Trying out the Oracle Cloud Platform

One of the great things of working with Oracle is the possibility to try things out………., for free. Yes, some things at Oracle are indeed free ūüėÉ!! There are various places where you can download Oracle (related) software / scripts / examples / etc., so you can try things out.

You should create an account on OTN (Oracle Technology Network) and download the software you want to try out. Also on OTN, you can find pre-built Virtual Box Appliances, so you can start trying out software without the hassle of installing it yourself. Check out various examples and scripts for Oracle in general here or for Oracle Analytics in specific in the Oracle Analytics Store. This is just a brief example of all Oracle related info you could find online.

There is a large Oracle Community (both online on e.g. Twitter, the Oracle Forums or good old IRC as well as offline e.g. at the various User Conferences) where you can exchange your knowledge on all different topics in the Oracle Red Stack.

The last few years Oracle is making the move to the Cloud. Although the platform in the Cloud is the same as On-Premise, people still want to try things out. Fortunately Oracle offers the opportunity to try things out in the Cloud. Navigate to the Oracle Cloud Trial Page.

Experience Oracle Cloud with $300 in free credit

Oracle sends various announcements out into the public to try out their Oracle Cloud Platform.

“Try our Platform. You can get $300 in free credit to make the most of all the features. See how:

This is great or at least it sounds great. As part of my Gathering new Knowledge experience, I tried out the Data Lake Self Guided Tutorial. Therefor I signed up for an Oracle Cloud Trial, where I created an Object Storage Instance, and a Big Data Cloud Service РCompute Edition (BDCS-CE) Instance. It was nice to see some of the possibilities and tried things out.

Unfortunately after 30 days my trial (not my credits!) was over. I received several mails that my trial period was extended and therefor my services have been terminated. The only option was to convert my Free Oracle Cloud subscription.

I also tried to setup a new environment. With no succes unfortunately. It looks like I need a new account and probably a new credit card to make this work.

I hope Oracle will come up with another solution to keep the Oracle (Cloud) Community as active and alive as the Oracle On-Premise Community.

Thanks for reading.

New pricing for Oracle BICS & DVCS

For those who have missed the news, Oracle has lowered the prices for Oracle Business Intelligence Cloud Service (BICS) and Oracle Data Visualization Cloud Service (DVCS)!

Find below the list pricing per month for both products:

** BICS **

Oracle Business Intelligence Cloud Service: 130 euro per month, per user

Oracle Database Schema Service: 868 euro per month

** DVCS **

Oracle Data Visualization Cloud Service: 65 euro per month, per user

Introducing Oracle Analytics Cloud

I recently joined Quistor as a Senior Oracle BI Consultant working from the Netherlands. Quistor already has an Oracle BI Practice working from Spain. As a well-respected Oracle BI Partner in Spain it only seemed logical to start expanding the Practice from the Netherlands. The place where it al has began for Quistor.

Why Quistor? I did not know Quistor as an Oracle BI Partner. It is a real challenge to help position Quistor as an important Oracle BI Partner, not only in Spain but also in the rest of Europe. Next to that Quistor has a real team of Oracle BI focused consultants, not bounded by any country borders.

One of the great things of working at Quistor is that we are willing to invest in new things. As an Oracle BI Partner it cannot have slipped your mind that Oracle is heavily investing in the Cloud. Oracle BI Cloud Services (BICS) is one of Oracle’s focus areas. At Quistor we decided to buy our own BICS environment. At this moment we are in the course of developing and demonstrating our first Proof-of-Concepts (POC), both in Spain as well as in the Netherlands.

Next to these POCs it is great to mention that we are also working on a Fixed Scope Offering (FSO) as well. It will only be a matter of time before we are added to the Oracle Partner Network Solution Catalog with a FSO for BICS on JD Edwards as well. 

What is the Oracle Cloud?

There are three different consumption models when it comes to the Cloud;

  • Private
    • Customer buys / builds, hosts and manages
  • Managed
    • Customer buys / builds
    • Oracle manages against a monthly fee
    • Hosting depends – Can be the Customer as well as Oracle
  • Public
    • Oracle buys / builds, hosts and manages
    • Customer subscribes

As you can see the difference is who (customer or Oracle) is responsible for buying / building, hosting and managing the Cloud solution. It seems like Oracle has moved the complete Red-Stack to the Public Cloud. There are other Cloud competitors and there shall be better ones at this moment. Oracle is the only one who has an offering for the complete stack.





Figure 1: Source Oracle


At this moment Oracle offers the following ‘as-a-Service’-solutions:

  • Data-as-a-Service
  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service
  • Platform-as-a-Service (Middleware)
    • Business Intelligence (and therefor BICS) is a Middleware Product
    • Also products like Oracle Database, Cloud Marketplace and Java
  • Application as a Service
    • Modules like Financials, HCM, CRM, etc.
    • Brand new but based on the existing Applications (Oracle eBS, JD Edwards, Peoplesoft and Siebel)


Figure 2: Source Oracle

One of the reasons not to go for the Oracle Cloud (or any other Cloud solution) is the location of the data. Oracle has several Global Data Centers. The only Data Center with coverage for BICS is currently based in Chicago only. (US Commercial 2 – us2). Probably in June 2015 Amsterdam will be the proud owner of a Data Center with coverage for BICS as well.


