A New Chapter

•April 28, 2018 • 1 Comment


A New Chapter

Now that Mercury Technology Group is in good hands as Velocity, I decided to move into a new chapter in my career.

I’m thrilled to announce that I have joined Rimini Street Inc.

For those that know Rimini Street, you already know that our core service is helping customers all over the globe save money by switching from vendor (e.g., Oracle, SAP) maintenance-support by switching to Rimini support. The initial savings are half of what customers are paying in maintenance fees today.

For me, I accepted the position of Global Vice President of Strategic Services where I will be growing our advanced strategic offerings exclusive to our clients in the way of advanced security services, functional support services, license management advisory services, advanced technical services, roadmaps, mobility and analytics.

For those of you that know me, are readers of this blog, or follow me on social media, you know that in the last decade I have spent a lot of time specializing in the IT side of Oracle software – a lot of Hyperion, a lot of BI.  Of course, Rimini fully supports these products, however my role is a much broader stroke – and I couldn’t be happier to join an amazing team of professionals.

Rimini has roughly 1000 employees with an annual revenue of over $200M.  They went public late last year and is traded under the Nasdaq symbol RMNI. Rimini’s model is simple – hire the best people (10 years or more of product experience) and deliver stellar support that is better, stronger, and faster than any vendor out there at half the cost. No brainer, right?

Anyway, make no mistake about it, I am still very much, if not more so, part of the Oracle user community and will stay tightly involved within the Oracle user group. I plan on continuing my work in the OAUG and the ODTUG, participating in the corresponding conferences, and contributing educational content as needed. However, due to the nature of the new role, I felt it best to resign from the Oracle ACE program that I have been a part of since 2009. I will truly miss all of them.

As for “The I.T. Side,“ I’m not sure. I assume my blogging and social media will be much less frequent, and will be a much different subject matter than followers have been accustom. I guess we will see.

The good thing is that over the years we have seen much more volunteer participation in the Oracle community for products outside the core database such as Hyperion, BI, etc. (even blockchain sessions at this years’ KSCOPE!). We have more bloggers than ever, and more Oracle ACEs representing apps and middleware – it’s fantastic. The community is certainly in great hands. Of course, at the same time, we have also seen very prominent advocates leave the ACE program and their blogging legacy in pursuit of opportunities elsewhere. Many just recently. They all have their reasons. It’s an interesting time.

But hey – that’s the way careers go, that’s the way the industry works – we all wish everyone the very best and look forward to any opportunity to see friends and colleagues at events all over the world.

There are too many people to list to thank for helping me in my Hyperion / BI focused career….so I won’t even attempt it. You all know who you are and I especially take my hat off to those that provided and still publish amazing content, for free, on nights and weekends with no compensation or expectation of anything in return.

So I’ll leave it at that. Onward and upward. Of course if I can be if any help to anyone – be it Hyperion, BI, or helping save money on vendor support/maintenance costs, please let me know.

The views, opinions, and positions expressed by the author are mine alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or positions of my employer, its affiliates, or any employee thereof. 


About Rimini Street

Rimini Street, Inc. (Nasdaq: RMNI) is a global provider of enterprise software products and services, and the leading third-party support provider for Oracle and SAP software products. The company has redefined enterprise software support services since 2005 with an innovative, award-winning program that enables licensees of IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP and other enterprise software vendors to save up to 90 percent on total support costs. Clients can remain on their current software release without any required upgrades for a minimum of 15 years. Over 1,560 global Fortune 500, midmarket, public sector and other organizations from a broad range of industries currently rely on Rimini Street as their trusted, third-party support provider. To learn more, please visit https://www.riministreet.com, follow @riministreet on Twitter and find Rimini Street on Facebook and LinkedIn. (C-RMNI)

The Future of On-prem and SaaS Oracle EPM Enterprise Data Management

•June 26, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Oracle commits to new features, themes, and functionality to on-premise licensed Data Relationship Management


Oracle covered some of the on-premise roadmap for DRM and ideas behind the new dimension management cloud service at Kscope 17.  Note:  Alot of this information is rumors, general direction, and not guaranteed whatsoever.

The SaaS cloud offering has not been officially named yet. Right now, they refer to it as DMCS, but that could change.

The major theme going forward is to provide the ability for customers to use pre-packaged applications for specific use cases. They are calling the packages “Application Adapters”

Oracle is focusing on how they are going to engage partners in the process. They want the partner community to contribute to the capabilities of the tool. They claim that will help partners differentiate but also have the ability to monetization the innovation. Oracle is relying on partners to compliment the investments Oracle is making with allowing partner packaged content.

These packages will probably work like with other integrations – a file based integration that would be uploaded with EPMAutomate into the inbox. More on that later…

Coming soon, there will be a minor update to on-prem DRM that will certify Java 7 and have some general bug fixes.

However, the big announcement is the new 11.2 on-prem release that is planned for Q4 2018 or Q1 2019. As with the other on-prem licensed EPM products, it will be supported until 2030.


Support matrix for DRM versions:

VERSION                    SUPPORTED UNTIL                   Mar 2018

DRM         DEC 2020

DRM 11.2                   DEC 2030


New certifications expected in 11.2 :

  • FMW 12
  • Java 8, (JDK 1.8)
  • Third party:
    • windows server 2016
    • SQL Server 2014,2016
    • Chrome and edge browsers
  • Product enhancements – which is still TBD. The candidates for enhancements are below


The on-prem11.2 Top candidates:

  • Node access group security to restrict access to specific nodes based on node types
  • Property masking capabilities – secure private or personally identifiable information.
  • Schedule data exchanges – enhances import/export profiles
  • Cloud enablement – external support connection for SFTP
  • FCCS integrations to enable migrations from legacy consolidations.


Additional candidates under considerations for on-prem 11.2

  • Packaged integrations with cloud: FCCS, ARCS, EPBCS
  • Performance enhancements – load, save, copy, delete large versions
  • Business glossary and metadata request experiences
  • Impact analysis – DRM metadata changes
  • DRG enhancements – request visualizations, mass approvals, scheduled requests, custom email notifications, customer headers/footers
  • DRM analytics – user level change analysis, data qulity dashboard.
  • Oracle EDQ integration
    • export, match, import, blend versions
    • batch property standardization and cleansing
    • DRG; Duplicate Identification on node creation.


The feedback for the partners at KSCOPE has been mixed. The biggest headache is integration with other products. The overall general feedback from partners was to focus on that. Some suggested they focus on ARCS integration and the need for it to seamlessly talk back to on-prem. The SFTP integration is a big win, because that could integration with anything, theoretically.

What’s new in EDM? The theme is “Master at your own pace.” Provide a platform for incremental non-disruptive data sharing across the enterprise.

The idea is to have smaller communities of users, to share dimensionality. So companies do not have to invest in a broader enterprise EDM program. Policies can be put into to place to share dimensionality and identify masters for smaller pieces. For examples you can subscribe to changes to automatically update masters.

  • Masters and applications views.   A two-tier model allows true application views.
  • Elastic Data Rationalizations
  • Just-in-time governance
  • Scalable Across Domains. Support for 10’s or even 100s of millions of members in a dimension via high and low availability options.

Data Management Cloud Service

Of course, Oracle is working on the cloud version. Initial version of Dimension Management Cloud Service will focus only on Finance, starting with ERP and EPM cloud and On-premise integration

Key features of the upcoming DMCS:

  • Application (maintenance) and Master perspectives.
  • Simplified Rich user interface
  • Request-driven recorded actions
  • Change visualization
  • Compare and synchronize – side-by-side
  • Packaged cloud app integration
  • … not just hierarchies…


Focus is to Support for Hybrid Deployments

  • Connect and sync with ERP and EPM
  • Use RESTful services
  • Cloud and on-prem.



  • Rationalize across applications build fully aligned views
  • Visual curate master data to govern across applications


DRM will not port to DMCS. According to Oracle at the partner session: “We are not trying to move existing DRM customers to DMCS – it’s intended for net new customers.” You will not able to port everything from DRM. You could however, export the hierarchies via the natural import… but no rules, or anything else will port.

As far as app adapters – are called at run-time to create new applications. Initially they will have only two adapters: a generic adapter, and one pre-built for EPBCS. App adapters are essentially wizards that will 1.) establish the metadata needed for the intended view. 2.) Facilitate the import from the target.

For things like EPBCS, initially users will need to fill out everything – Alias tables, dimensions, etc. However going forward, the idea would be to have more live discovery that will allow you to choose existing items with forms pre-filled out.

Partners could be expected to develop adapters and capabilities for The Data Management Cloud


In the future, Oracle is contemplating  creating a framework and format to JASON so partners can create their own custom wizards and forms to create new app adapters and applications, without compiling code.

Partners will create App Adapters that consist of the following components:

  • Application Registration
    • Connection parameters
    • Slots – process flow and questions for the application registration
    • Framework – defines connections between the slot answers and creation logic
    • Creation Logic – controls the creation and updating of DMCS objects
  • Connection logic
  • Import/Export Logic
  • Validations

The app registration process has two phases:

Phase one: “Application and connections phase” – connection information, application type, etc

Phase two: uses slots/framework

Initially, it seems it will not be possible to export an app adapters to use as a template so that partners can reuse them at other customers.


Slots are fields that are used to for application registration. Slots can contain other slots.

The slot types are:

  • Questions: can be required or optional, can put in default answers.
  • Lists:  like plan types, dimensions. Can have additional information on each item in the list… like Plan Name, Descriptions, ASO or BSO, Dimension name, etc.
  • Summary – allow a user to review prior to finalizing.


Maybe later: conditional types, properties. Opportunities here could be things like Salesforce adapters

Framework and Creation Logic:

The Framework and Connection Logic is a set of detailed steps needed to crate the appropriate DMCS meta data to house the specific application instance. It will be a javascript and will have a set of calls available to create the necessary configuration.

Currently Framework and Creation Logic are hard coded in the app adapter. Later, partners will be able to configure it similar to slots.

Today, there is no monetization platform for this. They have not figured out how this will work how it will be supported and certified by Oracle, maintained/patched, etc. This would have to be a larger Oracle initiative that the DRM group themselves could not create an application marketplace on their own… so I don’t think there will be a platform for this anytime soon.


