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29 January 2012

Where oh where have I been and why oh why would you care?

You may have noticed that I haven’t updated this blog in a long time, nor have I been feeding my obsessive need to be on OTN/Network54.  And you likely didn’t care, but I’ll tell you where I’ve been regardless.  :)

I and 12 other happy souls have been writing a book for the last six months.  No, not a book about coffee, or obscure French cars, or my imaginary service in the RAF (my callsign, if I had one, is Biggles 1 and in my imagination I fly this).  Instead, we have written something that I think is going to set the Essbase world on its collective ear – the first advanced topic Essbase book:  Developing Essbase Applications: Advanced Techniques for Finance and IT Professionals.  

No, you can’t buy it, yet, as it just went to the publisher as a first draft.  I hope it will be available by KScope12 but it will likely be available by Oracle OpenWorld.  We’ll see – this is the first book I’ve ever written and I have no real yardstick to compare times, effort, etc. against.  Yes, it has been quite the learning experience.

Again, who cares?  Why would I read this book?

You’ll read Developing Essbase Applications because:
  • That advanced topic orientation I talked about.  For the time being, you’ll simply have to trust me on this, but I am quite confident that you will find this book interesting.  Nope, I take that back, you will find this book revelatory, revolutionary, and amazing.  Hype, right?  I don’t think so – there is content in this book that exists nowhere else.  Some of it will blow your mind – really.  We’ve peer reviewed this beast and have received very positive feedback.  We’ve also gotten back the comments, “Wow, that’s really hard/amazing.  How did you guys figure that out?  I thought I knew Essbase and I didn’t know that.”  This is not a beginner’s book.  I’m not even sure it’s a midlevel developer’s book.  There’s Good Stuff inside the covers.
  • A good practices approach.  We’ve seen bad Essbase implementations.  We’ve (long, long ago) even been responsible for bad Essbase implementations.  The lessons from those bad systems were absorbed and the bad practices assiduously avoided.  Instead, we show you nothing but the right way to do Essbase.  Our internal motto during the writing of this book was, “We love Essbase and hate to see it done wrong.”
  • We do more than just tell you how to do something, we tell you why.  It’s like having a team of seasoned consultants in a book and they’re 100% dedicated to knowledge transfer.  More than a few people in on the secret have said, “Are you telling the world too much?”  If there was a finite amount of Essbase knowledge out there, then yes, maybe I’d be worried about writing ourselves out of a job.  Happily, Essbase is alive, well, and growing.  Making you grow is Developing Essbase Applications mission.

I am ever so slightly interested.  So what’s in it?

Developing Essbase Applications covers every area of advanced Essbase practice there is:
  • Essbase infrastructure
  • Data quality
  • Essbase Studio
  • BSO in depth
  • BSO to ASO conversions
  • Designing ASO for performance
  • Practical MDX
  • Essbase Java API
  • Automating with Groovy
  • Advanced Smart View
  • Implementing and administering Essbase

Who wrote the book?

An excellent question and oh how I do love writing these leading questions.  See if you recognize any names:  Dave Anderson, Joe Aultman, John Booth, Gary Crisci, Natalie Delemar, Dave Farnsworth, Cameron Lackpour, Michael Nader, Dan Pressman, Robb Salzmann, Tim Tow, and Angela Wilcox.  Jake Turrell edited.  Many more people contributed with their edits, comments, and ideas.  This was the group project to end all group projects and I am obliged to each and every one of you.

So you’re just one of 12.  What’s the big deal?

I was the editor in chief of this project.  What does that entail?  An editor in chief, at least within the context of this book:
  • Lands the publishing contract.  The Oracle ACE program helps.  No, this is not an endorsement of the book by the ACE program.  Oracle wants ACEs to write and they provide the all-important introduction to publishers.  
  • Handles all of the legal issues.  I now know more about copyright than I ever wanted to.
  • Project manages the writing.  I  will freely admit that project managing this large a group of what are essentially volunteers (yes, we are getting royalties, but split that 13 ways and figure the number of hours and it’s pretty close to volunteerism) was challenging, to say the least.
  • Helps edit each and every one of the chapters along with Natalie Delemar, Dan Pressman, Angie Wilcox, and Jake Turrell.
  • Writes a fairly awesome (ahem) chapter on data quality.
  • Lives, breathes, eats, sleeps, and anything else you can think of nothing, but nothing, but this book for the last two months.  

The writing process has been exhilarating and exhausting.  I’m happy to have done it and equally happy that it is finally over.  I need to go find billable work.

So what’s next?

I and my fellow coconspirators will keep you up to date with more information about Developing Essbase Applications as it gets closer to actual publication.  Like I wrote, we aren’t exactly doing this for money.  We wrote it to drive the art of practicing Essbase further, much further.  So think of the drip, drip, drip of news about this book as a service, not a marketing campaign.  ;)

We’re tremendously proud of what we’ve written and think you will find it tremendously valuable.


Tim Young said...

Congratulations to you and your fellow authors, Cameron! I got wind of this book from Gary Crisi's blog, and I'm really looking forward to it. I've been doing Essbase for 15 years, and I still learn things from all of you. This book will definitely be on my Christmas list.

Godoy said...

Sign me up for two of those.

Anonymous said...

Although I pledged to buy a copy- even without reading it, I'm sure it's gonna have rocking sales in the EPM world. This isn't because the new Essbase Bible is one of the disappointingly very few books on Essbase but essentially because of the master minds who penned it!!! Good luck!