I will be available on 3 August, 2015. Planning forever! Or something like that. Contact me on LinkedIn if you're interested.

23 July 2015

Developing Essbase Applications: Hybrid Techniqus and Practices is now available for preorder!

New and improved

How can something be new and improved at the same time?  If it’s new, it isn’t improved – it’s brand new.  And if it’s improved, it’s just a modification of an existing thing.  It makes my somewhat-logical brain hurt when I try to wrap logic around language.  And yet, and yet, and yet…

Not improved, but vastly new

Developing Essbase Applications Hybrid Techniques and Practices  (there is no way I am ever going to remember the full name and besides I am a lazy typist so henceforth it shall be named DEA Hybrid) is not improved; it is brand spanking new.  Disregard the US Amazon description of it as a second edition – all of the content is new.  

This book is new, new, new (is the message getting through?) and contains these chapters written by this august gaggle of geeks:
  • Essbase on Exalytics and the “Secret Sauce” – John Booth
  • Hybrid Essbase:  Evolution or Revolution – Tim German and Yr. Obt. Svt.
  • The Young Person’s Guide to Essbase Cube Design – Martin Neulip
  • Essbase Performance and Load Testing – Tim German
  • Utilizing Structured Query Language to Enhance Your Essbase Experience – Glenn Schwartzberg
  • Copernicus was Right:  Integrating Oracle Business Intelligence and Essbase  -- Mike Nader
  • Managing Spreadsheets (and Essbase) Through Dodeca – Cameron Lackpour
  • Smart View Your Way – William Hodges

Did I mention this is all new content?  It is.

DEA Hybrid clocks in at 502 pages – 57 pages more than Developing Essbase Applications:  Advanced Techniques for Finance and IT Professionals.  I’m not sure you should judge a book by page count but it is indicative of an awful lot of effort, all of it good.

Preorder today

In the States?  You can buy it at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

I am an internationally-minded geek (I have actually lived on three continents) and it’s currently available at Amazon Canada, UK, France, and Germany.  It is, oddly, not available on Amazon’s Australian, Italian, or Spanish sites.  

When oh when oh when will you actually be able to hold it in your hands?

It should be available in the September to October timeframe.  There’s nothing on the US Amazon site but the European sites show the middle of October 2015.  Order today and get your copy as soon as possible.

What about Kindle?

A Kindle edition will be published.  Last time round, it lagged the print copy by a month or so.

An awful lot of Essbase awesomeness

Despite Yr. Obt. Svt.’s contributions, DEA Hybrid is written by some of the most talented thought leaders in our industry.  There’s no other way to access a collection of such diverse, advanced, and thoughtful content.

There’s nothing like this series of books out there and once you read DEA Hybrid I think you’ll agree.

Be seeing you.

15 July 2015

AppMan is dead, but should it live on?

Nostalgia or functionality?
If you’ve ever seen this:

Then you’ve certainly used this:

What is that?  This refugee from the 1990s is none other than Esbase Application Manager aka AppMan.  I am guessing that most extant EPM practitioners today came to Essbase post 7.x, but if you were around before that, this will be a tool you know, love, and probably miss quite a bit.

As I wrote before, my Ride or Die Girl, Kscope15 conference chairwoman, @EssbaseLady, also known as Natalie Delemar said, “What?  I want that!” when she saw a screen snapshot (literally, I held a camera up to the screen of Someone Else’s Laptop and took a picture) of Essbase Application Manager.

AppMan is so loved there are copies of AppMan binaries floating around out there that people trade like samisdat books.  Does anyone pass around obsolete versions of EssCmd?  (Okay, it’s still there in the product, but does anyone actually even notice it?)  There’s something about AppMan that speaks to Essbase geeks.  What is it?

Getting under the skin

Does Oracle read this blog?  Google Analytics says, “Yes”.  I can’t tell who, but this gives me a hint:

I’m taking that as a request from product management (could be development, could be a consultant, could be someone completely-not-from-Oracle) to provide feedback.  

AppMan isn’t coming back, but Essbase as a Service (EaaS) is on its way, and we know that EAS isn’t going to be the interface.  It’s still early days for EaaS and its developer interface – this is our collective chance to let Oracle know what we need.

Let’s do some research

I have an (un)lucky group of fellow geeks that I reach out to when I either have an appallingly stupid thought fantastic idea/cannot for the life of me figure out the most basic of tasks have a question for the Best and Brightest.

Having seen the above comment to last Kscope15 blog post, I asked this question:
What should that interface have that EAS doesn't have?  What new features should it have?  How will developers love EaaS' interface?

Here are the responses:
  • General use of and integration with Windows
  • Copy and paste from and to Excel
  • Opening an outline file without being logged in – great for disconnected times like on an airplane.
  • Faster and reliable copy and paste within the outline
  • Simple and easy to install
  • Multi select members and change any/all attributes (UDAs, Unary Operators, Attribute assignment, etc.)

Here’s a particularly cogent comment:
I don’t have too much more to add here. I think others said it best in regard to general look and feel, and usability; and the use of standard windows features! Seems like anything web enabled in Oracle stack is cumbersome and takes a year to render/repaint (including EAS) – but I guess that can be/is environment specific? On a side note…. I am shocked that there are this many old-timers on your list that even remember AppMgr. I truly had forgotten it. Loved the tool. And loved the thread.

Aw shucks on the last bit, but the person who wrote that is particularly thoughtful.

Now it’s your turn

The past is another country but EaaS is the future; what comes to EaaS will come to on-premises.  What do you want to see in the EaaS console?  What do you need?  What do you think is likely?  Can we ever get back to the ease of integration of AppMan?

Microsoft is a direct competitor of Oracle in many ways – I am happy to relate that Oracle kicks MS’ butt in the EPM/BI world.  One thing they do right is focus on the developer experience.  Talk to a .NET developer and he’ll wax poetic about the IDE, the tools, and life in the MS universe in general.  

Why can’t Essbase be the same way?

Use the comments section of this blog, please, to voice your opinion.  If Oracle reads this blog for something more than the amusement factor (although that may in fact be the only reason), your comments have a direct line to the people that decide what EaaS will look like from a developer perspective.  

Comment, won’t you?

Be seeing you.

26 June 2015

Kscope 15 days 4 and 5

The day after the night before

I’m going to try to do this in sequential order with some description of the many pictures.  It’s not that I’m lazy, it’s just that I’m so tired it’s not (actually it is) funny.

And with that…

Day 5, Wednesday, June 24 June

AppMan lives!

Proof that a tight integration with Windows cannot be beat.  I don’t think given Oracle’s announcement of Essbase as a Service (Eaas) we’re going to see a return to the Windows development world, but a man can hope.

Really, I miss this thing, and so do many others.  My Ride or Die Girl, Kscope15 conference chairwoman, @EssbaseLady, also known as Natalie Delemar said, “What?  I want that!”  It’s like the Soviet samisdat only for software.

Women In Technology luncheon

Also put together by Natalie as part of her commitment to ODTUG.  (Question:  How does she get by with being a mother, an E&Y Senior Manager, and ODTUG superstar all at the same time?  Discuss.) it was a lot of fun and I didn’t feel the least bit intimidated in being one of the few men.  I never quite understand why my fellow male geeks tread so carefully around subjects like this.  It wasn’t a hanging party for men, it was a chance to discuss what it’s like for women to work and lead in technology.  The reason men were invited to this session was for both to hear a woman’s perspective on work and life and to return the favor with our thoughts.  I think it was a smashing success.

Dudes, time to man up and come next year, it’ll add so much more to  your machismo (and we know of course no one can hear you over your present level of awesomeness; imagine the heights you will achive next year through this meeting alone), grow hair on your chest, and make you even more of a manly man with massive rippling muscles.  And yes, that was a pretty awful attempt at humor, but my fellow X and Y chromosone humans ought to sign up for this at Kscope16 .  The world is composed of both men and women, we both have perspectives to share, and I found it instructive; you would too.
Here’s Natalie in her element kicking the event off:

William Hodges presenting on Groovy

Fellow Developing Essbase Applications:  Hybrid Techniques and Practices William Hodges is on stage, Tim German is watching with rapt attention which is more than I can say he did when I was copresenting with him, cf. my last blog post.  TimG, I kid, I kid; you were merely waiting for the awfulness that was my part of the prsentation to finish.

The Wednesday night entertainment

The madness, the madness.  It really was pretty good.

Waiting to greet Kscope attendees to the White Party

The madness begins with fellow board members Dave Schliess, Tim Tow, and Monty Latiolais.

Mia Urman, my Thought Leader and her husband

Mia and I seemingly disagreed with just about everything (well, not everything, but an awful lot of subjects) in her first year on the board.  I have seen the light and now (mostly) agree with her.  I think I just had to catch up to her Awesomeness.  Really, she is pretty awesome and is full of fantastic ideas.  

Did I mention that she really knows how to party?  Oh yes she does.

He lives, he lives, he really lives

Can you guess That Man?  No, not the idiot on the right, the one on the left.  He turns out to not be an army of autonomous robots.  More’s the pity as now my OTN humiliation is complete.

The party is about to begin

OMG, it’s so cool.

Can geeks party?  Oh yes they can

Wait, wait, who is that I see?

Amazingly, it’s my friend and fellow presenter, Tim German.  Tim, we never thought we’d live to see the day.

Was there an after party?  Yup

On the way to South Beach’s Mansion.  We owned that club.  Yes, we ODTUGers did just that.  I’m not sure the club staff will ever get over it.

Opal Alapat dancing on top of a couch

Opal is like Spock’s human counterpart:  so serious, so logical, so smart.  If she could do the Vulcan neck pinch, I’d know she did come from a planet with two suns.  And then you get her dancing and she loses all control.  Awesome, but that preculdes her Vulcanness.

Somewhere on the Twitterverse there is a picture of yr. obt. svt. dancing on top of a table.  Yes, really.  And with only three drinks in me I’m not sure there’s any excuse.

Did someone order drinks?

Or a fire?

Are we not awesome?

It is just possible.

Jessica Cordova getting down

Does that term date me?  Quite likely.
Update -- I just had a text conversation with Jessica and the comment on my part is completely incomprehensible to her.  Unfortunately, this means it isn't a joke at all so for those of you who did not have older siblings in the 1970s, the definition is here and it means to dance.  The inimitable James Brown said it best.

Thursday, 25 June

Does anyone look like they are a wee bit tired?  Thursday was the first day I could eat breakfast.  No, not because of a Technicolor Yawn on yr. obt. svt.’s part but because this was the first day I wasn’t 100% booked.  I like Mojo Bars best both for insanely-stupid levels of busyness as well as hiking.  Peanut protein and lots of sugar – what’s not to like?
I cannot exactly remember what I ate as I was a little tired having gone to bed at 3 am and up at 6:30.

Essbase Deep Dive

Here’s 2/3 of the room filling up.  I guesstimate we had about 150 people.

And the distinguished panel

In order from left to right: Steve Liebermensch, Gabby Rubin, and MMIC aka Glenn Schwartzberg.  These Thursday events are an unprecedented opportunity to ask anything, I mean anything, of the product managers that drive the tools we love.
They didn’t make too much fun of me when I called this the Eeeeeessssssbaaaassssseeee Deep Dive session.  Lack of sleep/profound stupidity made me do it.  All sort of kidding aside, I had a pretty difficult time speaking and definitely a large dollop of difficulty in thinking coherent thoughts, let alone moderating the session.

The closing session

A full house; I believe that is the back of Joe Aultman’s head.

Natalie and ODTUG President and Monty Latiolais winding up the conference

Unfortunately this is the end of what is really the best conference I have ever been to, bar none.

Some thougts on Kscope15

Kscope is the yearly highlight of my professinoal life as it is for many others.  I agonize over content from the selection process through my own sessions; hopefully some of what I and many others do helps make that happen for all of the attendees.

Kscope has no counterpart in the Oracle world.  The passion, the knowledge, the people all make Kscope a unique event and one that I love.

ODTUG is responsible in many ways for what I am today professionally and even a large component of who I am as a person.  The spirit of generosity in sharing knowledge, the passion in our work, the people who I call friends who I would never have met otherwise, the investment in and giving back to the community that ODTUG fosters; all of it has profoundly touched many others and me.

I’m really and for true getting misty eyed over writing the above.

Be seeing you.