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Re: Oracle Discoverer Ramp-up Time

From: Yosi Greenfield <>
Date: Fri, 01 Dec 2000 09:55:23 -0500
Message-Id: <>


We did the Discoverer thing - and I love the tool. Almost no one uses it other than me, but when some manager needs a quick analysis done, they walk into my office for an hour and tell me what to show them using Discoverer.

We don't even have a real 'data warehouse.' We simply created denormalized copies of all our transaction tables, and a few summary tables, and loaded them into Discoverer. And it works.

It won't take you more than a few days to go through the manuals and be able to use it. You don't even need to use any of the fancy stuff (automatic summary tables, etc.) to be productive. The tool itself is great for analysis without its extra capabilities.

And, exactly as you said about other programs, there are plenty of quirks. As long as they do standard stuff, it will give them great analysis. When they come in and ask for fancy output, you have to patiently explain to them that this is an analysis tool, not a fancy reporting tool.

Other quirks:

You can't do calculations on calculated columns - big pain in the neck - like an average of sums. You have to either put calculations into a table, or move it to Excel when your done - which is just a mouse click.

Graphing is pretty awful - move it to Excel.

No top-N reporting. You can now, however, create top-N tables in the database with the new analysis clauses in SQL, and base Discoverer on those. It's still not easy, because when you look at different views of the data - ie drill down or collapse up - the top-N needs to be recalculated, and the db only contains the things you've told it to calculate beforehand. Discoverer really needs to support that.

HTH, Good luck,


larry elkins wrote:

> Listers,
> Is it difficult to get up to speed as an Admin for Oracle Discoverer? Is it
> a difficult tool to master?
> It looks like I am about to start doing some work with Oracle Discoverer. I
> played around with a little bit 3 or 4 years ago. The company isn't using it
> yet; but, they are going to have 2 users using the product. I am told that
> they will want me to handle the admin side of it. I am about to start
> downloading the various documents and such from technet and Metalink and
> start reading about it. My question to the list is is this a difficult
> product to get up to speed on? And, what are person's thoughts on the
> product? A good tool? A dog? Mediocre product?
> I've used Business Objects in the past (7 years ago?), setting up universes
> and such and serving as an admin. I have done the same with Impromptu ( 4-5
> years ago), creating catalogs and doing some admin type of work. My
> experience with those tools was that some things were really easy to do,
> and, as long as what the user wanted wasn't too complex, one could get up to
> speed pretty quickly. But, there were some situations and needs that
> required a lot of work and "creativity".
> I know that there are a lot of variables at play here as to how easy or
> difficult it will be for me to create the logical layer; but, I was
> wondering if there was a steep learning curve with getting adept with the
> tool. For all I know, they may have just a couple of simple needs that could
> be handled by referring to a summary table or two. I really don't know much
> about this project other than they said they wanted me to assist and set
> things up. I get the impression that they want to give a couple of people
> ad-hoc access; but, they want in done in a *managed* environment as opposed
> to letting the people just cut loose using MS Access or something else to
> hit the DB. They have one "power" user who hits the DB with MS Access, and I
> mean really hits it. Due to political reasons, they can't take that away. I
> think they are trying to avoid a similar situation with the other 2 people.
> Regards,
> Larry G. Elkins
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> Author: larry elkins
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Received on Fri Dec 01 2000 - 08:55:23 CST

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