Case Studies

Dan and Tim are Presenting at Oracle OpenWorld 2017

We are thrilled to announce that Dan Vlamis and Tim Vlamis will be presenting at Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco October 1-5, 2017. This year presentations include:

We don't know the dates and times yet of these presentations, but we will post another blog entry when we find out. We have been told that the schedule builder for OpenWorld will be available at the end of August. When it's available, be looking for us and sign up to attend!

Follow @VlamisSoftware and #VlamisOOW17 for all breaking news regarding our activities and presentations at OpenWorld. We are looking forward to seeing you in San Francisco!

BIWA TechCast on Oracle BI Case Study November 9

Join us for a BIWA TechCast presented by our friends at HDR.   They will discuss their implementation of Oracle BI (including involvement by Vlamis Software) in the TechCast at 11am Central time on November 9, 2011.  The BIWA SIG of the IOUG will host the webcast.  See https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/748964456 for more information and to register.

Using Oracle OLAP 11g with Essbase Hybrid Analysis

I just finished my latest set of benchmarks using OLAP 11g query rewrite to accelerate our data warehouse demo. I thought while I was at it I would see what hooking Essbase to Oracle OLAP would do. Since I already had a star schema alot of the work was done. I decided to use Essbase Integration Services (EIS) to model the warehouse and then build the essbase outlines and load the data. I wanted to test both loading a full Essbase database and also see how well Hybrid Analysis would work using the OLAP query rewrite functionality. This would allow me to also allow me to use the Essbase compatible front-end tools, such as excel add-in and visual explorer, to look at my warehouse data.

Setting up the Model and Metaoutline using the EIS tools was a little different than using Analytic Workspace Manager (for OLAP) but is easy enough to use. I first defined a standard ASO cube that would contain all the data. I was able to exactly match the design that I have in Oracle OLAP without any problems. Once I built the outline I set off to load the dimensions and the cube. To test the Query Rewrite I first turned rewrite OFF and performed my loads. Times were not very fast... AWM was faster! This may be due to ODBC vs OCI direct loads... but it was not horrible! Once loaded I ran the aggregation wizard to optimize the ASO database this took a while to perform. I then looked at the data in Excel. All my data was there and performance was excellent! So now I wanted to see if Rewrite affects the data loads... So I turned on Rewrite and rebuilt the database. Load performance was slightly better but the aggregation wizard was much faster! This is pretty much what I would expect.

Now for the big test--Hybrid Analysis--what what I came for. I went back into EIS and modified the metaoutline to have the last two levels of my Geography (which had 150,000 members) be in the hybrid (ROLAP) and the last level of my Product in the Hybrid. Rebuilt my database. The Essbase cube is now Tiny and loads in minutes! I turned off rewrite and went into Excel. Drilling at the upper levels was normal... drilling down geography became much slower--the deeper I went, the worse it got. I then did the same test with rewrite turned on. It made a significant difference! Performance using query rewrite was 5-10 times faster than without it. And I did not have to tweak anything or build materialized views or anything. So this looks this has promise! And now I can look at my data using some of the Essbase compatible tools!

So in general using Oracle OLAP 11g with Essbase is very promising! I can see where it has several value propostions. Anyone else out there doing this, please share your experiences.

Vlamis Used Oracle OLAP For National Petroleum Council Study

Vlamis Software was hired by the National Petroleum Council to develop a data warehouse to analyze global energy demand and supply through 2030. We are honored to be responsible for developing the data warehouse used by the NPC. We used a mix of relational technology and Oracle OLAP analytic workspaces to perform the aggregations and averages necessary for the analysis. This was particularly challenging for the areas where we needed to supply code and logic, but for confidentiality purposes, were not able to see the raw data itself! We developed many of the reports and graphs used in the analysis using Discoverer Plus OLAP. As this report was commissioned by U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman, this report is now "in the news". Simply Google National Petroleum Council for July 18 or July 19 and you'll see lots of references, including one in the New York Times. You can find much more about this on the NPC web site. Page 352 of the full report, includes the following:
The data warehouse was designed to be the main analytical tool for the Task Groups, accepting all data collected from the survey questionnaire and other data sources. As the survey data were multi-dimensional, Oracle OLAP database technology was used and the collection was organized using 7 dimensions:

  1. Time (year)

  2. Geography (country or geographic region)

  3. Energy type (e.g., Oil, Gas, Coal, Nuclear, Renewable)

  4. Energy sector (e.g., Commercial, Residential)

  5. Case type (e.g., Business as usual, Alternative energy policy)

  6. Units (applicable unit of measure)

  7. Source (e.g., Public, Proprietary)



This was a very interesting project to work on with many interesting technical challenges, including non-additive data, skip-level hierarchies, non-standard aggregation rules, and more. We hope that this data becomes publicly available some day. Contact us if you want to know more.