Monday, February 9, 2015

FDMEE 11.1.2.4...the show must go on!

Hey folks,
just had a quick review of new FDMEE and which features we will be able to enjoy. As always there were some more changes than the one described in the new features document.

Workflow and Setup menus
First think I noticed slightly different was the Workflow menu:
As you can see in the image above, there are three changes:
  • Logic Group, Check Rule Group, and Check Entity Group have been moved to Setup tab > Data Load Setup. This actually makes more sense and it's more aligned with FDM Classic
  • Write Back is gone? Noooooooo...it has been embedded into Import Format definitions. As we now have to set source and target types in the import format, when we select Source = EPM and Target = ERP, that implies a write back.
  • Excel Interface has been added to Integration Setup menu. This new feature allows us downloading/uploading (exporting/importing) FDMEE tables into Excel.This is something that everybody was expecting. If you come FDM Classic world, I'm sure you missed exporting any item with "Export to Excel" button and then being able to import new ones with "Import XLS" functionality (Tools menu). Now this feature has been improved as it allows you exporting/importing any table...any? we will see.

New source and target systems
In addition to PeopleSoft Commitment Control (which was integrated with PSPB - Public Sector Planning And Budgeting), FDMEE now supports Fusion Budgetary Control. More support for Fusion in FDMEE:
HPCM is now supported as a target application... and can be used in EPM data synchronization rules:
Application Settings: Display Data Export Option "Override All Data"
I was expecting this feature to be only available for Planning/HPCM/Essbase applications but it is also displayed for HFM applications (bug?). It is good to have this option as it will avoid accidental data clearing when loading data into HP/Essbase:
Target Application Options: Global User for HFM
This option was already available in 11.1.2.3.520 for HP and Essbase. It seems that is also available now for HFM although not documented in the admin guide.

GUI to build our Import Format
Another feature to complete parity with FDM Classic. We can now build our import format using a GUI that helps us to easy identify which fields and where they are placed in our source file:
We just have to select a field, then assign a source and target dimension to it. The field number will be automatically filled by FDMEE.
The new column definition will be added to the import format mappings:
Lock POV
In 11.1.2.3.520, we could only lock the POV at target application level. That was affecting all locations:
In 11.1.2.4, we have two lock options (as FDM Classic)
  • Lock the POV: specific location, period, and category. 
Is Data Load Rule included in the POV locked? or in other words, is POV locked at DLR level so I can lock specific DLRs for specific location, period, and category?
Not, when we lock the POV for location, period, and category, we actually lock it for all DLRs (another nice enhancement request)
And we can now see the lock icon in the POV bar :-)

Also we can now see which POVs are locked. When we select specific POV, it will show Unlock POV option if it is already locked:

  • Lock the POV for all locations: we actually had this feature in 11.1.2.3, just changed button caption
We still cannot see which POVs are locked to all locations from the Unlock All Locations button so you need to search for them.
Now we have parity with FDM Classic although it could be enhanced :-)

As an administrator I would like to have a menu option called POV Lock Manager where I could select combinations of location, period, category, and data load rule to be locked. We could also select "all locations", "all periods"... or even more advanced, "all locations starting with SAP_"... if somebody from Oracle read this...maybe in 11.1.2.5? :-)

HFM Adapter actions now in Jython
This was more than expected, new rewritten HFM, bye to COM? welcome Java...HFM adapter actions in VBS replaced by Jython ones:
If you are learning Jython, this is good place where review coding:

Import Format for file-based loads
When we create an import format we select both Source and Target Types.

  • Source: ERP or EPM
  • Target: ERP or EPM
Different combinations of these values define the data load rule type:
  • Source = ERP and Target = EPM > Data Load Rule
  • Target = EPM and Source = ERP > Write-back Rule
  • Source = EPM and Target = EPM > Data Synchronization Rule
So if we want to load data from a flat file we have to select ERP and EPM as source and target types respectively. Then we can select File from Source drop-down list (notice that File is the default source system for file-based loads and it's already created with FDMEE installation)


File type: delimited, fixed, and multi-period (same as 11.1.2.3.520)
File delimiter: same as 11.1.2.3.520
Data Load Rule for file-based loads
When creating a DLR for source files can now select the file type including different ones for Multi-Period files:
Data Load Rules: source, target, and custom options
Data Load Rule definition has been restructured so we have 3 types of DLR options:

  • Source Options: these are the old source filters in 11.1.2.3.520
  • Target Options: new feature! we can now set target application options at data load rule level. When working with FDM Classic, there were situations where we needed a copy of the target adapter to have different options for different locations. Now we can easily set these options in FDMEE: 

Be aware that if you change an option value in the target application options, the new value will be applied to all Data Load Rules. Then you can override the value for each data load rule. I don't like it.
  • Custom Options: the four integration options we had. It would be great if Oracle enhances these options and allow defining more than 4 and even define option type (check box, drop-down...)
Using a Rule file to load data (Planning and Essbase)
Does it mean we can use our own rule files when loading data to HP and Essbase? In 11.1.2.3.x, FDMEE created rule files on the fly when loading data.We could not do anything about this. This feature is not documented so we will have to test


More about import formats
We can select the concatenation character for source segments/chart-fields when our source system is an ERP (very useful for ARM integration):

Fixing mappings Errors on the fly
Validation Errors during mapping process? were you missing this feature in 11.1.2.3.x? we now have it! new mappings can be added from Validate step when errors are captured:

AIF Logs
I don't remember having this log in previous release...aif-WebApp.log
Maybe my infra colleagues can correct me but it seems that Oracle split the server logs and created a new one for web applications (I saw it also for Planning)

Target Application: refresh members
New option to refresh members have been added to the existing one for refreshing dimensions. So if you have new members in your dimension and want to see them in the list of target members in mappings, you can use this feature:
Adapter for Fusion Cloud
Cloud, cloud, this is something you will be familiar, it seems that Oracle is already testing integration with Fusion Cloud

ODI Studio 11.1.1.7
I suggest you download ODI 11.1.1.7 from OTN and not the one included in the EPM System download. As last release, there are missing files:
Also, don't worry if you try to install ODI 11g in Windows 2012 Server which is not certified? just click Continue and it will be installed:
Data Synchronization
Say goodbye to customization made to move data between EPM applications. We can now do it out of the box. As stated above, once we have registered our EPM applications in FDMEE, we can create an import format where source and target are EPM:
Then we link source and target dimensions, add new dimension rows, expressions, etc.
As shown above, we can use expressions Fill, FillL, and import scripts :-)

I dont' have a server just a humble VM... so I had to follow what my colleague Henri suggested and decreasMinDataCacheSizeInMB to survive :-)

I stop here for today, next...new Excel Interface, Data Synchronization, changes in JAVA API...the show must go on!

Enjoy!

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