Connecting to Oracle Fusion Applications (FA) Cloud using Visual Analyzer(VA) and DV Desktop(DVD)

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:

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The following Version and respective features are used as baseline for this Article (as available of April 2018)

 

Product Version
Oracle Fusion Applications Cloud / OTBI R13
BICS 18.1.6.0.0
OAC 18.1.3
DVD 12.2.4.2.0

Oracle Fusion Applications (FA) Cloud comes bundled with OTBI, which provides pre-built BI Subject Areas to access the data stored in FA:

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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:

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:

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One of the Options from the “select connection type” list is “Oracle Application”:

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This “Oracle Application” is the reference to Oracle Fusion Application’s Cloud via the OTBI URL !

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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:

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Once the correct OTBI URL, Username and Password are entered and saved, the connection is added to the list of available Data Connections:

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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:

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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:

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Within VA, click on “Add Connection” under the “Add new Data Source”:

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And choose “Oracle Application” as connection type once again:

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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:

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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)!

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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:

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And create the connection in the same way. After successfully creation of the connection, it is listed as Connection in the Data list:

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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):

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The screenshot shows, the data preview from the Subject areas:

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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:

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For Reports and Dashboards only a Database Connection can be added, but not a Oracle Applications connection.

Conclusion

  • 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
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BI Publisher now available with OAC

Until today, Oracle BI Publisher was only available as a (SaaS) bundle with Oracle Fusion Applications Cloud and OTBI, see also a previous Article. However, with Oracle Analytics Cloud, Oracle BI Publisher is now also available as a “first degree” Platform Cloud Service (PaaS) giving more flexibility especially in terms of Data Sources. This allows to create highly formatted Reports/Documents such as Invoices, Purchase Orders, Dunning Letters without the context of Oracle Fusion Applications Cloud.

See the full announcement here.

Issue when using Report prompts within OTBI Answers and OTBI Fusion

A strange Issue exists with OTBI in terms of Report prompts. If a User adds a prompt directly within the Report, the prompts appear correctly within BI Answers. However, if the same Report is opened from within Oracle Cloud, the prompts are not shown to the User.

Prompts added to Report:

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Prompts appearing in BI Answers of OTBI when running (opening) the Report:

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However, when opening the same Report from Fusion (OTBI embedded) the Report executes without showing the prompts, even though the prompt has been specified as “required”:

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When clicking on the “Edit” button of the Fusion Catalogue Browser, the following warning message is being displayed:

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The standard provides prompted Analysis usually of Type “Dashboard”, hence this Issue is not applying for standard content. E.g. the Analysis on Department details also provides filters as Dashboard prompts:

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understanding calculation for Days of Absence

To Analyse the Days of Absence for Workers, the Absence information is extracted and loaded into a dedicated Star (W_ABSENCE_EVENT_F) of the BI Applications data model. A simple Report on the days of Absence and absence occurrences looks like the following from the Report Builder (Answers):

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This can also be restricted to a individual worker and a specific time period by applying additional filters in the Report Builder:

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This Report then return the following filtered results:

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This is based on the Fact for Absence:

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The Absence Days are calculated based on the DAYS_DURATION column for the selected period from 2017/07/06 until 2017/07/17. Thus, each duration will be counted for the selected period regardless of the start or end date of a an Absence event (First column). If the worker was not scheduled to work of a certain days such as 7.7. and 8.7. then these days will not be counted as days of Absence. The Absence occurrences are calculated on the ABS_OCCRNC_DAY column.

How to create a direct database query with OTBI?

Within Oracle Fusion OTBI go to New > Analysis and click on Create Direct Database Query:

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Within the Editor the connection Pool information needs to be entered:

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The following connection pools can be entered:

  • HCM – “HCM_OLTP”.”Connection Pool”
  • CRM – “CRM_OLTP”.”Connection Pool”
  • FIN and PROC – “FSCM_OLTP”.”Connection Pool”

After that, a query may be entered for direct database execution on the Oracle Fusion Cloud (bundled) Database (identified by the Connection pool supplied before):

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For a listing of all Physical Tables please refer to (only available for HCM): https://cloudcustomerconnect.oracle.com/posts/ac54c31fcf 

This contains a Excel mapping with the Physical OTBI Tables:

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For a full support note please refer to: How To Create A Report with Direct Database Query in OTBI/OBIEE Analysis, Who Can Access Direct Database Query (Doc ID 2141412.1)

For a similar approach using BI Publisher please check:  Creating a BI Publisher Report using SQL Query in Oracle Fusion HCM Cloud

To check the general TechNote for OTBI and Fusion HCM, please refer to: Oracle Fusion HCM: Resources for Oracle Transactional Business Intelligence (Doc ID 2023155.1)