Hyperion EPM Week In Review: July 23, 2016

HyperionEPMWeekInReviewWelcome to another Monday edition of the Hyperion EPM Week In Review.  Let’s just jump right in…

Hyperion EPM Patches and Updates:

Disclosure Management has been released.  This one is way out of my wheel-house, so…

OBIEE has also been released.  This is an extrememly long patch number and includes a extremely long list of bug fixes across the BI stack.

Not to be outdone…OBIEE has been released with its sibling.

And just to round out the entire OBIEE family, was released as well.

Hyperion EPM Blog Posts:

Opal has several posts this week.  First, a review of Tony’s book, The Definitive Guide to FDMEE.  Next up is an ODTUG post about Jorge Rimblas.  Jorge is an Oracle ACE with a heavy interest in photography.  Heading back to the cloud she has a pair of posts on finding your version number and enabling data management in FCCS.

Celvin shows us the details of a pretty big bug in the date difference functions built into Calc Manager.  The good news is that there is a patch.

Sarah has a guest blog post by Teal Sexton about OBIEE and APEX integration.  Perhaps I need a guest blogged?  Anyone interested? 😉

Tim has an excellent write-up on adding a dimension to an ASO cube.  Pretty cool idea.  I’m sure I’ll make use of this before too long.

Jason has part 4 and part 5 of his on-going data intput with Dodeca series.  He covers focus calculations and relational database input.

Kyle continues his bromance with Jake over a in2hyperion.  Kidding…kidding.

Vijay has some great automation samples doing exports with variables.  This should come in handy for some automated backups.  It also sounds like he has more coming soon.

Robert combines some FDMEE, MaxL, and Jython for those needing to do data clearing in ASO models.


ODTUG announced a competition this week.  For those of us real geeks out there, they have a competition work of the maker community.  You can find the announcement here.  You can find the competition website here.  And finally, you can register for a lunch and learn this Friday, July 29th at noon CST here.  And a quick re-cap:

GeekAThon Announcement

GeekAThon Competition Website

GeekAThon Lunch and Learn Webinar Registration

Now go build something awesome!

Finals Words

That’s it for this week!  We’ll keep going with Monday posts as they seem to be working out pretty well.

My First FreeNAS: Part 1 – Build and Burn-In

Kscope16 is over, my parts have arrived, and its finally time to start my FreeNAS build.  Today I’m going to run through my actual build process and the start of my burn-in process.  Let’s start with the hardware…what did I order again?

  • SuperChassis 846TQ-R900B
  • (2) E5-2670 @ 2.6 GHz
  • Supermicro X9DR7-LN4F-JBOD
  • 256GB Registered ECC DDR3 RAM (16 x 16GB)
  • Noctua i4 Heatsinks
  • (5) Noctua NF-R8 (to bring the noise level down on the chassis)
  • (2) SanDisk Cruzer 16GB CZ33
  • (2) Supermicro AOC-2308-l8e
  • (3) Full-Height LSI Backplates (for the AOC-2308’s and the P3605)
  • (6) Mini-SAS Breakout Cables
  • Intel P3605 1.6TB PCIe SSD
  • (9) 2TB HGST Ultrastar 7K3000 Hard Drives
  • (4) 10Gb Twinax DAC Cables
  • (2) Intel X520-DA2

An here’s the pile of goodies:


I always start with the motherboard by itself:


Next up…the CPU(s):


CPU close-up:


Before we install the heatsinks, let’s install the memory.  The heatsinks are petty big and have a habit of getting in the way:


That’s a lot of memory…how about a close-up:


Now we can install the heatsinks:


Like I said…huge:


Now that we have all of the core components in place on the motherboard, let’s put it into our case:


Obviously, we have a quite a few other components to add (hard drives, add-in cards, etc).  But for now, I like to keep it simple for the burn-in process.  So how do we go about that?  For the basic hardware, there are two recommended steps.  Because memory is so important to FreeNAS, we have to make sure that our memory is in good working order.  For those of us purchasing used hardware, this is especially critical.  Once we have the memory tested, we will then test out our CPU’s to make sure that they are functional and to take a look at the temperatures.

So how do we do this?  You can download utilities like memtest86+ or cpustress and boot up directly using those tools.  But, being that I’m averse to additional work that has already been done by someone else, I just downloaded the latest Ultimate Boot CD.  This comes with a mega-ton of tools including the two I need to start with:  memtest86+ and cpustress.

