Oracle Spatial Workshop

“Knowledge is Power”. Exchanging knowledge is a very effective way to gain knowledge. Not only for the audience, but also for the one who shares the knowledge. It obviously takes a lot of time and effort to prepare a good presentation about a certain subject.

In my company; Scamander Solutions, there is set a lot of value on exchanging knowledge between our consultants. One  of the methods we use is our so called; Pizza Session. These are internal sessions in which one of our consultants prepares a four hour (handson) session about any Oracle related topic, which interests us. At dinner time we eat pizza.

Next wednesday we will  cover the subject of Oracle Spatial. This session is organized by Maarten Jan Kampen. Since last year Maarten Jan is a well known speaker on several different forums and events.

Maarten Jan will present us a handson session in which he will address the following topics

  • Oracle Spatial in general,
  • Oracle Spatial in terms of  query possibilities,
  • The contours of our office will be used to show on the map and to make queries,
  • Oracle Spatial and Oracle BI.

It’s promised to be interesting.

Keep you posted.

How To Ask Questions The Smart Way

 I am a frequent visitor of the  Oracle BI EE Forum. Either to share or to gain knowledge. Sometimes I am supprised by the way people ask questions. It is a misconception to think people can read one and others minds.

An excellent example of one of those questions has been posted last week.

I will not be pointing fingers. John gave his reaction in a very decent way. What I do want to make clear is that proper asked questions as well as correct and clear answers will add value to a forum. It takes some time to answer questions. Some people take the effort to write blog posts about the subjects. I think we could make each other’s lives a lot easier if we take the time to give enough input at front and some feedback afterwards.

Please take note of the following and try to keep the forum valuable as it is most of the times.

Thank you all.

RittmanMead BI Forum 2010 – Wrap Up

 That’s it, the RittmanMead BI Forum 2010 is over. Jon and Mark managed to organize a three day conference with a combination of Oracle BI knowledge and a lot of fun. I guess they could be very proud to have a visitor list of people from all over the world.

I have been one of the lucky ones who were able to attend this forum. Finally I have been able to meet some of the guys I got to know via; various blogs, The Oracle Forums, Twitter and LinkedIn. It’s nice see people behind all the internet postings.

Next to that the RittmanMead guys were able to present various different ways to exchange knowledge. Also they were able to mix business with pleasure.

As I already have written about in several earlier postings we were able to attend several different presentations about Oracle BI EE, ODI, Oracle Fusion Middleware, etc. Architecture, sizing, performance and modelling were some of the topics that were covered.

Some of the highlights:

Kurt Wolff gave us a little background about the development of Oracle BI EE.

Phil Bates and his Oracle colleagues gave us an overview of the new release of Oracle BI EE. There were not allowed to give us the version (11g) of this release nor the date this release is due.

Emiel and Christian lead a debate about modelling in Oracle BI EE. They had the best opening slide ever!! It was nice to hear the different opinions about this subject. (Un)fortunately there was no winner to this debate. As Kurt has said at the beginning of his presentation; There is no ‘Best Practice’ when it comes to Oracle BI EE (modelling)

Although Robin Moffat was a little bit nervous about his presentation he was chosen as the best presenter at the forum. In my opinion he had a well researched presentation, which he delivered to the audience in a very easy going way.

As a real quizmaster, Adrian was able to show the funny site of Oracle BI EE.

The ultimate geekness in using Twitter was reached by Christian and Robin. Robin making a picture of  Christian making a picture of me using Twitter.

Thursday evening we went to Brighton’s Kemp Town to Sam’s restaurant. I was suprized be the good food they were serving. Mark was even more suprised how a Dutch guy could question the English kitchen.

Last but not least we did a little bit of ‘Last man standing’. Börkur, Adrian, Paul and Ragnar showed us how to get through the Brighton night. The recipe is very easy; Beer, Rum and a few Jägerbombs

All in all I am very glad I could join the forum. I have enough food for thought to make it through the year.

If you want to get an another impression of this forum, please check the following;

Thanks RittmanMead, thanks to all presenters, thanks to everybody who has made this event a success!

Good Luck and till next year

RittmanMead BI Forum 2010 – Notes IV

After a few hour of sleep it was time for the last part of  the RittmanMead BI Forum 2010

First one to kick off was Anthony. He gaves us an very well examined explanation of Oracle BI EE architecture and sizing. Although there is a lot more to it; Keep it simple!!

Secondly Mark stepped inside the Oracle BI Server. He presents u day in the live of a Answers query.  If you want to understand what’s happening, you should try to think like the Oracle BI Server. In  addition to that, you have to take a closer to the Logical Table Source.

Craig Steward showed us the new, version of Oracle Data Integrator. I must say it looks very interesting, but up until this moment I haven’t had/took a chance dive into ODI yet. Something for the coming period probably.

