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Deploying OBIEE in the Cloud:

Getting Started, Deployment Scenarios

and Best Practices


About the Speaker

Mark Rittman, Co-Founder of Rittman Mead

Oracle ACE Director, specialising in Oracle BI&DW

14 Years Experience with Oracle Technology

Regular columnist for Oracle Magazine

Author of two Oracle Press Oracle BI books

Oracle Business Intelligence Developers Guide

Oracle Exalytics Revealed

Writer for Rittman Mead Blog :


Email : mark.rittman@rittmanmead.com


About Rittman Mead

Oracle BI and DW Gold partner

Winner of five UKOUG Partner of the Year awards in 2013 - including BI

World leading specialist partner for technical excellence, 

solutions delivery and innovation in Oracle BI

Approximately 80 consultants worldwide

All expert in Oracle BI and DW

Offices in US (Atlanta), Europe, Australia and India

Skills in broad range of supporting Oracle tools:




Deploying OBIEE in the Cloud

Many OBIEE customers are considering deploying their BI

infrastructure in the “cloud”

“Push” and “Pull” factors in-play

Perceived benefits in reducing amount of on-premise servers,

software installs, upfront-license costs

May also be prompted by migration of rest of IT infrastructure

to the cloud

To enable business agility - deploy the system now


Enabling Business Agility - Rapid Development in the Cloud

Example cloud use of OBIEE - accelerating the BI development process

Combines agile development (“ExtremeBI”) with OBIEE deployed into Amazon AWS

Cloud element allows development to start now

Options for repatriating on-premise afterwards

Based on Amazon AWS (EC2, S3) and Oracle BI

More details at 


Options for Deploying OBIEE in the Cloud

Deploy it yourself into a public cloud (Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Rackspace etc)

Buy it as a service (Oracle On-Demand, multi-tenant SaaS app)

Or … - Oracle BI Cloud Service

OBIEE 11g built for the cloud

Part of Oracle Public Cloud, comes with 

Oracle Cloud DB

Thin-client data modeller


Oracle Cloud Business Intelligence

Generally Available (GA) September 2014

Part of the wider PaaS (platform-as-a-service)

offering including database, Java, documents etc

Aimed at a very specific set of use-cases initially

Adding BI and analytics to cloud-based apps


Oracle Cloud Business Intelligence - How it Works

Runs in Oracle’s public cloud environment (http://cloud.oracle.com)

No upfront license cost

Pay monthly as OpEx

Uses new thin-client RPD modelling tool

Only reports against a single Oracle database 

schema (Oracle Cloud Schema-as-a-Service)

“Standard” OBIEE - but will possibly preview new

functionality before on-premise versions

Patched automatically by Oracle

Customer able to be max one version behind?

Comes with two instances - pre-prod and prod

Cloud On-Premise

Admin access
 over HTTP

Oracle Schema-as-a-service
 Database (single source) Oracle BI-as-a-Service


Oracle BI Cloud Services v.1


Logging In and Providing Identity Domain

Login separate to oracle.com login; provided during Cloud service provisioning process


Oracle Cloud : My Services Dashboard

Oracle BICS bundle includes Oracle Database Cloud Service (Schema-as-a-Service)

Provides data store for OBIEE data, with ApEX front-end and data upload

View status of services

Click on link to launch required service


Business Intelligence

Click to launch 


Oracle Business Intelligence Cloud Service : Dashboard

View basic metrics on system usage 

(users, author count over period)

Subscription details; Company name etc

Click on Service Instance URL 

to launch OBIEE Presentation Services

Click to launch 
 OBIEE Home Page


Oracle BI Cloud Services v.1


BI Cloud Service Home Page and Dashboards

Answers and Dashboards (with new Oracle Cloud look-and-feel)


Creating Analyses and Dashboards

Standard UI for creating analyses, dashboards etc (but limited to subset of features now)

Each tenant has a single RPD, all users report against that (but can add security etc)


Standard Dashboard and Analysis Editor Experience

Regular Presentation Services interface - Dashboard, Analysis Editor, Catalog view etc


Dashboard and Analysis Limitations in v1

Can create analyses, dashboards, use filters, selection steps, calculations etc

Can create dashboard prompts, filters, use repository and session variables etc

No access to Agents, Scorecards, BI Publisher (anything that uses NQ_ tables)

No Essbase, SOA / EBS integration etc

No export of


Oracle BI Cloud Services v.1


Oracle Database Cloud Service

Each instance of BICS comes with Oracle Database Cloud Service (Schema-as-a-Service)

ApEx environment with 10GB storage attached

Able to run PL/SQL packages (with 5m timeout)

Either create tables, views etc from ApEX,

or use data uploader in BICS

Click to launch 
 ApEX Home Page


ApEx Development Environment

Full ApEx environment for application building, table creation, SQL queries

Can be used to build supporting applications, administration screens for OBIEE application

Make use of PL/SQL functionality

Data cleansing

Call Web Service REST APIs

More complex processing

and calculations

DB Cloud Service dashboard has tools


Options for Uploading Data to BI Cloud Service (DB Cloud)

Use ApEx front-end and tools within it (data upload, data modeller etc)

