BI Applications Modernisation

History

Oracle BI Applications first appeared over a decade ago in the 7.9.6.x lineage, which used Informatica as the ETL tool. This variant of BI Applications was replaced in 2013 by the 11.1.1.x versions which used Oracle Data Integrator (ODI) 11g as the ETL tool. The technical underpin of BI Applications has been based around Oracle’s 10g and then 11g toolsets. Over this period, we’ve performed implementations and upgrades for more than 10 different customers so we have a lot of experience working with the product set.

Current Status

From July 2020 a new version of BI Applications (11.1.1.10.3 … and it is that .3 which is very significant) was released with Oracle Linux and Red Hat Linux as the first platforms. Whilst this release still retains the 11.1.1.x nomenclature it is a technically hugely signficantly enhanced release and there are some notable areas with this version of BI Applications that are important to understand.

  • This version extends premier support to align with the Apps Unlimited (E-Business, JD Edwards, etc ) and SaaS Lifetime Support dates – i.e. through to at least 2031.
  • If Oracle E-Business is your source system, then only E-Business 12.2.x is certified NOT 12.1.3
  • Certifications are provided for Oracle Analytics Cloud and Oracle Analytics Server.
  • Use of the more modern 12c technology components in place of the old 11g technology stack in previous releases.
  • There is a statement of direction with this release, so, for example, Oracle plan to certify the Autonomous Data Warehouse Cloud as a target database for the warehouse.
  • BI Applications is considered ‘content complete‘ so there are no new functional additions to this release

What Should I Do?

This depends on your specific circumstances and we would advise you to give us a call for a no-obligation discussion based on your situation. As a guideline though we would advise the following :

  • If your source system is SaaS or Oracle E-Business 12.2.x then we’d advise you to plan a migration to the new BI Applications 11.1.1.10.3 version in order to benefit from the aligned support timelines.
  • The new BI Applications 11.1.1.10.3 stack comes with Oracle Business Intelligence 12c as the front end out of the box. We have written a whole section on the upgrade options for OBI EE alone, but essentially if you are focused on an on-premises solution you should look at Oracle Analytics Server and if you’re adopting a cloud/hybrid-cloud strategy then Oracle Analytics Cloud may be the better solution.
  • If you are looking to remain on premises, then the availablity of operating systems ports are important.

How Should I Do It?

Firsty, consider the version of BI Applications that you are currently using as only the current premier supported version (11.1.1.10.2) has a direct migration path. There are some additional tools that are available to use to accelerate the migration process – especially to useful when migrating ODI 11g to ODI 12c, but before starting anything technical we’d recommend a review of the current implementation and consider the following :

  • Assess what really needs to be migrated. Look at everything from ETL customizations to user created analytics and consider what can be retired. If you’re not already using usage tracking then consider making use of that during a preparatory period.
  • Think what a new, fresh implementation would look like architectually. For example, would it make sense to you to have the warehouse on-premises if your source system are there too but perhaps have the analytics platform in the cloud?
  • Now consider the above points but from a functional perspective. Taking a look at the new capabilities of the tools available, are there opportunities to re-engineer or refresh existing dashboards or even create new content specifically for this new rollout. Oracle new Analytics Cloud and Analytics Server tools provide a host of additional modern self-service analytics features.

Summary

There’s certainly a lot to consider when making the move to the new version of BI Applications in order to ensure that you remain under premier support and can take advantage of the new certifications of components and features and facilities provided. The actual approach to achieving the best outcome is dependent upon specific circumstances, so please do get in touch and we’d be delighted to help you achive an enhanced implementation to wow your users.