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    Mark Rinaldi
    What's New in 19.06?
    Topic posted June 6, 2019 by Mark RinaldiSilver Crown: 22,500+ Points, last edited June 28, 2019, tagged Financial Planning, Integration, PBCS, Planning, Projects, Reports, Security, SmartView, Strategic Modeling, Tip, Workforce 
    1450 Views, 47 Comments
    Title:
    What's New in 19.06?
    Summary:
    ... some big changes!
    Content:

    It's been a busy week with our big announcement, so here goes with this month's What's New post.  As always, please be sure to read the What's New documentation every month.  Here is June's update.

    I'll jump right to the big news first:

    1. We have created 2 new EPM Cloud Services:  EPM Standard Cloud and EPM Enterprise Cloud to replace almost ALL of the old SKUs for the individual services (i.e. PBCS, EPBCS, FCCS, TRCS, ARCS, PCMCS, EPRCS).  EDMCS remains a standalone SKU but is also included in the EPM Enterprise Cloud product.
    2. Existing customers on the old SKUs can remain there and can renew them and add additional user licenses, so rest easy if you don't like (fabulous) change.
    3. EPM Standard Cloud allows you to create one application from one of the following Business Processes:  Planning, Financial Consolidation and Close, Narrative Reporting, and Account Reconciliation
      1. Yes, only one application from any of those Business Processes but still with the 2 (Prod and Test) environments
      2. You can purchase additional Business Processes for a nominal, flat, monthly fee
      3. Planning includes the Modules (i.e. Financials, Workforce, Capital, Projects, & Strategic Modeling) PLUS one custom Hybrid BSO cube and one custom reporting (ASO) cube.
      4. Yes, I did say write Hybrid BSO.  (more on this later)
      5. EPM Standard is aligning more correctly to a SaaS model in the Cloud and there are some premium features and customization options that are not available in the Business Processes (e.g. creating/modifying Groovy in Planning, no Transaction Matching in Account Reconciliation, etc.) in EPM Standard Cloud.
      6. Notice we aren't calling the Business Processes by their former names (e.g. PBCS and EPBCS are now just "Planning", FCCS is now "Financial Consolidation & Close," EPRCS is now "Narrative Reporting," etc.).  These old names are not independent products now as you purchase EPM Cloud not individual services.
    4. EPM Enterprise Cloud includes all Business Processes (i.e. same as EPM Standard PLUS Tax Reporting, Profitability, and Enterprise Data Management*
      1. You can create as MANY applications of EACH Business Process as you need.
      2. Yes, if you want 10 Planning, 2 Financial Consolidation & Close, 3 Tax Reporting, 5 Narrative Reporting, 2 Account Reconciliation, and 4 Profitability applications... no issues.  Go for it... all included in the pricing for EPM Enterprise Cloud
      3. What, six months later you realize you need 5 more Planning and 2 more Narrative Reporting?  Contact us and we'll give them to you... all still included in the base price of EPM Enterprise Cloud. 
      4. Want Disaster Recovery environments... they are also included with same terms and conditions as the additional, old SKU for this service.  You want them... you got them.
      5. All advanced/premium features are included in the EPM Enterprise Cloud product.  For example, create and customize Groovy rules, advanced consolidations, transaction matching, disclosure management, Intelligent Performance Management, etc.
      6. Since this is a "Planning" forum (note the name of the forum is no longer "Planning and Budgeting), I'll focus on the Planning Business Process and defer to the other forums for their great news (otherwise, I'd be here all day - and I just missed the start of a call since I was so focused on writing this post!).
      7. With EPM Enterprise Cloud, the Planning Business Process supports 3 application types:
        1. Custom:  6 custom Hybrid BSO cube AND 6 custom Reporting (ASO) cubes are available for your planning pleasure
        2. Free Form:  Import an Essbase outline file (*.otl) and use Planning for forms, rules, security, etc.  Yes, I really did write that you can directly import an .otl file and it does NOT need any of the standard, required Planning dimensions.  You don't have Account, Entity, Version, Scenario, Version, etc.... no problem.  You have a Measures dimension and combined Period and Year in one dimension, no problem.  Enjoy!
        3. Modules:  enable the 5 modules and/or use the 3 custom Hybrid BSO cubes or 4 custom reporting (ASO) cubes.  Basically, the same exact set up as EPBCS but with Hybrid BSO enabled for all of the input (old BSO) cubes.
        4. Since EPM Enterprise Cloud allows you to create as many Planning applications as you want, you can have 5 Custom, 50 Modules, and 30 Free Form.  Again, have fun and enjoy your EPM Cloud freedom!
      8. EPM Enterprise Cloud has 2 pricing options;
        1. Hosted Named User (HNU) same as old way but not on an application-basis since you are buying EPM Cloud with as many Business Processes as you need.
        2. Hosted Employee Metric - this is for larger companies that don't want to pay on a HNU basis and want to be able to add any Employee to any Business Process at any time
        3. * The asterisk on Enterprise Data Management relates to these 2 pricing options.  With the HNU option, there is a limit of 5,000 records but is unlimited with the Hosted Employee Metric.
    5. Refer to cloud.Oracle.com for more information on the new, simplified EPM Cloud offering
    6. Something tells me this new offering will generate a lot of excitement and responses!

    Okay, that is the big news, now on to the rest of What's New:

    1. Wait... I mentioned Hybrid BSO and you aren't on the new product yet but still want it... you got it.  If you want to enable Hybrid BSO in your existing EPBCS environment, please log a Support Request AFTER 19.06 is applied to your Test environment this week/weekend, take a full LCM Backup and download it locally.  We will update the environment to leverage the new feature but it will blow away the existing application, which is why you need to have a full LCM Backup but this Backup MUST be a 19.06 LCM.  Earlier versions of LCM will NOT import back into 19.06 with Hybrid BSO enabled.  Once we inform you that the environment has been updated with Hybrid, you can import your 19.06 Backup and go to Application\Overview\Actions\Enable Hybrid.  Voila... you now have Hybrid BSO enabled for your input cubes!
    2. There are 13 new Videos available this month (e.g. Tour of EPM Cloud, Customizing Actions to Improve Performance Using Groovy Templates, a bunch on Groovy Rules such as Validating Data Entry Values, Adding Dimension Members, etc.  I think we need to check the caffeine levels of the Video team this month.
    3. Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol 1.2 Support for outbound EPM cloud emails
    4. As announced last month, EPM Cloud only supports TLC protocol 1.2.  We discontinued support for TLS 1.0 and 1.1.  Apparently, some of you didn't take my "Sleep well" comment last month to heart or else we wouldn't be repeating this notification.  Relax, we're in good hands with TLS 1.2 only.  :-)
    5. A new version of EPM Automate is available (probably next week) with mergeDataSlices and restructureCube new commands.  Merge all incremental data slices in ASO cubes to improve a cube's performance and, optionally, remove cells that have a value of zero.  Schedule dense restructures for BSO cubes to eliminate or reduce fragmentation.  Restructuring also removes empty blocks and will not push any changes from the application to the cube.  It is not a database Refresh just a restructure, which is very important to schedule for performance purposes.
    6. I like this one... there is now an EPM Automate script to maintain your archived LCM Snapshots.  As you know, we only support LCM import from one version in arrears.  For example, you can only import 19.05 LCM into 19.06 but you can't import 18.10 or 19.04 into 19.06, etc.  For auditing purposes, some customers need to restore an old LCM.  This new EPM Automate script will automatically update your snapshots to maintain an up-to-date library of snapshots. 
    7. In conjunction with the new EPM Standard Cloud and EPM Enterprise Cloud products, all EPM Cloud Service instance URLs will use "epmcloud" as the context for accessing environments.  Existing customers may continue using the current URLs or update them with this new application context.  For example, the /HyperionPlanning can be replaced with /epmcloud.  This is more for the FCCS URLs that used to still have the /HyperionPlanning reference.
    8. We now have Smart View for Office for MacOS and browser-based deployment of Microsoft Excel.  The initial release includes:
      1. Ad Hoc analysis operations such as:  Zoom, Pivot, Keep/Remove Only, as well as Submit, Range Operations, Analyze/Free Form, and Formula Preservation
      2. Form operations such as:  Form Open and Refresh, Submit from Forms, Expand/Collapse, Supporting Details, Mass Allocate, Job Console, Copy Version, Business Rules, and Analyze
      3. Options and Styles
      4. Member Selection and POV
      5. Drill Through
    9. The REST APIs have been updated to allow you to now override some of the job parameters when importing or exporting data and metadata.  Also, when you import security with REST APIs, you can now use a CSV file for import (this is HUGE - think old secfile.txt), and you can clear existing access permissions when importing new access permissions.
