Currency Conversion in ASO

Categories:Essbase ASO
Brian Marshall

In the last three days, I’ve had two different people ask me how to do currency conversion in ASO.  Procedural calculations in ASO is tricky and the documentation isn’t great (and that’s being very polite to Oracle).  So let’s take a look at how to do a simple currency conversion in ASO.  First, we’ll need to set up a database to try this out.  In my case, I’m going to start with Sample.Basic.  The problem with that of course is that it isn’t an ASO application.  I quickly converted my Sample.Basic from BSO to ASO with the conversion utility, but several additional steps were required:

  • The Measures dimension has several MDX formula’s that need to be fixed.
    • Deleted the Opening Balance member.
    • Fix the Ratio member formulas.
    • Add a new parent named Exchange Rates.
    • Add two children, CAD and Exchange Rate.
  • The Product dimension comes across as dynamic due to shared members.
    • Add a roll-up for All Products and move the 100, 200, 300, and 400 parents underneath it.
    • Change All Products and Diet to be stored hierarchies.
    • Make the Product dimension label-only.
  • We’ll use the Market dimension for our currencies.
    • Create two new parents, USA and Canada.
    • Move East, West, South, and Central under USA.
    • Move Illinois and Louisiana under Canada.
    • Rename Illinois to Ontario.
    • Rename Lousiana to Quebec.
    • Add CAD as a UDA to both of the Canada children.
  • Create a new dimension named Currency.
    • Add two children, Local and USD.
    • Make the dimension label-only.

I’ve included a zip file for download here.  This file includes the following:

  • SampASO.otl – The modified outline file discussed above.
  • SampASOFinal.txt – The sample data file used to test the currency calculation.
  • – The calculation script we’ll discuss shortly.
  • currency.msh – The MaxL script that actually executes the currency conversion.
  • currency.bat – The batch file used to execute the MaxL script.

Once you’ve made the changes to your outline (or used the one I’ve included), load the attached data file.  This file can be loaded with no load rule.  After the load has completed, we are ready to actually try our calculation.  We have one last change to make to the outline before we get there.  We will make use of our UDA that we added to the Market dimension.  Modify the formula of the Exchange Rate member:

CASE WHEN IsUDA([Market].CurrentMember, “CAD”) THEN
([CAD],[No Market],[No Product])

This calculation will determine the exchange rate member to reference in our actual calculation.  Essentially, we check to see if the member is flagged as CAD and if so, we find the exchange rate intersection.  If not, we just return 1 so that all of our local values get copied over straight into USD.  The only downside to this method is that we have to modify this calculation every time we need to add a currency.  Another way to approach this would be with an attribute dimension rather than a UDA.  But for now, we’ll stick with simple.  And now we have our data, we have some rates, and some logic to determine the rates.  Let’s actually calculate the USD amount from Local.

To calculate the USD amount, we’ll be using the Execute Calculation MaxL statement.  If you look up the documentation, you will see quite a few options for the ASO version of this statement.  For currency conversion, we only have a few required options:

  • local script – The CSC file that you find in the zip file.  This will contain the calculation to be executed.
  • source region – The MDX set containing all of the data elements necessary to complete our calculation.  If you try to reference a member thats not included in your set, you’ll get an error.  Think of this like an Excel spreadsheet you might reference with a formula.
  • pov – An MDX set containing the point of view.  Every intersection returned by your MDX statement will have the calculation in our CSC file executed against it.  This can get dangerous in a hurry.  Anything we do here can dramatically impact the number of cells generated and the amount of time and processing power required to complete the calculation.

Let’s examine the contents of the CSC file before we get into the MaxL script:

([USD]) := ([Local])*([Local],[Exchange Rate]);

In this example, we are setting the USD member equal to the Local member times our calculated Exchange Rate that we set up earlier.  Now let’s actually dive into our MaxL script:

execute calculation on database SampASO.SampASO with
local script_file “”
POV “{ CrossJoin({Descendants([Year],10,LEAVES)},
CrossJoin({Descendants([All Products],10,LEAVES)},
SourceRegion “{ CrossJoin({Descendants([Year],10,LEAVES)},
CrossJoin({Descendants([Profit],10,LEAVES),[Exchange Rate]},
CrossJoin({Descendants([All Products],10,LEAVES)},

I’d first like to note that if you look this statement up in the documentation, it says execute calculation on database app.db.  However, if you just copy the sample at the bottom of the documentation, they left out the word database.  So if you get a syntax error and you copied it from the sample, this might be your issue.  Now on to the first piece of our statement.  First, we reference the CSC file that we’ve already covered.  That’s pretty straight forward.  Next, we tell Essbase the POV that we want to use to execute that script.  In this example, we are actually executing the calculation on almost the entire cube, save the Currency dimension.  Luckily, this is a very small cube.

Finally, we tell Essbase what the source for all of our data is.  If you compare the two, at first glance it looks like the only difference is the that we reference Local in our source and USD in our POV.  But, if you look very closely at the second line of our statements, the POV only has Profit leaf members, while the source has the Exchange Rate member.  Now that we have our MaxL, CSC, and batch script ready to go, let’s execute the command and see what happens:


If everything goes according to plan, we should see a large number of cells generated by Essbase.


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