188.8.131.52 Released in AugustOn August 6, Oracle stealthily released Oracle EPM System, Fusion Edition version 184.108.40.206. While it will come as a shock to no one that the version was released with the fanfare normally reserved for when an iPhone drops a call, what will shock many is that this was not just a patch release. That is, there's functionality added in this version too.
Drill-Through to Underlying Data
The Best Co-Author Ever, Tracy McMullen, prepared a great PowerPoint to explain to the interRel consultants all the new features. While her PPT summarized a ton of documentation, I'm going to further summarize that. The most prevalent theme throughout 220.127.116.11 is the concept of drilling through to anywhere. When Oracle bought Hyperion back in 2007, they promised more seamless integration between Oracle's various products (like eBusiness Suite and PeopleSoft) and the Hyperion products (Essbase, Planning, HFM, FDM, etc.). While the Oracle ERPi project definitely adds some of this capability, 18.104.22.168 adds even more.
For instance, it's now possible to set up drill-through from Essbase to a URL using several different methods without using EIS or Essbase Studio (or even FDM, if you don't want to). While you can use the API and the documentation implies you must, it seems you can set up the URL drill-through from Essbase just using MaxL. Several examples using at least 4 different methods can be found here:
In addition to the new drill-through capabilities of Essbase (see above), the other major improvement to Essbase is that Calc Manager now supports it. For the moment, it only will write Essbase BSO calcs, but assuming that ASO will one day allow parameterized "calc scripts", then Calc Manager should too. In the mean time, Calc Manager now becomes an option for deploying calculations to Hyperion Planning, HFM, and now, Essbase BSO.
There are some other improvements to Calc Manager including enhancements to templates, printing, zoom mode, variable saving and the formula grids. Run-time prompts are still a problem, but it looks like Calc Manager is getting there slowly but surely.
Planning and HFM
Both products can now drill to/through FDM from the web interface, Smart View, and Financial Reporting (very cool, by the way). This makes building applications that drill through to general ledger detail (like down to the journal entry) a whole lot easier and it's more intuitive for the users too.
Planning also has some improvements to the command-line utilities allowing one to load driver members through a CSV and create/load exchange rate tables. HFM has improvements including automated consolidation journals and some HFM-specific Calc Manager improvements the most notable of which is the ability to import VBScript files as graphical models in Calc Manager.
Financial Data Quality Management is extremely enhanced in 22.214.171.124. In addition from more products being able to access FDM drills from more places, There's a new "module" within FDM called ERPi (ERP Integrator) that ties both data and metadata from some source GL's into the EPM applications.
Right now ERPi supports PeopleSoft 9.0 as well as Oracle eBusiness Suite 11.5.10CU2, 12.0.6, and 12.1.1. To way oversummarize this functionality, there is a new ERPi landing page that displays the GL accounts along with hyperlinked balances. When you click on the hyperlinks, you'll be taken to the source system data to view the associated journal entries for the selected account.
As mentioned above, Smart View has enhanced drill-through capabilities. Smart View also allows a user to import metadata into a sheet which solves some of the problems people have had with copying over a worksheet in Excel and losing some of the properties. The new Import Metadata feature can be used in adhoc mode, data forms, functions, Reporting & Analysis documents, and even Smart Slices but for the moment, can't be used with Report Designer. Smart View also adds some more helpful VBA functions to the Smart View toolkit.
Though there are still a couple of things that the old Essbase Excel Add-In can do that Smart View can't, there are so many areas in which Smart View beats the old Add-In, that I would go with Smart View in 95% of new implementation cases.
EPM Architect just keeps getting better. [Yes, considering where it started, I know that's not that difficult.] It was finally ready for prime-time with EPMA 11.1.1 and every patch seems to add new functionality. 126.96.36.199 adds enhancements to interface tables allowing admins to filter dimensions/members during imports. The batch client adds about 14 new capabilities including copying, inserting, excluding, renaming, and moving members. They've also fixed one of my pet peeves by finally allowing an easy way to purge the transaction history from the EPMA database.
While I've mostly focused on the new features of 188.8.131.52, that's because I knew Oracle probably would forget to announce them in a format anyone could easily find. Of course, the best part about dot releases is that they fix bugs (AKA "known issues") and this patch fixes a bunch of them. Literally, there are pages of known issues resolved in this release. If you're not up to 11x yet, go straight to this version. If you're on 11 (especially 11.1.1), make sure you install this patch immediately: