Monthly Archives: July 2017

Important Design Considerations When Moving from Oracle Essbase On-Premise to Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC)

July 26, 2017

 Author: Andy Tauro, Performance Architects

We have witnessed a steady stream of commentary on the promise of what Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC), otherwise known as Essbase, BI Cloud Service, and Data Visualization (DV) in the cloud, would do when it is released, as well as where to buy a subscription. Now that OAC is generally available as a Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering, we decided to take it through its paces and see what it can really do for those of you who own Essbase on-premise:

  • Hybrid BSO is enabled. Hybrid BSO brings the most-loved functionality of ASO to BSO cubes, and in OAC is turned on by default. This means reduced calculation overhead and greatly reduced disk space usage (= reduced subscription cost!) for most solutions out there, and those that can be built.
  • Implied Sharing went away. This feature has been painful for Essbase development veterans. While initially implemented with good intentions, it has caused more trouble than it has helped. It has often been a trap to avoid with careful design practices. In OAC, all stored members in Essbase will hold data, so this issue is resolved!
  • Dedicated Lifecycle Management (Essbase LCM Utility) works. The tool to extract Essbase cubes from on-premise installations works with 11.1.2.4.X (and later) versions of Essbase…and it works beautifully, with no changes needed to existing cubes except one (included in the next point here).
  • All cubes are Unicode only. While Essbase has had Unicode capabilities forever, due to several reasons folks have preferred to stay non-Unicode. Well, no more. The Unicode version of Essbase has matured enough that it is the only option now. So, when migrating cubes to OAC using the Essbase LCM Utility, first convert them to Unicode. Otherwise, they will need to be rebuilt using other means, such as Application Workbooks.

While there are a few more technical differences between the on-premise and cloud versions of Essbase, they are mainly details, and do not necessarily impact the overall solution as much as the points above. Stay tuned for more details on how Essbase works in OAC, or send us a note at sales@performancearchitects.com if you want more details on how OAC could work for you.


© Performance Architects, Inc. and Performance Architects Blog, 2006 - present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog's author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Performance Architects, Inc. and Performance Architects Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Oracle Enterprise Performance Reporting Cloud Service (EPRCS) 101

July 19, 2017

Author: Mike McLean, Performance Architects

As organizations face more complex internal and external reporting requirements.  It is no longer sufficient to just provide the “numbers;” organizations need the ability to provide narrative in order to support and explain financial results.  Companies require a framework whereby they can collaborate across multiple sources and locations.  Oracle’s Enterprise Performance Reporting Cloud Service (EPRCS) provides a solution.

EPRCS provides three steps in the report creation process: “Author,” “Review,” and “Sign-Off.” Work flow (with start and end dates) and security can be assigned to each step.

Content is created in the “Author” step.  EPRCS utilizes “doclets” to create content.  Doclets are individual components of a report that can be assigned to multiple contributors.  Security can be assigned to the doclet so that only the necessary individuals can access it.  Only one author can sign out a doclet at time.  When a doclet is signed in, a new version is created.  Doclets are then grouped together to create a “Report Package.”

The “Review” step allows users to review and edit the content of a report package.

In the “Sign-Off” step, users can approve and publish the report package or they can request edits.  Once the report package is approved, no additional edits can be made.

EPRCS contains a library where all artifacts of the application are stored.

If you have any questions, please drop us a note at sales@performancearchitects.com, and we’ll see what we can do to help.


© Performance Architects, Inc. and Performance Architects Blog, 2006 - present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog's author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Performance Architects, Inc. and Performance Architects Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Using Smart View with an Oracle EPM (Hyperion) Planning or Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS) Application

July 12, 2017

Author: Ben Hogle, Performance Architects 

Oracle Smart View for Office (Smart View) can be immensely powerful, convenient, and very useful for Hyperion Planning on-premise or Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS) users. Smart View allows end users to retrieve their planning data via an add-on to MS Office for PowerPoint, Word and Excel.

Most end users will use Smart View to see their raw data and drill into it from top to bottom; to add new members; to change parents of dimensions; or to have a user-friendly view of their forms and reports outside of the user interface. This blog focuses on quickly establishing a connection to Smart View and creating an ad hoc report.

Install Smart View

To install Smart View, you need to download the add-on from either on-premise Hyperion Planning or PBCS. I’ve added a screenshot of where to go for each install.

On-premise:

PBCS:

Once Smart View is installed on your machine, the Smart View ribbon will appear when you launch Excel, PowerPoint or Word. 

Set Up Options

This is usually a one-time setup, but is important because this connects you to the database and permits you to set preferences that have important effects on your Smart View experience.

Establish Connections

Press the “Options” icon.  The Options window will open. Select “Advanced” from the left pane:

In the “General” section of the right pane is a field for inputting the connection string to the “Plan Essbase” cube. You will enter your unique URL into the “Shared Connections URL” field (I have blacked out for confidentiality purposes):

Connecting to the Data Source

Once your options are properly set, you can connect to the database from Excel.

