Het bestaande hoeft zich nooit te verdedigen en het nieuwe moet zich constant verantwoorden.

Een keer in het jaar sta ik samen met Eric van ‘t Zelfde op een hockeyveld in Schiedam. Wij maken beiden deel uit van een illuster gezelschap; Semper Stultior ’96. Elk laatste weekend van augustus komen wij samen om te strijden om de Japie Cup. Naast het feit dat we een hoop lol maken biedt dit ons de kans om Japie (een gezamenlijke vriend) te herdenken.

Afgelopen weekend heb ik de tijd genomen om Eric’s boek; Superschool te lezen. In Superschool vertelt Eric zijn levensgeschiedenis en beschrijft hij hoe hij en zijn team binnen vijf jaar een slechte school in Rotterdam Zuid promoveren naar een van de beste scholen van Nederland.

Superschool is een boek voor iedereen. Iedereen heeft in welke vorm dan ook ‘iets’ met het onderwijs te maken. Voor mezelf als vader is het leerzaam om te lezen hoe het onderwijs eruit kan zien vanaf de andere kant. Gek genoeg heeft het boek ook raakvlakken met mijn professionele leven als Oracle Business Analytics Consultant. Zaken als leiderschap, passie en ondernemerschap zijn onmisbaar in mijn werk. Ook met IQ, EQ en accu kom ik een heel end.

Een zin uit het Superschool is mij bijgebleven. Het is wellicht niet de kern van het verhaal, maar voor mij wel heel herkenbaar;  

“Het bestaande hoeft zich nooit te verdedigen en het nieuwe moet zich constant verantwoorden.”

Bij de veel van onze klanten waar ik binnenkom, wordt een bestaande Analytics omgeving vervangen door een nieuwe. Uiteraard heb ik een gekleurde mening. Ik ben besmet met het rode Oracle virus. Uiteindelijk maakt het niet uit voor welke oplossing of toepassing gekozen wordt. Als de keuze eenmaal gemaakt is, moet je er het maximale uit halen. Technisch is wat mij betreft alles mogelijk. De uitdaging zit hem vaak in de verandering. Het slagen van een nieuwe Analytics omgeving wordt bepaald door het gebruik ervan. De bestaande omgeving heeft zich al bewezen. De waarde van het nieuwe moet nog blijken.

De Oracle Business Analytics strategie is gericht op 3 pijlers

  • See the Signals –> Visual Analytics in every solution 
  • Sprint to Innovation  –> Cloud first
  • Scale the Insights –> One integrated platform

Deze strategie vertaalt zich in de volgende producten (On-Premise en in de Cloud)

Uw bestaande Analytics omgeving heeft zich wellicht al bewezen. Toch ben ik ervan overtuigd dat Oracle’s nieuwe aanbod waarde kan toevoegen. Ik kom graag met u de mogelijkheden van het Oracle Business Analytics aanbod doornemen.

Extracting Data from BICS / Apex via RESTful Webservice

A few days ago, I read the following post; Extracting Data from BICS / Apex via RESTful Webservice on the Oracle A-Team Chronicles website. I tried the example to see how things work.

Cocoa Rest Client

In the blogpost is referred to cURL to test the REST-endpoints. I have been testing this out on a Mac and used; Cocoa Rest Client.

If you test the created RESTful Service Handler, you get a window with a JSON formatted result set. You can copy the url.

Test_SQLWorkshop

Enter the copied url in the Cocoa Client.

Test_Cocoa

You will find the result in the Response Body of the CocoaClient. Don’t forget to enter your credentials to your BICS environment.

Oracle BI Cloud Service (BICS) – Planned Upgrade for 10-July-2015

As from the 10th of July the Oracle BI Cloud Service environment will be upgraded. Looking forward to the new features and enhancements to the Oracle BI Cloud Service. Find below a list of things we can expect.

Fresh new look to Oracle BI Cloud Service

Improved design that’s simple to navigate and easy to use. Includes a brand new Academy to help you get the most out of Oracle BI Cloud Service.

View your data in a heat matrix

Use a heat matrix view to see a two-dimensional depiction of data where values are represented by a gradient of colors.

Visualize geographical data on maps

Use a map view to display data on a map in several different formats and to interact with the data.

Manage your data files

Review, download, and delete the data files you’ve uploaded for analysis. Quickly see whether you’re close to reaching your quota.

