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Key Performance Ideas is a full-service systems integrator and implementation consultancy with a focus on Oracle Hyperion applications and related technologies. Our blog is designed to help companies of all sizes derive the most value from their Oracle Hyperion Enterprise Performance Management and Business Intelligence (BI) software solutions. Search the blog and find tips and tricks and lessons learned from our experts. 



  • Blog Series: Metadata and Data Integration Options for Oracle EPM Cloud, Part 1

    Blog series by Deanna Sunde, Oracle ACE, of Key Performance Ideas.

    Subscribe to our blog to receive the next blog automatically (see left hand column to enter your email)!

    Want to hear Deanna live? Join her for her webinar series!

    November 14th, 2017 | Part 1:  The first part of this two part series will cover importing and exporting metadata and related use cases (including migrating from on premise), importing and exporting data with jobs (both in Essbase and Planning formats) including exporting text accounts and Smart List values. The discussion will also include exporting data with the DATAEXPORT command in a business rule. 

    December 14th, 2017 | Part 2: The second part of this two part series will cover loading data with Data Management, moving data between databases using Smart Push, Data Synchronization and xref/xwrite, including related use cases. Also discussed will be migrations between Test and Prod, backups and disaster recovery. 

    Register Today!


    Today starts a series of blogs I am writing on metadata and data integration options for Oracle EPM Cloud implementations. The blogs will cover everything from Data Management, to Smart Push, to data exports using Business Rules. Also included will be descriptions of use cases and advanced topics such as drill-through to details loaded through Data. I will also point out which methods can be automated by using EPM Automate and which methods can be used by which applications – PBCS (Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service), EPBCS (Enterprise Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service) and FCCS (Financial Consolidation and Close Cloud Service).

    Exporting and Importing Metadata

    The first blog herein is on metadata exports and imports. Loading metadata is a prerequisite for loading data and any automation, so this seems like a good place to start. In the examples below, I am using the sample PBCS application called Vision. While my examples are for PBCS, they also apply to EPBCS and FCCS.

    Editing Existing Metadata

    This is not intended to describe all the properties and what they mean nor to describe all the options for adding members, moving members, etc., but it will point you in the right direction. You can manually edit existing metadata by navigating to “Create and Manage” > “Dimensions”. This looks very much like on premise Planning applications. I first selected the Product dimension, then drilled down on the hierarchy. To edit the member, click on the member you wish to edit and then click on the pencil. The various properties will be displayed. Make any changes that you need and then click the “Save” button.

    Running a Refresh

    Just like Planning on premise, after updating metadata, it is necessary to run a refresh to push the metadata from PBCS/EPBCS to the Essbase database. There are a few ways to do this.

    Alternatively, you can select the “Refresh Database” icon.

    Note that the above methods do not provide any options. The next method does. Navigate to “Overview” and under Actions, select “Refresh Database.”

    To run a refresh, under “Actions” select “Refresh Database”.

    Select “Create” and your options and then click the “Refresh Database” button. You can also save this as a job which can be used when automating processes with EPM Automate.

    Editing Metadata with Smart View

    You can also use the Excel Smart View add-in to edit metadata. This add-in allows editing of the metadata for both on premise and cloud implementations. (This will be a subject for another blog.)

    Exporting Metadata 

    I’m discussing exporting metadata before importing as this is a great way to see what the format needs to be like when you import the metadata. With PBCS and EPBCS you can export the data in two ways:

    • Export Metadata Job
    • Snapshot

    Export Metadata Job

    To export the metadata, navigate to “Application” > “Overview”. Click on “Dimensions”, then click on the “Export” button, then click the “Create” button. For the location, select “Outbox”. This will send the file to the Planning outbox and it can be downloaded to your computer from there. Select the “Product” dimension and the delimiter of “Other”. Enter a pipe (|) in the box to specify the delimiter. I prefer to use a pipe delimiter as formulas, for example, may contain commas and semicolons, so those are typically not good choices. Since we have selected the Outbox, we need to click the “Save as Job” button.

    Give this job a name.

    If you are running this as “Local” (i.e. to be sent directly to your computer), then you would have selected the “Export” button.

    Click the “Save” button, then click the “Close” button. To run this job immediately, click the wheel and then select “Submit”.

    Click the “Close” button, then navigate to “Application” > “Jobs” to view the completion status.

    When the job is complete, navigate to “Application” > “Overview” and select “Inbox/Outbox Explorer” from the “Action” menu.

    Select the file and then click the wheel and select “Download File”. You can choose to open the file or to save the file. If you choose to save the file, it will be downloaded into the Downloads folder on your computer. The .txt file will be within a .zip file.

