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What is ODI? - A Complete Beginners Tutorial

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Oracle Data Integrator (ODI) is a unique solution that meets all the integration needs. Oracle is named as a Leader in 2018 Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Data integration tools. In this article, we are going to learn What is ODI? ODI Architecture, Components of ODI, and the installation.

In today’s fast-paced business environment, companies need more specialized software applications. Such applications must ensure the ability to share data between systems and applications. Projects that execute with these integration requirements need to be delivered on time.

will be discussing the following topics:

 What is ODI?

Oracle Data Integrator (ODI) is a data integration platform that includes all the integration needs. It offers a new declarative design approach that is used to define the data transformation and integration process. Thus, resulting in easy maintenance and development. 

ODI offers a high-performance level to execute the data validation and transformation process based on an Extract, Load, and Transform (ELT) architecture. It also provides the most cost-effective solution.

ODI delivers a unified infrastructure to streamline data and application integration projects. It provides a graphical environment to build, manage, and maintain the data integration process.

Do you want to learn ODI and build your career in this domain? Then enroll in "ODI Training" this course will help you to achieve excellence in this domain.

History of Oracle Data Integrator (ODI)

In 2006, Oracle purchased Sunopsis and developed it as an Oracle Data Integrator (ODI). The main aim of ODI is to enhance the Oracle Fusion Middleware offerings that need to support complex targets and sources. Oracle continued to provide separate ODI with its former ETL product Oracle Warehouse Builder. 

In 2010, Oracle made the first update to ODI with the release of Oracle Data Integrator 11g. ODI 11g made ODI a framework to use by other products such as Oracle SQL, JDeveloper, and Developer.

It also introduced new features such as the ODI Console and JEE Agent. In later 2013, the ODI 12c was available with some of the best features of Oracle Warehouse Builder. 

ODI 12c consists of integration with data targets and sources with several performance enhancements, migration utility, and lifecycle management capabilities.

Related Article: ODI Interview questions for freshers

ODI Architecture

The ODI platform integrates with the Fusion Middleware platform and converts it into a single component. It provides run-time components as Java EE applications and is enhanced to leverage the Oracle WebLogic Application Server's capabilities.

ODI components include features for Enterprise-Scale Deployments, hardened security, scalability, and high availability.

ODI Architecture

Components of ODI

The components of ODI architecture is discussed as follows:

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The repository is the central component of ODI. It is used to store the configuration data of projects, execution logs, IT infrastructure, scenarios, and metadata. Several repository instances exist in the IT infrastructure, such as User Acceptance, Development, QA, and Production. 

The repository architecture is designed to allow various environments, exchange scenarios, and metadata. The repository also acts as a Version Control System where objects are assigned and achieved a version number.

This repository includes one Master Repository and several Work Repositories. Objects configured by the user interface are stored in one of these repositories.

The master repository stores the following information.

  • Topology information- server definitions, contexts, languages, technologies, schemas, and many more.
  • Archived and versioned objects
  • Security information- users, rights, and profiles for the ODI platform.

Work repositories include developed objects. Several work repositories exist in the same ODI installation (to have a separate environment or match the versioned life cycle). It stores the following information.

  • Projects- packages, folders, variables, business rules, procedures, Knowledge modules, and many more.
  • Models- data store structures and metadata, data quality constraints, data lineage, schema definition, fields and columns definitions, and many more.
  • Scenarios execution- scenarios, logs, and scheduling information.

When the work repository includes only the execution information, it is known as Execution Repository.

Studio and User Interface

Developers, Operators, and Administrators use the ODI Studio to access the repositories. Such a Fusion Client Platform is used for reverse-engineering the metadata, administer the infrastructure, operate, schedule, monitor executions, and develop projects.

ODI Studio offers four Navigators to manage the various aspects and steps of the ODI integration project.

Designer Navigator

Designer Navigator is used to designing the data integrity checks and builds transformations such as 

  • Automatic reverse-engineering of existing databases and applications.
  • Graphical maintenance and development of integration interfaces and data transformation.
  • Automatic documentation generation.
  • Customization of code generated.
  • Visualization of data flows in the interface. 

Security Navigator

Security Navigator is used to managing security information in ODI. It allows users to create users and profiles and assign user rights for methods on generic objects. It also allows us to fine-tune these rights on the object instances. 

Operate Navigator

Operator Navigator is a production monitoring and management tool designed for IT production operators. It can manage the interface executions in the sessions and scenarios in production.  

Topology Navigator

Topology Navigator is used for managing data describing the information system's logical and physical architecture. It manages system information's topology, the data servers linked to these schemas and technologies, contexts, languages, agents, and repositories. 

The data server description, site, and machine enable ODI to run the integration interfaces in several physical environments. 

ODI offers a Java API to perform all the design-time and run-time operations. ODI Software Development Kit (SDK) is available for standalone Java servers and applications.

Run-Time Agent

While designing, developers generate scenarios from the business rules. The code of such scenarios will retrieve from the repository by Run-Time Agent. It connects data servers and orchestrates the code that executes on these servers. It retrieves the return messages and codes for the execution.

Also, logging information such as the number of execution time, processed records, and many more. The Run-Time Agents are of Two kinds.

  • Standalone Agent

It runs in the Java Machine and can deploy were required to accomplish the integration flows.

