What's the best alternative to Oracle Discoverer for E-Business Suite?
June 2017 sees the end of extended support for Oracle Discoverer. Oracle announced their plans for phasing-out support in March 2014, and if you haven't started looking at alternatives, you need to start now.
It's a shame to hear the death-knell of such a venerable 20-year-old business intelligence tool, especially if you've put a lot of time and training in to the product.
But life goes on, and it's better to view the changes as more of an opportunity than a threat: Oracle Discoverer was long in the tooth, and it certainly doesn't have many of the features championed by the more modern BI upstarts.
But where do you start?
Doing nothing is an option. In the short term it's the least cost and effort!
You'll continue to receive 'sustaining support' from Oracle, so it really depends on how business-critical those reports and analyses are. You might get away with it...for a while.
Yet it's likely that you'll experience difficulties further down the road.
Sustaining support means that the product is not certified to work with other Oracle products, and it won't be updated or patched for security flaws. Plus your new staff probably won't be interested in learning what could be viewed as 'obsolete' software.
Move to Oracle OBIA
Oracle Business Intelligence Applications (OBIA) is Oracle's answer. This is a version of OBIEE (Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition) designed specifically for use with E-Business Suite and other ERP applications.
It's a good product, undoubtedly. However, the journey to OBIA is not a smooth one. It will still take training, modification and customisation to get you in to a position comparable with where you were before with Oracle Discoverer. The migration will cost in terms of finance, time and resource.
Use a third party alternative for your business information
There are plenty of third party alternatives that have sprung up to fill the void left by Discoverer. In general, they're more visually modern than Discoverer, offer a range of up-to-date business intelligence/analytics functions, and work well across modern devices like phones and tablets. Many provide the advantages of software-as-a-service, and perhaps inevitably: they're less expensive than OBIA.
Migration of Discoverer workbooks is key
Our E-Business Suite consultants have researched the third party alternatives to Discoverer, and they recommend SplashBI.
Among its many features, what attracted them to SplashBI was the way that your tried-and-tested workbooks could be imported seamlessly. This avoids having to re-create Discoverer reports and re-training staff on a wholely new product. You can read more here: SplashBI Discoverer Migration datasheet (PDF).
More information and video below.