3 Ways to Connect Tableau to OBIEE
The best way to overcome the data visualization drawbacks of OBIEE is to connect Self-service analytics tools to OBIEE.
Tableau is one of the data visualization tools that have the potential to effectively complement OBIEE’s limitations just by integrating Tableau and OBIEE.
Some organizations, despite moving to Oracle Analytics Cloud(OAC) are connecting Tableau to OAC as well, as a significant number of users are already well-acquainted with Tableau, and prefer sticking to it.
Here are the 3 different options for connecting Tableau to OBIEE or OAC:
- Oracle BI Server ODBC Driver
- BI Connector
- Web Data Connectors (such as Unify)
Before we start, you may want to take a quick look at the 5 mandatory requirements of a Tableau to OBIEE Connector.
Oracle BI Server ODBC Driver
The Oracle BI Server ODBC Driver from Oracle helps users setup OBIEE DSNs. The driver enables users to directly connect Tableau to the OBIEE data.
However, the driver comes with many disadvantages. The users require complex technical knowledge to get this driver work. Hence, getting this driver work consistently is an uphill task. Further, the driver’s performance is poor.
Another major disadvantage of this driver is the need for re-engineering in OBIEE. The key fields must be exposed in OBIEE RPD in business and presentation layers for each folder/table that is to be analyzed in Tableau.
BI Connector is an ODBC-based connector used for connecting Tableau to OBIEE and OAC. The Connector transforms Tableau queries into OBIEE queries and fetches the data back to Tableau.
Here’s a quick glimpse of what BI Connector does:
- Connects Tableau securely to both OBIEE Subject Areas and Reports
- Retains the joins and aggregations in OBIEE with simple workarounds
- Supports both Live and Extract queries of Tableau
- Works seamlessly with both Tableau Desktop and Server
- Eliminates Tableau/OBIEE version incompatibility issues
The only disadvantage of BI Connector is that it has a license fee that’s priced based on the number of CPU Cores (starting at 8-cores) on the Tableau Server, and the total number of users (including all Creators, Explorers and Viewers) in the case of Tableau Cloud. The users can try BI Connector’s 30-day fully-featured free trial anytime!
Web Data Connectors
The connector enables users to connect Tableau to predefined queries of OBIEE data via the web, and to retain the OBIEE joins. The connectivity is restricted only to these pre-configured queries. Hence, live queries are not possible.
The Web Data Connectors are prone to version incompatibility issues. When the users upgrade to a new version, the likelihood for the connector to stop working is high. Further, web data connectors could not handle union reports or complex reports with subqueries.
Among all the 3 options, BI Connector stands out as the best in connecting Tableau to OBIEE or OAC. BI Connector is also the only connector among the three that meets all the 5 mandatory requirements of a Tableau to OBIEE Connector.