You can download the ISO here.  Once you have downloaded the ISO, you have two choices.  You can use one of my favorite tools, Rufus, to burn the ISO to a USB thumb drive.  Then you can just boot from the thumb drive.  Your second option is the preferred option.  Hopefully you purchased server-class hardware for your FreeNAS box and that hardware has IPMI and Remote KVM.  If so, then you will likely be able to mount the ISO over the network and easily boot from the virtual media.  This is the option I went for.

My Supermicro board even has two options for this option (options on top of options!).  You can do this through the IPMI interface and mount an ISO from a share or you can use the iKVM to mount the ISO.  Connect to your server with iKVM and select Virtual Media and then Virtual Storage.


Switch to the CDROM&ISO tab, select ISO File from the drop-down, and click Open Image:


Select the ultimate boot CD image name and click Open:


Finally click Plug In:


Once we reboot (or boot up, if you have no other OS installed, it should just boot right in):


We’ll go down to Memory and select Memtest86+:


Memtest86+ is a somewhat newer release of a really old memory testing utility I have used for over a decade: Memtest86.  This release takes the older code and brings support for newer hardware and fixes a number of bugs.  Even still, it is pretty old.  It also takes a long…long time to run with 256GB of memory.  So I ran a single pass to start:


Once that first pass completed (roughly 24 hours), I focused in on stressing my CPU’s.  For this I used cpustress, also included in the Ultimate Boot CD.  I’m less familiar with this stressing tool, as I’ve always been more Windows focused and used tools like Prime95 for this purpose.  Again we boot into the Ultimate Boot CD:


This time we’ll select CPU and then CPUstress:


CPUstress should start up automatically:


This gives us one more menu…I just went with option 1:


Overall, it seems to work pretty well:


Now with that running lets take a look at the CPU temps:


The temps look pretty good for running wide open.  There appears to be headroom for the additional heat that will be generated by the hard drives that will be added to the system.  So how does power usage look?


The numbers look pretty good here.  Again…no drives, so this number will go up considerably by the time we are completely done.  I burned the CPU’s in for a little over 24 hours and then went back to Memtest86+.  I ran that for roughly four more days with no errors.  That’s all for today.  In our next post we’ll finally load up FreeNAS, get our controllers ready to go, and burn in our hard drives.

The EPM Week In Review: Week Ending July 16, 2016

This week, Oracle was kind enough to give us a few patches while the EPM community in general is still recovering from Kscope16.  We still have some great content this week, so let’s check it out.

Patches and Updates:

HFM was released.  This appears to be general bug fixes.

Speaking of bug fixes, Essbase was released.  No new functionality, but hopefully your bug was included.

For the shrinking population of customers, the Tax Provision patch was released.

Gary has another new release of his SV++ tool.  Check it out here.

New Blog Posts:

I posted a tip on reloading the Planning cache without requiring a restart.  Pretty cool tip…wish I had figured it out.  Special thanks again to Tjien Lie for providing the code!

Sibin tells us all about handling NULL values in FDMEE.  While on the subject of FDMEE, he also provides us a magic decoder ring for multi-period log files.

Jason has a pair of posts as he continues his on-going series on Dodeca.  He has part 3 of this series, and a related post about relational data.

Pete has a wrap-up of Kscope16, but more importantly, he shows off an awesome new feature in PBCS: automatically updated smart lists based on dimensions.  I can’t wait to see this one on-prem.  Luckily I have more and more cloud clients so I get to play with this stuff.

Sarah as a great introduction to BICS.  This starts from the very beginning…the login screen!  She continues on to the home dashboard.

Speaking of Sarah, she gets a shout-out from the DEVEPM crew.  They have a post dedicated to the ODTUG Leadership Program.

More cloud functionality that doesn’t work on-prem yet is brought to you by John Goodwin.   He has a post on loading non-numerical data using FDMEE.  I know I say this every time…but great stuff!

Doug has a recap of CloudScope…I mean Kscope16.  He also discusses the roadmap to FDMEE. <<SAFE HARBOR>>

Gary has a pair of posts this week.  He started with some Smart View performance tips that may help those of you using Office 2013 and 2016.  He also has a post on the previously mentioned new version of SV++.

Changing the Planning Repository without Restarting Planning

One of the long-running tenets of working with the Planning repository is that you must restart Planning to see your changes.  I’ve always heard that there were ways around this, but Oracle hasn’t ever been forthcoming with the specifics of how to make that happen.  Finally, at Kscope16 during my presentation on the Planning Repository, someone in the audience by the name of Tjien Lie had the code from Oracle to make this happen.  Before I get to that, let’s start with a primer on the HSP_ACTION table.  I would provide one, but John Goodwin did such a great job, so I’ll just point you to his post here.

