Tag Archives: Hyperion

EPM 11.2.2.0 on Linux: Got It Working!

Initial observations:

  • If you’ve ever installed EPM 11.1.2.x on Linux before, the installTool.sh process for EPM 11.2.2.0 is identical.
  • You obviously want a VNC client or PuTTY+XMing (unless you’re using the VirtualBox console or the like). If you don’t own a license for VNCViewer, look up “TightVNC” on your favorite search engine. It is open source.
  • Before you dive in and run configtool.sh, stop and run RCU. As I’ve stated in other posts and in comment replies, in a distributed environment you need to do this on every server except the Essbase server.
  • HFM is grayed out unless you’re either installing on Exalytics or Windows.
  • The certification matrix says Red Hat 7 and Oracle Linux 7 are the only certified UNIX platforms for this release; AIX and Solaris are not mentioned.
  • After you run RCU and then configtool.sh, you will need to fix script permissions.
  • If you’ve tried 11.2.0.0, 11.2.1.0 or 11.2.2.0 in Windows, the Linux directory structure is laid out in an identical fashion. If you haven’t tried 11.2.x yet, the directory structure is mostly the same as 11.2.1.x, but there are some minor differences (primarily with Oracle Middleware… user_projects is the same as what you’re used to).
  • Financial Reporting’s “FRConfig.sh” still shows an incorrect database schema, as do all prior EPM 11.2.x releases. This is a bug someone will need to report to Oracle. This bug means you will be forced to use either Workspace->Explore->File->Export or the LCM batch utility rather than LCM to export your reporting repository. LCM will throw an error for this specific task.
  • Auto-installed patches are the same as 11.2.1.0’s, and mostly the same as 11.2.0.0’s (minor difference where WebLogic is concerned due to the addition of Chrome and Edge support). Essbase is still 11.1.2.4.033 and Java is still about 1 year old at 1.8 Update 181. Once you get the system stable, you’ll want to look into applying WebLogic and Java patches from the July 2020 Oracle Critical Patch Update. You can also patch the Essbase suite up to 11.1.2.4.039 or .040 if you want (as of this writing).

I’ll look into writing a more thoughtful post over the weekend if there’s anything else worthy of sharing. Have fun installing!

For information on EPM 11.2, visit our Resource Center.

Read the original post at epmonprem.pro.

The post EPM 11.2.2.0 on Linux: Got It Working! appeared first on Datavail.

Patch Set Update: Oracle Hyperion Calculation Manager 11.1.2.4.009 is Available

The following Patch Set Update (PSU) has been released for Hyperion Calculation Manager 11.1.2.4, and available for download from the My Oracle Support | Patches & Updates section:

Oracle Hyperion Calculation Manager PSU 11.1.2.4.009
Patch 25775528

Supported Paths to This Patch:

You can apply this patch to the following releases:

  • 11.1.2.4.000
  • 11.1.2.4.001 (20569991)
  • 11.1.2.4.002 (20830325)
  • 11.1.2.4.003 (21284466)
  • 11.1.2.4.004 (21453167)
  • 11.1.2.4.005 (22549387)
  • 11.1.2.4.006 (22806363)
  • 11.1.2.4.007 (23596012)
  • 11.1.2.4.008 (25362429)

Prerequisite:

This patch requires Hyperion Planning 11.1.2.4.002 (20937926) or higher.

Defect Fixed in this Release:

  • 25752296 - When deploying a Rule Set that contains rule sets, it may return an error.. 

Readme File:

Refer to the Readme files for information pertaining to the above requirements. The Readme file should also be consulted prior proceeding with the PSU implementation for important information that also includes supported paths, list of defects fixed, additional support information, prerequisites, details for applying patch and troubleshooting FAQ's.

It is important to ensure that the requirements and support paths to this patch are met as outlined within the Readme file.

The Readme file is available from the Patches & Updates download screen.

To share your experience about installing this patch ...

In the MOS | Patches & Updates screen for Hyperion Calculation Manager Patch 25775528, click the "Start a Discussion" or "Reply to Discussion", and submit your review.

