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Informatica Command-line Programs

Frequently used Informatica Programs are:

  • pmcmd – used to manage workflows, such as starting, stopping and scheduling
  • pmrep – used to perform PowerCenter Repository administration tasks, such as update repository information and perform repository functions
  • infacmd – used to administer Informatica application services
  • infasetup – used to administer Informatica domain and nodes
  • pmpasswd – used to encrypt passwords for use in parameter files or environment variables

Command-line and Interactive Execution
All 5 programs (pmcmd, pmrep, infacmd, infasetup, and pmpasswd) can be executed in Command-line mode.
Three of them (pmcmd, pmrep and infacmd) can be executed in Interactive mode.

Program Locations
All programs except infasetup are located in [InformaticaInstallDirectory]/server/bin.  infasetup is located in [InformaticaInstallDirectory]/server.

Summary
Below is a table that summarizes the features/usage of each of these programs into one location:

InformaticaCommandLinePrograms

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Informatica Transformations Frequently used in OBIA

These are some of the Informatica transformations that are frequently used in Oracle Business Intelligence Applications (OBIA).  The OBIA SDE and SIL mappings used to load the Oracle Business Analytics Warehouse (OBAW) are built using these and other transformations.

1. Source Qualifier
The Source Qualifier transformation is used to bring data from one or more tables from the same source into the mapping.  If being used for more than one table, then a join condition needs to be defined between the tables.  The typical naming convention for a Source Qualifier transformation is SQ_* or sq_*.

2. Joiner
The Joiner transformation is used to join tables in different data sources.  The typical naming convention for a Joiner transformation is JNR_* or jnr_*.

3. Expression
The Expression transformation is used to perform simple row-based calculations or derivations.  The typical naming convention for an Expression transformation is EXP_* or exp_*.

4. Filter
The Filter transformation is similar to a where clause in SQL – it adds a conditional filter to the data passing through the mapping.  The typical naming convention for a Filter transformation is FIL_* or fil_*.

5. Aggregator
The Aggregator transformation is used to perform aggregate calculations on the data passing through the mapping, for example, performing a sum or max.  The typical naming convention for an Aggregator transformation is AGG_* or agg_*.

6. Lookup
The Lookup transformation is used to lookup values based on another known/submitted value, and pass the looked up value into the mapping.  There are 2 types of Lookups – connected and unconnected.  The typical naming convention for a Lookup transformation is LKP_* or lkp_*.

7. Update Strategy
The Update Strategy transformation is used to determine and perform the appropriate course of action for data in the mapping.  Based on the determined state of the data, the transformation is used to insert, update, delete or reject records.  The typical naming convention for an Update Strategy transformation is UPD_* or upd_*.

Components of Oracle Business Intelligence Applications (OBIA)

The Oracle Business Intelligence Applications (OBIA) is made up of a number of components that are brought together to create a great prebuilt BI solution.  The components can be categorized into 4 major components.

1. Prebuilt reports and dashboard content + Embedded dashboard/report building tool
This prebuilt content is contained in the Oracle BI Presentation Services Catalog, and some of the content is built on the Oracle BI Repository metadata.
The tools include Dashboard Editor and Answers.

2. Prebuilt metadata content (Oracle BI Server Repository) + Administration Tool      
This metadata content is contained in the Oracle Business Intelligence Applications repository file (EnterpriseBusinessAnalytics.rpd).
This content is built and administered using the BI Administration Tool, and is built from the metadata in the OBAW.

3. Oracle Business Analytics Warehouse
The prebuilt data warehouse that holds data extracted, transformed, and loaded from the transactional sources.  The OBAW contains best-practice star-schemas and conforming dimensions.

4. Prebuilt ETL processes and tools
Prebuilt Informatica content + Embedded Informatica ETL Tool
+ Prebuilt DAC metadata repository files + Embedded DAC Tool
Informatica is a third-party application that performs the extract, transform, and load operations for the Data Warehouse.  The Informatica content includes Extract-Transform-Load (ETL) repository objects, such as mappings, sessions, and workflows, and is contained in the Informatica repository file (Oracle_BI_DW_Base.rep).
The DAC is a tool that is used for setup, configuration, administration, and monitoring of data warehouse processes.  The DAC content includes repository objects such as tables, subject areas, execution plans, and tasks, and is contained in XML files.
These tools and processes together extract data from sources, such as Oracle EBS or PeopleSoft, and load the data into the OBAW.

Oracle Business Intelligence Applications (OBIA) 7.9.6.4 Released

Oracle has released OBIA 7.9.6.4, and it has some significant improvements.  Check out the summary below. You will need an Oracle ID to access the links (if you don’t have one, it’s a free sign up).

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Oracle BI Applications 7.9.6.4, featuring further integration of two new BI Applications, is now available.

The products, which became first available in OBIA 7.9.6.3 Extension Pack release, now have significantly enhanced dashboards, reports and subject areas, and now have been completely integrated to the Oracle BI Applications including a unified data model and conformed RPD, DAC and INFA repositories.  In addition, they now also support an expanded BI Applications Certification Matrix.

