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Hot on the heels of EMC buying business intelligence (BI) vendor Greenplum, Oracle has released Business Intelligence 11g, putting another brick in the wall of its integrated software products.

As part of the effort to persuade customers not to buy third-party appliances to run analytics on Oracle-sourced data, BI 11g has been deeply integrated into Oracle Enterprise Manager 11g and other components of Oracle's Fusion Middleware.

Oracle says BI 11g is the industry’s only unified environment for accessing and analysing data that resides in relational, OLAP, and XML data sources, adding it's the first product to unify Relational OLAP (R-OLAP), Multidimensional OLAP (M-OLAP) and enterprise reporting on a common technology foundation. Oracle Hyperion Financial Management is also a supported data source.

These OLAP analysis capabilities enable users to access and navigate hierarchical data stored in Oracle Essbase and popular relational data sources from a common interface. It's all about integration, and there's more; integration with Oracle's WebCenter Suite 11g and Secure Enterprise Search, the latter enabling casual users to find relevant reports and metrics, in line with access and security parameters defined within BI 11g.

BI 11g is the technical foundation for Oracle’s EPM System as well as Oracle BI Applications, described by Oracle as "complete, pre-built analytical solutions for Oracle and non-Oracle applications, including SAP. "

Paul Rodwick, Oracle's BI product management VP, talks of BI 11g having "unrivaled performance and scalability for the largest and most demanding enterprise deployments.'

In the integrated stack IT world Oracle treats its middleware products as interlocking software bricks forming a wall around its customer base to keep out the barbarian appliance hordes of its BI competitors, now joined by EMC.

Existing Oracle BI customers running earlier releases can upgrade to this new release without impact to existing reports or metadata migration.

Oracle's release on BI 11g contains the following a statement in caps: "This document is for informational purposes only and may not be incorporated into a contract or agreement." Does that mean nothing Oracle has said above about BI 11g can be legally relied upon? Weird. ®

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