differences between OBIEE Admin Tool (rpd) and web modeler

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.

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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.

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Disabling the Query Cache for BICS

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:

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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:

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Giving the following Result:

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When analyzing the Query log, the Cache hit is also shown in the log itself:

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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.

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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:

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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:

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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.

configuring Master Detail Analysis

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:

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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”:

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While the receiving Report Graph and Table need to be configured to listen on the respective “channel”:

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This also requires to expose the linked columns as Graph or Tables Prompts:

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Otherwise, the data will not be restricted on the linked Analysis!

BICS: Data Filters and BI Cloud Service Administrators Role

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:

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This is similar to OBIEE’s .rpd file, where the Data Filters have been defined also on the Application roles:

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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.

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BI Publisher and BICS?

Within the on-Premise World BI Publisher (BIP) was bundled with Oracle BI EE (OBIEE). However, the respective Oracle BI Cloud Service (BICS) does not come with a bundled Version of BI Publisher as Cloud Service.

A user may only choose one of the following options to create new items:

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However, Oracle Transactional Business Intelligence (OTBI) does come with a bundled Version of BI Publisher. Once the User logs into OTBI, the following options are available to create new Analytical items:

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For further reference check Oracle Support note: Is BI Publisher (BIP) Available as part of BICS (Doc ID 2104841.1)

BICS development life-cycle

Within an on-premise scenario, the OBIEE development life-cycle was quite simple:

  1. connect to a data warehouse and import the warehouse tables (metadata import to physical layer)
  2. build OBIEE metadata model (RPD)
  3. upload the RPD into Weblogic using the Deployment screen

Within a cloud scenario the BICS development life-cycle is quite the same, but requires some additional steps and some decisions on the development model: either using web-based BICS developer or upload of full RPD file developed using OBIEE Admin Tool.

While it’s possible to develop the complete metadata model within the cloud using the BICS web-based Modeller, like below:

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the capabilities of this web-based Modeller are more limited. Due to this there is no option to edit or change the uploaded RPD file within the web-based BICS modeller afterwards. The process to upload a locally developed (OBIEE) metadata model (.rpd file) to the BICS Cloud is called “lift&shift”.

The required setup for this OBIEE to BICS development life-cycle using lift & shift is described in below diagram:

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For the BICS development life-cycle setup the data of the Fusion Cloud e.g. HCM or ERP is assumed to be already present within a Oracle Database Cloud (DBaaS/DBCS). For this setup all components (formally probably referred to as “server” components) are provisioned on the Oracle Public Cloud behind a firewall and only the IT Development Tools (IDE) are installed on a developer machine like a desktop or laptop.

The following integrations need to be setup:

Integration point Integration point Description documentation/links
BICS DBaaS Connect the BI Cloud (BICS) to the Database Cloud (DBaaS) to analyse the stored data e.g. extracted Fusion HCM data How Does Oracle BI Cloud Service Integrate with Oracle Database Cloud Service?

Managing Database Connections

(local) SQL Developer DBaaS Connect the local SQL Developer e.g. installed on a Computer or Laptop to the Database Cloud (DBaaS) Accessing a Database Cloud Service instance using Oracle SQL Developer

Connecting to a Database Cloud Service (DBaaS) Instance Through an SSH Tunnel

(local) BI Admin Tool  (RPD file) BICS upload the local developed .rpd file (using the OBIEE Admin Tool) into the BI Cloud (BICS) Uploading Data Models from Oracle BI Enterprise Edition

“Lift and Shift” On-Premise RPD to BI Cloud Service (BICS)

How to Upload OBIEE RPD to Oracle BICS

BICS Lift and Shift of BIAPPS Content

To create Backup as part of the development life-cycle refer to the following article:

BIAPPS on PAAS – Backup and Restore – Introduction

To connect between DBaaS and the Fusion Application Cloud (SaaS):

BIAPPS on PAAS – Source Connectivity

The above scenario uses the Oracle Database Cloud for storing the data. If the Data is not stored in the Oracle Database Cloud, but the Oracle Schema Cloud Service which is bundled for-free with BICS then the data must be loaded into BICS using the BICS Data Sync tool:

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Within the all above scenario the (“server”) components are provisioned on the Oracle Public Cloud. For a scenario where some components like the Database still reside on-premise the following tool needs to be installed on the server hosting the Oracle Database:

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as described in this article from Oracle.