This chapter provides an introduction to customizing the Oracle Communications Data Model.
Oracle Communications Data Model is a standards-based, pre-built approach to data warehousing for the communications industry enabling customers to realize the power of insight more quickly. Oracle Communications Data Model reduces costs for both immediate and on-going operations by leveraging out-of-box Oracle based data warehouse and business intelligence solutions, making world-class database and business intelligence technology solutions available with a communications specific data model.
You can use Oracle Communications Data Model in any application environment. Also, you can easily extend the model.
Using Oracle Communications Data Model you can jump-start the design and implementation of a warehouse to quickly achieve a positive ROI for your data warehousing and business intelligence project with a predictable implementation effort.
Oracle Communications Data Model provides much of the data modeling work that you must do for a communications business intelligence solution. The Oracle Communications Data Model logical and physical data models were designed following best practices for communications service providers. Oracle Communications Data Model is aligned with TM Forum's Information Framework (SID) Release 12 as discussed in Oracle Communications Data Model Reference.
Logical model which is a third normal form (3NF) entity-object standards-based model. The logical model is described in Oracle Communications Data Model Reference.
Physical model defined as one Oracle Database schema. This schema defines all the relational, OLAP, and data mining components.
Intra-ETL database packages and SQL scripts to extract, transform, and load (ETL) data from the Oracle Communications Data Model 3NF physical tables to the derived and aggregate tables in Oracle Communications Data Model.
Sample reports and dashboards developed using Oracle Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition.
DDL and installation scripts
When you use the Oracle Installer to install Oracle Communications Data Model, you have the choice of performing two different types of installations:
Installation of the Oracle Communications Data Model component, itself
Installation of sample reports (and schemas)
See Oracle Communications Data Model Installation Guide for detailed information on the different types of installation.
Oracle Communications Data Model Reference for detailed descriptions of the components.
Oracle Database with OLAP, Data Mining and Partitioning Option
Oracle Communications Data Model uses a complete Oracle technical stack. It leverages the following data warehousing features of the Oracle Database: SQL model, compression, partitioning, advanced statistical functions, materialized views, data mining, and online analytical processing (OLAP).
Oracle Communications Data Model Application Adapters and Analytics Add-ons
The Oracle Communications Data Model Add-ons provides several separately licensed options to Oracle Communications Data Model:
Oracle Communications BRM Adapter: this separately licensed option loads data from an Oracle Communications Billing and Revenue Management source system into Oracle Communications Data Model. You can load data in both an initial and an incremental manner. The data from Oracle Communications Billing and Revenue Management populates the Oracle Communications Data Model derived and aggregate tables, reports, and mining models.
Oracle Communications NCC Adapter: this separately licensed option populates the foundation layer of an Oracle Communications Data Model warehouse with data from an Oracle Communications Network Charging and Control (NCC) system.
Oracle Communications Billing Analytics: this separately licensed option provides an end-to-end analytic application developed on Oracle Communications Data Model that leverages data fed through the BRM Adapter and the NCC Adapter, provides comprehensive and visually appealing dashboards and enables users to:
Understand existing business customers across all their products and services
Predict and analyze customer behavior to increase revenue and retention
Reduces time, cost, risk, and complexity of custom solution
Oracle Communications Social Network Analytics: this separately licensed option provides reports and tools to assist you with Acquiring Customers, Retaining Customers, and Growing Your Customer Base, and with tools and reports for:
Identification of social network communities.
Network metrics characterizing the social graph.
Network distribution information.
Predictive scores for churn and influence at a node level, and potential revenue/value at risk.
User interface targeted at business users and flexible ad-hoc reporting
Oracle Development Tools
You can use the following Oracle tools to customize the predefined physical models provided with Oracle Communications Data Model, or to populate the target relational tables and materialized cube views.
Table 1-1 Oracle Development Tools Used with Oracle Communications Data Model
SQL Developer or SQL*Plus
To modify, customize, and extend database objects
Analytic Workspace Manager
To view, create, develop, and manage OLAP dimensional objects.
Oracle Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition Presentation Tools
Oracle Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition is a comprehensive suite of enterprise BI products that delivers a full range of analysis and reporting capabilities. You can use Oracle Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition Answers and Dashboard presentation tools to customize the predefined sample dashboard reports that are provided with Oracle Communications Data Model.
