FAQs on Tableau, Power BI, Qlik to OBIEE BI Connector


Quick Q&A on BI Connector!

How does BI Connector differ from other Web data connectors such as Unify or EzDataMunch?

BI Connector is a purpose-built connector that offers both live and exact capability in addition to being battle-tested in several large customer deployments. Web data connectors such as Unify or EzDataMunch just extract data from OBIEE and are not proven to handle OBIEE complex queries/reports. Please refer to this article on the five areas where BI Connector is different from other connectors.

I have SSO for OBIEE. How would BI Connector work in my environment?

BI Connector supports custom integration with SSO modules such as Oracle Access Manager, Windows Native Authentication, SAML etc. BI Connector’s SSO integration will enable users to log in to OBIEE using their SSO credentials. Because of the limitations of Tableau Server, BI Connector does not support automatic login. Users should log in to OBIEE data sources using their SSO credentials after logging into Tableau server.

Since each SSO deployment is unique, SSO integration for BI Connector is offered as a Professional Services effort based on Statement of Work (SOW) at an additional cost. SSO integration starts at $9,500. Please contact us to learn more.

Where is the BI Connector Server Edition installed?

If you are using Tableau Server, BI Connector Server Edition is installed on the same machine where Tableau Server is installed.

If you are using Tableau Online, BI Connector Server Edition is installed on the same machine as the Tableau Bridge.

Does BI Connector support connecting to OBIEE reports and subject areas?

Yes. Connectivity to OBIEE reports is generally available. Connectivity to Subject Areas is in beta testing. Please contact us if you are interested in evaluating BI Connector.

What is the difference between Import and DirectQuery connection to OBIEE? What are the limitations, if any, of each?

When choosing to import data from OBIEE, Power BI imports the data into its in-memory cache. You can create visualizations from the imported data. To see the current data in OBIEE, you should refresh.

When you use DirectQuery, Power BI Desktop does not import or copy the OBIEE data. You can view the list of columns in Fact and Dimension tables. As you create visualizations by choosing the columns, data is queried from OBIEE via BI Connector. You always see the current data in OBIEE. DirectQuery works well with large multi-dimensional data sources such as OBIEE.

To learn more about the difference between Import and DirectQuery connections to OBIEE, please refer to our blog article on this topic.

Where is the BI Connector Server Edition installed?

BI Connector Server Edition is installed on the same machine in which the Power BI On-premise Gateway is installed.

Is DirectQuery supported via Power BI On-Premise Gateway when connecting to an OBIEE data source using BI Connector?

Yes, BI Connector supports DirectQuery connections to OBIEE data sources via On-Premise Gateway.

What is BI Connector?

Companies have invested years of effort and millions of dollars in Oracle BI(OBIEE) to develop the metadata, security model and reports for their business intelligence data warehouse. But users find OBIEE difficult to use and prefer to use visual analytics tools such as Tableau and Power BI.

BI Connector provides an easy and efficient solution to transition users from OBIEE to Tableau/Power BI. Regardless of whether you plan to retain OBIEE or migrate eventually from OBIEE to the new visualization platform, BI Connector enables users to visualize OBIEE subject areas and reports with their favorite tool using their own OBIEE credentials. Users securely access only the data that they are authorized to access in OBIEE. With BI Connector, users eliminate the manual, cumbersome and repetitive export/import of OBIEE data. IT teams benefit from a smooth transition of users to data visualization tool without expensive re-engineering, testing, or retraining.

How does BI Connector work?

BI connector acts as the bridge between Tableau/Power BI and OBIEE. It uses a patented technology to seamlessly transform the queries from the analytics tool to OBIEE and ensures that they are compatible with each other. Connecting from the analytics tool to OBIEE via BI Connector is very similar to connecting from a web browser to OBIEE.

BI connector Desktop Edition provides connectivity from Tableau/Power BI Desktop to OBIEE. BI connector Server Edition provides connectivity from Tableau Server/Tableau Online/Power BI Service Sense server to OBIEE. It is installed on the same server as the visual analytics server or gateway.

Tableau/Power BI use BI Connector via ODBC or DirectQuery connection. BI Connector connects to OBIEE’s presentation layer using web services. The unique hybrid connection approach of BI Connector helps the user to visualize OBIEE data via live and extract/import mode.

My company is interested in migrating from OBIEE to Tableau/Power BI. Would BI Connector help?

Migration from OBIEE to another tool is a complex effort costing millions of dollars and several months if not years of consulting effort. During this migration period, companies are keen on minimizing disruption to users and help jumpstart the adoption of the new tool. Therefore, Organizations consider BI Connector as a critical aid for ensuring smooth transition. Currently, BI Connector does not migrate the OBIEE metadata to visual analytics tool. However, organizations embarking on a migration project use BI Connector as the transition tool. With BI Connector, users can quickly start using the new tool to access data in OBIEE and combine it with other data sources. BI Connector is used as an interim solution until the migration is completed.

If you are interested in learning more about our roadmap for migration from OBIEE and enabling users to visualize data with their favorite tool, please contact us. We will be happy to discuss our roadmap under NDA with you.

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