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    Mark Rinaldi
    What's New in 19.10?
    Topic posted October 4, 2019 by Mark RinaldiSilver Crown: 22,500+ Points, last edited October 4, 2019, tagged Calc Manager, Dashboards, EPBCS, EPM Automate, Free Form Planning, Help Center, Infolets, Integration, PBCS, Planning, Reports, Security, Setup, SmartView, Snapshot / LCM Export & Import, Strategic Modeling, Tip, Upgrade, User Assistance, Workforce 
    311 Views, 14 Comments
    Title:
    What's New in 19.10?
    Summary:
    ... several things you're really going to like
    Content:

    Here we go again with another update.  As always, I’m sure you’ve already memorized the latest What’s New documentation from our fine User Assistance team from whom I’m about to plagiarize their hard work.

    EPM Common Stuff:

    1. Warning for Snapshot Imports:  Starting this release, the import process in Migration displays a warning message if the snapshot being imported is not from current release or from release one month prior or from next month release. You can upgrade snapshots from other month releases for business processes other than Account Reconciliation and Enterprise Data Management to make them compatible with the current version of the environment. See Recreating an Old EPM Cloud Environment for Audits” in Working with EPM Automate for Oracle Enterprise Performance Management Cloud.
    2. Oh boy/girl… brace yourself…. It’s here!  The New EPM Integration Agent in Data Integration!  (AKA the “On-prem Agent”).  Side note, pet peeve, it is on-premises (“S” at the end) not on-premise, https://www.grammar-monster.com/easily_confused/premise_premises.htm

    The EPM Integration Agent, which provides connectivity between the EPM Cloud and on-premises sources including SQL data sources like Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server, E-Business Suite GL, and PeopleSoft GL, is now available:

    In addition to easy access and setup for these sources, the agent may also be extended using scripting to connect to virtually any data source including 3rd party REST API based systems, or systems that can be accessed using a Jython or Groovy script. The agent, implemented as a data source for Data Management and Data Integration, responds and provides the specified information when a user executes data load rules.  Agent based integrations may be scheduled like any other data rule which provides users the flexibility to define integrations to any source in an automated fashion.

    Now, you can be fully in the Cloud for all data integration.  You don’t need to keep FDMEE on-premises as the bridge from your on-premises applications to the EPM Cloud.  This is huge!

    1. Another month, another Smart View for Office version.  This version includes the ability to spread data for time periods.  By default, forms are enabled for spreading data in Planning.  However, in Smart View (Mac and Browser), you must also enable spreading after opening a form or ad hoc grid.

    To spread data for time periods:

    1. Open a form or ad hoc grid.
    2. In the Smart View Ribbon, select Options
    3. In the Options panel, select the Data tab, and then select the Spreading Enabled check box.  Close the panel.  Note that you must complete this step to select the Spreading Enabled check box for each form or grid you launch.
    4. In the open form or ad hoc grid, select a data cell and enter a new value.
    5. To save the data, click Submit.

    Consideration:Data Spreading Check Box not visible in Chrome.

    Chrome does not display some Smart View panels correctly when first launched. In these cases, the bottom portion of the panel is not visible and users are unable to see all interface elements in the panel. Some examples are when launching Business Rules, the Plan Type and Apply buttons are not visible at the bottom of the panel. When launching the Options panel, Data tab, the Spreading Enabled check box is not visible.

    Workaround: Toggle the Maximize/Restore Down button in top right corner of the Chrome browser. This is the middle button, between the Minimize and Close buttons. You should then be able to see all interface elements in the panel. Once all elements are visible, you may again toggle to your preferred window size and the elements will remain visible.

    1. New Adapter for loading data from the Oracle ERP Cloud.  You can now extract non-General ledger data from Oracle Financials ERP cloud sources and load it to the EPM Cloud using Data Integration and Data Management. A new generic Oracle cloud ERP adapter is available in this release that lets you use data extracts from the cloud ERP as a data source for any of the EPM cloud business processes. Users can define a BI Publisher data extract that is referenced by data management to pull data directly from sources like payables, receivables, fixed assets, and supply chain.  So, if you’re crazy enough to want sub-ledger details in your Planning cube, you can directly load it. 
    2. New documentation for troubleshooting Reports and Change Management process. A new appendix EPM Cloud Change Management Process has been added to Getting Started with Oracle Enterprise Performance Management Cloud for Administrators. Additionally, the following troubleshooting sections are also available:
    1. Making Financial Reporting Reports More Efficient
    2. Resolving EPM Automate Issues
    3. Resolving Login Issues
    4. Managing Customer Diagnostic Alerts
    1.  Ugh, while this one is great, it is causing me a lot of extra work!  Whah!  We are moving the Enhancement Request process to the Oracle Cloud Customer Connect Idea Labs starting now.

    Effective October 1, 2019, Oracle EPM Cloud has moved the Enhancement Request (ER) processes out of My Oracle Support into the Idea Labs within Cloud Customer Connect. This move is part of our ongoing initiative to continuously improve the customer experience and transparency of the enhancement request process and delivery. Idea Labs are feedback forums where Oracle Applications customers can submit ideas, collaborate on solution approaches, vote for their favorite ideas, and see which are being implemented by Oracle.

    If a service request (SR) is determined to be a product enhancement, customers can decide if they would like to log this as an Idea in the appropriate Idea Lab (or vote on one that is already established in the Lab). Enhancement requests will no longer be created in My Oracle Support. Having ideas within the Idea Labs allows customers to have further conversations with other Oracle EPM Cloud Customers, Partners, and Product Development. This will deliver more transparency on enhancement suggestions by allowing customers to socialize their ideas and the ability to vote on others. Customers will be able to see the periodic updates on the most voted ideas from the EPM Cloud Development team.

    You can also review the EPM FAQ Document regarding this change.

    A Customer Connect session was held on September 25, 2019. The Replay of the Customer Connect session is available if you were unable to attend the live broadcast.

    Now, back to the woe-is-me portion of this change… I have to tag each of the 298 Ideas from the Planning Ideas Lab as either:  Under Oracle Review, More Information Requested, Planned Idea, Delivered Idea, Current Capability, Duplicate Idea, Declined Idea (!), or Archived Idea.  Mmm, is there a “Decline All” option? ;-)

    Additionally, we have created a new Forum and Idea Lab for “EPM Platform” since Planning, Financial Consolidation and Close, Tax Reporting, etc. all use the “EPM Platform.”We’re still drawing some lines here, so there will be a gray area for a bit as to what is Platform vs. Planning.  I’ll be moving Ideas from the Planning Ideas Lab to the EPM Platform Ideas Lab, as appropriate.

    For example, Ideas on Job Console, Export/Import, Forms, Dashboards, Infolets, Task Manager, Approvals, Navigation Flows, Valid Intersections, etc. are EPM Platform issues/ideas.Ideas on any of the Modules, Free Form Planning (still under debate), etc. would fall under the Planning Ideas lab.

    Bear with us (me) as we categorize/move/review all 298… already down to 276 as of this writing since I’ve moved a bunch to Shankar’s EPM Platform Ideas Lab.

    1. Updated interface for EPM Cloud Help Centers.  As you may have noticed from our recent Oracle Open World User Conference, we’ve changed our logo/image and the EPM Cloud help centers and user assistance pages now represent this new image.  I’m dating myself but the figures are eerily similar to the African stick art we used with Hyperion System 9!

     

    Planning Related Items:

    1. Create Free Form Planning using Essbase 11.1.2.4 application snapshot.  Starting with this release, Oracle EPM Enterprise Cloud allows you to import a Release 11.1.2.4 Essbase snapshot of a single cube Essbase application into EPM Cloud Enterprise Planning to create a Free Form Planning business process.  So we now support direct import of an .otl file and now the snapshot from Essbase. 
    2. Take control of Business Rules by setting when they run in the background.  I guess you don’t like us setting the 3-minute time limit to push a rule into a background process.  You can now set how many seconds a business rule executes before it runs in the background.  You can enter a value between 0 and 600 (10 minutes).  So instantly send it to the background or wait 10 minutes… it’s your call.
    3. Added support for excluding members in Data Map and Smart Push.  You can now exclude dimension members from a data map and Smart Push process. Excluding members while moving data is useful if you don't want to overwrite certain data at the target location or if you want to avoid getting warning messages if data at the target location is not present. For data maps, you can add exclusions on the Data Exchange card accessed from the Home page. For Smart Push, you can add exclusions for a form on the Smart Push tab of the Form and Ad Hoc Grid Management page accessed from the Navigator.  Nice update, wouldn’t you agree?
    4. Not to be outdone, you now have the ability to exclude members in Strategic Modeling Data Maps.  When creating data maps in Strategic Modeling for pushing data between Strategic Modeling and Planning, you can exclude members from the data map. Excluding members while moving data is useful if you don't want to overwrite certain data at the target location or if you want to avoid getting warning messages if data at the target location is not present.
    5. Okay, I can’t contain myself on this one…. Please, please, stop drinking to prevent a spit-take…. Really, this one has to be a top enhancement request and I’m happy to announce that Calculation Manager now provides options to export and import level zero data for Block Storage Cubes (BSO). These options are available in the Database Properties screen for BSO cubes in Calculation Manager.  Yes!!! You can now do a Lev0 export and import like with your old friend EAS.  Please, if I don’t get a bunch of comments on this one, I’ll be stunned.  No more Data Export filling out the POV, blah, blah, blah… or using LCM to do it.   A simple right-click, export Level Zero Data will do!
    6. I’m happy.  Are you?
    7. Really, I’ve been waiting on that one for a while, too.
    8. Updates to Working with Jobs using REST APIs.  When working with jobs, you can now use sentence-style capitalization for job names, and you can use spaces between words instead of underscores. For example, you can type Import Data for the job name instead of IMPORT_DATA. No action is required if you are using the old job names; both old and new job names are supported.  You’re welcome.
    9. Yes, we can export Lev0 data for the entire cube directly from Calc Manager!  Are you pleased with this enhancement?

    Upcoming Changes:

    1. R13 is coming at some point… In a future update, there will be a revised interface with enhanced navigation and a new theme called Sky Blue.  The revised interface retains existing functionality and enhances your experience with a more modern look and feel and responsive design. The Welcome Panel and the Global Header readjust after resizing, which means less scrolling. An updated Welcome Panel features Announcements and Notifications. Arrows are available on the Home Page to help you navigate easily between the Springboard and Infolet dashboard pages. A bigger Navigator Menu has improved usability, more themes for customization are included, and a bigger work area has more space to maneuver and provide better visibility. The interface is also more consistent with other Oracle products, such as Fusion Applications.

    After the interface is released, all new customers will use the new lighter-colored Sky Blue theme, and existing customers will keep their current theme. You can switch themes using Tools, and then Appearance.

    1. Planner Role will be renamed as User for all subscriptions…. Sorry FCCS users for forcing you to use the dreaded “P” word.  In an upcoming release, Oracle will rename the Planner EPM Cloud predefined role as User. This change will have no functional effect.

    Subscriptions that were provisioned prior to the May 2016 update used the Planner role, which has been maintained in subsequent updates to provide continuity. In subscriptions that were activated after May 2016, the Planner role was already replaced by the User role.

    1. Removal of Instance Name from predefined Role Names…. This is a good thing to make LCM between Test and Production easier.  The predefined Role Names won’t have the instance name prefix on them.  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. 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.

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

     

    1. Removal of Group Export and Import Options from Access Control.  In the November 2019 update, Oracle will remove the ability to export and import groups from Access Control. As a result of this change, the Export and Import buttons available in the Manage Groups screen will be removed.  This change is being made because the ability to import and export groups is available through Migration and EPM Automate. After this change is made, you will exclusively use Migration for interactive export and import of groups and EPM Automate for automated import and export of groups.

    2. Predefined Role Names will be EPM Cloud restricted/key words.  Starting with an update in the near future, Oracle plans to treat the following predefined role names as EPM Cloud key words, which should not be used in the name of any custom artifacts that you create; for example, as a group name in Access Control.
    1. Service Administrator
    2. Power User
    3. User
    4. Viewer
    5. Planner
    6. System Administrator
    7. Application Administrator
    8. Library Administrator
    9. Reports Administrator

    If you have any groups or artifacts named using these keywords, Oracle requests that you rename or delete them; else Oracle will rename them to ensure that there is no impact because of this change. For example, a group named Power User will be renamed as Power User1 without affecting the current role assignments. If you do not want Oracle to automatically rename such groups, you must rename them.

