Oracle BI 12c - New Features

Now that Oracle BI 12c (12.2.1) has been released, here is a summary of the latest new features:

1) Visual Analyzer

Visual Analyzer is the primary component of "Oracle Data Visualization" and will require an additional license for existing Oracle BI customers.  It enables you to perform rapid data discovery using standard Oracle BI "Subject Areas" or using your own external data sources (e.g. spreadsheets)

 2) Dashboards/Reports

  • Ability to sort graphs using a "right-click" menu option
  • New "Heat Matrix" graph - this is basically like a pivot table with automated conditional formatting to provide a gradient of colours based upon the values inside the cells
  • When dealing with percentages, you now have the option to multiply values by 100
  • "Mashups" feature that allows you to upload your own external data source (spreadsheet) and use it as a subject area.  The subject area can be used on its own or combined with other subject areas
  • With Balanced Scorecards you can style and customize KPI Watchlists and every watchlist that appears in a scorecard. You can set custom styles for each watchlist and rename and change the order and visibility of the watchlist columns
  • With Dashboards, new "incoming navigation parameters" enables you to control how parameters are applied during navigation from another dashboard

3) RPD Modelling

  • Ability to assign Logical Level "sequence numbers" for Time dimensions.   This feature can improve performance of Time Series calculations because OBI does not have to build extra logic into queries e.g. with RANK functions etc
  • The Oracle BI Server now accepts the DISPLAY and SORTKEY keywords in the SQL ORDER BY expression. You can use the DISPLAY keyword to override a logical column's assigned sort order column
  • A new "fragmented aggregates" feature with Aggregate Persistence allows you to add a WHERE clause to the aggregate specification - this enables you to build aggregates containing just your "hot" data (e.g. last 12 months)
  • New command line utilities: Download Repository, Upload Repository, List Connection Pool, Update Connection Pool, Rename Application Role, Delete Application Role, Rename Users, Delete Users, List Repository Variables, Update Repository Variables

4) Administration

  • Oracle "Home Location" redefined, and there is no more  "Middleware Home", there is now a much leaner & more unified directory structure
  • No more OPMN!  OPMN is no longer used in Oracle Fusion Middleware. Instead, system components are managed by the WebLogic Management Framework, which includes WLST, Node Manager and pack and unpack
  • Oracle Web Cache is no longer part of Oracle Fusion Middleware  (presumably need to use OHS instead?)
  • Moving From Test To Production is Carried Out in a Different Way.  The test to production operation is still possible however, the process is different from what was available in Oracle BI 11g as it applies solely to metadata (content, data model and authorization)
  • New process control commands replace the old start stop commands (yes we now get stop/start scripts!)
  • Business Intelligence Archive (BAR) files:  All Oracle Business Intelligence metadata, including repository, Presentation Services catalog, and user authentication is stored in BAR archive files. The BAR file is a mechanism for managing or moving a self contained set of Oracle BI metadata between environments
  • Single Enterprise Install: In this release the Oracle Universal installer offers a single install type for your Enterprise which provides an Administration server, and a Managed server
  • Changes to Scaling Out.  For example, you no longer have an RPD and binaries on every BI Server, there is a shared directory that all BI Servers use
  • Parameters are now changed directly in files - no more MBeans or parameter changes via Enterprise Manager!
  • OBIS (BI Server) system component instances are separately managed in BI 12.2.1 using "service instance" commands
  • Diagnostic Bundles:A new script enables you to collect the diagnostic bundles needed by Oracle Support or Development to help resolve issues
  • Changing db connections: A new command enables you to synchronize mid-tier database connection details when they have changed

5) Security

  • BISystem and BISystemUser are removed - this is all handled internally now, so we don't have to worry again about corrupted system credentials etc
  • User GUIDs Removed (woo hoo!).  GUIDs have been removed to make administration easier, GUIDs are replaced with user names. There is no longer any need to refresh GUIDs
  • The Security Store (Policy and Credential Stores) is configured in a relational database rather than in a file. The database is the same as used by RCU. This change makes scaling easier, and makes clusters more reliable   (and presumably easier to backup/recover)
  • Configuring SSL end to end is now less complex and uses offline commands
  • A new process enables you to migrate Catalog groups to application roles

Looking for help with Oracle 12c software? You might find our Advanced RPD Modelling training course useful.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

If you enjoyed this article why not get great insights straight to your inbox

Comments (4)
JanardhanaRao on 12/11/15

hi Can you please post the detailed OBIEE 12c Installation steps and OBIEE 12c Architecture by comparing with OBIEE 11g. Thanks Janardhan

Deepthi on 2/1/18

Will VA work when I have SSO with EBS? Are there any additional setups that I have to make?

Tony Heljula on 5/1/18

That is not an easy question - with 12c you shouldn't really continue with the RPD security model, this is because you can only use VA, BIP etc if you switch to the FMW security model. There is a new 12c login screen that provides SSO between OBIEE and DV, you would have to test out to see if this new login mechanism supports EBS SSO with the FMW security model. There are probably two ways to find out for sure: 1) Raise an SR with Oracle or 2) give it a go!!

kalayn bl on 16/4/18

Overall this is a great release after OBIEE 12c from Oracle. Best version to start exploring and do great analysis. Thank you