OAC vs OAS: A Quick Comparison

BI Connector Team |

OAC vs OAS comparison

Introduction

Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC), as the name indicates, is Oracle’s platform for performing data analytics in the cloud. OAC is an advanced platform with AI and ML capabilities for purposes ranging from data discovery to automated data analytics. Currently, OAC competes with modern data visualization tools such as Power BI and Tableau.

Oracle Analytics Server (OAS), on the other hand, is pretty much the same as OAC in its purpose, except that it’s hosted on-premise. OAS is a replacement of Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) on-premise, and OBIEE users can simply upgrade to OAS for free, and leverage the AI/ML features of OAS, which are absent in OBIEE.

Migrating from OAC to OAS, or vice-versa is quick and easy. It’s as simple as exporting the content from one platform and deploying them on another.

Though the hosting method is the major difference between OAC and OAS at a high level, there are other minor differences as well in terms of data handling, user-convenience, and maintenance.

In this blog post, we’ll do a quick comparison of Oracle Analytics Cloud and Oracle Analytics Server in the key aspects. This comparison will help you to choose between OAC and OAS (or both on a hybrid model) based on your organization’s needs.

OAC vs OAS

In this section, we’ll see the differences between OAC and OAS in the following aspects:

  1. Administration
  2. Data handling
  3. Convenience
  4. Maintenance

Let’s run them through!

Administration

Administration

First things first, let’s look at how OAC and OAS fare against each other from behind the stage.

We’ll compare 2 aspects here – hosting and configuration.

FactorOACOAS
HostingOracle-hosted and managed in Oracle CloudHosted and managed by customers
ConfigurationNo access to the underlying server and configuration filesServer and configuration files are accessible and manageable by customers

Hosting

The hosting factor is a key deciding factor in choosing between OAC and OAS. OAC is hosted and managed by Oracle in Oracle cloud, whereas OAS is hosted and managed by the customers themselves on-prem.

OAS users will have to handle the maintenance and backup for their OAS server, whereas this critical stuff is all taken care of by Oracle in OAC. On the flip side, the organizations that are still skeptical to move to the cloud have the OAS option.

Configuration

As OAC’s hosting is managed by Oracle in the cloud, the access to the hosted server and its configuration files are not accessible by customers. 

OAS, as it is hosted on-prem, the customers have access to the server and can modify configuration files based on their needs.

Data handling

Data handling

Now let’s take a quick look at the key differences between OAC and OAS on their data handling features.

Though OAC and OAS pretty much have the same data handling capabilities, they differ in the Thin Client Modeler and Data Replication features.

FeatureOACOAS
Data ReplicationAvailable, for Oracle-based SaaS apps
Dataflows can also be used
Not available
The workaround is to use the Dataflows feature
Thin Client ModelerAvailableNot available, as the feature works only with Cloud Analytics service

Data Replication

The Data Replication option is available in OAC for Oracle-based SaaS applications. This feature simplifies the data connectivity to different SaaS applications from Oracle. 

Currently, the Data Replication feature is not available in OAS. Instead, OAS users can use the dataflows feature (which is available in OAC as well).

Thin Client Modeler

OAC comes with a browser-based data modeling tool called Thin Client Modeler. The Thin Client Modeler makes the metadata set up a lot simpler.

As the Thin Client Modeler works only with cloud analytics services, the feature is absent in OAS. In OAS, the metadata configuration is managed in the Client Administration tool. 

Though the thin client modeler simplifies the metadata set up, it is not capable of handling complex scenarios (such as automatic query redirection), which can be handled only in the Client Admin tool. 

User Convenience

User convenience

Again, from a user-convenience perspective, both OAC and OAS are pretty much the same. However, they do differ in the Natural Language capabilities and mobile-friendliness.

FactorOACOAS
Natural Language CapabilitiesBoth Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Natural Language Generation (NLG) are availableNLP is available
NLG is not available
Mobile-friendlinessOracle Day by Day app is availableOracle Day by Day isn’t availableOAS web version can be used in mobile
Power BI and Tableau connectivityAvailable with BI ConnectorAvailable with BI Connector

Natural Language Capabilities

The Natural Language capabilities are further categorized into Natural Language Generation (NLG) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) in OAC.

The Natural Language Generation (NLG) feature summarizes the insights (from the analyzed data) in human language and shares them with users, even before the user asks for it. This is achieved by Oracle Cloud AI.

The Natural Language Processing (NLP) feature, as widely known, is the ability of the application to interact with users in natural language by responding to their questions in natural language.

NLP is available in both OAC and OAS, while NLG is available only in OAC.

Mobile-friendliness

The Oracle Day by Day mobile app is available for OAC users. The Day by Day helps users with automated insights, based on their analysis in the past.

The Day by Day app is not available for OAS users, but they can use the OAS web app on mobile.

Power BI and Tableau connectivity

Some users, despite the organization switching to OAC/OAS, prefer using a different data visualization tool such as Power BI or Tableau, as they are already familiar with them.

In that case, organizations can connect Power BI or Tableau to both OAC and OAS via BI Connector.

Maintenance

Maintenance

Maintenance is another aspect of this comparison post. In this aspect, we’ll consider the enhancement and upgrades factors.

FactorOACOAS
Enhancements and bug fixesOnce or twice every quarterMuch less comparatively, like once a year
UpgradesAutomaticManual

Enhancements

Oracle updates OAC and fixes bugs approximately once or twice every quarter. On the other hand, OAS gets less frequent updates comparatively.

Hence, OAC is improving pretty faster than OAS.

Upgrades

The upgrades happen automatically in the OAS, as it is cloud-based and managed by Oracle. In the case of OAS, the customers have complete control over the upgrades, and upgrades are done manually.

Conclusion

From the comparison, it is clear that OAC is advanced and better equipped than OAS. However, OAS has an alternative or workaround option in most cases to fill the gap.

As mentioned earlier, the major deciding factor for choosing between OAC and OAS is the hosting method. If your organization and users are obsessed with features and convenience, it is good to choose OAC, as it is more frequently updated.

If your organization is skeptical to move to the cloud, OAS is a good choice. In some cases, companies may use both OAC and OAS on a hybrid model as well based on their unique needs.