This paper compares different approaches to reporting against the JD Edwards (Oracle) EnterpriseOne and World ERP application suites. It should be noted that the general comments made here would be applicable to any ERP environment whether provided by Oracle, SAP or anyone else but the remarks with respect to particular products may be specific to the JD Edwards environment. However, before we discuss any products let us first turn our attention to today’s business and financial reporting imperatives.
The first thing to say is that actually it is not ‘reporting’ that is required. Of course that’s an exaggeration (and especially when it comes to financial reporting) but we have been able to produce reports for years. What is actually needed is the ability to get answers to business issues and these do not tend to be answered by wading through reports but rather by using the sort of facilities that have ‘traditionally’ been associated with business intelligence. That said, ‘traditionally’, business intelligence tools have been limited by the extent to which you knew in advance which questions to ask and that, if you did not, you could afford to wait for the weeks or months that it might take the IT department to rebuild the relevant models. This is not good enough today: the business wants answers now and it wants them in a selfservice manner, which means that the business user can ask the questions he wants to, from his own desktop and without any reliance on IT. In other words, reporting/query tools today need to be flexible enough and easy enough to use, and fast enough (preferably in real-time), to support business users in answering the questions that they need answered, when they need the answer. In short, business users want answers, not more report building.
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