Data Mashup in OBIEE 12c
Posted by Dylan Wan on October 14, 2015
Data Mashup is a new feature from OBIEE 12c.
It is one of the two main features that OBIEE 12c. The other one is the visual analyzer.
When I tested the data mashup features, it supports these two scenarios.
- Extensible Attribute – Extended Dimension Attribute
- External Benchmark – Extended Fact
Both features are accomplished without changing the RPD file.
One of the major challenges for development is that we have to develop OBIEE applications in an admin tool.
Changing RPD files is a special skill to be performed by BI architect, who know how to use the BI admin tool. OBIEE does not support BI admin tool in other OS. It becomes extremely difficult when we moves to the cloud based environment.
The OBIEE 12c feature allows you to upload the data from an excel file via a web based interface. Please note that only excel file is allowed at this time, not any random csv file, probably due to the excel file has the additional metadata to describe the data type.
The mashup feature is not supported via the changing the BI metadata. Instead, it relies on new query syntax XSA introduced in the logical query. When the extended data is uploaded, it is probably handled like building a BI cache, which are internally stored as files in the OS, anyway. BI server knows to redirect regular queries to get the data from the cache, not going to the source database anyway. What the new syntax does is to explicitly redirect the queries to the cache that stores the mashup files. What a clever architecture design!
From the user’s perspectives, the mashup data are available as a separate subject area, not the same subject area as the data are being extended. Again, I guess that this design is to leverage the cross subject area join that exist already.
In general, the mashup feature is a good alternative to building the customization by changing the BI RPD files.