    To schedule this export metadata job, navigate to Application > Jobs. Click on the “Schedule Jobs” button. Under “What type of job is this?” select “Export Metadata”. Then make your other selections.

    When you go to your “Downloads” folder, the file will be a text file within a zip file.

    You can then copy this file elsewhere to edit it. Be careful what type of program you use for editing. Excel can corrupt the file, for example, by removing leading zeros. The file may also be too large to open using Notepad. Other text editors such as TextPad or Notepad++ can open larger files more efficiently.

    Note that one difference between on premise and the Cloud is that the header for the Child (the first column) has the name of the dimension “Product” instead of “Child”.

    When you are working with the metadata .txt files, note that the columns can be in any order and not all columns are required. For example, if you are building a Customer dimension and all the members add up the hierarchy so that all the aggregation operators are +, then it is not necessary to include the aggregation columns, as that is the default.

    Import Metadata Job

    The Import Metadata Job is very similar to running an export. First we will upload our file into the Inbox. Navigate to “Application” > “Overview” and under “Actions”, select “Inbox/Outbox Explorer”.

    Click the “Upload” button and browse to your .txt file. You may wish to click on the “Overwrite” checkbox if you have uploaded the file before. Then click the “Upload File” button.

    You will then see a successful completion message. Click the “OK” button.

    You will then see your file listed in the Inbox. Click the “Close” button.

    In order to import the file, we will first create the job. Navigate to “Application” > “Overview”. Click on the “Import” button and then click on the “Create” button.

    For location, select “Inbox”. Type in the name of the text file next to the Product dimension. For the File Type select other and type in the pipe, which is our delimiter. If you wish to clear all the members in the dimension before loading the file, click that checkbox.

    Then click the “Save as Job” button. Give the job a name. If you wish to refresh the database upon successful completion, check the checkbox. I am choosing that option here as it saves a step. Click the “Save” button.

    To run the job, navigate to “Application” > “Jobs”. Click the “Schedule Jobs” button and select “Import Metadata” and “Run Now”. Click the “Next” button.

    Select your job and click the “Next” button and the click the “Finish” button.

    The job will then run and it will be in “Processing” state. Notice that there are two jobs in processing state – the import job and the refresh database job.

    Click the “Refresh” button to update the status. When complete, the jobs will look like:

    EPM Automate

    Now that we have created an import job, EPM Automate can be used to automate the loading of files sourced from elsewhere, such as an ERP systems like Oracle Financials Cloud, Oracle-E Business Suite, SAP, etc. Key Performance Ideas has blogs on using EPM Automate to load metadata.

    http://www.keyperformanceideas.com/epm-automate-tips-and-tricks-to-optimize-your-oracle-cloud-automation-processes

    Snapshots

    The Snapshot process in EPM Cloud uses what is called on the Cloud “Application Manager”. This is essentially the same as LCM (Lifecycle Management) for on premise Planning implementations. I would recommend using the previous method over Snapshots as it does not have the header information so the file is easier to work with, especially for new implementations.

    For migrations from on premise, you would export using LCM and then edit the file as needed and then either upload as a snapshot to load it or upload in the Import Metadata Job format.

    Navigate to “Application” > “Migration”.

    Click on “Snapshots” and you will see last night’s backup that Oracle automatically takes during the application’s maintenance window, as well as any other Snapshots that were created.

    Expand on the Artifact Snapshot and drill down on “HP-Vision” under “Global Artifacts” to see a list of the Standard Dimensions.

    The Snapshot can be downloaded by clicking on the wheel and selecting “Download”. This will download the entire Snapshot including all artifacts (metadata, forms, Essbase data, etc.)

    To create a download that is more manageable, I recommend that you create a new Snapshot of just the dimension(s) you wish to work with. You can do that by clicking on “Categories”, then drill down and select what you wish to export. Create the Snapshot (I chose just the Product dimension) and then download the file using “Save File” to save into the Downloads folder on your computer. The Snapshot is downloaded into a Zip file. If you go into the folder structure using Windows Explorer, you will see the .csv file for the dimension exported.

    The top of the file has heading information and then rows like below.

    You can then copy this file elsewhere and open it to make any necessary edits. The edited file could then be put into the same folder structure and zipped and up loaded to Snapshots by using the “Upload” button. After uploading it can then be loaded into PBCS by clicking the wheel and selecting “Import”.

