Use to find, find to use

Tool vendors are fond of the term Oracle Discovery, even without true search capabilities. This confuses end users and even vendors themselves. An attempt to clarify.

Oracle Discovery is a term often used by tool vendors. They are all in the race to fix this major missing part in the software compliance industry. In reality however, it hardly ever means more than database discovery and/or database & option measurement. This not only covers less than 10% of the Oracle product range, there are also three stages of equally great importance, being: (i) discovery, (ii) usage determination and (iii) data interpretation.

Discovery means finding the installed products and the associated hardware. If the collected hardware is not sufficient, usage determination is needed to understand the usage and/or its intensity. The final and probably most complex step is data interpretation. There are many restrictions and licensing models, so it’s crucial to get the interpretation right. Missing one restriction could have major (financial) implications.

When comparing tool vendors and their solutions, one should be aware of these stages and determine the desired completeness and accuracy for each stage. There are substantial differences between tool vendors and also the moment varies at which an organization should invest. Many tools require database access for usage determination and often for discovery too. Setting this up could take days if admin rights are not properly registered. Other differences concern the supported operating systems and the Oracle products included. Oracle applications and products that Oracle acquired are rarely included.

It is B-lay’s business to help customers understand these issues and to support tool vendors in improving their solutions. We encourage the explicit usage of factual terms to avoid unnecessary confusion and disappointment.

This article was published on 03-08-2009