We certainly have received a lot of queries in the past year about monitoring tools and while there are some very interesting tools that seem to have reached some type of maturity out there, the simple fact is that no matter how wonderful the monitoring tool may be there simply is no tool out there that allows for comprehensive monitoring. Currently, there are no monitoring tools that consistently tracked all Oracle applications or even most Oracle applications from what we’ve seen of the market. The identification of Oracle application usage is much more difficult than the Oracle technology products like database. And even with the database, there are extreme shortcomings in many of the discovery tools we’ve come across (not for lack of trying to close the gap on the part of the discovery tool vendor). Discovery tools would find great difficulty with applications as there are many factors that come into play such as View Only report generators, advanced users, particular licensing nuances built into contract and many more scenarios that prevent accuracy of a monitoring report.
Remember that a discover tool’s function is only for discovery and is only the first step in the process. You’ll also need to confirm compliance as license compliance covers areas that go beyond the scope of physical use or rights tracking. There maybe one or two good ones out there for Oracle that help jump start the process, but the fact is that they aren’t comprehensive and have understandable limitations.