Best Implementation Practices for Discoverer

Topics of Discussion
      Why use Discoverer? Implementation Management Security Usability Performance

Why Discoverer?
 Common functionality, centralized management and deployment.  Very secure- end user can only query with this tool.  Only administrator can make joins  Easy to install and deploy.  Access data/saved reports remotely.

Implementation Desktop, Network, Web
 Oracle Discoverer Administration Edition for Windows (including Discoverer Plus, SQL*Plus and SQL*Net)  Oracle Discoverer Plus for Windows (including Discoverer Plus and SQL*Net to connect the client software to a database)  Oracle Discoverer 4i /9i Plus (a version of Discoverer Plus written in Java for building and running reports on the web)  Oracle Discoverer 4i/9i Viewer (an HTML tool for viewing reports created using Discoverer Plus and Discoverer 4i/9i Plus)

Web Deployment- Separate Server
 Oracle 9iAS v 1.0.2.2.0 or 9iAS R2 9.0.2/9.0.3 Discoverer 9i certified with 8.1.7+ DB Versions  Currently deploying Discoverer Plus using a Sun E250 on Solaris 8 using 6-18GB drives with 2GB of Memory on 9iAS 1.0.2.2.2  Approximately 100-200 active users.  3 tier delivery (database, client, services)

Oracle 9iAS R2
 Migrating to Oracle Portal utilizing SSO along with Oracle Forms/Reports.  Requires a OID Infrastructure install (recommended on a separate server)  Use OEM for Connection Management using private and/ or public connections. http://servername:1810  Discoverer Workbooks/Worksheets can be deployed as “portlets”

Web Deployment-cont’d
 Still requires Discoverer Admin license to create the workbooks.  Performance, Use and Stability of Discoverer Plus has been outstanding.  If using firewall, you must implement the use of a gatekeeper to do Network Address Translation.

Web Deployment- cont’d

Management
 Business Areas can be exported and imported between databases and/or EUL’s.  Can be deployed using a centralized model with control of the administrator application strictly in the IT department vs the decentralized model where certain departmental designees are given access to the administrator application to develop “workbooks” for their department.

Security
 Oracle Discoverer can only do select statements. Other reporting tools such as MSAccess, ODBC and SQLPLUS have the inherent ability for an enduser to have direct access to tables for update, deletes, etc.  Easily managed via the use of Oracle Roles.  Security is regulated at the database level and the application level.  Different modules/campuses or organizations can be functionally separated using the EUL (End User Layers) and/or flexibility in granting access to the different “Business Areas”.

http://technet.oracle.com/products/discoverer/content.html

See this website for some on-line views of the application and functionality. When it says that there is no setup required for Discoverer….NOT really true…they are telling you that the application itself doesn’t have to be modified (it works straight out of the box) but access and security still has to be configured. EUL schema install, Oracle role definition and assignment, Granting application, workbook access to administrators and endusers.

Usability
 4 to 8 hours of training will prepare most people to be able to modify, save their own queries.  The level of expertise with MS Excel typically predicts the level of success with Discoverer.  Our end users love it because it gives them power- they can manipulate parameters, drill down, modify the look of the report without knowing SQL.

Discoverer Administrators
Can be functional end-users who are somewhat technical or IT staff who understand the functional areas….in other words a FUNKYTECH!!! Someone with no prior programming experience will take from 3 to 6 months (with some training) to become completely comfortable. Start with a person who is already an expert at MSExcel.

Discoverer Admin Security
Recommendations: Maintain EUL (schema username/password) in the IT department under DBA control. Discoverer allows you to limit who has access as an Administrator vs an enduser.

Pro’s and Cons in the following realms: • Implementation • Management • Security • Useability • Performance

Pro’s and Cons in the following realms: • Implementation • Management • Security • Useability • Performance

Performance
 It takes longer for the same query to run in Discoverer via Oracle Reports because it is collecting statistics about all queries run.  Changing the database to Cost-based optimizing would help performance.  Possibility of producing Cartesian products that fill up temp Tablespace. The discoverer administrator creates the joins…not the enduser.

How do I improve performance?
Use a STANDBY database as the reporting database instead of your OLTP. Database Version 8.1.7- Physical standby only. Applied archive redo at night, brought database up in read-only mode during the day. (see notes for how to set this up.) Limited to yesterday’s data. See notes ….

Logical Standby
Database Version 9.2.0.2 (required level) Logical standby (can create a combination data warehouse and OLTP available for failover) The data is transported using SQL apply with SQL statements only. Can use DataGuard, OMS or manually install. Reporting database has REAL-TIME data. Metalink Docs: 234631.1 , 215020.1 , 186150.1 , 233261.1

Upgrades
 Required to install 2nd EUL before removing first. (Possible space issue)  Each EUL needs to be upgraded separately.  Earlier version is still accessible during transition until you run script to delete.  The same queries work between versions and between EUL’s if the Business Area has not been modified or the underlying tables/views.  Table modified, then do a refresh…queries still WORK!

Questions and Answers
 If you would like more information please visit: http://technet.oracle.com/products/discoverer/content .html http://metalink.oracle.com