Vlamis Software Solutions, Inc.

» February 2009 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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OracleBI Spreadsheet Add-In Released

Oracle just released an update to the OracleBI Spreadsheet Add-In. This is an add-in to Excel that allows end-users to access Oracle OLAP cubes from within Microsoft Excel. This new version ( adds the ability to use the add-in with Excel 2007.

One of Vlamis' team members, Chris Claterbos, has begun testing the add-in. The auto install had trouble with his Excel install since he has Hyperion and OracleBI installed. If you experience this issue, just add it via the add-in manager and it should work fine. The release of OracleBI Spreadsheet Add-In is great news for people with Office 2007 who are needing to use the add-in.

Chris' next goal is see if they support it with 11g Database. He is testing this as the newsletter goes to press! If you can't wait for the next newsletter for Chris' findings, check out our blog.

BIWA Summit RecapBIWA 2008

Dan survived being Conference Chairperson during BIWA Summit 2008. Whether you came for the keynotes, technical sessions, or just to network, the event was a great success.

Keynotes set the stage for the conference with Jeanne Harris, co-author of "Competing on Analytics". She got us thinking about the importance of analytics in our own companies. Usama Fayyad spoke about the challenges of working as Chief Data Officer at Yahoo! and before. Oracle Vice Presidents, Ray Roccaforte and Jean Loaiza, spoke about how the Oracle Database in general and the HP Oracle Database Machine and Exadata help solve the challenges of modern data warehouses.

The meat of the conference was supplied by 66 technical talks and 10 hands-on labs supplied by prestigious Oracle professionals. We also had an "all-star" panel discussion of Most Critical Success Factors for Successful BI, Warehousing and Analytics Customer Implementations, with Jeanne Harris, Usama Fayyad, Juan Loiza, Jacek Myczkowski and Joe Thomas. A full list of the presentations can be found on the Session Abstracts tab of the Oracle BIWA web site. Conference attendees can download presentations from the conference now. In the future, BIWA plans to make the presentations available to all of its members.

Vlamis Software was out in full force at the conference, with technical presentations: Having Your Business Intelligence the Way You Want It!, Investment Research and Portfolio Management Analytics using Oracle OLAP, and hands-on presentations Hands on with Oracle OLAP 11g for Smarter and Faster Data Warehouses Hands on with Essbase, Smartview, and Hyperion Visual Explorer, and Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition Challenge To Go Virtual Appliance. The latter presentation highlighted the BIC2G virtual machines used by many of the hands-on sessions and will be available to Oracle partners soon so they can run pre-configured virtual machines of Oracle's BI and EPM software for themselves. As usual, all presentations can be found on the Technical Papers tab of the Vlamis Software web site.

Kudos go out the Oracle for providing the conference site, great food and courteous service, free wifi services, everything you would expect from Oracle. A special thanks to all the BIWA board and all the volunteers for putting together a great event that focuses on business intelligence. The event was small enough to not feel like you were getting lost in the crowd, yet big enough to cover all the important BI topics. BIWA Summit 2008 was the perfect size for networking.

Oracle Sales and Financial Analyzer De-support

Oracle will be de-supporting Oracle Sales Analyzer (OSA) and Oracle Financial Analyzer (OFA) at the end of this year. Check our blog post "OFA and OSA De-Support Notice" for additional de-support information.

We have several customers that have successfully used OSA and OFA for years and are still getting value out of it. We want to make sure you are well covered when this software is officially de-supported from Oracle. We have presentations on comparisons of Essbase and Oracle OLAP, two common technologies for replacing OFA and OSA and other Express-based applications. Check our website at http://www.vlamis.com/papers for additional information on this topic. Please call us to discuss this if we can help in any way.

Employee Spotlight - Mark ThompsonMark Thompson

Mark Thompson is a Senior Consultant with Vlamis Software Solutions and has 24 years experience working with Oracle Business Intelligence (BI). Mark began his career working at S & A Restaurants before starting his consulting career with Oracle. This path led him to Vlamis Software Solutions about three years ago. Mark offers a wealth of knowledge in these technical areas:

Having written and conducted several OBIEE introduction classes for clients, Mark is working on developing web-based classes.

Mark has presented at various different conferences on the following topics:

These presentations can be found on our website at http://www.vlamis.com/papers.

Mark loves to hear clients say that what he just did for them will make their lives easier, make them more profitable, or even allow them to spend more time with their families, since they can now do something in a fraction of the time it took previously.

If Mark could retire today, he would spend his time playing Taps on his trumpet at military funerals, through his association with Bugles Across America. Mark feels that every soldier, sailor, or airman who served our country deserves a live bugler when he or she is laid to rest.

Upcoming Events

We will be giving the following presentations at Collaborate 2009 and ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2009. Abstracts for these presentations can be found on our website.

Collaborate 2009

May 3-7 • Orlando, Florida • http://www.collaborate09.com

Speaker Name Presentation Title
Chris Claterbos University Class: How to Use Oracle Business Intelligence (BI) to Solve Real World Problems
Mark Thompson Tales from the Front: Strategies for a Successful OBIEE Implementation


ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2009

June 21-25 • Monterey, California • http://www.odtug.com/

Speaker Name Presentation Title
Dan Vlamis Tales from the Front: Strategies for a Successful OBIEE Implementation
Chris Claterbos Having your Business Intelligence the Way You Want It!

Please contact us if you are attending either of these conferences. We would like to arrange a time to meet with you during the conference.

Chris' OLAP Tip: Running Discoverer for OLAP against 11g OLAPDisco for OLAP Screenshot

For those folks wanting to run 11g OLAP and see their OLAP data in a front-end tool, we may have some good news for you. Chris Claterbos has worked with the Oracle BI beans based tools for years now and has been searching for a way to use them against 11g OLAP. He thinks he found a way to use Discoverer for OLAP (D4O) against 11g Cubes (11g and 10g mode!). This way is currently not certified by Oracle but it sure seems to work for what he needed to do. For more information and tips, check out his blog post Running Discoverer for OLAP against 11g OLAP.

Prior and Future 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 next newsletter will contain several exciting announcements including:

Please visit our blog for the most up-to-date information on these developments.