Oracle EPM 11.1.2.4: What Features Are You Looking Forward to Most?

As much of the EPM community has guessed, Oracle’s highly anticipated EPM version 11.1.2.4 has been delayed until 2015. Rumors are speculating a mid-January/early February release date. With suggestions that this version will include significant updates to almost every major EPM application toolset, it’s no wonder this will be one that companies are looking at to determine whether to upgrade.

With the new release date just around the corner, I turned to some of my expert friends in the ODTUG EPM community to ask their opinions about the coolest features to keep on your radar. A handful of folks have been kind enough to supply their thoughts, as well as provide blog posts for current and future coverage.

What features are you looking forward to most in Oracle EPM release 11.1.2.4?

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Keith Berry

Solution Architect - US-Analytics

The most excitement in the Financial Close track is from HFM's new ability to run on Linux. With this release, HFM is, at long last, platform-independent and no longer bound to Windows. This will help IT departments wanting a simpler install and enable HFM to run on Exalytics.

 An unexpected bonus has been the large HFM performance improvements promised in the new version. Oracle has apparently been able to achieve better performance by redesigning key underlying processes in HFM. I can't wait. The improvement is said to be substantial.

 

Finally, a couple of product extensions are being released to round out the Financial Close Suite. Both are designed for managing the collection and use of supplemental data.

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Gary Crisci

Senior Hyperion Architect, Data Relationship Management - General Electric Corporate
Oracle ACE

 

Given my current focus on master data management, I am particularly excited to see the new release of DRM 11.1.2.4. Specifically, I am looking forward to the enhancements in the Data Relationship Governance (DRG) module. DRG is a workflow tool built into DRM to facilitate the creation and maintenance of master data. The tool allows you to take the maintenance out of IT and put it where it belongs, in the hands of the functional users. You are able to define the proper roles and separation of duty that many organizations are focused on today.

DRG is a newer module for DRM, and as a new feature it understandably started out with a limited scope and has expanded with each release. I will say that as new features go, I am particularly pleased with DRG. It does the basics of workflow management fairly well, and with the new features coming in 11.1.2.4 I expect it to meet the bulk our workflow needs.

A specific feature I am looking forward to is the ability to do a bulk upload from the desktop. Today, DRG will allow multiple node requests in a single ticket; however, the requestor must key in the data directly to the workflow. If you have a complex workflow requiring the population of many properties and you want to request a large number of nodes, today in DRG that would not be a pleasant experience and most people would elect to go around the workflow and have a sys admin load the data via an action script. In the next release, DRG will allow users to upload into the ticket all required data they are creating from a file on the client. Not only is this huge for the user/requestor as it will clearly help ensure workflows are not bypassed, but this also starts to change the paradigm for how mass data updates are done in DRM. This feature makes a viable case for limiting the use of action scripts. Even IT admins could make large data changes via a workflow and ensure there is proper oversight and governance for the change.

Another great feature I am looking forward to is the ability to conditionally route a workflow based on a property value. A simple example is to envision a requestor setting up a new account. Depending on the account type defined for the new node, you will be able to define the path the workflow follows to ensure the correct people are looking at the ticket for review. Equally as important, you are ensuring people who do not need to look at it are not distracted with workflows for which they are not responsible.

These are just a couple of the new features I am looking forward to in the next release. I’m hoping to get my hands on it very soon!

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Erica Harris

Senior Oracle DBA - Waikato Regional Council

I know it’s small in the scheme of things, but support for IE 11 is my top pick. We are coming under increasing pressure to upgrade to IE11, so it will be great when that is finally supported. Otherwise we’ll have to provide a virtual desktop environment with IE9 or 10 so Planning can run.

And I really like the sound of the Sandbox functionality. From what I can see, it will allow small-scale what-if analysis rather than having to create a complete version of an application in order to try out some ideas.

 

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Paul Hoch

Solutions Architect - TopDown Consulting

 I’m looking forward to seeing:

 Some of the Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service features being brought on-premise, especially the ability for users to create ad-hoc grids that can be saved and formatted as Financial Reports.

  1. Submit without refresh in Smart View for all provider types – not just Essbase!
  2. The ability to use Xrangelist in a bunch of functions. You can now use more than one dimension in functions such as @PRIOR and @NEXT, which will be very useful for navigating across Years/Periods dimensions.

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Celvin Kattookaran

Manager - Huron Consulting Group

Oracle ACE

I'm looking forward to seeing valid combination, sandboxing, and format using Excel in Planning. In Essbase, I’m looking forward to seeing the load first and then applying transformation.

