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Oracle® Fusion Middleware Metadata Repository Builder's Guide for Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition
11g Release 1 (11.1.1)

Part Number E10540-06
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New Features for Oracle BI Metadata Repository Builders

This preface describes changes to metadata repository features for Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition 11g Release 1 (11.1.1).

If you are upgrading to Oracle BI EE from a previous release, read the following information carefully, because there might be significant differences in features, tools, and procedures. For more information about upgrading to Oracle BI EE 11g, see Oracle Fusion Middleware Upgrade Guide for Oracle Business Intelligence.

This preface contains the following topics:

New Features for Oracle BI EE 11g Release 1 (11.1.1.7)

This section describes new features for Oracle BI EE 11g Release 1 (11.1.1.7). It contains the following topics:

New Features for 11.1.1.7.0

New metadata repository features in Oracle BI EE 11g Release 1 (11.1.1.7.0) include:

Changing the Repository Password From the Command Line

You can now change the repository password from the command line using the obieerpdpwdchg utility. See "Changing the Oracle BI Repository Password Using the obieerpdpwdchg Utility" for more information.

New Options to Enforce Consistent Versions in Multiuser Development Environments

You can now add options to the multiuser development option file to enforce Administration Tool, MUD protocol, and RPD version consistency among MUD developers. See "Setting Multiuser Development Options" for more information.

New Utilities Available to Generate and Compare Logical Column Type Information

You can use the Administration Tool utilities Generate Logical Column Type Document and Compare Logical Column Types to generate a list of logical column types, and then compare it with logical column types in a subsequent version of the repository. You can also use the command-line utility biservergentypexml to generate the list of logical column types. See "Generating a List of Logical Column Types" and "Comparing Logical Column Types" for more information.

Additional Database Support for Cardinality Estimates in Oracle BI Summary Advisor

The Prefer Optimizer Estimates feature, which improves performance by using cardinality estimates during the Summary Advisor process, is now available for Microstate SQL Server and IBM DB2. See "Using the Oracle BI Summary Advisor Wizard" for more information.

Oracle BI Summary Advisor Measure Subset Recommendations

Oracle BI Summary Advisor now recommends only aggregates that contain specific measures that are both present in the analyzed query workload, and that can optimize the query workload if aggregates are created. See "About Measure Subset Recommendations" for more information.

Model Check Manager Enhancements

Model Check Manager now runs parallel queries against the database for better performance. In addition, you can now check models from the command line using the validaterpd utility with the -L option. See "About Model Check Manager" and "Checking Models Using the validaterpd Utility" for more information.

Access to Apache Hadoop Data Sources

Oracle BI EE now supports Apache Hadoop as a data source. See "Configuring and Using Apache Hadoop Data Sources on Linux" for more information.

Support for Multi-Source Session Variables

Oracle BI EE now supports session variables that can be populated from multiple data sources and retain values from all source systems. See "Working with Multi-Source Session Variables" for more information.

NUMERIC Data Type Support for Oracle Database and TimesTen

You can now change a configuration setting to enable NUMERIC data type support for Oracle Database and TimesTen. See "Enabling NUMERIC Data Type Support for Oracle Database and TimesTen" for more information.

Ability to Map Flex Object Changes Using the biserverextender Utility

You can now use the biserverextender utility to import flex object changes from ADF data sources and map them to the Business Model and Mapping layer and Presentation layer. See "Automatically Mapping Flex Object Changes Using the biserverextender Utility" for more information.

Support for Servlet Communication Between the Oracle BI Server and Oracle OLAP

The Oracle BI Server now uses a servlet for communication with Oracle OLAP data sources, rather than relying on the JavaHost service. See "Setting Up Oracle OLAP Data Sources" for more information.

New Features for 11.1.1.7.10

Note:

Information about Oracle BI EE 11g Release 1 (11.1.1.7.10) is only applicable to customers using Oracle Fusion Applications 11g Release 8 (11.1.8).

New metadata repository features in Oracle BI EE 11g Release 1 (11.1.1.7.10) include:

TimesTen Performance Enhancement for Aggregate Creation

The opmn.xml file has been modified to accept the ORACLE_BI_AGGR_PARALLEL_INSERT and ORACLE_BI_AGGR_DIMENSION_TO_FACT_RATIO variables which, when set, enable parallel insert. Parallel insert allocates multiple threads to accommodate the insertion of rows into a single table. This enhancement improves the performance of aggregate creation in TimesTen. See "Enabling Performance Enhancement Features for TimesTen" for more information.

