Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Oracle BI Discoverer Release Details

Oracle Business Intelligence Discoverer is released in mid March 2008. This is available on base platforms Windows and Solaris. It is also available primary porting platforms (Unix flavors) as well (Linux, HPUX, HPIA). Discoverer is the third production patch in the series of 10.1.2 release train. And the latest patch can be applied over any 10.1.2.x instances,, and releases.

Highlights of Discoverer release

  • Discoverer Integration with Oracle BI Publisher
  • D4O Enhancements
  • Other enhancements

Discoverer integration with Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher

The integration of Discoverer with Oracle BI Publisher (previously known as XML Publisher) was delivered as a one-off patch in 2007, and is more widely available with release.

Oracle BI Publisher is an enterprise reporting solution to author, manage, and deliver all types of highly formatted documents eliminating the need for costly point solutions.

Discoverer integration with Oracle BI publisher has the following benefits

· Rich formatting capabilities

o Use Oracle BI Publisher template builder for Microsoft® Word to use the formatting features of Microsoft Word to format content.

· Rich layout capabilities

o Use Oracle BI Publisher template builder for Microsoft Word to use the layout features of Microsoft Word.

· Multiple templates per Discoverer worksheet

o Layout templates can be built using familiar desktop applications such as Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat®. Oracle BI Publisher plugins are provided to help the report designer to build the layout they want in their favored application.

· View as PDF, RTF, XLS, PPT, XML

o Oracle BI Publisher is able to generate multiple output formats from a single data source and template in multiple formats.

· Schedule and distribute to thousands of users

o Schedule frequency (Once, daily, weekly, immediately) and delivery destinations (Email, FTP, WebDAV, FAX, Printer) can be configured in Oracle BI Publisher.

· Analyze and refresh Discoverer data in Microsoft Excel®

o Relational and OLAP data can be pulled into Excel from multiple data sources for analysis

This integration requires Oracle BI Publisher or above. Since Oracle BI Publisher is also available with Oracle Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition, version of Oracle BI EE can also be used.

More information about Oracle BI Publisher can be found at:

D4O Enhancements

Advanced Calculated Members in Discoverer OLAP

Building on the introduction of calculated members functionality in the release of Discoverer, advanced calculated members can be created with the new calculated member editor in the release.

Easier Sharing of Workbooks

To increase the usability of sharing workbook functionality a share button is provided on the Open workbook catalog dialogue. This benefits from the earlier sharing of workbooks through copying the link in to shared folder.

Support for Offset based calculations

Collpse all , Expand all

Other Enhancements

  • Scrolling behavior in Discoverer Plus [5450764]
  • To enable selection of Discoverer Viewer data into clipboard
  • Defining rows and columns in Discoverer worksheet portlet when called from list of worksheets portlet
  • Define amount of databody to show in wide crosstab reports [5117216 ]
  • New option to enable page navigation in Discoverer Viewer

Discoverer can be downloaded from metalink Patch # 5983622

Important Notes

  • Discoverer does not include the cumulative patch releases CP4, CP5 and CP6. Customers are not encouraged to use discoverer if they have applied any of the aforesaid CPs . We are building a combined CP(CP4+CP5+CP6) over and will be released shortly.
  • Discoverer for OLAP (D40) is not certified against Oracle 11g database
  • Spreadsheet addin not available on Microsoft Windows Vista

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Oracle BI EE and Virtualization

In this day and age of "Power and Space" and being more green, data center efficiencies or inefficiencies many customers are looking at Virtualization as a means of consolidation.

One of the questions that I see on a regular basis relates to the support of Oracle BI EE and virtualization. This is slam-dunk from the perspective that Oracle is sensitive to power and space requirements as are many companies that manage their systems in their own data centers. Virtualization is addressed on two fronts by Oracle:

1) Oracle provides a virtualization solution in Oracle VM
2) The answer to the oft-asked question is – Yes!! Oracle BI EE is supported on the Oracle Virtualization solution (Oracle BI EE SRSP). This leads to another question; Is Oracle BI EE supported on VMWare? That answer is Oracle BI EE and many other Oracle products follow the statement outlined in MetaLink Note 249212.1

-Oracle BI EE SRSP
-Oracle VM
-Virtualization & E-Business Suite Running Oracle Database in Solaris 10 Containers - Best Practices (MetaLink Note 317257.1). This Note is applicable for E-Business Suite Releases 11i and 12 environments.
-Support Status for VMWare (MetaLink Note 249212.1)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Oracle BI makes life easier....

In many cases people often question the return on investment or the impact of using business intelligence products in real life situations. Well here is a great example of Oracle's software making life much easier for thousands of travellers, me included, passing through Manchester Airport.

As an Oracle consultant I am a frequent visitor at Manchester Airport. Over the last year travelling has not been easy due to the "one bag" rule. Although I have become quiet skilled at packing a single suitcase with clothes, laptop computer and external hard drives just so I do not have to check in my luggage. Well not any more. Manchester Airport is one of the first UK airports to return to the normal "two pieces of hand luggage" rule and its all thanks to the forecasting capabilities provided by Oracle business intelligence product suite. Our products have allowed senior management at the airport to cope with the extra pressure of screening additional bags by helping identify future trends and to plan accordingly.

The full story is on the ComputerWeekly site and can be viewed directly from here: