The Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC) is a PaaS solution that can manage all your data analytics needs in a single tool. It is a reliable, scalable, and secure cloud service with a considerably lower cost than OBIEE and still has extensive analytics capabilities. OAC offers analytics and reporting, data visualizations, data modeling, self-service analytics, big data analytics, machine learning, and predictive analytics under a single license, and the mobile app enables working from anywhere.

Therefore, it makes sense for organizations to migrate their existing analytics solutions, such as OBIEE and cloud-based Oracle Business intelligence Cloud Service (BICS), to Oracle Analytics Cloud.

How can organizations leverage the features of OAC?

There are three phases to migrating from Oracle BICS to OAC – preparing for the migration, migrating the service, and final configurations and clean-up.

Preparing for migration

As always, the first step is preparation. Preparation involves checking if the OAC instance can handle the capacity of a load of service and its compatibility with the OAC instance. You will need to compare the current OAC configurations, i.e., the size (number of users), shape, and location, with the BICS environment. If you find that additional capacity is required, the OAC may need scaling up.

Migrating users and roles

The initial evaluation is followed up with migrating users and roles. Migrating the users at this stage reduces the overheads in the later stages. You can generate a CSV export of the users in the BICS environment and import them to Oracle Identity Cloud Service (IDCS) to migrate users. Once you have migrated the users, you can migrate the roles. For this, you would need to create an export file manually by referring roles and custom roles tab in BICS. Then, you would import it as groups in the target environment. After migrating both the users and the roles, you must provide the appropriate OAC application roles for the migrated entities.

Data migration

The migration of users and roles is followed by data migration. There are different approaches to this step as they depend on the current location of your data. If the data is in Oracle Database on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Classic, you need to migrate it to a database on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. After migrating the BICS instance, you can update the data models to point to the new database. However, if the data is on-premises, you need to reconfigure the data Gateway and whitelist the IP addresses associated with the OAC instance. Now, you are ready to move to migrate the service phase.

Migrating the service

First, make sure you have taken a backup of the OAC environment. It will help you roll back the instance to a previous state if you encounter a problem. Next, you will need a snapshot of the service you plan to migrate. You will find what you need in the BICS console, where you can select the ‘new snapshot’ option under the snapshot and models. You will need to save it under some name and download it to your local system. It will download as an archive file in bar format.

In the target OAC environment, you can upload the saved bar file. After the upload is completed, you can restore the snapshot with the ‘restore’ option. These snapshots are specific to use cases, and it is essential that you choose the right snapshot for your use case when you restore.

There may be occasions when the migration doesn’t cover a few data files such as CSV or Excel or a few custom visual extensions. These would have to be migrated separately with the help of a migration utility available in OAC.

Once all the contents from the BICS have been migrated to OAC, the data connections can be activated. BICS uses a data modeler or RPD to create data connections. Whatever the default connection used in BCIS, you would need to recreate it in OAC. You must ensure that all data connections have been activated and the data is syncing.

All that is left is verifying and configuring the service settings in OAC. You would need to ensure that the users and application roles have been correctly configured and assigned. You may need to edit ‘search crawl users’ and remove unwanted prefixes. Based on your environment, you may have to go to the OAC console and update settings one after another – extensions, system settings, maps, mail server, etc.

Final configurations and clean-ups

After the service has been migrated from BICS to OAC, only the final configuration updates and clean-up remain. Deliveries scheduled in BICS would have been disabled. Therefore, they need to be activated one-by-one manually in OAC.

This is a critical phase as you would need to do end-to-end testing of the migrated instance. You must review the data sets, connections, models, dashboards, and analyses, deliveries, user accessibility, security, etc. If everything is functioning as expected and the OAC instance is production-ready, you could finish with a thorough clean-up. This cleaning is mostly done in the source environment and includes deleting migrated contents from BICS and associated resources. It will free up space and reduce costs. You will have to ensure that a complete audit is done to identify the resources before deletion, lest you remove those that might affect other services.

Key Factors to Consider while Migrating Oracle BICS Instance to OAC

There are a few processes to keep in mind during the migration from BCIS to OAC.

  • Updating the header of the exported user details file as per the requirements in OAC.
  • Including only the valid roles while creating the user groups file for migrating.
  • Choosing the restore snapshot options carefully, as the ‘Replace Everything’ option resets the entire target environment while the ‘Replace Snapshot Contents’ keeps everything intact except the snapshot contents. The custom option offers more flexibility for choosing the content to import.

To conclude

The cloud-based self-service analytics tools have upped the ante on the BI landscape. They offer a single platform to enable advanced analytics requirements. OAC also provides a flexible platform to analyze data in an Oracle environment. Since the earlier versions of OBIEE are fading out and the BICS offers limited features, it is time for organizations to migrate to OAC to ensure business growth.

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