Oracle OBIEE Review
With caching, we can simply schedule a report to run before users get to work. A lot of users want customized user interfaces.

Valuable Features

Caching is a valuable feature. We can simply schedule the report to run before the users get to work. This reduces the time it takes for the users to load data-heavy dashboards.

I only realized this after using Tableau, but I really appreciate the re-usability of reports in OBIEE. I liked this because I don’t need to re-do reports that have to be in different dashboards and it makes my folder structure organized.

Another feature I love are the functions readily available in the RPD. This makes life so much easier when computing for example, year ago, month ago, rolling months, percent growth, etc.

Variables also give us a little flexibility with the formulas, titles and column names.

Improvements to My Organization

The company I was assigned to is a utilities company, so they heavily rely on daily reports to monitor the situation. Customer feedback is very crucial to them. Working both as their business analyst and developer, I get to communicate with the people responsible for reporting to top management. Based on their feedback, some are able to see if pending items have been delivered and if not, they can easily identify which group to go to. This assures that their customers are satisfied with the service.

Some have also said that with the reports readily available via OBIEE, they can immediately download and present them to their bosses. No more use of spreadsheets to compute for the KPIs.

Room for Improvement

We had a lot of users before that wanted customized user interfaces. This was one of the hardest things to customize in OBIEE. You had to have knowledge in other areas to provide user requirements.

With the popularity of self-service systems, our power users wanted more ad-hoc reports. We couldn’t provide this because that meant giving them administrator access, which was against the security guidelines of the company.

One requirement we also had was the ability for users to change passwords. Again, this meant that we had to give the users administrator access, which was against company protocol.

Use of Solution

I have used it since 2010, almost six years.

Stability Issues

I am not sure if this is relevant, but there was one time when we configured the SSL for OBIEE and we were unable to create new users. We did this to two servers, but the issue only happened to one server. The Oracle Support consultant we talked to wasn’t able to resolve this. I’ve since left the organization and am not sure if it has been resolved.

Scalability Issues

There were no scalability initiatives that I was a part of, just upgrades to new machines, which are simple new installations.

Customer Service and Technical Support

I rate technical support 5/10. I am not sure about others, but the technical support I had from Oracle Support was often delayed or they couldn’t solve the problem.

Previous Solutions

I did not previously use a different solution, but I did dabble with Tableau after I started using OBIEE.

Initial Setup

Initial setup was straightforward. By the way, I’ve only worked with Windows installations.

Other Solutions Considered

The organization was already using this product when I got there, so we just maintained it.

Other Advice

Google is your best friend! Some documentations do not contain everything, so it is good to be patient when looking for solutions, even outside Oracle Support.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.

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