“Lift and Shift” On-Premise RPD to BI Cloud Service (BICS)

For other A-Team articles about BICS and Data Sync, click here

Introduction

“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 11.1.1.6 or later

3. The RPD must pass the consistency check within the BI Admin tool

 

Main Article

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:

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Were added to create a simple RPD.

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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:

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Within each connection pool in the RPD, change the host, the SID, and PORT if necessary. Amend the User name and Password for the schema user in the DBaaS.

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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.

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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.

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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’.

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Once a snapshot has been created, select ‘Upload Snapshot’, and select the local RPD file and enter the RPD password

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The RPD contains the connections to the DBaaS database, so the Database connection in the Service Console does not need to be changed.

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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.

 

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Summary

This article walked through the steps to publish an on-premise RPD to BICS using the ‘Lift and Shift’ method.

For other A-Team articles about BICS and Data Sync, click here

Comments

  1. Does Step 2 “Repoint the RPD to the DBaaS Database” have to be on the Oracle Cloud, or is any cloud connection ok (perhaps to an existing AWS database)?

    • Network connectivity would need to exist between the BICS / OACS environment – and where the DB was. Without knowing the details of the environment, it’s hard to say – but if a DB was ‘open to the world’ on port 1521, say (obviously not recommended), then likely it could connect. There is also the option to using the Remote Data Connector (see separate blog). That can then allow firewall rules / load-balancers etc to take traffic and push to the correct host with the DB. This is typically how a customer wanting to access an on-premise database would get it to work (at least for BICS. OAC opens up other options like VPN), and I’ve heard some have done similar in other cloud environments too. Again, all comes down to connectivity.

  2. Hello Richard, when i am trying to deploy the RPD using “Replace Data Model” Option I get an error as
    “”The data model cannot be replaced with DBaaS2.rpd because it has errors. Use Oracle BI Administration Tool to correct and validate DBaaS2.rpd.”
    where DBaas2 is rpd name. The RPD has no errors.

    I have defined DBaaS connection in Database Connection tab and it is working.

    The connection pool in RPD is pointing to DBaaS DB and I am able to get the update row count working. RPD has only one connection pool.

    any thoughts on what could be the issue?

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