Scheduling and Outputting reports Via Batch Bursting in Oracle EPBCS and PBCS

This KPI blog post builds upon the content of an earlier blog post entitled “Batch Bursting of Reports by Property”, written in December 2017 and available here:

http://www.keyperformanceideas.com/batch bursting-of-reports-by-property-in-oracle-epbcs-and-pbcs

Ever have the need to extract multiple reports out of Oracle Enterprise Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (EPBCS) or Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS), and get them to team members ASAP? Maybe you need to provide multiple departments with snapshots of PDF P&L reports on a monthly basis, out of the Cloud. Perhaps the department heads don’t have access to the system and would be interested in retrieving their reports via email.

Well, the good news is that once combined with commonly used tools, Oracle EPBCS and PBCS Financial Reporting capabilities can meet those requirements! In this blog, we’ll build off of a precursor KPI blog post entitled “Batch Bursting of Reports by Property”. Whereas that previous posting discussed setup of the batch burst process and how to use it to produce report snapshots, this posting will discuss steps that follow that report definition process – including scheduling and production process and methods for snapshot output. We will discuss each topic through an example.

Recap: What is Batch Bursting?

“Batch Bursting” is a functionality that allows you to run (“burst”) a pre-defined “batch” of reports (and/or related items) across a set of parameters (for example – a set of members, e.g., reports for all lowest-level departments in the Department dimension). Multiple Financial Reports (as well as FR “Books” and other items) can be added within a designated “batch”, and that “batch” can then be bursted via a schedule or in an ad hoc fashion. The snapshots commonly have an output format of PDF – and that output can be produced within Oracle Cloud and then downloaded (for example, from the Inbox/Outbox Explorer), and/or, emailed to designated recipients. Batch Bursting is beneficial in multiple business contexts because it allows for:

  • Time saving – no need to run report member-by-member
  • Distribution (e.g., emailing the output to recipient(s))
  • Convenient means of snapshot archival (e.g., through Inbox/Outbox Explorer)


Walkthrough: Scheduling Batch Bursting Execution Through the Cloud

In the previously referenced posting, we discussed how to setup a batch and burst it across a dimension (“Department”) tagged with a specific property (“UDA”). Let’s revisit that example and build off of it by looking more closely at a key feature within the Batch Scheduler: scheduling.

Context

For more detail around this context please see the precursor blog article “Batch Bursting of Reports by Property”Assume we are responsible for producing EPBCS or PBCS Income Statement report snapshots for these particular departments in the “Department” dimension:

As such, let’s assume we have a batch setup that is similar to the batch from our previous post: “Inc_Stmt_Batch”:

Now that we have our batch, we can “burst” it for our departments of interest – and schedule the frequency of that burst.

Go to “Edit” -> “Schedule Batch”

Input the Batch Job Name and detail and click “Next”:

Select the batch of interest and click “Next”:

Input credentials used to login to EPBCS or PBCS:

And on the resultant screen, we can schedule the burst:

Let’s assume that we want to schedule this process to run monthly. We can schedule this as such using the drop-down options or typing values in. For example, the resultant screen might look like:

And that’s it! We have scheduled our batch process to run. Note that we can set specific parameters for what batch output should look like as described in the previously aforementioned blog post.

Also note that batch jobs can be tracked within “Tools” -> “Batch Scheduler”:

Output Options: Setup Within Oracle Cloud

Now that we have scheduled our batch burst process, let’s look at how we can obtain the output reports in more detail.

On the next screen of the batch burst schedule process, after we setup schedule definitions, there is a screen for “Destinations”. Let’s look at commonly used output destinations in more detail.

1) Snapshots Output to the Repository

Let us look first at the top part of this screen – here we have the option to save the snapshot reports in the “Repository”:

This option is convenient because the “Repository” is the part of PBCS which we are currently in.

With the above selection, the output is saved in the same repository folder as where the original object (i.e., the report being burst) is saved. This allows for additional convenience in access and compartmentalization.

If we scroll to the bottom we can create the SubFolder name, where the output will be saved, as well as the output snapshot name format:

You’ll notice that we can integrate text functions in a manner similar to how we can in Financial Reporting Web Studio:

So in the example here, the SubFolder name utilizes the function:

<<FinancialReportingObjectName()>>

Which delineates the object name – in this case, the report “Income_Statement”. Additionally, the SubFolder has the static component:

“-Report_Output”

The concatenation of these names results in the SubFolder name which we can review after the batch burst process runs:

Notice this SubFolder (2) is in the same location as the requisite “Income_Statement” object (1) – this is because we checked the box delineating as such earlier in the setup process:

Once we double-click the sub-folders, we can see our report snapshots available in HTML format:

2) Snapshots Output to the Inbox/Outbox Explorer

If we look at the “Destinations” screen again, we will see another commonly used output option: the “external directory”:

The default directory option here is “ExportFolder”. At the time of this writing, this is the only selectable option for this particular functionality. “ExportFolder” is synonymous with “Inbox/Outbox Explorer”, accessible within Oracle PBCS/EPBCS.

Again, we take next steps as needed for the rest of the batch burst setup process. Once the batch burst job completes, we can go to “Inbox/Outbox Explorer” by going to “Application” -> “Overview” -> “Actions” -> “Inbox/Outbox Explorer”:

After clicking, we go to “Scheduler Output”:

After clicking here, you will see the report output is in .ZIP format. Download the latest:

And unzip to visualize the PDF snapshot reports:

Note that items in the Inbox/Outbox Explorer can be downloaded – and this download step can be automated. That particular functionality is the subject of another blog post. 

3) Snapshots Output via Email Distribution

The last output method we will discuss in this posting is: email. On the “Destinations” screen, if you want to email the reports via Oracle PBCS/EPBCS, select the option to email, as well as related options if interested. Here, we just choose to email as PDF attachments:

Again we select subsequent section options as/if needed. We can select and input details for the emailing parameters as needed within this screen, for example:

As you can see – we can also leverage the text function here for “Date”.

After the subsequent screens are completed and the batch process runs, the recipient(s) should receive the email containing the report output. In our example, that output looks like:

Conclusion

Batch Bursting allows for mass, efficient production of report snapshots from Oracle PBCS and EPBCS, and these snapshots can be output through multiple means. In a prior blog posting, we addressed how to get started creating a batch burst process and how to “burst” across designated dimension members. In this posting, we extend the discussion on this topic by addressing three key paths for output: the repository, the Inbox/Outbox Explorer, and email. It is possible to burst the batch and output via all three of these methods, or you can cherry-pick options.

We hope this post will be a useful reference to you in your next reporting cycle!

References:

https://docs.oracle.com/cloud/latest/epm-common/FRAFU/scheduler_list_fr.htm#FRAFU-fr_book_219

http://www.keyperformanceideas.com/batch bursting-of-reports-by-property-in-oracle-epbcs-and-pbcs

Blog Post by Noah Neal of Key Performance Ideas.

 

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