Vlamis Software Solutions, Inc.

» April 2008 Newsletter

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In this newsletter we inform you about recent and upcoming events in Vlamis Software and the Oracle business intelligence and data warehousing communities. We hope you find this information helpful.

Vlamis Software Solutions is a consulting company specializing in Oracle-related business intelligence and data warehouse solutions. Learn more about us at our web site at www.vlamis.com. Contact us at sales@vlamis.com or (816)781-2880.

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Vlamis Presenting on Essbase and Oracle OLAP for BIWA SIG

On April 30 at 10:45am CDT, Dan Vlamis will be presenting "OracleBI, Oracle OLAP and Essbase Compared" for a webcast sponsored by the Oracle BIWA SIG of the IOUG. This is similar to the previous webcast and Collaborate 08 presentation. In summary, the session will especially focus on the differences between Essbase and the Oracle OLAP option--both very capable multi-dimensional databases, but with different goals. The full abstract is currently available on BIWA's website. Be sure to test your connection to conference.oracle.com ahead of time.

Webcast on Accelerating Oracle DWs with Oracle 11g

Many organizations are not realizing the full potential of the data marts and data warehouses they have created. Data marts and data warehouses enable the competitive use of data, but maintaining, aggregating, and analyzing these databases can be challenging. Learn how Oracle 11g OLAP Option solves many of these problems in our two-part webcast, "Faster, Smarter Data Warehouses with Oracle 11g".

Session 1 - For ExecutivesOBIEE Screenshot

May 6, 10-11am CDT • Register Here

In the first session, executives will learn the value of this solution to their organization in business lingo, without the technical jargon, solving problems such as:

Session 2 - For IT ProfessionalsSQL Developer Screenshot

May 7, 10-11am CDT • Register Here

In the second session, managers and IT professionals will learn how this is accomplished and the nuts and bolts of implementing this in their organization. Hear and see the benefits, then stay for the details, such as:

Both sessions will include live demonstrations that show the benefits of leveraging the analytic power of Oracle 11g OLAP Option. For more information, see our website at ttp://www.vlamis.com/td.

This webcast is a follow up to our very successful seminar series on Accelerating Oracle Data Warehouses with Oracle OLAP 11g. We presented this three-hour seminar in Oracle offices in the following cities:

Our thanks go to Oracle for hosting us during these seminars. Contact Dan Vlamis if you are interested in having this seminar presented in your city. In addition, the demonstration used for the presentation is being incorporated into Oracle's BI Challenge to Go 11g VMWare environment and will be available to Oracle partners, customers and prospects interested in experimenting with Oracle's BI software. Contact us if you are interested in getting your own copy of this environment when available. Visit our blog often for updates on this project.

Article on Accelerating Data Warehouses in Oracle MagazineOracle Magazine Cover

Flip to page 65 of your May / June 2008 issue of Oracle Magazine to see a 4-page article on the benefits of using Oracle OLAP 11g to accelerate data warehouses. The downloads accompanying the article show you how you can experience this for yourself in your own Oracle 11g instance. What? You don't receive Oracle Magazine? You can fill out a form to get your own copy or view the entire article (including the screen snapshot of OBIEE that didn't make the printed magazine!) at this link.

Vlamis Software Solutions offers Oracle BI training classes!

After many years of being asked by our clients if we can come in and train their staff in the use of their Oracle Business Intelligence tools, we're pleased to announce that we've added a series of training classes to our ever-growing list of ways to keep your company on the leading edge of Oracle BI technology.

Introduction to Oracle BI Answers

Course description: This one-day, hands-on, instructor-led course covers Oracle Answers, the ad-hoc query portion of the Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition suite (OBIEE). Students "learn by doing", completing hands-on exercises that will introduce them to many of the tools available in the Answers environment. In this classroom-style presentation, students learn to develop objects such as simple data tables, pivot tables, charts and graphs, filters, conditional formatting, gauges, and many other objects and features available in OBIEE Answers.