Ability to Import Extensible Flexfields from ADF Data Sources

The Administration Tool's Import Metadata Wizard synchronization feature now detects Extensible Flexfields (EFF) attributes and imports them into the Physical layer of the Oracle BI repository. See "Using Incremental Import to Propagate Flex Object Changes" for more information.

New Features for Oracle BI EE 11g Release 1 (11.1.1.6)

This section describes new features for Oracle BI EE 11g Release 1 (11.1.1.6). It contains the following topics:

New Features for 11.1.1.6.2

New metadata repository features in Oracle BI EE 11g Release 1 (11.1.1.6.2) include:

Improved Method to Achieve Nested Folders

You can now designate child presentation tables using the Child Presentation Tables tab in the Presentation Table dialog to give the appearance of nested folders in Answers and BI Composer. See "Nesting Folders in Answers and BI Composer" for more information.

Ability to Control Presentation Layer Object Visibility

You can now specify an expression in the Hide object if field for individual subject areas, presentation tables, presentation columns, and presentation hierarchies to hide these objects in Answers and BI Composer. See "Controlling Presentation Object Visibility" for more information.

Ability to Check for Modeling Problems that Affect Aggregate Persistence

You can now use Model Check Manager to check your repository metadata for issues that might affect the success of Oracle BI Summary Advisor and the aggregate persistence engine, such as identifying level primary keys that are not unique. See "Using Model Check Manager to Check for Modeling Problems" for more information.

Improvements to the Aggregate Creation and Deletion Process

This release provides the following improvements to aggregate persistence:

See Chapter 13, "Creating and Persisting Aggregates for Oracle BI Server Queries" for more information.

Using XML Files to Automate Physical to Logical Mapping for ADF Data Sources

For ADF data sources, you can create a set of XML files that specify custom mapping requirements for the mappings displayed in the Map to Logical Model screen of the Import Metadata Wizard. See "Customizing the Mapping Behavior" for more information.

Using Cardinality Estimates During the Summary Advisor Process

In Oracle BI EE 11g Release 1 (11.1.1.6.2), Bundle Patch 1, you can select Prefer Optimizer Estimates to improve performance by using cardinality estimates during the Summary Advisor process. See "Using the Oracle BI Summary Advisor Wizard" for more information.

New Features for 11.1.1.6.0

New metadata repository features in Oracle BI EE 11g Release 1 (11.1.1.6.0) include:

Ability to Limit and Offset Rows Returned

You can use the FETCH and OFFSET clauses to constrain the number of rows returned by the SELECT statement and to offset the returned rows by a given number. Both clauses are optional and can be used together, or independently. See "Limiting and Offsetting Rows Returned" for more information.

Identify Query Candidates with Oracle BI Summary Advisor

If you are running Oracle Business Intelligence on the Oracle Exalytics Machine, you can use the Oracle BI Summary Advisor feature to identify which aggregates will increase query performance. Summary Advisor intelligently recommends an optimal list of aggregate tables based on query patterns that will achieve maximum query performance gain while meeting specific resource constraints. See "Using Oracle BI Summary Advisor to Identify Query Candidates for Aggregation" for more information.

Integrate the Administration Tool with a Third-Party Source Control Management System

As an alternative to using a MUD environment, you can choose to save your repository in MDS XML format and integrate the Administration Tool with a third-party source control management system. See Chapter 4, "Using a Source Control Management System for Repository Development" for more information.

Streamlined MUD Merge Process

Repository developers using a multiuser development (MUD) environment can now merge and publish changes in a single step, rather than merging local changes and then publishing changes as two separate steps. They can also perform subset refreshes to perform incremental local merges with the master repository. See "Publishing Changes to Multiuser Development Repository Projects" for more information.

Automated Repository Patching Process

You can now use an option in the patchrpd command-line utility to enable automated patching without prompting for user input. In addition, new patching-specific rules are applied during patch merges. See "Merge Rules and Behavior for Patch Merges" for more information.

Support for Aggregate Persistence in a Cluster

You can now use the aggregate persistence feature in a clustered environment. See "Running the Aggregate Specification Against the Oracle BI Server" for more information.

FIRST_PERIOD and LAST_PERIOD Time Series Functions

You can now use the FIRST_PERIOD and LAST_PERIOD functions to compute the first and last value of an expression using the chronological key rather than the primary level key. See "FIRST_PERIOD" and "LAST_PERIOD" for more information.

Ability to Print the Physical and Business Model Diagrams

You can now use Print Preview and Print to view and print the Physical and Business Model Diagrams in the Administration Tool. See "Using the Physical and Business Model Diagrams" for more information.

