Tuesday, March 15, 2016

BICS External Data - Reloadable

This past weekend I wrote a post about the March 2016 BICS upgrade.

I just stumbled on this nice new feature in the latest upgrade to BICS.

The part about external data that I found frustrating was once it was loaded in as a data set I could not refresh the data.


This makes External Subject Areas (XSA) much more dynamic and easy to work with.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Oracle BI Cloud Service March 2016 Update

If you are BICS subscriber you might have gotten an email early Saturday, March 12th. If not you will soon.

Yes, the long awaited upgrade to BICS...The last upgrade release was Nov. 2015, it seems so long ago...
That release gave us the Heat Matrix, Geospatial integration (Maps), enhancements to the Data Modeler and a fresh new look.
Well this new updated to the BI Cloud Service is packed with some much anticipated new features and functionality.
Some of these new features include:
  • Multiple Database Connections
  • Multiple Subject Areas
  • Webcat Lift and Shift
  • Remote Data Connector
  • Save Column As
  • BI Catalog Search'
  • Safe Domains
  • API to purge cache by table
  • HTML/JavaScript Support
These new features have begun to soften the line between OBIEE 12c on premises and OBI Cloud in terms of functionality.

Multiple Database Connections:

Now no longer either DBSaaS or DBaaS.  Connections to other Oracle Cloud Databases are now supported.


Multiple Subject Areas:

Even without multiple database connections this is huge and starts to move BICS from a Departmental solution to an Enterprise solution.

Webcat Lift and Shift:

RPD Lift and Shift has been available since the last release now Webcat Lift and Shift is available.  The Web Catalog Subject Area Tasks added two new options.  Archive and Unarchive.  This not only support on-prem to cloud movement of web catalog contents but also cloud to cloud movement.

Remote Data Connector:

This enables querying data residing in on-premises relational sources without moving data to cloud.  And this topic warrants a separate blog post. 

Save Column As:

This feature has been available in OBIEE on premises.  And between Webcat Lift and Shift or Multiple Subject Areas could be my favorite enhancement in this release of BICS.

BI Catalog Search:

This is the same as on-premises OBIEE 12c.  The only difference right now is that VA and OBI Ask are not integrated into Search.  I expect that to be in the next update.


Safe Domains:

This allows administrators to Whitelist domains to allow BICS Content to be embedded in external websites as well as sites that are safe for images to be included


HTML/JavaScript Support:

Now true customization can take place.  This feature extends the use of HTML in Columns and Analysis.  D3 people will love this!


In conclusion

This is just quick overview of some of the new features added to BICS in this latest release. Again my top 3 - Multiple Subject Areas, Webcat Lift and Shift and Save Column As.
For more details on what's new check the documentation or check out the ORACLE BI TECHDEMO

BTW... for you VA people there are some new features there as well and I will be writing about them soon.