An Oracle blog about BI Publisher

  • August 13, 2009

At the coal face

I have just spent the past few days actually building a real life report that's needed by a customer. A regular occurrence for most of you Im sure. Having transitioned from the warm, cozy, fuzzy bubble of development to sales consulting over the last year. Sorry dev folks, its a bubble and its cozy compared to life on the outside.

It was a new experience for me and a real eye opener. Sitting in a cramped room with a bunch of fantastic Oracle Development Consultants who were under the hammer, bashing out report after report. I have a whole new respect for what they do and that extends to you dear readers.

As a member of the development team for so long, I was proud of the product and documentation we had delivered to customers. Sitting down and actually writing something in the heat of implementation opens your eyes. By no means have we done a bad job there are just things that would help in the doc and product to make life easier for customers and consultants alike.

I guess in development we get just a little too close to our babies, we build them up, nurture them, ask others what they would like them to do, consider the requests and between resource and time constraints we either do or dont add the features. Eventually we have a young adult ready to face the real world, armed with cool features and a set of documentation to help guide its users. We've been with them so long we sometimes just expect customers to join the dots to get from A to C, 'that's obvious' we say but its sometimes not for a newbie or not so newbie.

Enough of the child analogy Dexter! Bottom line, we could all do better when it comes to building a documenting a product. But then I guess that's not just BIP but the whole world of software.

Do I miss the bubble? I miss the folks in the bubble but being outside knocks you off balance a little and I have come to really like that!

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Comments ( 4 )
  • Greg Partenach Thursday, August 13, 2009
    This is an excellent post. I think Oracle should consider making every single product manager and division manager do exactly what you've just done. It gives incredible insight. It isn't just the customer in the end that uses the tools. It is FIRST the development and implementation teams! It is a jungle out there and when CIOs and other technology decision makers buy something Oracle, they simple say, "We need it done yesterday. I saw in the Oracle presentation that it is easy and there's tons of help, so do it now! it cost a lot!"
    Yea right.
    Your product has fantastic resources available. Not necessarily so with some other Oracle tools and products. The reality is, most consultancies put good people on projects and they need to ramp-up and learn a new technology fast! Not all consultants are experts on the technology they are going to implement tomorrow. Any resources you can provide that allow for FAST searching, quality examples, and so forth are life savers. Your blog has been just that.
  • Chris Brown Friday, August 14, 2009
    Hi Tim,
    Does this mean you are going to start looking for a job in Consulting!!
  • Kevin Woodrow Friday, August 14, 2009
    Welcome to the other side!
  • David Barnes Monday, August 17, 2009
    Welcome to this side of the fence. My biggest problem recently has been performance of large reports in Oracle Apps. I would like to see some good info on tuning BIP reports as the usual info dealt out on the forum seems to have little effect in my experience so far.
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