It is just not me, but everybody seems to be confused!
With so many tools for reporting and dashboard-ing, it really becomes a tough call on what to pick and how to pick?
Lets review some of the options and their relevance.
Oracle Reports part of the old Developer suite used to be the standard reporting tool. This tool is going out of favour even though it may still have a huge user base.
Oracle Discoverer is a popular ad-hoc reporting tool and it has a sizable population using it.
This Spreadsheet addin allows you to query right from with Excel.
XML Publisher (now renamed as BI publisher) is a new entrant about to replace Oracle Reports
Siebel Answers part of Siebel Analytics (new adopted child) intends to take on the role of what Discoverer is playing right now.
So if the rumor “Oracle buying Business Objects” becomes true then where would this future adopted child find its place 😉
Now lets check some of Dashboard options
You could build dashboards using BI Beans. This would involve the use of Jdeveloper, JSP pages etc so it is very involved and programatic in nature. I wouldn’t consider this as my first option. Here is an example of Dashboards using BI Beans
Discoverer and Portal
With the combination of Oracle Portal and Discoverer 10g it is possible to create dashboard like pages. To use this option there are few other things that need to be considered. This combination requires other components like Oracle Internet Directory and Single signon
BI Standard Edition
After the purchase Siebel Analytics is now renamed as Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE). OBIEE is a complete suite for BI, including ad-hoc reporting and dashboards
Daily Business Intelligence
DBI is an embedded intelligence for Oracle e-business suite. It has different intelligence for many of the modules like Finance(GL), Payables, Receivables etc. These modules have pre-built dashboards, KPIs and reports. Easy to setup, configure and use. If you do not have a data-warehouse and just need reporting on top of your Oracle Apps then this is an option to consider. DBI also has a designer piece that allows you to create custom “Intelligence” dashboards, KPIs and reports and integrate with e-business (Oracle Apps).
With all of the options available it requires a sincere effort in analysing the needs and pick the required tool-set.
I would also recommend reading the Oracle BI Strategy and Roadmap document
I will keep updating this as I get clear picture myself 🙂