Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Oracle BI - Summary of Enhacements and Features

The OBIEE - a recent release of Oracle BI Foundation delivers a Complete BI Platform specially designed to leverage

·         Exalytics Related Features

Oracle Exalytics hardware’s large memory, processors, concurrency, and other hardware features and system configurations.

Oracle Exalytics is a complete solution that includes hardware, an enterprise BI Platform and in-memory analytics software optimized solution

Business Intelligence Foundation Suits supports following Exalytics features

Summary Advisor – Oracle Business Intelligence Administrator Feature which monitors Business Intelligence usage patterns analyzes them and recommends the optimal data mart for best overall performance improvement.

Aggregate Persistence for Times Ten In-Memory Databases for Exalytics – Aggregate Persistence (“CREATE AGGREGATES” and “DELETE AGGREGATES” commands) enables automated creation of data marts via BI Server commands. This feature was already in place for relational database, now it is extended for Times Ten In Memory database. Still it is not being supported for Essbase or Other MDX databases.

Exalytics Optimization by Enabling Oracle Hardware Acceleration Flags

OBIEE Server– Exalytics specific optimization enabled by Oracle Hardware acceleration flags to match system architecture resulting in higher query throughput, lower latencies in query processing along with enhanced memory usage for cache.

OBIEE Presentation Server- Optimized to use large footprint memory to speed up page rendering and caching

Oracle Essbase – Memory usage optimizations for loading entire data into memory, concurrency improvements to match Exalytics architecture enabling efficient distribution of processing.

Note: - These features are specific to Exalytics and do not work in absence of Exalytics hardware.

·         Times Ten for Exalytics Related Features

Enhancements to Times Ten for Exalytics for analytical processing at in-memory speeds, the new features are listed as follows

o    OLAP Grouping Operators: CUBE, ROLLUP & GROUPING SETS
o    Columnar Compression
o    WITH Clause
o    Support to Analytic Functions: RANK, DENSE_RANK, SUM, AVG, ORDER BY NULLS FIRST| LAST
·         Essbase Enhancement for Exalytics

o    Performance Optimization
o    Higher level of parallelism across all processes
o    MDX query performance
o    Scalability
o    Support for larger than 4GB cache size( 64-bit)

·         Dashboard and Answers Enhancements

Dynamic user interface enhancements that complement large amounts of data to present business information in meaningful and compelling ways

Optimization of Dashboard and ad hoc capabilities for Exalytics

New Dashboard and Answers Features to make it easier for end users to analyze data and enable insights at the speed of light (thought?)

“Go-less” Prompts

This enables the rapid feedback and responsive user interaction and also provides performant cascading updates of dependent prompts.

This feature is optional and can be enable/disable at different level

·        “Apply/Reset” button at page, dashboard and prompt level by report developer/analyst

·         Enable/Disable via instanceconfig entity by Administrator

·         Can set always ON

Partial Page Refresh

This re-loads only views listening to prompt rather than refreshing everything on page/dashboard. It enables highly peformant updates along with modern application feel.

Master Detail Linking

The master detail linking is now scalable and available for more data points from 10’s values in earlier version to 100’s values in the latest version. The data range can be specified in instanceconfig file.

Auto-complete Prompts

Auto-complete from dashboard prompts and prompt search dialog, this is similar to recommendation on web. It is useful for retrieving desired values from huge prompt pick lists.

This is available for choice list with typing enabled and it allows alpha-numeric search only.  This option can be enabled or disabled by Administrator in instanceconfig file.  Administrator can specify case sensitive/insensitive, matching level (e.g. StartsWith, WordStarts and Matchall) and result limit.

If BI Machine Flag=True then Auto-complete prompt is also set to True.

Contextual/Right click interactions

The contextual/right click interactions deliver ad hoc capabilities to all end users. It provides number of options on the right click for selections, totals, including/excluding columns, top-N queries, calculated items etc. Each of right click option has ability to be turned on/off per analysis. This can be done by using ‘Analysis Properties – Interaction’ option on the request.

            Selection Steps Enhancements

The selection steps enhancements brings new multidimensional functionality which is common across most of the multidimensional tools e.g. Essbase.


The front end provides the option to mark frequently used objects as favorites for easy retrieval. The end user got an option by which favorites can be specified and managed by end users for an optimized BI experience.

Scorecard Views and BI Mobile Enhancements

BI Mobile certified against BI EE
Scorecard and Strategy Management views now render in true-fidelity mode
Scorecard views as HTML5 Canvas touch-based visualizations

Source Control Management Integration

The BI Server Administration Tool offers integration option with the third party or Oracle ADE Source Control Management system for RPD development.

A new option is provided to save repository as a set of MDS XML files

Each repository objects like connection pool, physical table, logical table etc are stored in its own XML file

New “Source Control” option under Tools >> Options to edit SCM Configuration Editor

BI Publisher Enhancements

BI Publisher performance, lifecycle, workflow and report creation enhancements

·         Interactive View Performance Enhancements
·         Favorites
·         Edit Scheduled Job – Option to mange report jobs
·         Schedule Triggers – Conditional execution of scheduled jobs
·         Enhanced Parameters and List of Values – menu parameters displayed as check box or radio buttons
·         Create Report Workflow
·         PDF/A (ISO-standard for the digital preservation of electronic documents) and PDF/X (ISO- standard for digital printing and graphic arts) Output
·         Preserve HTML formatting in data
·         Security Enhancements – Different Server for authentication and authorization

BI Search

·         Full text search available from UI
·         Search criteria/context passed to report when drilling

Client Installation Enhancements

·         Simplified access / download option is available from Home Page
·         Support both 32/64 bit
·         Extensible and Secured
·         The client software includes Admin tool, Catalog Manager and Job Manager

Security – Diagnostics Enhancements

·         Diagnostic web application / Logging Enhancements/ Security Troubleshooting Guide and Documentation Enhancements

Security – Additional Authorization Options
·         SQL Group Lookup Authenticator – which allows user authentication against LDAP to be combined with authorization from a database

Certification and System Management Enhancements

·         New Certification Added
·         Number  of system management enhancements

OBIEE Screensnapshot

The screen snapshot for a dashboard page from is depicted below.

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