If you're still using Oracle Discoverer, by now you’ve heard about the cessation of that software. With no new releases planned and support drastically cut over the next few years, some of you might be a bit unsure about where you should go now. As we discussed in an earlier post about the specific pain points users had with Oracle Discoverer, this may not actually be such a bad thing.
When it comes down to it, Discoverer was at the top of its game 20 years ago. To their credit, Discoverer has maintained a fairly functional product with no full releases since 2009. Seven years with no update is impressive, but as they've recognized, it's time to pull the plug on this product. We know, you have questions. Let’s cover them.
What comes next in Oracle Discoverer support?
Oracle's Statement of Direction lays out the support strategy over the next few years:
Users who transfer from premier to extended support will no longer be certified with most new third-party products/versions (such as web browsers and Windows 10), or more new Oracle products.
Users who stay on-board with Oracle Discoverer until the sustaining period will not have the following support:
- Certification with most existing Oracle products/versions
- Certification with most existing third-party products/versions
- Software and operating system updates
- New patches, alerts, or scripts
These downgrades in support all point to something fairly obvious – Oracle wants you to migrate from Discoverer.
Even with premier support there is a significant risk with unsupported products. If a bug is introduced, you will be unable to get a new patch to resolve it. So, if Oracle wants users to migrate from Discoverer, where do they want them to go? Enter OBIEE.
Oracle transfers to Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE)
Instead of focusing on Discoverer, Oracle is urging all its Discoverer users to move off of unsupported Discoverer and on to their BI tool, Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE).
With OBIEE as Discoverer’s replacement, its intended purpose is to help unlock the power of your information with robust reporting, ad hoc query and analysis, OLAP, dashboard and scorecard functionality that offers the end-user an experience that comes with visualization, collaboration, and alert capabilities, and more. But does OBIEE stack up?
The pros and cons of Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition
The benefits of OBIEE include:
- Interactive dashboards that provide reports with a rich variety of visualization tools
- Great dashboards for C-level executives
- Impressive summary data
- Enterprise reporting that accommodates formatted templates and reports
- Detection and alerts that trigger workflows based on business events
- Spatial intelligence that allows users to visualize analytics via map-based visualizations
Users of OBIEE have already experienced a multitude of challenges, however. These include:
- The Reporting Administration section needs to be simplified for easier maintenance
- OBIEE is less than dynamic and agile than Discoverer and cannot easily alter reports
- The Spatial Intelligence capabilities require you to have Oracle Database in place as the pre-built maps data is only available in the Oracle database
- The BI Mobile APP Designer is difficult to use, at best, when upgrading from previous versions
- OBIEE is not transactional and it's difficult to drilldown to the little details, thus requiring a data dump into Excel
- The overall solution has a big learning curve, it takes a chunk of time to master, and also involves a long implementation time (up to months for some users)
- OBIEE cannot uptake data in other formats very easily
- Due to the robust complexity of the tool, users may experience random bugs in the development that are difficult to trace
Oracle's direction and strategy
Although Oracle is committed to their "Protect, Extend and Evolve" plan, OBIEE doesn't stack up. Their intention is to allow customers the ability to protect the investment they have while providing new tools and technologies that may be able to adapt to evolving business requirements. OBIEE, unfortunately, just isn't up to snuff. Not okay with this? Keep reading.
Where do you go from here?
Bottom line, Oracle Discoverer customers have three options: stick with the unsupported Discoverer, migrate to OBIEE, or look for a third-party application.
If you elect to stick with the unsupported Discoverer, you may outgrow the solution sooner than later and may increase your security risks along the way. If you decide to migrate to OBIEE, you may find yourself against the wall with limitations that hinder business success.
If you're considering the third option—finding a third-party application that can truly champion your business and its needs—there are resources that can help you decide where to go from here. Third-party tools and applications are available that are hard working and can add serious momentum to your business.