Covering the essentials of business intelligence, explore the features & functions for an overview.
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Oracle’s Discoverer application was designed as a smart ad hoc query and analysis reporting tool for businesses. In January of 2009, Oracle released a public statement encouraging its users to migrate from Discoverer. Fast forward a decade and organizations are still using this solution, even after Oracle announced Discoverer’s end of life in June 2017.
“No new patches for Discoverer 11gR1 or its E-Business Suite (EBS) Discoverer-based content will be created after June 30, 2017.”
– EBS Support Implications for Discoverer 11gR1
Clearly, if your organization has not done so already, it’s time to select a Discoverer replacement solution and begin migrating your reports.
Above, a sample training screenshot featuring video rentals is one reminder of how legacy a product Discoverer actually is.
Changing a reporting solution isn’t an easy decision. It’s not an easy project either, especially if you have to manually recreate reports. Many large organizations have created hundreds or thousands of reports using Discoverer, so a project to migrate from them is a significant undertaking; one that impacts many critical departments in an organization.
Businesses don’t always see a benefit from moving off a legacy solution. Replacing existing reports with similar versions generated by another system is time-consuming and not particularly profitable. Oracle’s own replacement reporting options, OBIEE and OTBI, are expensive. And complex. Moving users to these solutions will take a significant amount of training and hand holding. For example, OBIEE offers a Discoverer migration utility, but it does not migrate the end user layer (EUL) that contains the database metadata. A migration project will have to dedicate time to rebuilding the semantic layer for all reports.
Nonetheless, if your business is still using Discoverer for ad hoc and operational reporting in Oracle E-Business Suite and/or custom database applications, you need to migrate. Staying on an unsupported legacy product is a risk for a number of reasons:
With easy data access, better organizational insights, and one of the fastest times to value in the industry, Orbit is the clear replacement to Oracle’s Discoverer.
Depending on the number of your Discoverer reports in Oracle EBS and custom applications, manual migration by a dedicated team of experts can take anywhere from a few months to a few years. But with a Discoverer replacement like Orbit Analytics paired with adherence to best practices, migration can happen quickly, efficiently and affordably.
Orbit supports multiple system platforms, including Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle Fusion, PeopleSoft, Taleo and more. It’s a powerful reporting application for creating simple to complex reports for your organization, delivered with over a thousand pre-built reports encompassing Oracle Financials, Supply Chain, and HRMS.
Orbit connects to multiple databases such as Oracle, MySQL, IBM DB2, Microsoft SQL Server – in fact, any database with a JDBC driver. With an HTML5 front end for a modern, web-based UI, it delivers real-time operational reporting, drill to detail, dashboarding, and ad hoc inquiry capabilities in an integrated business intelligence package.
There are a number of replacement options for Discoverer. These include Oracle’s own products OBIEE and OTBI, SAP’s Crystal Reports as well as third-party reporting solutions.
Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) is Oracle’s flagship BI platform, offering a rich feature set that includes operational and ad hoc reporting, dashboards, alerting, predictive analytics, scorecard management and in-memory computing. It’s a complex and powerful product, designed for use by large enterprises, but perhaps a less optimal match for organizations that don’t have dedicated staff for technical support, ongoing maintenance and user training. Pricing for this best-in-class product may also be prohibitive for mid-sized and emerging organizations.
The product’s user interface will already be familiar to Oracle users, although (as noted in third party peer review sites) end users may find it challenging to create dashboards and have limited choices for visualizations.
As a BI product, OBIEE requires a data warehouse set up that many Discoverer users may not have in place. In fact, moving from Discoverer to OBIEE is a considerable undertaking. The tool’s Discoverer Migration Assistant does not migrate some joins, optional conditions, item classes, item hierarchies and data hierarchies. That may not impact every Discoverer implementation. However, because workbooks are not migrated, you will need to recreate all reports and dashboards in OBIEE’s presentation layer. Discoverer’s security leveraged EBS Roles and Responsibilities, but because these are not implemented in OBIEE, you will also need to recreate your security layer.
Oracle Transactional Business Intelligence (OTBI) is an Oracle BI product for OLTP reporting against Fusion (Oracle Cloud) apps only. While a good option for cloud-only environments, it may be less optimal for organizations that need to report on a variety of cloud and on-premises data sources. OTBI is not an ad hoc or self-service reporting solution. Its report creation interface is somewhat rigid and outdated, using a wizard instead of a more modern drag and drop interface.
Because OTBI does not come with an inventory of prebuilt reports, a migration project will need to budget time to recreate all Discoverer reports and dashboards. OTBI also requires another Oracle product, BI Publisher, for report bursting and distribution and pixel-perfect reporting.
Crystal is another popular reporting solution with a long lifespan. Organizations that have an existing Crystal implementation may think it’s a good idea to consolidate reporting in the tool. However, Crystal has a number of critical drawbacks:
Orbit is one of several modern alternatives to Discoverer. The many benefits of modern reporting and analytics solutions in general (and Orbit in particular) include:
It is worthwhile, as part of a Discoverer migration project, to talk to one or more third-party analytics vendors before committing to an enterprise BI product that may be more complex or expensive than you need.
You need to migrate from Discoverer while ensuring continuity of your current reporting and choosing a solution that best aligns with the future needs of your organization. In this webinar, you will learn about:
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For many years Oracle Discoverer was a critical reporting component for enterprise ERP applications. However, now that the support of Oracle Discoverer has ended, organizations have an opportunity to enhance their operational reporting.
This white paper covers some important BI and reporting tools in the Oracle space, and the migration process for Oracle Discoverer reports from Oracle E-Business Suite towards new technologies.
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