Saturday, July 25, 2009

OBIEE How to get started

About two to four times a week I get an email or an OTN request from people who want to get started as an OBIEE consultant. In this “sticky” article I want to give you some basic starting points.
Get familiar with the basic terminology:
Before you start with anything get up to speed with dimensional modelling.

(Get familiar with the works of Ralph Kimball)
Brush up your modelling capabilities, ADAPT is a good method to start with:
Read up on your Data Warehouse /  BI basics:
Get a clean (virtual) machine and first install an Oracle database. The 10g express version is OK for starters.
Maybe you want to brush up your DB skills:
Next get the latest version of OBIEE
Download the documentation:
If you have everything installed work trough the OBE tutorials on OBIEE.
Don’t not only copy the click but be sure you understand what is happening!
Download and install the extended sales sample RPD and CAT. Dissect every report and dashboard to understand how the reports work.
Have a good look around at the OTN forums. Most questions have been asked before.
Read the works of Stephen Few on how to design a good dashboard from the visual standpoint:
Learn to create reports and dashboard which people need, which is often completely different of the reports and dashboard they intentionally asked for…
If your start an 11g project brush-up your weblogic skills:
Configure your OTN account so that you “watch” certain users. Looking around at the forum you soon learn which users give the most valuable answers.
Start following the OBIEE related blogs. At this moment there are about 10 your really need to watch. (Check my blog list).
Must read material:

If you need more practices check out the Oracle Learning Library:
Till Next Time


    Srinivas Malyala said...

    Very gud article ....I struggled a lot to get information ...It will be very handy to starters.

    Anonymous said...

    John,its really an awesome post for novice guys.Lot of information in this and its a good start for guys like me.

    Thanks john


    RNM said...

    great post John.
    Do you know who moderates the OTN OBIEE forum? It would be great to get this made as a sticky on there.

    Anonymous said...

    Just a note on your very useful note: the 2nd link regarding dimensional modeling is defunct!

    Anonymous said...


    barun said...


    I have a strong Finance & Accounting background - but I have implemented Cognos Planning budgeting and forecasting software - have some elementary knowledge. I also have implemented Crystal Xcelsius dasboards at number pf paces.Would it a good idea for me to learn OBIEE reporting and dasboarding?


    John Minkjan said...


    It's always good to learn something new, but the basics,(dimensional modeling) is much more important then the tool!



    Muthukumar said...

    Very crisp and neat post , I have never seen any post by in any blog so prompt and dandy!!!

    Anonymous said...

    Wow. The best post on starting OBIEE anywhere. Thank you so much for putting it together. Finding this type of info is like a needle in a haystack that i've been going through for awhile.

    Again, thanks.

    Unknown said...

    Hi! Would you know how to setup a measure that would get the previous year data?
    Let's say I have Current year data 2009, how will I build the formula for the column that would generate the Previous Year data?
    In my Date dimension table, I have Current Year and Previous Year columns.

    Also, how will I setup the formula to get the percentage change of this 2 fields?


    John Minkjan said...


    Simple make an alias of your fact table shifted one year back.



    Anonymous said...

    Hi I am a CBS functional consultant.. in a sticky spot :) and lots of free time.. Wanted to know if there is scope for a non techie in OBIEE.. if yes, some advice please

    John Minkjan said...


    I have no idea what a CBS functional consultant does, so I can't help you there....


    Unknown said...

    Hello Sir:

    I had a problem with our OBIEE Analytics, when I run it in our Development Environment, I could see the data results. But when in Production, i get the message "NO DATA
    Your selection didn't result any data. KINDLY TRY AGAIN !!!"

    What seems to be the problem, I am just new to this OBIEE and there was no knowledge transfer.


    John Minkjan said...

    @arze arce,

    Did you change the connection pool? Does the view data in the physical layer give you the required results?

    Regards John

    Anonymous said...

    thanx alot john the material
    i am having a problem i am haven problem with oracle presentation ver i am when ever i am trying to connect it is showing off line

    mithil said...

    Great post! very helpful.

    akglko said...

    very useful information, thanks.
    I m new to BI. I have to print two rows from one record of a oracle table. How to do without using templates, as i m not comfortable with them ? Is there any way to use PL/SQL in BI ? can u suggest some solution.

    Life in Oracle said...


    I am an oracle database administrator with a basic knowledge of oracle data ware you think I can make a shift to obiee ?


    Krishna said...

    I think you are the right person to help me .
    My issue is in the presentation services i was able to get the data from A table and also the B table.
    When i want to mix up the data from A and B table in the results it showing no results based on your request.
    can u sort it out

    Unknown said...

    i am new for to install obiee.i can any body say installation process of obiee 10.1.3

    Anonymous said...

    very good post.Thanxs for the information you shared.

    Oracle Applications

    Anonymous said...

    John,a very structured article...really a good post for novice.I'm Siebel BA and wanted to learn OBIEE, is it good to have knowledge of OBIEE and are there any ppts for the same?

    Anonymous said...

    Thanks for this post! Really helpful and appreciated.

    Keyrti said...

    Great post, John...especially for a novice like me.
    I have attended a training course in
    OBIEE and familiarized myself with the tool.
    I am planning to search for a job in OBIEE and got to know that it is not possible to get a break as a fresher. Min 5 yrs experience is required....
    Can you let me know your thoughts regarding my job search in OBIEE as a fresher? Or, your guidance in my going further with OBIEE?

    Thanks a lot.

    Del said...

    Thank you for the article. Very informative for a newbie like me.

    Bhavin Adhvaryu said...

    Hi Jon,

    It very good article. I struggled a lot to find all this information & details. I am about the learn OBIEE and your guide is very handy to novice like me.

    Bhavin Adhvaryu said...

    Hi Jon,

    I am unable to access BI/Datawarehousing basics link. It comes back with an error page on Oracle site.

    Can you please help me?