While the Apex vs Forms vs JDeveloper wars rage on (no casualties so far, just bruised egos), there has been another much more silent war where there has been another casuality, though whether the victim is just wounded or dead is uncertain.
Good ol' Oracle Reports has been for a long time brother-at-arms with Oracle Forms. In my opinion Reports is still one of the most sophisticated reporting tools available, purely through its support for matrix reports. It was also an incredibly successful tool in the fact that I'd say nearly all of the Oracle sites I've supported in the last 10 years had Oracle Reports as its main reporting tool. Yet with its antiquated interface, complicated (though sophisticated) layout manager, and dying skill set, it appears Reports as a tool of choice for new developments is definitely over and it's now pushing up the poppies on the IT battlegrounds. When was the last time you saw Oracle Reports at a user group event?
Don't get me wrong, many organisations out there are still using Oracle Reports for legacy systems. Yet it's my belief that for new development organisations are looking (or should be) elsewhere.
Now there are obvious Mark III tanks on the battlefield trundling up (I might as well wear this war metaphor out), such as XML/BI Publisher. XML/BI Publisher has certainly taken a lot of the reporting publicity focus in the last couple of years. However like a tank, the price of XML/BI Publisher seems to put it out of range (get it? ;) of most development teams. Why Oracle has yet made it competitively priced I'm not sure (and by this I mean people don't suck in their breath when they hear the price). Oracle could easily make it cheaper, flood Oracle customers with it, then start to raise the prices and have it as the next Oracle Reports of 2020 (and the associated revenue stream which I'm sure Oracle doesn't care about ;).
Keeping this last point in mind, there are of course other third party tools such as Jasper Reports which many have (reportedly) moved to. It seems to me Oracle is failing to think long term enough here because as customers move off Reports to third party (cheaper?) tools, they're one step closer to not buying Oracle software altogether.
What's your opinion? Is Oracle Reports dead for new development (and even old)? Is XML/BI Publisher a real contender as replacement for Oracle Reports given Publisher's price? What other reporting tools has your organisation adopted in replacement for Oracle Reports?