The Oracle Business Intelligence stack consists of a collection of products including Oracle Warehouse Builder, Oracle Data Integrator, Oracle
Business Intelligence and Oracle Discoverer.
Oracle is considered by many to be the number one database provider, with it’s technology used by 98% of the Fortune 100 companies. A company established for over three decades, Oracle has grown organically and through a large acquisition program, having acquired over 40 companies over the past three years. The most notable of these acquisitions has been Hyperion, BEA, Siebel and Peoplesoft.
It has integrated these tehcnologies into a compreshensive suite of software applications covering a wide variety of areas – Oracle Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing, CRM and EPM to name a few.
Of particular interest in Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise and Oracle Warehouse Builder products which consists of a suite of enterprise business intelligence products that delivers a full range of analysis and reporting capabilities.
The Oracle Warehouse Builder suite includes an ETL product which has worked well for many years. In 2006 Oracle acquired Sunopsis. Sunopsis was known for it’s ETL product. Oracle has subsequently branded this product as Oracle Data Integrator. So users now have two Oracle Extract Transform and Load (ETL) tools to chose from.
While the original Oracle ETL tool available from the OWB suite is tied into Oracle technology, the Oracle Data Integrator application is not tied into Oracle data sources. It can in fact source data from IBM DB/2, Teradata, Microsoft SQL Server, SAP Business Information Warehouse (BW), Microsoft Analysis Services, flat files, XML data and unstructured data.
Oracle Data Integrator has the ability to load non-Oracle databases, it has native support for Changed Data Capture, support for real-time ETL processes, built-in support for Web Services, and native support for extracting from non-Oracle databases
OWB’s features include data modelling, support for Oracle OLAP, a more comprehensive set of data mapping operators, a data profiler, modules that can be moved around and change management propagation.
Oracle reporting and analysis is covered by the Oracle Discoverer application. This application comprises of a set of tools for ad-hoc querying, reporting, data analysis, and publishing.
Using a web based, 3-tier architechture, Oracle Discoverer provides users with a GUI with access to relational and multi-dimensional (OLAP) data sources.
Reporting was previously delivered by a full client application – Oracle Reports.
Oracle dashboards are built using Oracle Portal pages. Each portal page will contain one or more Oracle Discoverer portlets. This may consist
of a chart, gauge or graph.
Oracle sell the Oracle Warehouse Builder and Oracle Data Integrator products seperately. Oracle states that these will conitnue to be released independently. However, there does seem to be an effort to develop with a common goal of integrating the two products, and I’m sure that we will see future releases of each product incorporate more of the features of it’s opposite number.
Oracle’s long term direction for these products has been stated as follows:
“Oracle is committed to protect the investments customers have made in both Oracle Warehouse Builder and Oracle Data Integrator. In a future release, Oracle will deliver a unified data integration product that protects customer investments in bothproducts.”