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29 September 2014

Oracle OpenWorld, day 2

The craziness continues

It really isn’t craziness, more like crazy busy.  But this is the nature of conferences, right?

The rest of yesterday

Probably the most interesting/embarrassing thing yesterday was me rushing to a 3 pm podcast on ODI.  Except of course…

OTOH, it was quite a popular tweet.  :)

I think I can make today’s meeting.  I hope.

Update -- I did.  Of course my ODI knowledge quite a bit behind behind my copanellists but that is true for all sorts of technology areas I work in.  I have decided to embrace my weakness(es).  :)  It isn't like I have much of a choice anyway.

Oracle ACE dinner

OTN hosts a dinner for ACEs every year, and yr. obt. svt. somehow got to attend.  The entertainment will be the Stuff Of Legend.  

Right now

CON2659  --  Oracle BI in the Cloud: Getting Started, Deployment Scenarios, and Best Practices

I’m sitting in on Mark Rittman’s session on Oracle BI in the cloud.  It’s standing room only (I had to annoy a few people in getting to one of the few open seats to allow me to type), and Mark is his usual brilliant self.

It’s still early days on the tool, and there are quite a few things that are not there compared to the on premises product.  For instance, there is no Essbase (gasp), but this is coming.

Oooh, someone just asked Mark a question on Essbase.  Mark doesn’t think it will be Essbase SaaS, but there might be an option to make Essbase as the backend to options (persistence, Planning, etc.) within OBIEE SaaS.

And now Smart View – again, Mark thinks that because it has to be locally installed and chatty web service calls, it won’t be available in the near term.  But it might be.  I always enjoy answers like that but I suspect Mark (and maybe even Oracle product management) don’t know yet.

CON8424  --  Oracle Business Analytics Product and Technology Roadmap

Sitting in on a SRO (again) session by Paul Rodwick on what’s coming in Business Analytics.  Interesting stuff.

GEN8525  --  General Session: Executive Briefing on Oracle’s EPM Strategy and Roadmap

Balaji Yelamanchili is speaking on the future of EPM in a big room.

Here’s a snap from my BFF, Natalie Delemar.  Note that her circa 2013 phone has a rather better camera than my nineteen aught three, steam powered, all brass, powered by anthracite coal, phone.

Where is Oracle EPM going?

You’re going to get this as a set of bullet points.  I’m not going to focus on what’s already out, but what is on the roadmap – I just can’t type fast enough.

  • New apps
  • Apps in the cloud
  • Keep in being the best
  • Social and mobile to attract new EPM users
  • Do this for everything:  Close, Planning, and Reporting

Next 12 months
  • Financial consolidation & close
  • HFM
    • Lighter, faster, simpler, & portable
    • HFM on Exalytics
  • New supplemental data management module
  • New tax governance module
  • Mobile workflow for FCM


  • Platform independence
  • Significant performance (see below) improvements
  • Simplified deployment architecture
  • Multiple databases per instance
  • Streamlined integrations, Java API
  • Online monitoring (Exalytics only)
  • Easy install and upgrade
  • One click (Exalytics only)
  • Full LCM support

And now an HFM demo.  I’ll do my best to describe this but I am not an accountant and this isn’t my area.
  • New UI is more Windows Explorer-ish with
    • filtering,
    • collapsing folders,
    • no more pop ups for grid options,
    • Direct link to Smart View
    • New form designer
    • Form legends to explain what cell shading/coloring means
    • Favorites
  • Oracle Financial Management Analytics
    • Link to OFMA directly from within HFM (pretty nice looking stuff, btw)
  • And of course…
    • Much better performance, 3x faster (at least in their example) better performance
    • Some other examples
      • 2 hours to 6 minutes (2200 accounts, 2800 entities, 400 custom members) consolidation
      • 53 to 21 minutes (10K accounts, 15K entities, 3000 custom members), extract data from 1 hour to 12 minutes
      • Etc., etc., etc.  :)


Next 12 months
  • User-defined sandbox, grid improvements, instantaneous calculations (hellllllllllllooooo Hybrid Essbase)
  • Cloud innovations available for on premises
  • Planning Cloud will get the full suite of Planning modules

Planning demo now up – and yes, now I have a clue.  Barely.
  • Support for user sandbolxes
    • Auto calcs, auto save on change
    • Cloud and on-premises
  • Supports large data sets
    • Rapid forms, quick cell navigation (so quite an improvement), scrolling in all grids
  • User-defined client side calcs using familiar Excel syntax in the grid itself
Formulas can reference dimension members and persisted in Planning (I believe the data is persisted in Planning and the form calculations are persisted in Planning – this is not, I think, a way for users to create Planning members, although one could certainly argue that a custom, persisted set of calculations that writes back to Planning/Essbase is pretty nice)

  • Mobile interface
    • Looks nice, definitely not the familiar Workspace
  • Forms are quick, quick, quick.  No more of’s pain.
  • Sandboxes can be named, and creates a virtual Version for at least everything on the form.  Maybe more as well?  
    • Data that is saved into Sandbox can be compared to base Working, and then published when happy with the result back to the real Working Version.
      • Sandbox gets destroyed when it has been published back to Working
      • When working in Sandbox, the data is private
  • Excel integration
    • Showed the custom member formulas
    • Smart View grids can then be saved and opened up in the browser with the custom calculations
      • Can these formula grids be shared with other users?  Dunno.

EPM Cloud

  • Cloud, cloud, cloud, cloud.  Did I mention cloud?   :)
  • It’s all very exciting, and I think Oracle are finding uptake far better than they had hoped for – 150+ customers in six months.  Oracle is having a problem buying enough hardware to do all this..  This is bad news for infrastructure consultants (so not a problem for me as I am infrastructure-challenged to be charitable) but great news for everyone else who just want to do cool application stuff.  And oh yeah, hardware (Exa?) manufacturers are having a good time as well.
  • PBCS – now and see above
  • Financial Performance Reporting Cloud Service – in preview
    • Not Financial Reports
    • Think of it as a managed way to combine:  reporting, document management (collaboration, process management, document history, etc.), data narrative, versioning, auditing.
      • IOW, no more Excel hell with documents.  So FPRCS is to financial documents as Essbase is to data.  :)
    • It’s meant for people who produce high level briefing books or external reporting like a 10-Q.
  • Financial Consolidation and Close Cloud Service – in development
  • Note that customers do monthly patches – no more opatch pain.


  • Parallel scripting
  • Scalability for concurrent query and calculation operations
  • Hybrid
    • See Dan Pressman and Tim German’s session on this Thursday
  • In-memory enhancements
    • Intriguing, and I have no idea what that means.  But I shall find out…

CON8526  --  What’s New and What’s Coming:  Oracle Hyperion Enterprise Financial Planning Suite

I popped late into this one because of the ODI podcast recording.  

It looks like most of what Shankar Viswanathan and Prasad Kulkarni are talking about (at least for someone who came in 30 minutes late) was discussed at Kscope14.  Yet another vote for the awesomeness of ODTUG and Kscope.

So far Prasad has talked about:
  • Faster grids
  • Sandboxing
  • Valid combinations
  • Excel formulas

What’s next?

Beyond my podcast on ODI (and I think I have some interesting news on the future of ODI, FDMEE, and EPM) today, I also have a book signing tomorrow at 3 pm, and of course the rest of OpenWorld.

Watch this blog for more information.

Be seeing you.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Cameron, great information thank you!. I have two questions. Is Essbase currently available in the Oracle cloud? Does the essbase version have XLMA provider services available? I have third party software that connects to Essbase via XMLA and was wondering if this is possible in the cloud.