I recently made a pitch to use APEX 4 for our business units daily reporting needs, ie prebuilt queries and Interactive Report pages in the apps. Our current 'supported' reporting platform is Hyperion (and Cognos to a lesser degree). However Hyperion is mainly used for more power user/ad-hoc reporting on the Warehouse. Ad-hoc is not a requirement for our Business unit to run daily reports on near real time OPS data.
I am impressed with how easy it is to create DB apps that are web based in APEX, and thought it a good solution to fulfill the reporting needs by simply creating new Tabs in an app for each report. The interactivity is more than sufficient for end-users, it's clean, etc. However I got a lot of pushback where it wasn't clear as to what gap APEX fills in this area as opposed to using Hyperion.
Does anyone have any input on this? It seems Hyperion is fine for the ad-hoc users but maybe not fo quickly creating and deploying dailt 'canned' reports.
as this is an Oracle Apex forum, you will find lots of support, even evangelical zeal for Apex, but you probably won't find too much balanced evalation between Hyperion and Apex. Both products probably have their advantages but as I know very little about Hyperion I couldn't speak with much authority, though I do have opinions about the real business value of adhoc reporting systems Vs well targeted and flexible reporting systems.
In my experience most end users have trouble writing queries any more complicated than select * from something. This means they usually need to be heavily supported by technical staff and super users who create views and other stored query objects which sheild the end users from the complexity of the database and usually end up no more flexible than canned reports. On top of this, they can lead to performance problems through runaway queries, wrong end data through innappropriate queries and stale data by downloading data to spreadsheets for further analysis they don't know how to do via SQL. Also a request for adhoc query access is frequently a response to a lack of flexibility and response (percieved or otherwise) from IT resources with regards to reporting requirements.
Apex has a number of advantages over more traditional reporting (and app development) solutions. First of all it is free with the database, but don't tell the business that. Better to tell them it is a no cost option of the Oracle database. Secondly, creating applications is relatively easy and through Interactive Reports, it is possible to create a flexible, though secure reporting environment that is easy to maintain and expand.
Without necessarily criiticising Hyperion, if this sounds like at least some of your environment, then maybe you can put a case together to include Apex. I'm not sure exactly how Hyperion works, but I assume it presents to the end user using some sort of web technology, so it may be possible to present a mixed solution between Apex and Hyperion that presents to the end users as a unified solution, similar to the way that Oracle recommends using Apex for customisations in EBS.
Hope this helps
Thanks ViteDBA, that helps out. You make a lot of good points regarding who and how users interact with and run reports against the DB.
Yes the Hyperion web client offers an interactive report feature that end-user can work with data supplied by a back end query. Functionality such as Sorting, Aggregating, etc. are offered. However there's some funny stuff on the way it acts. For example when adding Break Totals it takes it upon itself to re-sort columns in a manner which defeats the purpose of the Break totals to begin with.
IMO the fact that APEX is so closely tied to the DB, and is an Oracle product, makes in a sensible solution for running daily reports against and offering the end-user Interactive functionality.
Thanks again for the help, I look forward to being a part of the Oracle/APEX community!