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Questions/ Challenges in OBIEE

614588Sep 25 2008 — edited Nov 19 2008
Hi All,

We have been facing following limitations / challenges in Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) and need your valuable suggestion to meet our reporting requirements and urgent delivery dead lines:

1) Passing User Parameters & Bind Variables

Most of the Reporting tools including ApEx, BI Publisher or Oracle Reports (.rdf) provide the functionality to use editable Parameter fields for Reports. In case Requirement is to Pass user defined Parameters Values (which may not be a value in table /column), catch the Parameter in form of bind variables and do some calculations in between before returning the value to use in filtering records or to display it, we see that OBIEE Dashboard / answers does not support Bind Variable concept and it fails in many cases, as described below in detail, The questions pertain to Passing editable Parametric values for any Report where these passed values may not be present in Table/ column.

a) In case, we have used ‘answers’ report on dashboard and Parameters (editable, not table/column value, Filter Prompted would not work) are to be passed to the Report, this is possible using Dashboard Prompts which would use session variables. These session variables can be used in .RPD to invoke DB Functions with parameters as per the session variable’s value to do any manipulation and return the value as per requirement.
b) In case, we have used ‘BI Publisher’ report (having ‘answers’ Report as Data source) on dashboard (due to required complex formatting possible using .rtf templates only), I see that it’s not possible to pass Parameters (editable, not table/column value, Filter Prompted would not work) to these reports in the way mentioned in step a) above and OBIEE fails.
Since most of our Reports have complex formatting so we would have to use BI Publisher’s .rtf features. If we don’t go ahead with answers as source to these BI Publisher Reports in the required way mentioned in step b) above, we would not be using the ‘answer’ feature of OBIEE and the storey becomes similar to using stand alone BI Publisher.



2) DB Functions and Procedures

In our complex Reporting Environment / requirement, we would need to invoke many Parametric DB functions since we don’t have DWH and ETL in place as of now. We see that we have following three ways:
a) Logical columns in BMM invoking DB Functions with ‘EVALUATE’ function, session variables or columns can act as Parameters.
b) Having ‘Stored proc’ Table type in Physical layer, having queries directly using DB functions with parameters passed in form of session variables, exposed in BMM and presentation layers.
c) Use before Report Query to populate some table/column as per requirement and use that for reporting.

Any better approach suggested by you? (Understand that this is broad open question).



3) OLTP Reporting

We don’t have Data ware house & ETL in place as of now and so we are not looking for OLAP reporting as of now where OBIEE is most Powerful as per my understanding (Please Correct me if I am wrong):
a) For our OLTP reporting Environment, how Powerful OBIEE is compared to other reporting tools like Oracle reports, ApEx & Stand alone BI Publisher to provide all the required features of OLTP reporting without using ETL and having DWH data model in place.

b) As pointed earlier we don’t have DWH in place and so not a Ware house data model like star schema or else. For Our OLTP custom data model ,are we supposed to have multiple physical schemas and Subject areas?
I do understand that this is again a very Broad question but please let us know your expert opinion as this would help us.

Please let us know your expert Opinion.

Regards,
Ravijeet
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