Although Oracle Communications Data Model was designed following best practices for communications service providers, usually the model requires some customization to meet your business needs.
The reasons that you might customize Oracle Communications Data Model include:
Your business does not have a business area that is included in the Oracle Communications Data Model.
You must apply a table or column, or change a calculation or business rule in the Intra-ETL due to the unique way your company does business.
Typical physical model modifications include: adding, deleting, modifying, or renaming tables and columns; or altering foreign keys, constraints, or indexes.
Perform the organizational tasks outlined in "Before You Begin Customizing the Oracle Communications Data Model".
Create a fit-gap analysis report by following the process outlined "Performing Fit-Gap Analysis for Oracle Communications Data Model".
In a development environment, install a copy of the Oracle Communications Data Model.
Customize Oracle Communications Data Model by making the changes you documented in the fit-gap analysis report. Make the changes in the following order:
Foundation layer of the physical model and the ETL to populate that layer. When customizing the physical objects, follow the guidelines in "Foundation Layer Customization". When writing the ETL, follow the guidelines in "ETL for the Foundation Layer of an Oracle Communications Data Model Warehouse".
Access layer of the physical model and the ETL to populate that layer. When designing the physical objects, follow the guidelines in Access Layer Customization. When writing the ETL, follow the guidelines in "Customizing Intra-ETL for Oracle Communications Data Model ".
In a test environment, make a copy of your customized version of Oracle Communications Data Model. Then, following the documentation you created in Step 2, test the customized version of Oracle Communications Data Model
Following your typical procedures, roll the tested customized version of Oracle Communications Data Model out into pre-production and, then, production.
Keep 'clean' copies of the components delivered with Oracle Communications Data Model components. This is important when upgrading to later versions of Oracle Communications Data Model.
Before you begin customizing Oracle Communications Data Model, ensure the following teams and committees exist.
Data warehouse governance steering committee. This steering committee has the responsibilities outlined in "Responsibilities of a Data Warehouse Governance Committee".
Implementation team. This team consists of IT engineers who have the expertise outlined in "Prerequisite Knowledge for Implementers". This team has the responsibilities outlined in "Implementing an Oracle Communications Data Model Warehouse".
Fit-gap analysis team. This team consists of business analysts who can identify the business requirements and scope of the Oracle Communications Data Model and at least some engineers in the Implementation team. Business members of this team must understand logical data modeling so that they can evaluate what changes must be made to the foundation and access layers of the physical model. This team has the responsibilities outlined in "Performing Fit-Gap Analysis for Oracle Communications Data Model".
After these teams and committees are formed:
Discuss the approach and determine the involvement and roles of every party involved in the customization (for example, business and IT).
Agree on the scope of the project (that is, agree on what new data must be in the data warehouse and why it is needed). The order of implementation either top-down (per business or subject area) or bottom-up (source-leading) should be based on the "quick wins" (easy implementation, clean and known source, no or very little changes, out-of-the-box reports), themselves ordered by business relevance (from a Return On Investment perspective and from a strategic perspective).
Agree on the timing and the working arrangements.
As outlined in "Oracle Products That Make Up Oracle Communications Data Model ", the Oracle Communications Data Model uses much of the Oracle stack. Consequently, to successfully implement the Oracle Communications Data Model, the implementation team needs:
Experience performing information and data analysis and data modeling. (Experience using Oracle SQL Data Modeler, is a plus).
Hands on experience developing ETL or ELT, prefereable in the chosen ETL tool (ODI, Golden Gate, and so on).
Knowledge of the source applications, their data and their table structures from which you want to load data into Oracle Communications Data Model.
An understanding of the Oracle technology stack, especially data warehouse (Database, Data Warehouse, OLAP, Data Mining, Oracle Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition).
Hands-on experience using:
SQL DDL and DML syntax
Analytic Workspace Manager
Oracle SQL Developer
Oracle Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition Administrator, Answers, and Dashboards
Governance is of concern to any enterprise, executive team or individual with an interest in the processes, standards, and compliance. It is even more important to organizations that have invested in data warehousing.
