Oracle has a star database. As Charles Phillips refers to the database, it’s the 747 of databases. The products that the Oracle Data Warehousing/Business Intelligence teams pump out are quite capable and are feature rich. There is little that I can NOT provide for my customers using this stack of powerful tools (Oracle DB, Oracle Warehouse Builder, Oracle Discoverer/Portal/BI Beans).
That being said, I’ve realized how inaccessible these tools are for “the masses.” The qualified, smart, analytical masses that need easy to use tools to build help them collect, analyze, and report on their organizations information. They are complicated, require rather extensive knowledge of “Oracle-isms” etc. To date, there are very few BOOKs on any Business Intelligence specific Oracle product. Books reflect a large network of solution providers and consultants. ie, other providers who have picked their preferred tool and are committing to learning, using, and teaching it to customers. Large communities of providers, training resources, and books reflect a support network and makes uptake of a technology MUCH MUCH easier for customers. They don’t have to learn from the manual which is VERY difficult… They can learn from the distilled knowledge of others, in a more participatory manner.
From a idealogical perspective, I’m not exactly drawn to Microsoft products. However, they are having significant success in building this ecosystem around their BI/SQL Server offering. While there exists NO BOOK on Oracle Warehouse Builder and only ONE BOOK on Discoverer here is a list of the scheduled books for Analysis Services 2005 release in BETA.
That’s right, there are 11 books being written about similar Microsoft products while their product is still in BETA! What does the Oracle BI/DW community think about this? I REALLY REALLY have to get comments going on my site… 🙁