Regardless, it is not determined how successful this would be and many questions remain.  EPM partners are not software developers, but would welcome the opportunity to differentiate and potentially add to their revenue stream. What process would be put into place to protect the Intellectually property of the vendors, or will it just be bragging rights?  Will vendors have early access to start developing?  If so, who gets invited?

Will it be used?  In essence, Oracle would need to create and maintain a programing/development environment.  How much time would they invest in that as opposed to developing new features into the product itself?

Either way, as new enterprise data management customers consider a SaaS platform, partners will need to re-tool and change their role in the cloud to more of a modeling, JSON adapter development, and process flow partner rather than a true technical integration implementor traditionally done with on-prem DRM.






Join me for some East cost events on the second week of May

•April 27, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Tech Days

GAOUG will be hosting their Tech Days conference in Atlanta on May 9th. This is a TWO DAY event full of hands-on training and training across database, big data, middleware, and applications. It will be at the Loudermilk Conference Center

Come hear my session

Title:  Maintaining, Monitoring, Administering, and Patching Oracle EPM Systems

Time: Wednesday May 10th, 4-5pm Anna Cablik room.

Content for Tech days is here

Register here




Logo white

INNOVATE17 is a collaborative initiative of the Northeast PeopleSoft and New York – New Jersey JD Edwards User Group (NERUG), the Greater Philly PeopleSoft and JD Edwards User Group (PHRUG), the Oracle Human Capital Management Users Group (OHUG) and the Oracle Applications Users Groups of New Jersey, Metro New York City and the Mid-Atlantic (OAUGNJ, OAUGNYC and MAOAUG) in partnership with Oracle

This event will be held Thursday, May 11, 2017 from 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM at the Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel in Iselin, NJ 08830

Come to my session on comparing cloud options for Hyperion/EPM customers:

Showdown: SaaS vs. IaaS vs. Cloud vs. On-premise. A detailed comparison of all Oracle EPM Deployment Scenario

Time: 12:50 – 1:40

This session will qualify for 1 CPA CPE Credit.

Registration and details here


Stop panicking! EPM On-prem is alive, well, and strategic – Here’s Proof!

•April 10, 2017 • 4 Comments


This year’s Collaborate conference in Las Vegas really got me thinking more so than usual… there is a lot of confusion with the Oracle cloud when it comes to EPM and BI. A lot. And it’s not getting better – it’s actually getting worse.


Whether you are an Oracle employee, customer, or partner/vendor, you have no doubt been caught up in the extreme push for Oracle’s Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions.


Customers are being strong-armed into converting their software assets they paid premium money for years ago for pennies on the dollar into a rented model…. And many customers are wising up, fed up with the hard sell, and scared of the dreaded audit.


Why the push? Oracle is going after some of the successful SaaS EPM platforms like Host Analytics, Anaplan, OneStream, etc. The push is so hard, that Oracle Sales reps can no longer earn commission for selling on-premise software and only qualify for commission for selling SaaS cloud. So an Oracle field rep would receive $0 for a ½ million dollar on-premise license deal, but would earn a significant commission on $120-per-user cloud deal!


It may sound crazy. One thing for sure is that it’s causing massive confusion. I have heard some customers, and even Oracle Reps and vendors actually believe that Oracle cannot sell you on-premise software anymore.


This cannot be further from the truth. People are becoming misinformed or all out lied to for self-interest.


The truth is that Oracle’s vision is that customers have a choice on how they want to deploy their software. There are three ways:



This is an Oracle graphic that describes the three options. “Private Cloud” is a customer on-premise deployment. “Managed Cloud” is an on-premise license but is hosted by a third party hosting and managed services provider like Mercury Technology. “Subscription” is a Software as a Service (SaaS) rented software platform such as Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS), Financial Close and Consolidation Cloud Service (FCCS), etc.


All are supported. All are strategic. All are being invested in. All are being updated, patched, upgraded, and enhanced. Your deployment platform is 100% up to you.


While SaaS is the newest option in the group, make no mistake – one does not replace the other. In spite of what your rep might tell you – customers are not being forced to go one way or the other or replace their on-premise implementation that they have already invested in.

Customers breathed a collective sigh of relief this week at Collaborate when over-and-over Oracle made sure this message was clear during multiple sessions. Customers.


Hari Sankar, Global VP of Product Management had some key quotes last week during his EPM Roadmap sessions:


“Oracle has a lot of investment on the cloud, however we are not ignoring on-premise”


“We are very cognizant that many of you have investment in on-prem. Your investment continues”


“We are not taking our eyes off of on-premise – we will continue to support and enhance on-premise”


“We are not going to push the cloud on you if you are not ready for it”


During an integration session, Mike Casey Director – Oracle Data integration product development was quoted as saying:

“Oracle’s push is to make everything 100% available in the cloud, but that’s not reality – there is always going to be on-prem

Matt Lee, Group Sales Director at Oracle, during a Meet-the-Oracle -Experts session said that on-premise is alive and well, and can be sold by his organization at any time. He went on to even say:

“The future is really bright for Oracle On-prem”

Towards the end of the session, Mr. Lee said:

“I hope that after this event, if you questioned that any of the Oracle on-premise products are end of life, I hope that resounding answer has been no”

Want more proof?  Here’s 4 points

1. You can buy on-premise software on-line.

Take a look at http://Shop.oracle.com where you can easily by EPM and BI on-premise licenses on-line direct from Oracle.




