For companies that are happy with their on-premise data warehouse there is a fear of having to create a new data warehouse when migrating to the cloud. Luckily for Oracle BI Cloud Service customers there are two excellent ways to avoid having to redo your warehouse. The first method is using Oracle BICS Data Sync to do incremental replication of your on-premise data warehouse to the Oracle Cloud Database Service. This takes some initial upfront effort, but Data Sync provides trickle feed capabilities with updates as often as every minute. The drawback for this method is the on-going maintenance of Data Sync if you intend to continue to build out your data warehouse on-premise. That being said, Data Sync has the added ability to connect to new data sources like Salesforce.com and Oracle Fusion apps which may not exist in your current warehouse.
The other option for companies is to use the BICS Remote Data Connector (RDC). This method is ideal for current Oracle BI customers who already have a WebLogic server in place as a Weblogic plug-in is used to allow BICS to request data from your on-premise databases. Before we discuss further, there are a few things you need to know about the RDC architecture.
- On-premise data sources supported are:
- SQL Server
- A Weblogic server must be running in your on-premise environment.
- There needs to be the ability to access your Weblogic server externally. (I will review the architecture for this below)
- The Oracle BI Administration Tool is used to create the connection pool and model the tables for BICS.
- The Oracle BI Lift-and-Shift process is used to import the connection details and data model into BICS
Many OBIEE customers will have all of these items already available to them with the exception of external access to WebLogic. Oracle recommends the following architecture to configure external access to your WebLogic server. The architecture consists of a Web Tier DMZ , the Weblogic Application Tier and a Database Tier. Oracle uses a Private Key on the BICS Data Gateway to allow the BICS Server to access your WebLogic Server remotely. In addition to setting up that key, firewall rules must be configured to allow traffic between these tiers on selected ports only. The use of the WebLogic application tier means there is no direct link from BICS to your Database which provides an additional layer of security as you can see in the diagram below:
Installing and configuring RDC is beyond the scope of this post but additional details along with the latest installation documentation can be found on the BICS Data Sync OTN site: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/bicloud/downloads/index.html