New Features for Oracle BI EE 11g Release 1 (11.1.1.5)

New metadata repository features in Oracle BI EE 11g Release 1 (11.1.1.5) include:

Access to Oracle OLAP Data Sources

Oracle BI EE now supports Oracle OLAP as a data source. See "Working with Oracle OLAP Data Sources" for more information.

Access to TimesTen Data Sources

Oracle BI EE now supports Oracle TimesTen In-Memory Database as a data source. See "Setting Up Oracle TimesTen In-Memory Database Data Sources" for more information.

Ability to Connect to SAP/BW Data Sources Using a Native Connection

You can now use the SAP BW Native connection option to connect to SAP/BW data sources over BAPI. See "Setting Up SAP/BW Data Sources" for more information.

New Diagramming Capability

The Physical and Business Model Diagrams have enhanced capabilities in this release, including an improved look-and-feel, the ability to display columns in table objects in the diagram, and new diagram options like auto-layout, marquee zoom, and zoom to fit. See "Using the Physical and Business Model Diagrams" for more information.

Validation Utility to Validate Metadata Objects in a Repository

Oracle BI EE now includes a validation utility to validate metadata objects. See "Using the validaterpd Utility to Check Repository Consistency" for more information.

New Features for Oracle BI EE 11g Release 1 (11.1.1.3)

New metadata repository features in Oracle BI EE 11g Release 1 (11.1.1.3) include:

New SampleApp.rpd Demonstration Repository

A new demonstration repository called SampleApp.rpd is available for this release of Oracle BI EE. This repository provides best practice information about modeling many different types of objects.

A basic version of SampleApp.rpd, called SampleAppLite.rpd, is automatically installed as the default repository. The full version of SampleApp.rpd, which contains many additional examples and features, is available on the Oracle Technology Network. See "About the SampleApp.rpd Demonstration Repository" for more information.

Hierarchy Objects in the Presentation Layer

You can now define presentation hierarchies and presentation levels in the Presentation layer. These objects provide an explicit way to expose the multidimensional model in Oracle BI Answers and enables users to create hierarchy-based queries. Presentation hierarchies expose analytic functionality such as member selection, custom member groups, and asymmetric queries. See "Working with Presentation Hierarchies and Levels" for more information.

Support for Unbalanced (Ragged) and Skip-Level Hierarchies

Oracle BI EE now supports unbalanced and skip-level hierarchies. An unbalanced (or ragged) hierarchy is a hierarchy where the leaves (members with no children) do not necessarily have the same depth. A skip-level hierarchy is a hierarchy where there are members that do not have a value for a particular ancestor level. See "About Level-Based Hierarchies" for more information.

Support for Parent-Child Hierarchies

Oracle BI EE now supports parent-child hierarchies. Parent-child hierarchies (also called value hierarchies) contain members that all have the same type. For example, an organizational chart has a distinct parent-child hierarchy, but all members are employees. See "Creating and Managing Dimensions with Parent-Child Hierarchies" for more information.

Creating Subject Areas for Logical Stars and Snowflakes

You can automatically create one subject area (formerly called presentation catalog) for each logical star or logical snowflake in your business model. See "Automatically Creating Subject Areas Based on Logical Stars and Snowflakes" for more information.

Multicurrency Support

You can configure logical columns so that Oracle BI EE users can select the currency in which they prefer to view currency columns in analyses and dashboards. See "Configuring Logical Columns for Multicurrency Support" for more information.

Generating and Applying XML Patch Files

You can now generate an XML patch file that contains only the changes made to a repository. This patch can be then applied to the old (original) version of the repository to create the new version. This is very useful for development-to-production scenarios, and can also be used for Oracle BI Applications customers to upgrade their repository. See "Performing Patch Merges" for more information.

You can also use the Oracle BI Server XML utilities to create a generic, XML-based representation of the Oracle BI repository metadata, on any supported Oracle BI Server operating system. See "About the Oracle BI Server XML API" in Oracle Fusion Middleware XML Schema Reference for Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition for more information.

Enhancements for Multiuser Development and Repository Lifecycle Management

The following list summarizes improvements and new features for multiuser development and repository lifecycle management:

Metadata Repository File Encryption

Repositories now have a repository password that encrypts the repository contents using a strong encryption algorithm. This feature ensures that repository metadata is secure, including data source credentials in connection pool objects. See "Changing the Oracle BI Repository Password" for more information.

