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    Mark Rinaldi
    What's New in 19.11?
    Topic posted November 1, 2019 by Mark RinaldiSilver Crown: 22,500+ Points, tagged Capital, EPBCS, EPM Automate, Forms, Groovy, Help Center, Integration, Navigation Flows, PBCS, Planning, Projects, Security, SmartView, Snapshot / LCM Export & Import, Strategic Modeling, Tip, Upgrade, User Assistance, Workforce 
    190 Views, 4 Comments
    Title:
    What's New in 19.11?
    Summary:
    ... let's find out!
    Content:

    Is it me or did this month fly by?  It's time to check in on the latest developments in EPM Planning but, as always, I assume you've already memorized all the features identified in this month's What's New documentation.  I'm ever so thankful for the User Assistance team putting this document together each month as we make last-minute changes on them quite frequently.  Their hard work is so nice for me to plagiarize, so here we go.  (If you're new to my "What's New" post, I occasionally put Easter eggs in my commentary.)

    As I've mentioned before, now that we are selling EPM rather than point solutions, there are some overlapping new features.  Since this is a Planning forum, I'll only list ones that pertain to Planning and I will not denote exceptions for the other EPM services (unless you really want me to do so).

    EPM Common

    1. The video team took my goodnatured jab from last month (some excuse about having to do certifications - yeah, yeah - that month) to heart and have started cranking out more videos.  Be sure to check out these new videos:

    Learn more about all of the value in the comprehensive EPM Cloud: EPM Standard Cloud and EPM Enterprise Cloud.

    Getting help for Oracle EPM Cloud is easy. Access videos, tutorials, new feature updates, forums, documentation, translated Information, and more on our help center. 

    Please check these materials out before logging posts or Support Requests (SRs) with questions.  When I respond to posts or emails with links to our documentation or videos, it's a bit of LMGTFY.  I understand there can be questions after reading materials for unique situations but it is much more helpful to read the documentation first.  If there is an inconsistency, ambiguity, or missing piece of the documentation, we need to know that, too, in order to fix it.

    1. Another month, another update to EPM Automate.  A new version of the EPM Automate Utility is available. This version contains the userGroupReport command, which generates a comma separated value file that lists the groups to which users are assigned in Access Control. The report indicates whether the user assignment to group is direct (as member of a group) or indirect (as member of a group that is a child of a nested group).
    1. A new version of Oracle Smart View for Office (Mac and Browser) is available. This version includes the ability to save formatting on ad hoc grids and Smart Forms, and support spreading values using grid spread, cell locking, and mass allocation.

    • Saving Formatting on Ad Hoc Grids and Smart Forms

    Save native Excel formatting back to your Oracle EPM Cloud business process as part of a Smart Form or ad hoc grid.

    • Spreading Values Using Grid Spread

    Administrators enable Grid Spread in the business process. Users can then specify an amount or percentage to increase or decrease values across multiple dimensions on the grid, based on the existing values in the target cells. When calculating the spread data, read-only and locked cells and cells having supporting detail are ignored. Data integrity is ensured because values can be spread only to cells to which you have access.

    • Spreading Values with Cell Locking

    When spreading data over time periods, users can temporarily lock the values of one or more cells to preserve their values when other values are recalculated. Data can then spread across time periods based on various calculations and visually review the changes before committing them to the database.

    • Spreading Values Using Mass Allocation

    Administrators enable Mass Allocation in the business process. Users can then spread data to all descendants of a source cell and across all dimensions. Spreading by mass allocation spreads data to cells not displayed on the grid and does not require that the user have access to the target cells.

    1. To be kind to our financial close and consolidation, tax, and profitability friends who also use the EPM Platform, we have now changed the "Planning" label in Migration to "Core."  Starting with this update, Core replaces Planning in the artifact categories listing that is displayed when you access Migration. This change in the display label better reflects the type of artifacts available in this category and does not have any functional impact.
    1. Many Access Control and Migration modal windows now contain a new menu, which provides access to online help, the Provide Feedback Utility, EPM Cloud Customer Connect, and Oracle Support. This new menu helps you submit Provide Feedback submissions from modal windows. 

    Hmmm, "Modal" is such a fancy, technical term.  Basically, those pop-up or overlay windows that open when you click certain links, like the "Calc-Calculation Manager" hyperlink within the Artifact Snapshot, now have a help icon offering Help, Help on this Topic, Provide Feedback, Oracle Support, and Cloud Customer Connect (e.g. to enter a new Idea).  Before, such overlay windows didn't have a help button.

