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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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.

Using the Oracle TNS Connection String in BI Administration Tool

Ideally the BI Administration Tool should be able to use the TNS Identifier (SID) to connect to the Oracle Database. E.g. with the default ORCL

However, sometimes (probably because of Environment Variable settings) t he BI Admin Tool doesn’t Accept the Oracle TNS Identifier (SID). To have a quick workaround it is also possible to paste the complete TNS Entry into the BI Administration Tool. This allows the BI Tool to make the proper connection to the Oracle Database.


Data source name: (DESCRIPTION=(ADDRESS_LIST=(ADDRESS=(PROTOCOL=TCP)(HOST=localhost)(PORT=1521)))(CONNECT_DATA=(SID=orcl)))