The 3 Biggest Fears of an Oracle Reports to BI Publisher Migration Project

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BI Publisher is considered one of the most popular candidates for replacing Oracle Reports due to its capabilities and official Oracle support. To make it more attractive to existing customers, Oracle has updated their license so that that now all report customers with a valid maintenance contract can use the BI Publisher in the future without additional license costs.

BI Publisher is considered an excellent platform for modern reporting and many organizations are evaluating a path toward migration. Because migrating to a new technology may involve difficulties, we asked respondents in our recent “Migrating to BI Publisher” webinar to identify their biggest challenges. Here are their responses.

3 Major Challenges in Report Migration

Although there are differences from company to company, most Reports users seem to agree on their biggest concerns and fears about report migration. As our survey shows, report users face three major challenges, which we explain below.

Complexity of Reports

Oracle Reports has grown in customer installations for years, and skilled developers are often no longer available. In addition, installations of several hundred reports per application are not uncommon.

Analysis has shown that on average there are 4-5 queries behind each report; when migrating quickly, as many as 1000 data accesses for a migration have to be taken into account. It is not for nothing that respondents said they saw their unmanageable complexity as the biggest challenge, thus suggesting that they face a large, unclear mountain of tasks.

Also, Reports and BI Publisher use data retrieval and layout quite differently. While Reports offers the option of selecting or even modifying data from the database while the page is being set up in the printing process, BI Publisher is essentially dependent on a strict separation of the data and the layout. This complexity can only be mastered systematically and with tools that are meant to accomplish this task.

Choice of Technology

Most Oracle Reports customers would probably say that they have come to terms with their tool over the years. The development environment poses particular challenges, but over time everyone has discovered the strengths and weaknesses of the tool. Therefore, special sensitivity and care in deciding on the future technology is appropriate. More than half of our respondents still see support needs and unanswered questions about where to go for their next reporting technology.

In many cases, the financial components also made a large contribution to the decision of the new technology. This happily changed with the release of the last license guide for BI Publisher so that a decision can now be made based on the purely technical capabilities.

Different factors are important when choosing a suitable technology. First, of course, it must be ensured that all necessary processes and reporting requirements can be implemented within the new technology.

Remember that it is important to not only identify what your organization needs now, but what you will need in the future. Keep in mind that modern reporting technologies offer options for self service, mobility, process automation, and appealing user experience.

Last but not least, identify needs such as architecture, learning curve, support and performance. Due to the integration into the development environment, BI Publisher offers a good opportunity for customers to start with a proof-of-concept or a pilot and thus be better able to make the right decision.

Lack of Knowledge

A change in technology not only affects the reports and infrastructure—the developers, designers and customers (especially when it comes to the introduction of self-service systems) must make the leap from one technology to another.

That’s why 43% of respondents list lack of knowledge as the biggest challenge in a migration. On the one hand, it is obvious that besides a paradigm shift, it is also important to bring the knowledge in the minds of the Reports developers into the new world of Oracle BI Publisher.

On the other hand, it must not be forgotten that new employees who are new to a migration project are usually unfamiliar with the way Oracle Reports solved problems. However, this knowledge is important for enabling existing reporting capabilities in the new environment. In this way, mixed teams are important to your project’s success, and learning curves and the methodology must be adapted to Oracle Reports’ specifics.

Further Challenges

Many companies do not seem to have recognized the discontinuation of Oracle Reports as a reason for necessary action. If your organization wants to remain with the Oracle stack, then Forms offers a solid integration with Oracle BI Publisher, and also gives the loyal Forms customer security in this technology change.

The biggest hurdle may be convincing the decision-makers that a migration can succeed. In addition to the investment security provided by the available Oracle support, a return on investment is also provided by the new functionalities of BI Publisher. Above all, lower maintenance costs, higher performance and better user experience are powerful arguments.

For the argument about user experience, however, it is also necessary to take a look at the user requirements of the users. In BI Publisher migration projects, self-service via the intuitive web designer as well as the option to delegate the layout to the department via Microsoft Office products shine first and foremost.

Once the necessity for intuitive UX is recognized and understood as an opportunity, of course, the budget is a major challenge given the large number of reports. After eliminating the license costs from this budget review, there still remains the manual overhead that ties up resources.

Migrating from Oracle Reports to BI Publisher is not a trivial task for many organizations. In order to be able to carry out a migration successfully, our first recommendation is fully understand the complexity of your application. Once you get a clear picture, you can then compare the alternative solutions, prepare for migration, and measure results more effectively.
Nur newly developed tool-assisted migration process is a particularly efficient solution to most of the challenges that may arise before, during, or after a reports migration. Sophisticated migration automation is no longer hindered by the size and complexity of your reports.

Our industry-leading process provides the necessary know-how and reduces the overall migration effort by up to 67%, leading to significant cost savings. Contact us today to discover how our approach can help save time and money for your reporting strategy.

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