Attribute Dimension Functionality in PCBS

Summary
Attribute Dimension Functionality in PBCS had been limited, but the latest announcement from Oracle both closes the gap and improves functionality. “You can now use an attribute dimension as a dimension, as a filter in forms and reports, and within ad hoc grids. I’m very excited about this new feature. In my joyful exuberance, I worried if I was correctly reading the news. So I wrote down my understanding of the current situation and asked for clarification on the announced improvement from Shankar Viswanathan and Kash Mohammadi from Oracle Corporation. Following is a transcript of our discussion:

Attribute Dimensions in FR Studio
When an on premises Financial Reports Studio developer wished to report on a Planning attribute dimension the old trick was to create an Essbase connection.  Attribute dimensions appear in on premises Essbase connections but not with Planning connections.

When a PBCS user wants to report on an attribute dimension they do not have the on premises trick of creating an Essbase connection.  The attribute dimension does not show up and the FR report cannot be created to use the attribute dimension. Until now!  The latest PBCS announcement says users able to create FR Studio reports using attributes.  This brings parity to the cloud solution and actually simplifies things because only one connection is needed for the report definition.

CR:  Forgive me for being a doubting Thomas.  Is this really true as I’ve described and hoped in the above description?

SV: Yes, PBCS supports attributes as a native dimension from this release onwards and no need for Essbase connection – which by the way you could not do in PBCS anyway.

Attribute Dimension Web Form Design
Filtering by attributes in Planning Web Forms has been available in both on premises and PBCS form design for a long time however the functionality is limited.  The final report definition has the list of members selectively chosen but not the actual attribute filtering logic used to create the list.  That’s a limitation because as members are added to dimensions or as attribute changes the static list of members needs to be manually updated.

Oracle has now improved the use of form design using Attribute Dimensions to not merely filter a static list, but to make the filtering logic used by attribute dimensions part of the actual form definition.  Web forms defined using this functionality will no longer need maintenance as the outline changes! 

CR: An example would help me clarify my understanding.  Let’s say I have a product dimension of beverages and part of the tree was cola products with a Boolean attribute called Diet.  I can now define a data form to choose all members under the ‘Colas’ tree having the Diet attribute ‘true.’

Colas

  • Pepsi (Diet = False)
  • Diet Pepsi (Diet = True)
  • Coca Cola (Diet = False)
  • Diet Coke (Diet = True)

The web form will store this definition based on the attribute filter and show me two members (Diet Pepsi and Diet Coke).  Now let’s say another diet cola is added to the tree.

Colas

  • Pepsi (Diet = False)
  • Diet Pepsi (Diet = True)
  • Coca Cola (Diet = False)
  • Diet Coke (Diet = True)
  • Tab (Diet = True)

I’m hoping the Web Form definition doesn’t need to change but the form will now retrieve three members (Diet Pepsi, Diet Coke, and TAB).  Is this how the new functionality will behave?

SV: You can create web forms with attributes separately in page/pov so that they can be used as filters. Also you can now create dynamic user variables using attribute dimensions.

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CR: Wow, that’s amazing! I can’t wait to use this. Your “What’s New in Release 16.06” was sent out this weekend (May) and the document says June 2016.  When exactly can I use this?

KM: This is currently scheduled for the June release (16.06) going to Test instances on June 3 and Production instances on June 17.

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