Subject Areas in Oracle OBI are great for business users. They hide the complexity involved in warehousing projects and present an easy to use mechanism to create adhoc analysis based on the business user's need.
From an IT perspective, testing subject areas is fairly complex. Every Subject Area is really a grouping of Dimension Folders (with attributes) and Measures also known as Facts. The dimension folders may have 100s of attributes and connected to fact tables via foreign keys. Typically, this is referred to as the Star Schema in the industry. Engineers, Business Analysts, Quality Assurance teams struggle to ensure that business users do not encounter unpleasant surprises in the form SQL Errors when they try to create and execute analysis from the subject areas.
As most of us in the BI community are aware, In-Place upgrades are fairly common when clients want to go through minor upgrades (e.g OBIEE 18.104.22.168 to 22.214.171.124 or Business Object 4.1 SP5 to 4.1 SP 7). However, there are a number of risks which need to carefully addressed in such scenarios. Below are few examples of what can potentially go wrong and how you can leverage BI Validator to validate "In-Place" Upgrades.
We just came back last night from BIWA SIG (http://www.biwasummit.com), a BI related event that was held in Redwood City, CA. The organizers did a great job of putting together wonderful sessions spanning all areas of Analytics.
Balaji Yelamanchili shared the latest and greatest from Oracle. It was nice to know that Oracle is investing in improving the user experience of the BI Platform & Applications and enhancing support for mobile platform. I saw a demo of Endeca for the first time and I should say that it is pretty cool! Not sure about the underlying algorithms and how well does it interpret unstructured text but the UI is awesome!
On our solution portfolio, we got very positive feedback from few bloggers, potential clients and partners and that is always encouraging.
BIWA SIG is definitely part of our yearly event circuit now. We sponsored the event last year, this year and most likely will do so next year as well. The only thing that disappointed us was the attendance. Other than Oracle folks and partners, there were very few customers. Hopefully next year, we will better collaborate with the organizers and help them spread the work so that more folks can benefit from this extremely focused and well organized event!
Next BIWA SIG:
When: January 27th - 29th of 2015. Visit http://www.biwasummit.com for further updates.
Where: Oracle Conference Center, Redwood City, CA
Below is a simple and real example that illustrates how you can leverage BI Validator for regression testing of dashboards.
Assume that you have 250 dashboards which are widely used by your marketing, sales, finance and other divisions within your enterprise. So far, things have been running well but the current version of your ETL Tool will not be supported from the July 1st, 2013, which is 45 days away and there is no option for you but to upgrade from 8.x to 9.x in this timeframe. Sounds familiar? :)
This article walks you through the consistency check warnings found in the BI Apps RPD after running the 126.96.36.199 upgrade assistant on an 10.1.3.4.1 RPD.
1.Warning  – Missing functional dependency association of a column.
Any Logical Table Source that has been unused in 10g is disabled during the upgrade. Cleaning up such tables before the upgrade might help avoid this warning.
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