I've used fmDataGuard for a full roll-forward into a standby server. The main key is to keep the audit log in its own file and host it on the standby server. The rolling forward can then be done entirely on the standby server without affecting performance on the primary server.
The main benefit of a setup like this is that you have two servers and the standby can take over at any minute without spinning up a new server, grabbing a backup and making sure it is hosted.
Progressive back-ups are helpful but do not offer the same end-to-end functionality.
If the FMS box dies completely you would not be able to get to the progressive backups either. Unless you copy them to the network right after a progressive backup completes. And that can be somewhat tricky because while they run on an interval, the clock starts when the db engine was last started. So an interval of 5 mins does not mean 8:00, 8:05, 8:10, etc The exact time it runs will vary with the start time of that db engine on every reboot.
Thanks very much for your prompt response Wim - that's good info.
FMDataGuard has been around a long time and is pretty tried and true. It does take time to setup, but is a good product. Alternatively CNS Audit is another option. It handles Audits slightly differently, but does a good job too. I didn't like the pricing structure of CNS as well, but take a look at it too.
OK thanks Taylor - will do