Oracle provides so many options in business intelligence (BI) today that the dilemma sometimes becomes sorting through the tools, the packages and the respective product directions. They are decidedly moving (moved?) into a 'packaged' BI direction. The theory is that nobody builds an ERP system anymore, nor should they build a BI system and that Oracle BI Applications provide faster time to value, lower TCO and assured business value. My teams have been implementing the Oracle BI Applications.
With Informatica built-in (to be switched to Oracle Data Integrator, the former Sunopsis, in the next few years), most any source can be brought in to the applications. However, principally Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) and Peoplesoft will source the Financials, Human Resources, Supply Chain & Order Management and Procurement & Spend applications and Siebel sources the Sales, Service and Marketing applications. All work off a common enterprise model (the Business Analytics Warehouse), consisting of dozens of star schemas, premapped metadata, prebuilt ETL and a library of prebuilt metrics, dashboards, reports and alerts. Each application populates a subset of the entire warehouse and uses a subset of the other assets (i.e., the Financials Application populates 16 star schemas.) It's actually a well-done schema, with conformed dimensions, standard naming and depth to the dimensions. It makes a lot of sense if you have the Oracle sources in your operational environment.
However, very real decisions often need to made between using the Oracle BI Applications and OBIEE+. This decision is ongoing in nature, often continuing after the "OBI Apps" installation. OBIEE+ is the flagship product - actually suite of products - of Oracle BI, from a tools perspective. OBIEE+, of course, is the tool with the OBI Apps. OBIEE+ consists of OBIEE, which is the former Siebel Analytics (which originally came from nQuire). This is the Oracle's primary BI tool. When Oracle bought Siebel, it was primarily for the CRM tools, but the BI tool has turned out to be a major asset as well. OBIEE+ is OBIEE and BI Publisher, Interactive Reporting, SQR Production Reporting, Financial Reporting and Web Analysis. If you're new to Oracle BI, I realize all of these could use some elaboration.
These are all Oracle BI assets, as is OBISE1. The old Discoverer is called OBISE and OBISE1 has nothing to do with OBISE, it's a 5-50 user license of OBIEE+.
Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) is the other mantra and it refers to the former Hyperion analytic applications with cube architectures. There's 9 Hyperion applications available, outside the scope of the OBI Apps. These are mostly financial in nature and it's the framework for building the custom cubes that you get with the Hyperion applications.
Furthermore, until (and after) BI and EPM merge at Oracle, many requirements can be met with either Essbase or OBIEE+. Essbase is the former Hyperion product which spins up cubes for fast performance within a selective set of data. SmartView, an Excel add-in, is the main front end, but OBIEE can also be a front end to Essbase.
Posted March 16, 2009 9:41 AM
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