Use SQL*Developer and SFTP data upload facility


SQL*Developer for Database Cloud Access / Upload

SQL*Developer 4+ can view, query and upload data to Database Cloud

Uses DB Cloud REST API to access database

Create “carts” of data to upload

Uses SFTP to bulk-upload 


Data Uploader in ApEx

Upload spreadsheet, XML data, text (delimited or fixed width)

Store as a table in Database Cloud Service


BI Cloud Services Data Uploader

Custom ApEx application shipped with DB Cloud Service for BICS

Upload CSV, text, xls and xlsx files to Database Cloud

Paste data from clipboard and upload

Limited data re-formatting features

Preferred method for uploading data

Click to launch 
 Data Uploader


BICS Data Uploader Step 1 : Select File to Upload

Press Upload to upload txt, csv, xlsx or xls file to application

Contents of file then appear in

Preview window

Or just paste data from clipboard

into same preview window

Option to ignore headers line


BICS Data Uploader Step 2 : Select Target or New Table

Either select existing table to upload to, or enter details for new table

Incoming columns in file mapped to table columns


BICS Data Uploader Step 3 : Preview Content, and Upload

Preview file contents with transformations and final column names

Upload file to Database Cloud Service - is the used to load a regular DB table


Oracle BI Cloud Services v.1


Thin-Client Data Modeller

New thin-client data modeller, works with RPD online

Single repository per tenant

Regular RPD, but modeller only supports 

subset of BI Administration features

Single LTS per logical table

No Alias, have to create DB views

Single business model

Only logical calculations

But otherwise - an RPD

Click to launch 
 Data Modeller


Data Modeller Repository Creation Workflow

1. Add tables to Database Cloud Service via data uploader

2. Lock Model (RPD)

3. Add joins if not automatically introspected

4. Select either a dimension or fact to create

5. Select table to base fact or dimension on

6. Format logical column names, values

7. Add calculations, aggregations

8. Add hierarchies


Logical Fact Table Features

Joins to dimensions automatically introspected when tables selected for model

Add default aggregation for logical columns

Define logical calculations

(post-aggregation calcs only)

Add data filters against 

application roles

Set access permissions for 


Logical Dimension Table Features

Alter and rename default logical column names

Add new logical columns using logical SQL expressions



Can create static and dynamic repository variables

Also create session variables, including access to system session variables


Oracle BI Cloud Services v.1


Manage Users and Application Roles

Click on Manage link on Homepage, launches BICS Service Console

View users, assign to roles

Map roles to application roles defined by tenant administrator

Click to launch 


Snapshots (BI Archives)

Entire system (RPD, catalog) can be snapshotted with versions stored online

Download and upload snapshots

Test to production migration

Restore snapshots for versioning

Note - overwrites entire RPD, catalog

Does not include DB Cloud elements,

need to be archived separately


Oracle BI Cloud Services v.1


Example Application #1 : Cloud CRM Reporting - Scenario

Many customers use SaaS applications for CRM, sales automation, talent management etc

Often silos of information, and hard to report against

Access via REST APIs rather than SQL / ETL

BI Tools needed, but prefer if SaaS deployed too

Solution : Oracle BI Cloud Services,


SaaS Data Access Solution : DB Cloud PL/SQL REST Access

Database Cloud Service supports PL/SQL packages, procedures

ApEx has APEX_WEB_SERVICE API, supports RESTful and SOAP web service calls

Salesforce.com provides REST API for retrieving objects, data

PL/SQL package retrieves

Salesforce instance data

Stages into Database Cloud

Schema for OBIEE access

Need to work around 

5 min timeout for PL/SQL prods

DB Cloud limitation

Break retrieval into 

BEGIN apex_web_service.g_request_headers(1).name := 'Accept'; apex_web_service.g_request_headers(1).value := 'application/xml'; l_clob := apex_web_service.make_rest_request( p_url => 'https://login.salesforce.com/services/oauth2/token?grant_type=password&client_id=' ||clientId||'&client_secret='||clientSecret||'&username='||username||

'&password='||password, p_http_method => 'POST' , p_body => ''); XMLData := XMLType(l_clob);

FOR r IN (



Build Repository Against Database Tables

PL/SQL Package calling Salesforce.com REST API populates Oracle tables

Oracle Tables then mapped into BI repository

Facts and dimensions created

Variables defined


Supporting SaaS Security Models

Full import of SaaS dataset presents the problem - how do we then respect app security?

Users will connect into OBIEE as themselves, no online access to SaaS security

Solution : download user > account security objects,

join those to facts to perform row-level filtering

Needs knowledge of underlying

SaaS row-level security setup

Join security access table to model

to apply data restrictions

But then allows BICS app to work

disconnected from SaaS application,

but still apply correct security rules


Example Dashboard using Salesforce.com Dataset

New graph type:

Example of visualisation appearing first on BICS


Thank You for Attending!

Thank you for attending this presentation, and more information can be found at http://


Contact us at info@rittmanmead.com or mark.rittman@rittmanmead.com

Look out for our book, “Oracle Business Intelligence Developers Guide” out now!


Deploying OBIEE in the Cloud:

Options and Deployment Scenarios



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