Why I created a blog

Its been many 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.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

ODTUG Election results

For those of you who have been following my pleas for you to vote in Hyperion representation to the ODTUG board, I want to thank you. The election results are in and the Hyperion community is now represented by two people on the board. Interestingly the elections closed on Nov 2nd . I guess this was so the results could be announced with the other minor elections that are taking place across the contry. The 4 new board members are :

  • Mike Riley, Hortica Insurance
  • Tim Tow, Applied OLAP
  • Cameron Lackpour, CLSolve
  • Barbara Morris, Idaho National Laboratory


Two of these Tim Tow and Cameron Lackpour are from the Hyperion community and Mike Riley has been an ardent supporter of Hyperion. He is the one that invited the Hyperion group to Kaleidoscope the first year.

They will be joining the following continuing members on the board.

  • Bambi Price, Park Lane Information Technology
  • John King, King Training Resources
  • Mark Rittman, Rittman Mead Consulting
  • Monty Latiolais, SCGTS


Congratulations to all. It looks like the board is stronger than ever. I look forward to the coming year.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Let it Flow, Let it Flow, Let it Flow!

I included in my MDX presentation for Kaleidoscope this last summer a few pages on the Flow property you can apply to the accounts dimension. This applies to ASO cubes only. There is some good documentation on it, but interestingly I don’t remember seeing it in any of the new features documents or presentations for 11. I guess they slipped in in on us without us knowing. There may be reasons for this and I’ll get to them later.
What the flow command is supposed to do is simplify and optimize calculations where a recursive formula might be needed.  Until now, it was all academic as I didn’t have a need to try it.  I found a good and typical use for it. I’ve built a ton of GL applications (if each application weights an average of 21.7 lbs and you can calculate how many) and in almost every one, I have to create a formula in the retained earnings section of the balance sheet to represent the  year to date Income. 
For my client I created a typical formula something like
Case When ISLeaf([Periods].currentmember) then
Sum (PeriodsToDate([Periods].Generation(1),[Periods].currentmember),[Income])
and it worked just fine. Then I thought about my presentation and figured this would be a good place to try out Flow. I replaced my formula with
and changed the member type in the outline to Flow (I left it as TB last) and saved the outline. It worked like a charm giving me the desired results. It is a much simpler formula and since it is optimized, I’m sure it is faster than my manual statement.
This is great. So I went to incorporate it into my Studio process. There is no option to set flow. Next I went to the DBAG to see how to set it in a load rule, not there. So thinking swiftly, I decided to contact my friend Tim Tow to see if he encountered it when working on the Outline extractor. Tim did some research for me and found it in the Java API but not the VB api. Tim did say he was going to update the Java version of outline extractor to include this.
So it appears you can set it in the outline but not easily from anywhere else.  I’ve got questions out to some people at Oracle, but until I hear more it appears you are limited to manually setting this property. It looks like flow is ahead of its time. Until you can Flow changes to the outline automatically, you are limited in using it.

I got a response back from Oracle and the ability to change this from Studio will be added to a future release. I do not have privy to what release that will be. So for now, from within the outline is the only way to set this