July 12, 2008

EPM 11x - Generally Available

After months of development, testing, and delays, it looks like "Oracle EPM System, Fusion Edition" (also known as EPM 11x or Hyperion 11.1) has officially been delivered:
First of all, unlike all prior Hyperion releases, you don't select "Hyperion Performance Management and BI" as the product pack. There's a new product pack for "Oracle Enterprise Performance Management System." Once you select this, there are two platforms available. Both are for Windows: the only difference is in 32-bit vs. 64-bit. The other platforms should be out towards the end of this quarter and possibly not until Q4.

According to the eDelivery site, the full 32-bit media pack is ~11 Gb and contains 29 parts (64-bit media pack is 17 parts and 7.3 Gb) . Hyperion 9.3.1 was 57 parts making up 14 Gb. Anyone have any idea how they added more features, more products, and somehow shrunk the download size? All I can think of is that it's because it's only English, and the download will grow once they add the localized versions to the mix.

The Read Me's (and Installation documents) are only 33 Mb. I encourage everyone to download part #V-13499 just to learn more about the new 11x features. It's amazing what you stumble across in Read Me files. For instance, I just now discovered that Strategic Finance is missing along with all the integrated Crystal Ball functionality. The Read Me says that for Strategic Finance, you should "see 9.3.1 media pack" which I guess means that there isn't a Strategic Finance at the moment.

I haven't had time to read all of the Read Me files. I opened the Essbase one first. There are 3 1/2 pages of Known Issues with Essbase Some of them are kinda surprising to me. For instance, the MDX Parent function has this problem (yes, this is an exact quote):
Running the MDX Parent function does not return the member's parent.
Well, on the one hand, I guess I'm glad someone noticed. On the other hand, what the hell does this function do if not to return the Parent? This known issue is also kinda fun (it's an issue between the Spreadsheet Add-In and Windows Vista):
Launching Query Designer from Spreadsheet Add-in causes Excel to terminate abnormally.

I guess we'll either not use Vista or just tell our users not to click on Query Designer.

That said, there are hundreds of positive features and bug fixes in "Oracle EPM System, Fusion Edition" (rolls right off the tongue, doesn't it?). For instance, here are the bullets from the 16 page New Features in Essbase Read Me. Each one of these items summarizes paragraphs of new features and this is just Essbase:
  • Installation and configuration
  • Lifecycle management
  • Typed measures
  • Format strings
  • Varying attributes
  • Strategy for backing up and restoring BSO databases
  • Methods for clearing data from specific regions of ASO databases
  • Environment variables used in the calculation scripts and formulas of BSO databases
  • Optimization of the replication of ASO databases
  • Grid expansion during queries of transparent partitions
  • Log transaction response times from transparent partition target
  • Grid size limits for ASO transparent partition target
  • Batch insertion as data is exported to relational databases
  • Unicode support for ASO
  • Common logging
  • Implied share override
  • Performing multiple SQL data loads in parallel to ASO
  • Calculation functions (13 new functions)
  • MDX functions (12 new functions, 1 new clause, 1 new directive)
  • Report writer commands (7 new commands)
  • Essbase.CFG configuration settings (12 new settings)
  • MaxL statements (11 new statements)
  • API Functions and structures (60 new functions and types)
And Essbase isn't the only product with a boatload of new functionality. The Planning new features PDF is 12 pages long. HFM has 8 pages of new features. Performance Scorecard has 16 pages of new stuff. Hyperion Reporting & Analysis (what they used to call "BI+) has 16 pages. Smart View has 8. Even Shared Services has a couple of pages of new features. This is definitely the most important Hyperion-wide update in this millennium (far more relevant than the helpful to the planet than the release Hyperion System 9).

If you are going to upgrade your development environment to 11.1.1, here are the current supported paths:
  • to 11.1.1
  • 9.2.1 to 11.1.1
  • 9.3.x to 11.1.1
Per the documentation, if you're on an earlier version, you must go to one of these three versions first, and then upgrade from there. Now to point out the blatantly obvious, please don't use any of the new 11x products in production YET. Wait for a patch or two (or three or...) to come out before you spring this on your end users. In the mean time, download and install EPM 11x, and then come back here to discuss your findings. If you're crazy enough to install this new version in anything other than a very limited development environment, may God have mercy on your soul.

July 10, 2008

Kaleidoscope - June 21-25, 2009

For those of you who like to plan well in advance, ODTUG's Kaleidoscope conference will be held June 21-25, 2009 in Monterey, California at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Resort and Spa. The Hyperion track next year will be several times larger than this year (while doing their best to maintain the same level of quality as this year) so my advice is to make your hotel reservations now.

July 2, 2008

A lot of people have been asking me for more details on the new Profitability Management application that sits on top of Essbase. It's been demoed for months now, but all the demos are very light on specifics. Thankfully, Jennifer Toomey from Oracle has put together a "statement of direction" for what they're calling "Hyperion Profitability and Cost Management, Fusion Edition."

It's only 4 pages long, but it goes into more detail than I've seen anywhere else on exactly what features are going to be in the product:

Per the PDF, here are the key features of Profitability Management:
  • Business user driven profitability management
  • Flexible allocation platform
  • Traceability maps
  • Business rules engine
  • Model validation reporting
  • Hierarchy and dimension management
  • Multidimensional allocation
  • Powerful analysis and reporting
  • Integration with other EPM apps
Have a look at the PDF and come back here to discuss what you think about the new application.