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Official Oracle Direction for Discoverer (OBISE)

597043
597043 Member Posts: 115
edited Sep 30, 2009 3:10PM in Discoverer
Hi all,

Thank you for taking the time to read this post.

I’m hoping that you can assist me with this predicament. I’m finding a lot of confusion regarding Oracle BI Standard Edition (Discoverer) and the official Oracle line regarding its future. Discoverer 11g is now available, albeit on limited platforms but for there is a definite push from within Oracle to move towards an Oracle BI Foundation built on OBIEE Plus (or OBISE1 for smaller projects).

It is my understanding that Discoverer is not on the Oracle BI / Reporting strategic roadmap but I’d like know if there is an official statement from Oracle to confirm this. I know Discoverer 10.1.2.x falls under the OAS 10gR2 lifetime support but for users at a crossroads with an existing investment in Discoverer who are about to embark on further BI / reporting projects I'm confused to know the direction to take. For example using Discoverer with E-Business Suite using an Application EUL Discoverer install the advice from the Oracle OBIEE Migration Utility is to migrate to Oracle BI Apps, but quite frankly that has a large new technology footprint, large cost and offers no migration path for the existing Discoverer investment.

The latest Discoverer SOD on OTN is now 9 months old and doesn’t necessarily convey the same message that I’m hearing verbally from within Oracle.

Michael Armstrong-Smith has a great article on Protecting, Extending and Evolving your Discoverer investment but as I mention I was keen to see if there was an official statement from Oracle around what users should do.

Kind Regards,
Gary

Answers

  • Michael Armstrong-Smith
    Michael Armstrong-Smith Member Posts: 4,403
    edited Sep 30, 2009 12:42AM
    Hi Gary
    This is Michael. Thanks for the kind words concerning the article on my website (if anyone has not seen it please click here http://ascbi.com/downloads.htm and download the paper called MAXIMIZEINVESTMENT)

    Gary, my paper and presentation were done with the help of Oracle development and I can tell you that the SOD (http://www.oracle.com/technology/products/discoverer/pdf/discoverer_sod_jan2009.pdf) is still valid. As soon as it is not valid I can promise you there will be pressure from others within Oracle to have it taken away :-)

    I have to be a little careful not to be seen to be too biased to Discoverer but to be honest I do get annoyed at times when some folks within the OBIEE arena belittle what used to be Oracle's flagship product. My company has over 300 Discoverer clients and in the past year we have seen only one of them convert to OBIEE. So you have to ask why?

    Why, if OBIEE is so good, why are companies not converting in droves? I think I know part of the reason - money. In this current environment, when we are in the midst of a recession, companies are sticking to what they already have, in other words they are looking to maximize their current investments. This is true whether they are on Discoverer, Cognos, Business Objects, Brio or whatever tool they have. I know that there are many fortune 500 companies who have no problem with the cost of OBIEE, but I can tell you from the ground that most companies are small to medium sized and the feedback I get from them is that the cost is prohibitive. I wish Oracle would drop the price. I would certainly have an easier job of helping companies make the right decision.

    Okay, now let's get off cost. OBIEE is an excellent product and one that surely will catch on more and more. Like most products it has weaknesses and it has strengths. I tend to believe that it has more strengths than weaknesses and is not something to be ignored providing of course that it meets your requirements.

    From a Discoverer perspective, I am an Oracle ACE and I do have some inside knowledge about Discoverer. I can tell you that 11g is not fully released yet and you should wait a while until the full production release is announced. The latest I have is that we are looking at some time next year (Oracle statement), hopefully early in the new year (my desire not Oracle's statement). It promises to be a very exciting release with interfaces to many of the OBIEE tools allowing companies who are currently using Discoverer to begin to harness the power of the OBIEE toolset without losing their investment. I can also tell you that Discoverer has an extremely loyal following. It has thousands and thousands of clients, clients who would be most unhappy if Oracle were to drop it, which of course they won't. I mean - would you do this to thousands of your customers? No, of course not and Oracle won't either which is why Discoverer will be here for some time to come.

    By the way, 10.1.2.3 is also covered by the same lifetime poilcy as 10.1.2.2 and 11g will be too. As for E-Business Suite, I know that Oracle are pushing their BI Apps offering and it is rather good but, once again, as you say it is a large cost.

    Somewhere along the way something has to change if Oracle wants to get a bigger penetration of OBIEE and BI Apps. What that change is we don't know but simply having some verbals from within Oracle saying that Discoverer is not on the strategic roadmap is not going to sway its loyal customers away. What we need are incentives. I'd like to see Oracle offer the full cost of Discoverer as part or perhaps even full payment for OBIEE with customers being required to pay the higher maintenance costs only. I know some of my clients would be interested in this deal. Then, rather than keep putting Discoverer down which, as I say, was the flagship product until very recently, why not really tell us what benefits OBIEE has over it, plus make a supported transition path (which doesn't exist today).

    In the short to medium term, I think Discoverer has a loyal backing and with 11g coming will be a viable solution for several years to come, and maybe more if Oracle cannot persuade customers to convert. Longer term I think I would be sticking my head in the sand against modern trends to say that OBIEE will not overtake Discoverer and become the BI product with the thousands and thousands of happy customers.

    I'd be delighted to hear from anyone who has done the conversion from Discoverer to find out how it went and if anyone out there is looking for help migrating or even maximizing what you have, until the recession is over, perhaps I can help.

    Best wishes
    Michael Armstrong-Smith

    URL: http://ascbi.com
    Blog: http://learndiscoverer.blogspot.com
  • 651798
    651798 Member Posts: 1
    Michael,
    You mention BIEE utility to migrate the eul to an rpd in your maximize pdf. I have been looking for the documentation on that and can't see to find in on technet.
    If you have a link that would be helpful.
    I own and enjoy your book on Discoverer.
    Thank you,
    Conrad
  • Michael Armstrong-Smith
    Michael Armstrong-Smith Member Posts: 4,403
    edited Sep 30, 2009 3:10PM
    Hi Conrad
    Thanks for the kind words about the book.

    The tool you are looking for is part of the Administration toolset for OBI EE, so it’s only available on the Microsoft Windows platform. The program itself is called MigrateEUL.exe and can be found in the OracleBI/server/Bin/ directory. The migration tool must be run on a machine with an existing OBIEE Administrator installation. Please note also that this is a command line utility, so you'll have to be prepared to do some work diretcly in the Windows shell, aka DOS :-)

    There is a great posting about this on Mark Rittman's blog here: http://www.rittmanmead.com/2008/10/23/automatic-migration-of-a-discoverer-eul-to-an-obiee-repositoryautomatic-migration-of-a-discoverer-eul-to-an-obiee-repositoryautomatic-migration-of-a-discoverer-eul-to-an-obiee-repositoryautomatic-m/

    Hope this helps
    Best wishes
    Michael
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