Oracle OBIEE 12c – Comparison to previous OBIEE 11g Version
At the end of last September Oracle introduced the new version of analytical and reporting OBIEE platform to the market. At first sight in the new version was more complete, than its predecessor. But the new version wasn’t that complex, this was because of Oracle’s product strategy redefinition. In OBIEE 12c Oracle presented a new product with fully-developed functions, not with all potentially available. The new platform has added a few fresh options, which are described further in the article.
The New BI platform from Oracle allows user to create mosh-ups from several sets of source data, even external. OBIEE 12c users can add data without any help from IT. They just have to switch proper .xls file and load it to the platform. Users doesn’t have to worry about converting data to rpd format, which contains meta-data, such as definitions and applied business rules.
According to the latest trends everything is clickable. With a click of a button users can switch a whole table or just single cell and have a closer look at them, using sorting or drill-down options. There is also a new data view, called “Matrix Heat map”. It’s quite similar to a “Pivot table”, but more minimalistic, which makes it easier to read. Data is presented in a table that uses one colour tone. Another difference is that users don’t see numerical values in the individual fields. The values are only visible when we place the courser above them.
Analytical capabilities were also extended. From now on users can call on the “R” function directly. There are also a few changes in administration and development. From the 12c version there are no system GUID’s. It also doesn’t have OPMN tool, which in previous versions was responsible for system and process management. From the IT-administrator perspective it’s also important, that data migration between OBIEE 11g and 12c don’t have any influence on 11g environment. So those IT-pros can sleep safely.
One of the hottest topics surrounding the Oracle OBIEE 12c premiere is the new Visual Analyser. It presents everything, even very complicated data in a full-automated and fast way. Users just need to load the data, choose what they want to present graphically and it will create the charts with our data. The program selects graph type, which suits our data the most. Visual Analyser has excellent data visualization capabilities. You don’t remember, what the table with interesting data is called? No problem – just type your query into the internal search engine and the Visual Analyser will present information, that suits your needs. Additionally, this information will be automatically shown on the proper type of chart. You want to see different types of data on the same chart? There’s nothing easier. Just add another query and in a moment it will be visualized. Want to change chart type? Just type your query with the chart name and the Visual Analyser will show your data on the different type of chart. Visual Analyser has also standard build-in functions such as “drill-down” available.
On the other hand, Visual Analyser isn’t a free extra tool, available for Oracle 12c users. It is an additional charge, so organizations have to decide if they could use the full potential of this powerful visualization tool. Otherwise the upgrade from Oracle 11g to 12c is all that is needed. Despite the additional costs more and more organizations see many benefits in using Visual Analyser and decide to invest in it.
New Visual Analyser functions were presented in short video from Oracle. Click HERE to see it!
The most important changes, which allow companies to reduce costs were made in the back-end process and in database architecture. To fully understand the essential parts of these changes let’s start with a few definitions.
In the Oracle 11g version for example we understood memory structure, which was assigned to one particular database. This was (and still is, because it is not about changes in the database) constructed on System Global Area and so called background processes, which are aimed on: supporting the instance, connecting the computer discs, RAM and users. Database was understood as a set of files, connected with a set of information and supported by a single instance (exception: cluster systems, where single databases were supported by multiple instances). Database consisted of (and consist of): data files, control files and log files. This configuration is named non-CDB (non-Container Database).
For the Oracle 12c version there was a multi-tenant, based on so the called Container Database, with architecture introduced. It solves the problem of optimal disk storage resource allocation, because one instance isn’t supporting a single database, but several at the same time. Instance components files are shared (of course database definition hasn’t`2q 2 2 been changed). Non-CDB databases are combined into single structure – Container Database. It consists of ROOT base, which is a fresh new idea. ROOT base contains metadata, global information, common type information and information needed to support, control and log files, which are shared within single PDB (Pluggable Databases). But any of these databases still have their own SYSTEM, SYSAUX table system and their own data and temporary files.
For an IT-administrator this model is much more comfortable to use. Especially, when we take into account users, permissions, roles, resources allocation and management processes. There’s also no need to waste administrator’s time on working with multiple instances, patching or upgrading applications. From an IT perspective time is a significant benefit. Oracle 12c is installed fast, all system or connected with application configurations are done offline. As the name suggests users can easily connect PDB with another instance or ROOT database. Users can also easily duplicate PDB databases or use them to create new databases.
Because of changes in the database structure, users and role concepts were also predefined. Users were divided into the following types: local (known only within single PDB) and common (known within database container). It is similar to new role concept. Local role refers to single PDB database and global (common) role refers to all PDB databases, connected to the container.
To sum up, Oracle has prepared a new platform, which is worth testing and checking, if it suits corporate needs. What deserves to be praised is the fact that there is a lot of new technologies and potential savings connected with Multi-Tenant infrastructure. In this article we intentionally don’t refer to the letter ”c”, which was placed in new Oracle’s product name. In our opinion platform is “cloud ready”. Some companies started to move their data into the cloud, but in our opinion it will take 5-10 years or even more, when companies will get used to this method of data storage.