Friday, 19 October 2007

Oracle BI Jam Tomorrow

Over the last few months the Old Day Job (ODJ) has lead me into the murky depths of real-world implementation of Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition Plus Suite (what a mouthful = OBIEE+).

It is a marriage of convenience between the Oracle incarnation of the wildly lauded (by whom?) Siebel Analytics (a demo-pretty web -delivered dashboarding and adhoc querying tool) hitched to the oh-so-flexible BI Publisher (xml-based pixel perfect web reporting). I am ignoring the recent Hyperion gate-crasher (aka plus) for now.

The main issues for us have been

  • Overlap and lack of integration - in various places such as multiple schedulers, multiple office add-ins, mutliple delivery approaches, odd rules on sharing content, a combined security model where one component leans on the other, architectural differences etc.
  • Filesystem based repositories - which makes backup a pain after so many years relying on Oracle sticking everything in the database.
  • Single installation on a single physical server - rather surprising in a web interface and a pain as I want multiple dev/test environments on the same server.
No help with this at present, but an enlightening teleconference with the US steering wheel of OBIEE provided the usual corporate promises of jam tomorrow.

So setting aside the usual corporate jaw-wagging, the bottom line was continued moves to integrate, combining the schedulers/delivers (possibly more of Publisher optionally delegating to external services I bet), no plans for a db based repository but the ability to install multiply on a single server (this one did not seem so vehement).

And what of poor old Disco (Oracle Discoverer) - well it will get some integration crumbs from the table - Disco queries on the dashboard (already inside Publisher), delivery via the Delivers and (ultimately?) a migration tool for those ditching for a move into Answers.