2. More on-premise road-map sessions at conferences

The feedback has been loud and clear to Oracle. Users are tired of the all-cloud tunnel vision content lately. For the last year or so, all webinars, educational sessions, and conference sessions have been all about cloud. The fact is that the vast majority of Oracle’s customers are licensed on-prem and only about 2000 customers are subscribed to the EPM cloud (no mention on how many are actually using it). The customer base was visibly clear at Collaborate this year as well. In almost every Oracle-lead session the speaker would inevitably poll the audience to see how many people are in the cloud. In every session I was in, only 1 to 2 raised their hand in a room full of 40-50 people.

The user community has definitely taken notice of the lack of on-premise content which is seemingly contributing to lagging conference attendance numbers. However, recently, customers and user group members have made strides  in getting conference committees to take notice and focus more on getting on-premise and hybrid material in their events.


At Collaborate, there was even a roadmap session dedicated to on-premise EPM deployments. The theme was strong:

  • On-premise is strategic for Oracle. They acknowledge that many customers do not want to walk away from their on-premise license asset and go to a rented model. They acknowledge that some are not ready to move to the cloud and may never.
  • Cloud innovations are getting pushed to prem faster without costly upgrades.
  • Oracle is no longer going to make relevant features only available on the cloud


3. The adoption of the Patch Set Update (PSU) as an innovation delivery vehicle.


Perhaps the greatest thing that Oracle’s cloud introduced to customers is a vehicle for rapid features deployment. We know that all the new development, features, and functionality will go to the SaaS cloud first, and then be pushed to on-prem. Originally, on-premise customers thought that they would have to wait until a major release upgrade in order to get the new features – putting them potentially years behind on the latest and greatest. However, that is not the case anymore.


Hari Sankar mentioned at Collaborate that Oracle is changing it’s Patch Set Update delivery model. Historically, PSUs were generally a set of patches that addressed software bugs, performance issues, and security holes that customers could non-intrusively apply while in between upgrades. PSUs have also traditionally been released across all products at the same time, which slowed down the release cycle while the each product manager aligned to a versioned release cycle.


Going forward, not only will the PSUs have the traditional defect fixes, but they will also have incremental features direct from the cloud. PSUs will be released by individual product, so the releases can come much faster without dependencies. The on-premise software will see a gradual evolution to the cloud architecture, including the simplified interface, and have the same focus on usability.


This means that customers are not forced to go to the cloud to get the latest and greatest. A simple installation of a PSU is a matter of an hour compared to a lengthy and expensive upgrade. For example the coming HFM on-prem patch sets should have a lot of the cloud-only features such as Journals workbench, HFM Insights, Rules Profiling, etc. In patch sets for Planning, we can expect to see sandboxing, valid combinations, etc.


Many on-premise customers prefer to control their own patch testing cycles based on their own calendar – when it makes sense for them – rather than be forced whenever Oracle pushes a surprise update. While rapid development is nice, it puts many cloud customers in a constant state of testing updates, because updates can come frequently and customers only get 2 weeks before it is forced into production. Customers would rather schedule an update over a safe weekend rather than suffer an hour mandatory outage every day that could potentially push some changes.

Customers that want to keep their on-premise license assets but want a cloud model (included upgrades, patches, hardware, etc) choose to go to a third party hosting company that specializes in Oracle solutions. Hosting companies like Mercury Technology provide all the services that SaaS offers, however customers get to keep their licenses, enjoy all the full on-prem features including seamless data integration, isolated secured servers, and 24×7 rapid helpdesk support.


4. The Oracle Digital team


If the preceding is not proof enough that on-premise is alive, well, and very strategic for Oracle – this will be: Introducing Oracle Digital

Formed on June 1st, Oracle Digital is a team of 120 inside sales specialists inside Oracle across North America. One team, under Matt Lee’s leadership is dedicated to on-premise sales. They are 100% comp’d on license deals, and not cloud. They are broken out by geographical area, industry verticals, etc. I’ll blog more about this unique group of sales specialists later. However, in the mean time, if you have a pushy field rep that is forcing you to cloud or claiming that it is impossible to sell on-premise… walk away and email these folks – they will be happy to help you with on-prem licenses.



If you want to keep your licenses AND move to a cloud model – that’s where Mercury Technology comes in. Contact me for a free quote.

