All of the topics discussed here in this blog comes from my real life encounters. They serve as references for future research. All of the data, contents and information presented in my entries have been altered and edited to protect the confidentiality and privacy of the clients.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

OBIEE 11G: Basic Repository Navigation Compared to 10G


Just got 11G installed on my PC, it's time to check it out.

What I have is, which is the second version of the 11G. I wasn't a big fun of 11G when it first came out, partly because I was able to work around most of the issues using 10G, I simply wanted to wait for some time before going into 11G. It gave me a lot of time to hear feedback from other users who are already using 11G.

Now looks like 11G is going to be the trend and Oracle has released the second versions of it, therefore I decided to check it out. My current project uses OBIEE 11G with the BI Apps, since we are still focusing on the installation and infrastructure aspect of the project, I managed to get 11G's admin tool installed on my local PC while the Weblogic part is still pending. Therefore, I am just going to post a few key new features that I noticed navigating the Admin Tool.

If you are already an experienced 11G user, this article is going to be too basic for you. However, if you have only read about 11G's new feature but hasn't had hands-on experience, this article maybe interesting for you.

First of all, the architecture of OBIEE 11G is very different from 10G due to the introduction of Weblogic. We no longer have BI service, BI Presentation Service, OC4J, BI Scheduler Service under the window's service upon installation, these services that we used so frequently in 10G are either replaced or moved. There are a lot of helpful information out there that talks about the basic architecture of 11G. Since I haven't fully set up 11G on our platform, I have nothing to show in this article. (I am a big fun of showing screenshots) Therefore, let's just focus on the Admin Tool itself.

The good news is, the Admin Tool still works the same way as that of 10G. After all, it is still called 'OBIEE' right? It would make sense for Oracle to keep it the same or call it 'new product'. Anyhow, this is what it looks like upon logging in:

See, not bad at all! We still work through the 3 layers!

The following is the new join diagram with a few new buttons on the tool bar, pretty cool! It still work very much the same way as in 10G, but the graph is better, I have to admit that I like 11G better in this:

What we have below is the Logical Dimension view in BMM layer. As you can see, just as Oracle mentioned that they are going to take care of the ragged and Skipped level hierarchy that occurs every so often in multi-dimensional Data modeling world, there you have it. In the Logical Dimension view, it has the often of checking what type of hierarchy this is:

Here is the new expression builder windows:

Notice that 11G has introduced a few new functions that were absent in 11G.

Lookup Functions--- Dense Lookup and Sparse Lookup. The idea of lookup function is similar to the Lookup transformation used in Informatica. It looks up a value from a different table and then make decisions based on that. So in OBIEE11G, the way it works is that an established star schema or snow-flak schema can use lookup function for it's dimension table to obtain extra information by looking up values from a separated look up table without having to join that table into the schema. It is a good way of keeping the data model clean and simple while being able to reference data from outside of the schema. I will wait until I set up the Weblogic for a more detail demo on how it works.

Evaluate functions----Evaluate/Evaluate--Predicate/Evaluate--Aggr/Evaluate--Analytic. Well, we have Evaluate function in 10G, which is a way to let us execute database functions that are not included in OBIEE. I guess it is still the case here although I haven't researched what each specific evaluate function does. Nevertheless, it is cool that 11G has added extra evaluate functions.

Time Dimension ---- Ago/Todate/PeriodRolling. This is equivalent to the time series function in 10G except that it now has PeriodRolling function to handle the needs of 'rolling X period' reporting. I am sure I will no longer need to do the kind of workaround in 10G anymore by using this function. But again, can't demo it until I get 11G fully installed.

Last but not least is the security part, which is now called Identity manager and the previously known 'User group' has been replaced by 'Application Role'.

Oh, I forgot to include the ability of creating hierarchy at presentation layer as a new feature of 11G. However, I think it's better that I wait until I am able to provide a complete demo in my environment before getting too detail on it. Meanwhile, go ahead and read about presentation hierarchy, it is quite interesting.

Anyways, this is it for now. I will add more to it later but I think this is a good start for those experienced 10G or prior users to transition into using 11Gs..


Until next time!


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