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Back in Circulation
April 13, 2005
Mark Rittman

Back In Circulation

I've been back in the office for a few days this week, and so it's a good chance to catch up on what's happened while I've been away.

The big news for all us Oracle OLAP users is that the database patch is now available for Windows (Patch No. 4163362 on MOSC) and AWM should be available on OTN from Thursday. Believe it or not, it's only available on Windows at the moment, which must be a first, and I've installed it now and got myself up and ready for tomorrow. AWM and the Global sample schema should be available on the OLAP homepage on OTN from tomorrow, and with a bit of luck there should be some hands-on / Oracle-by-Example tutorials available around the same time. I'm also putting another article together for OTN on Discoverer Plus OLAP and AWM which should be published early in April.

On the Oracle news front, apart from the Retek deal the main news has been around Customer Data Hub and the launch of Oracle Business Intelligence 10g. eWeek ran a couple of articles on Customer Data Hub ("Oracle Customer Data Hubs Chief Defends CDH Model" and "Oracle's Customer Data Hubs: The Emperor Does Indeed Have Clothes" that look at what Oracle's Data Hub technology really consists of, and IT Week in the UK ran a short article on Oracle's new bundled BI offering, with a couple of quotes from yours truly about product take-up.

The other big news from a BI perspective was IBM's purchase of Ascential Software. Ascential sell Datastage, a high-end (though not as high end as Ab Initio or Informatica) ETL tool that was already resold by IBM, and Ascential itself was spun-off from Informix when the Informix database was sold to IBM. With the well received purchase of Ascential, IBM fills a gap in its product offerings and has it's own product now to compete with Oracle Warehouse Builder and Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services. What this means for Informatica (who also had IBM as a reseller) and Ab Initio (who presumably look vunerable themselves to a takeover) is the subject of much speculation, with talk of Oracle themselves making a play for one of them, although personally I can't see what interest Oracle would have with these. Oracle's in the business of migrating other RDBMS data to Oracle, either using OWB or using Data Hubs, and only provides the ability to move data to other RDBMS's as a means to "tick boxes" in product evaluations. If it's going to buy anyone in the BI markeplace, it'd make far more sense going after someone like Cognos or Business Objects, or as speculated in the past, Hyperion. Anyway, back to Datastage, it'll be interesting to see how IBM integrate it in with their existing WebSphere Integration Integrator, but it's a good product and one that had an Express Server integrator, when even Oracle (to this day) don't have such a feature in their ETL tool.

Finally, a couple of new blogs to check out. Mike Ault has started a new site and in his first postings reflects on changes in tuning techniques and techniques for running successful training courses. Jonathan Lewis doesn't have a blog as such, but his Miscellaneous Items page is fairly regularly updated and contains some interesting recent postings on the nature of Oracle scientists, why test cases are important, the Rumsfeld Box (!) and a review of Don Burleson's Silver Bullets article.

That's it for now, back in a few days.


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