In either case – everyone remain calm, stop panicking! On-prem software, code, support, and licenses are alive, well, and strategic.  But it’s really important to do your research to make the best choice for you.  Make sure you look at all factors when selecting your platform… there are many more considerations other than surface level costs:

  • Support quality and speed
  • Data integration abilities and limitations
  • Frequency of updates and upgrades
  • Security, encryption, data separation, vulnerability
  • Compliance such as SSA16, SOC
  • Service level agreement contractual enforcement
  • User adoption and prove out
  • Level of access to servers, tools, automation, scripts, logs, performance monitors
  • Performance and ability to do something about it if it is not good
  • Availability of all features and functionality
  • Ability to leave the solution if you decide


The East Coast gets some EPM Love…#GaTechDays17

•March 31, 2017 • Leave a Comment



For those longing for some good Oracle technical content on the East cost, you are in luck. May 9th-10 the Georgia Oracle User Group will be hosting Tech Days – a two day event in Atlanta. The conference committee has done a great job attracting some of the best experts in the fields of Database, Big Data, Middleware, and Applications, including some hands-on training.

Of course, Mercury Technology will be there in full force armed with information on managed cloud hosting.

I will be presenting the following session on the second day:

Title: Maintaining, Monitoring, Administering, and Patching Oracle EPM Systems

Abstract: We all have to do it, right? But what actually needs to be done? Who needs to do it? How long does it take? To understand the true value of our Oracle EPM system, we must quantify and understand the level of effort needed to maintain and administer the system. Total cost of ownership not only includes licensing and hardware, but we must also factor in the human resources needed for care and feeding. Join Oracle ACE Director Eric Helmer as he outlines what companies generally require to administer Hyperion environments and how to make those activities as efficient as possible.

– Learn what it takes to maintain a Hyperion system day to day
– Understand the overall human resources needed
– Learn options organizations have to reduce the costs and efforts

Check out the event’s web site for more information on the planned events and scheduled sessions: http://gaoug.strikingly.com/

Icing on the cake?  Registration to the event includes a 1 year membership the user group… all for under $300.

Register for Tech Days here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gaoug-tech-days-2017-registration-28290002158

Hope to see you there!

The East Coast gets some EPM Love…#GaTechDays17

•March 30, 2017 • Leave a Comment


For those longing for some good Oracle technical content on the East cost, you are in luck. May 9th-10 the Georgia Oracle User Group will be hosting Tech Days – a two day event in Atlanta. The conference committee has done a great job attracting some of the best experts in the fields of Database, Big Data, Middleware, and Applications, including some hands-on training.

Of course, Mercury Technology will be there in full force armed with information on managed cloud hosting.

I will be presenting the following session on the second day:

Title: Maintaining, Monitoring, Administering, and Patching Oracle EPM Systems

Abstract: We all have to do it, right? But what actually needs to be done? Who needs to do it? How long does it take? To understand the true value of our Oracle EPM system, we must quantify and understand the level of effort needed to maintain and administer the system. Total cost of ownership not only includes licensing and hardware, but we must also factor in the human resources needed for care and feeding. Join Oracle ACE Director Eric Helmer as he outlines what companies generally require to administer Hyperion environments and how to make those activities as efficient as possible.

– Learn what it takes to maintain a Hyperion system day to day

– Understand the overall human resources needed

– Learn options organizations have to reduce the costs and efforts

Check out the event’s web site for more information on the planned events and scheduled sessions: http://gaoug.strikingly.com/

Icing on the cake?  Registration to the event includes a 1 year membership the user group… all for under $300.

Register for Tech Days here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gaoug-tech-days-2017-registration-28290002158

Hope to see you there!

Introducing Oracle Data Integrator Cloud Service (ODICS)

•February 16, 2017 • Leave a Comment


(Picture:  Oracle Blog: https://blogs.oracle.com/dataintegration/entry/introducing_oracle_data_integrator_cloud)



Oracle recently announced Oracle Data Integrator Cloud Service.   In a refreshing change, they announced a cloud product at the same time that it is actually publicly available and not something that is a future ability.

Impressively, the ODICS is the actual full on-premise version of ODI (version available in an subscription cloud version.

Deploying Oracle Data Integrator Cloud Service will

  • Accelerate Analytics by executing E-LT workload into Oracle’s Platform as a Service and pushdown processing which is well suited in a cloud environment.
  • Lower developmental costs through lower infrastructure and maintenance costs. Users can leverage existing on-prem or cloud investments.
  • Allow users to do a monthly pay-as-you go model for Hybrid integration.

ODICS is being touted as the integration tool of choice for hybrid heterogeneous cloud deployments – moving data to/from on-prem to/from Oracle and non-Oracle cloud solutions. Its’ built on bulk data performance with a non invasive footprint that is optimized for mixed technologies, sources, targets, and applications.

It will directly connect to multiple RDBMS and big data engines such as SQL, Hive, and Datapump). It has native integration with Oracle Database Cloud service, Exadata Cloud Service, Big Data Cloud Service, and Java Cloud Service

ODICS offers simple or complex mappings that can be easily extended or refined which significantly reduces the learning curve, shortens implementation time, and makes for simpler maintenance.


(Picture:  Oracle Blog: https://blogs.oracle.com/dataintegration/entry/introducing_oracle_data_integrator_cloud)


Under the Covers

ODICS runs on top of the Java Cloud Service, so it is Weblogic based and highly available. It’s running version ODI 12c.

The cloud version will run the ODI server and agent on the cloud only. You cannot run an on-premise agent without an on-prem license.

