Kscope16 sessions I’m looking forward to

I was looking through the list of sessions coming up for Kscope16 to get an initial idea of what I want to attend. And, wow. There are so many incredible sounding presentations this year. I seem to say this every year, but the content this year seems just especially strong.

That said, a few sessions jumped right out at me as things I absolutely want to attend:

How ADT Gained User Acceptance in Its Delivery of Essbase and Oracle General Ledger Data to Business Users
Should be a very solid real-world example of using the Dodeca Spreadsheet Management System (disclosure: I am an Applied OLAP employee… but I’d be attending this anyway!).

Torn Between Two Worlds: Is Essbase a Business or an IT Tool
Joe always does a nice job on presentations, and I’m looking forward to one that might be more philosophical than technical, especially as the nuance of where Essbase resides (and is therefore managed, used, and more) is a very important issue that a lot of companies struggle with. As a developer, the most successful Essbase environment I have participated one is where Essbase was ‘owned’ by Finance or a line of business. On the other hand, I have done work for organizations where Essbase was managed (and sometimes mismanaged) by IT. But the reverse has also been true…

Essbase Does It, but Dodeca Makes It Easy
Dodeca’s success in the enterprise has resulted in an unprecedented number of Kscope sessions this year as more customers adopt this powerful technology. This presentation is by a customer – St. Jude Medical – and I am very curious to hear about their successes, particularly with respect to being long-time Essbase users.

A Stomp Through the Tulips of Essbase Cloud Service
Steve Liebermensch of Oracle always puts on good, information-packed presentations and I am confident this will be another one that I won’t want to miss.

Case Study: Reduce the Kroger Essbase Footprint without Sacrificing ANYTHING! And Have Room for Growth…
Kroger is near and dear to my heart. It’s where I started (literally) – in a small division, bagging groceries – and eventually worked up to finance where I helped deploy Essbase across the entire enterprise. This presentation immediately caught my eye, owing to its co-presenter. The main presenter is Kadee Rodriguez, who I never had the pleasure of working with directly). The co-presenter is Christine Blea. During my time at Kroger, Christine administered Essbase for another division, and it wasn’t uncommon for us to call or email and share some knowledge, calc script, formulas, or whatnot. If I’m not mistaken, this is Christina’s first time presenting (or at least co-presenting!) at Kscope. In any case, I just gotta go see what my favorite grocer is up to and cheer on the team.


And I’ll definitely be attending my own sessions:

Drillbridge: The Easy Way to Implement Hyperion Drill-through
Drilbridge is back for its second Kscope presentation. Last year I did a “soup to nuts” live demo of Drillbridge – starting at literally downloading the ZIP file from the web, unzipping it, installing Drillbridge, making a custom report, deploying it to Essbase, and using drill-through from Smart View – in exactly 14 minutes. Let’s just say that Drillbridge has learned a few new tricks since then.

Hey Mom! Look What I Built with the Essbase Java API!
This session is ostensibly presented by Tim Tow and Harry Gates as co-presenter. Which I guess makes me the co-co-presenter. In any case, this is a bit of a hybrid format presentation were we can talk about the Essbase Java API and some of the interesting things we’re doing with it.

On-Premises Planning vs. PBCS: Common Administrative Tasks Compared, Contrasted, and Recommended
Cameron and I will take a look at on-prem versus PBCS. My angle on this will be more on the REST API for PBCS and how its usage compares to traditional ways of implementing things.

Essbasepy updated for Python 3

A huge number of updates and cleanups were put in to the Essbase Python wrapper (essbasepy) recently. These were all made by Github user Kevin (‘nurse’) who updated many sections of code, modernized a number of things, cleaned up comments, and more. The updates look substantial and if you are using Python 3 with this module, absolutely recommended. Check out the GitHub Essbasepy page for more.

Drillbridge Community Edition 1.5.5 available

Hot on the heels of the announcement that Applied OLAP has acquired Drillbridge, there is a small update to the latest free edition of Drillbridge. Drillbridge 1.5.4 has been bumped up to version 1.5.5 and includes the following three very specific updates:

  1. Applied OLAP software license
  2. Fix for sporadic report deletion issue
  3. Change to default temp/working directory

To go into further detail, the license shipping with the previous version of Drillbridge has been changed to a standard Applied OLAP license that is more or less the same as that used for the free Outline Extractor. The switch to this license serves mostly to give uniformity and consistency to Applied OLAP software offerings rather than materially affect the usage of the software.

Second, there is a sporadic issue with respect to the ability to delete reports that has been fixed. How this would manifest is that the Delete button would just literally not show up sometimes to delete a report, thereby preventing the user from being able to delete it. The workaround was/is to go into the Drillbridge repository and manually delete the report entry.

Lastly, the default working directory has been changed. Some versions and combinations of Java 1.7, 1.8, and Windows Server 2008/2012, and various group/security policies would have problems launching Drillbridge. This was generally due to an issue where the temporary file directory to be used by Java would not be writable by the service running Drillbridge. So by default, the temp folder will try to be located inside of the Drillbridge installation folder itself, which should prevent most issues of this type from happening. This location can be changed via a config file as always, if needed.

As a bit of an aside, Drillbridge Enterprise 3.0 is still under development with a release planned for later this year. This Community Edition release of Drillbridge is currently slated to the last release in the 1.5.x series (unless further issues are discovered). Future versions will likely be based off of the 3.0 codebase.

Please let me know if you have any questions! As usual, Drillbridge can be downloaded from the Saxifrage Systems LLC downloads section. Note that in the hopefully not too distant future, this will be migrated over to the Applied OLAP downloads section but will remain where it is for now.

Drillbridge acquired by Applied OLAP

The last few months have been rather hectic (as evidenced by the lack of blog posts, unfortunately), but I am happy to report some exciting news! There are two main things of note:

First, I am now a full-time employee of Applied OLAP. Applied OLAP is one of the biggest and best names in the EPM space, having worked with Essbase for many, many years. Applied OLAP develops and supports the Dodeca Spreadsheet Management System (much more to come on this!). Back in my Kroger days I helped roll out one of the earliest Dodeca implementations to what became a very enthusiastic user base and incredibly happy executives. Many of you are just as, if not more familiar, with the Outline Extractor – software that is also maintained by Applied OLAP as a free tool for the benefit of the community.

Second, Applied OLAP has acquired Drillbridge in its entirety. The free edition of Drillbridge will now be available alongside the Essbase Outline Extractor and other tooles that many people are so familiar with. Enterprise licensees will now have their software supported by Applied OLAP. Drillbridge Enterprise has an exciting roadmap and will continue to exist as a standalone product.

That’s the short version for now, many more exciting things to come in the days ahead!