OBIEE 12C Behind the Scenes

OBIEE 12C Behind the Scenes

OBIEE 12C Behind the Scenes

In addition to many great new front end overhaul and great new user functionality such as Visual Analyzer, views enchantments and the all new heat matrix view of OBIEE 12C, behind the scenes enhancements have also been implemented to reduce the administration time needed to maintain OBIEE.  In this blog I’m going to talk about two behind the scenes new features of OBIEE 12C, Business Intelligence Application Archive (BAR) & Multi-Tenancy.

What is a BI Application Archive?

Previous versions of OBIEE and OBIA moving between operational OBIEE environments or even upgrading, meant archiving and moving multiple OBIEE components such as:

  • OBIEE repository (RPD); BI server data model.
  • Web catalog; a presentation service instant.
  • Security model; security policy store, application roles and permissions.

Starting with OBIEE 12C moving critical OBIEE components got a lot easier; allowing system administrators to package all or some OBIEE components into one file called BI Application Archive, and move the BAR between different OBIEE operational or new instances.

Specified by the administrator, the BAR file can contain all the following components:

  • OBIEE RPD
  • OBIEE web catalog
  • Security Model
  • Credentials; database credentials
  • User web catalog runtime information
  • A manifest file showing BAR file dependencies.

A Draw Back:

There are currently no web based administration tools to manage the BAR file, it can only be managed using the WebLogic Scripting Tool (WLST). This change has certainly decreased the utilization of the Enterprise Manager console by developers.

BAR Benefits:

  • It makes a lot simpler to take an OBIEE system snapshot for a certain period of time which makes it a lot easier to restore OBIEE to a pre-changes state if recent changes have been made.
  • Moving separate OBIEE components can cause can cause migration issues, as some components may get corrupt during the move.
  • OBIEE deployment time decrease.

What is OBIEE 12C Multi-Tenancy / Multi Service (MSI)?

OBIEE 12C supports Multi-Tenancy architecture. A Multi-Tenancy architecture refers to a single OBIEE installation, running on one server, allowing for multi BI Apps deployments, serving one or more customers on the same infrastructure. Multi-Tenancy allows companies especially cloud service companies to host multiple customers in one deployment without customers knowing about each other.

Multi-Tenancy Benefits:

In the figure above we can already see some benefits of this new infrastructure. For example; OBIEE development release/ maintenance cycles. If the finance department has monthly releases of RPD and or dashboard work the HR and the marketing departments will not be affected by the server restarts if needed to apply changes. Another benefit we can notice from the figure above is smaller RPD size, as each deployment will have its own RPD. In the past I have encountered RPD deployment issues due to the RPD size being 40MB or more, the online development is also much slower if the RPD is big, large number or warnings and an overall slow development experience.

In our next blog I will be talking about OBIEE12C self-service model, and how it is going to be the beginning of BI ownership shift from IT to end users.

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