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01 June 2013

What Kscope13 sessions am I looking forward to, part one

Introduction
This is always a tough one because there are so many good sessions at ODTUG’s Kscope conferences. If you’ve read my posts in years past on the conference, you will know that I have ranted and raved about the unparalleled knowledge sharing, the training, the networking, the vendor expo (you would be amazed at what’s out there and I am a full member of the does-not-have-contract-signing-ability crowd and I still find it useful), the fun, etc., etc., etc. If you aren’t convinced by this point you either don’t read this blog (in which case I have to ask how you come to read this sentence) or you really don’t pay attention.

And because there is so much good stuff I am going to split my review (yet another sort-of tradition in this blog) of sessions I want to attend across multiple posts. There is just too much cool stuff going on and I want to give these sessions the due they deserve. And not write the Kscope equivalent of Gibbons’ The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, at least from a length perspective.

With that, let’s kick off with my very favorite technological product: Essbase.

Whoops, before I continue, I should mention that I am friends with, or at least am acquainted with most of the people below. Am I just shilling for them? Nope, these are good sessions. Of course you pick and decide what you want to attend – this is what I am interested in.

Note – you will notice that the name Cameron Lackpour is absent from the below sessions. This is not some kind of false modesty as I do think that my sessions are at least worth considering. I will cover what I am presenting later in the week – this block is for everyone not named Cameron.

Essbase sessions (stolen right off of Kscope13.com)

Practical Essbase Web Services

Jason Jones , Key Performance Ideas, Inc.
When: Jun 24, 2013, Session 5, 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Topic: Essbase - Subtopic: Other Essbase
This session will give an introduction to using the new Essbase Web Services feature that has recently been added to the Essbase stack. Attendees will be given an overview of functionality available and practical methods of using the available technology effectively. This presentation will be geared towards users that are familiar with basic programming concepts.

You’ve seen Jason pop up on this blog a few times – he is a real developer. I am not, sob. And I suspect most of you (apologies to those who are full time Computer Scientists) are not either. So let’s learn from a guy who has written real honest to goodness commercial software.

Using Calculation Manager with Essbase ASO

Josephine Manzano-Stettler , ADI Strategies
Co-presenter(s): Olivier Jarricot, ADI Strategies
When: Jun 26, 2013, Session 12, 9:45 am - 10:45 am
Topic: Essbase - Subtopic: Other Essbase
Get a sixty-minute cram session on using Calculation Manager with Essbase ASO. This session will navigate you through the key features within the Calculation Manager, specifically for Essbase ASO. The session will then guide you through the steps of creating calculation rules for ASO using the graphical interface and allocation and custom calculation components. Finally, the session will offer best practices and "insider" tips to shorten your learning curve and get you off to a turbo fast start!

In a previous life, I worked on one of Josie’s projects. She is all kinds of awesome. Also, I was on a project last year that screamed ASO as its solution. I had everything working except those !@#$ing level zero rate calculations and it was an interactive (budgeting) application. The client was an 11.1.1.3 environment so we were out of luck, to put it mildly and BSO it was. I am super curious to see what BusyGal (her online moniker) has come up with.

Big Data and Analytics-led EPM

Al Marciante , Oracle Corporation
When: Jun 24, 2013, Session 1, 8:30 am - 9:30 am
Topic: Essbase - Subtopic: No Subtopic
What data is important to analyze in order to sign off on consolidated financial data or for accurately creating forecasts and budgets? How do users efficiently identify the key drivers and model possible financial outcomes based on uncertainty? This session will highlight the synergies between Enterprise Performance Management and Business Intelligence, and will showcase how the two together allows customers to propel their performance.

An Oracle presentation? Aren’t they just great big advertisements for Oracle? Not at Kscope they aren’t. Big Data, Big Data, Big Data, Big Data – it’s everywhere. Does it fit in EPM? I am super curious about this.

Optimizing ASO Models Using Procedural Calculations

Michael Nader , Blue Stone International
Co-presenter(s): Martin Slack, Ernst & Young
When: Jun 26, 2013, Session 16, 4:15 pm - 5:15 pm
Topic: Essbase - Subtopic: Optimization
As analytic data sets grow, Essbase deployments are more and more focused on the ASO technology to take advantage of speed and scale. However, performing intricate calculations at run-time often leads to poor reporting performance. This session focuses on leveraging ASO procedural calculations and allocations to extend analysis and expedite reporting.

Did you read the above session by Josie Manzano-Stettler? This is the other side of calculations in ASO Essbase. I am, again, very, very, very interested in this subject.

How ASO Works and How to Design for Performance

Daniel Pressman , nTuple
When: Jun 25, 2013, Session 9, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Topic: Essbase - Subtopic: Optimization
Why are some cubes fast and some are slow? When is it OK to use MDX and when should (or what types of) MDX be avoided? How do Solve Order, Dynamic, and Stored Hierarchies interact? By understanding how Essbase goes about resolving a query, many of these questions will answer themselves. Much of this understanding comes from the cryptic Bitmap Statistics dialog in Cube Properties. All of this is summarized in 12+1 rules. These 12+1 rules are discussed and used to illustrate how they should be used when designing your cubes. In particular, there are implications and options for the design of alternative hierarchies. These options will be discussed in terms of the trade-offs of cost (in storage size) vs. performance (in retrieval time). Concrete examples will be demonstrated.

