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8 Reasons Oracle BI Apps is likely to have a Lower TCO than home-grown BI environments

Oracle Business Intelligence Applications, aka Oracle BI Apps or OBIA, is a set of pre-built BI solutions, that provide information to business stakeholders that they use to make more informed decisions and improve business outcomes.
Oracle provides BI Analytics Applications for ERP – which include Financials, HR, Procurement & Spend, Projects, Supply Chain management, Order management, Logistics; and for CRM functions – which include Sales, Marketing, Service, Call Center, Price, and Loyalty.
The pre-built solutions include Source adaptors, ETL, data warehouse data models, metadata repository, dashboards and reports – the entire BI/DW value chain.  The platform also allows for customizations.

This short article shares some reasons why implementing Oracle BI Apps will likely have a much lower TCO than traditional home-grown BI environments.

(1) Implementation of Oracle BI Apps is faster and requires a smaller implementation team. There will be much less design effort, far less redo’s, much less waiting between team members, and a lot less risk.

(2) After implementing one or more Oracle BI Apps, the platform can be extended to add additional Applications as needed by the business. And since all applications share conformed dimensions (including standardized codes), they will integrate easily for cross-functional area analysis.

(3) Maintenance of Oracle BI Apps is standardized and has a proven recommended methodology.  If the appropriate steps are followed, maintenance of the solution is smooth, and requires less team members when compared to a traditional BI platform.

(4) A great base of a solution on which your company can grow. Having such a solid starting point for the Apps that you implement will lead to quick user adoption and early generation of many more high-value ideas about the data that they would like to see, manipulate, analyze, etc. This is a much higher value activity than scrambling to come up with ALL the reporting requirements and definitions when starting a project from scratch.

(5) Since the Oracle BI Apps are performance and administration optimized, a BI team will spend less time working on performance and adminsitration tasks.

(6) The features of the DAC and the overall BI Apps design lead to faster ETL run times resulting in more effective batch windows.

(7) Although all companies are different and have different needs for business analytics, Oracle BI Apps are created from tremendous research and feedback from hundreds of companies.  What you get out-the-box will undoubtedly be of tremendous value, as your company will benefit from all those ideas and best practices developed from working with hundreds of customers over many years. You will be getting and benefitting from metrics that you would not have though about.

(8) Since OBIA is built on top of OBIEE, the applications are easily customizable.  With the existing framework built using best practices, an implementation team can follow that framework to add custom objects throughout the BI value chain – from the source through to the presentation layer.

Despite these benefits, each business is different and must be analyzed carefully to determine if the Oracle BI Apps is an appropriate solution.  Good luck with your BI/DW plans!

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OBIEE 10g and OBIEE 11g directory structure comparisons

I got this chart from one of Oracle’s documents, and thought it would be handy to post for easy lookup and it might come in handy for someone searching for information on the directory parallels between OBIEE 10g and OBIEE 11g.

OBIEE 11g Key Directories and the corresponding 10g directories

Directory or Files 10g & 11g Locations
AdminTool.sh equalizerpds.sh/equalizerpds.exe JobManager.sh MigrateEUL.sh NQClient.sh nqcmd.sh/nqcmd.exe 10g: BI_ORACLE_HOME/server/Bin

 

11g: BI_ORACLE_HOME/bifoundation/server/bin

DBFeatures.INI NQSConfig.INI 10g: BI_ORACLE_HOME/server/Config

 

11g: ORACLE_INSTANCE/config/OracleBIServerComponent
/coreapplication_obisn

NQClusterConfig.INI 10g: BI_ORACLE_HOME/server/Config

 

11g: ORACLE_INSTANCE/config/OracleBIApplication
/coreapplication

NQQuery.log NQSAdminTool.log NQServer.log 10g: BI_ORACLE_HOME/server/Log

 

11g: ORACLE_INSTANCE/diagnostics/logs
/OracleBIServerComponent/coreapplication_obis1

