Retiring legacy reporting tools
The client is an internationally-recognized, private, women’s liberal arts college located in Massachusetts. As an IT-savvy institute they use Oracle Discoverer for all MIS requirements. After Oracle stopped supporting Discoverer in mid-2017, they sought an optimal migration path to migrate their analytical reports to a more intuitive platform, ultimately selecting Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (MS SSRS) to replace Discoverer.
Having already installed and used MS SSRS for years, the client avoided the need for a separate implementation project and additional user training. In this case, the three primary constraints were time, cost, and resources needed to migrate. The client’s internal IT team did not have the availability to manually migrate from Discoverer to MS SSRS, and needed ennVee’s help to automate the migration process.
Customer Snap Shot
- Private women’s liberal arts college
- Location: Massachusetts, USA
- 2300 students
- Annual endowment: ~$2 billion USD
Due to the constraints for both cost and time, we aimed to automate as much of the migration process as possible by utilizing our proprietary ennSight tool, which automatically identifies, assesses, and extracts all reports from Discoverer, including security and business rules.
To start, we conducted a comprehensive assessment of the client’s Discoverer reporting environment. The assessment produced a detailed snap shot of all reports broken down by department, owner, duplicates, complexity of the SQL, and estimated effort to migrate. to help them determine which reports to migrate, sunset, and consolidate. Then, the client went back to its business users and had them scrub the list for any duplicates or obsolete reports. The final decision for what to migrate consisted of 500 essential reports covering four tracks, HRMS, FINANCE, FACULTY, and PAYRPT.
After, the ennVee team used ennSight to automatically extract all 500 identified reports from Discoverer, identifying all user roles and user assigned schema. Based on the extraction each report was divided into one of three categories, Simple, Medium, or Complex. This categorization allowed us to determine the complexity and effort required to convert and test the workbooks and reports. Post-extraction, we automatically migrated each report “as is”. This allowed us to significantly expedite the migration process, and gave the client the opportunity to review and decide whether any enhancements were required in the final MS SSRS output. Finally, each report was unit tested before being deployed to the client’s server.
Total time to migrate: 8 weeks
- Oracle Discoverer
- Proprietary ennSight Migration Automation tool
- Microsoft SSRS
All 500 Discoverer reports were successfully migrated to MS SSRS in eight weeks without any loss of data or disruptive rebuild. Automation helped the customer reduce the amount of complexity involved, as well as time, cost, and resources required to migrate. Rather than dedicate its internal staff to manually migrating the reports, the ennVee team handled and automated the process, affording the customer additional time to focus on strategic projects.
Additionally, Discoverer users are able to create substantially more intuitive reports via the self-service MS SSRS reporting platform. They can also move reports to Microsoft Power BI to augment the analytics or visual effects. Overall, automation has enabled the college to dedicate more time to strategic initiatives, while simultaneously migrating from Oracle Discoverer in just eight weeks.