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.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Basic Understanding of OBIEE Report Vs BI Publisher Report

Hello All

I recently came across a lot of beginners asking me questions about the difference between BI Publisher and OBIEE reports. To them, BI Publisher is either a 'different Feature' within OBIEE, or it's a completely different Application who competes with OBIEE in 'reporting business'. So today, i am hoping to make it easier to understand the difference between the two.

BI Publisher was originally a different application, which is now part of OBIEE. The best way to put it is, BI Publisher is another technology that has been integrated with OBIEE, so now the two are both parts of Oracle Business Intelligence.

Now let's understand what are each for:

OBIEE analysis provides dynamic and interactive ad-hoc reporting capabilities that allows users to dynamically change queries on the dashboard as well as interacting with other objections on the dashboard through action links. These are the original features of OBIEE, these capabilities can date back to nquire or Siebel Analytics time. The idea was to create a reporting platform and have users stay there, like the dashboards.

However, certain business requires very specific type of reports that are highly standardized across the industry that has to be pixel perfect in very specific ways. These can be financial statement, invoice statements, certain transactional statements in Auto industry and so on. These reports are typically generated by the department and have to be eventually mailed out to external customers, therefore the look and feel of these reports will have to pixel perfect, meaning that the space between each line has to be specific, the colors, the fond and layouts among all the fields have to be arranged in specific ways. Moreover, when you print these reports out, it should ideally fit in to one page (in most cases). All these requirements can't be achieved easily using OBIEE's native dashboard features. Therefore, Oracle has decided to integrate BI Publisher into OBIEE platform and making it additional reporting layer on top of dashboard.

BI Publisher allows you to define your data model using existing OBIEE analysis (or others) as data set where reports draw data from onto it's templates. The template provides features similar to words document that allows you the design your own pixel perfect layouts like the below as an example:

The above report will be printed out on 1 page, pixel perfect. However, it does not have the ability to drill down, interact with other elements on OBIEE dashboard. This is something OBIEE can do but not PI Publisher.

Now that Oracle owns both technology, both are available in the OBIEE product that satisfies different needs. Now in the latest version of OBIEE 11g patch, Oracle has also introduced a Mobile App, which allows you to create custom Mobile App displays of OBIEE reports, which will work for all smart phone and browser independent. This will be additional layer on top of BI Publisher within OBIEE.

Like I said, there are different needs and therefore there will be different technologies. The important thing is to understand what different technologies are for in order to make better distinction among them


Until next time


Anonymous said...

Good Explanation.You have put your explanation in simple terms

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Sunil said...

Nice info. Thanks a lot !

suwforum said...

Thanks buddy....really easy to understand, now I dOnT need to depend on anyone to get to know what publisher....

Tony T said...

Thanks for the information - very useful.

Anonymous said...

Straight to the point. Excellent explanation. Keep posting.

Unknown said...

Generally speaking, BI publisher is useful for reporting that needs to be formatted in a very specific way. IE, if you plan to physically print the report and want it to look exactly the same as it does on the screen, BI Publisher is a good choice. I think its also a smart play for Oracle to keep it integrated with OBIEE as it allows customers leveraging the legacy reporting platform to continue to source data from the OBIEE server and use it through the OBIEE portal.
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ravie said...

Thanks for the giving a clear picture about the subject

Raja said...

Very nice, simple and understandable.

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