Oracle has been working on a major upgrade to its Business Intelligence product line for almost four years. We were told at Open World that the result would be called BI 11g and would arrive in 2010. Oracle does not like to introduce anything near the end of its fiscal year that finishes at the end of May for fear of encouraging buyers to wait for something new. As a result, the most likely scenario is for BI 11g to be announced in mid-June.
Occasionally this rule will be bent by a number of weeks. With Collaborate coming late in April a decision could be made to use it as a forum to roll out BI 11g, something that is really not much of a secret anyway. The Data Warehousing Institute’s annual conference in May is another option. Its audience is completely focused on BI issues making it a good place for Oracle to make a big splash.
Even if the full BI 11g announcement does not come at Collaborate, its implications for the JDE community will come up naturally in the course of the presentations made about JDE direction.
Much of the focus of 11g will revolve around the continuing integration of the many BI related products Oracle has acquired in recent years, especially those obtained from Siebel, Hyperion, and Golden Gate software. Hyperion contributed its EPM financial consolidation product line as well as Essbase, a leading edge data base manager developed specifically for on-line analytic processing (OLAP). Golden Gate specializes in real time data warehousing.
The flagship of Oracle’s BI line is the product it has given the overly complex name Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition Plus or OBIEE+. Since the acquisition of Siebel Oracle has established it as a strong alternative to the more mature BI analysis tools from IBM/Cognos, SAP/Business Objects, and MicroStrategy. If BI 11g lives up to its pre-announcement hype the new version of OBIEE+ could set the bar much higher for these competitors.
Only a small fraction of the JDE customer base has a fully operational BI solution in place. Nearly all could benefit significantly from one. What Oracle does next in this space is thus a subject of great interest to our community. Hopefully the news will come out at Collaborate. No matter what, you can count on us to keep you informed