Monthly Archives: January 2015

Overcoming Memory (Usage) Issues with Oracle Smart View Add-In for Microsoft Office

January 8, 2015

We recently came across a whitepaper from Oracle that shines light on the fact that some of its clients have been seeing some performance issues while using the Oracle Smart View for Microsoft Office Add-in. This add-in is very popular among our clients (long gone are the days of its problematic integration with Microsoft Excel with lengthy opening times and workbook crashes; in those days, system administrators were very cautious to release the solution to anyone beyond the power user audience).

Most of that has changed since Microsoft Office 2010, and with Smart View 11.1.2.5, the integration is not just smoother, the functionality and interface is much better too. In some cases, this is the preferred interface for the client general user-base where we implemented Oracle EPM (Hyperion) in the last year or so. A lot of these improvements came as a result of the introduction of the cloud version of Oracle Hyperion Planning, Oracle’s Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS).

Business users still sometimes experience inevitable sluggishness, especially in cases where the user is working with many documents at the same time. Even though most client machines run fine most of the time on 32-bit hardware, most enterprise software today is designed to run on 64-bit hardware, with its larger pool of resources. This is certainly evident in the direction that some popular consumer “smart” devices are headed. 32-bit hardware is limited to a certain amount of memory, which used to be more than what one would need once upon a time, but that age is fast becoming history.

The whitepaper from Oracle talks about the difference in memory limits between the two architectures and makes some recommendations on how to use Oracle Smart View for Microsoft Office Add-in for Excel. Here are the highlights:

  • When the Microsoft Excel  process starts using more than 700 MB of system memory, users can experience slower speeds on 32-bit machines
  • While 64-bit Excel can handle more volume, users may experience slowness when working on really large data sets, or on a large number of worksheets
  • In Smart View ‘Options’, the ‘Advanced’ tab has settings to ‘Reduce Excel File Size’ and ‘Improve Metadata Storage’ that make a difference

While there are additional settings that can help, one should arrive at their limits by gauging one’s usage:

  • Reducing the ‘Number of Undo Actions’ to a number that is lower than the default, but still enough to be of use
  • Enable row and column suppression as often as possible
  • Use the Point Of View (POV) Manager to limit the data set to what is relevant
  • Keep the Excel workbook size to something that is manageable and, frankly, useable

Lastly, there is a link to an article posted on Microsoft MSDN that talks about the improvements that have been made to Microsoft Excel over the years that may also help with these issues.

Despite all this, if you feel like you may not be getting the most out of your investment into the Oracle EPM (Hyperion) products, or have other concerns with your solution, feel free to drop us a note at communications@performancearchitects.com and we will be glad to work with you to help you make the most of your investment.

Author: Andy Tauro, Performance Architects

 


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