Preparing for TOGAF 9 and ArchiMate 2 Exams

Last week I posted a blog that I had passed my TOGAF 9 and ArchiMate 2 Certification Exams. Find below the two presentations I made for myself to help me study. It’s certainly not enough information to pass both exams, but it might help to get the bigger picture.

TOGAF 9 

ArchiMate 2

 

I hope these presentations can serve as a little bit of help.

Good luck.

TOGAF 9 and ArchiMate 2 Certified

The world is changing. People are asking for new kinds of rapidly changing data. This has a big impact on Business Intelligence and Information Management as we have known it for a long time. Therefore I look with great interest in Information Management Architectures in general and Oracle BI Solution Architectures in particular.

Information Management Architectures as a result is one thing, but the processes that lead to, and govern these Architectures is another. I did some (online) research and stumbled upon The Open Group.

“The Open Group is a global consortium that enables the achievement of business objectives through IT standards.”

There are several Forums and Work Groups for Enterprise Architecture within The Open Group. Two of the were very interesting me;

  • The Open Group Architecture Forum is the premier global environment for fostering the development and delivery of robust Enterprise Architecture ecosystems, and is responsible for the evolution of TOGAF®. The mission of The Open Group Architecture Forum is to advance The Open Group’s vision of Boundaryless Information Flow™ ( achieved through global interoperability in a secure, reliable and timely manner).”
  • The Open Group ArchiMate® Forum supports the use and dissemination of, and continued development of ArchiMate®, an open and independent modeling language used in Enterprise Architecture. Joining the ArchiMate® Forum enables you to actively support the use, dissemination, and further development of the ArchiMate® specification.”

TOGAF is relatively popular in Holland, compared to other countries in the world.

Over the last two months I took a few classes with The Unit AcademyThis resulted in two Certifications; TOGAF 9 Certified and ArchiMate 2 Certified. I would like to thank Joost Bleijenberg and Rienk de Kok from The Unit. The provided us with a training which served as a solid foundation to take all four (Level I and Level II) exams. The TOGAF exams as well as the ArchiMate were (very) theoretical. Nevertheless Joost and Rienk took a practical approach to make sure we understood the structure of both specifications.   

togaf9-certified archimate2-certified

Now it’s back to the real world, where a lot of Processes and related Information (Technology) is not so well structured as we would like them to be. Enough work to be done 😏.

Facts and Dimensions – a Perfect Couple

With Oracle BI EE (OBIEE) you are able to report against various different data models. There are several different interesting blogposts to prove that. Let me Google that for you; Transactional Schemas, Data Vault. In the end the Business Model and Mapping Layer (Logical Layer) ‘needs’ a Star Schema to construct the model we can report upon.

To simplify things, the Star Schema is one Fact-Table with one or more Dimension-Tables. So when you start creating your reports in eg. Oracle BI Answers, it’s just a matter of combining the Fact-Table with the Dimension-Table(s). Last week I was at a client who had a problem with one of the reports; Unexpected Results.

The issue was the following; 3 Dimension-Tables joined together. Dimension-Tables in a Star Schema do not have a direct relationship with each other. The 3 Dimension-Tables together only get a meaning when there is a Fact-Table included. Let me clarify that.

Let’s say we have 3 Dimension-Tables (Date – 27/10/2014, Product – iPhone, Region – Europe). If we put these 3 Dimension-Tables in a report, what does that tell us? Nothing! We can guess. There are iPhones sold in Europe on 27/10/2014? That might be. How much? We don’t know. There are iPhones stolen in Europe on 27/10/2014? That might be correct as well.

If we add a Fact-Table (Quantity Sold – 20,000) to the above, the whole query makes more sense. There are 20,000 iPhones sold in Europe on 27/10/2014.

When you construct a query in OBIEE with only Dimension-Tables OBIEE includes a Fact-Table in it’s query. Unless you have defined an Implicit Fact Column, you don’t necessarily know for sure which Fact-Table/Column is included in the Dimension-Only Query.

Facts and Dimensions are a Perfect Couple, please include both of them in your query.

Statement of Direction for Oracle Business Intelligence Analytics (OBIA)

Last week Oracle released a Statement of Direction (SOD) for Oracle Business Intelligence Analytics (OBIA). The message from Oracle to their Customers is clear; Move away from OBIA 7.9.6.x and move to OBIA 11g, either in the Cloud or On Premise.

Let us have a look what the actual message is. Find below a picture would find in a lot of the current Oracle presentations regarding Oracle Business Analytics. It’s shows you Oracle’s Business Analytics Strategy

Oracle Business Analytics Strategy - 2014Oracle delivers ‘Any Data’ via a ‘Full Suite of Analytic Tools’, Pre-Configured in ‘Packaged Analytic Applications’, Engineered together on Exalytics (one of Oracle’s ‘Engineered Systems’)

Oracle delivers Packaged Analytic Applications in roughly two different flavors:

  • Informatica 7.9.6.x
  • ODI 11g

There will be no more upgrades on Oracle BIA 7.9.6.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.

