We all know who “they” are. Everyone from sales people, to cohorts that have implemented their upgrades already, to experts in the field. Often these people (me being one of them) tend to focus so much on the end product that they’ll leave out or gloss over important details that you’ll encounter in your upgrade. I was recently thinking to myself that when looking at upgrading so much time is being spent on overall ROI, lower cost of ownership, benefits, changes and overall plan that if someone were to ask me what they didn’t already know about their upcoming OBIEE 11g upgrade what would I tell them? Here is a brief list.
1. Weblogic is bigger than you expect
It’s no secret that to be more scalable 11g uses weblogic for security. That’s a fair well known element of the upgrade. But what many don’t know is that weblogic can be fairly complex to implement and is certainly much more involved than the basic “Tell the RPD where your LDAP servers are” approach in prior versions. Once you get it up and running it stays up, you wont need to mess with it and it will be far more scalable than the prior approach. But getting it to that point will take you longer than you’d like depending on your implementation.
2. Remember all those times they told you to keep to “Best Practices” in the RPD? Yeah, they meant it
I’ve done a lot of upgrades across a lot of different technologies and this one is one of the best examples I can think of “Garbage in/Garbage out” and conversely “Good code in/good code out.” There are really only a few things that if built properly will need to be rebuilt (Level based measures and bridge tables most notably) but most of the rest will upgrade smoothly so long as best practices were kept to. If they weren’t, then you’ll be in for a clean up as the consistency checker is far more advanced and will “Gandalf” you and not let you pass unless you fix your problems first.
3. It is more robust than you’ve been told
A lot of time gets spent talking about how “robust” 11g is and what an improvement it is. But from a back end point of view it really is more robust than you’ve been told. There are all kinds of new utilities in the background that developers and administrators can access to do, or automate, very cool things that they were not able to before. Of course many of these things are invisible to the users and they’re fairly esoteric, and that’s probably why they do not get much attention but they are there.
4. 64 bit is king
11g is a “wider” product and it has a larger footprint not just in disk size but in RAM as well. If you are on 32 bit and can at all afford to move to 64 bit it will be well worth the time to do so.