Thursday, May 26, 2011

Google Maps Based Background Maps in

One of the new features in the Oracle Business Intelligence 11g v release is the support for Google Maps based background maps.
In a nutshell, what this means is that MapViewer now supports Google Maps as a built-in tile layer. Which means you can use MapViewer to create a tile layer with tile imagery served from the Google Maps server. Once created, you can use these map tiles in your map views in Oracle BI as background maps, without the need to do any programming or custom work. Therefore, in addition to your own background maps, or maps from NAVTEQ, you can also use background maps from Google Maps in

The spatial data to be overlain in your map views still needs to come from some spatial data source, like that provided by NAVTEQ and stored in an Oracle Database.

There are also some other improvements to map views in this release that I will outline next week.

In a nutshell this is what the process looks like:

1. From MapViewer, create a new map tile. Select "Google Maps" from the dropdown of available map sources. This is the new feature in MapViewer in this release, viz. the ability to specify a Google Maps map sources via the UI, without having to write code.

2.  Go to and Sign Up for the Google Maps API - Google Maps API Family - Google Code Then enter this key in the field on the tile layer's properties page. Be sure to be aware of the terms and conditions under which you are allowed to use the Google Maps API, like usage, availability, etc...

The other thing to note here is that you have to specify, as expected, where the spatial data source is for this tile layer. In this case I am using the OBIEE_NAVTEQ_Sample data source from the Sample App. This will tell me what the shapes and definitions are for the geographical entities I want to map on my maps. Unless I am using longitude and latitude coordinates, in which case I can directly plot them on any background map.

3. You can preview the tile layer thus created in MapViewer. This will allows you to verify that the tile layer was created correctly, and that it is fetching the tile layers correctly from the Google Maps server.

4. The next steps have to be done inside Oracle BI. Log in to Oracle BI, go to "Administration", and go to the Manage Map Data screen. From the "Background Maps" tab, select and import this background map into your BI metadata.

5.Now, when you create a new map view, or edit a map view, provided your map view utilizes at least one layer that is also defined to be part of your Google Maps based background map, you can select this Google Map to be your background map for the map view...

More later...

Invitation to Participate in an Oracle BI User Survey

Your chance to make a difference to Oracle products and how they look. There is a survey being conducted by our BI User Experience team and I strongly urge you to take a few minutes to go over this post and to take the survey.

The Oracle Business Intelligence User Experience (BIUX) Team is committed to using customer feedback to continuously improve our BI products.

We would like to invite you to participate in our first large-scale BI user survey to inform us about your main job responsibilities, technical background, tool usage, and work environment.

To access the survey, please click on the unique URL below.

Our goal is to reach as many users as possible, so we would also like to ask you to help us spread the word by forwarding the survey link to other BI users in your company/institution. They can range from developers to business end users.

This survey should take approximately 10 minutes to complete. It will remain open until TUESDAY, MAY 31, 2011.

Should you have any questions or concerns about the survey, please contact John Hu at or 650-506-6500.

We look forward to your participation and assistance with spreading the word!

The Oracle Business Intelligence User Experience (BIUX) Team

Monday, May 09, 2011

Oracle BI Mobile now available on iTunes App Store

Over the weekend came the news I had been waiting for, and to admit, with a little bit of anxiety. The Oracle Business Intelligence Mobile app for (see my posts on the release) was approved and became available for download from the Apple iTunes App Store. It can be downloaded from

As I have been saying (whining perhaps?) for a few days, I have a ton of stuff to complete this week on our mobile product, so please excuse the brevity of these posts.

You can view the doc on the mobile app from within the app itself, or from your browser (see blog post Doc Chapter on Mobile)
The Oracle Business Intelligence release itself can be downloaded from OTN (see blog post Available for Download)

Saturday, May 07, 2011 Doc Chapter on Mobile

Using Oracle Business Intelligence Mobile - to read up on the capabilities of Oracle Business Intelligence Mobile in v
I must point out though that some of the screenshots of the app are a bit dated. We made some last minute changes to the user interface of the app, which happened after the doc had been frozen. Also, you will notice on at least one screen the version number of the app is listed as, which, you would realize, is not quite the correct version number.

Among the changes we made to the app, one of the more significant ones has been to provide easy access to Dashboards a user has access to. This is available by tapping the Catalog icon on the tab bar.

More later - once the app is available on the iTunes App Store.

Also see Oracle Business Intelligence Blog: Release Announced and Oracle Business Intelligence Blog: Available for Download Available for Download

I had blogged on the announcement of the release of Oracle Business Intelligence
The software is now available for download from the Oracle Technology Network at the Oracle Business Intelligence (11.1.1.x) Downloads page.

The following platforms are available for download:
  • Microsoft Windows x86 (32-bit)
  • Microsoft Windows x86 (64-bit)
  • Linux x86 (32-bit)
  • Linux x86 (64-bit)
  • Sun Solaris SPARC (64-bit)
The Repository Creation Utility ( software, required for installing Oracle BI, is also available for the Windows and Linux environments.

TheRelease Notes, Documentation Library, and  Certification Information is also available for this release.

Happy downloading and using Oracle Business Intelligence

And a happy weekend to all.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011 Release Announced

The latest release of Oracle Business Intelligence,, was announced today. The press release can be read on at New Releases of Oracle® Business Intelligence Software Enable Enterprises to Improve Timely, Accurate, and Role-Based Insight, or on Yahoo! at

I am neck deep in stuff around this release, so I do not have anything more to post yet, but the plan is to put up several posts on what's new in this release, especially around mobile and spatial.

From the press release, here are the salient features of this release:
  • Support for the iPad and iPhone. On-the-go access to the complete range of alert, ad hoc analysis, dashboard, reporting, scorecard, “what-if” analysis,etc...  In addition, users now have the ability to initiate actions and workflows directly from their mobile devices. content is optimized for use with the iPad and iPhone – without requiring design changes to existing reports and dashboards.
  • Extended support for additional data sources including Oracle TimesTen In-Memory Database, Oracle OLAP, Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services and SAP Business Information Warehouse (BW).
The software should become available on OTN for download shortly, and then on after that. Once the bits become available I will post an update. You do not have to wait for me to post actually - the software when available will show up on the Oracle Software Downloads page. Actually, if you are the impatient kind, this is the deep link to the download page for the Oracle Business Intelligence 11.x releases - Oracle Business Intelligence 11g Downloads

You can also follow the @oracle_biee Twitter feed at!/oracle_biee