  1. From the Smart View ribbon, press the “Panel” icon:
  1. The Smart View connection panel will appear on the right side of the Excel worksheet. From the Smart View panel, select “Shared Connections:”

You will be prompted for your on-premise or PBCS user ID and password in a pop-up window.  Enter them here and press the “OK” button.

  1. Expand the “Server Tree” and select an application (ours is called ‘Plan’ in this example):
  1. At the bottom of the Smart View pane, select “Connect:”
  1. At the bottom of the Smart View panel, select “Ad hoc analysis:”
  1. The Excel worksheet will be populated with the dimensions in the database:

Change the Point of View (POV) Selections

To change a selected member in the POV Selector:

  1. Select the down arrow next to the dimension to change:
  2. Select the ellipsis (…)
  1. A selection box will appear:
  1. Press the Refresh button in the POV selector and the data in the Excel grid will change to match your POV selection:

Move POV Selections to the Grid

You can drag each POV selection to the Excel grid.  This is generally a preference to match your work style, but if you’re going to be doing side-by-side analysis (e.g., comparing two scenarios in the Excel grid such as actuals to budget), this is mandatory since the POV selector can hold only one member for the same scenario at a time.

To move the POV selections to the grid:

  1. Select the down arrow next to the dimension you want to move to the Excel grid:
  1. Drag to the grid while depressing the mouse button. The dimension member will now be in the grid. Use the basic Excel features to cut-and-paste until you get the report format you want.

This is the report layout and the members in each axis of the report are defined. All reports are defined in the Excel grid by three elements:

  • Rows: The x-axis in the Excel grid of the report
  • Columns: The y-axis in the Excel grid of the report
  • Point-of-View: All the other dimensions that define the context of what shows up in the grid

From this standard ad hoc starting point, you can double-click each of the dimension names to drill in one level (this can be done multiple times all the way to level zero); you can click and highlight the dimension name and select “Member Selection” from the toolbar above; or you can click and highlight the dimension name and simply type in the name of the member you’re looking for.

Below, I double-clicked “Account,” which expanded out to the next level of the hierarchy below the top of the house “Account” member:

Next, I highlighted “Account” and clicked “Member Selection:”

Then I began typing the name of an account (when the name shows up in the box, simply click “Refresh”):

Once you add a member to each of the dimensions (in our example, we had nine dimensions) and refresh, you should be able to see your data and continue to use the double-click or member selection to get to the level of member(s) that you want to see. With a little practice and experimenting with different configurations, you’ll be a Smart View wizard in no time!

Several other features of Smart View are immensely helpful for an end user, but I don’t have enough time in one blog entry to discuss them all. Please feel free to reach out to communications@performancearchitects.com if you have any questions about using Smart View.


© Performance Architects, Inc. and Performance Architects Blog, 2006 - present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog's author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Performance Architects, Inc. and Performance Architects Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Oracle Hyperion Financial Reporting (FR) Web Studio: FR Studio with a Fresh Coat of Paint

July 5, 2017

Author: Mohan Chanila, Performance Architects

Back in October of 2016, the announcement was made that the traditional Oracle Hyperion Financial Reporting (FR) Studio desktop client that we all loved (or loathed), was going to be replaced by a new Web based report developer called the.. wait for it… Oracle Hyperion Financial Reporting (FR) Web Studio. While the name itself isn’t the most original, I’ve had the chance to use this new interface significantly over the last few months.

Since that announcement and over the last few months, Oracle has made a concerted effort to completely retire the old FR Studio desktop client and replace it with the brand-new FR Web Studio.

In our opinion here at Performance Architects, this is all good news and it’s been a long time coming. The traditional FR Studio user interface hasn’t had a makeover in a long time and I’ve always felt that it was due an overhaul.

So, let’s discuss the improvements in more detail.

Easy Access

FR Web Studio can be accessed directly from the Planning user interface. I’m very familiar with how to access the solution, having used this functionality in Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS) implementations. Access is available by clicking on the “Navigator” icon and clicking on the FR Web Studio link as shown below:

Improved User Interface

The best news about the new user interface in FR Web Studio is its quick response time. Traditional FR Studio response time was always slow and cumbersome by comparison. However, in the new UI, the clicks and general navigation is fast and responsive.

Enhanced Report Structure

While the overall report design has stayed the same, the report structure has massively changed. Previously, you had to work with a single report screen where you had to drag or insert the header, the footer as well as the main body (or grid) of the report. This was sometimes ungainly to work with and additionally, anytime a header or footer had to be resized, the only option was the drag the screen to the required size.

The good news is that in the new interface, these three components are now separated into three sections and can be worked on independently. The resizing option has changed as well, and rather than dragging the screen size, it can be changed in the right-hand side properties window.al period getting used to the navigation, it’s a pretty easy transition, as most of the solution capabilities should be familiar to experienced FR Studio users.

Apart from the above-mentioned changes which are more drastically different from previous FR Studio iterations, other aspects haven’t changed as much. This simply means after an initial period getting used to the navigation, it’s a relatively easy transition, as most of the solution capabilities should be familiar to experienced FR Studio users.


© Performance Architects, Inc. and Performance Architects Blog, 2006 - present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog's author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Performance Architects, Inc. and Performance Architects Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.