The Comprehensive Guide to Obiee Oracle

Introduction to OBIEE

OBIEE Oracle is a complete BI platform that provides end-to-end BI capabilities including data modeling, ETL, reporting, dashboards, ad-hoc analysis, and more. Here are some key things to know about OBIEE Oracle:

  • Provides intuitive, interactive dashboards and reports for business users through a web browser interface.
  • Uses a semantic model and metadata repository for consistent report development.
  • Integrates data from multiple sources including databases, apps, cloud services.
  • Allows drag and drop report and dashboard creation using Answers and Dashboards.
  • Features powerful visualization capabilities including charts, graphs, pivot tables, maps etc.
  • Enables ad-hoc data analysis through interactive dashboards.
  • Provides enterprise-grade scalability, security and performance.
  • Part of Oracle’s broader data analytics portfolio including Oracle Database, Oracle Analytics Cloud etc.

With its comprehensive capabilities, OBIEE Oracle is used by organizations across industries for BI initiatives, data warehousing, analytics and reporting.

Brief History of OBIEE Oracle

OBIEE Oracle has evolved over many years, through multiple acquisitions and product integrations:

1997Origins trace back to the launch of Express by Siebel Systems.
2003Siebel acquired Nimbus. The combined solution was renamed Siebel Analytics.
2005Oracle acquired Siebel Systems, making Siebel Analytics part of Oracle’s portfolio.
2007Oracle BI Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) was released.
2009OBIEE 11g released, introducing new UI, integration with Essbase, Spatial Maps etc.
2013OBIEE released with visual analyzer, trellis views etc.
2015Current release OBIEE 12c introduced.

Over the years, OBIEE has matured into a complete enterprise BI platform with a proven track record across thousands of deployments.

OBIEE Oracle Architecture and Components

OBIEE has a multi-layered architecture consisting of both server-side and client-side components. Let’s look at the key components:

1. Data Sources

This refers to the backend databases and other data sources from where data is sourced into the OBIEE platform. It can include:

  • Relational databases like Oracle, DB2, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL etc.
  • Multi-dimensional sources like Oracle Essbase, Microsoft Analysis Services etc.
  • Big data sources like Hadoop, NoSQL databases etc.
  • Packaged applications like ERP, CRM, HRMS etc.
  • Flat files, XML files etc.
  • Cloud data sources.

2. ETL and Data Warehousing

The raw data from sources first needs to be extracted, transformed and loaded (ETL) into a data warehouse. A well structured data warehouse optimizes OBIEE Oracle performance.

3. Physical Layer

This layer references the data sources and data warehouse structure. It defines the database objects, joins, aliases etc.

4. Business Model and Mapping Layer

This layer defines the BI semantic model representing the business model. It includes the business entities, attributes, hierarchies and calculation logic. The physical to business model mappings are defined here.

5. Presentation Layer

This layer provides the presentation views, dashboards, reports and KPIs using the underlying semantic model. Answers and Interactive Dashboards leverage the presentation layer.

6. Client Tier

This includes the end user interface for OBIEE, typically web browsers like Chrome, Firefox accessing the OBIEE Presentation server. Custom BI apps can also consume OBIEE Oracle services.

7. Administration Tools

Web-based tools for managing the metadata, security, configuration and monitoring. Includes Enterprise Manager, Security Manager, Catalog Manager etc.

8. BI Server Processes

The server processes that enable query processing, load balancing, delivery, caching, purging and other capabilities. Key processes include Query Server, Job Manager, Cache Manager etc.

This multi-layer architecture provides flexibility, scalability and performance for enterprise-wide reporting needs.

Top Features and Capabilities

Some of the key features and capabilities provided by OBIEE Oracle are:

Intuitive Dashboards and Visualizations

  • Interactive, role-based dashboards with KPIs, graphs, tables etc.
  • Modern visualization support including treemaps, heat maps, scatter plots etc.
  • Responsive design supporting desktop and mobile experiences.

Powerful Ad-Hoc Analysis

  • Answers provides ad-hoc reporting capability.
  • Supports filters, sorts, pivots, calculations etc.
  • Analyze data on the fly from subject areas.

Customizable Reporting

  • Web-based report builder for pixel perfect reporting.
  • Leverage ready report templates and styles.
  • Incorporate charts, pivot tables, prompt filters etc.

Data Blending and Federation

  • Blend and federate data from multiple sources.
  • Provides unified view across disparate sources.

Enterprise Scalability and High Availability

  • Leverage logical query partitioning, query caching, load balancing.
  • Clustered deployments across multiple servers/nodes.