This is one of those rare sessions that is a repeat from last year. Reruns? At Kscope? What, you want your money back? Trust me, this is worth repeating, both for those of us who attended last year and for the people who were foolish enough not to attend. Why? Because Dan has deconstructed the ASO kernel better than anyone whose email address doesn’t end in @oracle.com. It is a brilliant presentation.

Performance Optimization and Measurement: New Thoughts and Test Results for BSO and ASO

Daniel Pressman , nTuple
When: Jun 26, 2013, Session 14, 1:45 pm - 2:45 pm
Topic: Essbase - Subtopic: Optimization
Have you ever wondered why some loads are fast and others are slow? Why the same query performs differently at different times? Why your queries and loads are not as fast as they should be? Then this is the session for you. Starting with a discussion of how data file IO is handled in Windows and Unix, techniques to ensure apples-to-apples testing are presented. Then using the results of over three hundred load, and calculate/aggregate tests using very large BSO (9gB input level 175gB Calculated) and ASO cubes (1.4 billion cells 84GB aggregated). The testing spans Windows and UNIX; ASO and BSO; varying cache settings; sort order and file formats are presented. These variables are evaluated and ranked with several new and surprising conclusions. Conclusions, that in some cases, run contrary to existing best practices. Finally, expanding on the chapter "How ASO Works and How to Design for Performance" in Developing Essbase Applications, the speaker will discuss surrogate keys, MDX, multi-attribute queries. All of this will be discussed in light of real world experience where multiple cubes are running and data is prepared and hardware supplied by other parts of the organization with differing practices and priorities. In short: real techniques you can implement when you return from the conference.

I am somewhat familiar with the tests Dan has conducted. He has a very interesting take on what makes Essbase databases fast.

Essbase New and Upcoming Features

Gabby Rubin , Oracle Corporation
When: Jun 24, 2013, Session 2, 9:45 am - 10:45 am
Topic: Essbase - Subtopic: No Subtopic
Over the last two years, Essbase footprint in the Oracle product portfolio had increase dramatically. In addition to being an application platform for many customer as well as Oracles own EPM applications, Essbase is a key part of Oracle BI Foundation, Exalytics and Fusion applications. These changes in the Essbase ecosystem along with other market trends such as cloud, require Essbase to adapt and evolve; But how do you prepare for the future while protecting your past? Join this session to learn about Oracles vision for Essbase and the product roadmap.

Oracle again? If you are interested in where Essbase is going, this is your best bet to hear all about it from the Oracle Product Manager himself. Will he deny everything he says the minute he steps out of the room? Probably. Will many of these projected roadmap items show up at Open World as publicly committed-to features? It has happened. :)

Advanced Essbase Studio Tips and Tricks

Glenn Schwartzberg , interRel Consulting
When: Jun 24, 2013, Session 5, 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Topic: Essbase - Subtopic: Other Essbase
Essbase Studio has been around since the beginning of version 11.1.X and there is still a lot of mystery around its usage. Come explore some of the more advanced features now that you have gotten your feet wet creating your first Studio model. This session will go over settings, optimizations, tips, and tricks that can make you more successful with Studio.

Glenn is my older brother from completely different parents. Of course he denies any actual familial relationship. Just like an older brother. You decide who has a firmer grasp on reality.

Clawing my way back to relevancy, Studio is a product that I seem to be drifting closer and closer to with the increasing level of SQL and ETL that I do on each project. Glenn’s sessions are always interesting and entertaining.

Thinking Outside the Box -- Optimizing Performance in Essbase and Planning

Glenn Schwartzberg , interRel Consulting
When: Jun 25, 2013, Session 10, 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Topic: Essbase - Subtopic: Optimization
There are standard optimizations that developers do to improve performance, then there are those developers who think outside the box and create unique optimizations that can affect calculations, data loads, data transfers, etc. Come to this session to see some unique solutions and truly outrageous ways to improve performance.

I reviewed the first draft of this presentation – again, Glenn has an unusual mind (shades of Young Frankenstein?) and always comes up with how-the-h-e-double-hockey-sticks techniques.

Introducing the Outline Extractor NG (Next Generation)

Tim Tow , Applied OLAP
When: Jun 24, 2013, Session 3, 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Topic: Essbase - Subtopic: Other Essbase
Although the OlapUnderground Essbase Outline Extractor has been downloaded by over 10,000 unique users, the technology used is quickly becoming outdated. The new Dodeca Essbase Outline Extractor is a complete redesign and rewrite of the popular Essbase Outline Extractor technology and adds the ability to output in Hyperion Planning Outline Load Utility format and to relational databases. It also adds the ability to run on 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems including Windows, Unix, Linux, and even MacOS. Attend this session to learn how to leverage this free utility in your company.

I’ve been on the beta (and have been a terrible beta participant, sorry Tim, but Kscope has eaten my life) for the NG extractor. This is the tool that we will all use going forward.

I for one am looking forward to running the NG OE on my Fat Mac.

Are you crying Uncle yet?

That is ten, count ‘em ten, different Essbase sessions. Is that the sum total of Essbase sessions at Kscope? Absolutely not. In fact there are 38 on offer. And that is just a subset of all the EPM sessions. Kscope has content, content, content.

The next blog post will be The Truth About Hyperion Planning at Kscope.

Be seeing you at Kscope13.

1 comment:

GlennS said...

You missed what I think will be my go to presentation. Yes it is from my boss, but Edward Roske's Everything you know about Essbase tuning is wrong or outdated(I'm paraphrasing the title) is one I really want to sit through. Most of the tuning we do is based on old 32 bit environments. But other than that aside from my sessions, I like your choices