The patch install reviews and other patch related information is available within the My Oracle Support Communities. Visit the Oracle Hyperion patch reviews (MOSC) sub-space:

Hyperion Patch Reviews

Have a question for Hyperion Calculation Manager specificially ....

The My Oracle Support Communities are the ideal first stop to seek & find product specific answers. The Hyperion Calculation Manager can be used with multiple Oracle Hyperion products. The specific questions may be posted to the relevant product community (read more):


HFM
Hyperion Planning
Hyperion Essbase

To locate the latest Patch Sets and Patch Set Updates for the EPM products visit the My Oracle Support (MOS) Knowledge Article:

Available Patch Sets and Patch Set Updates for
Oracle Hyperion Enterprise Performance Management Products

Doc ID 1400559.1



Financial Reports – which tool to use? Part 2

Financials in BI Publisher

Financial Reports - which tool to use? Part 2

I find it interesting that BI Publisher is mostly known for the creation of pixel perfect repeating forms (invoices, labels, checks, etc) and its ability to bursting them. To me, BI Publisher is the best kept secret for the most challenging reports known to mankind.

In my last blog - https://www.rittmanmead.com/blog/2017/02/financial-reports-which-tool-to-use-part-1/, I discussed some of the challenges of getting precisely formatted financial reports in OBIEE, as well as some pros and cons of using Essbase/HFR. Although we can work through difficult solutions and sometimes get the job done, BI Publisher is the tool that easily allows you to handle the strangest requirements out there!

If you have OBIEE, then you already have BI Publisher, so there is no need to purchase another tool. BI Publisher comes integrated with OBIEE, and they can both be used from the same interface. The transition between BI Publisher and OBIEE is often seamless to the user, so you don’t need to have concerns over training report consumers in another tool, or even transitioning to another url.

The BIP version that comes embedded with OBIEE 12c comes loaded with many more useful features like encryption and delivering documents to Oracle Document Cloud Service. Check out the detailed new features here: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/bi-publisher/new-features-guide-for-12-2-1-1-3074557.pdf

In BI Publisher, you can leverage data from flat files, from different databases, from an Essbase cube, from the OBIEE RPD, from one (or multiple) OBIEE analyses, from web services and more:

Financial Reports - which tool to use? Part 2

So, if you already have very complex OBIEE analyses that you could not format properly, you can use these analyses, and all the logic in them, as sources for your perfectly formatted BI Publisher reports.

Every BI Publisher report consists of three main components:

  1. Data Model - data source that you will use across one or more reports

  2. Layout(s) - which will define how your data is presented

  3. Properties - which are related to how it generates, displays and more

You start a BI Publisher project by creating a data model that contains the different data sets that you would like to use on your report (or across multiple reports). These data sets, which reside inside of your data model, can be of the same source or can come from multiple sources and formats. If you regularly use OBIEE, you can think of a data model as the metadata for one or more reports. It is like a very small, but extremely flexible and powerful RPD.

Financial Reports - which tool to use? Part 2

Inside the data model you can connect your data sets using bind variables (which creates a hierarchical relationship between data sets), or you can leave them completely disconnected. You can also connect some of your data sets while leaving others disconnected.

The most impressive component of this tool is that it will allow you to do math from the results of disconnected data sets, without requiring ETL behind the scenes. This may be one of the requirements of a very complex financial report, and one that is very difficult to accomplish with most tools. The data model can extract and transform data within a data set, or extract only, so that it can later be transformed during your report template design!

For example, within a data set, you can create new columns to suit most requirements - they can be filtered, concatenated, or have mathematical functions applied to them, if they come from the same data source.

Financial Reports - which tool to use? Part 2

If they do not come from the same source, you can transform your data using middle tier systems, such as Microsoft Word during your template creation. You can perform math and other functions to any result that comes from any of your data sets using an RTF template, for example.

Financial Reports - which tool to use? Part 2

The example above was mentioned in Part 1 of this blog. It was created using BI Publisher and represents what I would call a "challenging report" to get done in OBIEE. The data model in this example consisted of several OBIEE analyses and their results were added/subtracted/multiplied as needed in each cell.

