Oracle BI Applications Review

Fast calculations, stable, and good support, but needs more visuals, support for HTML5, and BI Publisher updates

What is our primary use case?

We are using it for the monthly reports for our business. These monthly reports are similar to the reports that you get from any utility company.

How has it helped my organization?

We use it for regulatory requirements. We need to send regulatory reports to a client every month, and we use this application and some other applications for that.

What is most valuable?

Calculations are a little bit faster. It can do the on-the-run calculations much better than other reporting platforms. You don't need any other specific tool. You can use Microsoft Office to start doing things with these reports.

What needs improvement?

It is very cumbersome and slow for making any changes. It doesn't have that many visuals to show different graphs and charts. It should have more visuals. It also doesn't support HTML5, which is useful for interactive sessions and reporting with dashboard etc. We are phasing it out because we need a newer platform that provides us more flexibility and more designs. Our use case is just to get the utility type of monthly reports, and we need visuals, customizations, columns, and certain sections on the report to show performance and other things.

They are not updating their BI Publisher product, which was known as XML Publisher before Oracle bought it. It could be because they don't have that many clients using it. We are using it because we have this solution for years.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for the last 15 years. We have used its different versions.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is not scalable on-premises. Because we don't have it on the hybrid or cloud, we cannot scale it to that level.

There is only one service ID that is running all the processes. We have an in-house front-end application with almost 4,000 to 4,500 users.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have support, and they are good. Their response is good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

In this team, we are using Oracle BI Applications. In other teams, we are using Microsoft SSRS for reporting.

How was the initial setup?

It is complex. Reporting is always complex, and it always requires some kind of customization. Deployment was very quick because we have all CI/CD components.

What about the implementation team?

Oracle was involved in its implementation. Their consultants were working with us.

We have software engineers and field engineers. For maintenance, one person is enough, but for development, more people are required.

What was our ROI?

It is very hard to measure because some of the reports are mandatory, and you have to create them. There is no other way. There is a benefit, but we cannot measure something like this.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It is expensive. It is more than 100K for support. You pay for support on top of the standard licensing, which is on a yearly basis.

What other advice do I have?

They should go for the modern way of reporting. All financial institutes have to look for tools that can give them better visuals as well. They cannot use only numbers.

The biggest lesson that I have learned from using this solution is that we should look for simplified solutions. If we cannot simplify a solution, it is going to give us a problem in the future. At the design level, we should do as much simplification as possible.

I would rate Oracle BI Applications a six out of ten.

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**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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