Oracle BI Server repository directory:

  • SampleAppLite.rpd
  • paint.rpd
10g: BI_ORACLE_HOME/server/Repository

 

11g: ORACLE_INSTANCE/bifoundation
/OracleBIServerComponent/coreapplication_obisn/repository

Samples:

  • order.xml
  • Product.xml
  • samplesales.udml
10g: BI_ORACLE_HOME/server/Sample/samplesales

 

11g: ORACLE_INSTANCE/bifoundation/OracleBIServerComponent
/coreapplication_obisn/sample/SampleAppFiles

Usage Tracking:

  • SQL_Server_Time
  • UsageTracking.rpd
  • UsageTracking.zip
10g: BI_ORACLE_HOME/server/Sample/usagetracking

 

11g: ORACLE_INSTANCE/bifoundation/OracleBIServerComponent
/coreapplication_obisn/sample/usagetracking

Other Schemas (for example):

  • Oracle_alter_nq_acct.sql
  • SAACCT.DB2.sql
  • SAACCT.MSSQL.sql
  • SAACCT.Oracle.sql

Note: Use the Repository Creation Utility to install the Oracle BI Schema

10g: BI_ORACLE_HOME/server/Sample/Schema

 

11g: ORACLE_INSTANCE/bifoundation/OracleBIServerComponent
/coreapplication_obisn/schema

  • credentialstore.xml
  • instanceconfig.xml (for Presentation Services)
  • userpref_currencies.xml
10g: OracleBIData/web/config

 

11g: ORACLE_INSTANCE/config
/OracleBIPresentationServicesComponent/coreapplication_obipsn

  • JavaHost
  • sawlog0.log
10g: OracleBIData/web/log

 

11g: ORACLE_INSTANCE/diagnostics/logs
/OracleBIPresentationServicesComponent/coreapplication_obipsn

catalogmanager.exe 10g: BI_ORACLE_HOME\web\catalogmanager

 

11g: ORACLE_INSTANCE\bifoundation
\OracleBIPresentationServicesComponent\coreapplication_obipsn

\catalogmanager\runcat.cmd

instanceconfig.xml (for Oracle BI Scheduler) 10g: OracleBIData\web\config

 

11g: ORACLE_INSTANCE\config\OracleBISchedulerComponent
\coreapplication_obischn

  • odbc.ini
  • user.sh
10g: BI_ORACLE_HOME/setup

 

11g: ORACLE_INSTANCE/bifoundation/OracleBIApplication
/coreapplication/setup

Troubleshooting OBIEE 11g

A couple tips on how to resolve some OBIEE 11g errors. When you receive an error such as …

“Supplementary information regarding operation: PROCESS:instance1:coreapplication_obisch1;FAILED_TO_START;
Operation Failed: start; OracleInstance: instance1; Component: coreapplication_obisch1; msg: 0 of 1 processes
started.”

or this …

“Error 500–Internal Server Error
From RFC 2068 Hypertext Transfer Protocol — HTTP/1.1:
10.5.1 500 Internal Server Error
The server encountered an unexpected condition which prevented it from fulfilling the request.”

1. First check to make sure your database instance and Listener are up and running.
You can do this through Enterprise Manager by connecting to the server/port.
https://hostname:1158/em/

If they are not running, then start them.
On Windows, you may need to make sure that the following Services are running:
. OracleServiceORCL
. OracleOraDb11g_home1ClrAgent
. OracleOraDb11g_home1TNSListener

2. Then check the status of other OBIEE components.
You can do this through the OBIEE Enterprise Manager.
http://hostname:7001/em/ then navigating to Business Intelligence -> coreapplication -> Availability tab.

or by running the opmnctl command as below
[Drive]\[FMW_HOME_DIR]\instances\instance1\bin>opmnctl status
for example C:\obiee11g\instances\instance1\bin> opmnctl status

In the example below, the BI Scheduler (coreapplication_obisch1) and the BI Presentation Server (coreapplication_obips1) are down.