  • Row-level and object-level security.
  • Integrated with LDAP, Single Sign On.
  • SSL/HTTPS access.

Metadata-driven Semantic Model

  • Business model abstracts physical sources providing business view of data.
  • Changes limited to the metadata layer, reducing impact on reports.

Integration with Big Data and Cloud

  • Integrate with Hadoop, Hive, NoSQL, Oracle Database, Oracle Analytics Cloud etc.
  • Hybrid on-premises and Cloud deployments.

With these comprehensive features, OBIEE can meet the end-to-end BI and analytics needs of modern enterprises. The semantic model and common metadata enables rapid development while the advanced visualization capabilities allow intuitive analytics.

OBIEE Oracle Installation and Configuration

OBIEE requires installation and configuration across multiple servers/nodes. Here are the key steps:

Hardware and Software Requirements

Make sure the servers meet the minimum hardware, operating system and software specifications for the expected deployment size.

Install OBIEE Oracle Software Binaries

Install the OBIEE 12c binaries on the applicable servers like Admin Server, Managed Servers, BI Cluster Controller nodes etc.

Database Setup and Configuration

Install and configure the Database for the OBIEE repositories. This includes the schema creation for the BI metadata.

WebLogic Domain Creation

Create the WebLogic domain and configure the domain with the Admin Server, Managed Servers like BI Server and Presentation Server.

Cluster Configuration

Optionally, cluster the BI Servers and Presentation Servers for high availability. Configure load balancing for the clusters.

Repository Creation and Configuration

Create the OBIEE repositories for metadata, security etc. Complete any additional configuration for caching, purging, catalogs etc.

Integration and Connectivity

Configure connectivity to source databases, LDAP security integration, SSL etc. as needed.

Admin Tools Configuration

Setup users, roles, privileges etc. in the administration tools like Enterprise Manager, Security Manager etc.

With the configuration complete, OBIEE environment will be ready for content development and consumption.

OBIEE Oracle Development

OBIEE enables IT developers to create an enterprise BI solution leveraging the semantic model, metadata and tools provided.

Modeling with Administration Tool

Using the web-based Admin Tool, the physical, business model and mapping layers can be defined including joins, hierarchies, aggregates etc.

Leverage Multi-Dimensional Data Sources

In addition to relational sources, OBIEE integrates well with Essbase, Oracle Database OLAP, MS Analysis Services for multi-dimensional modeling.

Implement Row-Level and Object-Level Security

Sophisticated security can be implemented leveraging the identity store integration. Row-level security provides data access at individual row level based on privileges.

Manage Metadata Changes and Versioning

Changes to the model are managed through the Admin Tool in a consistent way. Versioning helps track changes.

Develop Reports and Dashboards

The web-based report builder and dashboard builder allow creating pixel perfect, interactive BI content. Developers can leverage a variety of visualization and layout options.

Implement Powerful Action Framework

Actions allow triggering events from dashboard components. Actions can invoke URLs, Java code, web services, scripts and more.

Build Agent-Based Data Feeds

For operational reporting needs, leveraged automated agents to feed and refresh the OBIEE physical layer from source systems.

The comprehensive development capabilities allow IT to build and manage scalable, enterprise-grade BI solutions on the robust OBIEE platform.

OBIEE Oracle Administration

Being an enterprise-grade solution, OBIEE provides a variety of tools and capabilities for administration tasks:

Metadata Repository Management

Administrators can manage the OBIEE Oracle repositories including the schema, maintenance and archiving of metadata.

User and Privilege Management

Manage users, application roles and privileges centrally in the web-based Security Manager console. Integrates with enterprise identity stores.

Monitor Usage and Performance Metrics

Tools like Usage Tracking, Performance Manager provide insights into system usage, query performance to assist in tuning.

Configure Caching and Purging Policies

Caching and purging settings can be tuned to optimize performance through the Management tab of Admin tool.

Manage Job Execution

Administrator can schedule, monitor and manage ETL jobs for data integration and migration.

Setup High Availability

Leverage OBIEE’s clustering, failover capabilities for maximum uptime. Administrators can monitor cluster status centrally.

Manage Backup and Recovery

Metadata backups can be scheduled and restored to rollback changes or recover from failures through Enterprise Manager.

Usage Tracking and Audit Logs

Track usage at the individual user level. Audit logs provide records of operations performed by users.

With robust administration capabilities, OBIEE Oracle deployments can be managed and monitored at scale efficiently.