<<<wait for the reader to go to John Goodwin’s site and read the information and come back, assuming they don’t get distracted by his wealth of amazing content>>>

Ok…now that you understand what the HSP_ACTION table does, how do we use it differently than John uses it?  By differently, I mean I don’t wan to insert specific rows and update specific things.  That seems like a lot of work.  Instead, why not just have the HSP_ACTION table update the entire cache for us?  Let’s give it a shot.  First I’m going to go add a dimension to my Vision application:


Now let’s make sure the dimension shows up:


Any now let’s delete it:



	OBJECT_ID INTO #DeleteChildren

	OBJECT_ID INTO #DeleteParents



	o.OBJECT_NAME = 'ToBeDeleted'



I’ll have a post on that command at some point, but basically it deletes the dimension from the repository.  Now let’s go look again at our dimension list and make sure that it still shows up:


Still there…as expected.  Now let’s try this little query, courtesy of Tjien Lie:


And let’s take a look at the HSP_ACTION table and make sure that we have the row inserted:


We can also check out this table to see if our cache has been updated yet.  As long as the row is here, we know that the cache hasn’t yet been updated.  After a little while, I checked the table again:


Now that our table is empty, Planning will tell us that it did in fact refresh the cache:


That takes the guess work out of it!  So how about our dimension…is it gone?


And just like that, the dimension is gone.  I can make all of the change that I want and I no longer need to restart Planning.  Special thanks to Tjien Lie from The Four Seasons for providing the code.  Information exchange like this is why I love Kscope and can’t wait to see everyone in my home state of Texas next year!  That’s it for now!

The EPM Week In Review: Week Ending July 9, 2016

Welcome to the week after Kscope.  This week brings us a lot of posts about Kscope16 (including mine!).  There were even a few posts not about Kscope.  This is also my first Week in Review that will be posted on Monday rather than over the weekend.  It has been suggested that posting on Monday will increase the overall visibility of the content for everyone, so we’ll see how it goes!

Patches and Updates:

DRM and DRM Analytics have been released.  This seems to be primarily bug fixes.

Gary also updated his SV ++ enhanced ribbon interface for Smart View.  Definitely worth a look.

New Blog Posts:

This week I have a post about Kscope16 (like everyone else) and also I’m showing off my new Oracle rack.  I’m pretty excited about this rack (I hear you snickering over that statement…get your mind out of the gutter!).

The DEVEPM crew has some nice words about Kscope16.

John Goodwin has posted the fourth and final part to his FDMEE and DRM integration series.  The whole series is definitely worth a read.

Christian has an awesome tutorial on deploying the Planning utilities on a system other than your Planning server.  I’ve often thought that there must be a way to do this as well…glad Christian figured it out.  This opens up a whole host of automation consolidation for Planning customers.

Cameron has part 1 and part 2 of his Kscope16 review in the form of photos.  He has made it through Monday night so far.

Sibin has a good tip on why your Workspace is missing all of your installed applications.  Don’t forget to deploy then to the workspace server!

Opal has two updates this week.  First, she has her all-inclusive single post on Kscope16.  Then she has a post on backups and software updates in the Oracle EPM Cloud.

Celvin has a first look at using attributes in PBCS.  As of the July update, everyone should have these and he shows us how to use them with suppress missing to gain some additional form-building power.  He also has a great post on how to push options to all of your Smart View users during the install.  Have I mentioned lately how awesome Celvin is?  If not…Celvin is…awesome.

Jason joins a group of us last week with more than one blog post.  He has a two-part series on data input with Dodeca: part 1, part 2.  Did everyone get their Dodeca water bottle this year at Kscope?  I have it on a shelf next to my Dodeca water bottle from last year. 😉

Vijay has some excellent content about using Groovy and the REST API’s with HPCM.  I always love a good code snippet.

That’s it for this week!  We’ll see how the Monday thing works out.  Hopefully it leads to more consumption of the great content our community continues to produce!

Kscope16 is over…Kscope17 is coming!


As has been the case for many of my Kscope experiences, Kscope16 was quick and yet still exhausting. The conference, as always, provided seemingly limitless information for Oracle EPM and BI professionals. Even in the small amount of time that I was able to attend, I managed to learn a great many things.