    10. As I have been warning, we have now implemented the Faster Daily Maintenance option relative to Smart List data extracts/backup.  The default value of "Export Planning Smart List textual data during daily maintenance for incremental data import" application setting has been changed to "No."  The previous default setting (Yes)  impacts the performance of the daily maintenance process by also exporting text data associated with Smart Lists.  The exporting of text data during daily maintenance is required only if you plan to sue the daily maintenance snapshot to perform incremental or selective data imports.  Because this is not a common customer scenario, Oracle will not, by default, include Smart List text data in the maintenance snapshot.  Note, with this new, default setting of "No," you can still take a full LCM import to include all of your textual data associated with Smart Lists.  The only limitation with this daily maintenance snapshot is you can't just load the data or pieces of the data from it.  Please refer to my previous post, To Speed up AMW (Daily Maintenance) or Not, with more information on this topic.
    11. New Connection Type and Advanced Options for External Connections now allow Service Administrators the ability to create connections to external Web services and specify optional query or header parameters while defining external connections.  These connections can be referenced or used in a Groovy script to create a communications link between the Groovy script and the external Web resource.  Groovy Geek antennae are up!
    12. Updates to the Connections interface include grouping all EPM service providers into a single provider called Oracle Enterprise Management Cloud (fits with our big announcement at the top of this post).  On the Connection Details page, based on the URL provided, the Application Type will be automatically identified and displayed.  On the Manage Connections page, the name and description will be grouped together under one column called Name, and the application type and provider will be grouped together under one column called Application.
    13. The Data Export to File option in Data Management (DM) enables you to export data form an EPM application to a data file.  You can use the data file to load data into an ERP application or external system.  The new Data Export to File option provides several enhancements over the existing Custom Application option and will provide performance improvement when using the Simple workflow mode option. 

      Both the Data Export to File option and custom target application options are supported in this release.  Eventually, the Data Export to File option will supersede the custom target application option due to its enhanced functions and capabilities.

      Starting with this release, you can migrate your existing custom target applications to Data Export to File application using a new Upgrade Custom Application script.  The new script is available under the System Maintenance and it can be run for an individual or all scripts.

    14. Use the new Purge All Imported Data script, available in DM, to clear all imported data from your data tables for a selected LOV.  Purging data may increase system performance and enables you to start over when loading data.  Note that there is no backup or utility to recover any purged data when this option is executed.  For this reason, use extreme caution before executing this script.

    15. In the simplified user interface, when running a Financial Reporting (FR) report in HTML preview, you can now select to either show or hide annotations.  This functionality was previously only available when running a report form the Explore Repository.

