OOW14 day 0

w00t! One compound word? Mind-boggling!

As a first time OOW participant, when I arrived at Moscone this morning, the sheer size, grandeur and general over-the-top-ness hit me like a brick. Seeing it in pics and on youtube is one thing but experiencing first hand…wow. KScope back in June was a family party in comparison! Which isn’t a bad thing by the way

For me, Sunday was all about getting my bearings and participating – both as audience as well as speaker – in the ODTUG sessions. “Figures” you may say as I’m more on the hands-on and technical side of things rather than sales + marketing presentations and – again – you’d be 100% correct.

First things first though: heart-attack and vessel constricting breakfast with my good friend Robin Moffatt. Because. BACON!

In hindsight I probably shouldn’t have taken the ubercaffeinated version of coffee offered there since combined with the adrenaline of pre-OOW-presentation makes fingers tingle. Lesson learned for next time!

I was part of the ODTUG Sunday Symposium (big h/t to ODTUG in general and Stewart in particular on that one), so let’s jump into the action:


Engaging Oracle Business Intelligence Users Through Collaborative and Embedded BI

Christian Screen provided a nice, visual overview of the evolution and life-cycle of BI initiatives from birth to near-death (a state which you hopefully never reach). Accompanying this life-cycle are all aspects of collaboative and embedded BI he showed in the form of biteamwork as well as real-life examples of embedding BI content into any web-portal – literally at the click of a button. Really clever stuff utilizing and extraction and direct referencing of the divs inside the rendered OBI GUI. Neat!
Unfortunately I had to realize about that time that my phone takes really BAD pictures when the lighting is low and you’re in a sombre room.

2014 Swiss Community Brunch

I had to skip this one when I saw just where the Hyatt is situated geographically and how long it would take me to get there and back again (unintended Lord Of the Ring reference) without missing my scheduled sessions.
OOW is huge, OOW is crammed full of content…OOW is tricky in terms of scheduling your activities! 

Oracle Business Intelligence Development in the Cloud

Stewart was up next and immediately disappointed some pin the audience since his talk wasn’t going to the BICS – the Oracle BI Could Services – but rather actual OBIEE development work in the cloud. Gotta read the abstract of the session as well, gents, not just the title πŸ˜‰
Anyhow a presentation not for the faint of heart as things got technical very quickly with MDS XML, Git, Jenkins, push, merge, branch. I loved it and if you’re doing OBIEE dev and don’t know how you could manage it across multi-dev departments? Well have a look what he was talking about. May be an interesting starting point for you.

No Silver Bullet: Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition Performance in the Real World

Good old Robin Moffatt! I’ve Stewart had set the techie tone with his then it definitely went “downhill” in a very good sense – the technical one – from there and I think reached the abyss with my presentation thereafter. More and more “Ey?” and “WTH?” faces in the crowd.
I’ve seen this presentation of Robin before and I just love it. Firstly because Robin trashes “best practices”…the only real “best practice” there is, is “use your brain”. I agree 100%. All other so called “best practices” are contextual and need to be adapted to the actual situation, so “it depends”.

His approach of tracking and analyzing performance and capacity issues is neat to say the least and everytime I discuss these subjects with him there’s stuff to add and something new to try out. But I digress.

Performance and capacity tracking isn’t magic but neither is it “follow this 10 point list….oh and by the way disable logging and use caching”. Ah my pet hates. NO! You want to do performance mgmt? Get Robins presentation. Read it. Understand it. Adapt it to your situation. Do it.

I’ll try to add links to the presentations as (if) they become available and do a complete wrap-up after OOW with a link list so you have a single point to go to in order to access all of it. 

Neos Voyage in Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition

My presentation. Was fun, but I lost about 80% of the audience mentally after slide 8 or 9. NQS function calls? Recursive ODBC calls from the BI server through the BI server into its own instantiated RPD in order to have it as a data source within itself?

As promised for those who stuck around until the end and want to dig deeper themselves: shoot me an email on christian dot berg at dimensionality dot ch and I will get back to you with the RPD you need to make this work. 

Quick Dive into Big Data ETL with Oracle Data Integrator 12c and Oracle Big Data Connectors

Last content session of the day was Mark Rittman and this also was a presentation I’d seen before but let me just say this: I don’t know how he does it. Mark has this way of just writing slides on the darndest (pardon my french) of topics and make it look and sound like he was writing a grocery shopping list for Friday afternoon. Precise, to the point, gets the information across, not overcomplicated and definitely without all the sales and marketing hubbub.

Best wide-ranging overview of Oracle’s Big Data initiatives in the wider Business Analytics context you can read right now.

Funny addition: after the presentation there was a definite fan-club behaviour going on and I just couldn’t help myself. Apologies again Mark, but here goes:

All in all a very productive day with meeting tons of people. The number of ex-colleagues, fellow community members and ACEs you run into here is just immense.

Gotta rush now to get some breakfast before today’s sessions. I’ll do an extra post on Sundays ACE dinner later.


Oracle OpenWorld 14 Day -1

Saturday was a rather quiet day. After having spent 2 hours on Friday night, trying to get the connectivity working in my hotel room, Friday started out with another almost 2 hours which culminated on a recabling of the room and replacement modem to finally get things working. After that I was able to put the finishing touches to my presentation.

Lunch was…american. Very american. Think 50s-type diner. Think chili-chedder-hot-dog. Think fries. LOVE IT! There was some mutual “prying away from work” going on there and Stewart Bryson and Kevin McGinley completed our epic-food triumvirate. Great find Stewart and thanks for saying on “I have my heart set on Lori’s”. Not the last time I go there this week!

Then: check-in time!

Feels good πŸ™‚

Later in the afternoon I joined a whole funky bunch of ODTUG people at a place called “Toronados” for beer. Really good beer. IPA galore you could say and you’d be correct. Sarah Zumbrum, THAT Jeff Smith, Monty Latiolais, Tim Gorman, Joel Kallman, Danny Bryant, Kellyn Pot’Vin…I can’t even name them all (anymmore).

After too many weird-named (but all the more tasty) beverages we trudded off to a dinner with current and ex RittmanMead guys from which I zombied my way back to bed since the 30+ hours travelling and a really bad night of sleep had simply killed me by then.

Hard start. Off to day 0!


 The long awaited “Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition 11g: A Hands-On Tutorial” (Packt publishing) by Christian Screen, Haroun Khan and Adrian Ward was finally released two weeks ago (Amazon) and I got the hard copy delivered today (haven’t tried the Kindle version yet…).

As I have been hanging around Oracle BI and its various ancestors since quite a while I was eagerly looking forward to this one – as well as Marks forthcoming book – for several reasons:
First of all it always boggled my mind as to just how someone would go about packing the OBIEE 11g “basics” into a couple of hundred pages when almost each topic on its own (WLS, security, infrastructure, RPD et.) would easily fill a complete book.
Secondly, as I split my time between projects and training I’m alway interested to see the different approaches taken to convey certain messages, teach certain topics and dispell certain sales claims.
Last but not least…I simply can’t spend that much time on writing these things together (see immediately below).

First impression after a cursory glance at the table of contents and browsing some chapters: thank the heavens that someone took the time to write all of this up an give me a whooping 600+ bound pages to slap people with rather than just saying “RTFM” πŸ™‚ …especially when there wasn’t really any “M” of this kinds o far.

Going end-to-end from explaining the basic architecture, through the installation, the RPD and webcat, action framework and on to OLAP/Essbase integration, the book covers all the basic subjects with a seriously nice hat-tip “Reporting Databases” in chapter 7.
That last one definitely being a chapter which made me smile since more often than not one can see people storming off to “do business intelligence” (read: draw some reports and extryct some lists) without thinking about the basics: the data and the way it is modelled. Always reminds me of a mantra in the old Siebel Analytics courses: “Model first!”

The books is clearly written with the KISS principle in mind and manages to stick to that principle very nicely. The structure’s clear and proper and some of the graphs are especially funny for us old-timers as they point way back to NQuire. Links to detailled descriptions in the official Oracle documentation are provided where necessary and should never be disregarded. This being a hard-copy and OBIEE evolving at a steadily increasing pace, those can come in very handy when analysing a certain component or behaviour in a specific version of the product.

Also, the book provides good links to supporting material; including the complete database, web catalog and styles and skins used for the examples in the book. A very nice touch since this will allow anyone to reproduce things step-by-step rather than having to adapt the books content to his/her own situation or vice versa which is a huge plus for people newly hopping on to the OBIEE train.

I’ve kept it quite high-level since I suspect everyone is clever enough to read the detailled outline in the provided links here and since my judgement is quite simple: if you’re an OBIEE starter: get it. If will help you as a go-to place or aide-mΓ©moire for most “how did this work again?” questions.
If you’re coming from 10g and looking forward to migrating to 11g: get it. It does a good job of painting the big picture, explaining the architecture, the components and how it all works together, thereby taking the edge off “the beast that is 11g” (admit it guys, it can be overwhelming).

Personally, I will definitely use it as supporting material / a hand-out for my beginners courses, bootcamps and onboarding of new team members like I do with Kimballs bible.

So kudos to Christian, Haroun and Adrian! Along with last weeks release of the new BP1 Sampleapp v207 this will provide good material for the next couple of rainy days (read: me getting into troubles for hanging around work topics even at home ;-)).
Next up: Marks book. Really looking forward to that one now!


It’s time again. This years BI forum (#biforum) is open for registration!

All information on topics, speakers and locations can be found here:

Direct registration links for Brighton and Atlanta respectively are here:
Booking form for UK BI Forum Event (Brighton, May 8th – 11th 2012)
Booking form for US BI Forum Event (Atlanta GA, May 15th – 18th 2012)

Thanks to Mark and his crew for continuing to host this awesome event!


Last week I had the chance an (honestly) privilege to take part in the BI Forum in Brighton. First and foremost, I’d like to say a huge thanks to the team of RittmanMead for organizing this and giving us geeks a chance to unite. We’ve got to do this more often!

Next up, something personal. I was extremely happy to finally meet Venkat face to face. We seem to have developed one of those friendships that start online and when you meet, it’s like you know each other since years. Also, I was extremely content to meet Ed again. Damn already a year since we finished our last project together.

Let’s get back to business. The lineup of speakers was quite something to say the least. I’m not going to name anyone in special since I then need to name each and every one of them…….ok here we go: Craig Stewart, Edward Roske (We’re not wooorthy!), Mark Rittman, John Minkjan, Venkat (I think, you’re actually entitled to carry “Venkat” as your sole identifier. Everyone else must change his name ;-)), Adam Bloom, Andreas Nobbmann, Mike Durran, Emiel von Bockel, Maarten-Jan Kampen, Adrian Ward, Antony Heljula and Peter Brink. Total quality in all presentations and here’s my 10 cents on them:

a) “BI Apps with ODI” from Craig Stewart: Now here we have an interesting new piece in Oracles product portfolio. Good for new customers. Questionable (at best) for existing ones.

b) Edward Roskes “Internals of Essbase”. What can I say? Edward Roske. On Essbase. Ocean. Lots of Water. Understatement. And I just loooved his texan humour.

c) Mark Rittman spoke about “BI Apps Optimization”. Do have to say “see b) ?”. Didn’t think so.

d) John Minkjan had a very nice presentation on caching. I would have like to taped it and hit a lot of people over the head with the tape (and the camera). Listen to him, people. Caching is a tool, a technique, something that can help you. It’s NOT the solution for your problems! Thanks John.

e) Venkat had a cool gimmick prepared. He had actually written a program to keep OBIEE and Essbase security in line. Extremely nice stuff! It was his first presentation in a forum like this and in Europe. Well done! I’m going to steal that πŸ˜‰

f) Then we “blew up a BI server” with Adam Bloom. Talk about small cuase with huge effect. Ouch.

g) Andreas Nobbmanns “UDML and XML for grown-ups” session. I vote for his presentation to be judged “Too dangerous to be known widely!”. Please don’t let kids touch that one. They destroy enough as it is. Personally…I loved it πŸ˜‰

h) Friday started with Mike Durran on 11g. I won’t say more. Or I will have to kill you. Seriously. Ed Roske has the gun.

i) Emiel von Bockels presentation. Now THAT spawned discussions. Great stuff! I’d love to see how their solution evolves over the nexst 3 to 5 years. I hope he keeps us up to date.

j) Oh yeah…I’m still not over Maarten-Jan Kampens statement on using “a bit of code” for his “OBIEE and Mapviewer” integration. Dude…copyright that stuff.

k) Adrian gave me permission to skip his session since I had stuff to do, so not much to say here.

l) Antony Heljulas “SOA” bit was cool. Reminded me of my first trials after Marks mastclass last year. Gotta say though. Very nicely presented. Better than most of Oracles sales force.

m) Peter Brinks “Cube Organized Materialized views”. Essbase cubes? Oracle OLAP? Cube Organized Materialized Views? It seems we’re actually getting too many options from Oracle right now. Would be interesting to see how Oracle positions those options with the clients.

Wrapping the whole event up in one word sounds like this: awesome. In two words: fraking awesome! Loved it, look forward to the next, want to do one myself in Switzerland now. (Check my blog or Andreas for news on that idea).

That’s it from my side for today. Off to catch some sleep.