Audience: This course is appropriate for those who will be developing an end-user interface in OBIEE (typically members of the development team or the power users), as well as for the more casual users who may need to create their own analysis objects from time to time.

Introduction to Oracle BI Dashboards and Delivers

Course Description: This one-day, hands-on, instructor-led course covers Oracle BI Dashboards and Delivers, two parts of the Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition suite (OBIEE). Students "learn by doing", completing hands-on exercises that will introduce them to many of the tools available in these two Oracle offerings.

The BI Dashboards portion of the class covers such topics as dashboard design and layout, integrating content developed in the BI Answers environment, using navigation links to access related queries, linking to external content (such as web sites, spreadsheets, and reports), creating and using saved selections and dashboard prompts, and dashboard administration.

The BI Delivers portion of the class covers the development of custom alerts (iBots) in OBIEE, including such topics as defining iBots, iBot personalization, defining trigger conditions for iBot execution, scheduling iBots, and defining recipients, contents, and delivery methods for iBots.

Audience: This course is appropriate for those who will be developing an end-user interface in OBIEE (typically members of the development team or the power users), as well as for the more casual users who may wish to create or customize their own personalized dashboards and/or alerts.

Introduction to Oracle BI Server Administrator

Course Description: This two-day, hands-on, instructor-led course covers Oracle's BI Administration Tool, the Window-based tool for managing the Oracle BI Server metadata layer, security, caching, and other features of the OBIEE environment. Students "learn by doing", completing hands-on exercises that will introduce them to the concepts and techniques required to create an Oracle BI repository. In this classroom-style presentation, students are introduced to the various components of the Oracle BI architecture, then create an Oracle BI repository, starting with importing data sources into the Physical Layer, continuing with the transformation of that data into a Business Model, and finally creating the user-visible Presentation Layer. Students will learn techniques such as creating dimensions and hierarchies, creating time-series data (such as month-ago or year-to-date), using aggregate tables and repository variables, and modeling security.

The course can include content specific to Oracle's multi-dimensional data sources, Hyperion Essbase or Oracle OLAP, which employ slightly different techniques, primarily within the Business Model layer, for building the repository.

Audience: This course is appropriate for the members of the metadata development team, which will typically include Data Warehouse Administrators and Analysts, Data Modelers, or Application Developers. It is also quite useful for Database Administrators, End User Interface Developers, and even End Users to attend the class, so that they can communicate effectively with the Administration team during the design and deployment of the system and so they can appreciate what can be accomplished with simple changes.

More Information

Instructor-led courses from Vlamis Software Solutions are typically taught at your location. For more information, pricing, or to arrange on-site Oracle Business Intelligence training for your company, please contact Dan Vlamis at 816-781-2880.

Calling all OFA and OSA customers! Oracle is looking for you.

As you may know, Oracle Financial Analyzer (OFA) and Oracle Sales Analyzer (OSA) get de-supported in 2010. Oracle is working on a program to migrate these customers to a supported platform-likely Essbase, Hyperion Planning, or Oracle OLAP. If you'd like to look at this program, please contact us. We can help you evaluate whether this makes sense for you.

Collaborate 2008

We are pleased to have presented six sessions at Collaborate 2008 this year, including two expert presentations, and two presentations involving our clients. You can find these presentations on our website under technical papers.

Speaker Name Session Title
Dan Vlamis 207 Oracle BI, Oracle OLAP, Essbase: The Benefits and Cost of Openness
Chris Claterbos 211 Accelerate Your Oracle DW With OLAP 11g
Mark Thompson 212 Integrating Oracle BIEE with Oracle Analytic Workspaces
Chris Claterbos 219 Building Cubes and Analyzing Data Using Oracle OLAP 11g
Dan Vlamis 221 Implementing Oracle BI EE on Top of Oracle OLAP Cubes
Chris Claterbos 223 Achieving Complex Statistical Modeling with Fast Results Using Oracle OLAP

Collaborate 2008 • April 13-17 • Denver, Colorado • http://www.ioug.org/collaborate08/

ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2008

ODTUG Kaleidoscope Graphic

We will be presenting the following presentations at ODTUG's Kaleidoscope 2008.

