Sunday, June 11, 2017

Book Review - Oracle FDMEE Scripting: Essential Elements

I like to learn about things that I'm not an expert in: basically, I'm learning all the time. To that end, I picked up a copy of Tony Scalese's new book on FDMEE, called Oracle FDMEE Scripting: Essential Elements.

There is an assumption of knowledge, as Tony mentions, about FDMEE and some core concepts. This is not an "overview of FDMEE" book. His other book, The Definitive Guide To Oracle FDMEE, would help with that.

There are three chapters in the book. The first chapter deals with syntax and the right way to do things, from simple indenting and case sensitivity to more complicated scripting techniques like error capturing. The second chapter explores the FDMEE Java API by listing many of the methods and associated keys available when developing scripts. The last chapter gets into script development and debugging, including an introduction to FDMEE development mode, where scripts can be tested without impacting data.

Throughout the book are code examples to illustrate the point being made, which are helpful in seeing a particular technique, key, etc. being applied.

What I would like to see more of are a few common FDMEE scripts with notes that apply the knowledge in the book to the scripts. The book covers all of the pieces, but there's no overall example that ties them together. Like show a smart replace event script and point out the classes being imported, the indenting, the use of fdmContext, etc. Or a batch script that runs a data load rule, executes the check validation report, and then emails the log and the check report to the admin with the lessons being applied from the chapters. Reminds me of a Stave jigsaw puzzle, where you get the elegantly crafted pieces but not a picture of what they look like when put together.

If you are an FDMEE administrator with an implementation that was done by consultants or are new to the job, this will be a great book for you. Review the scripts you have, read the book, and then review the scripts again now that you know more about the syntax and the techniques. If you are new to writing FDMEE scripts and don't have a folder of scripts to refer to, you may want to do some looking around (Oracle forums, blogs, samples, Google, etc.) to find a few to provide some context.

Overall, a good book to understand FDMEE scripting. Here's the link to it on Amazon.com:

Oracle FDMEE Scripting: Essential Elements

Also, if you're going to Kscope, Tony will be there and I'm sure glad to sign your copy.




Thursday, June 1, 2017

Member Selection in FCCS

For those who are switching from HFM (or Enterprise for that matter) to FCCS there are a lot of things that will seem familiar. You have journals, consolidation, hierarchies, Financial Reporting, FDMEE (lite), intercompany matching (and thank goodness it's with the Enterprise side by side format), and more.

One simple, more practical area where things are different is with member selection. This may seem trivial, but it is learning small things like this that make using the product easier to pick up. You focus more on what you're doing vs. wasting time on how to do it.

In Enterprise, member selection was a simple dialog box with a list or hierarchy of members, you select one, and click OK. Sorry, I don't have Enterprise up and running to show a screenshot.

In HFM, member selection is typically a dual sided dialog box with available choices on the left and the selected item(s) on the right and clicking the chevrons (not shown below) in the middle to add/delete or select a relationship.



In FCCS, and I'm pretty sure the same goes for EPBCS/PBCS as well, member selection works a little different. There are two main flavors.

This first example is from journals. There are tabs across the top for each dimension instead of the dropdown of HFM. Start from the left and click on parent members to drill down to the children in the next column - if you keep clicking, like on USA, the screen scrolls to the right to keep drilling down. But the question comes: how do you select a member? In the screenshot, there are three entities selected (gray boxes) - which one will be in the point of view when OK is clicked?



The answer is none of them! The selected entity is Latin America in the center column - note the checkmark to the left of the label. So, to select an entity, you must click the whitespace to the left of the member to place the checkmark. Clicking the entity itself does not place the checkmark. Think Smart View member selection, where you have to click the box and then click the chevron.


The other primary member selection box is seen in intercompany matching reports, where a relationship (think list in HFM and Enterprise) is needed. This screen has the same columns (in the middle and right) for the drill down as above and the same blue checkmark (see North America in the right column), but the additional bit shows in the LEFT column. 




This column shows a relationship selection. To do this, hover over a specific "anchor" member and the fx icon will appear. When clicked, the various relationships will appear. The equivalent of "base" members is "Level 0 Descendants," which highlights the Essbase underpinnings of the product.



Note that multiple items can be added to the left, whereas HFM typically would only allow one list/relationship to be added to the point of view.

Also, as seen in the bottom of the second screenshot above, this panel can be toggled from Members to other choices depending on the design of the application.

A huge benefit to all of this is you can do this from your phone/tablet. This screenshot was taken from an Apple iPhone using the standard Safari web browser.





Member selection is a little different, just like Enterprise to HFM was a little different but in the end you get what you need.