  • Java EE Agent

It can be deployed as a web application and benefit from the features of an application server.

These two agents were multi-threaded Java programs that support load balancing and distribution over the information system. It holds the execution schedule that is defined in ODI and is known as an external scheduler. It can invoke from the java API or web service interface.

ODI Console

Users can have read access to the repository, production operations, and perform topology configuration by a web-based UI known as ODI Console. The web application can be deployed in the Java EE application server like Oracle WebLogic. 

ODI offers a new plug-in to monitor and manage the Java EE and Standalone Agents that integrates with Oracle Fusion Middleware Control Console.

Reasons to choose ODI

The key reasons why companies should choose ODI for the integration requirements are as follows:

  • Simplest architecture: The ELT architecture removes the requirement of an ELT Server between target and source server. It uses the target and source servers to perform complex transformations.
  • Independent platform: ODI supports all platforms, OSs, and Hardware with the same software.
  • Data quality firewall: ODI ensures the faulty data to be detected and recycled automatically before inserting it into the target application. For this, no programming is required following data integrity rules and constraints on ODI and target application.
  • Data connectivity: ODI supports all RDBMSs, including leading Data Warehouse platforms such as Teradata, Oracle, Sybase IQ, IBM DB2, Exadata, and various other technologies such as LDAP, flat files, XML, and ERPs.
  • Faster development and maintenance: The declarative rules-driven approach to data integration reduces the product's learning curve and increases productivity during ongoing maintenance. Such an approach separates the definition of the processes from the actual implementation to declarative rules from the data flows.
  • Cost-saving: The elimination of the ELT Server and ELT engine reduces the initial hardware and software acquisition and maintenance costs. This reduces the overall costs of the project and the cost of ongoing enhancements.
  • Better performance: The traditional ETL approach is developed on exclusive engines that achieve data transformations row by row, limiting the performance. By implementing an ELT architecture, users can execute data transformation on target servers based on existing SQL and RDBMS engines, giving a much higher performance. 

Installing ODI and Demonstration Environment

Before installing any components of ODI, go through the system requirements and certification documentation to ensure that the environment meets the minimum installation requirements.

The system requirements document includes all the information such as hardware and software requirements, libraries, minimum disk space and memory requirements, and libraries, patches, or packages requirements.

To install the ODI, do the following steps:

  1. Go to the ODI Downloads page or use the given link. 


  1. Download 11g ODI media Pack and the 11g demo environment for the platform to a temporary folder.

  2. Extract the downloaded files and run the following command with respect to your operating system.

           1. On Windows operating systems:


          2. On UNIX operating systems:


     4. A welcome window appears. Click Next to continue.

     5. Select Installation Type screen opens, enable Developer Installation and Standalone Installation. Make sure that ODI Studio and ODI SDK are enabled by default. Click Next.

ODI Installation

  6. In the Pre-requisite checks screen, click Next to continue.

  7. A Specify Installation Location Window opens, enter the absolute path fo Oracle home location. For example:


  8. Click Next. Specify Agent Details Screen appears, enter the following Agent details.

        a.  Agent Name: DemoAgent

         b. Agent Port: 20910

Specify agent details

 9. Specify Security Updates Screen opens, choose how to notified about security issues.

       a.If you want to notify about security issues through My Oracle Support, select the My Oracle support option and enter the My Oracle Support Password.

       b.If you want to notify about security issues through E-mail, enter the E-mail address in the E-mail field. 

10. Click Next, Installation Summary Screen open, verify the information.

11. Click Install for the next Installation and Configuration Screens. Click Finish.

To install the Demonstration environment, do follow the below steps:

  1. Extract the oracledi-demo.zip file in the ODI_HOME folder.

  2. Verify the JAVA_HOME environment variable is set and includes the path of the JVM suitable for ODI.

         For example:

         On Windows operating systems:

         Set the  JAVA_HOME variable graphically.

         On UNIX operating systems:

         setenv JAVA_HOME/usr/local/java

Benefits of using ODI

  1. The main advantage of ODI is that it uses the native capability of target and source systems that do not require a separate server to install ODI.

  2. ODI is an ETL tool that follows the ETL process.

  3. All four navigators available in ODI studio are easy to navigate with multiple windows.

  4. It requires less time to process, less workforce, lowest cost to manage and set up.

  5. Agents in ODI are the adding advantage that can create and manage independently on standalone machines or can be deployed on JVMs for high monitoring and availability purpose.

  6. It can perform batch loading that gives better performance and can perform the row by row loading.

  7. ODI doesn’t require high-performance servers or a separate server.

  8. Quality control is another adding advantage of ODI to filter the error records and get them loaded into a separate table.

  9. Console access gives the data flows between tables and type of object loading to identify how a modification would affect the other tables and jobs.

  10. Version browser is also another advantage that is to identify the changes between two version objects.


Oracle Data Integrator (ODI) is an active integration platform that includes all data integration styles, such as event-based, service-based, and data-based. It combines all the data integration elements, such as data management, data movement, data services, and data synchronization, to ensure that information is accurate, consistent, and timely over complex systems.

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Last updated: 03 Apr 2023
About Author

Keerthana Jonnalagadda working as a Content Writer at Mindmajix Technologies Inc. She writes on emerging IT technology-related topics and likes to share good quality content through her writings. You can reach her through LinkedIn.

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