AMIS is participating in the Oracle Warehouse Builder Paris Release Beta program. Unfortunately I have not had too much time for in depth involvement myself. However, from what I have done and seen, from the work my colleagues were doing as well, I am pretty – t0 use an Americanism – excited. (A more British way of putting it probably would be ‘well, it’s interesting’. But that is really to say the least. If for no other reason that organizations who have licenses for the 10gDS or 9iDS developer suites – for example because of Oracle Forms or Oracle Designer – also have the right to use Oracle Warehouse Builder! That’s a lot of tool for very little money – actually in those cases no money at all.
For quite some time I have been telling people about OWB and how its name may throw you of track: yes, it is an excellent tool for designing and building warehouses and BI applications, but it is an excellent tool for doing Data Management and several types of Data Integration tasks as well. With this new Paris release of OWB, that has become even more evident.
Designing and building ETL-processes – for Extracting, Transforming and Loading data – from a data source (a table, queue, file, ERP application etc.) to a data target (a table, a queue, a file, etc.) is a breeze with OWB, even if you do not have a DWH as a target. You can perform aggregation during the ETL process, but you do not have to. You can implement – design and generate – many different ways of transforming the data that is on the flow, but these transformation can be targeted at operational systems just as easily as at data warehouses!
The Data Profiler – excellently demonstrated in the second and third resources listed below – is a fabulous tool for examining and even correcting data. You can apply this tool to – again – tables in Data Warehouses or any kind of table anywhere! More on the Data Profiler in Bayon Blog: Data Profiling, from which this excerpt:
Probably the feature Oracle is hoping you’ll use most, and why Data Profiling is included in OWB instead of an alternate tool or standalone product is OWB’s ability to monitor and make corrections to data based on the work one does in the Data Profiling section of the product. OWB endeavors to allow you to quickly, and programatically leverage the results of an analysis into working monitors and data cleansing routines. It’s a noble start at implementing easy rule based automated ETL generation and cleansing of data but has some difficulties in ongoing management.
Another area where OWB can make a contribution – is Database Design. With the pending demise of Oracle Designer and the useful but as of yet immature attempts within JDeveloper, it is worthwhile looking at what Oracle Warehouse Builder can do. See for example Paris for the Designer from the AMIS Blog – by my colleague Andre Crone.
An introduction to Oracle Warehouse Builder is provided in a paper I wrote for ODTUG 2005 (the Oracle Development Tools User Group conference in New Orleans last month). I present a small business case for creating a Data Warehouse based on the statistics of the visits to this weblog. We try to get answers to real business problems such as: when is the best time of the week to do maintenance on the weblog, what is the best time of the week to post an article, where do our visitors come from and when is it time to order new hardware in order to cater for the traffic on the weblog. You can find this paper on Download Oracleâ€™s next generation of Busines Intelligence Tools â€“ Drake goes to Paris to cook some BI Beans
Bayon Blog: OWB PARIS : EARLY REVIEW series
Bayon Blog: Data Profiling
NWOUG PRESENTATION ON OWB PARIS Very useful overview (ppt, 27 slides) of OWB Paris features
Mark Rittman’s Weblog on Oracle Warehouse Builder
An Introduction to OracleBI Warehouse Builder 10gR2 â€œParisâ€? An Oracle White Paper November 2004
Paris for the Designer from the AMIS Blog – by Andre Crone