Enhancements to Data Modeler

  • Let Oracle BI Cloud Service recommend fact and dimension tables when you first start building the data model.
  • Override the aggregation set for a measure for one or more dimensions.
  • Sort attribute values by a different column.
  • Define variables that return multiple values.
  • Programmatically clear data cached for your model through new REST APIs.
  • A copy of your data model saves automatically when you publish changes to the model. This makes it easy to recover to a previous version if something goes wrong.

Enjoy.

Oracle Business Intelligence Cloud Service Data Sync is out on OTN

A typical Oracle BI Cloud Service (BICS) flow looks like the following:

  • Load your data to the Cloud
  • Model and Secure your data
  • Author Analyzes,Visualizations and Interactive Dashboards
  • Use and Share BICS content

In the current version of BICS you have to upload your data into the Cloud. There are several ways to load the data:

The BICS Data Sync is a client utility to schedule and load data into the Cloud. If you are familiar with the Informatica version of Oracle BI Applications, you will see the similarities between BICS Data Sync and the DAC. BICS Data Sync has become GA on OTN recently.

For more details about BICS Data Sync check the following:

In the first BICS version the only database option for BICS was the Oracle Schema-as-a-Service. This had its limitations. Oracle recently release the option to run BICS on a Oracle Database-as-a-Service. Check here for the differences between the two. One of the benefits of the Database-as-a-Service option that you can use any ETL tool to load data into the Cloud. Consider the BICS Data Sync option as a light option for ETL to the Cloud.

Handouts – Introducing Oracle’s Information Management Reference Architecture

One of the great things of working in the Oracle Business Analytics industry is the fact that there is a very active community. Both online as well as offline. Oracle supports these activities where possible. Last week I attended an offline session at Oracle HQ in the Netherlands. This session was a event organized by the oGH and the OBUG (the SIG BIWA). Marti Koppelmans provided an Introduction into Oracle’s Information Management Reference Architecture. As promised he has posted some of his material on the oGH side. If you are interested, have a look at the following;

Although the titles are in Dutch, the contents are in English.

I will try to leave my notes here whit in a few days

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 http://oracle.cloud.com.

 

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 Business Analytics Update

Last week I visited the Oracle Business Analytics Partner Update at Oracle NL in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The NL (Pre-) Sales gave us an update of the Oracle Analytics Roadmap. There is a lot of movement in the world of Oracle Analytics. I have written about the publications during Oracle Open World 2014. When we look back at 2014; “Year in Review – Oracle Business Analytics in 2014“, we can see that there are a few subjects key; Big Data, Cloud.

Oracle Business Analytics Strategy

The Oracle Business Analytics Strategy can be captured in one picture.

Oracle Business Analytics Strategy - 2014

The Oracle Business Analytics Strategy consists of Six Design Goals.

Oracle Business Analytics Strategy - Six Design Goals

1. Solutions – “To see more Patterns”

  • OBIEE
    • 12 C
    • R Integration
    • Interactive Dashboards
    • Voice & Word Recognition (BIAsk)
    • Data Mashups
  • Endeca Information Discovery

2. Mobile – “A Secure and Simple Experience”

Oracle has two options for a Mobile Experience.

  • Oracle BI Mobile HD
  • Oracle BI Mobile App Designer

3. More Answers – “In Context”

  • Oracle BI Applications (On Premise)
  • OTBI Saas (Embedded in Oracle Cloud Applications)
  • OTBI Enterprise (HCM, CRM, ERP, etc.)

4. Most Complet – “Cloud Capabilities”

Oracle has introduced new Cloud Services. The Oracle Analytics Cloud delivers Business Intelligence  & Analytics for Traditional Data and Big Data; Oracle Business Intelligence Cloud Service

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

If you like there is also a possibility to Try it Live.

5. Engineered – “Systems that Scale Operations”

Larry Ellison announced the Next Generation of Oracle Engineered Systems. See the Press Release here.

 

Check here for more video’s about Oracle’s X5 Engineered Systems Launch Event.

6. Faster – “Innovation Cycles”

Oracle introduces; Oracle Big Data Discovery – The Visual Face of Hadoop. With this new tool you should be able to spend more time on analyzing your data instead of prepping it. Check here what Oracle has to say about it.

Sounds like enough to try to keep up with!