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26 January 2017

The new and even more improved EPM cloud documentation portal

Fourth edition

Yr. most hmbl. & obt. svt. seems to write an awful lot about documentation:

Why?  Don’t I have anything else to do?  

One might argue that documentation is boring (although this is sort of unlikely from someone who maintains an active blog, writes books (I have another one percolating, sort of), does white papers, etc.) and only a boring geek cares about docs.

But that would be wrong.

If mastery (well, sort of) of these EPM tools we know and love is needed to build good-no-great systems and stay employed, and we cannot absorb the functionality, nuances, and procedures through proximity, then surely we’ve got to figure out how to use the damn things.  And that is what we learn from documentation.  See, it ain’t boring?  

Oracle’s EPM cloud documentation marches apace.  The impact of Cloud funding and thus development is a dizzying sight to behold.  Those $, £, and € have given the documentation team wings and it shows.  Will on-premises documentation ever catch up?  A geek can dream but the direction is pretty firmly set.  #onpremisesmatters

And with that plea made, tongue firmly in cheek, let’s take a lookyloo at what the EPM documentation team have on offer.

Where it all begins

EPM Cloud documentation is part of a broad movement.  Yes, you could go directly to the SAAS section of the documentation but you owe it to yourself to poke around other bits to see what’s on offer.  Interested in PAAS?  PAAS’ DVSS or BICS?  It’s all there for the reading.

Bound and determined to deny your curiosity and actually focus on your work at hand?  SAAS docs are but a click away:

It’s a living

Since I earn my crust in Planning in its on-premises and Cloud manifestations, let’s dive right in.  Having taken a look at a few of the other EPM Cloud products I can say their approach is similar.  As I’m not a CPA, I’ll focus on the products I’m most familiar with but I encourage you to explore.

Begin the beguine

One of the key advantages of PBCS or any other Cloud offering is that the “wonderful” world of infrastructure is Oracle’s problem.  Huzzah!  How to begin?  At the Year Dot with a guide on how to buy Oracle cloud.  This sounds silly for those of us without the corporate credit card but even we geeks need to understand how Oracle packages and sells its Cloud offerings.

Step by step by step – it’s all there:
Will you (I am taking this from the consultant’s POV but the use case holds true for customers as well)– at least in the beginning – be managing users?  It would be a miracle if you didn’t and it isn’t managed from within PBCS itself but at the cloud service level:

As you like it

There’s more than one way to shine a penny:  discrete tasks, videos, and formal guides.  The approach is up to you.

Task oriented

Interested in basic Planning administration that’s (mostly) applicable to PBCS and EPBCS?  Dive right in.

Interested in loading data?  A click on Import and export data will take you right into the PBCS Administrator’s documentation:

Page 60 of 553?  Eeek.  I think I prefer the task approach.

Video killed the radio star

EPM docs have used video before but it’s used like never before.

To the right of the Import and export data task there’s a Video link.  G’wan, click it:
4:29 worth of how-to:

NB – Over on YouTube Oracle’s Oracle EPM & BI Tutorials channel is, as one might imagine, chock full of videos dedicated to nothing but the products we love and hold dear.  Enjoy.

Read the book

Fear not, Gentle Reader, for the full documentation is still extant.  In fact, individual Tasks link right into the docs as we saw above with the Import and export data task.

Or instead simply go into Books node.  There’s enough here to keep anyone occupied for just as long as he likes.  Or longer.

For giggles I added up all of the pages in the Administration section alone:

Is that not enough content?  It’s what we need to keep working which, ‘cos unemployment otherwise, is kind of important.  It ought at least to take you a fair time to go through.

Keep at it

I’m happy no thrilled no ecstatic to see that the EPM documentation team keeps expanding their offerings.  

If you’re not using the documentation, you’re either a far better geek than the rest of us or a profoundly lazy and probably bad one.  Admonitions aside, while figuring things out on one’s own can be interesting it can also be slow, incomplete, and sometimes plain wrong; reading the documentation at least as a start is a better way.  You’d be surprised nay shocked to know how many never do.

Do you want it the hard way or the easy way?  Your choice.

Be seeing you.

17 January 2017

The Compleat Idiot's Guide to PBCS, No. 19 -- Delete Multiple Files with EPM Automate


I have, somehow yet again convinced others to write my blog for me.  I must be getting good at this, or others must be losing their minds because this really good post came to Yr. most hmbl. & obt. svt. spontaneously.

