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I work for an organization that has a relatively massive Oracle 11g database. We currently invest a lot of time in producing custom reports - the queries are quite complex and not something to be inflicted on a business user, but the time we have developers working on report layouts strikes me as a waste.

Do you, dear reader, have experience with a reporting package for Oracle that:

  • sucks less than the DIY alternative
  • is usable by ordinary business people to generate report layouts?
  • COTS or open-source

EDIT: we have other solutions for aggregation & other BI functions. This purpose, currently solved with homegrown SQL packages, extracts data from 5-30 tables (some of which have hundreds of columns - that's a different conversation) representing several TB of data. We have emerging reporting requirements for state governments. The queries may need to be tweaked somewhat across agencies, and the extract layout (e.g. what columns are included) will almost always vary. I'm fairly new to this domain as well as the "big data" world, thus the search for decent leads here.

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    Do you only need reporting? No need to compile OLAP cubes in intermediary tables or anything? Could you please give us an example of a report that needs to be generated, to have an idea about the data size and request complexity? Thanks and welcome to Software Recommendations! – Nicolas Raoul May 7 '14 at 2:46
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I think Windward Reports can give you exactly what you want (disclaimer - I'm the CTO & founder at Windward). We have a number of customers who purchased us for exactly this reason - Oracle database and they want their users to be able to design their own reports.

With Windward you design the reports in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint so your user's are already trained on the design tool. You can give them pre-built selects, or you can let them create their own with a very easy to use wizard. And if they create their own, you can set it up to only show them the tables/columns they need so they're not overwhelmed with a ton of tables & columns.

  • Does not suck
  • Is usable by ordinary business people to generate report layouts
  • COTS

And yes, having developers spend time creating, and revising, and revising some more, and... reports is a gigantic time suck for all involved.

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