Existing customers that have not yet deployed should consider 7.9.6.4 instead of the 7.9.6.3 Extension Pack Release.

  • Oracle Manufacturing Analytics, part of the Oracle BI Applications product family, helps discrete and process manufacturing organizations optimize their supply networks by integrating data from across the enterprise value chain, thereby enabling executives, operations managers, cost accountants and production supervisors to make informed and actionable decisions related to manufacturing execution.  The application includes 21 analytical subject areas that are leveraged to deliver 32 dashboard pages that consist of more than 200 pre-built reports.
  • Oracle Enterprise Asset Management Analytics, part of the Oracle BI Applications product family, offers complete and enhanced visibility to enterprise-wide maintenance information. Pre-built reports covering Maintenance History, Maintenance Cost Analysis and Maintenance Work Orders, provide Maintenance Managers information to maximize performance, identify potential issues much in advance, and address them before they escalate into serious problems. The application includes 11 analytical subject areas that are leveraged to deliver 26 dashboard pages that consist of more than 200 pre-built reports.

Highlights of the Oracle BI Applications 7.9.6.4 Release:

  • New Application – Oracle Manufacturing Analytics with pre-built adapters for EBS Process Manufacturing R12.x and EBS Discrete Manufacturing R12.x and 11.5.10
  • New Application – Oracle Enterprise Asset Management Analytics with pre-built adapters for EBS R12.x, EBS 11.5.10 and IBM Maximo 7.5
  • Universal Adapter to extend the capability to other source systems
  • Certified for OBIEE 11g
  • Certified for Exalytics
  • Certified for DAC 11g including support for Exalytics / Times Ten, Patching Framework, Dual ETL Support and many other performance enhancements
  • Native support for mobile and tablet devices
  • Localized in 28 languages
  • Supported on Oracle, SQL Server, DB2 and Teradata DB

Additional related information is available via:

  • Getting Started With Oracle Business Intelligence Applications 7.9.6.4 [Doc ID 1527634.1]
  • OBIA 7.9.6.4: Bugs Fixed in 7.9.6.4 (Doc ID 1528774.1)
  • Oracle Business Intelligence Applications ETL Data Lineage Guide Release 7.9.6.4 [Doc ID 1527475.1]

Oracle positioned as a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Integration tools

Oracle, along with Informatica, IBM, SAP and SAS, are positioned as leaders in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Integration tools.

Other data integration vendors that made it into the Magic Quadrant, but not in the leaders category are Microsoft, Information Builders, Syncsort, Talend, Pervasive Software.

GartnerMagicQuadrant_for_DataIntegrationTools

Source: Gartner (October 2012)

When performing its analysis, Gartner considers these areas of data integration:

  • Data acquisition for business intelligence (BI) and data warehousing
  • Consolidation and delivery of master data in support of master data management (MDM)
  • Data migrations/conversions
  • Synchronization of data between operational applications
  • Interenterprise data sharing
  • Delivery of data services in an SOA context

And analyzes these features and functionality that the data integration tools should provide:

  • Connectivity/adapter capabilities (data source and target support)
  • Support for different modes of interaction with a range of data structure types
  • Data delivery capabilities
  • Support for the delivery of data across a range of latency requirements
  • Data transformation capabilities
  • Provide facilities for developing custom transformations and extending packaged transformations
  • Metadata and data modeling capabilities
  • Design and development environment capabilities
  • Data governance support capabilities (via interoperation with data quality, profiling and mining capabilities)
  • Deployment options and runtime platform capabilities
  • Operations and administration capabilities
  • Architecture and integration capabilities
  • Service enablement capabilities

Per Gartner, Oracle’s strengths are:

  • Breadth of functionality,
  • Usability of core functionality across use cases
  • Addressing data challenges across a range of application- and data-oriented customer bases

And their cautions are:

  • Enabling product migration,
  • Complexity of integrated deployment across products,
  • Pricing perception and availability of skills

As Oracle-centric developers and solution providers, we are most concerned with the capabilities and future of Oracle Data Integrator (ODI), Oracle Warehouse Builder (OWB), Golden Gate and, in some cases, Informatica (a part of most OBIA installations). These products are doing well in the market, but are a bit behind the install bases of Microsoft, SAP and IBM.  The largest install base is with Microsoft (12K customers), followed by SAP (10K) and IBM (9.4K).  Oracle has 3.5K and Informatica has 5K data integration customers.  With a major push now behind the ODI tool, you can expect to see growth in Oracle’s numbers in the coming years.

Apparently, Oracle also has plans for providing a migration path (a migration wizard) from Oracle Warehouse Builder (OWB) to ODI.  This will be a very welcomed tool for OWB users seeking to migrate to ODI.  And this will further solidify ODI as the data integration tool for Oracle-centric IT organizations, and start to create more availability of skilled ODI resources.

You can read all the details at Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Integration Tools.