Financial Reports - which tool to use? Part 2

This second example was another easy transition into BI Publisher: the entire report contained 10 pages that were formatted entirely differently, one from the other. Totals from all pages needed to be added in some specific cells. Better yet, the user entered some measures at the prompt, and these measures needed to be accounted for in every sub-total and grand total. You may be asking: why prompt for a measure? Very good question indeed. In this case, there were very few measures coming from a disconnected system. They changed daily, and the preferred way for my client to deal with them was to enter them at the prompt.

So, do you always have to add apples to apples? Not necessarily! Adding apples and bananas may be meaningful to you.

Financial Reports - which tool to use? Part 2

And you can add what is meaningful with BI Publisher!

For example, here is a sample data model using sources from Excel, OBIEE and a database. As you see, two of these data sets have been joined, while the other two are disconnected:

Financial Reports - which tool to use? Part 2

A data model such as this one would allow you to issue simultaneous queries across these heterogeneous sources and combine their results in the report template. Meaning, you can add anything that you would like in a single cell. Even if it involves that measure coming from the prompt! Goes without saying, you should have the exact purpose and logic behind this machination.

Once your data model is complete: your data sets are in place, you have created the relationships within them (where applicable), you created custom columns, created your parameters and filters, then you generate some sample data (XML) and choose how you will create your actual report.

As I mentioned, there are additional functionalities that may be added when creating the report, depending on the format that you choose for your template:

Financial Reports - which tool to use? Part 2

One very simple option is to choose the online editor, which has a bit more limited formatting capability, but will allow you to interact with your results online.

In my experience, if I had to cross the bridge away from OBIEE and into BI Publisher, it is because I needed to do a lot of customization within my templates. For those customizations, I found that working with RTF templates gave me all the additional power that I could possibly be missing everywhere else. Even when my financial report had to be read by a machine, BI Publisher/RTF was able to handle it.

The power of the BI Publisher data model combined with the unlimited flexibility of the RTF templates was finally the answer to eliminate the worst excel monsters. With these two, you can recreate the most complex reports, and do it just ONCE - not every month. You can use your existing format - that you either love, or are forced to use for some reason - and reuse it within the RTF. Inside of each RTF cell, you define (once!) what that cell is supposed to be. That specific cell, and all others, will be tested and validated to produce accurate results every month.

Once this work is done, you are done forever. Or well, at least until the requirements change… So, if you are battling with any one of these monsters on a monthly basis, I highly encourage you to take a step forward and give BI Publisher a try. Once you are done with the development of your new report, you may find that you have hours per month back in your hands. Over time, many more hours than what you spent to create the report. Time worth spending.

Financial Reports - which tool to use? Part 2

Financial Reports – which tool to use? Part 1

Financial Reports - which tool to use? Part 1

One of the treats of working in the Business Intelligence world is that we are asked to analyze different aspects of a business. In fact, we are asked to analyze many different types of businesses, too. Most of us using BI tools have come from some previous background. Be it Marketing, Finance, Supply Chain or any other, we most likely had work experience before we got here. Maybe one of our jobs even led to Business Intelligence. The fact is, we are not experts in all areas. It would take several lives to make such a claim, because each area can be very complex and take years to master. The truth, for most of us, is that we have our favorite areas. They are often related to what we are most familiar with.

Financial Reports - which tool to use? Part 1

Over time, I came to really appreciate how simple numbers can be, and developed this - hard to understand - favoritism towards financial reports. While some business areas can be artistic and even vague, numbers are never vague. I have a great appreciation for that. Working with numbers is always precise. In the end, they have to match. No matter how great your report looks, if the numbers don’t add up the report is always wrong. Plus, financial layouts are generally very defined going in, so there is little room for error.

Financials in OBIEE

So, the endeavor begins when you are a BI consultant and everything is supposed to add up properly and look very nice. OBIEE is an extremely powerful tool, and this gives users the impression that it can solve all problems. While it can solve most problems, it falls short on some key features needed for easy financial reporting. That is not to say that Financials can’t be handled in OBIEE - but it is definitely to say that it is not easy.

