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Art of BI: Oracle BI (OBI) 11g on the iPad

Christian Screen | | February 17, 2011

OBI 11g on the iPad is here. We’ll technically speaking you can always pull up a web based application via the iPad’s default web browser, Safari. So, what’s the big deal with OBI 11g on the iPad?  To make a long story a short one, the primary issue has to do with the rendering of the graphs and charts being of the Adobe Flash persuasion; iPad just can’t (won’t) handle Flash.

If you’re currently looking for OBI 11g on the iPad, go ahead; just point to your local OBI Instance and you’ll see dashboards, the layout for most objects, etc.  What you won’t see right now are all of the charts and graphs that help make OBI 11g so crisp and brilliant.  Is that really a problem?  You betcha!  So, what is all of the buzz you’ve heard about Oracle releasing an iPad version of OBI 11g sometime this year?  Well if you’ve looked at mobile applications these days you at least have some understanding that these custom built apps have the ability to create an intuitively interactive experience leveraging functionality unique to each mobile device.  Since the iPad is clearly at the forefront for mobile tablets there are intuitive actions, menus, and just pure mobile haptic functions that the web browser based experience can’t provide you when interacting with OBI 11g.  Thus the reason it is taking Oracle sometime to develop, test, and release the iPad application for OBI 11g; It’s not just the web app its going to be more of a mobile interactive application that just happens to communicate with one or more OBI 11g instances.

Of course, Oracle has already tried this with the big iPhone failure called Oracle Indicators that came out in late 2009 if I recall correctly.  The app was/is free on the iTunes App Store but it lacked moxie and had a few issues, rendered slowly, and just didn’t have any features that one couldn’t otherwise find on the web application.  I did a short blog post on it here if you care to view it.

Be sure to check back here for when the official Oracle BI 11g iPad application is released.  I’ll try to put up a video review and some other detail surrounding the release.  I just hope not to be disappointed with it like Oracle Indicators.  If Oracle was really trying to get the iPad application adopted, they would Open Source the XCode Objective-C code and build a community.  Likewise, they should open OBI 11g up to be a framework for plug-in adaptability like Oracle OLAP but that is a blog post for a different day.

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