    When you are working with the metadata .csv files, note that the columns can be in any order and not all columns are required. For example, if you are building a Customer dimension and all the members add up the hierarchy so that all the aggregation operators are +, then it is not necessary to include the aggregation columns, as that is the default.

    Next Blog of the Series

    The next blog of this series will be on some use cases for using the metadata import/export for purposes other than straight metadata loads. To receive the next blog, simply subscribe to our blog (see left hand column to enter your email) You will receive an email with the blog the day I release it! Stay tuned! Also, if there are any specific questions you have or items you would like to see covered in this blog series, just shoot me an email at dsunde@keyperformanceideas.com.



  • Deanna Sunde Webinar Series on Oracle EPM Cloud featured on ODTUG

    Deanna Sunde, Director and Oracle ACE, will run a two-part series on Data Integration Options for Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS), Enterprise Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (EPBCS) and Financial Close and Consolidation Cloud Service (FCCS)

    Attendees of this series will understand how the EPM Cloud tools replace the functionality of on premise dimension build and data load rules, .bat and maxl scripting. Use cases and pros and cons for the methods will be discussed, as well as the file format requirements, options and code examples. Example EPM Automate scripts will also be presented.

    October 17th, 2017 Webinar 1

    The first part of this two part series will cover importing and exporting metadata and related use cases (including migrating from on premise), importing and exporting data with jobs (both in Essbase and Planning formats) including exporting text accounts and smart list values. The discussion will also include exporting data with the DATAEXPORT command in a business rule. 

    October 24th, 2017 Webinar 2

    The second part of this two part series will cover loading data with Data Management, moving data between databases using Smart Push, Data Synchronization and xref/xwrite including related use cases. Also discussed will be migrations between Test and Prod, backups and disaster recovery. 

    To register, go to  http://www.odtug.com/online-education

  • Oracle Smart View: Training For Users Beyond Finance

    This organization is the largest working sports organization in the world. Founded in 1916, it is comprised of more than 28,000 men and women golf professionals promoting the game of golf to everyone, everywhere. These recognized experts are dedicated to teaching and growing the game of golf. They are known for conducting premier spectator events, award winning golf promotions, and philanthropic outreach initiatives.

    The organization is separated into 41 geographical Sections and Corporate. Each Section operates within the framework of the organization’s constitution. Each Section conducts its own events for members, apprentices and amateur golfers. They work with the national office to provide renowned experts for their programs, thus assisting professionals in fulfilling the organization’s mission of making golf fun for everyone, everywhere.

    Challenge

    The Financial Systems team at this organization utilizes Oracle® Hyperion Planning™ and Oracle Fusion Financials™ cubes to manage their planning, budgeting and forecasting information. However, the team was spending an increasing amount of time supporting users outside of the Finance department with the creation of ad hoc reports, researching variances and developing financial report modifications in Oracle Smart View™. Knowing that Smart View is a user friendly tool, the Financial Systems team wanted to expand the usage of the tool beyond Finance.

    With Smart View available with Oracle Hyperion Planning and Oracle Fusion Financials cubes, the Financial Systems team at the organization identified the potential to expand their Smart View user base outside of the Corporate FP&A department. A group of approximately 15 individuals were identified from the Section Accounting, AR, Treasury, and Tax departments that could achieve operational efficiencies by using Smart View. The organization wanted to provide detailed, hands-on Smart View training that was meaningful for these new users with the expectation that they could go back to their desk and immediately start getting benefit from Smart View reporting techniques. The organization turned to Key Performance Ideas, a leader in Hyperion and its related technologies and experienced trainer.

    Solution

    Key Performance Ideas devoted time to understanding the existing Oracle Fusion Financials cubes and interviewed current super users, stakeholders, and potential end users to better understand the organization’s “current state” and training goals. The Financial Systems team provided examples of reporting requests they wished to eliminate and Key Performance Ideas interviewed thought leading individuals from each of the departments that would receive the training to identify current processes and where efficiencies could be achieved. Special note was taken of those tasks that were performed regularly (e.g., daily or weekly) so that those items could be prioritized to help promote adoption and repetition, and therefore maximize efficiency. Where available, sample Excel documents, analysis, and reports were collected that illustrated the work involved or the resulting output of manual manipulation of data exports.

    After getting an understanding of the organization’s environment, processes, and training expectations, a detailed training methodology and presentation was composed, using screenshots from the current environment. The content of the training was focused on core Smart View functionality, as well as some more advanced features that would specifically benefit all users. In addition, a series of hands-on exercises were created based off of examples provided during the interviews. These exercises were utilized throughout the hands-on training sessions and selected in a manner which were most meaningful to individuals in the attendance.

