Ever since OBIEE came into the picture back in 2006 with the acquisition of Siebel, Oracle Discoverer users have been asking Oracle what their plans are for the Discoverer product. In 2009, Oracle issued a statement of direction that recommended migrating to Oracle's Business Intelligence Solution, OBIEE, by 2015.
But is it that simple?
Oracle markets the Discoverer to OBIEE migration tool as an easy way to move off Discoverer and onto their Business Intelligence solution. At first it sounds great. You assume you can click a button and migrate all your reports. But it is not that simple. Not even close. Users can download a 30-page document on using the Discoverer Metadata Conversion Assistant. However, it is very clear that this is a task that requires a lot of technical skill from IT. What’s most important to note is not everything in Discoverer is converted over for you with this Assistant. In fact, some very critical pieces are missing, like:
- Workbooks are not migrated (yes, you heard that right… workbooks, the main thing you need migrated…)
- Summary folders are not migrated
- Complex folders based on other complex folders are not migrated
- Hierarchies based on complex folders are not migrated
- Optional conditions would need to be registered in the OBI catalog and are not part of the repository
- Privileges and permissions are not migrated
- The system cannot migrate complex folders that are dimensions, a corresponding message will appear in the log
There is a fundamental difference between OBIEE and Discoverer in the preferred relationship model. In the Business Model layer of the OBIEE repository, the relationships between tables should represent a star schema. As a minimum requirement, there is a dimension table and a fact table. In comparison, Oracle Discoverer does not demand any special type of relationship between data. For that reason, if the Discoverer data model does not represent star schemas, changes may be needed after migration in order to respect this structure. Otherwise the repository will not be available and enabled for queries.
Not the silver bullet
Oracle’s migration tool is not the silver bullet if you are looking to replace unsupported Discoverer. In fact, you may spend more time reconciling what has been done and adding in all the missing bits than you would just starting from scratch. If migrating to OBIEE is this difficult, will using it be just as cumbersome and time consuming? If you'd like more information on replacing Discoverer, watch this informative webinar here.