Perhaps my mental anguish/neuroses/laziness re my awesome (ahem) and still incomplete (double ahem) PBCS rolling seven day backup post came through the ether to fellow geek Chris Rothermel.  

Or perhaps he fell under the hypnotic gesture of CameronMandrake The Magician and just wrote it ‘cos he was compelled to as shown below:

Alas, I have neither the snazzy convertible (actually I do have a blue 1993 Miata MX-5 not altogether unlike Mandrake's) or the tophat (I do have one of these which are fantastic for keeping the deer ticks off in the woods along with this) or the cape or alas the trimmed moustache (or any moustache at all) or the power of the supernatural and hence the ability to make bad guys drop rifles on their heads which, given the CRACK, had to really hurt as evinced by the “OU!” grunts of the two goons.  I do however have this blog so there’s that; I’ll bet Mandrake doesn’t have one of those.

And with that run on sentence out of the way, take it away, Chris.

Delete multiple files with EPM Automate

The purpose of this document is to share a solution which allows for the deletion of multiple files using EPM Automate.  This solution simply extends the functionality of the deletefile command from deleting a single file to deleting multiple files with the assistance of a file list and recursive calls to the deletefile command.

The heart of the solution is found in lines 36 through 49 below where the deletefile command called for each record in the file.  Additional echo commands are used to display the activity of the job.
Error handling surrounds the core solution.  Distinct messages are reported if there was an error, if no filename was provided, or even if the file provided was empty.

Execution and Testing

Create a file to be used as the list of files to delete.  Using the listfiles command we find a list of valid files.

Four of the file names are selected and a fifth bogus filename is also saved in the filelist of files for deletion.

The batch script is invoked using the file “MyDeleteFile.txt” as the input.

Using the listfiles command again we confirm four of the requested files have been deleted.

Searching for a log file in this directory yields a log file for this error containing various details of the error.

When examined the file contains various debug statements for this error and the last line echoes the same error seen earlier.  A separate file is created for each file that has trouble processing.

Chris’ conclusion

Use this batch script to delete a list of files from the cloud.  Remember to first have an active session with the cloud server and to provide a file to the batch command.  Enjoy using this script and I hope it saves you time managing the files in your cloud environment.



@echo off
REM ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
REM  ea_deletefiles.bat
REM  Author:  Chris Rothermel
REM  Date:    2017-01-12
REM  Usage:      ea_deletefiles <filename containing one filename per row>
REM  Purpose: This script recursively calls the deletefile command for each
REM           record in the file provided.  There are other checks on the
REM        file such as checking it exists and checking to see if there are
REM           any records in the file.
REM  Input:    The input file should have no quotation marks and no trailing
REM           whitespace.  The record delimiter is a new row (<CR> <LF>).
REM  Pre-Req:    This script assumes an epmautomate session is already in use.
REM           Use the epmautomate login command to initiate a session.
REM ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

REM Reset %erorrlevel%
verify > nul

REM Check if a filename parameter has been provided
IF [%1]==[] goto :Usage
REM Check if the file exists
IF NOT EXIST "%1" goto :InvalidFile
REM   Check if the file is empty
for %%A in ("%1") do if %%~zA==0 goto EmptyFile

REM Recursively call deletefile for each record in the file
REM   Trim trim any left whitespace; beware whitespace on the right
REM   No quotes allowed in the records
REM   One filename per row
for /F "tokens=* usebackq delims= " %%a in (%1) do (
    call echo Deleting "%%a%%"
    call epmautomate deletefile "%%a%%")

REM * Successful Completion *
ECHO Requested epmautomate delete commands submitted
ECHO Verify and check for deletefile.log files
exit /b %errorlevel%

REM ---- Warnings and Errors ----
ECHO Warning:  No records found in the file provided

REM Use the special %0 variable to get the path to the current file.
REM Write %~n0 to get just the filename part.
ECHO You must have a session with EPM Automate active to use this.  Use the epmautomate login command.
exit /b %errorlevel%

ECHO Warning: File "%1" does not exist
exit /b 30

echo ERROR: %errorlevel%.
exit /b %errorlevel%


My conclusion

Yet again another excellent post from Chris.  We owe him a debt of gratitude for giving his knowledge away for free.  Yes, yes, that’s the point of this blog and others but you (we) ought to reflect on the community the EPM world has.  It is possible for people to be altruistic.  You see that in ODTUG and you see it here.  Thanks again, Chris.

Be seeing you.