Tuesday, May 26, 2009

BI Forum Lunch

Not only were the presentations excellent, but the food was great too.

Although we did sneak off to the pier for fish and chips and donuts one lunchtime.

Mind you our hotel was a bit odd!



and Mark is very scary!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Love Hate Essbase in OBIEE

Just you just love the speed of reporting on Essbase Cubes. Building the cubes is super fast. Having a simple report with one Measure is a pleasure to to build and run.


Now try doing anything that OBIEE is good at.
How about having a flat hierarchy? No Ok, what about Bins? No?
surely we can put a filter in place? Ah, Of course you can - providing the filter value exists, otherwise your report throws up an error.
Error, no data is an error!!

Ok lets have some nice looking data.
what do you mean every 'member' has to unique? And what a member when it's at home?
I want the value shown to be 'London' not 'London (location)'

I hate errors. I hate rubbish looking data. I hate ragged hierarchies. Give me back my Materialised views.

Christian, Venkat, Tony, Oracle - let's have some decent blogs on this for beginners like me.



BTW We are being good boys and using ASO as recommneded by Edward at the BI Forum ;)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What is BI Apps?

I keep getting this question, along with how does Informatica interact with the OBIEE, and just what is the DAC?


BI Apps can simply be described as 4 repositories.
- rpd file for BI Server
- Webcat files for Presentation catalog
- xml files for DAC
- rep file for Infomatica

After you have installed the Oracle Database for the repositories, the Java into ?:\Java, and the OBIEE platform (BI Server, Presentation Server) you then install the Informatica server and then the DAC server and client. Do not run the DAC client yet. You then install the BI Apps. This appears to mainly be just an extraction of files from a zip. This has to be done on a windows machine.

You then simply point your NQSConfig.ini file at the OracleBIAnalyticsApps.rpd
Then point your instanceconfig.xml at the EnterpriseBusinessAnalytics catalog
Then run the DAC client for the first time. It will create an empty repository in the database. When it is loaded, import the xml files from ?:\OracleBI\dwrep\DAC_metadata\DAC_Client\export. Now you can 'Restore' the rep file into the Informatica Repository service.


You have now installed the BI Apps.

Informatica does not interact with OBIEE, the only connection is that the DAC runs Informatica Workflows.

The issue of the DAC is a whole blog of it's own, so will do that in the RM blog.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

BI Apps Installation on Solaris 10, Essbase on 10.1.3.4.1

Sorry I have n't been blogging much, life has been crazy busy.
I did start trying to keep a running commentry at the BI Forum, but found that I was getting too engrossed in the content to write properly.

It was great to meet evryone at the forum, some I had been in contact with for many years, and others I had worked with on Siebel Analytics projects over 7 years ago! A hangover nearly managed to destroy my presentation, but I enjoyed the opportunity to speak anyway.

The main reason for being busy is three clients, all with OBIEE projects using cutting edge tech.
I just finished the install of Financial Analytics on Solaris 10, with Obiee 10.1.3.4.1, and it went pretty well, taking 6 days all in.

We are short of staff for the many projects we are running so do
Get in touch if you are free.

The sailing went well for the kids thos weekend, so son is now ranked 20th in the country, but unfortunately we ended up on the rocks in the rescue boat!

The Market has recovered well in the last few weeks, so hopefully the recession is receeding,

Thursday, May 14, 2009

BI Forum - Session 3

Mark is showing us some new features in the DAC 10.1.3.4.1 which helps to optimize the ETL and warehouse performance

Bi Forum - Session 1

Excellent preview of ODI BI Apps. Looks like a version of the DAC!

Not available for 7.9.5 but is 7.9.5.2

Not sure if I should tell customers to use it yet??!

Bee Eye

All I can say is 'thanks Borkur'

The first evening was initially led by Mark, but after he had paid the bill for everyone at the curry house, he sneaked off for an early night.
So up stepped Borkur to save the day, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Looking forward to the sessions today at the BI forum (said Bee Eye if you are in West street).

But first, where is the breakfast room?, I need some coffee!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

A sneak preview of 11g?

I think I have found my favorite client.

Not only are we analysing 4GB of data, 4 times every day, in a 10 minute ETL, but we're adding some cool features to the dashboards.

One feature is tree view. Those who use APEX will be familiar with how these work, and I suspect it's the same javascript code in the background.

I am using the tree viewing in two ways, one to navigate through data, organised in hierarchies, and the other as a reports/dashboard navigator. Using a look up table which contains the 'menu' items. This is useful where there are lots and lots of reports and dashboards and you want to give everyone a similar front end menu.

Whilst we were having fun with trees we then added some tabs inside a dashboard page - in fact we even have tabs inside tabs inside pages. The tricky bit is getting content into the tabs, which involves some xml fun and games - not recommended!.

One last bit of gadgetry we put in last night was a simple show/hide routine that is used to display whole reports, or just hide tables or charts on a report. This enables us to load lots of reports on a page then flick between them very quickly - no waiting for a page to load. You have more control of prompts here too.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Busy times and Rubbish Developers

Wow. Life got busy.

One minute we were Majendi, happily servicing our projects and keeping our heads down in the recession. Then BANG, we merged with RittmanMead, three new clients in a week, a conference to attend, a presentation to write, and some new admin to learn. I had the spring series final two weekends in the SB3, and the kids were sailing their Optimists in North Wales one weekend, then Weymouth the next.
The rib broke down, the dishwasher failed and this morning the hot water system failed.
I also have to get a new laptop, this time a MAC.

May is going to be a very expensive month!.

ON the client side we are having lots of fun with Essbase and OBIEE (I hate ragged hierarchies), as well as installing BI Apps on a Solaris 10 machine without the use of a windows box - Don't try that at home kids!

We have one client who are using a large integrator that doesn't know how to run a report on two separate subject areas so I will blog on the RM site to show them how. I just need to find 10 minutes spare time.

I have a contact at Oracle who asked me the other day for a sample database, in ACCESS - I laughed!

I also had another consultancy send me an rpd they struggled with. When I opened it I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Laugh because it was a complete mess and showed a complete lack of understanding on OBIEE, cry because people are giving OBIEE a bad name by poor implementations.

That reminds me , One project I know of is looking to replace it's Siebel Analytics system, they want something more flexible and quicker to create reports than they currently have. The reason for replacing it is obviously because they badly customised it in the first place and are using cheap offshore resources that don't know how to configure so take a long time to produce bad code. This customer is suffering from cutting costs and going for the cheapest offer for development. It is now costing them a fortune to buy new software, train users etc, but they are still using the same cheap outsources, so the result will be the same poor quality reporting system.

Consultancies, I urge you to get your people trained properly and stop undermining the product reputation.
Oracle, get a properly managed accreditation system in place before the amateurs ruin your product sales.
Clients, check out the experience of the people implementing your system and do not accept poor quality - don't pay them when they deliver rubbish.

However tempting it is to cut costs, we will never set up an Overseas development centre just because it is cheap. And we will only ever employ experts. If you are expert already, and probably blog your knowledge then we would love to talk to you

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