|Oracle® Warehouse Builder User's Guide
10g Release 2 (10.2.0.2)
Part Number B28223-05
This preface describes new features for this release in the following section:
Enhancements to Warehouse Builder Architecture: One Unified Repository
In previous Warehouse Builder releases, the runtime environment and the design environment resided in separate repositories: the runtime repository and the design repository. Beginning in this release, both environments share a single Warehouse Builder repository. If you prefer to separate the environments, you can achieve this by creating multiple repositories.
User Interface Enhancements
In previous releases of Warehouse Builder, editing different types of objects required using different editors. This release provides one common look and feel for all editors, including automatic layout, dockable panels, bird's eye view, and zoom capabilities. A new property inspector standardizes the properties interface for all objects.
Enhancements to Accessing Non-Oracle Data and Metadata
Creating Flat File Targets: In previous releases, you used the Mapping Editor when you wanted to create a new flat file target for which there was no existing metadata to import. You added an unbound flat file operator to the mapping canvas and then used the operator editor to add and define fields for the flat file. Beginning in this release, the preferred method is to use the Create Flat File Wizard. Compared to the previous method, the Create Flat File Wizard enables a wider range of functionality such as specifying the character set and defining single or multiple record types.
Introducing Non ASII Flat Files: In previous releases, importing binary files into Warehouse Builder was difficult or not possible, depending on the complexity of the file. Beginning in this release, you can use the Create Flat File Wizard to introduce non ASCII files into Warehouse Builder as described in Chapter 14, " Defining Flat Files and External Tables".
Sampling ASII Flat Files: This release introduces enhancements to the Flat File Sample Wizard that include sampling and importing new data types such as GRAPHIC, RAW, and SMALLINT.
Custom Metadata Interface: Beginning with this release of Warehouse Builder, you can define and use SQL- or XML-based custom metadata stores to retrieve definitions of source and target objects such as tables and views as described in Chapter 16, "Importing Data Definitions".
Deploying to Remote and non-Oracle Targets: Beginning with this release, you can deploy objects to a remote or a non-Oracle database. This means that you can configure a target operator in a mapping to refer to a remote Oracle location or a non-Oracle location.
Enhancements to Metadata Management
Impact Analysis and Change Management: Warehouse Builder now provides graphical tools for analyzing the possible outcomes to proposed metadata changes. Determine the potential costs of your proposed changes as described in Chapter 31, "Managing Metadata Dependencies".
Defining User Defined Properties (UDPs): In the previous release, you could assign UDPs only to existing Warehouse Builder repository objects. You defined UDPs using the OMB Plus scripting command OMBDEFINE and prefixed the new property name with UPD_. Beginning in this release, you can define new objects in addition to new properties. Prefix all user defined objects and properties with UD_. Any properties you defined in the previous release using the UDP_ prefix are still valid; however, UD_ is now the preferred prefix for both properties and objects. Refer to Chapter 34, "Extending the Warehouse Builder Repository" for more information.
New User Defined Objects: Beginning in this release, you can define new folders, first class objects, and second class objects. For each object you can define properties and associations, manage them in the Warehouse Builder repository, and assign custom icons for unique recognition. Because user defined objects are repository objects, you can access metadata reports and lineage and impact analyses. Refer to Chapter 34, "Extending the Warehouse Builder Repository" for more information.
User Defined Icons: You can import custom icons for unique representation in the user interface of any of the existing objects and user defined objects. Refer to Chapter 34, "Extending the Warehouse Builder Repository" for more information.
Enhancements to Metadata Security
Beginning in this release, Warehouse Builder offers a user interface for defining and implementing metadata security policies.
ETL Design and Performance Enhancements
Scheduled Process Execution: In previous releases, you were required to use Oracle Workflow to schedule the execution of Warehouse Builder mappings and process flows. Beginning in this release and when using Oracle database release 10g or higher, you can create schedules to plan when and how often to execute mappings and process flows. You can define schedules to execute once or to execute repeatedly based on an interval you define in the user interface as described in Chapter 28, "Scheduling ETL Objects".