I also had the pleasure of meeting some of my fellow bloggers for the first time and seeing others that I’ve known for years.  Sadly, many of us only get to see each other once a year.  I have a new badge to add to my collection:

2016-07-07 00.03.28

I also received a nice polo as a presenter gift:

2016-07-07 00.03.52

Jake was kind enough to take a picture of me during one of my presentations:


While I didn’t spend enough time this year at the event to really produce a great blog post with lots of pictures, I did have a great, if not brief experience, as I always have.  I’d like to thank everyone at ODTUG for their hard work putting together a great conference.  I’d also like to thank all of the volunteers that take time out of their year to help ODTUG put this event together.  Finally, I’d like to thank all of the presenters that spend countless hours putting together amazing content year after year.


With Kscope16 in the history books, it is now time to set our focus on Kscope17.  We will be back at the JW Marriott in San Antonio, Texas.  Those of you who attended Kscope12 may remember this venue.  I’ve been to seven Kscope venues and by far the JW has been my favorite.  It has a great water park for the family and great golf.  I’ll be working hard for the next few months to have a set of abstracts submitted so that I can attend again next year.  Ok…so I’ll probably wait until the day before abstracts are due to actually do this, but I’m going to TRY to do it in advance for a change.  By now everyone is already back home (or back on the road) after safe travels.  See everyone next year!

The Oracle Has Landed!

If you read my blog, you know that I am really into having a home lab.  I’ve had a small Norco rack for a while to keep my servers in.  It’s worked pretty well for the most part, but as you can see, it is pretty full:

2016-05-10 18.03.44

You can probably also see that it is very dusty.  Now that I’ve decided to finally build my FreeNAS box, I have no place in the rack to put it.  At first, I thought I could just set it on top, but with two little kids, that could eventually lead to disaster.  Next, I thought about building one myself.  I’m handy, it would be a challenge, but to really get one the right size, I was going to end up spending at least $150 in parts alone.  Then I have to build it!

So what else could I do?  Purchase a new rack from the internet?  That sounds pricey, but I looked into it.  Sure enough, it is pricey.  Luckily, I live in a large metropolitan area.  And if you live in such an area, there are likely plenty of data centers getting rid of their old racks as they shrink their footprint in the now more virtualized future.  This lead me to Craigslist.  As I searched around, I found a few interesting options.  There were several Dell racks, a few HP racks, but then one caught my eye.  An Oracle rack!  I contacted the seller and for $85 I purchased a gently used 42U fully enclosed rack (after I got official wife approval).

I borrowed a truck, and a few strong backs and picked up the rack.  It was exactly as advertised and I came home with my very own Oracle rack.  Then Kscope came…and went.  Finally I was able to get the time to transplant everything over.  Here is the result:

My very small intern was here to help get everything set up correctly:

2016-07-04 18.31.37

Here’s what it looks like inside (very clean if I do say so myself):

2016-07-04 18.31.54

And here is what makes the rack awesome (for an Oracle consultant anyway):

2016-07-04 18.48.59

Now I have a place to put my new FreeNAS box.  Look for posts on that coming up in the future days and weeks.

The EPM Week In Review: Week Ending July 2, 2016

Welcome to the most delayed Week In Review ever!  Between recovering from Kscope16 and the holiday, I totally missed it this week.  This week was a lot slower than last week, for obvious reasons.  So let’s get to it:

Patches and Updates:

Nothing new this week.

New Blog Posts:

Cameron started off the week strong at Kscope16 with posts about day 1 and day 2. He disappeared into Kscope16 after that. 😉

The DEVEPM crew started KScope off with a post as well.

Eric talks about OECD country by country reporting in HFM and HTP.

Keith has an extensive post on memory settings for the web apps that run the Oracle EPM stack.  He also has a less EPM-centric post about reinstalling Windows on a Yoga tablet.

Dayalan continues his series on DRM Integration with FDMEE.  This dives a bit deeper into the configuration of DRM and the Web API’s.

Sibin continues his series on installation Oracle EPM.  This time he talks about the repositories that need to be created and all of the tables that they eventually contain.

Summer has some musings about the Oracle Cloud now and the Oracle Cloud to come.

Other News:

In other news….Kscope16 was last week.  It was great…or so I heard anyway.  I was in Chicago for all of 18 hours.  Most of that time was spent meeting with Oracle or presenting.  I still had a great time seeing everyone.  The big news for me at this event was the announcement of Kscope17.  We’re headed back to San Antonio.  The JW Marriot is a truly awesome venue and it should be another great conference.  See you all in Texas next year!

Finally…for those of you who attended my sessions and those that weren’t able, I’ll have the presentations posted here soon.  Stay tuned…