Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC) has arrived!! So what is OAC you ask? OAC is a new Platform as a Service (PaaS) that offers a suite of cloud products, including Essbase, Data Visualization (DV) and BI Cloud Service (BICS). What this means is that you can go from data, to Essbase to rich visualizations in a blink of an eye (well not quite that fast, but pretty dang fast!) Since this is a PaaS as opposed to SaaS (Software as a Service), cloud admins have a finer grain of control over the environment, offering more maintenance/configuration capabilities, which was a limitation of BICS. BICS was a good departmental solution, but most found that it just wasn’t mature enough to be able to move complex environments to the cloud.

Some people might describe OAC as BICS 2.0, and that might be true to a certain extent, but it’s certainly an over-simplification of Oracle’s newest cloud service. I mean, in terms of electric vehicles, both are great options that will reduce emissions and lower your fuel costs, but at the end of the day, one is a Ford Focus and the other is a Tesla. Put another way, think of BICS as that skinny, high school freshman that might be a little awkward at times and OAC is the senior class president who’s also the captain of the football team.

So what’s really the difference between BICS and OAC? This blog from Oracle is a good read and clearly outlines the key differences between the two. Below are some examples from that blog:


  • No Essbase
  • No Cloud Data Modeler
  • Simplified licensing that requires DSaaS – Schema as a Service
  • User managed
    • Cannot modify settings
    • No plugins
    • Oracle updates/patches for you


  • Oracle managed
    • Can modify settings
    • Can install your own plugins
    • You determine when you upgrade
    • Can SSH into server
    • Full control over networking including VPN
  • Flexible Licensing
  • Essbase
  • Use BI Admin Tool or Cloud Data Modeler

Overall, Oracle has taken great strides to develop a cloud platform that is capable of hosting a full enterprise BI solution, while addressing some of the key limitations of BICS. As transitioning to the cloud continues to be a hot topic, rest assured that improvements are constantly being made to Oracle’s cloud offerings. So when you are ready to transition to the cloud, you will do so with confidence knowing that you have the right tools at your disposal.