Oracle Integrates Relational and OLAP Analysis in Oracle Business Intelligence 11g

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Oracle has introduced Oracle Business Intelligence 11g, an integrated and scalable suite of business intelligence products aimed at helping customers to achieve better business visibility and alignment. The new release provides a unified environment for accessing and analyzing data that resides in relational, OLAP, and XML data sources; improved end user experience with a new integrated scorecard application and innovations in enterprise reporting, visualization, search and collaboration; and enhanced performance, scalability, and security through deeper integration with Oracle Enterprise Manager 11g and other components of Oracle Fusion Middleware.

Oracle Business Intelligence 11g is a major release that has been under development for a considerable amount of time and it is a leap forward for the business intelligence industry, Paul Rodwick, vice president of product management for Oracle Business Intelligence, tells DBTA. "The new release allows customers to integrate relational and OLAP analysis across a multitude of different federated data sources and presents that in a very  simple way to end users so that they can do analysis on their own without understanding or needing to know that there might be potentially multiple data sources beneath," explains Rodwick. Representing the result of a large investment in simplifying the end user experience, adds Rodwick, companies will see "very interactive dashboards that are completely live and completely interconnected and allow business people to do their own analysis without really needing to go into any kind of query tool."

But beyond that, Rodwick notes, "Oracle Business Intelligence 11g provides the most complete suite of business intelligence tools, going beyond dashboards to also include of course ad hoc analysis, pixel-perfect high volume reporting, rich business scorecards, new collaboration capabilities, proactive alerting, search as a way to interact with the BI system and many other ways, done consistently across the whole of the BI stack." This is built on Oracle Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition, a product that has been in the market for approximately 5 years with success in customers of all sizes globally, says Rodwick. With the 11g release, he adds, Oracle expects companies to more easily deploy to more users in their organizations, covering typical line of business end users, and deep analysts whose job it is to do analysis, as well as out to their customers and partners to any scale.  "One of the hallmarks of Oracle BI 11g is the ability to start with potentially a small departmental system and grow that to any scale. Currently, Oracle BI has customers deployed literally into the millions, with a single instance."

This is by far the largest release for Oracle Business Intelligence in the history of the company, and only rivaled by the introduction of Oracle BI Enterprise Edition 10g, says Rodwick.

Key new features include Oracle Scorecard and Strategy Management, an integrated component of Oracle Business Intelligence 11g that helps individuals track metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with organizational strategy and goals. It provides organizations with a top down view of the overall corporate or business strategy and then cascade those goals and objectives down to individuals, product lines or departments and give consistent real time visibility into the goals of the organization.

Additionally, the Action Framework feature is a new feature intended to close the loop between insight and action by enabling users to initiate an action, such as a business process or web service, directly from their dashboard.  "This is quite new in the industry and allows companies to really get the payoff of business intelligence which is not just to know and get insight but rather to turn that into the best action to drive the business forward," observes Rodwick.

In other key features and capabilities, new integration with Oracle Secure Enterprise Search enables casual users to quickly and easily find relevant reports as well as views and metrics within reports, in line with access and security parameters defined within Oracle Business Intelligence 11g.  For ISVs and others, Oracle Business Intelligence 11g can also be embedded completely within another vendor's solution. And, says Rodwick, Oracle BI has always been strong in terms of performance and scalability, with much in the architecture "to squeeze the most performance out of various databases," such as Oracle, Teradata, SQL Server or DB2 or multidimensional sources such as Oracle Essbase, SAP BW, Microsoft Analysis Services, or Oracle OLAP, and to be able to combine data from these multiple sources and present them in a simplified way to business users. "With the 11g release, there is additional scalability and performance through use of 64-bit in-memory technologies, through being able to easily scale up the system across multiple servers to very large implementations using new enterprise management interfaces, and also to be able to work with the largest numbers of volumes of data and numbers of users," notes Rodwick. 

For more details about Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition 11g, go here