Processes in Instance: instance1
———————————+——————–+———+———
ias-component | process-type | pid | status
———————————+——————–+———+———
coreapplication_obiccs1 | OracleBIClusterCo~ | 10136 | Alive
coreapplication_obisch1 | OracleBIScheduler~ | N/A | Down
coreapplication_obijh1 | OracleBIJavaHostC~ | 8396 | Alive
coreapplication_obips1 | OracleBIPresentat~ | N/A | Down
coreapplication_obis1 | OracleBIServerCom~ | 6736 | Alive

You can start the individual components using Enterprise Manager interface, or you may Stop BI Services and then Start BI Services from the Windows Start button
(Start -> All Programs -> Oracle Business Intelligence -> Stop/Start BI Services).

Error Message when try to perform actions in Oracle Enterprise Manager 11g on Windows XP

If you get the following error when attempting to perform database actions in Oracle 11g Enterprise Manager on Windows XP …

RemoteOperationException: ERROR: Invalid username and/or password

… then, assuming your Username/password combination is correct … and you can verify this by logging into SQLPLUS … follow these steps to resolve:

1. Open Control Panel
2. Administrative Tools -> Local Security Policy (Local Security Setting window opens)
3. Local Policies -> User Rights Assignment
4. Double click ‘Log on as a batch job’ (Properties window opens)
5. Click on ‘Add user or group’ (Select user/group window opens)
6. Add the username(s) including the domain name
7. Click ‘Check names’ to verify what you have added
8. Save (click OK, click OK)

Hope this helps.

Installing OBIEE 11g on Windows XP

I recently installed OBIEE 11g on a Windows XP box.  I followed instructions I found on the deliverbi.blogspot.com Blog site … thank you Shahed Munir.

I would like to add some details to 2 of the steps, in case it helps clarify those steps for others:

 

– The detailed instructions I got from Shahed’s blog can be found here …

http://deliverbi.blogspot.com/2010/11/obiee-11g-windows-xp-installation.html

 

– And the details I would like to add are below …

1. Step 4 (Install Oracle Database 11g). 

Download your Oracle database software to, and run from, a directory without spaces. 

If you get an error such as …

“Windows cannot find ‘C:\Documents’. Make sure you typed the name correctly, and then try again. ….”

then you have downloaded and are trying to run the RCU from a directory under ‘C:\Documents and Settings\…’ (for example)

As mentioned above, download to and install from a directory such as ‘C:\Oracle_rcu\…’ (no spaces)

2. In Step 7 (Create RCU Repository), it does not specify how to run the RCU.  Go to the [Extract Directory]\rcuHome\Bin and run rcu.bat from there  -or-  run it from a command prompt …

for example … C:\[Extract Directory]\rcuHome\Bin\> rcu.bat

3. If you get an error in Step 7, verify that the following services have been started and try again:

  • OracleServiceORCL
  • OracleOraDb11g_home1ClrAgent
  • OracleOraDb11g_home1TNSListener

 

The entire install process took about 90 minutes.  Good luck!

Oracle Business Intelligence Foundation Suite 11g Certification Exam

Oracle has released an 11g version of the Oracle Business Intelligence certification Exam.  It is currently still a Beta exam – basically that means the exam is going through a test period – a normal process for new certification exams to help Oracle refine the questions, etc.

Since it is a Beta exam, it contains a lot more questions than a normal exam (120 – 150 questions vs approx 70 questions) but you are given more time to complete the exam (2.5 – 3 hours vs 1.5 hours).

And the cost is less ($50 vs $195 for the normal exam) – this is one reason to consider doing it during the Beta phase if you think you are ready.  The Beta period expires on August 18th, 2012. I think I am gonna to go for it.

You can get more details here – Oracle Business Intelligence Foundation Suite 11g Certification Exam (1Z1-591) details.

Good luck!