Integrating OBIEE Oracle with Other Systems

OBIEE provides various integration mechanisms to embed analytics into other apps and systems:

OBIEE Oracle Action Framework

Actions enable triggering events like invoking scripts, URLs, web services from OBIEE dashboard components.

BI Publisher Integration

Seamlessly integrate pixel-perfect BI Publisher reports within OBIEE dashboards.

Collaboration with Oracle Analytics Cloud

Blend data from OAC and OBIEE leveraging cloud data catalog. Unified security across both.

Embedded Analytics with Visual Analyzer

Visually develop and embed OBIEE analyses into apps using iFrames or JavaScript.

Web Services API

Leverage SOAP and REST web services to integrate OBIEE capabilities into other apps like ERP, CRM etc.

Java API

Custom Java applications can invoke OBIEE functionality using the Java API.

Share Analyses via Agents

Use agents to deliver dashboards, alerts to email, portals, file systems on a schedule.

With robust integration mechanisms, OBIEE deployments can provide organization-wide analytics delivery as part of a broader technology landscape.

Key Use Cases for OBIEE Oracle

Some typical use cases where OBIEE Oracle delivers high value:

Use CaseDescription
Sales AnalyticsAnalytics for sales performance, pipelines, forecasts, customer profiling etc. OBIEE provides actionable insights into sales numbers
Financial ReportingComplex financial and accounting reports with hierarchical roll-ups, consolidation etc. leveraging OBIEE’s multi-dimensional capabilities
Operational AnalyticsAnalytics for manufacturing operations, supply chain, inventory leveraging OBIEE’s federation capabilities
HR AnalyticsProviding HR metrics on recruitment, attrition, payroll, diversity etc. for data-driven decision making
IT AnalyticsIT service delivery analytics for service levels, outages, assets and configuration management etc.
Digital MarketingMarketing analytics for campaigns, channel performance, web analytics integration, customer/prospect profiling etc.
Industry AnalyticsPre-built analytic applications for industry domains like healthcare, retail, financial services etc.

With its enterprise-grade capabilities, OBIEE is leveraged across domains for deriving actionable insights from data.

Moving to OAC from OBIEE Oracle

Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC) is Oracle’s next-gen cloud analytics solution. Customers often consider migrating from on-prem OBIEE deployments to OAC over time.

Here are some key considerations for moving to OAC:

  • OAC provides a cloud-native solution with lower TCO compared to on-prem OBIEE.
  • The data visualization capabilities in OAC are much more modern, interactive powered by Data Visualization.
  • OAC facilitates easy data blending from diverse sources through its Data Catalog capability.
  • The OAC interface provides a more modern, intuitive experience compared to OBIEE.
  • While migrating content, OAC provides OBIEE metadata conversion utilities to minimize effort.
  • OAC leverages autonomous services and machine learning to reduce maintenance and tuning needs.
  • For larger complex deployments, a hybrid OBIEE and OAC approach can work where OAC complements the existing on-prem investments.

The path to OAC allows organizations to transform their analytics through a cloud-first, platform-driven approach over time.


Oracle BI Enterprise Edition provides a comprehensive, proven enterprise business intelligence platform with extensive capabilities for enabling data-driven organizations. The semantic model, administrative tools and robust architecture enable scalable deployments that deliver actionable insights. With its rich visualization, dashboard and ad-hoc analysis capabilities, OBIEE Oracle allows democratizing data access for better decision making. By leveraging OBIEE’s capabilities, organizations across industries can transform into intelligent enterprises powered by data analytics.


Does OBIEE require coding skills?

OBIEE provides a declarative, drag and drop approach to report/dashboard development using the web-based builder tools. This reduces the need for extensive coding skills.

Can OBIEE integrate with Hadoop and big data sources?

Yes, OBIEE provides integration with big data through Hive, Big Data SQL. Direct integration with Cloudera, Hortonworks Hadoop is possible.

Can I embed OBIEE dashboards into other apps?

Yes, OBIEE content and analyses can be embedded into other apps using iFrames, URL navigation and JavaScript APIs.

Does OBIEE offer multi-language support?

Yes, OBIEE provides support for localization into 40+ languages including French, Spanish, Japanese, Simplified Chinese etc.

Where can I get training for OBIEE skills?

Oracle University provides extensive instructor-led and online training programs on OBIEE installation, development, administration, performance tuning etc. to build expertise.

What are the system requirements for OBIEE installation?

Minimum OBIEE requirements are 8GB RAM, 10GB storage. For production, 8 core CPUs recommended. Requires 64-bit OS like Windows, Linux. Needs Java SDK, database like Oracle.