented Architecture technology of which Siebel Analytics Application is a good example of it.

WhereScape RED http://www.wherescape.com/
Oracle Data Integrator: http://www.oracle.com/technology/products/oracle-data-integrator/10.1.3/htdocs/1013_support.html#docs
Talend Open Studio: http://www.talend.com/

Oracle Real-Time Decisions


The Oracle Real-Time Decisions (Oracle RTD) platform allows you to develop enterprise software solutions that analyze business process behavior and make recommendations in real-time, allowing you to identify and address problems and opportunities as soon as they emerge.

Inline Service refers to the configured application that is deployed using the components in the RTD environment. Oracle RTD consists of five components: Decision Studio, Real-Time Decision Server, Decision Center, Administration (JMX), and Load Generator. Inline Services are configured and deployed using Decision Studio and analyzed and updated using Decision Center. Inline Services run on Real-Time Decision Server. An Inline Service can gather data and analyze characteristics of enterprise business processes on a real-time and continuous basis. It also leverages that data and analysis to provide decision-making capability and feedback to key business processes.

Related Information
To learn more about Oracle RTD you can refer to:


Enterprise Performance Management System

For those of you that missed today web cast from Oracle, here is the link http://www.oracle.com/pls/ebn/live_viewer.main?p_shows_id=5782857

The future is called Oracle BI Suite Enterprise Edition Plus. The past was Siebel Analytics and Hyperion. In order for Siebel Analytics or Hyperion consultants to claim the title of Oracle BI Suite Enterprise Edition Plus consultant. We need to transfer knowledge and increase cooperation between the two groups. Break all barriers and seek a common goal which is to provide value to our customers.

There is not a better example than the one Oracle and Hyperion are showing us in this web cast. No other product in the world come close to what this suite of tool is capable to deliver. Finally, in terms of BI applications, there is nothing out there able to compete against Oracle BI applications and when the integration with BMP applications from Hyperion is completed; it would take a long time and resources for the Germany to developed something similar organically. This is why Oracle acquired Hyperion, to position itself to delivery an
Enterprise Performance Management System

Oracle Business Intelligence (BI)

Oracle Business Intelligence (BI) is a portfolio of technology and applications that provides the industry's first integrated, end-to-end Enterprise Performance Management System, including category-leading financial performance management applications, operational BI applications, BI foundation and tools, and data warehousing.

Oracle Business Intelligence Suite—Enterprise Edition Plus

Oracle Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition Plus (EE) is a comprehensive BI platform that provides the best foundation for building enterprise BI solutions. Featuring a unified, highly scalable, modern architecture, BI EE provides intelligence and analytics from data spanning enterprise sources and applications, empowering the largest communities with complete and relevant insight. It includes a full range of easy-to-use and intuitive end user tools such as:

Oracle Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition Components:

  • Oracle Interactive Dashboards

  • Oracle Answers

  • Oracle BI Reporting and Publishing

  • Oracle Disconnected Analytics

  • Oracle Office Plug-in

  • Oracle BI Server


Hyperion Essbase:

  • Hyperion Interactive Reporting - System 9

  • Hyperion SQR Production Reporting - System 9

  • Hyperion Financial Reporting - System 9

  • Hyperion Web Analysis - System 9


Oracle's Vision for an EMP system

This is a demo of Oracle's vision for Industry First Enterprise Performance Management System, from the EMP view of the world.

Operational Analytics

In Fall of 2003, Siebel Systems conducted a test in which user of Siebel eBusiness Applications could drill down to an Analytics Dashboard. The test was a success. The ability to drill down from an operational system to an analytics application was first announced with release of Siebel Analytics application 7.7.
By mid 2004, the sells of Siebel Analytics applications surpassed the Sales of Siebel Analytics Platform ~ BI Suite of Tools. By the end of the same year, Siebel Analytics (application and tools) sales revenue was second to revenue in sales of Siebel eBusiness Application or CRM offering. At the time Siebel Systems was acquired by Oracle, it was considering the industry leader in CRM applications. Nevertheless, it was not known by its BI offering.
Last week Oracle announced Industry's First Enterprise Performance Management System which is the integration of Transactional Systems, Financial Performance Management and Operational BI Systems.

I am a Siebel Analytics Certified Master Consultant. I have clients who had integrated Siebel CRM and Analytics applications in order to provide true pervasive capability. Oracle's Vision for an EMP system is a reality. Just asked any organization that is able to drill from a Siebel CRM application into Siebel Analytics application.

Oracle BI EE = Siebel Analytics Platform
Oracle BI Applications = Siebel Relationship Management Warehouse (RMW) and Customer Centric Warehouse

How much a Siebel Analytics/Oracle BI Consultant is worth these days?

HotGigs collects and aggregates hourly bill rate data from the thousands of consultants on their Staffing Exchange and provides rate research summary data as a free service to their visitors.

According to HotGigs the average hourly bill rate for a Oracle BI Consultant is 137.50. I recommend using this service to plan for contract resources and to compare bill rates against the market.


Oracle BI EE Plus and Hyperion products available for download

A week ago Oracle announced a new version of its flagship BI suite of tool "Oracle BI Enterprise Edition Plus"

It includes four products from Hyperion:

  • Hyperion Interactive Reporting

  • Hyperion SQR Production Reporting Hyperion SQR Production Reporting

  • Hyperion Financial Reporting g Hyperion Financial Reporting

  • Hyperion Web Analysis Hyperion Web Analysis

Oracle BI EE Plus goes for 1,700 instead of 1,500 - Oracle BI EE.

