Dylan’s BI Study Notes

My notes about Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing, OLAP, and Master Data Management

Extending your BI using Fusion Application Composer

Posted by Dylan Wan on December 12, 2012

This is a very cool feature I have not seen for years.

We have heard the demands of customizing the reports from customers for years.  The deploying company almost always wants to create some custom reports.  One of the selling point of the Oracle BI platform and Oracle BI Apps has been how easy it is to extend the BI and how these extensions can be preserved during upgrade.

This Fusion Apps Application Composer is pushing this further.

What it is trying to do is to allow bring the tasks used to be done by “BI architect” to the hand of the BI user or departmental level of admin.  Also, it brings the extension to the world of the SaaS based deployment.

The center of the BI platform is to have the metadata defined to model the data and make it possible to generate the SQL behind the scene to generate the queries.  In the past, we had to use the BI Admin Tool to modify the metadata.  The BI metadata maintenance requires a specialized tool, the BI admin tool The Fusion Apps Composer now supports a specific pattern of extension – creating the custom subject area, to use a web based tool, without opening the BI Admin.

The tool actually extends the BI Apps OOTB repository file (rpd) in real time.

You can see a list of Fusion Apps business objects defined in ADF VOs and you build the custom subject area by choosing which objects to be the primary object for your fact, and which related objects as the sources for your dimensions.  After completing a guided web based “Wizard”, it creates the physical layer objects, logical objects, and presentation layer objects automatically!  Within an hour, you are creating a new subject area.

It won’t be able to replace all the advanced features available from the window based admin client tool.  However, it can satisfy a set of SaaS customer’s reporting requirements.

In my view, it is still not well documented – Customizing Objects and Customizing Analytics.  It seems a hidden powerful feature from BI content extension perspectives.

This feature is currently only available for Fusion CRM only.  Not sure if there is any plan to make it available from other pillars.  It is worth to watch how it evolves.

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3 Responses to “Extending your BI using Fusion Application Composer”

  1. mitcshi said

    This sounds indeed an awesome feature. I wonder how the new subject area can be built by using the guided web based “Wizard”. Will there be ways to create logical/physical joins between fact and dimension tables, like what can be done via the admin tool? Also, can columns be defined as derived functions in the Application Composer? etc.

    But anyhow, this is a great feature and users can create a prototype SA using this feature first, without spending effort building the same thing through the admin tool. This also will save users the time for deploying the revised RPD via Fusion Enterprise Manager. Since this is a ‘real-time’ deployment feature, the users can see the results quickly and this can be used as the starting point for admin tool based custom SA design.

  2. Which version we can use? can i install it my local BI server.

  3. Dylan Wan said

    Unfortunately, this tool has a major issue. The objects defined in the source system is not really at the business object level. The tool is not flexible enough to provide the mapping between the OLTP object definition and the BI dimensional modeling.

    A much more mature tool comes from BICS.

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