There are quite a few available Plugable knowledge modules

  • Dtabse CS
  • Exadata CS
  • Hive
  • HBase
  • Spark
  • Sqoop
  • BICS
  • Kafka
  • Oralce DB Link
  • Pig
  • External Tables
  • Cassandra
  • Oracle Datapump
  • Teradata
  • EBS
  • IBM DB2
  • Netezza
  • SCD


You may notice that NONE of the EPM cloud products are mentioned.  there is no support for direct integration to products like Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS) Financial Close and Consolidation (FCCS), or Essbase Cloud Service. However, BI Cloud service is directly supported.

For those that have on-prem ODI, please see this article on how to use it for things like PBCS, BICS, DBCS: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/articles/bi/radtke-giampaoli-odi-cloud-3433819.html

If you want to do a lot of integration with on-premise, especially pushing data to on-premise, you will want to establish a VPN connection with ODICS so that direct integration can happen.  If not, there could potentially be some haphazard flat file movement which will require Oracle Cloud storage to store files that ODICS can pick it up.

My initial understanding that if you want to use the ODI Studio, you must have it in the cloud on something like Oracle compute and install it. Users will have to use some sort of Remote Desktop connection to log into a server to launch the client.  But I need to verify this.

REST API is not available yet for ODICS, but is expected soon.


Use Cases

Oracle has discussed a few use cases.

Use Case one: Migrations / Refreshes

ODICS can be used to facilitate data migrations. It can be leveraged to move data from On-prem to cloud either as a part of a permanent move or as a way to move data copies or data refreshes. ODICS can be used to migrate data from DEV to PROD or visa versa.

Use Case two: Data Warehousing and Analytics

A good use case for ODICS is to consolidate data from multiple sources into a data warehouse. After mapping and translating all the data into an optimal format and staging, customers can leverage BI for complete enterprise wide reporting and analytics. For more real time analytics, customers could also employ Golden Gate Cloud Service for a nice trickle feed.



Use Case 3: Heterogeneous Cloud Integration

ODICS can be used to sync data and metadata between hybrid solutions. As I stated before, companies more and more are looking at a best of breed solution to managed applications by choosing the right platform for each application. The day of consolidating all solutions into one single provider is over. ODICS creates an environment where a single cloud application can manage all of your data integration regardless of the physical platform it resides on.



Use Case 4: Moving to a Holistic Solution as a Service provider

Leaving a poor performing hosting provider can seem like a daunting task. ODICS can offer some companies the ability to “lift-and-shift” their applications to a new provider without the need for large data exports, file transfers, and data imports. Data does not sit in the cloud, ODICs provides a pass-through to move into a new home that could provide better service and/or better cost:


Oracle Data Integrator cloud service is available now on cloud.oracle.com under platform as a Service -> Integration.

Pricing is tied to the OCPU and is different depending if you want a metered or non-metered model:



TheITSide: Upcoming Webinars and Events

•January 26, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Don’t miss the following events coming this year.



OAUG Hyperion SIG Webinar: Introduction to the EPM On-Prem/Cloud Hybrid Deployment

Thu, Feb 23, 2017 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CST

Recent cloud offerings have introduced many options companies have to deploy, maintain, and integrate EPM systems. With so many options from Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and traditional on-premise systems, customers are striving to understand the most cost-conscious solution without sacrificing security, stability, and performance. The truth is that there is no one-size fits-all and for the foreseeable future, companies will be opting for a best-of-breed mixed hybrid solution that makes the best sense. Join Oracle ACE Director Eric Helmer as he walks through each model, the pros and cons, and real world case studies of how it can all work together in this in-depth unbiased evaluation of the new hybrid cloud phenomenon.
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Collaborate 2017 Conference: The Great Reveal: The Real Cost and Effort of Maintaining and Administering Hyperion and BI

April 2nd, Las Vegas, NV

How much time do companies spend maintaining Hyperion? How much money are is spent on day-to-day maintenance and administration activities? Wouldn’t it be great if we could analyze the man-hours and quantify the costs associated with the required care-and-feeding? Join Oracle ACE Director Eric Helmer as he candidly discusses the real-world activities of administrators, tips on how to automate, and options businesses have to reduce these expensive tasks.

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Georgia Oracle User Group Tech Days 2017:  Maintaining, Monitoring, Administering, and Patching Oracle EPM Systems

May 9-10, Atlanta, GA

We all have to do it, right? But what actually needs to be done? Who needs to do it? How long does it take? To understand the true value of our Oracle EPM system, we must quantify and understand the level of effort needed to maintain and administer the system. Total cost of ownership not only includes licensing and hardware, but we must also factor in the human resources needed for care and feeding. Join Oracle ACE Director Eric Helmer as he outlines what companies generally require to administer Hyperion environments and how to make those activities as efficient as possible.

– Learn what it takes to maintain a Hyperion system day to day
– Understand the overall human resources needed
– Learn options organizations have to reduce the costs and efforts

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Kscope 17:  Unbiased Comparison: Evaluating All Deployment Options for Hyperion EPM – SaaS vs. IaaS vs. On-Prem

June 25-29, San Antonio, TX

Today, the word “cloud” is everywhere, and it’s causing a lot of confusion. Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS) are completely different solutions but are all considered “cloud.”

