Public BI Demo store with data sets:
The first offerings from Oracle for EPM within the Cloud have been the SaaS Subscriptions for:
- FCCS (Financial Consolidation and Close Cloud)
- TRCS (Tax Reporting Cloud)
- ARCS (Account Reconciliation Cloud)
- EPBCS (Enterprise Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service)
The main purpose of OAC is to provide BI as-well as Essbase (EssCS), within a single Cloud Offering (since Essbase was not available with BICS) for Reporting purposes. It is also supported to migrate on-Premise Essbase cubes into EssCS.
Within EPBCS, Essbase (technology) is also used for Planning purposes. To provide these Planning capabilities, EPBCS not only consists of Essbase cubes, but also relational tables and UI Templates for the Business User to enter the planning data. Since, EPBCS is a SaaS service, the underlying Essbase Cube is not accessible directly and can only be accessed with certain exposed interfaces, whereas the Essbase Cubes from EssCS of OAC is completely accessible, since it is a PaaS service on dedicated instance for a particular customer.
Former Hyperion Planning Applications should be migrated into EPBCS, since this is the equivalent Cloud offering for Planning.
For Reporting purposes of Planning cubes, these can be migrated from EPBCS to EssCS of OAC using EPM automate for extraction and importing via the CLI (Command Line interface). The EPM (SaaS) Cloud also offers a Reporting Cloud Service with EPRCS with a focus on narrative Reporting and XBLR Reports for external stakeholders. EPRCS can source data from EPBCS, FCCS, TRCS, ARCS as well as EssCS.
The Oracle BI Cloud Service provides the possibility to upload metadata models (via lift & shift) created with the OBIEE Admin Tool (rpd file), but also comes with a new web modeler to create metadata models directly within the web UI. These web model files are not compatible with the rpd file and are stored internally as json files. The BICS instance is also limited to an either or approach. Once, a rpd is uploaded as a model e.g. containing the data source connections, the web modeler can not be used anymore.
Thus, the following article lists the differences between the metadata model created within the rpd and the web modeler:
· Authorization Blocks for populating variables are not available with web modeler
· The web modeler only supports a single Physical Table /View for a logical table (Fact or Dimension) since no LTS (Logical Table Sources) are available.
· Since there is no concept for LTS, the Aggregate navigation configuration is not possible within web modeler to make use of aggregated tables which contain fewer records for increasing performance
· after Renaming of Presentation Tables/Columns Aliases are set within rpd, but not in web modeler, hence a Report referencing the column will be invalid
· No renaming wizard in web modeler to quickly change the physical table names into meaningful business names.
· Star schema (ER Diagrams) are not shown when using the web modeler and only within the OBIEE Admin Tool
· Cross Subject area Analysis does only seem to work with rpd lift and shift. When using web modeler the option of “adding other Subject areas” is always greyed out. This influences the modelling of the Models, since it is possible to create a united Model having all required tables. However, this “united” model maybe a duplicate and must be created from scratch again.
Obviously, the above list is non exhaustive and should only provide a first level information, since any BICS instance is limited to only one approach.
The following diagram shows the high-level options to access data within Oracle Fusion Applications (FA) Cloud for Analytical purposes:
Please note: that this diagram is of April 2018 and may not apply in full in future.
For more details on how to connect to Oracle Fusion Applications (FA) Cloud using Visual Analyzer (VA) and DV Desktop (DVD), please reference the previous article.
The details for connecting to FA using ODI (with BI Applications) or BI Data-sync will be described in future articles.
The following Article is written as of April 2018. Since, the Cloud is evolving rapidly, it may not apply in full, in future.
The aim of the Article is to demonstrate the possibilities of connecting to Oracle Fusion Applications (FA) Cloud (via OTBI) without any data extraction (ETL). Thus, only using declarative approaches offered by Visual Analzer (VA) of Oracle Business Intelligence Cloud Service (BICS) / Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC) and the downloadable version of VA, the Data Visualization (DV) Desktop (DVD). The following diagram re-iterates the scope of this Article:
The following Version and respective features are used as baseline for this Article (as available of April 2018)
|Oracle Fusion Applications Cloud / OTBI||R13|
Oracle Fusion Applications (FA) Cloud comes bundled with OTBI, which provides pre-built BI Subject Areas to access the data stored in FA:
However, OTBI does have some limitations when it comes to extensibility (no access to metadata model) and adding of additional data sources (limited to data connection of respective FA instance).
The Oracle Cloud offering for “stand-alone” analytics are BICS (and in the future OAC). Hence, there maybe the need to connect from BICS/OAC to Fusion Applications. This is possible by two general Options:
- using data extraction / ETL from the Cloud
- declaring the connection (without any data movement)
- DV Desktop
- VA from BICS
- VA from OAC
This Article only focuses on the latter three options (declaring the connection details without any data movement).
Connecting from DV Desktop to Oracle Fusion Applications (FA) via OTBI
DV Desktop represents a offline Version of Visual Analyzer and can be downloaded from OTN. Once installed, it can be used to create a Connection to Oracle Fusion Applictions from the top right create Menu:
One of the Options from the “select connection type” list is “Oracle Application”:
This “Oracle Application” is the reference to Oracle Fusion Application’s Cloud via the OTBI URL !
It will not work with only the Oracle Fusion Application Cloud URL e.g. https://<IdentityDomain>.fs.em3.oraclecloud.com/homePage/faces/FuseWelcome , but only the respective OTBI URL e.g.: https://<IdentityDomain>.fa.em3.oraclecloud.com/analytics
If the URL is entered incorrectly, e.g. when using a trailing “/” it will not save the connection:
Once the correct OTBI URL, Username and Password are entered and saved, the connection is added to the list of available Data Connections:
As stated before: These “Oracle Applications” connections will only work with the respective OTBI URL, since the metadata (such as subject areas or Report from Catalog) is retrieved from this URL only. Once the connection is created, the Subject areas are available and the Analysis can be created in DVD:
Connecting from Visual Analyzer (VA) of BICS to Oracle Fusion Applications (FA) via OTBI
The equivalent of DVD for the web is Visual Analyzer (VA), which is part of OBIEE 12c as-well as BICS (and OAC). The same connection to Fusion Applications Cloud can also be created within VA of BICS. To do this, the VA Projects needs to be selected from the BICS (Classic) Home Page:
Within VA, click on “Add Connection” under the “Add new Data Source”:
And choose “Oracle Application” as connection type once again:
For the web version, the list of available data connections is also much smaller (only Oracle Applications and Oracle Database) compared to DVD. The connection details need to be entered in a similar way for VA e.g. as shown below:
After the Connection was saved successfully, the Connection can be used to create a Visual Analysis. However, VA of BICS will only provide the possibility to access saved Reports, but not the Subject area’s itself (compared to DVD)!
Connecting from Visual Analyzer (VA) of OAC to Oracle Fusion Applications (FA) via OTBI
The steps for connecting from VA of OAC to Oracle Fusion Applications (FA) are very similar to VA of BICS. Select VA from the OAC Homepage:
And create the connection in the same way. After successfully creation of the connection, it is listed as Connection in the Data list:
VA of OAC is not limited to create Analysis on predefined Reports (compared with VA of BICS). It is also possible to create an Analysis based on the subject area (similar to DVD):
The screenshot shows, the data preview from the Subject areas:
Important for Reports and Dashboards
(as of April 2018) The possibility of connecting from BICS/OAC to Oracle Fusion Applications (FA) Cloud is only available with VA. This is not (yet) available for Reports and Dashboards:
For Reports and Dashboards only a Database Connection can be added, but not a Oracle Applications connection.
- Oracle Oracle Applications connection Type refers to the OTBI URL of Oracle FA
- The possibility of connecting from BICS/OAC to Oracle FA is limited to VA
- DVD can be used to connect to OTBI, but cannot be used to connect to BICS/OAC directly, only to the underlying database
New Features of Oracle Analytics Cloud
The new features of the Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC) are listed at the following site:
These include enhancements such as, public storage container for data visualizations, enhanced delivers functionality (similar to OBIEE), Oracle Identity Cloud Service integration, Migrate content from Oracle BI Enterprise Edition 11g/12c, Smart View.