What’s driving the Cloud?


There are few factors, which make that we want to move to the Cloud:

  • Data Explosion (Datafication)
  • Mobility
  • Globalization
  • Social
  • Innovation (Modernization)


I have written a blog post about the Oracle (Business Analytics) Strategy earlier. One of the key focus points next to e.g. Mobile and Big Data is; Cloud. If you ask your customers, one of the main driver to evaluate a move to the Cloud is; Cost Reduction. You don’t have to worry about your infrastructure, the maintenance of your environment nor the upgrade or customization of this environment. It’s all taken care of by Oracle.

Next to the Cost Reduction, things like Performance, Innovation (It’s not easy to keep up with the OBIEE On-Premise release schedule) and Risk are important topics where a move to the Cloud is considered. Oracle’s current strategy regarding the Oracle BI Cloud is that all development is for the Cloud first. All major ne feature development goes to BICS first and than Oracle BI EE (OBIEE) On-Premise (+/- 6 months).

The current version of BICS is basically a light version of OBIEE in the Cloud. There is no support for things like Delivers (Agents), Scorecarding or BI Publisher yet. The Action Framework is limited in its options.

BICS will catch up very soon. The developments are going very fast (in a monthly cycle). Oracle divides its Roadmap in a few timeframes:

  • Today (current state)
  • 1-2 months (soon to be released)
  • 3-6 months,
  • 6 months



Check for more details on


Patching will happen overnight during specific announced Maintenance Windows. You cannot stay more than one or two versions behind without a specific reason.


Introducing Oracle Analytics Cloud


During last years Open World, Oracle has introduced a whole set of new Cloud Services. Check the Official Press Release for more details. The Oracle Analytics Cloud delivers Business Intelligence & Analytics for Traditional Data and Big Data.

As far as the OTBI (based on the Cloud Transactional Fusion Database) is concerned, you cannot modify anything. You are not abele to include external data. And then there is the issue of performance OTBI is based on a Transactional Database and not a DWH. As an alternative one can consider; BICS. Move a snapshot of the Fusion Database into the BICS Database.

OTBI Enterprise is a Pre-built Oracle BI Applications (OBIA) in the Cloud. Also in the cloud it’s the same Buy versus Build; ‘Buy versus Build’ as On-Premise (OBIEE / BICS vs. OBIA / OTBI-E).

In later posts I will deeper dive into what the Oracle Analytics Cloud has to offer. Believe me, it’s interesting. Oracle is not there yet, but it really looks promising.

This post is available on the Quistor Blog as well

Oracle OpenWorld 2014 is over – What’s next?

Last week Oracle OpenWorld 2014 took place in San Francisco. I did not have the pleasure to attend this event. thanks to the Social Media and the World Wide Web you could be able to follow the highlights. If we check out the Keynote of Thomas Kurian, we can learn that there are three Major Trends;

  • Big Data
  • Mobility
  • Cloud

I have looked at these Trends earlier.

Big Data

Just before Oracle OpenWorld 2014, the new updated Oracle Big Data Information Management Reference Architecture has been released. This updated Reference Architecture should place all the (new) technologies in context and next to that it should provide insight into a real, implementable Architecture.

Oracle offers new Big Data capabilities via;

  • Oracle Big Data Discovery
    • “It‚Äôs the visual face of Hadoop‚ÄĚ
  • Oracle Big Data SQL
    • “a recently introduced toolset for working with data across relational and big data systems using Structured Query Language”


One of the introductions during Oracle Open World is the; Oracle Mobile Cloud, an end-to-end Mobile Development Framework;

On top of that Oracle has enhanced the integration between Oracle Mobile Application Framework and Oracle Mobile Security Suite. Oracle says the deeper integration makes it easier for mobile front-end developers to secure their applications.

For more details, please check;


Oracle will introduce new Cloud Services. Check the Official Press Release for more details. The Oracle Analytics Cloud delivers Business Intelligence  & Analytics for Traditional Data and Big Data. 

There already is a lot of information to be found about the Oracle BICS offering;

Apart from the above there are a few more ‘Introductions’ & News facts:

  • OBI 12c
  • Oracle BI Applications
    • There will be no more upgrades on Oracle BIA 7.9.x (Informatica release). A few months ago there was a rumor that there would come an Oracle BIA 11g (Informatica release). This is not going to happen. Existing customers have to move over to the Oracle BIA 11g (ODI release)
  • Introducing Oracle Alta UI¬†(Renewed Cross-platform User Experience)
  • Oracle Data Integrator will play a Key Role in binding the Applications, moving Data and simplifying access to Big Data (check these recaps – day 1, 2, 3¬†& day 4¬†– from the Oracle Data Integration team).