Drillbridge, the simple way to implement drill through

I implemented a drill through solution for a company earlier this year. We used a combination of Essbase Studio and ODI. I always felt right at home with Essbase Integration Services (EIS) but hadn’t played too terribly much with Studio – until now.

The solution came out working beautifully. Along the way, however, my research into the solution options led me down some interesting paths. In particular is that Essbase has supported drill-through definitions on cubes for quite some time. In practice this means you can define intersections on the cube that should be drillable, and then provide a URL to drill to. Generally this will be some Oracle software but the door is open to drill to anything – provided you can implement the backend properly.

What started out as a proof of concept has evolved into software that I am calling Drillbridge. Drillbridge is a turnkey solution for implementing drillthrough to a relational database. All you need is the following:

  1. An Essbase cube
  2. A relational database with data you want to drill through to that can be mapped somehow from the source data
  3. SmartView (sorry Excel add-in users)

I should add a little bit more about that second point: if the member in your cube is Jan or January but you have a table somewhere that has a field with a value of ’01’ or similar, then you need to construct a view/query that can map from one to the other somehow. Similarly, if you prefix your Account members with A or A_ or something, then you just need to construct the query to transform the data accordingly. In practice I am finding that this isn’t too hard.

Drillbridge works out of the box with Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, and MySQL, with potential support for pretty much anything that JDBC can connect to (hint: that’s almost anything on the planet).

I’ll have some more info in the coming weeks but for now I threw together a pretty quick video showing the basic Drillbridge admin interface and a working demo from the venerable Sample/Basic database.