Wednesday, June 1, 2011

BI Forum: Day 1 (Atlanta)

Here's the schedule:

Jeff McQuigg - Advanced OBIEE Metadata Topics
Kevin McGinley - Mobility & OBIEE: There are Options
Suyog Rao - BIEE Security: Deep dive into understanding and troubleshooting security aspects
Phillipe Lions - What's coming in OBIEE, and Hidden Gems of OBIEE 11g
Panel Discussion 1 - OBIEE 11g - Was it worth the wait?
Stewart Bryson - Agile Data Warehousing with Exadata and OBIEE 11g

Jeff McQuigg
I've heard and read lots of good things about Jeff (none of them true by the way) so I was very much looking forward to his presentation. Bonus points to Jeff for running Brew Palace (I couldn't find Natural Light though...dangit). I seem to surround myself with beer people, good beer people (also known as beer snobs), so I do drink decent beer away from home.

The highlights based on his presentation agenda:
- Combo Tables - Basically tables that mix attributes and measures. In short, create 2 logical tables using the same physical source. Put your attributes in the Dimension and your measures in the Facts. I know this method which makes me appreciate one of my mentors even more.
- Make Dims & Facts Reach - Surprising result to me, putting the bridge table along with the Fact table is more performant. I thought it was the other way around. Something learned. Bonus.
- Non-Conformed Dimensions - Solution #2 involved setting the levels, though not necessarily at the table (Content) level, but at the metric level...for every single metric. That was counterintuitive, of course, but what can you do. I thank the mentor again though.
- Canonical Time - First, thanks mentor. Second, Jeff calls this the old-school way or the Siebel way. It's the method I have used. Though if left to my own I would probably go the other way, creating a different (aliased) date dimension for each slice. I think what Jeff said is true, it's more intuitive this way.

I'm pretty sure at this point my brain was full. So you'll have to go through the presentation yourself on the last 2.
- Selecting a Logical Table Source
- Controlling Join Paths

Kevin McGinley
So the first 2 guys had shaved heads, a sign of good things to come.

Kevin presented on the mobile aspects of OBIEE. I follow Jake at the AppsLab, so I'm fairly up to speed with the concepts in general. I did get to show Kevin Untappd, which is a Foursquare like web app for the phone, but for beer, not locations (see how this is all tying in?). I understand the native vs. web app, in most circumstances I would choose the web app first and then consider a native app. Unfortunately, it's difficult to change skins in the presentation layer. I need to attend a nice session on doing that one of these days.

BTW, check out Kevin's appendix, lots of really good information there.

Suyog Rao
If there ever was a villain, it was Suyog.

Security was a hot topic. I won't pretend I know a lot about security in 10g or 11g so I won't really opine. All I do know is that there was quite a lot of audience participation (i.e. WhyTF did you do that? That won't work! etc.). I wish I could have stayed the whole time, but I got a migraine and ducked out for the remainder of the day.

If I did get anything from that session, it's that Suyog gives a shit. That's a good thing.

So I missed Phillipe's and Stewart's presentations and also the panel discussion. I had planned on taking the side of "It was worth the wait" just because I didn't believe it was, but no go for me.

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