Is it possible to use Dashboard Prompts to override Session Variables?
March 18, 2009
importance of defining dimensional hierarchies
March 19, 2009

I decided to write this post after seeing numerous basic OBIEE questions on OTN OBIEE forums. I think people are answering those easy questions (including myself) because of easy points (i noticed that frequently those don’t get assigned) and because of experts’ generosity. Problem is that most of the time, those questions can be easily found using search feature. Moreover, 80% of the time, just searching the documentation would do the trick.

OBIEE has become an attractive career opportunity and numerous course offerings have come out.

I just wanted to warn fellow consultants about some companies promising to make anyone an OBIEE expert in a week. Remember that when something sounds too good to be true – it probably is. OBIEE is a rather complex tool by itself, not only that – one also needs to know about various ETL processes, dimensional modeling, databases and more.

Mark Rittman published a very thorough article on what’s required to be a successful Oracle BI Developer – What Skills Does an Oracle BI Developer Need in 2009? By the way, congratulations on the new US office!

Some of the things he mentioned include OWB and Hyperion Essbase (I realized need to work more on my Hyperion skills – I was putting it away) .There’s no way one can learn those in 1 week.

Again, there’s nothing wrong with training, especially taken from reputable vendors, however, I suggest you conduct a throrough research first.

Also, I don’t want to discourage anyone, but I believe that theoretical training by itself is mostly useless unless followed or accompanied by real-life problems and examples.


  1. @lex says:

    Couldn’t agree more. You can not become an expert in one week and there are too many “experts” out there who never sat any reputable course. Due to my profession as both instructor and consultant, I appreciate your post very much. What do you think about the OBI EE courses offered by Oracle University. Do they fulfill your requirements? Let me know.

    Have a nice day.


  2. Adrian Ward says:

    Having done the Siebel Analytics 7.7 course 6 years ago I can honestly say that they covered the basics very well, BUT…

    – You really do need to learn about dimensional modelling,
    – Use the tool in real situations, over many diff types of project
    – Experiment with diffent settings
    – Learn the new technologies
    – Bring other skills (HTML, SQL, java, Windows)
    – Attend the BI Forums

    and never stop learning.

    Only then can you properly advise clients and demand reasonable fees for your skills

    @drian (Alex you started a trend!)

  3. Andriy Yakushyn says:

    @ @lex – thank you for your comment. I’ve added your blog to the Blogroll if you don’t mind. As far as your question – I agree with @drian (this is trendy). Last time I’ve checked the latest offerings of OU courses here – – I realized that they’re mostly targeted towards experienced people who have already worked in BI field and just need some heads-up, for example, it could be a Cognos consultant switching to OBIEE. Just look at the Suggested Prerequisites:

    [quote]* Dimensional modeling
    * Basic SQL
    * Data warehouse design
    * Database design
    * Oracle BI Suite EE 10g R3: Create Reports and Dashboards New [/quote]

    I think in the end it all comes down to an individual. Some people are better of with a formal course, and some people are better learners on their own.


  4. @lex says:

    Hi @ndriy and @drian,

    first I @m gl@d th@t I @m @ trendsetter. BTW most people seem to read my name either “lex” or “atlex” so be aware of the consequences when you follow the tr@nd.

    Thanks also for the blogroll addition.

    The Oracle BI EE course offerings are as follows:

    Oracle BI Suite EE 10g R3: Create Reports and Dashboards

    Concepts: Answers, Dashboards, Delivers, BI Office and BI Publisher Integration. Basically covers the client side of OBI EE.


    Oracle BI Suite EE 10g R3: Build Repositories

    Concepts: Create an rpd file. Understand medium to complex modeling techniques. OBI EE Server Administration and best practices.


    Oracle BI Applications 7.9: Develop a Data Warehouse

    Concepts: Extend the pre-built OBAW, how to use DAC and Informatica.