    During the training sessions, support was provided by Key Performance Ideas as the attendees worked through the exercises. Some early exercises provided step by step instructions, while later exercises encouraged attendees to think through what was being requested and deriving an acceptable output. The training was finalized with a session which discussed other ways Smart View could be utilized to make their jobs easier or more efficient and a lengthy question and answer session done both as a group and with individuals.

    Benefits Achieved

    By partnering with Key Performance Ideas, the Financial Systems team of this organization was able to provide comprehensive, hands-on Smart View training for a new set of users and initiate discussion into ways to use the tool to achieve operational improvements. Since the training was customized to the organization’s processes, documentation will be reused to facilitate future training needs for the organization.

    Now that users outside of Finance are trained on Smart View, the Financial Systems team is much more productive, focusing on higher value tasks like development and system support versus troubleshooting and supporting user’s ad hoc pulls of data and analysis.
    At the end of the training, new users of Smart View stated they were:

    • More comfortable with the application and proficient using the tool without support from Finance
    • Excited to save significant time with their reconciliation process
    • Encouraged that Smart View reduced the need for time consuming data exports and manipulations
    • Eager to use the tool for additional uses they identified in their day-to-day responsibilities
  • Oracle FCCS: Develop a Case for Adopting the Cloud Solution

    Do you have a scalable, systematic application to support your business close and statutory reporting requirements? Would you like to accelerate your close cycle and increase analysis? 

    Join us for our webinar and develop a case for adopting Oracle Consolidation and Close Cloud Service (FCCS), an out-of-the-box solution for effectively and efficiently managing the consolidation and close process. Hear how FCCS can lower the cost of compliance and reduce the burden and resource constraints on Accounting, as well as shift IT resources and budgets to customer-facing growth opportunities.

    The speaker, Stan Okula, an Oracle Hyperion certified consultant, has extensive experience in financial systems management and data integration, will review how:

    • Organizations of any size can now afford the cloud based solution that will constantly provide best practices with new releases from Oracle
    • FCCS provides a strong compliance framework including auditing, segregation of duties and easily leverages multi-GAAP driven applications with full currency support, intercompany eliminations, adjustments, and detailed data tracking
    • FCCS meets consolidation and close needs with integration to core systems, such as ERP and others
    • The application can be quickly deployed, with dynamic calculations and a limited need for customization, allows users to guide and monitor the close from start to finish

    Stan will also showcase the core functionality of the application via a demo, including displaying data management capabilities and how the solution provides secure access.

    Date: October 24, 2017
    Time: 2pmET/1pmCT/11amPT 
    Location: Convenience of your office!

    Register Today!

  • Integrated Business Process Navigation Flows in Oracle EPM Cloud Applications- Cross Pod Integration

    Do you have multiple Oracle EPM Cloud applications that require you to navigate between multiple URLs? Oracle recently released a new feature that allows users to navigate across Oracle EPM Cloud applications to create a unified business process flow. Now, users can experience a seamless experience when using Oracle EPM Cloud applications. However, this feature will only work on applications that are in the same domain with the same data center unless an identity provider is setup for SSO.

    The following applications are currently supported within this feature:

    • Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud
    • Oracle Enterprise Planning and Budgeting Cloud
    • Oracle Financial Consolidation and Close Cloud
    • Oracle Tax Reporting Cloud
    • Oracle Account Reconciliation Cloud
    • Oracle Profitability and Cost Management Cloud
    • Oracle Enterprise Performance Reporting Cloud

    How to Setup Business Process Navigation Flow?

    First, you need to create a connection to the application. To create a connection, go to “Tools” and click on the “Connections” button.

    In the right hand corner, click on the settings icon, select “Add Connection”.

    Select the application for the connection.

    Enter the following information and click “Validate”.

    After validating the application, the “Application Name” should appear in the text box. Then, click “Save and Close”.

    The connection will show up under “Manage Connections“.

    Go back to the Navigator button. Look for a section called “My Connections” in the left hand corner. The connection should appear in the list.

    After setting up the connection, there are several ways to link forms and other artifacts with the current application. You can add clusters and cards to the navigation flow. For example, I created a cluster called “EPBCS” and a card called “Exchange Rates”. Now, I can navigate to my EPBCS application by just clicking on “EPBCS” and “Exchange Rates”. This will launch the Exchange Rates form in EPBCS.

    Overall, this feature enhances the end user experience by seamlessly navigating multiple applications in one pod.

    Blog post by Steven Wang of Key Performance Ideas.

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