Speaker Name Title
Dan Vlamis Oracle BI Oracle OLAP Essbase-The Benefits and Cost of Openness
Cathye Pendley Building Cubes and Analyzing Data Using Oracle OLAP 11g
Tim Vlamis Lies, Damn Lies, and Visualizing Data with Oracle BI

Please contact us if you are attending Kaleidoscope 2008. We would like to arrange a time to meet with you during the conference.

Kaleidoscope 2008 • June 15-19 • New Orleans, Louisiana • http://www.odtugkaleidoscope.com

BIWA Board of Directors, BIWA Summit 2008

We are proud to announce that Dan Vlamis has accepted a position on the board of directors for the BIWA SIG of the IOUG. See BIWA's web site for more information. We plan on presenting again at the BIWA Summit 2008, taking place December 2 and 3, 2008, at Oracle's headquarters in Redwood Shores, California. Look for a call for presentations soon and plan on attending this one-of-a-kind conference focused on Oracle-based Business Intelligence, Warehousing and Analytics.

BIWA Summit 2008 • December 2-3 • Redwood Shores, California • Website

EPM Partner Advisory Council

Vlamis Software Solutions recently was named to Oracle's EPM Partner Advisory Council. We attended their meeting in March, 2008 at the Oracle headquarters. Highlights of the meeting included seeing Oracle's plans to integrate Oracle's growing Enterprise Performance Management and Business Intelligence offerings, including Hyperion, Essbase, Oracle OLAP, OBIEE, and related reporting tools, sharing with Oracle our experiences with our clients, and a keynote address by John Haggerty of AMR Research. We look forward to participating in future events and providing this important feedback to Oracle.

Mark's OBIEE Tip: Using TODATE and AGO measures together in BIEE

You know how you sometimes have one of those problems that just won't let you sleep? Here's one:

I'm updating the classware for our publicly available training classes.

I created an AGO measure. Works great.

I created a TODATE measure. Works great.

I displayed the AGO and TODATE measures side-by-side in BI Answers. No problem.

I then added a third column, just a simple base measure no less, and... it failed. The query returned an error ORA-00942 - table or view does not exist.

I spent several hours trying to figure out what was wrong. Checked out the sesion log. Ran the query in little pieces. Added code, deleted code, trying to find the answer.

So... buried in the OBIEE Release Notes, version, is this little tasty tidbit:

If you use a version of Oracle Database 10g Release 2 prior to, you might encounter an issue with a Full Outer Join that causes severe database performance issues... (The VMware image that I'm working with uses

To work around this issue when using Oracle Database 10g Release 1 or 2, upgrade to Oracle Database 10g Release 2 Patch Set 2 (for For performance reasons, this is the preferred workaround.

To work around this issue without installing Patch Set 2, modify the Database Features table using the Administration Tool. This configuration prevents the Oracle BI Server from sending SQL constructs that expose the issue in an unpatched Oracle Database 10g.

To modify the Database Features table:

  1. In the Administration Tool, open the properties of the Physical Database metadata object.
  2. Navigate to the Features tab.
  3. Ensure that the values for
    are selected, that is, set to True.

My thanks to Duc Huynh for his assistance on this one!

Prior Newsletter Articles

We feature breaking news in the "Headlines" section of our home page at www.vlamis.com. More news items can be found on our Business Intelligence and Datawarehousing Blog at http://www.vlamis.com/blog. An archive of our newsletters going back through 2002 can be found at http://www.vlamis.com/newsletters.

Our February 2008 newsletter featured the following articles:

Our July 2007 newsletter featured the following articles: