I promised several weeks back to begin blogging more about my experiences with and at Oracle over the years. I’ve been tardy in doing do, but today I’m getting at it!
I want to start with Oracle BI because I worked quite a bit on this product while @ Oracle where we built packaged analytics products using OBIEE. OBIEE is the Enterprise Edition of OBI from Oracle and is now in release 11g, which just hit the market this summer (2010). It was finally updated using new ADF capabilities and other improved features which came from the Oracle acquisition of Siebel.
OBIEE started as a CRM Sales Analytics product from Siebel and Oracle primarily uses it to sell packaged analytics offerings for their ERP applications. But you can use it as a customizable BI tool, which many customers do. It is quite pricey, but if you have invested in it within your business, you can still utilize your SQL Server sources and applications.
First, SQL Server can be a source database. When you are in the OBI Admin Tool, you can use the MS SQL ODBC driver to bring in your SQL Server database sources as is demonstrated in this blog here.
Secondly, the OBIEE metadata, reports and KPIs are exposed via ODBC, meaning that you can including those in your Microsoft SharePoint BI solutions or in your SQL Server BI applications such as is discussed nicely here, laying out some options.
I’m not going to say that the second part above is easy. In fact, I have experience with Oracle customers that sometimes would fall back to the OBIEE add-in for Office to get at OBI reports. But I have used the SQL Server data source approach with OBIEE in the past to build dimensional models in OBIEE and it worked quite well without too much effort.