    In general, the courses are targeted towards a technical audience (except the create reports and dashboards course which is more of a superuser course) with an IT “background” in a sense that they should not be totally overwhelmed with concepts such as data warehousing, dimensional modeling, etc.

    However, the background can be at a fairly beginners level.

    I have been delivering these courses for the past 6 years and I strongly believe that you will not get the concepts when you just self-study the course material (and I do not want to know where you got it from ;-).

    Thanks again for the splendid blog and open discussion on BI training.


  5. Mary says:

    I’ve take all the Anaytics classes which I feel are a good start in getting people working in OBIEE….though follow-up support is a necessity. What I’ve found lacking are advanced classes and/or forums where developers can explore solutions to more complex requirements.. new challenges they have that aren’t in the basic (or even the Oracle Advanced class which I’ve already taken). I wish Oracle would sponser some local user groups where developers can get together and share solutions they’ve tried. Does anyone know of any groups like that?

  6. Adrian Ward says:

    Hi M@ry

    There are some excellent advance courses being run by RittmanMead, and there is a fantastic event in May for OBI experts to learn from other Experts (I aso happen to be presenting there!)
    Get over the Brighton, UK on May 14th/15th


  7. Andriy Yakushyn says:


    I wish I could get to London. This is certainly going to be a blast. I hope you’ll tell us all about it. I have a question – I noticed you don’t participate in OTN BI forums as much anymore- is there a specific reason?

    I’ve noticed that in past 2-3 months, there’s an influx of very primitive questions there (you can see that they didn’t bother to read basic documentation). I actually quit for a few months (after introducing help points), but later decided to join in. I’m guilty of answering those questions myself (if not me – then someone else will answer). I’m contemplating creation of a closed bulletin board for experienced consultants / developers (by-invitation / qualification). I wonder what you think about this? Not that there’s anything wrong with sharing knowledge, it’s just getting old when someone’s asking what’s the default password is.

    Also, what’re some big news that are coming up?

    Best wishes.

  8. Adrian Ward says:


    Like you I noticed that we were repeating what was already available, but more importantly giving away skills and getting nothing in return. I have no problem blogging and presenting at conference, but all I appear to be doing is training the competition, so they can undercut my company. It’s a real dilema.
    I did start a closed group, and will invite you in, but it needs re-invigorating.
    The big news will be announced on Monday. Keep watching :)

    @drian ( I think the second @ is overkill!)

  9. Mary says:

    I too wish I could go to London, but alas, the flight from Chicago is more than I can manage. If anyone knows of anything local, let me know. I’ve been working in nQuire – Siebel since 2001. We use the Stand-alone version so I’m not familiar with the applications metadata. We map completely to our own instances.



  10. Tim says:

    @@lex BI Consulting Group has quite a bit of training on OBIEE. I’ve taken the 301: Dashboard App Dev course ( and it’s quite good.

  11. Amy Mayer says:

    BI Consulting Group has over 16 courses related to OBIEE. We offer our training in a variety of formats including onsite, online and CBT.
    All of our courses have been developed by some of the best OBIEE consultants in the world and our courses are all based on best practices.
    Feel free to visit our website to review all of our course offerings as well as see some examples as well as testimonials about our training.

    Also, just for reading this blog posting – we would like to offer you 50% off of our training. When you register please enter the coupon code BLOG50.

    Amy Mayer
    President and Founder
    BI Consulting Group

  12. Christi@n says:

    @Adrian Ward

    Hi @drian, hi @lex,

    Keep flogging Brighton and punching OTN users posting questions of the RTFM / JFGI genre. Yes, sometimes its easy points (hey, 90% of the time questions are neither closed nor points assigned) but it takes the fun out of the forum.

    Anyways, keep it up and kepp ’em posts rolling all of you!

