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BICS - A Cloud Offering from Oracle

What is BICS?

We are all familiar with the traditional BI services and our businesses rapidly increasing their investments in the Cloud Services. Oracle to stay afloat with the changing business demand had launched its cloud offering known as BI Cloud service.

Now, the question that will come to everyone's mind is what is Oracle BI Cloud Services (BICS)

Here it is,

"Oracle BI Cloud Services, an eminent cloud offering from Oracle, a platform for creating powerful business intelligence applications, thereby enabling users from the workgroup to the enterprise."

So, is BICS anyhow related to on premise OBIEE? The answer is Yes, BICS is just an evolution of the on premise Oracle Business Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) solution, altogether a new platform built around standard OBIEE.

Features of BICS?

  • Query on premise database and other cloud databases
  • Offers presentation services to create analysis, dashboards and visualizations
  • Embed JavaScript/HTML into Analyses and Dashboards
  • Enhanced data visualization
  • Multiple data loading options with connections to on premise database
  • It can be accessed through mobile without any extra programming

Why Choose BICS?

Oracle's business intelligence technology was brought to the cloud with the help of BICS, without any capital expenses, with less amount of money paid for monthly subscription, and implementation too was quick. BICS has an edge over on-premises business intelligence technology in a sense that it will be the first one to receive new and updated features with enhancements as Oracle will be following cloud-first approach. And, using BICS is advantageous for functional users are its easy self-service administration whereas for analysts they can just upload a spreadsheet from the desktop without any assistance from IT or an enterprise-wide application.

The advantages of BICS over on premise OBIEE are:


On premise

It does not have features like Agents, BI Publisher

Agents (ibots), BI Publisher features are available

BICS version of RPD does not support physical source aliasing

Supports features like physical source aliasing

Two environments available Pre Prod and Prod

No limit on environments

Does not support LDAP or MSAD

Supports integration with LDAP or MSAD

Is it beneficial to migrate from on premise OBIEE to BICS?

Migration will allow the administrators as well as the customers to enjoy the new features and functionality. But following needs to be taken care while migrating from OBIEE on premise to BICS:

  1. It is recommended to migrate to BICS from OBIEE 11g in a condition when subject areas and reports are not to be disabled on BICS alone but needs to be disabled in on premise OBIEE
  2. In order to match the subject areas and reports in on premise to those available in BICS, it is advisable to upgrade to OBIEE 12c for there are lot many similarities that both possess, such as
  • The version of the repository used will be same
  • Using a single file (with extension .bar) the web catalog, reports and dashboards can be migrated
  • Application roles follow the same naming convention in order to avoid maintaining a separate application role list

Overall, it's a perfect approach for OBIEE on premise users to move normal reporting to cloud in order to make use of new functionality and features, visualization of data, reduction in infrastructure and license costs.

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