So, if financial reports are not easy to create in OBIEE, than we are left with two very simple options:

  1. Struggle through it and make it happen

  2. Choose another tool

I have made the mistake of choosing option 1 some times, but quickly realized that option 2 couldn’t be as bad. Countless times, I have been asked to create financial reports in OBIEE. Of course, they needed to tie up and match a specific format: they needed to have blank lines inserted between one section and another, and the alignment of the categories was very important. They often required very detailed variance calculations, so that a company could see where they stood as far as change overtime. Variance percentages are key on these types of reports, and if you have dealt with them in OBIEE, you know that different types of variances and their grand totals can often pose challenges for report writers.

So, in order to accomplish the formatting needed, you end up adding extra code here and there, in essence trying to make OBIEE do something that it’s not supposed to do. Soon, you are experiencing performance issues and a new array of considerations are in place. You start removing your “special code”, then you loose your formatting. The numbers on your financial statement are still correct, but your report looks something like this:

Financial Reports - which tool to use? Part 1

While, in reality, you were trying to get here:

Financial Reports - which tool to use? Part 1

** The Balance Sheet above was created using HFR for illustration of formatting only.

Looking at a different OBIEE financial report (below), you will see that a lot of formatting can be done in these reports, but they will always look like OBIEE reports, if you know what I mean.

Financial Reports - which tool to use? Part 1

In this example, the first column is out of order - as far as Income Statements go. This was left alone on purpose to display one of the issues with creating these statements in OBIEE. The tool does not easily allow you to choose which items will go in each row. So, in the criteria tab, in Answers, you choose the order of the columns, but if you need the rows in order, you will need to either:

  1. Use a hidden column created just for sorting purposes

  2. Leverage selection steps, or

  3. Create a measure column for each row that you will need, use a pivot table, and add the Measure Labels as rows on your pivot

I will illustrate the third option, as it is my preferred way of ordering rows. Suppose that you have a very simple criteria tab such as this:

Financial Reports - which tool to use? Part 1

Naturally, your results would default like this on a table:

Financial Reports - which tool to use? Part 1

If you use a Pivot table instead, you can drag your Measure Labels onto the Rows:

Financial Reports - which tool to use? Part 1

And now, you will be able to see your measures as rows. You can easily reorder them as needed by just moving the order of the columns in the Measures section of your Layout editor.

Financial Reports - which tool to use? Part 1

This seems like a simple solution if you know precisely what all your rows should be, and even better, if you don’t have a huge amount of measures on the report. In real life, this type of row ordering is high maintenance:

  1. You must label each measure to match the account category name for each row

  2. You must filter each measure by its account category (or account number)

  3. If the account category name changes in your DB, you must manually rename your columns to match the new naming convention

  4. If you add or delete account categories, you must manually add and delete columns from your report

OBIEE 12c offers a great improvement in this area: the ability to “save columns” is described very well by Jason Baer on this blog: https://www.rittmanmead.com/blog/2016/01/my-favorite-obiee-12c-feature-that-almost-no-one-is-talking-about/

With the new release of the product you can save as many financial columns as you would like in the web catalog, which allows you to reuse them. As a consequence, you will streamline report maintenance by updating the columns’ format and formula directly from the catalog (instead of inside every report). In fact, if you are spending too much time maintaining your existing reports out of OBIEE 11g, you will automatically benefit from an upgrade to 12c just based on this single feature. Check here for more info: https://www.rittmanmead.com/obiee-12c-upgrade/

This is a great improvement, but you will still need to deal with an overall lack of flexibility for dynamically adding and deleting columns, setting orders, adding blank space, indenting and calculating variances along with proper grand totals.

After spending more time than you should in order to create a simple report, you really start considering other tools. If you are already working in the Oracle stack, the obvious choices will be BI Publisher and Hyperion Financial Reporting (HFR).

Financials in Essbase/HFR

Hyperion Financial Reporting (HFR) brings a powerful solution to financial statements, because it allows you to create pixel perfect reports that are pre-aggregated in an Essbase cube. Just with that, two big problems were just solved: formatting and performance.

