Premier support for Oracle Discoverer ended in June 2014 and extended support ended in June 2017. This move put many Discoverer customers in a tough spot as they were forced to look for a new reporting tool as a replacement for Oracle Discoverer which is now de-supported. Customers who have a significant investment in Oracle Discoverer frequently ask us questions regarding Oracle’s commitment to this product, support timelines, and the future strategy. As a customer for a legacy reporting tool like Oracle Discoverer, you need to understand your options and make the best choice based on your unique business needs.
Before selecting an ERP reporting solution as a replacement for Oracle Discoverer, you need to answer the following questions:
Multi-Dimensional Reporting: Do you require basic static reporting capabilities or multi-dimensional reporting across multiple data sources?
Mobile BI Do your employees need to view reports on the fly? If yes, it makes sense to have ERP reports that can be accessed from a mobile device anytime, anywhere.
Data Visualization Does your business need advanced data visualization capabilities or simple table-based reporting or a combination of both?
Ad hoc Reporting Does your business generate monthly planned reports or do you need quick access to information from the ERP system?
Data Sources Are the reports coming from data stored in a single system or from multiple sources – potentially outside of the ERP solution?
Why Should You Replace Oracle Discoverer?
Oracle Discoverer is a popular reporting tool for Oracle E-Business Suite but it is an older product and does not work with any data sources other than EBS. Apart from the fact that Oracle has ended support, Discoverer is a legacy reporting tool that is not intuitive and takes a long time to run reports. This is because Discoverer wasn’t built for end-users. Creating reports requires technical expertise, making the entire process slow and cumbersome. And when the reports are generated, users have no easy way to drill down into the reports and analyze the information further. This often results in more unanswered questions for business users and additional requests to the IT department.
As Discoverer is an older tool, it’s difficult to find resources with the right technical skills, making it more challenging for IT to generate reports quickly. As a result, IT usually ends up delegating Discoverer responsibilities to a single resource with the required skills, creating unnecessary dependencies. Moreover, an IT department that spends most of its time building complex reports won’t have the time to focus on transformational projects like upgrades or integrations. Despite IT spending a lot of time creating reports for the business, due to the limited capabilities of Oracle Discoverer, users can’t interact with the reports the way they need to. As a result, users work on spreadsheets, which leads to other issues including errors, data inconsistencies, multiple versions, etc.
What are Your Options?
Investments in ERP and reporting tools cost a lot of time, money, and effort. You need to know and evaluate all your options, not just the options that Oracle is pushing you to consider.
So, what are your options while migrating from Oracle Discoverer:
Migrate to OBIEE You can migrate from Discoverer to OBIEE and many customers are doing that. But OBIEE is not the ideal replacement for Oracle Discoverer. OBIEE is a powerful tool, but it’s not built to be a transactional reporting tool suitable for day-to-day ad hoc analysis. You can view data in attractive dashboards, which is great for C-level needs but OBIEE has limitations if you are an end-user who needs to see the details within the data. As OBIEE is a data warehouse, your business will have to plan well in advance to develop the structure of the reports that you might need in the future. It’s difficult to adapt quickly to constantly changing reporting needs and to build and customize OBIEE reports accordingly.
Migrate to Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC) OAC is a great choice as a replacement for Oracle Discoverer. OAC is a cloud-based solution that allows you to access reports from any device and can be used for advanced data visualization. OAC also has the ability to combine data from multiple sources including Oracle EBS. Replacing Oracle Discoverer with OAC is a cost-effective option that eliminates the risk of an unsupported system, improves performance, and delivers a better user experience with wider user adoption. OAC provides self-service analytics capabilities, enabling users to create their own reports without any help from your IT department. OAC also provides better security and a future upgrade roadmap that is aligned with Oracle’s analytics strategy.
Migrate to a Third-Party Tool Oracle tries to convince us into thinking that migrating to another Oracle BI product is the only way forward for Discoverer customers. However, there are many non-Oracle products that can meet your reporting requirements. But many of them add another layer of software that needs to be managed, often creating more silos that increase complexity for IT teams. This could leave the business without the data they need to make fast business decisions. But there are a few tools like Tableau, Power BI, and Looker that resolve ERP reporting challenges and deliver fast, user-friendly reports and dashboards.
What Should You Look for in a Discoverer Replacement Tool?