April 20, 2009

Essbase 11 and Smart View Books Are Now Available

I Can't Keep a Secret, Apparently
This was supposed to stay quiet until the press release came out in May, but so many people have already discovered it that I thought I might as well fess up. My (along with Tracy McMullen, the best co-author ever) two new Oracle/Hyperion/Essbase books are now available. At the moment, you can only get them
directly from the publisher. If you're interested in Essbase 11 (now with more ASO!) or Smart View, you finally have a place to turn.

This book has over 300 pages of new content in it, but the book it self stays under 700 pages. How did we manage this, you ask? Well, with the exception of a very brief chapter on Smart View that's used to introduce Administrator's to dimensionality, we've removed all of the end user content from this book. Yes, that means that if you want end user information, you've got to buy a second book, but if we hadn't done this, the book would be close to 1,000 pages. Since we're not trying to re-write War & Peace (now with a new happier ending!), we made the decision to split the end user stuff out.

So how in the name of Thor did we come up with 300+ pages of new information? Well, some of it was due to the new Essbase 11 features like Varying Attributes and Text Lists. A lot more, though, is due to the new Essbase ASO (aggregate storage) content we wrote. In the last few Essbase books, we treated ASO as an after thought only to be considered if you wanted to build truly huge cubes. In the new book, we talk about ASO as your primary default options for new cubes. For the first 350+ pages of the new book, we just focus on building ASO cubes before we finally get to building BSO cubes.

Some of you Essbase people are cheering right now, "thank God, finally a good source for learning ASO!" A number of you are also wondering, "but shouldn't BSO be the default and ASO only used in certain specific cases?" In our opinion, not any more. With the 11x improvements to ASO, it should be the first place you go to build all new databases (even wee lil' ones). BSO (block storage) should only be used if you need sophisticated writeback or complex calculations. While we still cover BSO in the new book, we show ASO first and then eventually show how to do the equivalent things in ASO (and not the other way around, as our previous Essbase books have).

We hope you'll like all the additional content (and we only had to up the price a mere $10 USD). Here's the link to buy your copy:

If you're looking for instruction on how to use the old Essbase Excel Add-In, you'll want to buy our previous end user book, because this one is all about Smart View for over 250 pages. With all the new features in Smart View 11 (Smart Slices, Report Designer, and more), we had to abandon the Essbase Add-In content and just focus on Smart View.

You might notice that "Essbase" is in the title. Don't be mislead: this is primarily a Smart View book and can be used even if you're accessing HFM, Planning, OBIEE, or whatever; however, we had to pick a data source to use in our examples. Since the majority of people using Smart View have Essbase (even if it's just underlying Planning), we chose Essbase for our exercises in the book. So if you've been wanting a book on Smart View, this is the book for you. Best news, the price (for the moment) stays the exact same:

Where can I buy a copy?
For the moment, the only place to get the books is direct from our publisher. They will be on Amazon.com in 6-10 weeks, because it takes a while to get new books through their system unless you're a major publishing house. If you're coming to Collaborate, the books will also be for sale at their bookstore, and Tracy and I are doing an official book signing there too. We'll also be bringing some copies of each book to sell at our booth at Kaleidoscope if you're going there instead. If you want to buy more than 5 copies (bulk discounts give you more fun for less money!), you can get them through interRel at 30% off: just e-mail info@interrel.com.

Go ahead and tell your friends that the books are available, but when you see the press release in early May announcing the official release of the books, please try to act surprised. In the meantime, don't say anything to interRel Press' marketing department.

April 17, 2009

ODTUG Kaleidoscope Conference for $1,225 with code IRC

Bad news: you've missed the early bird deadline for Kaleidoscope (it was April 7). Good news: you can still register for the conference until April 24 for only $1,225 if you know a super-secret promo code. The code is IRC (and is something still super-secret if someone does an entire blog entry about it?) and you put it into the registration code box for big savings:

Kaleidoscope will be, bar none, the best conference for Hyperion and Essbase content in 2009. Go the ODTUG Kaleidoscope website to see just some of the 80+ hours of classes they'll be hosting:
If you haven't already signed up, this is your chance to 4+ days of jam packed Hyperion intermediate- and expert-level training. At $1,225, that's around $300 per day and it includes really great food. Again, the code is IRC and it will only work until April 24th. Tell your friends and they'll finally appreciate having you as a friend. I hope to see you there in June!

April 16, 2009

Edward Roske is Personally Teaching an Essbase Class

And the question on everyone's mind is, does he still remember how to teach and more importantly, will anyone actually show up?

Normally, I don't teach training classes (so many students, so little time), but I'm going to be teaching one from April 22-24 at interRel's training center at the Rangers Ballpark in Dallas, TX. The class is about how to administer Essbase 11 (though we will be pointing out where System 9 and 11 differ) and it's designed for a technical audience. In other words, it's for people who won't be building cubes but will be maintaining them.

Why you might ask am I teaching this class? It's because I have a book coming out in the next couple of weeks on Essbase 11, and I want to try out some of the material in a live class environment. It's always nice to see in-person how people react to your exercises. If they literally throw the book at you, then you have to ease up on some of the more tedious sections.

There are a couple of spots available in this class (I think it's $750/day), so if you want to learn about Essbase administration from me directly, this is about your only chance for the foreseeable future. The last time I taught this class was in 2006, and I'm probably not doing it again until another major release of Essbase comes out. If you want to sign up, visit interRel's website.

Yes, I did say that the Essbase 11 book would be out shortly, so if you want to be the first to own a copy, keep checking lulu.com under keyword "Essbase" over the next few days.

April 7, 2009

EPM Is Available (AKA localized Hyperion with more patches)

Almost nine months after Hyperion 11x was first released only in English and only on Windows, localized versions of Hyperion are finally available. On April 2, EPM was posted to edelivery.oracle.com with the level of fanfare normally reserved for the openings of small suburban strip malls. In other words, no announcement was made at all.

If you have dreamed about installing or running the Hyperion products in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese,Russian, Turkish, Swedish, Danish, Japanese, Korean, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese your fantasy has finally come true. In all seriousness, there are many companies outside of English-speaking countries that have been waiting for this release before they migrated to 11x. Those non-English companies can now finally move to 11x although not every product is supported in everyone of those languages.

If you couldn't care in the least about non-English, there's still a major benefit to you in more bugs are fixed. In Essbase alone, there are 3 pages of defects fixed. Every product I investigated had numerous bugs removed. Suffice to say that if you wanted 11x to get more stable before you migrated to it, is definitely more stable than any previous release of 11x.

New Features
There aren't many. Hyperion Profitability and Cost Management is significantly enhanced. Visual Explorer also has some new features and Essbase Studio supports some new data sources. The other enhancements are so minor that you'd only notice them if you went to the effort of reading the Read Me files.