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Tools You Own

Tools You Own. Maggie Moehringer AIRPO, June 2006. Why Use a Tool You Own. It’s “free” (or cheap). It precludes a survey, product learning curve an evaluation. It precludes having to go to bid. Comes with SUNY ITEC and campus support. It will do:

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Tools You Own

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  1. Tools You Own Maggie Moehringer AIRPO, June 2006

  2. Why Use a Tool You Own • It’s “free” (or cheap). • It precludes a survey, product learning curve an evaluation. • It precludes having to go to bid. • Comes with SUNY ITEC and campus support. • It will do: • Not buying features you don’t need and won’t use. • Not counting on “bleeding edge” features. • Products do improve over time.

  3. “Tools” • In the “Business Intelligence” arena • Oracle Discoverer • Oracle Discoverer Viewer • Oracle Warehouse Builder • Oracle HTML-DB (“Application Express”) • Oracle 10g OLAP/BI • Hyperion “SQR” • Hyperion “Performance Suite”

  4. “Own” • For Oracle products: • Participate (pay, are recharged) for ITEC “Oracle License and Support” • All State-Ops except for Cornell, Optometry, Forestry, Purchase • Half of Community Colleges.

  5. “Own” • For Hyperion Products: • For “SQR”: • Banner campuses • Anyone who owns “Hyperion Performance Suite” • Some others • 21 State Ops and 16 Community Colleges. • For Hyperion Performance Suite: • 10 State Ops • 5 Community Colleges

  6. “Business Intelligence” • “Business intelligence (BI) is a broad category of application programs and technologies for gathering, storing, analyzing, and providing access to data to help enterprise users make better business decisions. BI applications include the activities of decision support, query and reporting, online analytical processing (OLAP), statistical analysis, forecasting, and data mining.”

  7. “Business Intelligence” Tools • Extract, transform and load data (ETL tools). • Build data repositories geared to query/reporting/analysis (e.g. inquiry-only databases, stars, OLAP cubes). • Document data with metadata (data about data) and user views. • Query data repositories. • Analyze the data in repositories. • Format reports. • Make reports available (portals, etc.).

  8. “ETL” and “Build” Tools You Own • Oracle Warehouse Builder • Hub of Oracle BI Suite • Specify data source files and target files • Sources: databases, flat files or applications • Targets: Oracle database tables (dimensions and cubes included) • Specify transformations and mappings • Keep all the specifications in a metadata repository • Generate relational and dimensional table creation and data load “scripts” • Re-use the metadata in other Oracle BI Suite products (Discoverer, etc.).

  9. “ETL” and “Build” Tools You Own (con’t) • OWB Advantages: • Documents your design and procedures in one place. • Makes that design available to drive other Oracle tools. • Generates “error free” load scripts. • Ease of maintenance. • Used in Banner ODS/EDW products. • OWB Disadvantages • A “DBA” tool, not an “Application Developer” tool. • Learning curve, overhead, maintenance and support. • You can do many of the things it does yourself.

  10. “Metadata” Tools You Own • A little here, a little there. • Not done well or comprehensively anywhere. • OWB: documents data, data transformations and repositories. • Discoverer: can hold definitions and user-friendly features such as code expansions and select lists.

  11. “Query” Tools You Own • Query: • Enter data selection parameters, pull off a result set. • Rudimentary formatting. • Export facilities (Excel, e.g.). • Oracle Discoverer: • A perfectly adequate query tool. • Doesn’t do much more. • OLAP capabilities at the 10g level.

  12. Query Tools: Oracle Discoverer • Typical query capabilities: • Enter parameters and selection criteria • Drill • Sort • Pivot • Chart • Format headings, footers, fonts, etc. • Desktop and Internet clients • Can be an end-user tool with training • Interfaces are not Oracle’s forte.

  13. Query Tools: Hyperion’s SQR • A powerful query tool • Also a powerful “presentation quality” reporting tool • Not good for most end users; SQL based • Data manipulation and updating capability • Nice development toolset for developers • Web reports and distribution/management facility (portal) • Many Banner campuses currently use it.

  14. Analysis Tools: • Hyperion Intelligence • Query, analysis, and presentation tool • Sophisticated development tools • Decision support tool and OLAP processing support • “Dashboard” interface builder • Web and client/server support • Needs developer effort. • Oracle Discoverer – 10g

  15. Report Formatting Tools • You own Oracle Reports, an improving facility. • SQR • Perhaps our weakest link • Inexpensive surrogates, e.g. Crystal Reports.

  16. Distribution Tools • We own Discoverer “Viewer” (Plus) – Web users can, through their browser: • View available queries • Enter any parameters the query requests • Sort, drill, pivot • Cannot change the basic query • Interface can be customized • System Office will be using to distribute Discoverer queries to the campuses. • Hyperion products have distribution components.

  17. A Development Tool We Own • Oracle “Application Express” (formerly known as HTML-DB): • Easily creates Oracle tables from, e.g., Excel spreadsheets • Supplies an easy development facility for simple or complex web access to the tables • Easy for programmers to learn and use • Distributes data that might be captive in desktop applications.

  18. Questions? • Maggie Moehringer Director of Information Services SUNY System Administration (518) 443-5438 maggie.moehringer@suny.edu

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