For a brief description of Oracle Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition Plus Components can be found here

Finally, Hyperion products are available for download. I recommend all certified Siebel Analytics ~ Oracle BI consultants to take advantage of this opportunity.

The Essbase cubes will be a data source for the Siebel Analytics/Oracle BI Server. Oracle has the connectivity built but has to get it in a release, most likely the end of the year.


Hyperion System 9 and Oracle BI EE Plus

Basic Definitions before we dive into Hyperion System 9 and Oracle BI Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) Plus

What is a data warehouse?

A data warehouse is a collection of data marts representing historical data from different operations in the company. This data is stored in a structure optimized for querying and data analysis as a data warehouse. Table design, dimensions and organization should be consistent throughout a data warehouse so that reports or queries across the data warehouse are consistent. A data warehouse can also be viewed as a database for historical data from different functions within a company.

What is a data mart?
A data mart is a segment of a data warehouse that can provide data for reporting and analysis on a section, unit, department or operation in the company, e.g. sales, payroll, production. Data marts are sometimes complete individual data warehouses which are usually smaller than the corporate data warehouse.

What are the benefits of data warehousing?
Data warehouses are designed to perform well with aggregate queries running on large amounts of data.The structure of data warehouses is easier for end users to navigate, understand and query against unlike the relational databases primarily designed to handle lots of transactions.Data warehouses enable queries that cut across different segments of a company's operation. E.g. production data could be compared against inventory data even if they were originally stored in different databases with different structures.

Queries that would be complex in very normalized databases could be easier to build and maintain in data warehouses, decreasing the workload on transaction systems. Data warehousing is an efficient way to manage and report on data that is from a variety of sources, non uniform and scattered throughout a company. Data warehousing is an efficient way to manage demand for lots of information from lots of users. Data warehousing provides the capability to analyze large amounts of historical data for nuggets of wisdom that can provide an organization with competitive advantage.

OLAP - Online Analytics Processing
OLAP tools typically provide multi-dimensional functionalities, such as slicing and dicing, and pivoting query results, which require the underlying database to be designed in a multi-dimensional schema. Furthermore, some OLAP tools have specific preference for either star schemas or snowflake schemas (ROLAP), and some tools(MOLAP) even provide their own proprietary DBMS engine (e.g Hyperion System 9) Using the wrong database design could prevent the OLAP tool from functioning properly – or at all.

Hyperion System 9 is a comprehensive Business Performance Management system that
integrates modular suites of financial management applications with the most comprehensive
business intelligence (BI) capabilities for reporting and analysis.

Major components of Hyperion System 9:
Hyperion System 9 Foundation Services
Hyperion System 9 BI+ Analytics
Hyperion System 9 Applications+
Hyperion System 9 Data Management Services

To download System 9 Components, read my previous entry Oracle BI EE Plus and Hyperion products available for download

Foundation Services:
Hyperion License Server
Hyperion System 9 Shared Services
Hyperion System 9 Smart View for Office
BI+ Analytics:
Hyperion System 9 BI+ Analytic Services
Hyperion System 9 BI+ Analytic Administration Services
Hyperion System 9 BI+ Analytic Integration Services
Hyperion System 9 BI+ Analytic Provider Services
BI+ :
Hyperion System 9 BI+ Interactive Reporting - OBIEE Plus
Hyperion System 9 BI+ Financial Reporting - OBIEE Plus
Hyperion System 9 BI+ Production Reporting - OBIEE Plus
Hyperion System 9 BI+ Web Analysis - OBIEE Plus
Hyperion System 9 BI+ Enterprise Metrics
Hyperion System 9 Planning
Hyperion System 9 Financial Management
Hyperion System 9 Performance Scorecard
Hyperion System 9 Strategic Finance
Hyperion System 9 Translation Manager
Data Management Services:
Hyperion System 9 Master Data Management
Hyperion System 9 Data Integration Management
Hyperion System 9 Financial Data Quality Management

Hyperion System 9 Workspace is the Web client for BI+, Planning, and Financial
Management and is part of the BI+ installation. Hyperion System 9 BPM Architect is part
of the Financial Management and Planning installations.

System 9 OLAP Data Sources:

System 9 Relational Data Repositories:
Some relational databases are supported as both data repositories and data sources.
Products that require a dedicated data repository:

  • Analytic Administration Services—A dedicated database repository is required for Analytic Administration Services only if Log Analyzer is used.
  • Analytic Integration Services
  • BI+
  • BPM Architect—Oracle client must be installed on the Dimension server.
  • Data Integration Management
  • FDM
  • Financial Management
  • Hyperion MDM
  • Performance Scorecard
  • Planning
  • Shared Services
  • Translation Manager

Products on which Oracle 10g- is supported:

  • Analytic Administration Services
  • BI+
  • BPM Architect
  • Data Integration Management
  • Financial Management
  • Planning
  • Shared Services
  • Translation Manager

  • Siebel Analytics Platform ~ OBIEE

    Supported Databases:

    Certified Multidimensional Data Source:

    The Essbase cubes will be a data source for the Siebel Analytics/Oracle BI Server. Oracle has the connectivity built but has to get it in a release, most likely the end of the year.

    Support for ODBC Data Sources

    Oracle Business Intelligence support for ODBC allows Oracle Business Intelligence Server, when operating on Windows, to query any relational database management system—either as a data warehouse, an operational data store or as a transactional system—that supports the ODBC 2.0, 2.1 or 3.5 standards.