    16. Improve forecast accuracy using Simulations.  Simulations allow you to perform automated what-if analysis on your Strategic Modeling models, optimizing your decision making. Simulation allows you to assign a range of possible values to inputs that are uncertain and analyze how that uncertainty affects related accounts. You can:

      1. Quickly calculate and review hundreds of possible outcomes and the likelihood they will occur
      2. Analyze best and worst case scenarios
      3. Assess the likelihood of meeting target goals
      4. See how key uncertain inputs affect your bottom line
    1. You can integrate data between models in Strategic Modeling and income statements in Financials using the provided template and data maps.  Both Strategic Modeling and Financials must be enabled.  Income Statement must be enabled in Financials.

      Create the Strategic Modeling model from the provided Financial template. When you create the model, two data maps are created:

      • <Model_Name>_SMtoPLDatamap pushes data from Strategic Modeling to the Target version in Financials.
      • <Model_Name>_PLtoSMDatamap pushes data from the Working version in Financials to Strategic Modeling.

    The data maps' detailed mappings are automatically populated between the dimension members in Strategic Modeling and in Financials.

    Upcoming Changes:

    1. In a future update, there will be a revised interface with enhanced navigation and a new theme called Sky Blue (in line Fusion Cloud Applications)
    2. Removal of instance name from predefined role names.  Currently, the predefined role names displayed in the Access Control screens of EPM Cloud environments prefix the instance name to the role name in INSTANCE_NAME ROLE_NAME format. They are also stored in this format in the snapshots making it difficult to migrate snapshots from one instance to another.

      To facilitate the migration of security across EPM Cloud environments, Oracle plans to rename predefined role names displayed within EPM Cloud applications by removing the instance name prefix in the August update. For example, if the instance name is Planning1, predefined role names are Planning1 Service Administrator, Planning1 Power User, Planning1 User and Planning1 Viewer. The new role names will be Service Administrator, Power User, User, and Viewer.

      NOTE: This change does not affect how the role names are displayed in the MyServices customer portal.

      This change will affect customers who use the predefined roles for managing application-level provisioning and access to artifacts; you will need to reassign such assignments using the updated role name after the roles are renamed. This change makes it easy to migrate EPM Cloud artifacts across environments.

      Additionally, all predefined role names; Domain Administrator, Service Administrator, Power User, User, and Viewer will be treated as EPM Cloud keywords, which should not be used in the name of any custom artifacts that you create; for example, group name in Access Control. If you have any group with these keywords, rename them before this change comes into effect.

      This change is being implemented to address customer feedback. If you have any concerns about this change, please contact Oracle Support.

    3. Starting with the July updated (release 19.07), Service Administrators will be able to specify the content update start time for all Oracle EPBCS and SWPCS environments. Content update propagates the changes introduced to out-of-the-box functionality during the daily maintenance of an environment.Currently, content update start time modification is supported only for new Oracle Enterprise Planning and Budgeting and Oracle Strategic Workforce Planning subscriptions that were provisioned after March 16, 2018. For Oracle Enterprise Planning and Budgeting Cloud and Strategic Workforce Planning subscriptions that were provisioned prior to March 16, 2018, content update is performed immediately after completing daily maintenance.

    4. Classic Dimension Editor is eventually going away at some point in 2019. Please begin using the Simplified Dimension Editor to familiarize yourself with it and log any enhancement requests needed.

    Okay, once again, there is a lot going on with this release.  June is the start of Oracle's fiscal year, so the new pricing and EPM Standard Cloud and EPM Enterprise Cloud offerings align with our new fiscal year.

    Let me know what you think of all these new features.

    Happy Planning.

    Comment

    • Dishant Dalal

      Hi Mark- 

      I have a quick questions regarding your item #3 and item #4. We have been EPM customers for about two years in another domain, and we have already put into production some of those products. We are currently going through an enterprise transformation and have been provisioned new Oracle domains/environments, however, it was mentioned that for EPM this was an extension of the previous contract and not necessarily a new one. 

      I want to verify, for the new pods we received, we have subscribed to EPM Standard or EPM Enterprise. Do you know how I can go about verifying this, or would these option only be for brand new customers?