This session will compare and contrast the different available options Oracle customers have to deploy Oracle EPM. It will break down all Oracle’s cloud offerings, IaaS, third-party hosting, traditional on-premise deployments including Exalytics, and hybrid approaches.

This session will read between all marketing lines and discuss what’s possible and what’s a bit overstated. It will cover differences in functionality, data integration, security, flexibility, and scalability. Finally, we will evaluate the differences in costs, including hardware, software licensing, and ongoing maintenance.

If you are looking to make a decision on how best to deploy, upgrade, or outsource Oracle EPM this is a don’t miss session.

Register here


A deep dive and demo of the coming Essbase Cloud Service

•December 16, 2016 • Leave a Comment


In case you missed it….

Yesterday, there was a Webinar hosted by Kumar Ramaiyer VP of product development to go over the new Essbase Cloud service. Included was a demo of a few use cases, which I will showcase below.

First and foremost it seems that Essbase will be included in a cloud service called Oracle Analytic Cloud – which will be a Platform-as-a-Service offing that combines Essbase and Data Visualization.

There will be two versions available: The Standard edition which will be Data Visualization and Essbase. The Enterprise edition will also include BICS.

Historically Essbase was created to model spreadsheet use cases that empower business users… a self proclaimed “Excel on Steroids.”  Of course, over time Oracle enhanced Essbase with tighter security, in-memory capabilities, Hybrid ASO/BSO, etc. But make no mistake, the Essbase cloud service certainly gets back to the roots of seamlessly extending and integrating Excel.

But as Kumar pointed out, Essbase in a cloud model is not new, as it is actually the back-end of many other cloud offerings available today such as Enterprise Planning Cloud, Planning and Budgeting Cloud, Financial Consolidation and Close, and even Financials Cloud and Project Management Cloud.

The general themes of the offering are:

  • Flexibility: Bring your own data, or start from scratch model
  • Ease of use: Users don’t need a lot of knowledge of Essbase
  • Collaborative: Workflow and change tracking built in
  • Relevant: Hybrid ASO/BSO is the default cube type
  • Fast: Real time benefits. Load data at the leaf level and data is automatically calced and aggregated on the fly.


So who is the intended customer for this?

Case 1: Move to the Cloud

For existing Essbase users, Oracle says that people have the ability to move their applications from on-prem to their cloud using LCM exports. For those that do not want to move existing models, the Essbase cloud service could be used in conjunction with on-prem by leaving existing apps on-prem and develop new models using an on-prem/cloud hybrid approach. This approach allows customers to test out applications in using the latest versions deployed in the cloud.


Case 2: Combination and Consolidation 

Of course, one of the biggest limitations of the Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS) is that you can only have one Planning application. This forces users to purchase multiple separate PBCS instances for each application they need. Oracle sees the Essbase Aloud  as an opportunity to consolidate data from multiple separate PBCS instances into one large Essbase Cloud application for a single enterprise wide reporting source.


Case 3: Extend Excel

Let’s face it Excel is great but there are many limitations:

  • Size limitations
  • No collaboration or versioning
  • Data is segregated with no integrity
  • No real data visualization

So for new Essbase customers that want to extend the capabilities of Excel, this is a good option. Of course proponents of an Excel-only environment like Excel because of the isolation and protection of data – if someone makes a mistake it only affects their spreadsheet and not the enterprise data. However, Oracle included Sandboxing in this offering to address those concerns. Sandboxing allows users to create a private copy of the data to try things out before pushing them into the system.


The Analytic Cloud:  It’s not just Essbase

Perhaps the most compelling part of the Analytic Cloud is the included data visualization capabilities that transforms Essbase from a multidimensional data store to a full fledged analytic platform.

Data visualization allows users to discover and research Essbase data in a new refreshing way. It provides insights with rich color that can easily track and monitor progress in a collaborative fashion.


Data can be visualized in the Data Visualization web interface or in Excel just as easily. Through the interfaces, it’s easy to identify things like dimensions, hierarchies, measures and attributes. You can quickly and easily change graph types or look at the data in a table format.




As with many Oracle products that has moved into a cloud offering, Essbase was completely redesigned for the platform. They replaced the Essbase agent with a java based agent and created a unified middleware layer for all services that conforms to modern standards. REST, Java API, Scripting, R, and Groovy are all supported.


They eliminated familiar tools such as Essbase Administration Services and Essbase Studio with other web based tools. These changes allow Oracle to expose ways to administer Essbase and run scripts without needing to give customers access to the servers. With these tools you can still view database statistics, edit the outline, manage connections and locks, and administer security.


The new java based architecture gives way to a bring-your-own-browser environment as well as full smartivew connectivity and integration with BICS. It also creates a platform that is designed for higher concurrency, more secure, and scalable.

While you can have unlimited number of dimensions, you do have to chose your “shape.” You can choose from 1,2,4,8, or 16 CPUs with 7.5-15GB of memory per CPU. A CPU in this instance is a OCPU which is equivalent to a core. The service can be metered or non-metered.