  13. Jeff McQuigg says:

    At the top of your post you hit on a very good point about being an expert in a week. To but it bluntly, NFW. When I joined Siebel Consulting years ago, I took their training class and was left with a befuddled look on my face – I tried to do something afterwards on my own and simply couldn’t. And I knew dimensional modeling very well after years of doing so. I would say I didn’t become proficient in OBIEE for another 6-9 months, and only after I spend time working with the Siebel engineers to guide me along as far as the theory of the product. There is a great conceptual hurdle to overcome when working with the RPD; until the light turns on you will struggle getting it to work.

    As far as developers go, you are going to have to specialize in one, may two of the products in the OBI umbrella. Good luck becoming an expert in OBIEE, Essbase, BIPublisher, OWB/ODI/Informatica, Oracle OLAP option, Oracle database, BI Apps, Dimensional Modeling, DW Architecture, etc. You only shot at being an expert in a few of these is if you are a heads down developer or you are in a pure lab environment where you are just a tool jockey and not an architect or true consultant. Furthermore, I think the need right now for an Essbase and OBI EE expert is minimal – perhaps there will be more of a need later if the products merge a bit more.


  14. Adrian Ward says:

    Hey Christi@n

    Good to see you last weekend in Zurich. When you gonna start blogging Essbase OBIEE hell


  15. Abbas Zaidi says:

    @Amy Mayer
    I appreciate the link to Mark Rittman’s blog. What I am wondering is, how does one break into the training / consultancy world, if U cannot pay for the exorbitant prices of the trainings? Do companies that conduct trainings bring on good talent and value-add them to enable them to work alongside?

  16. parvez jamadar says:

    Hi Guys,
    I have around 5 years of experience in JAVA. I am interested in switching to OBIEE. I am planning to join a oracle authorised training class.What are the chances that I will get a job break after doing the course. Is it suggested that I do the course in the first place. Frankly speaking I am done with coding and all stuff. I want to learn some tool. And with this background, do you guys think that OBIEE will be good for me. Please give honest opinions guys.

  17. Jaishri Sidhwaney says:

    I understand for a newbee in an IT, OBIEE may not be easy to pickup because it does require knowledge of Dimensional modeling
    * Basic SQL
    * Data warehouse design
    * Database design
    * Oracle BI Suite EE 10g R3: Create Reports and Dashboards New [/quote]

    Knowing the acronyms and taking a week of class is never enough for any new technology.
    On the other side of coin if a person is very experienced since long time, have done several VLDB databases, DW applications, STAR SChemas, Dimentional modeling, PL/SQl and SQl quesries, performance tuning, data loading, ETL tools can pick up OBIEE without any training.
    Just a note for recruiters that they should not go by the word OBIEE listed on resume only to find experts in that technology. Some people who have experience in the prerequisite technologies should prove to be better candidates.

  18. Peterpaul says:

    Saw your blog as I was researching on OBIEE as a course advised by a friend. Am new to IT but not new to computers.I have a Sales/Marketing background but want get into IT proper until I heard of OBIEE.

    I need to know what I need to start up and which training centre will I be looking at and any other assistance you can give.

    Looking forward to your assistance.


  19. Krishna says:

    Hi Experts,

    Presently I am facing below error,I would highly appreciate any help from you.

    Campaign Load Failure:
    Error/Warning : Error invoking service ‘Mktg Data Load Service’, method ‘CampaignLoad’ at step ‘Load Segment Tree Cells/Segments’.(SBL-BPR-00162)

    One or more of the parallel tasks may have encountered an error. Any queued tasks that were scheduled to follow the failed task have been cancelled.(SBL-MKT-00453)

  20. Lav says:

    I am new to obiee,I am learning the basic architecture og obiee.
    can you please help me understanding the development process of obiee.

    Looking forward for your assistance.


  21. sunny says:

    hi frineds,

    How can i change the order of the download options in obiee dashboard ?

    like if you press download option you see

    download to excel
    download to excel 2000
    download data
    download webpage(mhtml)

    how to change this order.????????

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