Putting lipstick on a caterpillar does not make a butterfly

Oracles recent repackaging of its BI offerings appears to be just that: a repackaging of existing technologies, of which of course they now have a lot. Peoplesoft had EPM, which had a mediocre reputation, but they did better with Siebel, who had astutely acquired nQuire, a good product that was relabeled Siebel Analytics. Oracle also has Discoverer, a fairly blatant rip-off of Business Objects, a series of pre-built data marts for Oracle apps as well as assorted older reporting tools developed along the way, like Oracle ReportBuilder, which seems to me strictly for those who secretly dislike graphical user interfaces and yearn for a return to a command prompt and “proper” programming. This assortment of technologies has been placed into three “editions”, but you can scour the Oracle website in vain for anything which talks about the actual integration of these technologies at anything below the marketing/pricing level. Hence it would seem that customers will still essentially be presented with a mish-mash of tools of varying quality. Perhaps more R&D is in the works to integrate the various BI offerings properly, but it seems that for now Oracle still has some work to do in presenting a coherent BI picture. Business Objects and Cognos will not be quaking in their boots.

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