      The reason I am curious is because we want to ensure we have hybrid BSO cubes and we would also like the flexibility of spinning up new applications if the need ever arises.

      Please let me know if this question would be better answered by our account representative or via the SR process. 

      Thanks 

      • Mark Rinaldi

        Hi Dishant,

        Based on what you are saying about your recent environments being an extension of the previous contract, then there is no change for you.  You did not purchase the new products, EPM Standard Cloud or EPM Enterprise Cloud, that were released in June.  Your existing contract allows for Hybrid BSO to be enabled on your EPBCS pods.

        The process is to log an SR requesting to "Enable Hybrid mode on my EPBCS environment" and the Support Engineer will walk you through the steps.  For convenience, here are the steps:

        1.Do a cube refresh, and then take an LCM backup of the application on your test environment and download it. This is because the service will be recreated with Essbase 5xx Version, and the application including all snapshots will be deleted. Please note that a successful cube refresh must be completed before taking the LCM backup.
         
        2.After we get confirmation and approval from you (through an SR), we will recreate the service in your POD with Essbase 5xx version. Here is the info you can put in the SR when you want to enable Hybrid mode in your EPBCS pod. You should also submit provide feedback and request the same. The support can open a bug from this feedback & attach the bug to the SR.
         
        a.I <Your Name> authorize oracle to enable Hybrid mode on my EPBCS environment <Service URL>. I know that the environment will be recreated and the application will be deleted, and I will have to either import the backup LCM snapshot that I have or recreate the applicaion from scratch.
         
        b.Support can then open a bug from the provided feedback and assign to 11677/General (if it is not done by default) with the following information:

                 Subject: Enable Hybrid mode on My EPBCS environment                   

                 Description: <Fills in the customer provided info in the SR>

        c.If you need this on more than one environment, provide feedback from each of the pods and open one SR per pod
         
        d.All such requests (bugs) will be assigned to EPM Product Manager Mark Rinaldi for Approval. After the request is approved, the service will be recreated with Essbase 5xx.

        *For Planning and Budgeting applications, the Enable Hybrid option is not available. To enable it, you must first convert your application to Enterprise on the Application Overview page. (You need to be licensed for EPBS to convert from PBCS to EPBCS.) After the conversion, the Enable Hybrid option
        will be displayed.

        3.You can then import an LCM backup on the updated environment and test everything.
         
        4.Next, go to the Application Overview page and select Enable Hybrid. Certain best practice validations will be done as part of this process.

        Based on the recommendations, you will need to fine tune the application. You can also take advantage of Hybrid BSO by redesigning the application – make members in sparse dimensions dynamic, remove intermediate rollups from rules, and so on.

        5.If everything works fine and you would like to update your Production instance with Essbase 5xx version, you will need to take an LCM backup of the
        production application and download it. Please note that a successful cube refresh must be done before taking the LCM backup.
         
        6.After we get confirmation and approval from you for recreating the service on your Production Instance (as mentioned in step 2), we will recreate the
        service with Essbase 5xx.
         
        7.You can now import either a test LCM backup or a production LCM backup on the updated environment, and then open the app for end users.

        After this update, all monthly updates and enhancements will be available on your test and production environments.

      • Mark Rinaldi

        Customers should work with their Account Manager to understand their licensing and convert to the new products when it makes sense.  We are happy to work with customers on converting to the new products.

    • Jazmin Ribeiro

      Hi Mark,

      Very comprehensive overview so thanks for that.

      I would just like to confirm, regarding the new pricing model, whether when a customer requests an additional Business Process (in either Standard or Enterpise), will the new environments lie within the same Identity Domain?

      i.e. the URLs would differ but the Identity domain would remain the same (as below)?

      instance1-identitydomain and instance1-test-identitydomain

      instance2-identitydomain and instance2-test-identitydomain

      Apologies if you have already covered this somewhere.

      Many thanks,

      Jazmin