 

 

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Cameron Lackpour

Independent Consultant - CL Solve

Oracle ACE Director

For Planning, I would like to see much of what Oracle stated will ship:

  • Valid combinations
  • Hybrid engine
  • Fast grids
  • Unification (sort of) of cloud and on-premises UI
  • Sandboxing
  • Client-side calcs
  • More Planning cloud goodness

Essbase:

  • Whatever great stuff Hybrid is supposed to have (and no, I do not know but I sure would like to know)
  • SUBSELECTS really and truly working in 11.1.2.4 (hey, TimG)

Data Integration

  • ODI 12c with Planning and HFM support
  • FDMEE with the missing bits added in (addition of metadata moves from EPM to EPM app)

On the list of things I wish I could see but don't expect:

  • Death, death, death to load rules
  • OBI integration that doesn't make me want to pull my hair out
  • SQL integration to Essbase beyond load rules

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Dan Pressman

Independent Consultant - nTuple

 

The things I am looking forward to in 11.1.2.4 are:

  1. Working Hybrid:

◦      Cross dim hybrid formulas

◦      Dynamic Time Series

 2.  BSO – Freedom from fragmentation – there is a change in the BSO engine I believe they are implementing in this release that will virtually eliminate fragmentation issues with BSO cubes

 3.  ASO – Performance improvements due to elimination of the wait for confirmation on write – currently all code waits for confirmation that writes that have physically been performed to disk have completed before moving to the next task. Give memory sizes and OS capabilities, these writes are not only more dependable but are executed to memory (OS cache) first, and so the issues that caused this wait to be enforced in earlier versions can logically be relaxed. This was to be an Exalytics-only release at first, but that may have happened so we may see it in the general release for this version. Additionally, while I believe it was only discussed in the context of ASO, it would likely be extended to BSO. It is to be expected that it would be implicitly included in BSO Hybrid’s ASO-like aggregation.

 4.  Improved cache management on Exalytics (this will be an Exalytics-only feature due to hardware dependence)

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Tony Scalese

Integration Practice Director - Edgewater Ranzal

Oracle ACE

With the highly anticipated release of 11.1.2.4, I am excited to see the continued maturation and integration of the EPM stack especially as it relates to FDMEE. For years, the “dirty secret” of Hyperion had been that sharing data between HFM and Essbase (and thereby Planning) was particularly difficult. The integration of data synchronization functionality into FDMEE is a significant step forward. While there have been various methodologies used over the years – including ODI, EPMA data sync, and custom FDM solutions – the introduction of data synchronization into FDMEE offers an opportunity for standardizing data exchange within the EPM stack. The value of this cannot be understated as it is an opportunity to begin to unravel the web of data integration that often exists in a multiproduct EPM environment.

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Francisco Amores Torres

EPM Data Integration Leader - Infratects

New EPM Data Synchronizer as an out-of-the-box feature in FDMEE 11.1.2.4 is the most exciting one. For years, moving data between EPM applications with FDM required a custom solution. With this new feature, we will have a seamless integration and business users will have more control over which data they want to move. Also noteworthy are improvements on metadata integration that will be more flexible and include loading metadata from flat files in future PSUs.

 


In addition, if you’d like more information on what to expect with the Oracle EPM 11.1.2.4 release, consider the following blogs.

Blog posts that have covered the upcoming release of Oracle EPM 11.1.2.4:

The following blogs have already been posted with comments on the upcoming Oracle EPM 11.1.2.4:

  • Eric Helmer’s blog posts:

◦      https://erichelmer.wordpress.com/2014/12/09/oracle-epm-11-1-2-4-gets-a-new-facelift/

◦      https://erichelmer.wordpress.com/2014/10/03/oracle-hyperion-planning-whats-new-and-whats-coming/

◦      https://erichelmer.wordpress.com/2014/07/14/oracle-epm-11-1-2-4-whats-coming-the-rumor-mill/

  • Cameron Lackpour’s blog posts:

◦      http://camerons-blog-for-essbase-hackers.blogspot.com/2014/07/whats-coming-in-planning-11124.html

◦      http://camerons-blog-for-essbase-hackers.blogspot.com/2014/09/oracle-openworld-day-2.html

◦      http://camerons-blog-for-essbase-hackers.blogspot.com/2014/09/oracle-openworld-day-3.html

◦      http://camerons-blog-for-essbase-hackers.blogspot.com/2014/10/oralce-openworld-day-5.html

Blogs to watch for once Oracle EPM 11.1.2.4 has been released:


 


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