Why I created a blog

Its been four years since I first created this blog. It has remained true to Essbase and related information over those years. Hopefully it has answered questions and given you insight over those years. I will continue to provide my observations and comments on the ever changing world of EPM. Don't be surprised if the scope of the blog changes and brings in other Hyperion topics.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Varied topics

It’s been a little while since I’ve written anything; I’ve just gotten bogged down in actually doing work. That is what happens when you start a new job and go to a new client. There are a few things I'd like to discuss.

First, I would like to congratulate Tracy McMullen from interRel on becoming an Oracle Ace Director. It requires a lot of work and she deserves it. For those of you who don’t know, There are two types of Oracle Aces. The standard Ace and Ace Directors. Oracle Aces are nominated for their work helping others and willingness to share their knowledge. Oracle Ace Directors are those people who go beyond what an Ace does and truly evangelize Oracle products. Being an Ace director also requires additional work doing presentations, attending events and many more things. While you don’t have to do much as an ACE, you have to commit time (actually sign an agreement) to what you will do as a Director. Tracy jumped over the Oracle Ace level and was honored as an Ace Director for all of her past and future work. I’m sure Tracy is up to the challenge, so I am glad she was bestowed this honor.

Second, I’ve been on the committee putting together the ODTUG Kaleidoscope conference this year. It will be bigger and better than last year. In addition to Essbase topics, we will have sessions on other Hyperion applications, reporting tool and even hands on labs for things like Essbase Studio, OBIEE+ and Java. While there might be changes(standard disclaimer) you can see the schedule on Tim Tow’s Essbase Blog http://timtows-hyperion-blog.blogspot.com/2008/12/tentative-odtug-hyperion-schedule.html If you attend no other conference this year, be sure to attend this one. It is completely technical in nature and you are constantly learning. I learned a lot last year and expect to get a lot out of this year’s conference as well. It's much cheaper than training classes and you learn so much more than the basics you get from a class.

Third, when I started my blog this last spring, there were not a lot of other blogs out there dealing with Essbase topics, but I’ve been looking around the web community and am amazed at the number of new Essbase related blogs that have popped up. There are a lot of people putting out quality information. I’ve read about ODI, OBIEE, EPM Fusion Edition 11.1.1 (.1), tuning tips, MDX formulas and so much more. There are a few links to other blogs here on my site, and each of these blogs has links to other great blogs. Spend a few minutes and you’ll be amazed at how much you can find.

Now onto some more technical stuff. I recently have been working with a couple of other skilled consultants and we were running into a problem with a dimension build (Parent/Child) coming out very funky. At first we were doing it from SQL and it seemed to work fine, but when we BCP’ed the dimension data to a flat file and tried to run it, we got the outline not building the dimension properly. It took a while to figure it out. Turns out the alias column for one member had nothing but a space in it. This caused problems. In our case it was easy to change the view we were pulling from to substitute the member name where the alias was a space, but it was odd that from SQL it was ok and from a flat file it wasn’t. As another workaround, I guess in the rules file we could have replaced space with a character selecting all occurrences, then replace the character with nothing matching whole word only and finally replacing the character with a space for all occurrences. It sounds like a lot of work sometimes is necessary. A similar thing can be done to replace a null column with a default value.