December
2004

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VSS Newsletter December 2004

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.

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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.


Oracle Business Intelligence Launched at OracleWorld

Oracle launched its Oracle Business Intelligence 10g product on Monday, December 7 at Oracle OpenWorld in Ray Roccaforte's "mini-keynote" along with Bill Hostmann of Gartner Group. The session was overflowing, with many people not able to attend due to the room capacity. Oracle has re-packaged the Business Intelligence portions of Oracle Application Server and Oracle Internet Developer Suite and made these available as one line on the Oracle price list. BI tools will continue to be included with Oracle Application Server 10g Enterprise Edition.

Oracle Business Intelligence 10g includes the following integrated components:

While the Oracle BI press release states that "Oracle Business Intelligence 10g is scheduled to be generally available in the first quarter of 2005," multiple product managers stated publicly that Oracle BI will be available two weeks after the close of OracleWorld, so look for it in late December or early January.

Oracle BI is big news. We expected to give some quotes from some of the news articles, but a Google search on Oracle BI had more than 100 hits in the month of December 2004, and summarizing all the news was simply too much. See for yourself.

For more information about Oracle Business Intelligence 10g, visit http://www.oracle.com/bi.


Oracle BI Featured in Chuck Rozwat Keynote

Even though Chuck Rozwat's keynote was titled "Working on the Grid - Oracle 10g Release 2", we all know that the highlight was Keith Laker's demonstration of Oracle 10g during the simulation of Insta Loan's Finance department on the "big stage". If you look carefully at the on-line videocast (starting at 55:30 through the presentation), you will see that instead of the odds-on favorite "Frog tie", Keith ended up going with the "Sheep tie".

Seriously, the demo did a great job of showing Discoverer's portal capabilities and the Excel Add-in for Oracle OLAP data. It was great to see Oracle BI featured during this widely-attended keynote.


Discoverer 10g Screen ShotOracle Discoverer 10g Shown

The "Drake" release was prominently featured at OracleWorld in many sessions, including Christina Gibb Kolotouros's presentation "The Face of Oracle BI Discoverer" and Chon Chua and Keith Laker's presentation with lots of screen shots.

Product highlights include:

For more information, see http://www.oracle.com/technology/products/discoverer/index.html.


Excel Can Directly Access Oracle OLAP Data

Spreadsheet Add-in Screen ShotThe Oracle Spreadsheet Add-In allows Microsoft Excel to directly access data in Oracle OLAP cubes. Users can use the familiar Excel interface to analyze data in Oracle OLAP. A new menu item in Excel runs a wizard that asks the user what measures to view in Excel. The wizard is the query bean from BI Beans, running underneath Excel. Also exposed is the Calculation Wizard for creating custom OLAP calculations.

To see this running for yourself, look at Chapter 3 of the Oracle Business Intelligence Page, which also contains demonstrations of other components of Oracle BI.

While the Spreadsheet Add-in is part of Oracle10g Business Intelligence, it also comes with Oracle OLAP, so technically, you don't have to buy Oracle BI to get it. Look for availability along with the rest of the Oracle BI product around the end of 2004.


BI Beans 10g To Be Released With Oracle BI

The components behind all of these Oracle BI products is Oracle's Business Intelligence Beans, or BI Beans. You can build your own applications with BI Beans. These are licensed per developer with Oracle JDeveloper.

BI Beans 10g have some very extensive enhancements over the prior releases of BI Beans, including:

Katia Obradovic-Sarkic described these features in detail in her presentation "Advanced Analytic Applications with Oracle JDeveloper and Oracle BI Beans". Click on these links to download her entire presentation or white paper to learn more. Unfortunately, the presentations don't show just how easy it is to create very functional and attractive BI Beans applications such as the Executive Insight demo that Katia gave a "behind the scenes tour" of. Attend Oracle OpenWorld next year to see this live!


AWM 10g Greatly Simplifies Creating AWs

AWM 10g greatly simplifies the process of creating AWs. While Anthony Waite's presentation "Analytic Workspace Manager and Oracle OLAP 10g in Action" specifically covered this topic, you will also find very good information in Bud Endress' "OLAP and the Oracle 10g Business Intelligence Platform" and Mark Rittman's paper and presentation "Enabling OLAP Analysis with 10g and Discoverer (Drake)". You will have to wait until around the end of January 2005 to get AWM 10g but it will be worth the wait. See Dan's OLAP tip for details.


VSS Presents Three Papers at OOW 2004

Vlamis Software Solutions was well represented at OpenWorld 2004, presenting three business intelligence sessions, more than any other company besides Oracle. As usual, these presentations are available in the Technical Papers section of our website. You can also get the presentations from Oracle's website below.

We look forward to presenting at future Oracle-related conferences. Please contact us if you have any questions on our presentations.


Dan's OLAP Tip: Use AWM 10g to Create AWs

AWM2 Screen ShotHave you been confused by the process of creating multi-dimensional OLAP cubes? Well, the process is about to get much simpler. With the upcoming release of Analytic Workspace Manger 10g (known sometimes as AWM2), what was once three distinct steps, using two separate tools, becomes one simplified process.

Before AWM 10g, to create a MOLAP cube, you had to:

  1. Create a ROLAP cube from relational tables (usually using Oracle Enterprise Manager)
  2. Create an Analytic Workspace from the ROLAP cube (usually using AWM)
  3. Enable the AW for BI Beans (usually using AWM)

AWM 10g can do all of this now in one unified process. Step 1 is no longer necessary since AWM 10g can make AWs directly from relational tables. You map your relational tables directly to AW structures with a simple click and drag process (Step 2). Once the AW is created, it is automatically enabled for BI beans since the metadata is created in the AW when you create the AW objects. There is no separate series of OLAPSYS tables - it's all automatic - Step 3 is no longer necessary.

AWM 10g will require Oracle OLAP 10g. OLAP 10g and AWM 10g have the following benefits over 9i, so you might as well move to 10g when it is available.

Have I got you convinced? Unfortunately, AWM 10g will not be coming out exactly when Oracle BI first comes out. We heard at Oracle OpenWorld that it would be available around the end of January 2005. But it will be worth the wait. Anybody familiar with the process of creating MOLAP cubes that saw the demos at OOW would agree. Stay tuned.

If you want proof or want to learn more, see Anthony Waite's excellent whitepaper "Analytic Workspace Manager and Oracle OLAP 10g" that takes you step-by-step through the new process of creating AWs the 10g way.

Look for other tips in upcoming VSS Newsletters or contact me at dvlamis@vlamis.com for more information.

Dan


Prior Newsletter Articles

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

Our October/November 2004 newsletter featured the following articles:

Our September 2004 newsletter featured the following articles: