The general consensus is that Disco (music) died on July 12, 1979, after popular Chicago radio DJ Steve Dahl’s “Disco Demolition” event. Even though artists continued to release Disco records during the early 1980’s, the populace had already lifted and shifted to a different genre.
If you’re an Oracle E-Business Suite customer, there’s a good chance that know it’s Discoverer tool. Initially released in 1998 as an ad- hoc query and analysis reporting tool oriented for end users to have easy access to relational and multi-dimensional data, Discoverer has since reached its apex in 2006.
Oracle Support Ends After
June 30, 2017
After June 30, 2017, Extended Support is up for the tool formerly known as “Disco”. If you’re still using Discoverer, chances are, you’ve started looking for an exit strategy to extend your existing investments, while also modernizing your overall BI strategy via a self-service platform that empowers business users, and is supported by IT.
- Do nothing
- OBIEE / BI Foundation Suite
- Power BI
- Migration Automation
1. Do nothing
Discoverer might have outlived its shelf life, but if power users are content, why fix it? You can still upgrade to the latest release 11gR1, and take advantage of the pre-packaged integration with Oracle E-Business Suite or Federal Financials.
Even though Sustaining Support for Discoverer is unfixed, it does not include:
- New updates, fixes, security alerts, data-fixes, and critical patch updates
- New tax, legal, and regulatory updates
- New upgrade scripts
- Certification with new third-party products/versions
- Certification with other Oracle products
While day-to-day reporting and licensing will remain the same, the cost of a few iterations can end up exceeding that of an eventual replacement or migration project. There’s also the potential of failed integration with later versions of E-Business Suite, and any new desktop, browser, or Windows updates. Additionally, migration is necessary to ensure compatibility if you’re planning an EBS 12.2.x upgrade, database 12c upgrade, or migrating to Fusion Apps.
Inevitably, both business and users will need a more accessible solution that provides stronger data visualizations and interactivity. As you continue to amass volumes of data, so does the complexity of transforming that data into actionable insights that support strategic decision making.
2. BI Foundation Suite / OBIEE
Oracle Business Intelligence (Enterprise Edition), or OBIEE, is part of Oracle’s strategic road map for business intelligence. In our experience, Discoverer customers tend to choose an OBIEE migration path due to its support coverage, ability to interface directly with EBS, Fusion, and Forms, and enterprise-grade, C-level dashboards.
While OBIEE delivers what it promises, an army of reporting tools for executives and end users alike, it’s important to consider the time, cost, and effort required before, during, and after implementation and Discoverer migration.
Disco to OBIEE Migration
Migrating from Discoverer to OBIEE is complex. For starters, there are no tools available that automatically migrate workbooks, meaning you will need to re-create your queries from scratch. Fortunately, the End User Layer (EUL) can be migrated automatically using Oracle’s Discoverer Metadata Conversion Assistant. Converted elements include business areas, simple, complex, and custom folders, columns, joins, conditions, and hierarchies. Discoverer elements that aren’t migrated (as there is no equivalent in OBIEE) include item classes, summary folders, optional conditions, complex folders (either dimensions or based on complex folders), and hierarchies based on complex folders.
Other Considerations for OBIEE and BI Foundation Suite
OBIEE requires separate licensing costs for each “pack”; BI Server, BI Answers, BI Interactive Dashboards, BI Delivers, BI Publisher, Oracle Real-Time Decision Server, Oracle Scorecard and Strategy Management, and/or Oracle Data Visualization. Based on the Oracle Technology Global Price List, the cost to license OBI or Essbase may not provide due diligence. If you need a composite of features not limited to a single application, evaluate third party alternatives before throwing all notions of cost out the window.
Training, Maintenance, and Support
Licensing aside, many are wary of the OBIEE learning curve, which requires learning multiple tools and aspects of business intelligence in order to make it work well together. Post-Discoverer migration, a substantial amount of RPD modeling work and dashboard preparation is required in order for end users to start utilizing the product. Once up and running, will all support and maintenance be done internally? Or will you hire an outside consultant?
As it’s popularity becomes increasingly pervasive, it’s hard to ignore Tableau’s powerful, packaged BI offering. Tableau Desktop lets you drag and drop to analyze data, and you can connect to data in a few clicks, visualize and create interactive dashboards with a few more. We’ve seen many Oracle EBS/Discoverer customers migrate to Tableau mainly due to its available features, data visualizations, ease-of-upgrade, and affordable licensing.
ennVee’s Discoverer migration accelerator automatically transfers all reports and objects to Tableau. Provided below is an example to highlight the comparison of between a Sales Orders report before and after migration.
4. Microsoft Power BI
Over the course of the last few years, Microsoft has continued to beef up its Power BI analytics tool. Power BI has ascended from a middle-of-the-road solution to the leading business intelligence and analytics platform of 2017.
What makes Power BI an attractive alternative for Disco customers is the data modeling and self-service analytics capabilities available right out of the box. The migration path itself is straightforward and does not require scrapping any Discoverer elements. Power BI and Power BI Desktop are available to use for free, while Discoverer power users may opt for the Pro version ($9.99/user/month). The Pro version is required in order to migrate from Discoverer, as it is the only version that enables users to share data, security details, roles, and access information.
Aside from cost-effective licensing, Discoverer migration to Power BI has become a feasible route for the growing number of companies that are switching over to Office365. If you’re in the process of moving to Office365, Discoverer to Power BI migration would be a synergistic side-effect.
5. Automated Migration to Tableau, OBIEE, Qlikview, Power BI, etc. in 2-8 Weeks
ennVee offers an accelerated conversion process that automatically migrates all Discoverer workbooks and elements to leading BI platforms like Tableau, OBIEE, Qlikview, Power BI and more. Our packaged automation significantly reduces manual effort and time to migrate, at minimal cost and zero rebuild.
Impact Analysis to Post-Migration training and support takes 2-8 weeks’ time, based on the complexity of reports and queries.
All engagements include a pre-migration impact analysis to mitigate potential risk, front-end dashboard setup in the target system of choice, as well as priority post-mitigation support, new enhancements, improvements, functionalities, capabilities, and best practices.
Click here to download the datasheet
What elements are migrated?
- Business Rules
Other key features:
- Automated “as-is” migration of all Discoverer reports, objects, and workbooks
- Consolidate duplicate and outdated workbooks
- Users can sunset reports
- Extract complete information and prepare specific data sets
- Integration with Microsoft SharePoint
- Grant access and share report owner information via SharePoint
- Leverage Active Directory to easily identify individuals for each report
- Universal Discoverer version compatibility
We are currently offering a complimentary assessment with conversion timelines and fixed bid pricing.* Fill out the form below or contact us to learn more.