Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New article on 11g OLAP Cube-Organised Materialized Views published onto OTN

Oracle ACE Director Arup Nanda has published a series of articles onto OTN covering important new features in Oracle Database 11g titled 'Oracle Database 11g: Top Features for DBAs and Developers'.

The series includes a feature on 'Data Warehousing and OLAP' which looks at how Cube-Organized Materialized Views can be implemented alongside other features to deliver a compelling platform for data warehousing.

With Oracle's data warehousing proposition featured heavily in the news at the moment following the recent announcement at Oracle Open World on the availability of the Exadata Storage Server and Database Machine, this is an excellently timed reminder that Oracle OLAP is a core part of this data warehousing proposition.

Friday, October 10, 2008

New Oracle OLAP White Paper released to OTN

A new Oracle OLAP white paper has been released to OTN titled "Using Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition with the OLAP Option to Oracle Database 11g"

This contains a guide on how to configure the OBIEE metadata layer to leverage the 11g Oracle OLAP option, both indirectly via OLAP cube based materialized views, and directly via OLAP cube views. For those working with 10g OLAP (cube views only), the best guide to configuring OBIEE is found in the online tutorial on OTN.

Personally, I think that it is great that this white paper captures an explanation of how to write SQL that is optimised for Oracle OLAP cube views. This is something I find customers initially struggle with - they write what they believe is a simple query and then cannot understand why the performance is not good.

This is because there are a few golden rules to writing optimal SQL for OLAP cube views and while they are simple to understand, they are not obvious to those who are new to the technology. I hope to write a more detailed Blog entry on this subject very soon, but for the time being take a look at the white paper (particularly pages 10 & 11) to see what I mean.

More ports now available

The Oracle Database 11g Release Server Patch has now been released for several other ports, including Windows 32-bit.

The full list of operating systems currently supported is:
  • Linux x86
  • Linux x86-64
  • Solaris (SPARC) (64-bit)
  • IBM AIX (64-bit)
  • HP-UX Itanium
  • Microsoft Windows (32-bit)
I would recommend that all 11g OLAP users apply the patch as soon as it is available for their operating system.

I would also recommend that all 11g OLAP users upgrade their AWM client to the release which can be downloaded from Metalink or OTN

As always, the best source of information for recommended releases and patches is the Oracle OLAP certification page on OTN

I'm now going to download the Windows 32-bit patch (all 1.5GB of it!), and give it a roadtest....

Monday, October 6, 2008

Analytic Workspace Manager released to Metalink

The version of AWM has been released to Metalink as patch 7420490

It includes important fixes and new features including:
  • the ability to add multiple languages to a single analytic workspace
  • individual aggregation definitions may now be defined for each measure of a cube
  • the Create Dimension user interface has been modified to allow levels of the dimension to be created at the same time as the dimension
  • the functionality of dimension and cube mapping has been enhanced to allow the application to refresh the definitions of database objects interactively to reflect the current state of database schema tables

To take advantage of all the new fixes and features, the Oracle Database 11g Release Server Patch must be installed as well. This is currently only available for Linux 32-bit & Linux 64-bit, but other ports are likely to be available soon.