Saturday, April 01, 2006

Must Have In Discoverer

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to respond with comments and feedback (link) to my post on my request for features people would like to see in the next release of Discoverer (link to post). Some of the common requests were for automated scheduling & distribution, save-to-file, images in titles, more advanced conditional formatting, etc...

The good news is that the features people asked for are the ones that we have been hearing from customers, the sales force, and others - so the good thing is that there are no surprises there! The even better fact is that the new Oracle BI suite Enterprise Edition has all these features and a lot more. For example, you can do very nifty alerting and distribution using 'Delivers' in the Enterprise Edition, with the ability to send alerts to different devices.

There is a flip side to all this however - as you would have read in various web sites and through announcements (link to Google News) and on this blog itself (link to post, link to post on Oracle's BI briefing) that there are now three editions of Oracle Business Intelligence: Oracle BI Suite SE One, Oracle BI Suite SE, and Oracle BI Suite EE. While Oracle Business Intelligence Standard Edition (link to page on OTN) comprises Oracle Discoverer, BI Beans, Reports, and other products, the Standard Edition One and Enterprise Edition suites are built upon the analytics server that Oracle got from its Siebel acquisition. These two suites offer a lot of additional functionality, including many features that customers have been asking for in Discoverer.

Separately, Oracle has also committed to making Discoverer essentially a data source to the analytics server, which means that for those customers interested in adopting the Enterprise Edition, they would be able to leverage their existing investments in the current Oracle BI stack. Those customers that want to continue using Discoverer will be able to do that also, as we have committed to providing enhancements on top of Discoverer, in addition to Oracle's policy of providing lifetime support (link to the Discoverer statement of direction on OTN for more specific details). Also see Oracle's Lifetime Support Policy FAQ document (link to doc).

Therefore, a question that assumes more importance is that from among the basket of requirements that customers have, which are the ones that they would specifically want to see implemented in Discoverer.

I have created a small poll - please take a minute (will take even less than a minute actually) to fill out your responses...
If I have left out any choices that you think are important enough, do drop me a line at abhinav.oracle at gmail.com.

Which of these features would you like to see in Discoverer (Oracle BI Suite SE), even if the same feature was available in the EE suite?
Note that you can select more than one choice before clicking the 'Vote' button.
Scheduling and Distribution
Distribution based on Alerts
Images in Titles
Conditionally format an item based on the value of another item
Save to File
Sub queries in Discoverer Plus
Graph subset of data
Reverse Outline view in Crosstabs
More support for Oracle data-types
More support for Oracle statistical functions
Alternate row-shading (banding)
Customizable splash screen logo
Selection between short and long attribute description labels
More free form OLAP calculation builder
Free polls from Pollhost.com

Disclaimer: while it should be obvious to most people, I still do want to state that this is not a commitment to deliver any functionality in any stated timeframes. Your responses shall help, certainly, and are an invaluable input into our planning. This blog, I hope, provides a quick way to elicit informed opinions from our customers, partners, and others interested in Oracle BI.