High Performance Data Extraction from Remote Sources: In previous releases, if you designed mappings that extracted data from remote sources, you could expect performance to be slow as data was accessed via database links. Beginning in this release, you can use Transportable Modules to replicate remote Oracle databases to the local Oracle database and thereby achieve rapid data extraction as described in Chapter 23, "Moving Large Volumes of Data".
Pluggable Mappings: This new feature in Warehouse Builder increases your design productivity through reusable logic that you can incorporate into various ETL processes or share between many designers. For details, refer to Chapter 6, "Creating Mappings".
Set Based Updates: In previous versions, when you set an Oracle target operator to load using an UPDATE loading type, Warehouse Builder updated the target in row based mode. Beginning with this release, if you configure the Oracle target module to generate 10g PL/SQL code, Warehouse Builder performs UPDATES in set based mode. For modules configured to generate 9i and earlier versions of PL/SQL code, Warehouse Builder performs UPDATES on targets in row based mode.
User defined Data Types: Beginning in this release, Warehouse Builder offers a user interface for creating user defined data types and using them for mapping in Warehouse Builder. You can use the user defined types to model real-world entities such as customers and purchase orders as objects in the database.
Enhancements to Enable Quality Information
Slowly Changing Dimensions (SCDs): Warehouse Builder now provides support for designing, deploying, and loading relational Type 1, 2, and 3 SCDs. For information on defining SCDs, refer to Chapter 13, "Defining Dimensional Objects". For information on loading data into or sourcing data from SCDs using the Dimension operator, refer to Chapter 25, "Source and Target Operators".
New Sources and Targets: You can now read data from any source or write data to any target using PL/SQL and Java APIs. You can also read data from or write data to table functions and Oracle streams.
Data Profiling: This new feature in Warehouse Builder enables you to discover the structural content of your data, capture its semantics, and identify any anomalies or outliers prior to loading it in your BI system. With data profiling, you can automatically derive business rules and mappings to clean data, derive quality indices such as Six Sigma, and use auditors to continuously monitor data quality. You can integrate data profiling into your ETL process.
Enabling Business Intelligence
Dimensional Objects: In the previous release, you had to use the OLAP bridge to deploy dimensional objects to an analytic workspace. Beginning with this release, the logical design of the dimensional object is separated from the storage. You can use the same metadata to create and manage both your relational and multidimensional data stores. You define the dimensional object and can then deploy them directly either to a relational schema or to an analytic workspace. For information on creating dimensional objects, refer to Chapter 13, "Defining Dimensional Objects".
Business Intelligence Objects: Beginning with this release, you can define or derive business intelligence objects that can be integrated with analytical business intelligence tools such as Oracle BI Discoverer and Oracle BI Beans. You can deploy business intelligence objects defined using Warehouse Builder to these tools and then perform adhoc queries on the warehouse data. For information on using business intelligence objects, refer to Chapter 15, "Defining Business Intelligence Objects".
Enhancements to Enable Expertise Capture
Beginning with this release, you can create experts that enable you to build your own applications by reusing Warehouse Builder components. Experts are solutions that enable advanced users to design solutions that simplify routine or complex tasks that can be performed by end users. For more information using experts, see Chapter 35, "Implementing Best Practices".
Synchronize replaces Reconcile: For an operator such as a source and target operator or a key lookup, Warehouse Builder maintains a version of the object in the repository. Propagating changes between an operator and its repository object is known as synchronizing. In previous, releases, this process was known as reconciling or reconciliation. These terms are no longer used.
Refresh replaces Synchronize: When multiple users access the same repository, use the refresh command to update the Design Center display. In previous releases, this command was called synchronize. Synchronize now refers to the action of updating an operator with an associated repository object.
User Defined Process replaces External Process: In previous releases, an activity that you defined in a process flow to launch an external process was known as an External Process activity. In this release, the term is now User Defined Process.
Improvements to the Documentation Set
The documentation set has been reorganized and revised.
The book formerly entitled the Oracle Warehouse Builder Installation and Configuration Guide is now entitled the Oracle Warehouse Builder Installation and Administration Guide and includes administration information such as implementing security.
Oracle Warehouse Builder User's Guide now includes enhanced introductory and conceptual information.
Oracle Warehouse Builder API and Scripting Reference now includes information on using experts and the Expert Editor, which was formerly contained in the User's Guide.