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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.