(Note: The following Article is based on Oracle BI 10g and Siebel Analytics 7.8.4)
Oracle’s Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition Product mainly consists of two Components.
- Oracle BI Server
- Oracle BI Applications
The Oracle BI Server provides the Platform or Foundation for performing Multi-Dimensional Modeling and Querying. This Server can be used as a Stand-alone BI System, which means that all analysis needs to be built up from scratch. Another way of using this Server is together with the BI Applications. The BI Applications contain pre-built content that provide Analysis “out-of-the-box” and can be used .
Oracle BI Server
As a Stand-alone BI System the BI Server provides the following Platform:
The Analytical capabilities from the BI Server include the usage e.g. of Reports and Dashboards within the Provided Front-end but also the use within MS Office or for Mobile Devices with Disconnected Analytic’s.
Oracle BI Applications
The Oracle BI Applications provide pre-built Analytics for different Industries (Verticals) as well as for different Business Areas (Horizontals).
This can be used as a Starting Point by using Out-of-the-Box capabilities and as Reference for designing Custom (Business Specific) Analysis.
The following Picture Illustrates the Component’s of the Oracle BI EE Infrastructure and BI Application’s Products. All of the BI Components (like the BI Server or the BI Web Server Plugin) are Provided by the OBI EE Installer. The BI Applications then provide the Pre-build Content within the BI EE Components.
For setting up this complete System Step-by-Step Installation Guides for different Operating Systems can be found on the net:
–Installing Siebel Analytics Platform 7.8 on AIX Server (older Version)
All of these Installation Guides do just cover the Oracle BI Server as a Standalone BI Platform. They do not include the BI Applications Installation which provides some pre-defined Content.
BI Answers is the Web Front-end meant for End User’s to easly create Multi-Dimensional Reports.
E.g. if we have a HR Operational Database that allows Employees to enter their time sheets with hrs. worked per week, the BI System could collect all this data and allow for Reporting. We could Report on hrs. worked per Department, Job-Role or like the following on the absence types:
The BI Server meanly keeps a Metadata Directory about the Underlying Multi-Dimensional Database. This Describes how Data is Organized Physically in the Database. Like in the Paint Example (that is provided when Downloading the BI EE Installer):
Usually the Tables for the Data Warehouse are stored in any Relation Database (RDBMS). An Example of the provided or pre-definded Tables is the following:
This Tables (or Data-Model) serve as a Starting Point for further Customizations e.g. it automatically provides Tables (with Attributes) for storing Household Information, Offers, Opportunities, Products, Service Request and Companies. To Load the Data from the Transactional Database (Source System) it requires the Extract-Transform-Loading. For Source Systems like Siebel, Peoplesoft or for some SAP Pars the Loading Procedures are Provided by the BI Applications.
To extract the actual Data into these Tables the Informatica Integration Service is used to load the Warehouse. An example of a mapping flow is the following:
The OLTP System holds the Operational or Transactional Data that we want to analyze at the End e.g. How many Service Request have been created this month? Or how did the current month compare to the previous?
Usually a great Time is invested into the Translation of the ERD (Relational) into the Dimension and Facts.