Adrian presents the results of the quiz. It’s nice to see how easy it can be to present a ‘geeky’ subject like Oracle BI EE in a hilarious way. John was one of the winners.

John was also up next. He started well-dressed with a Ciber tie. There are pictures taken so the management board of Ciber will know. His presentation was about the look and feel of Oracle BI EE. As said before in different other presentations;

Last but not least Venkat showed us how to integrate and extend Oracle BI EE with Oracle 11g ADF components. There remains an awful lot to learn.

It was good to be here!!

RittmanMead BI Forum 2010 – Notes III

As said in one the earlier postings about this forum Emiel continued whith his own way of modelling Oracle BI EE. His presentation is a sequel to his last year’s winning presentation.

A few of the things he addressed:

  • User Centric Approach
  • Level of Information
    • BI Maturity (growth)
    • Validation
  • Business Model
    • Know your business
  • Use the (power of) the database
  • Reuse your data

Adam Bloom gave us an impression of the Action Framework in the new (11g ?) release. This new framework consists of:

  • Insight into Action
  • BI on the Business Process
  • BI in the Business Process

It seems like a very powerfull addition to Oracle BI Systems.

Adrian Ward has been given the privillige to host the RittmanMead BI Quiz. This quiz consists of all things you are supposed to know, but sadly overlooked.

The nerdy part of the day started with a debate about modelling your BI System. The debate was hosted by Emiel and Christian.

They divided the debate in;

….  to model what;

  • external information
  • internal information
  • internal processes
  • externalprocesses

….and where to model;

  • Presentation side
  • BI Server
  • Database / DWH
  • (ERP -) System

This subject lead to a lively discussion. In the end I think there is no wrong or right. What I do think is, that when you look at Adam’s presentation, it’s possible that the ERP-system and the BI systems get more and more integrated. The Datawarehouse could be serving as a hub to store and retrieve the data.

We ended with a nice meal and an opportunity to beat Börkur as the ‘Last man standing’. What happened in Brighton stays in Brighton.

More to come.

RittmanMead BI Forum 2010 – Notes II

Some more notes about the RittmanMead BI Forum.

Oracle (Phil Bates, Mike Durran, Adam Bloom) came by to show us something about the 11g Release. The closer they get, the lesser they say about release dates. We have to be patient.

The RittmanMead party committee (Ragnar and Paul) took me out for a night on the town. Thanks for that guys!

This morning had some useful tips from Robin about Performance testing in OBIEE.

  • (Stick to your) Method
  • Use the iterative approach
  • Documentation

Elio did his presentation about Complex Modelling. He started by thanking all the (B)loggers out here. Modelling will be one of the key  subjects for the rest of the day.

Keep you posted.

RittmanMead BI Forum 2010 – Notes I

Today we had a kick-off of the RittmanMead BI Forum with a Masterclass of Kurt Wolff. Kurt is one of the founders of Oracle BI EE as we know the product today. He was there when the product was developed by NQuire in the late nineties.

It was nice to get a whole new perspective on Oracle BI EE. Because he was there from the beginning Kurt is able to clearify some design issues.

Kurt does not preach a best practice, but a possible practice (Kurt’s practice). Some of his statements lead to new insights and several discussions. Maybe some open doors, but absolutely valuable.

Check back to the RittmanMead BI Forum to find the handouts.

A few short notes:

MUD (Multi User Development) –> Kurt has his own ideas of working with repositories. If you start from scratch, you will do it in offline mode. From the moment the RPD is promoted to production, you can manage it in online mode. 

Make sure you have a local copy so you can always go back. Working in online mode shouldn’t be  a problem if the number of developers is limited. Working in timeshifts and in different area’s of the RPD makes this approach even more worth a try.

LTS – Logical Table Sources –> There is a lot to say and to learn about LTS. Kurt goes for one logical fact table with multiple LTS’s (one for each source physical table). Exception for the compound fact column with multiple physical source tables.

I was in the assumption that the BI Server randomly chose a possible LTS. It turns out that picks the LTS based on the smallest Logical Level defined in the Dimension Hierarchy. Each LTS is candidate.

Server Complex Aggregate –> Sometimes, when you defined a calculation in your answer, totals are wrongly calculated. You can put the aggregation rule to; Server Complex Aggregate. It tells the BI Server to go back to the RPD and do calculation by itself as is the column defined in the Logical Layer.

Some nice to know notes:

When you fire a query, it shows ‘Searching’. ‘Querying’ makes more sense. Oracle BI EE was originally meant as some kind of search-engine for structured data.

Answers comes from a ‘Ask Jeeves’ like functionality. Pick up the phone, ask de desired output and the computer provides the output without human interference.

Kurt provided a lot of other handy stuff, which I have to work out for myself. All in all a very nice way to start this forum.

Check Alex’ blog for his notes about this Masterclass.

Looking forward to the rest.

Keep you posted.