Select Page

Art of BI: Federation in OBIEE. What are you talking about?

Christian Screen | | July 28, 2009

Every software tool has its own language and nomenclature that comes along with it.  Most times that language is plain, makes sense, and ultimately is accepted by the masses. However, sometimes it can be rather esoteric.  Again, this is great for us consultants because we can often appear even smarter than we already are by throwing out some big buzz words that grab our audiences’ attention.

To make a long story short, I was recently asked about integrating Hyperion Essbase with OBIEE for drill-through functionality.  In that conversation, I faintly heard a business user mention something about “federating OBIEE”.  With my e-commerce background, I immediately thought of federated servers.  I had implemented that infrastructure in the past for high-availability so I know if the faint discussion turned into a key discussion I would have no problem speaking to it.  Unfortunately, that mention remained a non-topic.  However, later I thought to myself that that mention of “federating”  could have also been interpreted as a principal technique used in data-warehousing from years past. Anyway…

Just recently I came across a great web tutorial on Oracle by Example that talks about “Federating Essbase and Relational Data Sources in OBIEE”.  At this point, we’ve been doing the integration shown in this tutorial for a good while so this is nothing new to me.  But, there was that buzz word – “Federating”.  After reading the first paragraph of the document I extrapolated that Oracle is basically referring to “federation” as the combination of data sources (seemingly disparate heterogeneous data sources only) through OBIEE modeling.   Furthermore, they have broken the term down into two components, horizontal and vertical.  Here is a brief summary of the two:

Horizontal Federation

  • Integrating two or more disparate data source having the same level of granularity joined by one or more conformed dimensions
  • Example: Essbase Sales cube with HR relational database

Vertical Federation

  • Integrating two or more disparate data source having different levels of granularity joined by one or more conformed dimensions
  • Example: Essbase Sales cube to relational Sales detail data (drill-through)

I’ll be talking to our Oracle Sales reps here in the next few days to see if this term “Federating, Federation, or Federated” is something they are using going forward for this type of integration in the Oracle Roadmap.  I actually like the use of the term.  Let’s see if it will stick or disappear into the cosmos like so many terms in IT that have come before it.

Let me know what you think.

Subscribe to Our Blog

Never miss a post! Stay up to date with the latest database, application and analytics tips and news. Delivered in a handy bi-weekly update straight to your inbox. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Art of BI: BI Publisher (BIP) Quick Guide and Tips

Read our blog post on how to take over production support of BI Publisher reports.

Sherry Milad | January 15, 2018

How to Index a Fact Table – A Best Practice

At the base of any good BI project is a solid data warehouse or data mart.

Christian Screen | March 16, 2010

Art of BI: How to Add Comments in Oracle BI (OBIEE)

Ultimately the goal of commentary in OBIEE is to have a system for persisting feedback, creating a call to action, and recognizing the prolific users.

Christian Screen | December 29, 2013

Work with Us

Let’s have a conversation about what you need to succeed and how we can help get you there.

CONTACT US

Work for Us

Where do you want to take your career? Explore exciting opportunities to join our team.

EXPLORE JOBS