Thursday, January 29, 2015

HFM - Consolidation Administration First Look

Getting my first look at HFM today. Working through building an application and seeing what's new and different there, but in the meantime thought I'd post a teaser.

In Consolidation Administration there are a couple of new items (well, they may have snuck into a release and I may have missed them). First in the System area there is a section called Settings that shows the entries that we typically tweak for performance optimization. With this, it looks like we'll no longer need to go into the registry to make these changes.

Seecond, there is a Profile Editor that allows building the PER file for creating a new classic application. Now there's no need to have the Windows client to do this, but the Windows client is available for for creating the profile and managing metadata (Classic apps). Not seeing a web metadata manager yet so maybe there's no need for the Windows client if you're sticking with a Classic app.

The third thing I see that I think is new - again, I may have missed it - is the Configure DSN option. With this you can set up links for database connections for the export of HFM data to the database/table instead of going to a flat file. This used to be done in the software configurator.

Just a teaser for now. Looking forward to new discoveries on this new version. now available - sort of

The long awaited release of is now available, but only from OTN, not edelivery. The links can be found here.

The edelivery release should be coming soon along with documentation. Right now there is no documentation, but there are apparent changes about certain platforms being dropped (Windows XP, Vista, Windows 2003 Server, IE7, IE8, etc.). Once I get an environment going I'll be looking at specific changes to HFM and associated modules.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

HFM Security and the [Default] Security Class

The other day there was a post on the Oracle HFM forum where someone had two screenshots of from security and asking about the difference in them. One screenshot had the [Default] class set to ALL and the other screenshot had the [Default] class set to NONE. What's the difference and why is this important? For those who have not taken the 123OLAP HFM Administrator Bootcamp training class with my manual (see Chapter 6 - Shared Services), here are the details.

In HFM security classes are used to link metadata elements and various artifacts (data grids, data forms, journals, etc.) to users and/or groups with some level of access (NONE, READ, ALL, etc.). When a class isn't assigned to something, then the built-in [Default] class is used by the software. From a design standpoint, there are two primary ways of working with this behavior.

1) Give users ALL access to [Default]. If something isn't specifically secured then it's open for the users to modify, assuming everything else allows that.

2) Give users NONE access to [Default]. If something isn't specifically secured with access granted then it is not available to the users.

3) You could do something weird like give users one of the other levels of access to [Default] (Metadata, Read, or Promote) but really they're just variations on (2).

By far, number (1) is the preferred security design. The administrator secures what should be secured and everything else is left open. This design reduces the work in the initial setup and in ongoing maintenance. Also, and this is big, end users don't have to worry about security. If they create a HFM journal, ideally they assign a security class to it that relates to the entity being adjusted (ie, show the Canada journal to only the Canadians and not everyone else). BUT, if they don't assign a class, then with (1) they can still see the journal, edit it, etc. Under (2), if they don't assign a class to the journal then when they save the journal will appear to disappear: it's been correctly saved, but security is not letting them see it.

For some new administrators this can be a tough concept. If you're setting up security on a network firewall, you close all the network ports and open only those that are needed, right? But for HFM, it works best (and its widely done this way) to leave everything open and secure only the necessary metadata/artifacts.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

EPM - still waiting

The big wait going on right now, other than waiting for KScope and Collaborate, is for release This huge release was first scheduled by the end of 2014, but apparently there's more work to be done. With HFM, there are major changes, like the use of Linux instead of Microsoft Windows for the application server, so I'd rather have a delay now versus delays when trying to use the software and it doesn't work.

In the meantime, take a look at the two conferences mentioned above. They both have worthwhile content and are great for catching up with news and techniques for the Oracle EPM suite.

Collaborate - - April - Las Vegas, NV

KScope - - June - Hollywood, FL