    1. As we have been warning you, Oracle has removed the ability to export and import groups from Access Control. As a result of this change, the Export and Import buttons are no longer available in the Manage Groups screen. This change was made because the ability to import and export groups is available through Migration and EPM Automate. You should use Migration for interactive export and import of groups and EPM Automate for automated import and export of groups.  Wow, who would've thought that EPM Automate should be used for automation of actions?  There is no doubt now!  :-)
    1. This one is convenient....There is a new Home page icon for switching navigation flows at runtime.

      If you belong to multiple groups or if a navigation flow is assigned to a role, you might have access to more than one navigation flow and you can switch between navigation flows at runtime. To display a list of navigation flows from which you can choose, click the Navigation Flow icon on the global header, and select the navigation flow you want to view.

    2. Ooh, the Data Management/Data Integration techies will like this one:  EPM Cloud users assigned to Power User and User predefined roles for the Planning business process can now access the Data Integration user interface. Previously, only the users assigned to the Service Administrator predefined role had access to the Data Integration user interface.

    3. Groovy alert, Groovy alert:  Updates to EPM Cloud Groovy Rules Java API.  When using Groovy, you can now exclude members in Smart Push. You can also execute a calc script and return to the Groovy script for further execution. The new API is cube.executeCalcScript().  Come on, you know this is awesome!

    4. Already an enhancement to the EPM Integration Agent that is only one month old!  You can now drill down to an on-premises (do I need to explain the ending "S" again?) source system without a landing page and display the results in a pop-up in Data Management (DM) using the EPM Integration Agent.  Basically, if the on-premises system doesn't have a landing page, you can create a SQL query directly in DM to create the drill-through with mappings.

    5. New REST API to generate a User Group Report.  As with EPM Automate above, you can go all high-tech using REST APIs to generate a User Group Report on users in the system and write the report to a provided file name. This report lists the direct or indirect membership of users assigned to groups. It can be downloaded using the Download REST API.  Have you caught on to the pattern where new EPM Automate commands also create new REST API commands for the same feature?

    Planning Updates

    1. I think the video team took it personally... there is a new video for Strategic Modeling Funding Options.  Setting Up Funding Options in Strategic Modeling

      Learn how to set up funding options in Strategic Modeling in Oracle EPM Cloud. First you review how cash surplus and cash deficits are defined. Then you modify the funding routine to use excess cash to pay down high interest debt, and review the impact of those changes on accounts.

    2. On the Projects Enable Features page, the label for Standard Rates from Workforce changed to Integration from Workforce and the label for Standard Rates from Capital changed to Integration from Capital. These changes were made to more clearly identify the purpose of the options for integration.  Yay, clarity!

    3. #Missing getting in your form's way?  There is a new form layout option called Use Database Suppression that enables you to apply row suppression at the Essbase level instead of at the Planning level, thus reducing the amount of data handled on the Planning side and eliminating the impact on query thresholds.

      NOTE: If you use this option and you have a formula column on the form that results in a #MISSING value, the row won't appear on the form because it will be suppressed in Essbase and won't be returned to Planning for formula evaluation.

      The Use Database Suppression option can be set on the Layout tab of the Form and Ad Hoc Grid Management page under Grid Properties.

    Upcoming Changes - EPM Common

    1. 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. 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 not have any impact on customers who currently use predefined roles for managing application-level provisioning and access to artifacts. Oracle will ensure that all application role assignments and artifact security assignments are automatically updated after the roles are renamed. This change makes it easy to migrate EPM Cloud artifacts across environments.

      This change is being implemented to address customer feedback. If you have any concerns about this change, please contact Oracle Support.  This paragraph is encouraging to contact us if you feel this upcoming change may negatively impact you.  If we don't get any feedback via Oracle Support on topics with this paragraph, we assume all is well and that we can deliver it without causing any issues for you.  Hint, hint.

    2. Planner Role to be Renamed as User.  This change will not have any impact on customers who currently use predefined roles for managing application-level provisioning and access to artifacts. Oracle will ensure that all application role assignments and artifact security assignments are automatically updated after the roles are renamed. This change makes it easy to migrate EPM Cloud artifacts across environments.

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

    3. EPM Cloud's new look and feel.  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.

    Watch Overview: Preview EPM Cloud's New Look and Feel video to view highlights of the new user interface theme.

    1. Predefined Role Names will be New Reserved/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.
    • Service Administrator
    • Power User
    • User
    • Viewer
    • Planner
    • System Administrator
    • Application Administrator
    • Library Administrator
    • 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.  Cough, cough....

