I must say working in UK for the last decade I have never visited this part of the country which is considered the "Silicon Valley" of UK. I was impressed by the buildings Oracle's training rooms and facilities. Woow!
The topic was about Data Analysis and the OBIEE Server. The presentation was in two parts and was Given by Aidan and Stuart of Oracle UK.
Part one focused in the current situation and challenges in Data Management today. The reference architecture was a 3 component chart described as "process data" , "manage data" and then "access data".
The highlights of the first part can be summarized as:
- The data management process is still difficult, there are still a questions about the "single version of truth" in data management still people chop and spread data all over the place and analyse it in tools such as Excel and etc.
- There is still complexities even the best of the tools out there can not address.
- The sources, where we gather data from are still evolving, and new sources appear from which we are not able to harvest the data quickly and efficiently.
The second part of the briefing was, if you haven't guessed already, about how Oracle with its Business Intelligence Server Enterprise Edition (OBIEE), ex Siebel a company Oracle has purchased recently, is able to meet these challenges and complexities on data management.
It seems to me like OBIEE, sweet name for a product, they call it just "obiee", is an application which is "Database Agnostic" that is, it doesn't need to belong or be installed on or work with a particular database. It is a system which is installed on a file system, windows, linux whatever and then it runs all your reporting, report publishing, dashboarding and metadata in one place. So it is not a database! It is a kind of application which manages your reporting and dashboarding metadata storage and publication processes. A kind of webserver and appserver together which schedules and runs queries on any database, the extract of reports via email, pdf, Excel, XML, Flash Charts, dashboards you name it, and it is possible kind of tool.
When I was listening and seeing demonstrations about all this I was thinking how different is OBIEE from Oracle APEX. Then I asked them.
Their answer was that they were not similar at all. APEX is more like a rapid application development environment on the web and is all stored in the database in XMLDB. Whereas although OBIEE can be stored in XMLDB like Apex, Obiee is not an application development tool but a data analysis environment. They are different. Are they?