Previewing the OBIEE 11.1.1.6 SampleApp

May 23rd, 2012 by

Last year we previewed the upcoming OBIEE 11.1.1.5 version of the SampleApp,  which introduced a bunch of new features including more Essbase examples, a working Essbase write-back using the Action Framework, new visualisations created using Google Charts, plus some content around TimesTen and Oracle Data Mining. Well, the updated 11.1.1.6 version of the SampleApp is due immanently, so let’s take a preview look at what’s coming in this new release.

Like the previous update, the 11.1.1.6 version of the SampleApp is an incremental release, designed to highlight new features that have come with the 11.1.1.6+ release of OBIEE, as well as incorporating some new examples sourced from the field. One of the most interesting new features in this updated version is Exalytics-enablement; if you download the VirtualBox image which has all the software pre-installed and pre-configured, OBIEE is enabled for Exalytics, with prompt buttons removed, auto-complete and auto-suggest enabled, and the ability to run the Summary Advisor from the BI Administration tool, which you’ll need to ensure is at version 11.1.1.6 or higher too and install on a separate Windows-based environment.

NewImage

This new SampleApp also comes with scripts to automatically “inflate” the size of your dataset, and an additional subject area designed to analyze large tables and test out aggregation. The VirtualBox image for this release includes TimesTen for Exalytics, but of course it doesn’t come with a free Exalytics box, so this is really for testing and self-training only, not actual performance testing. By default no Summary Advisor aggregates are set up, but you can run the Summary Advisor, create some and then test out the dashboard with all of the “speed limiters” removed.

Dashboard

If you were lucky enough to see Jordan Meyer’s “Designing Eye-Catching and Effective Dashboards” presentation at last week’s BI Forum in Atlanta (if not, here’s an interactive version you can page through using your cursor right key) you may have had your interest piqued in Oracle R, and it’s ability to do statistical analysis on large data sets. This new version of the SampleApp has some R-based visualisations included, which use Oracle R Enterprise, an Oracle Database 11gR2 option that’s pre-installed on the VirtualBox image) and BI Publisher to render the actual visuals.

If you followed some of my postings around the launch of Exalytics, I mentioned that usage tracking has been enhanced in this release in order to capture the physical SQL, as well as logical SQL, associated with an analysis. The new SampleApp includes an example dashboard page that displays this physical SQL information for the most recent queries, and is accessible from a link on any other dashboard page, like this:

Usagetracking

There’s also a number of new visualisation and UI enhancement examples in this new release, including what is probably my favourite new front-end feature in 11.1.1.6 – the ability to add selection steps to analyses even after they’ve been published to the dashboard, giving users much more ability to customise analysis views within their own dashboard.

Selectionsteps

 

Other new visualisation features include the new Strategy Wheel view in Scorecard and Strategy Management, waterfall charts, heat maps and an interesting new capability, web-style menus on the dashboard page:

Menu

Something that caused some gnashing of teeth back at Rittman Mead headquarters when it was announced back at Openworld, was support for Web Catalog auditing from within the next SampleApp (we’d developed, independently, something very similar). Using a set of scripts provided with the SampleApp, you can export the web catalog structure into a set of database tables, and then report against those, along with Usage Tracking data, to work out which catalog objects aren’t being used as well as volumes of objects in each folder, by user and type over time.

Webcatstats1

You can also perform some impact analysis, helping to identity in which dashboard are a set of select analyses, and quickly identify what list of objects are exposed in each dashboard page. Usefully, you can also use this feature to spot all objects that are using a specific RPD column, and looking at it the other way list out all RPD columns that are used by an analysis or other catalog object.

Webcatstats2

Something that’ll interest the DBAs amongst us is another new set of dashboard pages, that report against the Oracle Database system views, to display details of user sessions, SQL queries, datafile sizes, database parameters and so on. It’s clearly not meant as a substitute for Enterprise Manager Database Control, but if you’re working on a development system and want to check, for example, whether materialised view query rewrite is enabled, or who else is logged in and reporting against your data, it could be a useful set of reports.

Dbviews

Finally, there’s a whole new set of BI Publisher examples brought across from the new BI Publisher trial release, including lots of ones that show the additional capabilities the BIP brings, such as barcodes, OCR recognition, complex layouts using XPATH, bursting and so on. Here’s one new report, showing how BIP can report against Essbase directly, using MDX queries defined in the report’s data model.

Bip

So, quite a few interesting new features. The new 11.1.1.6 SampleApp should be available soon, probably at the same time as the next bundle patchset for OBIEE 11.1.1.6, and will be available in both VirtualBox format, or as a set of install files that you can set up in your own environment. Watch this space, as they say.

Comments

  1. Stewart Bryson Says:

    There goes 2 of my proposed OpenWorld talks. Thanks Philippe. :-)

    Very cool stuff in there.

  2. Dpanet Says:

    Which patch version of 11.1.1.6 is it using ?

  3. Mark Rittman Says:

    Dpanet – I’ve heard that it’s going to be based on an upcoming patch release, following 11.1.1.6.2, that enables things like trellis views, the new mobile client and so on. But this may change between now and release date.

    Mark

  4. Mark Rittman Says:

    Dpanet – after checking, the version that our build is based on is 11.1.1.6, the current production release.

  5. MS Says:

    Hi Marc,

    Is the “web-style menu” you mention a new standard component in 11.1.1.6? I have this version installed and have similar requirement from customer. Would be great if you could share this info.

    Thanks
    Marcin

  6. Craig Says:

    Mark,
    Do you know what documentation exists with the new sample (or the old ones) for the coding best practices in the dashboards? I have worked through some of the content guide, is the CAF V1 utility being updated? Thanks,
    Craig

  7. Mark Rittman Says:

    Marcin,

    Taking a look at the dashboard, it’s done through custom HTML, Javascript and a CSS file embedded in a static text view. So it doesn’t look like it’s a new dashboard component, more something that’s been put together in the field and then included in the SampleApp as a bit of useful custom code.

    regards, Mark

  8. Mark Rittman Says:

    Craig,

    There was some documentation for the 10g (10.1.3.4.1) SampleApp around RPD and dashboard design, but I’ve not seen a similar one (on this topic) for the 11g SampleApps.

    I wouldn’t have though the CAF v1 (Content Accelerator Framework) from 10g will make it’s way in its previous form into 11g. However Oracle are, apparently, working on content acceleration in various other forms for future releases, which I guess we’ll hear about later this year as releases are firmed up.

    Mark

  9. Sachin Jain Says:

    So where can we get/download this sample app from? On the current location (http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/bi-foundation/obiee-samples-167534.html) i can only see the previous version…(V107)
    -thanks
    SJ

  10. Mark Rittman Says:

    @Sachin : My understanding is that the full, public release will be out mid-August 2012, after Oracle incorporate some of the new 11.1.1.6.2 BP1 features into it.

Website Design & Build: tymedia.co.uk