Last week I attended the nl.OUG Tech Experience 2017. This event had a varied agenda filled with interesting speakers covering interesting topics. Without qualifying the different presentations I wanted to highlight one. Christian Berg’s; “A Day in the Life of an Oracle Analytics Query”. The reason why I want to highlight this is because Christian goes back to the essence of the Oracle Business Analytics Platform.
When it comes to Oracle products there is often a lot of discussion. It seems that either you love Oracle or it is exactly the opposite. When it comes to the Oracle Business Analytics Platform, it is no different. The last two years there is a lot noise around Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms. I wrote a blogpost; So Oracle did not make it to the Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms? about it 1,5 year ago. This post is still read and commented on. If you only base your decisions on the Gartner MQ without reading further one would never choose for Oracle as their Analytics Platform. I think it is good to put things in context. I believe in Oracle’s vision when it comes to Analytics. There is more than only Self Service Analytics.
For me it doesn’t make sense to focus on the differences between Oracle Business Analytics and e.g. Tableau. I don’t know enough about Tableau to make an honest analysis. What does make sense to me is to stress the strong points of the Oracle Analytics Platform. Christian does a great job when it comes to the core of Oracle Analytics. The Oracle BI Server is still one of the strong points of the Oracle Analytics Platform. It’s crucial to put time and effort into the design of the metadata. Unfortunately Oracle Analytics products will work even when you don’t give the Oracle BI Server the attention it needs. I tried to explain this in a previous blogpost about the Logical Layer. Although it takes time in the beginning you will benefit in the long run.
Ever since the NQuire-days the core of the product is essentially the same. Check out this 10-year old blogpost from Mark Rittman. In his words; “The initial release of nQuire Server Suite 1.0, even though it had an emphasis on search, had many of the features that we’d recognize from Oracle BI Suite Enterprise Edition. nQuire Server, the predecessor to what is now Oracle BI Server, provided a metadata layer over federated data sources, together with caching, calculations and so on, whilst adapters provided connectivity to Oracle, SQL Server, other relational databases and to XML documents. In a way, whilst the emphasis was on search (or at least the marketing emphasis), it was a ROLAP server that worked against federated data sources, with the key value-add being it’s ability to integrate data sources in real-time and add calculations, caching and a business-focused metadata layer.”. Bernard Marr explains very well why metadata is so important.
It doesn’t matter whether you use Oracle Analytics in the Cloud or On-premise, whether it is Data Visualization or Oracle’s BI Platform Product (OBIEE, BICS) . All products of the Oracle Analytics Platform use the same core.
In Christian’s presentation, he explains the; “Life of an Oracle Analytics Query”. Christian uses his typical humor and sarcasm to explain the importance of understanding what happens when you fire an Oracle Analytics Query. As far as I am concerned this presentation is a must read for everybody working with Oracle Analytics.
Check a recording of the same presentation Christian did in Riga; A Day in the Life of an Oracle BI Query