    1. Get ready for it.  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.  Do you run any overnight batch Reports that may exceed this governor?
    1. As promised, here is the Classic Dimension Editor update.  To allow customers more time to transition from using the Classic Dimension Editor to using the Simplified Dimension Editor, Oracle has deferred the removal of support for Classic Dimension Editor to a future update. Because the plans to remove support for Classic Dimension Editor has not changed, Oracle recommends that you start using the Simplified Dimension Editor instead of the classic editor.

      Oracle will temporarily discontinue this notification from upcoming readiness documents. A two-month advance notification will be provided before support for Classic Dimension Editor is officially removed.  Yay and boo.  Yay that I don't have to keep listing this "Upcoming Change" every month.  Boo that there are some cool enhancements that will come once we do update the Simplified Dimension Editor, which will allow us to deprecate the Classic Dimension Editor.  Therefore, the next time you see this topic in the Upcoming Changes section, we'll likely be close to deprecating it.

    Considerations - EPM Common

    1. Job Scheduler now Supports the Starting Hour and Minute.  Because the Job scheduler changes in the 19.10 update ignored the minutes set in the start time of hourly jobs, it was not possible to sequentially schedule hourly jobs. This issue has been resolved in the 19.11 EPM Cloud update.

      To support sequential scheduling of jobs, the Job scheduler now honors the hour and minute you set for the starting time of a job. For example, if you set the start time to be 12:48AM, and the hourly interval to be 2, the job will now run at 12:48AM, 2:48AM, 4:48AM and so on. And for an 8-hour interval with a start time of 12:48AM, the job will run at 12:48AM, 8:48AM, 4:48PM, and then start over at 12:48AM. The Planning documentation has been modified to explain the hourly scheduling timetable.

    2. Connecting to Narrative Reporting via Integrated Business Processes (IBP).  There is a known issue in 19.11 when accessing Narrative Reporting content via Integrated Business Processes.  This will be corrected in the upcoming weekly patch to your test environment, and will not impact 19.11 production deployments.

    Upcoming Changes - Planning

    1. Start Date Member in Workforce.  In an upcoming update, the Workforce module will introduce a new member named 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.

    Again, I'm still working to minimize or negate any impact on existing customers with this change.  We are simply warning you that data loads may need to be updated.

    Summary

    Another month with lots of new features, mostly at the platform level.  Thanks, again to the User Assistance team for letting me plagiarize their work and for the video team being good sports with my jabs.  They accepted the challenge and delivered!

    I'm torn between the new Groovy updates (exclude members in Smart Push and cube.executeCalcScript) and the Navigation Flow switcher as my favorite update of the month.  What's yours?

    Happy Planning!

     

    Comment

     

    • Marta Rauch

      Great summary, Mark! Lots of helpful new features. My personal favorite is the new REST API feature to create a User Group Report. smiley

    • Vincenzo Piscioneri

      Great stuff!

      My favorite is the group membership report in epmautomate, it provides again what we had in the old interface and it was badly missed in these weeks since Application Management in the old interface stopped working.

      Could you please provide a pointer to the documentation for EnableSimpleAggregation, OptimizeDBRefresh and OptimizeYTDCalculation because it's nowhere to be found.

      Thanks!

    • Peter Joelson

      Mark,

      Thanks for posting these and providing a little more background on some of the changes and purposes behind them!

      I had two questions about the changes:

      1) Allowing Power Users and Users to Data Integration: Will they automatically get full access to all the locations and rules? While it would be hard for an untrained user to "accidentally" kick off a load, it could still be a possibility. Do these users default see all integrations and now security needs to be added to limit them? Or can they NOT see the integrations and security needs to be added so they can?

      Edit: We ended up limiting the access to Data Integration via the Navigation Flows

       

      2) Database Suppression: Forms now have 4 suppression options for rows. The original 3 (Suppress Missing blocks, Suppress Missing data - Rows and Suppress Invalid data - Rows), and now the 4th "Use Database Suppression". How does the new 4th option interact with the other 3? Does using Database Suppression change the setting from Planning to Essbase but the suppression is based on the other 3 check boxes? Or is it a separate suppression "setting", and can be used independantly of the other 3?  IE: If you ONLY use Database Suppression but not the other 3, does it suppress anything? If so, does checking all 4 eliminate the "performance gains" as it is doing both Essbase and Planning?

       

      Thanks!

      PS As a complete aside: I didn't know where to post this, but is there anyway the "Search" feature in Customer Connect can be for BOTH Ideas and Forums?