In the example below, you see that HFR allows you to place metrics on both sides of the Account Category (butterfly layout - difficult to accomplish in OBIEE):

Financial Reports - which tool to use? Part 1

In addition to formatting and performance, there are some definite pros to consider when choosing HFR:

  1. The calculations in HFR dynamically reference cells, as in excel. So, if a cell changes, the cells that are referencing the original cell will automatically be updated

  2. HFR has the ability to create financial books and batches, and also has a powerful bursting feature

HFR is a great solution for Income Statements, Balance Sheets and other reports that come from Essbase cubes. In a simplistic way, an Essbase cube is a combination of tables that have been joined and pre-aggregated. Since most tables coming out of a financial module in a system can often be joined, you should be able to create Essbase cubes to use as a source for your HFR reports. You will rarely have a requirement that cannot be handled by HFR and Essbase, but some situations may be problematic, for example, if your report requires a measure to be entered at run-time, if results from multiple cubes need to be added, or if your layout is very complex. This is why :

In an HFR report, you start by inserting a grid onto your report and then you associate that grid with a specific Essbase cube. If you need data from two cubes on the report, you can insert another grid and associate that with the second cube. You can also create a report that leverages calculations between existing grids (for the purpose of doing math with two or more separate cubes):

Financial Reports - which tool to use? Part 1

Many thanks to my collegue, Mark Cann https://www.rittmanmead.com/blog/author/mark-cann/, for working through this solution with me

The challenge here is that you may end up with multiple layout grids on your HFR report, which will complicate the report creation and maintenance going forward. It is important to know that if your requirements call for strange off-setting of cells and multiple different looking blocks, then HFR may not be the best tool for the job. If you choose HFR for this purpose, you will spend too much time trying to make things right.

Financial Reports - which tool to use? Part 1

*This is a simple Essbase implementation with 2 cubes (or databases): a Balance Sheet and an Income Statement cube.

The fact is, some financial reports are very tricky and do not come solely from a Financial module. For example, if your company is evaluated monthly for a line of credit, your bank may require to look at several components of your business in order to determine the amount that you can borrow. They will base their decision not only on your monthly revenue, but also your liabilities, such as accounts payables, and some of your assets, such as inventory. What they ask for really depends on their internal lending requirements, and also on the type of business that you have. These are, therefore, highly customized reports that never come out-of-the box anywhere. For this reason, most companies spend a lot of man hours creating these reports as a huge excel report, after the employees have managed to pull information from many different modules together.

These excel “monsters” do the job. They are accepted by the banks, and will get you that loan. On the downside, they need to be redone every month and will drag resource hours out of profitable projects. The flat excel files are also prone to mistakes, as the values are manually keyed in each time. If you make a mistake favorable to the company, your bank will look at it as a very negative issue. If you make an unfavorable mistake, you will not be able to borrow as much as you qualify for. This is a no win situation, so the reports must be accurate every time.

Financial Reports - which tool to use? Part 1 To check for accuracy, there is nothing like testing overtime. But, since you must rework the report each month, you don’t have that opportunity.

The solution is to create a template that will pull from all of these different modules, calculate the numbers, add the results automatically to a pixel perfect formatted report. Over the development cycle, these mappings and calculations will be thoroughly tested, and then they will only be reused going forward.

While you may spend some time pulling this logic together, you will only have to click a few buttons after you are done, for months or years to come. In fact, I have clients that have been running reports such as this one for years. They have been saving a couple of weeks in report creation every month.

Let’s look at an example of what I am talking about:

Financial Reports - which tool to use? Part 1

On this report, each number (disguised as $1234) has been mapped to a calculation that will be pulled dynamically, according to the date entered on the prompt. The inventory amounts are adjusted according to banking requirements, and a rate is allocated depending on the row. This amount is later added/subtracted from receivables and existing contracts. Most of these numbers were created as separate OBIEE analyses. Some amounts could even be tied into web services to get the daily futures prices to estimate the value of contracts when the report runs. All lines are considered in the final equation before the total borrowing amount can be calculated. Per this bank’s requirement, this form needed to be printed and signed, then submitted monthly.

Lending/financing reports may be the most tricky, and the most time consuming for companies to generate every month. The reports may be required by the bank, or by a company that is leasing or financing valuable equipment to your company. These reports need to show your prospective lender everything about your business. They will often need to be done in a format that is specified by your lender. These formats are not negotiable, in fact, some lenders still use old forms that used to be read by a machine.

Here is another small snippet of a financing report that I had to create recently. Now, which tool would you use for 10 different pages of something like this, which required some of the amounts to be entered in the prompt? *Note: the report had to look “exactly” like this:

Financial Reports - which tool to use? Part 1

Well, as I mentioned in the beginning of this article, OBIEE would not be your partner in this type of endeavor. I can guarantee that this relationship would fail: strange formatting with black boxes, line numbers, need for Headers (footers too, not shown here), indenting, etc.

You may consider Essbase/HFR combo, for formatting and performance, but you will soon realize that:

  1. Performance does not tend to be an issue with these reports, as they are generally submitted to lenders on a monthly basis, and therefore can be scheduled to run automatically in the middle of the night.

  2. As mentioned earlier, HFR requires a layout grid to be inserted before the report can be designed. Here, you would end up with multiple grids to handle the calculation of different cells from multiple cubes - which can be cumbersome to create and maintain.

  3. The measures in an HFR report should come from the pre-aggregated cube. In this example, some of the measures were entered as part of the prompt and are calculated at run time. At this point, you must scratch the Essbase/HFR option for this one!

So, now you are still stuck with your monster excel spreadsheet, then retyping the numbers onto the required form.
Financial Reports - which tool to use? Part 1

Before you marry this solution, let me present you with the tool that can do everything: BI Publisher.

Stay tuned for the second part of this blog, when I will share why I believe that BIP can solve the most challenging reporting requirements out there!

Hyperion Essbase 11.1.2.4.015 Patch Set Updates are Available

The Hyperion Product Management recently advised the release of Patch Set Updates (PSU) for Oracle Hyperion Essbase 11.1.2.4.x.

These PSU downloads are available from the My Oracle Support | Patches & Updates section.

Hyperion Essbase Server 11.1.2.4.015

Patch 25113006 : Essbase Server

Hyperion Essbase Client 11.1.2.4.015

Patch 25113016: Essbase RTC
Patch 25113012 : Essbase Client
Patch 25224234 : Essbase MSI

Hyperion Administration Services 11.1.2.4.015
Patch 25224249 : Essbase Admin Services
Patch 25224254: Essbase Admin Console MSI
Hyperion Analytic Provider Services 11.1.2.4.015

Patch 25225877 : Analytic Provider Services

Refer to the readme of each PSU to determine the supported path of each one and confirm which existing releases it can be applied to.

Note: Essbase Administration Services 11.1.2.4.015, Provider Services 11.1.2.4.015, and Essbase Studio 11.1.2.4.014 are supported for use with Essbase 11.1.2.4.015.


RECOMMENDATION:

Oracle recommends using the same version of all Essbase portfolio products (Essbase, Essbase Administration Services, Hyperion Provider Services, and Essbase Studio) and components (server, client, runtime client, API, and JAPI). When only some Essbase portfolio products are included in a patch release, the last released versions of the products that are not included in the patch are supported.

After a patch is applied within the same release codeline, Oracle recommends as a best practice that you export the data from your databases, clear the data from the databases, and then reload the data.

README FILE:

Refer to the Readme files prior to proceeding with these PSU implementations for important information that includes the supported paths per component, along with a full list of the defects fixed, additional support information, prerequisites, details for applying patch and troubleshooting FAQ's.

It is important to ensure that the requirements and support paths to this patch are met as outlined within the Readme file.

The Readme file is available from the Patches & Updates download screen for each of the Hyperion Essbase components.


To locate the latest Essbase Patch Sets and Patch Set Updates at anytime visit the My Oracle Support (MOS) Knowledge Article:

Available Patch Sets and Patch Set Updates for Oracle Hyperion Essbase
Doc ID 1396084.1

Why not share your experience about installing this patch ...

In the MOS | Patches & Updates screen for the relevent patch, simply click the "Start a Discussion" and submit your review.

The patch install reviews and other patch related information is available within the My Oracle Support Communities. Visit the Oracle Hyperion EPM sub-space:

Hyperion Patch Reviews

For questions specific to Hyperion Essbase ...

The My Oracle Support Community "Hyperion Essbase" is the ideal first stop to seek & find product specific answers:

Hyperion Essbase