Oracle Open World 2016 Recap

As I mentioned a week or so ago, I made a last minute appearance at Oracle Open World this year. It was my first time attending and presenting at OOW. I actually didn’t catch too much of the conference as I only flew in on Wednesday and flew out on Thursday. Nevertheless, I had a bit of a whirlwind experience, but a very good one. While I hadn’t planned on it (I’m more of a Kscope guy), I am now looking forward to attending Open World next year.

As for the presentation I was part of, I think it went pretty well. Many thanks to Gabby Rubin of Oracle for coming up with the idea for the presentation and facilitating it. The presentation was on “Essbase Tools and Toys” and was meant to highlight, at a high level, some of the interesting things that folks such as myself are doing that involve the Essbase APIs or otherwise work with Essbase. The presentation discussed items created by me, Tim Tow, and Harry Gates. Additionally, Kumar Ramaiyer (also from Oracle) talked a bit about what’s coming with Essbase Cloud Service (EssCS).

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TBC Files for Bankruptcy

After years of declining and inconsistent revenue, the multi-state beverage company TBC has filed for bankruptcy. TBC was known for carrying an eclectic, if antiquated, selection of products that didn’t seem to resonate with modern consumers.

A vice president at TBC for the last 15 years, Richard Doyle, found out that his last day would be at the end of September. “Our products just don’t seem to resonate with the young, hip crowd,” said the forlorn executive, with a wistful look on his face (they don’t seem to resonate with the older crowd either, but I digress). “Kids these days are drinking their fancy this and that, grande double pumpkin bullshit or whatever.”

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Camshaft (Essbase MDX query tool) 1.0.2 released

Apparently I’m having quite the productive Friday, what with showing how easy it is to setup drill-through with Dodeca and that I’m heading to Oracle Open World 2017 to contribute to a presentation on cool Essbase tools.

To these articles I’ll add that I just released a Camshaft point release. This release has a couple of fixes and enhancements. Thanks to André Märki and others for providing feedback.

This version of Camshaft fixes an issue where some data with many digits after the decimal would be rendered in scientific notation. Along with this fix I have added a new command-line switch, --maximum-fraction-digits (used on the command-line such as --maximum-fraction-digits=2) to set the max number of digits to render after a decimal.

Additionally, there was a bug with running a query from a file that is now fixed. You can now specify something like --query=somefile.mdx and Camshaft will look for the given file. If found, it’ll read its entire contents for an MDX query, then execute that. This option can help make command invocations with big gnarly MDX queries a little easier to manage.

Please keep that feedback coming and I’ll add enhancements/fixes to the best of my ability. I have some interesting Camshaft news coming in the near future that some people will really like!

As always the latest Camshaft documentation and download can be found linked from the Camshaft page.

Oracle OpenWorld 2016 Presentation: Essbase Community Toys and Tools

I am very pleased to mention that I will be making a last minute appearance at Oracle OpenWorld this year! I am going to be presenting with Gabby Rubin, and Tim Tow about various free tools that exist in the Hyperion/Essbase ecosystem. The presentation is on Thursday, September 22nd, 2016, at 12:00pm at Moscone West. The presentation ID is CON6489.

For my part of the presentation, I am going to talk about a handful of tools I have personally created over the years. This will likely include Cubedata (a tool for generating large quantities of data to help test Essbase performance), Camshaft (a tool for running MDX queries and outputting the results to a text file), and Vess, a highly experimental/innovative JDBC driver for Essbase that provides a functional facade for Essbase servers/cubes including access to outline data, cube data, data loads, substitution variables, and more. The goal of the presentation will be to quickly inform intrepid Essbase/Hyperion administrators and developers about some of the interesting third-party functionality they might find useful and improve productivity.


Simple Drill-through in Dodeca

Dodeca has robust support for drill-through. You can drill from Essbase data to relational data, from Essbase to Essbase, and SQL to SQL. You can have multiple drill-through definitions in a single view, so that a user can choose one of many drill destinations. Today I want to look at the simplest form of drill-through in Dodeca, which is to simply enable a couple of the Data Drillthrough options on a source view, tell it what the target view is, and be done with it. I call this the “simple” version of drill-through because it just gives us the ability to double click on a data cell and drill from it.

The less simple, or rather, more elaborate, version of drill-through can be configured with custom context menus, multiple drill targets, and more configuration options than you can shake a stick at. I’ll be looking at an example of that in an upcoming article. But for now, here’s how “simple” drill-through can be quickly and easily configured in Dodeca.

The example I’m going to look at today is one where we’ll let the user drill from one Essbase-based view to another. While many people think of Essbase drill-through in terms of going from OLAP/Essbase/consolidated data back to the original source OLTP/relational/transactional data, drill-through between Essbase views is an incredibly useful feature as well. It gives us the ability for a user to pull up data they are interested in, such as by time period and location, then very quickly jump to a different or expanded view of data based on those same intersections. Given the fluidity and seamlessness we can achieve in terms of going between different views with any data on them, drill-through becomes even more powerful. Instead of swimming upstream to more granular data, we can think of drill-through more as “intelligent navigation” – and drilling to details is just one type.

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