Metadata Repository File Compression

To reduce storage needs, repositories are now stored in a compressed format. Because of this, you may notice that the size of an RPD file opened and saved in this release is significantly smaller than the size of RPD files from previous releases. See "About the Multiuser Development Environment" for more information about using and storing multiple repositories.

Embedded Database Functions

Users and administrators can create requests by directly calling database functions from either Oracle BI Answers, or by using a Logical column (in the Logical Table source) within the metadata repository. These functions provide the ability to access custom written functions or procedures on the underlying database. Supported functions include EVALUATE, EVALUATE_AGGR, and EVALUATE_PREDICATE. See "Database Functions" for more information.

In addition, Evaluate functions can be leveraged significantly for Essbase users. See "Examples Using EVALUATE_AGGREGATE and EVALUATE to Leverage Unique Essbase Functions" for more information.

SQL Functions for Time Series Calculations and Level-Based Measures

The following new and revised SQL functions enable users to create time series calculations and level-based measures:

See "Aggregate Functions" for more information about these functions. See also "Modeling Time Series Data" for information about using the time series functions AGO, TODATE, and PERIODROLLING.

Support for SELECT_PHYSICAL

SELECT_PHYSICAL statements provide the functionality to directly query objects in the Physical layer of the metadata repository, and to nest such a statement within a query against the Business Model and Mapping layer or the Presentation layer. See "Syntax and Usage Notes for SELECT_PHYSICAL" for more information.

Support for Calculated Members

Calculated members are user-defined dimension members whose measure values are calculated at run time. You can define a calculated member within a dimension through a formula that references other members of the same dimension. See "Calculated Members" for more information.

Access to Essbase Data Sources

Oracle BI EE now supports Essbase as a data source. See "Working with Essbase Data Sources" for more information.

Access to Hyperion Financial Management Data Sources

Oracle BI EE now supports Hyperion Financial Management as a data source. See "Working with Hyperion Financial Management Data Sources" for more information.

Access to ADF Business Component Data Sources

Oracle BI EE now supports using ADF Business Components as data sources. With this feature, users can integrate operational reporting with any application that is built on top of the ADF Framework. See "Working with ADF Data Sources" for more information.

Access to Oracle RPAS Data Store Through ODBC

The Oracle BI Server can now access Oracle Retail Predictive Application Server (RPAS) data stores using the RPAS ODBC driver. See "Setting Up Oracle RPAS Data Sources" for more information.

Ability to Connect to Oracle Database Through OCI

Administrators can now use the native Oracle Call Interface (OCI) when importing physical objects from an Oracle Database. Because using OCI is faster than using an ODBC connection, administrators should always use OCI when importing from or setting up connections to an Oracle Database. See "Setting Up Oracle Database Data Sources" for more information.

Support for Dragging and Dropping XMLA Objects

You can now drag and drop XMLA objects (whole XMLA database or cube tables, at the same time or one by one) into the logical layer to automatically create a consistent business model. See "Creating the Business Model and Mapping Layer" and "Automatically Creating Business Model Objects for Multidimensional Data Sources" for more information.

Support for Using a Standby Database with Oracle Business Intelligence

You can now use a standby database with Oracle BI EE. A standby database is used mainly for its high availability and failover functions as a backup for the primary database. See "Using a Standby Database with Oracle Business Intelligence" for more information.

Aggregate Persistence Auto-Indexing

For greater performance, Oracle BI EE now creates indexes and statistics on relational tables when aggregates are persisted. See Chapter 13 for more information about aggregate persistence.

Pruning Utility to Delete Unwanted Repository Objects

Oracle BI EE now includes a pruning utility to remove unwanted objects from your repository. This utility is especially useful for Oracle BI Applications customers who only need to use a subset of the objects included in the shipped Oracle BI Applications repository. See Appendix E, "Deleting Unwanted Objects from the Repository" for more information.

Ability to Defer Execution of Session Variable Initialization Blocks

To improve session logon time and save resources, administrators can defer execution of selected session variable initialization blocks until the associated session variables are actually used within the session. See "Creating Initialization Blocks" for more information.

Improved Usability in the Administration Tool

Many Administration Tool screens, wizards, and other parts of the user interface were updated and streamlined for this release of Oracle BI EE. Updated wizards include the Create New Repository Wizard, Aggregate Persistence Wizard, and Merge Wizard. Expression Builder and the Consistency Checker also contain usability enhancements in this release.

Additional changes include updated and improved icons, a simpler process flow to create joins, improvements to the Query Repository feature, and a simplified way to add some repository objects. Also, shortcuts were added to enable keyboard access to menu options, dialog navigation, and navigation in the Physical and Business Model Diagrams.