Monday, February 16, 2009

New! Oracle OLAP Overview Video

A new fifteen minute Oracle OLAP video has been released - describing the benefits of Oracle OLAP in the context of the Oracle Database, Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence platform.

You can either watch this video online, or download for replay on an iPod:
• Click here to view the video now
• Click here to download the iPod video

Friday, February 6, 2009

Experience with Oracle University OLAP Essentials Course

I've recently taught two sessions of the Oracle University Course 'OLAP Database 11g: OLAP Essentials'. The first session was in Reading UK and the next in Munich. Both sessions were highly rated by students (9.4 out of 10). As an instructor I found the course a pleasure to teach (kudos to Brian Pottle and Marty Gubar who put much of this class together).

This is a three day introductory course that is appropriate for anyone who is approaching the OLAP Option for the first time or who is upgrading to 11g from earlier releases (there is so much new in OLAP 11g that even experienced users can learn a lot in this course). The students in the class were a mix of OLAP Option newbies and upgraders. Both groups were equally pleased with the course.

Students remarked that one of the real strengths of the course is the hands-on exercises. By the end of day 1 students have defined, populated and queried their first cube. Later in the course they get hands-on experience with cube-organized materialized views, SQL query of cube, creating calculated measures, forecasting, security and even building a custom application in Application Express on the OLAP cube. One of the things about the hands-on exercises that I found remarkable was the high success rate experienced by the students. These are very well put together.

The outline of the course follows:

Day 1

1. Examining the role of the OLAP Option in the Oracle BI/DW platform.
2. Examining the OLAP Data Model.
3. Building an OLAP Cube (with 2 hands-on exercises).

Day 2

4. Examining Cube-Organized Materialized Views (with hands-on exercise).
5. Creating Calculated Measures (with hands-on exercise).
6. Using SQL to Query OLAP Cubes (with hands-on exercise).
7. Enhancing Analytic Content (with hands-on exercise). (This uses OLAP DML programs to create a forecast.)

Day 3

8. Using Oracle Application Express and Oracle Business Intelligence with OLAP Data (with hands-on exercise).
9. Cube security (with hands-on exercise).
10. Designing cubes for performance and scalability.
11. Performance tuning (this is really about things the DBA should know to tune the Database for cubes).

These three very full days. Expect to get a lot of value from this class. And, it was lots of fun.

Here is one student's perspective of the class:

For more information, see the Oracle University site.

New Tutorial - Creating Interactive APEX Reports Over OLAP 11g Cubes

The latest in a recent series of 11g OLAP tutorials has been added to the Oracle OLAP product page on OTN.

The tutorial is called 'Creating Interactive APEX Reports Over OLAP 11g Cubes' and shows how you use Oracle Application Express (APEX) to create an interactive sales analysis report that runs against OLAP 11g data.

You learn how to query and create analytic reports of OLAP 11g cubes, including both stored and calculated measures. You also learn how to apply query techniques that leverage unique characteristics of OLAP 11g cubes.

The other tutorials already published in this series are:

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Oracle OLAP Newsletter - February 2009

The latest Oracle OLAP newsletter, February 2009, has been posted onto OTN and is available by clicking here

The customer feature this time is R.L. Polk who have used 11g OLAP to simplify their delivery of aggregate data through the use of cube organised materialised views. This is a fantastic case study which captures the true value of this functionality (note the dramatic improvements in both build and query times), and of having Oracle OLAP embedded in the Oracle Database.

The highlights of the Product Update section this time are the release of the latest version of AWM 11g (, and also a new version of the BI Spreadsheet Add-in ( - enough digits?!) which now includes support for Excel 2007.