Blog Archives

Minimalist Design for the Criteria Tab


The picture above is an example of minimalist design. It features an uncluttered and simplistic visual scheme that is almost relaxing to the eye and mind. Optional or unnecessary elements are removed. It focuses on only the bare essential elements – the essence of the building or room’s function. Notice there isn’t even a towel rack.

It’s not really for me – it reminds me too much of a concrete future dystopia that I’ve seen too many times in sci-fi movies. It also doesn’t look comfortable at all. But hey that’s just me; I could be wrong.

However when it comes to OBI report design, minimalist is the only way to go when it comes to the Criteria Tab. Whereas architecture and design are subjective, when it comes to keeping the criteria tab minimalist there is a strong, demonstrable benefit to this philosophy. It’s so important that this is the very first thing I look for when I am called in for a performance healthcheck review.

This post will take a quick look into why. Read the rest of this entry


Can You Just Turn Answers ‘On’?

I have noticed over the years a common misperception that Oracle Answers is simply an option that you can turn on or off.  I’ve seen it from customers, sales reps (of course) and even experienced OBI consultants.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  This article explores why this is not the cases and what is necessary to deploying Oracle Answers for ad-hoc querying.  This post expands on the differences between Reporting and BI that I discussed in the Using Report Specs for Requirements post.

Recently an IT manger told his business customers that he would just turn Answers on and have it ready for the next weekly deployment.   Now the previous OBI releases were done to meet the needs of a single set of reports, even directing the consulting team to take shortcuts to deliver it as quickly as possible.  And shortcuts were in fact taken; our only goal was to deliver a set of reports that worked with their dashboard prompts.  When the customer asked what it would take to turn Answers on, he was not happy with my answer. Read the rest of this entry