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

    1. Another popular, upcoming change… Query Governor on BSO and ASO cubes.  In a future update, Oracle will add a query governor on Essbase block storage and aggregate storage cubes to guard against excessive server load created unintentionally by running ad hoc queries that take a very long time to complete. The new governor will limit all queries to a maximum of 30 minutes execution time. This governor affects only retrieval of data, for example, Smart View ad hoc queries, web and Smart View forms, and reports. It does not affect business rules.

    If you run batch reports overnight that may exceed this 30-minute window, please log a Support Request explaining your use case and concern with this future update.Under normal circumstances, letting a report or ad hoc query run for 30 minutes is less than desirable!

    1. Classic Dimension Editor update… new information… I was too busy to ask them to remove this item from this month’s What’s New document.  We clearly aren’t removing it in 2019, so we’ll remove this note and add it back at least two months before we will really remove the Classic Dimension editor.  Fret not… you have a while longer to avoid the SUI Dimension Editor until we deliver the enhancements I’ve been screaming for!
    2. Now for the really important piece… Workforce information.  I know you’ve been dying for some Workforce information, so here it is.  As we gear up for a future enhancement, Safe Harbor, for 13 Periods (P13) in an application to satisfy a Retail industry requirement, we will add “Start Date” instead of “Start Month.”

    In an upcoming update, the Workforce module will introduce a new member named Start Date (OWP_Start Date), which could impact how you load data into Workforce. The Workforce Data Load templates will be updated to accommodate this change, as will the Data Management templates. This new Start Date member enables more accurate calculations than the current Start Month member.

    For existing customers, the start month will be converted to a calculated value based on the Start Date so that your calculations aren't affected. But you will need to make changes to your data load files to provide Workforce with the  Start Date instead of Start Month.

    Before you kill me, we are still finalizing the best way to minimize or not impact you at all with this change.We may modify the Process Loaded Data rules with an “IF” condition in case you don’t load this new data such that we will convert the Start Month to the first day of that month for Start Date.There may be a 1X rule to run to convert your existing Start Month to the corresponding Start Date but we are trying to handle that through the Content Update for you… no guarantees yet.The upside of this change is for feature enhancements, Safe Harbor, that may be coming to a theater near you soon...

    Summary

    Okay, this post always takes me longer to complete than I anticipate.  You’d think plagiarizing from the User Assistance team would be easier!

    Did anyone notice anything missing from this month’s post?  Dear video team, are you slacking this month?  I didn’t see a single, new video.  Gauntlet thrown.

    There are several good enhancements this month.  I think you know which one is my favorite.  What is yours?

    Happy Planning!

    Comment

     

    • Tony Scalese

      My favorite part of this update is not all the awesome new features but the grammar lesson regarding on-premises.  Thank you for that!  I have been trying to convert people for the past 18+ months.  We're going to start a revolution! :)

      • Mark Rinaldi

        First shot has been fired in this revolution!  Let's see who wins.

      • Mark Rinaldi

        Also, I try to italicize ad hoc as it is another language.  There are some that advocate it has become a part of the English language and no longer needs to be italicized but I'm old school.  Six years of Latin will do that to you.

        • Peter Nitschke

          6 years of Latin...explains a lot Mark. cheeky

          Very excited about the ability to export a cube....but when you get to my idea lab about the ability to schedule \ rest API that, well you know what you have to do.

          p

    • Mark Rinaldi

      BTW, I write this in Word and paste into the post, which messes up all the formatting!  I realize the spacing and indentation is ugly but I only fight it for so long...

    • Anthony Manfredi

      Great update!!

    • Arun Raj

       

      Love this!!!!

      The EPM Integration Agent, which provides connectivity between the EPM Cloud and on-premises sources including SQL data sources like Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server, E-Business Suite GL, and PeopleSoft GL, is now available:

      In addition to easy access and setup for these sources, the agent may also be extended using scripting to connect to virtually any data source including 3rd party REST API based systems, or systems that can be accessed using a Jython or Groovy script. The agent, implemented as a data source for Data Management and Data Integration, responds and provides the specified information when a user executes data load rules.  Agent based integrations may be scheduled like any other data rule which provides users the flexibility to define integrations to any source in an automated fashion.

    • Manooj Thomas

      Mark,  Is Projects module (subledger) also available as a source for integration with EPM?

      Cheers.

    • Ronnie Tafoya

      I'm a little behind the times, but " Calculation Manager now provides options to export and import level zero data for Block Storage Cubes (BSO)."  YAY!!!!!!   yes