“Lift and Shift” is the method by which an On-Premise RPD, created in the BI Admin tool, can be uploaded to a BI Cloud Service (BICS) instance and made available to report authors.
This cuts down on development time, allowing a single model to be used both on-premise, and in the cloud. It also allows multiple subject areas to be created for a BICS reporting environment, accessible through the Visual Analyzer, and Answers reporting tools in BICS.
The process is simple, but has some minimum requirements:
1. A Database as a Service (DBaaS) Instance is required to house the data. In future releases of BICS it should be possible to use the DB Schema Service that comes with BICS, but this is not currently supported.
2. The version of the BI Admin tool on premise used to create the RPD needs to be 184.108.40.206 or later
3. The RPD must pass the consistency check within the BI Admin tool
For demonstration purposes, this article will assume that an RPD has already been created against an on-premise data source.
The following steps should be followed to ‘Lift and Shift’ the RPD to the BICS instance.
1. Replicate the data from the on-premise data sources to the DBaaS Database
For the RPD to work in BICS, all data that is referenced within the RPD must be copied to the DBaaS instance. This can be accomplished through SQL Developer, many ETL tools, or the freely available Data Sync tool (covered in this article).
In this example 3 tables in an on-premise oracle database:
Were added to create a simple RPD.
Those tables were then created in the DBaaS database, and the data replicated.
2. Repoint the RPD to the DBaaS Database
Once the data has been copied, the RPD needs to be repointed to the DBaaS database. Each Connection pool within the RPD should be updated.
From within the Oracle DBaaS Cloud console, make a note of the IP address, port and SID for the DBaaS database:
Since each Connection Pool needs to be updated independently, it would be possible to point the RPD to multiple DBaaS instances, or to different schemas within a single DBaaS. In theory there is no limit to the complexity of the RPD that can be used. The only requirement is that all the data that is referenced must be replicated in the DBaaS instance. Best practice, however, suggests that subject areas and objects not needed in BICS should be removed from the RPD to improve performance.
DBaaS acts just like any other database within the BI Admin tool, so an administrator could select ‘Import Metadata’ to check the connection, and add more tables to the RPD if needed.
3. Check Global Consistency
Once the RPD has been updated, check for Global Consistency. The RPD must pass this test for it to work correctly in BICS. Resolve any issues, then check again.
4. Uploading RPD to BICS
The RPD is loaded into BICS through the Business Intelligence Cloud Service console.
Before uploading, it is good practice to take a Snapshot of the current System State so that the system can be returned to the ‘pre-RPD state’ should there be a reason to do this. From within ‘Snapshots’, select ‘New Snapshot’.
Once a snapshot has been created, select ‘Upload Snapshot’, and select the local RPD file and enter the RPD password
The RPD contains the connections to the DBaaS database, so the Database connection in the Service Console does not need to be changed.
However, if the DBaaS Instance is to be the permanent location for all BICS data, then the option to ‘Use a different cloud database’ should be selected, and details of the DBaaS database entered.
Once an RPD is published to BICS, the Data Modeling tool can not be used. The RPD is essentially a ‘read only’ model in BICS. If model changes are required, these should be made with the local copy of the RPD in the BI Admin tool, and then uploaded again for the Service Console.
‘Lift and Shift’ is a one way move. The RPD cannot be moved back to on-premise from BICS. Reports created against the On-Premise RPD can not be migrated to the BICS environment, and will instead need to be re-created in BICS. There are plans to add this functionality in the future.
Should it be necessary to revert to using the Data Modeling Tool, restore the snapshot created in the above step.
5. Creating New Analyses and Visualizations
Once the RPD has successfully been published, the subject areas are available as separate models for reporting in Visual Analyzer and BI Answers.
This article walked through the steps to publish an on-premise RPD to BICS using the ‘Lift and Shift’ method.
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