Oracle Big Data Appliance Review

End-users can build the reports by themselves without really knowing anything about databases

What is our primary use case?

We use Oracle OBI EE to allow end-users in our organization to build reports from our databases based on their needs and roles.  

What is most valuable?

The best thing about the product is that the end-user can build the reports by themselves without really knowing anything about databases. There is a Subject Area that is populated by the administrator. The end-user — without knowing anything at all about the structure of the databases — can use these Subject Area resource lists to build reports that they would like to see. It is all assembled with a drag-and-drop interface. The administrators apply the relevant security roles for the Subject Area content and the users. Every end-user can access the Subject Area to access data they are permitted to access and build a report. The roles from the security setup are automatically applied in access to Subject Area components and in the output of the report.  

I think that is a great feature because we, as administrators, just have to define the relevant security in the Subject Area and for every report that is viewed, the relevant security is already applied. Users do not have access to things outside of their privileges.  

What needs improvement?

While I have not worked with version 12c extensively — because I am working with 11g in production currently — it is a little more difficult to deploy the repository in 12c. The process has changed from the way it was in 11g. Our deployment for 12c is currently testing only.  

I think it would be good if Oracle could supply a solution to embed dashboards in applications. These need to be easy solutions for embedding to dashboards or the environment for making reports. Embedding directly into applications would help end-users a lot.  

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the solution for two years.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not had any difficulties with the stability of OBI EE.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I did not work with the cubes on Oracle BIEE. I worked with the aggregate tables and I have not yet used cubes with Essbase (extended spreadsheet database). I think for a larger data set that we should be using Essbase, but I have not yet tested it or used it before. It seems that it would be more scalable in accessing and using more data.  

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not contacted Oracle for technical support because I have not had any major problems that required it. We do have minor issues sometimes, but I have been able to solve problems by doing searches on the internet. There is one website that I use when I need to find answers that has very good articles and it is a good resource for learning and solving issues. I keep it in my shortcuts for when I need it. But Oracle is a popular product with a large user base and I can find good articles in various places through searching and that has helped me a lot.  

How was the initial setup?

Our deployment time with 11g was short because it was easy to do. I didn't have any difficulties with it. With 12c, I only have a little bit of experience with it in a testing environment. I think it will take longer to deploy in production than 11g.  

What other advice do I have?

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate Oracle OBI EE as an eight out of ten.  

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?


Which version of this solution are you currently using?

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:
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