Oracle OBIEE Review

Once fully used, the Visual Analyzer has great promise. However, you're allowing end users to upload spreadsheets that can mash with your existing data.


What is most valuable?

Visual Analyzer is a nice feature that gives us options on how to view our data.

How has it helped my organization?

Once fully used, the Visual Analyzer has great promise. However, you're allowing end users to upload spreadsheets that can mash with your existing data. This is a great idea (Tableau attack on Oracle's part), but it can be dangerous if the end-user data is wrong. In that case, the great report will be wrong. It still needs a data manager's blessing to check it, IMO.

What needs improvement?

Installing it is quite different now with the steps. Once the product becomes more mainstream with lots of blogs, the installation process will be easier to follow, but even with existing documentation it was quite a chore. Then, there's the issue of using it within a virtual server and the loop back challenge you have to hunt for on the internet to get it working correctly.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using it about a week or so.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Mainly just the change in install process and virtual server 'challenge'.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

It's Oracle - you get what you pay for service-wise, and even then it's the person you work with that dictates whether it's a good or not so good service.

Technical Support:

8/10 in general, but don't be afraid to raise severity if you're being essentially ignored.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used v11.x.

How was the initial setup?

It's pretty good, but as with all things Oracle you have to read the install notes first.

What about the implementation team?

We did it ourselves.

What other advice do I have?

OBIEE 11c is pretty slick these days, and it has a new look so that's nice. Everything's pretty darn good now with the following 2 caveats.

  1. Allow more than one RPD. I don't know how or when, but one RPD for an entire production environment is brutal.
  2. What's with BI Publisher? It seems everyone states that it's just for pixel perfect reports but the IMO shows that's just not true. There are a large number of standard reports that can, and should, be created in BIP. Daily Orders report bursts to various departments? That's not pixel perfect and it's one of a huge number that should be BIP. Sure there should be lots of analysis reports but BIP is still very important. So why has it not changed in this release? I'd swear Oracle's setting it up for removal like they did Discoverer, Hyperion, etc.
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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I would like to see how unstructured data challenges are handled. This to me is a big problem when you are trying to optimize data volumes.