Roles are provisioned from Oracle Cloud to individual Users via the My Service view:
The following three Roles can be assigned for BICS (besides the APEX Roles):
- bi BI Cloud Service Users
- bi BI Cloud Service Advanced Content Authors
- bi BI Cloud Service Administrators
Once these predefined Roles are assigned within the My Service view, the User inherits the membership to various BICS Roles. E.g. for the bi BI Cloud Service Administrators the following Roles are inherited within BICS:
If a User would only be assigned the bi BI Cloud Service Advanced Content Authors Role, the User would inherit the following BICS Roles:
which would only provide access to Answers and Vizual Analyser, but not the web modeler or the Console.
The inheritance of the BICS roles is documented with the following diagram within the official documentation:
The BICS Application Roles can also be assigned within the Users and Roles tile under the Console view:
However, BICS Roles inherited from Cloud Roles can not be revoked here (compare the selected Application Roles with the actual assigned Application Roles of the My Account View like the screenshot from before). Thus, this can be used to assign additional roles e.g. like Finance Manager or Customer Support Role or a visibility such as “DACH” for viewing data within Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Similar to OBIEE the Query Cache can be disabled on Report Level within BICS.
However, the approach is slightly different to OBIEE, since BICS doesn’t provide the Pre or Post-fix box on the Advanced Tab of the Report Builder (Answers).
The below example shows the configuration and Behavior of disabling the Query Cache in a Step-by-step approach:
When creating a (simple) Query, a Cache entry is created for the returned result set:
For any subsequent Report, the Cache is analyzed if it can be used to fulfill the subsequent Report. E.g. when adding a Filter for Channel “Catalog”, the above Result set could be used:
Giving the following Result:
When analyzing the Query log, the Cache hit is also shown in the log itself:
In order to bypass the Query Cache, the Query Cache needs to be disabled for the respective Report by adding the following command (setting of internal server variable) into the Report:
SET VARIABLE DISABLE_CACHE_HIT=1;
To do this, the SQL displayed on the Advanced Tab of the Report Builder (Answers) needs to be copied to the clipboard and clicking the new Analysis button.
The previously copied SQL needs to be pasted in the popup Windows with the Disable Cache Hit command as prefix and the 0 needs to be removed from the pasted SQL:
The Presentation Server Cache can also by bypassed by checking the check-box at the top of the screen. When navigating to the Results tab of Answers, the Report is run again and the Query log can be checked again:
The Query log also shows that now the Query is not retrieved from the Cache, but retrieved from the Database.
A Technote also exist for further information on Oracle Support.
An Analysis within BICS can utilize Master Detail linking. This allows to update a second Table or Graph based on a click within the Master Report. The below example shows this for the OOTB Sample Dashboard:
Once a user clicks into the Master Report (Step 1) the linked Analysis are also updated to reflect the context of the clicked figure (Step 2 +3). This can be configured by sending an event from the Measure column of the Master Report to the receiving Graph (Step 2) and receiving Table (Step 3) of the receiving Analysis.
On the Master Report, the Measure needs to send the event on a specific “channel”:
While the receiving Report Graph and Table need to be configured to listen on the respective “channel”:
This also requires to expose the linked columns as Graph or Tables Prompts:
Otherwise, the data will not be restricted on the linked Analysis!
Similar to the on-Premise.rpd File, Data Filters can be configured using the Oracle BICS web modeller. These Data Filters are added to the Analysis to apply a particular data visibility for respective Application Roles. E.g. Users belonging to Application Role “Sales Managers West” should only be able to see data from the West Region, but not middle or East.
Within the web modeller of BICS this can be done using the Data Filters Tab on a Dimension or Fact logical table:
This is similar to OBIEE’s .rpd file, where the Data Filters have been defined also on the Application roles:
Once, the logical Dimension Table is used within an Analysis the defined Data Filter is appended for the defined Application Roles to the Analysis to restrict visibility as row level security.
However, if the User is also a member of the BI Cloud Service Administrators Role then the Data Filters are not applied. Users who are members of this Role are not restricted in terms of data visibility.