What are the options?

If you read the SOD for OBIA, existing Oracle BIA 7.9.6.x-Customers are left with three options:

  1. Remain on Oracle BIA 7.9.6.x
  2. Move to ODI 11g
    • New separate instance
    • Migrate to a new instance
  3. Move to the Cloud

Remain on Oracle BIA 7.9.6.x

Remain on Oracle BIA 7.9.6.x

If a client wants to stay on Oracle BIA 7.9.6.x, please check Oracle’s Lifetime Support Policy. You will find the Oracle BIA Lifetime Support Details under the Oracle Business Intelligence EE Releases.

OBIA Lifetime Support - 2014

There are three different Support Levels.

  • Premier
  • Extended
  • Sustained

Check the Oracle Software Technical Support Policies for more details about these Support Levels.

Of course if you want to benefit from new content and new functionality, its better to choose one of the two following options.

Check the Oracle picture below for the OLTP Coverage for OBIA 11.1.1.8.1.

Oracle BI Applications OLTP Coverage for 11.1.1.8.1

Move to ODI 11g

Move to ODI 11g

 

Move to ODI 11g and benefit from:

  • New Content
  • New Adapters
  • Common Enhancements

Prebuilt Solutions for Orale eBS, PeopleSoft, Siebel, JD Edwards, Fusion Applications, etc.

Move to the Cloud

Move to the Cloud

There will be different Cloud offerings for OBIA.

  • Oracle Transactional Business Intelligence for Oracle SaaS Applications
    • OBIA embedded within every Oracle SaaS Application (CRM, HCM, Finance, Supply Chain, etc.)
  • Oracle Transactional Business Intelligence – Enterprise

Where is the online Oracle BI SampleApp V406?

For those of you who are familiar with the Oracle BI SampleApp V406, it might not be a secret. The online version has been offline since a couple of weeks / months. This due to the fact that the online SampleApp has to comply with Oracle Security Rules.

I found out that one of the Oracle Urls came back up a few weeks ago.

This has been for a very short period. I checked with Philippe Lions this week. It seemed that for Oracle OpenWorld 2014 the SampleApp was allowed to be back online for a short period. It’s back offline now. They are still working on a solution. Of course I didn’t get an official timeline. Somewhere in the (near) future. That can be weeks, that can be months. We all just have to be patient.

You can still download the VM if you want. Thanks to Robin for pointing out how to run the SampleApp in the Cloud. That way you can launch your own online SampleApp. Check Youtube if you want to have a quick visual.

Don’t forget the Logical Layer

I often see OBIEE RPD’s which are developed via “Drag ‘n Drop”. If you know what you are doing this hasn’t necessarily have to be a problem. It becomes a problem if you do not know what you are doing. Especially dragging and dropping multiple tables together can give you additional ‘functionality’, which you do not need. Sometimes you are not even aware that you added additional links and keys, you don’t need. It becomes even worse when it’s ‘functionality’ you don’t want. I know from experience that it can cause incorrect results, depending on the columns you select in your analysis.

Normally I build my Logical Models manually from scratch instead of via “Drag ‘n Drop”. This way I know exactly what I am doing and I don’t get surprised by unintended functionality. This is by no means a ‘Best Practice’, but it works for me. Let’s consider it to be a ‘Right Practice‘.

There is another reason for avoiding a “Drag ‘n Drop and leave the Logical Layer like that”-Construction of the Logical Layer. The Logical Layer is an important part in the construction of the actual Physical Query(s). The Oracle BI Server does not have to be a Black Box. You just need to give the Oracle BI Server as much information as possible so you know / understand, what query(s) the Oracle BI Server will fire to the underlying database(s). Pay attention to the following recommendations:

  • Dimension Logical Tables must have a Logical Key assigned, if possible a business related key (order number, purchase number, employee number). Fact Logical Table do not have a Logical Key assigned
  • Fact Logical Tables contain Measure Columns with an Aggregation Rule (SUM, COUNT, MIN, MAX, etc.) applied to it.
  • Define a Dimension Hierarchy for every Dimension Logical Table
    • Each Level is unique
    • The Primary Key of the lowest Level matches the Primary Key of the Logical Table
    • Specify the number of element per Level
  • Specify the Content Level for each Logical Table (Column)
    • Each Content Level ‘belongs’ to a Level in the Dimension Hierarchie
  • Construction of the Logical Table
    • (Re-) Naming Conventions
    • Only those columns you really need

The above listing is by no means exhaustive. There are few interesting links you can check out, when it comes to modeling the Logical Layer;

One important note has been made by Christian Berg; “Think and Understand before you give ‘Advice’“. The same goes when you are trying to apply things yourself. Don’t just do it, because you can. Do it because you understand why you have to do it that way.

Feel free to comment.

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;

Mobility

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;

Cloud

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).