Data warehouse governance occurs within the context of overall IT governance. It provides the necessary policies, process and procedures, which must be clearly communicated to the entire corporation, from the IT employees to the front-end operational personnel.
Before you customize Oracle Communications Data Model, setup a data warehouse governance steering committee if one does not exist. The role of this steering committed is to oversee the data warehouse to provide an environment that reaches across the enterprise and drives the best business value.
Data Warehouse Governance Committee: Overall Responsibilities
The data warehouse governance steering committee sets direction and response for the governance framework and should at least cover the following areas:
The entire data warehouse life cycle.
Agree on the data to process and make available to end-users.
Determine what is the minimum quality criteria for the data that is available to end users and determine how to measure and analyze these criteria against the quality of the data that is the source data for the data warehouse.
The business goals of the organization to apply core information from data warehouse.
The policies, procedures and standards for data resource and data access, and the implications it may have on the existing or future business processes. For the later, the committee must make sure to communicate early enough to the right persons the process change request to ease the integration and to save time.
The life cycle of data warehouse component management.
Data Warehouse Governance Committee: Data Governance Responsibilities
The more detailed focus in data warehouse governance is data governance. Data governance tasks include:
Approving the data modeling standards, metadata standards and other related standards. This includes determining a metadata strategy as discussed in "Overview of Managing Metadata"' and identifying the data modeling tools to use that support these standards.
Determining the data retention policy.
Designing a data access policy based on legal restrictions and data security rules.
Designing a data backup strategy that aligns with the impact analysis to the business unit.
Monitoring and reporting on data usage, activity, and alerts.
Fit-gap analysis is where you compare your information needs and communications business requirements with the structure that is available with Oracle Communications Data Model. You identify any required functionality that is not included in the model and the default schema, and other modifications that are necessary to meet your requirements.
The result of your fit-gap analysis is a customization report which is a brief explanation of the adaptations and adjustments required to customize Oracle Communications Data Model to fit your communications environment.
The fit-gap analysis team writes the customization report by taking the following steps:
If you have performed previous evaluations, review the documentation from the previous phases, and if necessary add team members with the required business and technical expertise.
Review the data and map the data structures of your source to the Oracle Communications Data Model schema:
Starting from business requirements, questions, and rules, identify any objects that are not in the Oracle Communications Data Model.
Compare the Oracle Communications Data Model to your existing application model if have one.
Compare the Oracle Communications Data Model to the application data that you are using as a data source to the Oracle Communications Data Model warehouse.
Determine the differences between your needs and Oracle Communications Data Model schema. To help you with this task, produce a list of actions people may take with the system (examples rather than models), and create use cases for appraising the functionality of the Oracle Communications Data Model Warehouse. Answer the following questions about the differences you find:
Which differences you can live with, and which must be reconciled?
What can you do about the differences you cannot live with?
Identify the changes you must make to the default design of Oracle Communications Data Model to create the customized warehouse. Identify these changes in the following order:
Physical model. Follow the guidelines outlined in Physical Model Customization.
ETL mapping. Follow the guidelines outlined in ETL Implementation and Customization to identify and design the source-ETL that you must create and to identify and make any changes to the intra-ETL provided with Oracle Communications Data Model.
Reports: A clear distinction should be made between reports end-users could create themselves from the default data and data structure available in the OBIEE repository, and those that would require additions (from earlier changes in Physical model, or simply because the considered entity was not accessible by default in the repository). Note that this step could be done a bit later, in a second phase, not for the initial implementation, with the risk to possibly miss an important source of information if the business interviews were not run properly.
When identifying changes, ensure that the changes meet your security and metadata requirements.
Write the customization report, detailing what changes are required to make the Oracle Communications Data Model match your business needs. This includes any additions and changes to interfaces to existing systems.
Based on the customization report, update the Project Plan and perform the steps outlined in "Implementing an Oracle Communications Data Model Warehouse".
To comply with privacy and data protection requirements, Oracle Communications Data Model is certified with Transparent Data Encryption and Oracle Database Vault.
For more information on using Transparent Data Encryption, see Oracle Database Administrator's Guide and for information on using Oracle Database Vault, see Oracle Database Vault Administrator's Guide.
For more information on these topics, see: