Sunteți pe pagina 1din 10

Oracle Discoverer

A Complete Business Intelligence Tool

AUTHOR: POONAM CHADDHA

Abstract

Why Oracle Discoverer? We always look for ways in which to better involve the user
community. Using Discoverer, you can access and analyze data that you know is in your
company's database, without having to understand complex database concepts. Discoverer's
intuitive wizards and menus enable you to retrieve and analyze data that supports your
business decisions. Discoverer does the hard work for you while you reap the harvest by
focusing on the decision-making part.

Rapidigm (India) Limited www.rapidigm.com


B-118, Sector-2, NOIDA, UP 201301• +91 (120) 244-4725 – Phone • +91 (120) 244-4723 – Fax 10/18/2007 06:31:00 AM
Oracle Discoverer
Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION......................................................................................3
TARGET AUDIENCE:.................................................................................3
WHAT IS DISCOVERER?.............................................................................4
IT’S AN INTEGRATED BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE SOLUTION (BIS)............................4
DISCOVERER ADMINISTRATOR: ..................................................................4
DISCOVERER END USER LAYER (EUL):...........................................................5
DISCOVERER PLUS/DESKTOP:.....................................................................5
DISCOVERER VIEWER:..............................................................................5
DISCOVERER BENEFITS/FEATURES:..............................................................5
Scalability and Performance:..........................................................................................5
Usability:...................................................................................................................5
Hiding Complexity:.......................................................................................................6
Data Visualization:.......................................................................................................6
Query Processing:........................................................................................................6
Ease of Setup and Maintainence:......................................................................................6
Centralized Metadata:...................................................................................................6
Automatic Summary Management/ Query Redirection:..........................................................6
Integration With Oracle Portal:........................................................................................6
Print Option:..............................................................................................................6
Parameters:...............................................................................................................6
Export:.....................................................................................................................7
ORACLE REPORTS:..................................................................................8
INTEGRATION WITH ORACLE APPLICATIONS:..................................................9
CONCLUSION.........................................................................................9
REFERENCES:.......................................................................................10
ABOUT THE AUTHOR.............................................................................10
COPYRIGHT INFORMATION.......................................................................10
DISCLAIMER.........................................................................................10

© 2004 Rapidigm (India) Limited Page 2 of 10


Oracle Discoverer
INTRODUCTION
In an increasingly competitive world, successful organizations leverage information at Internet speed to
completely integrate business intelligence about company’s operations and its customers to assess the
potential opportunities and risks. A robust business intelligence tool is required to formulate e-business
strategies and transforms an organization’s most valuable asset, data, into information.

It is increasingly important to be able to quickly convey information that drives your business. The need to
make informed decisions exists at all levels and across functional areas in an organization. All employees
need immediate access to accurate information to execute their jobs. Meeting this need translates into
increased productivity and better cross-functional performance.

Oracle Discoverer is the only ad-hoc query; reporting and analysis tool that provides the optimum balance
between functionality and high availability required for Intranet and Internet applications. Thus, suiting to
people 's need in the business world, of knowing their data figures.

Discoverer End User Layer (EUL) provides the functionality of a server based, low maintenance, powerful
metadata repository and query management engine for data warehouses and on-line transaction processing
(OLTP) systems, for a complete data processing experience. Discoverer offers a variety of formatting,
printing and graphing capabilities for easy understanding of data by the people.

TARGET AUDIENCE:
• Senior Management interested in high-end and dynamic analytical reports with pivot analysis of
data and their comparison.
• People who are using Oracle Reports but are not satisfied with the cost of development and depth
of analysis, looking for alternate reporting tool.
• Business Analysts
• Data Warehousing Administrators /Database Administrators

© 2004 Rapidigm (India) Limited Page 3 of 10


Oracle Discoverer

WHAT IS DISCOVERER?
Oracle Discoverer is an open, ad-hoc query, reporting, analysis, and web-publishing tool that enables
business users at all levels of the organization to gain immediate access to information from relational data
warehouses, data marts, and online transaction processing systems. It is the tool that enables business users
to transform data to the useful information and gain strategic insight into their business and operations.
Discoverer offers a cost effective, business intelligence tool that provides information anywhere, anytime.
Users are empowered with on demand data access to make informed business decisions.

Discoverer is deployed in either client/server or n-tier web architecture. Each client tool is designed to
support specific business roles. Discoverer empowers people to take ownership of their reporting and
analysis directives. Discoverer user gains rapid access to corporate data through it‘s easy to use interface.

Oracle Discoverer is the most tested user Interface in the market.

IT’S AN INTEGRATED BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE SOLUTION (BIS).


Business Intelligence is a company's ability to leverage the information resources that they have available,
whether internal or external to their organization, to drive real business decisions and to take action. Oracle
Discoverer is a comprehensive integral element of Business Intelligence Solution (BIS) that offers web
based decision support capabilities to end-users.

There are different elements of Oracle Discoverer for different roles. They are:

DISCOVERER ADMINISTRATOR:
It is used for the initial setup and ongoing maintenance of metadata. The administrator performs a variety of
tasks including creating and maintaining a business-oriented view of the data, access control, summary data
management, and batch scheduling administration. Discoverer Administrator quickly and easily reduces the
level of user support needed for business intelligence querying. This business-oriented view of data is called
Business Area. Only Administrator has the rights to create the required Business Areas. The Administrator
implements their End User Layer (EUL).

© 2004 Rapidigm (India) Limited Page 4 of 10


Oracle Discoverer

DISCOVERER END USER LAYER (EUL):


EUL is a server based, low maintenance, powerful metadata repository and query management engine for
data warehouses and on-line transaction processing (OLTP) systems. End User Layer also a repository for
user-defined queries, usage statistics, and Discoverer privileges providing valuable feedback on query
performance, query volume, usage patterns, etc. End User layer hides the complexity of data structures and
drill relationships from business users who need to focus on business issues, not data issues. It
automatically performs query redirection to summary tables. Centrally stored in the RDBMS for scalability
and ease of maintenance. Shared by both the client/server and web releases of Discoverer, which
significantly lowers maintenance and administration overhead. The End User layer created by the
administrator is used by other Discoverer elements.

DISCOVERER PLUS/DESKTOP:
Discoverer Plus is a tool for power users, data analysts and report builders and empowers business users to
create reports and to perform powerful analysis without understanding SQL or database structures.
Discoverer Plus supports multiple firewalls for users who create queries on the Internet or Intranet.
Discoverer Desktop enables users to export results in XML to other Business Intelligence tools like Oracle
Reports. Users create ad hoc queries, reports and graphs in a 100% Java client or client/server version.
Analysts’ drill up and down on their result set, pivot data, and change the layout to find answers to
questions. Report builders create their own calculations, conditions, and totals to generate custom reports.

There is a distinction between Discoverer Plus and Discoverer Desktop being that Desktop runs in a
client/server architecture and Discoverer Plus as a java client.

DISCOVERER VIEWER:
Discoverer Viewer is the tool for end users and data analysts. Users execute reports and graphs created in
Discoverer Plus or Discoverer Desktop from any HTML device. Discoverer Viewer offers a flexible way to
view reports, drill, pivot and export similar to Discoverer Plus. Discoverer Viewer reports are live, enabling
users to interact with their data by changing layouts and specifying parameters. Viewer requires no other
software than a simple web browser and its backbone uses the same high performance, scaleable
architecture as other Discoverer solutions.

DISCOVERER BENEFITS/FEATURES:

Scalability and Performance:


Discoverer is built using stable n-tier distributed component architecture. Discoverer components may be
installed across multiple servers, providing a distributed virtual server that maximizes performance. Large
documents are viewed in pages. Discoverer breaks the document into pages in the background and displays
the first page. Additional pages are displayed on demand reducing network traffic between the client and
Discoverer server. Components of the Discoverer Server can be added dynamically to meet increased
demand as the number of concurrent users increases.

Usability:
Users retrieve and analyze information without understanding the conceptual issues and terminology of
database technology. Resizable wizards, tool tips, tutorials, and context sensitive help guide users to create
or modify workbooks.

© 2004 Rapidigm (India) Limited Page 5 of 10


Oracle Discoverer
Hiding Complexity:
Discoverer hides complexity of underlying relational database structures by presenting a business-oriented
view of the data. Discoverer automatically detects queries that can generate unexpected results and
automatically rewrites the query ensuring the appropriate results.

Data Visualization:
Discoverer provides ‘what you see is what you get’ results. Graphs are always synchronized with the data.
End users create their graphs using a wizard that supports more than 25 different graph types. Graphs can
be used in Viewer, Plus and Desktop.

Query Processing:
Discoverer allows end users or administrators to set an upper threshold on query execution time. Discoverer
provides predictive query governor which estimates the retrieval time before a query is run. If query is
predicted to take longer than a user defined time, Discoverer warns the user and allows them to determine if
the query should be run which conserves the resources.

Ease of Setup and Maintainence:


Wizards, tutorials, online help, etc. support managers, which facilitate rapid development and deployment.
Discoverer managers can add or modify existing metadata without disturbing unrelated business views.

Centralized Metadata:
Discoverer stores all of its metadata in the database. Therefore, there is one place to update and maintain it.

Automatic Summary Management/ Query Redirection:


Using Discoverer, you can create and maintain pre-summarized data; the automatic summary redirection
capability reduces the amount of data to be searched. Requests for aggregated results are automatically
redirected to pre-summarized data, reducing total elapsed time for query. This wizard-based feature
simplifies the summary creation process by recommending and creating summaries based on criteria set by
the Discoverer Administrator, the summary policy.

Integration With Oracle Portal:


The tight integration between Oracle Discoverer and Oracle Portal empowers users to publish their favorite
reports or list of reports to Oracle Portal and enable other users in the organization to easily access the
information by subscribing to these portal pages. Discoverer supports Oracle9iAS Portal Single Sign-On.

Print Option:
The print option in Discoverer includes options for printing data only, graph only, or both table and graph,
enabling better control of the print area.

Parameters:
Discoverer can apply parameters to either an individual worksheet, or to all sheets in a workbook. When
applied to the workbook, users do not need to reenter the same parameter value for each sheet. Workbook
level parameters are visually distinguishable from worksheet level ones, so the user can easily identify
which parameter values will be applied to the whole workbook and which ones will be applied to individual
worksheets.

© 2004 Rapidigm (India) Limited Page 6 of 10


Oracle Discoverer
Export:
The Data can be exported to MS Excel and other formats. Discoverer preserves the formatting of the
exported reports/ data increasing the user productivity. Even Pivot Analysis of Data can be exported to MS
Excel.

© 2004 Rapidigm (India) Limited Page 7 of 10


Oracle Discoverer

ORACLE REPORTS:

A sophisticated enterprise production reporting tool to build and distribute high-quality reports.
Oracle reports produces sophisticated, high quality web reports, allows unlimited data formatting and offers
high quality report visualization.

Oracle Reports is a popular report producing reporting tool, but Oracle Discoverer was designed keeping in
mind the different set of audience. The main audiences for Oracle Discoverer are the management people
who have the data at there disposal and need to interpret it quickly, without knowing the technical know –
how of report creation. It provides a lot of features, which cater to the audience perfectly.
I am presenting the comparison of Oracle Discoverer to Oracle Reports, highlighting the advantages of
using Oracle Discoverer.

Comparison between Oracle Discoverer and Oracle Reports


Oracle Discoverer Oracle Reports

Reports Development Effort is less Reports Development Effort is very high.


Maintenance is minimal Modification takes almost similar time as
developing a new report.
Pivot Analysis and Drill Down Option given to User. Option not Available.

Layouts are Dynamic and Parameters Values can be Layouts are Static and Parameters Values can be
changed any time specified before invoking the Report.
Group Sorting can be changed any time Sorting can be changed before invoking the
Report.
Graph is Dynamic and can be designed by End User Graphs are Static and will be designed by
itself. Developer.
Data can be exported to MS Excel and other formats. Export to MS Excel is not possible. Can be
Even Pivot Analysis of Data can be exported to MS exported to only not editable formats like PDF.
Excel.
Current V/s Previous Comparison can be done for For each single dimension, a separate report has to
between any period dimension (Year, Quarter, be prepared. And effort is 1000 times what
Month, week) and across any number for financial discoverer provides.
years. And that too with zero efforts and end user
driven. Even user can dynamically change the
columns values during comparison.
Analytical Functions like Rank, Running Totals, Option not Available Dynamically.
Statistical Functions are available “Out-of-the Box”
to be used by Users in a dynamic fashion

© 2004 Rapidigm (India) Limited Page 8 of 10


Oracle Discoverer

INTEGRATION WITH ORACLE APPLICATIONS:

Deployed in an Oracle Applications environment, Discoverer provides an intuitive way for non-technical
end users, such as executives and business analysts to get rapid answers to business questions. These
answers draw a clear picture of the company’s current operations, trends in markets and products, revenue
opportunities, financial performance, and so on. Discoverer helps transform the transactional data into
valuable business information.

Discoverer is integrated with Business Intelligence System (BIS) to provide a powerful analysis solution for
Oracle Applications. Oracle BIS is a performance management system for Oracle Applications and
provides integrated set of intelligence modules for Financials, Purchasing, Operations, Human Resources
and Process Manufacturing. Each intelligence module comes with Discoverer workbooks that provide ad
hoc and detailed analysis of critical day-to-day performance measures calculated from Oracle Applications.

Discoverer is the only business intelligence tool that uses the Oracle E-Business suite security model out of
the box. When a user logs in to Discoverer, they view only the data pertaining to organizations they have
access to. Discoverer supports Oracle e-Business Suite features, enabling customers to flexibly set up and
configure their OLTP systems. End user accounts and responsibilities in the OLTP system are available in
Discoverer immediately, without any extra setup by the administrator

Discoverer also provides the same level of multi-organization access control that is available through
Oracle e-Business Suite. Cross organization reporting is also supported.

CONCLUSION
In the world where managers and data analyst have data information, but are under constraint to make key
business decisions, Oracle Discoverer helps them do there job by providing them with visual cues to
understand, what they need to know. It provides them the utility of creating reports with a variety of
formatting, printing and graphical capabilities over the web to be distributed externally or internally. It
offers them optimal productivity with its unique performance features, visualization and sophisticated
calculation capabilities. It also offers a tight integration with database simplifying security, scalability, and
data access and metadata creation.

It’s strong integration with Oracle Portal and Oracle Applications can transform any kind of data to
information. Distribution and sharing information has never been easier, producing better communication
and increase in productivity.

© 2004 Rapidigm (India) Limited Page 9 of 10


Oracle Discoverer

REFERENCES:
1. Oracle Discoverer Internal Training conducted by Reema Goenka.
2. What is Oracle Discoverer? By Spectrum Group.
3. Oracle Discoverer 4i Plus, User Guide.
4. White Paper on “Developing an Oracle Discoverer End User Layer™ against Oracle Applications”.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


I am a technical resource working in the capacity of Systems Executive. I am very well acquainted with
Oracle Reports and Oracle Discoverer, hence the comparison. I am working on understanding the
Integration of Oracle Applications with Oracle Discoverer.

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION
© 2004, Rapidigm (India) Limited © 2004, Rapidigm (India) Limited
B-118, Sec-2, Noida, UP, India A-15, MIDC Technology Park, Talawade, Pune,
Maharashtra, India

This document is protected by Copyright Laws of the Land. This document may not be reproduced in any
form, by any means without prior written permission from Rapidigm (India) Ltd, as represented by the
Technology Evaluation and Adoption Group (TEAG), or the Corporate Communications Team (CCT).

DISCLAIMER
The above White Paper, has been written by the author, in the capacity of a Rapidigm employee and all
rights are now vested in Rapidigm (India) Limited.

© 2004 Rapidigm (India) Limited Page 10 of 10