OBIEE Now Available for Download – Release Highlights

February 21st, 2012 by

Well, the news broke late this afternoon that OBIEE was now available for download, so here’s some of the key new features that you should look out for once you’ve installed this new release. We’ll start first with the front-end, then take a look at some administration and server-side changes, and then say where Exalytics fits in with things.

From an end-user perspective, OBIEE provides a much-enhanced interface for analyses and dashboards, plus some changes to the way that you create BI Publisher reports. Starting off with analyses, one of the big changes is that you can now create selection steps for an analysis by right-clicking on it and selecting the step you wish to add. By adding this feature, it’s now possible to publish a basic analysis to the dashboard, then have the end-user add further steps to add, remove or keep dimension members; add totals, groups or calculated items, or otherwise manipulate the analysis results set. For me, this is the major new end-user feature in, and gives “power users” much more control over how results are displayed on their dashboards, especially considering that any selection steps they add can then be saved as a dashboard customization for later recall.

Now that it’s possible to add selection steps to an analysis after it’s been published to the dashboard, it’s especially important the end-user knows what selection steps have been applied, as well as any filters. Therefore, there’s a new Selection Steps view that you can add to an analysis compound layout, that shows you just what’s been applied.

As well as these changes to how analyses are presented, you can also now save analyses and other BI objects as favorites, which are then accessed from the global header area.

Another new feature, inspired by Exalytics (more on this later) but available for all installations, is the ability to remove the Apply and Reset buttons from prompts. To do this, you can either set this at the individual prompt level, or you can remove them at the dashboard page level. Once you do so, any change to a prompt value will trigger an automatic refresh of those analyses connected to the prompts, though you should use this feature with care if not using an Exalytics, OLAP or fast-database data source.

There’s also a bunch of miscellaneous enhancements to the front-end including adding of new columns to existing views automatically, a new wizard for creating BI Publisher reports, and the ability to rename views once you’ve created them. We’ll post more on the new front-end features in a few days.

In terms of the repository (RPD), the major new change is the introduction of MDS XML as a repository storage option, and the ability now to integrate the Oracle BI Administration tool with source control systems. MDS XML is a fore-runner of future changes to how the Oracle BI Repository is structured and stored, and allows us to save the repository, not as a single monolithic binary file, but instead as a set of XML files. Each XML file contains the definition of an individual repository object, with objects corresponding to logical and physical tables, logical dimensions, logical joins and so on. The main point of MDS XML is to be able to upload these XML documents to a source-control system, with the XML documents then needing to be re-saved as a single RPD file before you can then upload it to the Oracle BI Server in the Oracle BI Domain. It’s not really a substitute for MUD, it’s more a way of integrating with source control, and we’ll have a posting on how this works, in detail, on our blog tomorrow.

Finally, the other major thing that enables is Oracle Exalytics BI Machine, one of which is on order for us and due to be delivered in the next couple of weeks. Exalytics uses an optimized version of OBIEE as its business intelligence platform, which includes a new utility called the Summary Advisor used for recommending and creating in-memory aggregates. Again, keep an eye on the blog for more details next week on Exalytics, including how the Summary Advisor recommends and generates aggregates and how TimesTen works under the covers.

So that’s it for now. We’ll be back tomorrow with the next installment in Endeca week, and then check back later in the day for the more details on version control within the Oracle BI Administration tool.


  1. Cheney Says:

    How about the micro-charts?

  2. Mark Rittman Says:

    They didn’t make it into this release, from what I can tell. They’ll probably arrive in a future update to, though nothing’s been said officially.

  3. Ram Reddy Says:

    Thanks for your quick update .

  4. krishna prasad Says:

    Thanks for the update…

    Did u migrate from to ?

    How do we migrate from to ?

  5. Mat Says:

    There are a couple of areas which I find really restrictive at the moment in, so I’m keen to know whether Oracle has addressed these in this release.

    1) How to format a numeric “seconds” duration as HH:MM:SS, where HH could be any number of hours. I.e. much bigger than 24. It’s nigh on impossible to do this at the moment. You would think it would be possible for the user to simply specify a customer format for the final presentation of the value.

    2) How to produce a report on different date periods without having to create a stack of different measures. In our old Informatica DataAnalyzer system, we could simply create a metric and select that into a report, then when running the report the user can select which time period to report on (e.g. YTD, MTD, current week, today, etc), and the granularity (year, month, week, day, etc), and it all just worked. Again, it’s nigh on impossible to do this in Oracle BI without duplicating each and every metric many times over.

    Do you know if either of these issues has been addressed in

  6. Gaurav Misra Says:

    Thanks… for Quick Update

  7. Scott Powell Says:

    Hi Mark – you mentioned BI Publisher report creation being somewhat different – can you give us a high level overview of what’s different about it?

    Great article as usual!


  8. James O Says:

    Did BI Composer get a bigger role in Do you think you’ll post a doc on the upgrade, like you did when came out?
    Thanks Mark!


  9. Mark Rittman Says:

    I’m still in therapy after the upgrade from to :-(

    But seriously – we’re getting asked this a lot. Check out the blog next week, hopefully we’ll have something then. Not sure on BI Composer but I’ll take a look too.

  10. Bibin Kumar Says:

    I wonder if the defect around drilldowns Essbase based reports fixed.

  11. Bibin Kumar Says:

    I wonder if the defects around drill-downs on Essbase based reports fixed.

  12. Sathish Jeyandran Says:

    I am new to Oracle Business Intelligence. Could any one please guide me that,is it possible to apply filter in level based hierarchy..? So that i can show sub ordinate level hierarchy to corresponding manager.

  13. Mathias Karthum Says:

    Hi Mark, great article!

    I’ve installed the new version on a virtual machine (and written a step-by-step guide how to do it on my blog). It seems to me that the installation time has gone down dramatically (around 50%) from previous versions. Also the new virtual machine seems to be running a lot smoother than the one I had with the previous version. Did you have a similar experience? If you’re doing some performance comparisions between the previous and current versions, please let us know the results.


  14. Justin Pollard Says:

    Mark – it was great to meet you at RMOUG a couple of weeks ago!

    Thanks for the informative post about the new release. I’ll be building our new dev box this week and will be referencing this blog throughout the process.

  15. Joe Says:

    Is there a upgrade utility from 10G to

  16. sandra Says:

    Hello Mark,
    What about new features in mapviewer analysis?? In obiee there are a lot of bugs.

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