Converting Discoverer workbooks to Reports Wand for a leading manufacturer.

First, some context

Oracle Discoverer has been the reporting tool of choice for many years for Oracle e-Business users due to its intuitiveness, ease of use, and most notably, minimal cost. As a result, many organizations have continued to make substantial investments in Discoverer to provide their decision support.

Now, with Oracle no longer supporting Discoverer, users are challenged with finding a new Business Intelligence reporting tool to fill this gap. There are three potential solution paths: continue using the unsupported Discoverer tool, follow Oracle’s recommended path by migrating to Oracle BI Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) or Business Intelligence Cloud Service (BICS), or migrate to a third-party application (i.e. Tableau, Qlik, Power BI, etc., along with necessary data integration tool support).

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Project Background

In the process of becoming the world's top manufacturer of small precision motors, one company saw the end of life for Oracle Discoverer as an opportunity to transition to self-service reporting.

The manufacturer decided to move to Excel4Apps' Reports Wand, an Excel-based, financial, and operational, self-service reporting solution for Oracle E-Business Suite with real-time data refreshes.

ennVee was brought in to identify, extract, and migrate all Discoverer reports to Reports Wand. The project would leverage ennVee’s 'ennSight' tool to identify and extract all existing Discoverer reports before converting to Reports Wand.

Client Snapshot

  • Manufacturer of electric motors
  • Location: USA
  • Annual revenue: $11B (USD)
  • 100,000+ employees worldwide

Objectives for the Migration

  • Migrate from Oracle Discoverer to Reports Wand
  • Access ready-to-execute reports covering the most common information requests from the business.
  • Build highly customized reports with complex requirements with an easy-to-use Excel interface.
  • Simplify the complexity of the ERP to meet business needs.

Project Scope

  • Analyze the in-scope Discoverer report workbooks.
  • Extract the business logic for each report using ennVee's automated tool, ennSight.
  • Migrate 500 Oracle Discoverer report workbooks to Reports Wand.

Migrating from Oracle Discoverer to Reports Wand

ennVee ran the ennSight tool to conduct an assessment of the existing Discoverer report environment. The assessment automatically identified and extracted all report information, the last time each report was run, and all user access information (which is used to manually share reports). Here, the objective was to reduce the amount of time and effort required to identify the owner of each report.

Discoverer to Reports Wand Migration Steps

  1. ennVee unit tested the converted reports to make sure the output in Reports Wand matched the output in Discoverer. After user testing by the business, the converted reports were deployed to Production.
  2. Convert 500 Discoverer report workbooks with datasource DNIDCI by accessing the client network through SSL VPN, connecting by web mode through a web browser using FortiClient.
  3. Export the reports from Discoverer to .XML and import these files to Reports Wand for Oracle E-Business Suite. This works directly in Microsoft Excel, a familiar tool of choice that provides easy data access, better organizational insights, and one of the fastest implementation times (up and running in a few hours).
  4. Assign the imported reports to the respective responsibilities.
  5. Create the required parameters and save the report to execute.
  6. To provide the fastest time to value, the conversion of Discoverer reports is accomplished in two steps:
    1. Analyze and consolidate the existing reports to a more manageable number — Many reports are often duplicates created over a number of years with just a single parameter change, or have been used only once or many years ago. To locate the correct report to run, any Discoverer Reports that are similar or duplicate will not be converted, which reduced the conversion effort for approximately 10-20% of all existing Discoverer reports.
    2. Identify which Discoverer reports need to be converted — Reports Wand identifies the current usage of Discoverer reports and provides insights, including which users run the most reports, what reports are most frequently run, which were built for a single purpose, and which have duplicates or multiple versions. Business users find this data to be invaluable during the report conversion and prioritization process.
  7. ennVee unit tested the converted reports to make sure the output in Reports Wand matched the output in Discoverer. After user testing by the business, the converted reports were deployed to Production.

Conversion Process Diagram

Oracle Discoverer to Reports Wand migration diagram

Outcome and Future Benefits

The reports migration was successfully completed on time and within budget. By leveraging ennVee's automated ennSight extraction tool, the manufacturer was able to reduce the cost and timeline normally associated with reporting migration. Now, the company can access mission-critical data from the self-service Reports Wand platform, which enables them to support complex business requirements across a range of fields. 

Additionally, after upgrading to Oracle E-Business Suite R12.2, the ennSight tool will retrofit the converted reports to fit the new standards and changes and assign them to the correct responsibilities in the upgraded environment.

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Check out our other blog posts about Oracle Discoverer migrations for case studies and tips.