They also simplified security. There are only two basic user role types

  • System level roles – to provision administrators and power users
  • application roles – app mangers, DB manager, update, read-only, etc.

Security provisioning is performed though a simple interface.




Loading data and creating cubes

There are many ways to interface with and load into the Essbase cloud service

  • Life Cycle Management import/export
  • The new EssCS command line tool
  • Upload from free form excel
  • Design new in Excel
  • Java and REST APIs
  • Using a gallery template
  • The cloud UI itself.


You can use LCM to move cube artifacts from on-prem to the cloud. They can come from or deployments. Cross cube references such as XREF and partitions are not copied over, and will need to be recreated manually.

LCM imports can be done with the new EssCS command line tool:


The EssCS command line tool can do a lot more. You can use this tool to execute jobs like calcs, clears, and data loads. You can even check status of jobs. Some commands out of the box:

  • login
  • Logout
  • Calc (execute a calc)
  • Dataload
  • Dimbuild
  • Download (download a file from a cloud instance)
  • Listfiles (ie – list all rul files)
  • Maxl (execute a MAXL script)
  • Upload (upload a file)
  • Version

Again, these new tools are for one reason: to give users the ability to interact with the cloud instance without giving the ability to get on the server. Remember this is a platform as a service… you will not have any access past the UI and these provided tools.

For a new Essbase applications, users can use the Cube Designer, which is a UI full of templates and excel modeling tools that help you create cubes. You can use Excel templates as a modeling tool that describes the structure that will be used to create the outline. There are pre-built templates for specific business use cases such as price analytics, margin analytics, cash flow, etc




Summary of the Demo

Demo 1 – loading/editing data from Excel into a cube.

Case: I am looking at my staff of managers that all have staff and a budget to hire. I want to see them all on one place to see how the overall budget is going.

Log in:



Look at the headcount


Drill to detail:


Add another manager called Imram who has a candidate Michal Jordon. I’m going to use an excel sheet to do it.



Upload to the cloud:




See the new data:



Demo 2:  Import a spreadsheet and create a new cube from it.


Choose Transform data:


Choose application name:


It automatically shows what it thinks the hierarchies are.


Build the cube. You can watch the job in the job manager


When complete, we can see the new app in the web UI and in Smartview:


Demo 3: Creating a cube using a template:

Open up the Gallery and select a pre-built application workbook.


Fill out the workbook






Note: Screen shots taken from public Oracle webinar. A copy of the recorded webinar can be found on Oracle’s web site and blogs.

OTN Appreciation Day : The Log Analysis Tool #ThanksOTN

•October 11, 2016 • Leave a Comment

In the spirit of OTN Appreciation day (Thanks Tim, you are not a kiss-ass), I am posting about my favorite feature in Oracle EPM specifically on today October 11th in appreciation for all the great work that Oracle Technology Network does.  For more information on the gesture that is involving many Oracle bloggers from across the globe, look to #ThanksOTN on twitter.

My Favorite?  It would have to be the Log Analysis Utility. It came in It’s a nice little tool that will simplify looking at Oracle EPM logs.  We no longer have to hunt and scour the filesystem to locate logs.  This tool list errors from the entire EPM node in time order. You can filter by product modules, error level, time span, etc.  You can also trace the activities of a user session across all EPM system component by tracing a Execution Context ID (ECID) which is a unique identifier for transactions. The Log analysis tool creates an HTML format based report with a time stamped filename.

Using the Log Analysis Utility you can:

  • List EPM System errors that occurred within a time period
    • Errors related to:
      • Services
      • Inter-component communication
      • User directory communication
    • List functional issues that occurred within a time period
      • For example, failure during the forms load process in Hyperion Financial Management
    • Trace an Execution Context ID (ECID) through log files to trace user sessions across EPM System components
      • ECID is a unique identifier that is used to correlate events that are part of the same request execution flow


To run the Log Analysis Utility, do the following:

  • Log into one of the Windows servers with an administrator ID
  • Open a Command Line window and navigate to Oracle\Middleware\user_projects\<EOH>\bin directory
  • Run the command bat


You can give arguments to the command to filter your results. The options available are:

  • time in minutes (-tmin 45 )
  • a string (-s ”  ” )
  • a message series across servers (-ecid “0000JpPDIjn9h^FpN0S4ye1HFRt100000J” )
  • output limited to size in megabytes (-maxsize 5 )
  • optional HTML output name (-o ”    ” )


The resulting HTML file is saved for you in : /Oracle/Middleware/user_projects/epmsystem1/diagnostics/reports

So here is a use case. Say a user us having getting a specific error. You can run the following command to list all the logs for the last day:

loganalysis –system –tdays 1

Search these results and look for the corresponding ECID. Then you can run the utility again, with the –ecid argument. That will return all logs across the whole node associated with that transaction in time-order. A great way to dissect the anatomy of a transaction and the path it went on in a fraction of the time it would take to do manual inspection of logs on the filesystem.




Pro tip:

Oracle delivers this utility on My Oracle Support as a patch. Sign in click the Patches & Updates tab, enter the patch number 17425397.

Find more information on the Log Analysis Utility here: http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E40248_01/epm.1112/epm_troubleshooting.pdf