The proposal deadline for the upcoming Collaborate 08 was shortly before I was to leave my old employer – it was already known that I would be leaving them to join Mark and Jon (and possibly, it was known before Rittman Mead Consulting existed!) so it came as no real surprise for Mark to ask me to consider putting forward a presentation.
Moving employers meant that I could not really present some sort of “been there, done it” case study on some exciting piece of technology that I have put together for an old customer – it is just not right to pass things off as fully your own when you had a team to back you up (just as it not right to not credit the people who have helped you) So I took the brave approach, I looked at what was new in Oracle 11g for BI and found a topic that was “now, I think I could have put that to good use” and base my proposal on that. So I chose Cube Organized Materialized Views, and when my paper was accepted started to work… slowly, as I still needed to be out there earning money.
To be honest it is scary stuff to make a proposal based on something you have not even used yet, but it does focus the mind no end. I started off with my 64-bit Oracle 11g database on Oracle Linux and decided to go with the SH schema as it was quite big, then ran into a few problems and bugs, like it did not seem to like building a cube for data belonging to another owner, then the ‘A’ OLAP patch came out, but not (at that time) for 64 bit Linux, so I decided to build a 32 bit VM and go 32 bit and apply the new patch for the server side, and the new AWM client. Of course this takes a while to do. And then I still had a few problems (new ones!) which needed to be worked through. I decided to have a look at the stuff Mark wrote about in his initial glance at Oracle 11g OLAP and repeat his work with the global schema – this too was not straight forward as the schema download that I found needed a bit of 11g-erising to get the schema load scripting to work. After finding the last few remaining privileges to grant I succeed to build my first cube organised m-view. But query re-write eluded me, perhaps because the ‘A’ patch has fixed the CBO to not over favour cubes so much when straight relational is faster.
So, I have gone back to SH and managed to get the cube built, and rewrite to work too! – so more on that another time.