Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Oracle BI Apps 11.1.1.7.1 and Why Fusion is More than just Applications

The arrival of the latest version of Oracle Business Intelligence Applications, namely 11.1.1.7.1 has ignited quite a buzz (and a bit of confusion) in the OBI community.

Fellow bloggers and the Oracle documentation as well as the official data sheet do a good job explaining what the major new features of this milestone release are.

Image source: Oracle data sheet
It is truly worthwhile to spend a few minutes to marvel at the new features:

E-T-L is now E-L-T and done by Oracle Data Integrator, the former Sunopsis product and data integration platform of choice for Oracle customers. Yes, loading the Oracle Business Analysis Warehouse is no longer performed by Informatica which is used in the 7.9.x and previous 11.1.1 product lines (see below).

Of course this raises a few eyebrows especially among customers who intend to upgrade from Informatica-based OBI Apps 7.9.x to the new architecture introduced with 11.1.1.7.1. As Mark Rittman reports, customers will have to migrate existing customizations from Informatica to ODI on their own, or start from scratch with 11.1.1.7.1. Nonetheless both paths (Informatica and ODI) will be supported by Oracle for a while.

Time to say goodbye also for DAC, the Datawarehouse Administration Console which was developed by Siebel Systems. The new tools on the block are Oracle BI Configuration Manager (BICAM) and Functional Setup Manager (FSM).

Mentioning the latter will ring some bells for Oracle applications professionals who spent time with Oracle Fusion Applications recently. Both FSM and BICAM are around since the first release of Fusion Apps which came with - you guess - Oracle BI Applications 11.1.x.

So Oracle has been working a while on OBI Applications 11.1.x and I think it is safe to say that the development of the new general release 11.1.1.7.1 has greatly benefited from the the Fusion Applications development initiatives.

Interestingly, the Oracle BI Apps for Fusion Applications still use Informatica for ETL.

Besides the new ETL E-L-T tool and administrative components like BICAM and FSM, the data sheet points out the other new features which shall be listed quickly below to make this post complete.
  • A new planning application - Indirect Spend Planning - directed at procurement users.
  • Student Information Analytics for academic institutions.
  • Enhancements in many analytic applications such as HR analytics.
  • Optional deployment of Oracle Golden Gate for real-time ETL.
  • And, last but not least, a new Data Lineage tool (in a future patch release, thanks to Florian for the update on that).
have a nice day

@lex

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