Oracle have some of the best of breed tools and applications within the EPM Suite but getting them to transfer data and meta-data can be a challenge.
Sometimes this is simply due to the need to properly 'shape' the incoming data (for example from a GL) into the dimensions+Value format required by the cubes.
Integration tools & techniques
We have experience in using all of the following methods of EPM integration:
- Oracle Data Integrator (ODI) - Oracle's strategic EL-T tool with built-in Knowledge modules for extraction, control & load to EPM technologies. This is also used as the physical connection layer for the ERPi adaptor, and FDMEE
- Financial Data quality Manager (FDM) classic - which can be used by end finance users to take ownership of their data loading & mapping. Highly extensible using Visual Basic scripting to allow direct integrations and automation. This is however being replaced by FDMEE from 188.8.131.52 onward.
- Financial Data Manager Enterprise Edition (FDMEE) - this evolved from the ERPi adaptor but has been expanded in 184.108.40.206 onward to have many of the powerful features of FDM, but based upon a J2EE and ODI foundation.
- Classic Data Load rules - with all deference to the above tools, the quickest way to get data or metadata into Essbase is still often by using load rules. Recent versions of Essbase now include a native OCI interface so no need to rely upon ODBC being set up to use SQL as a source.
- API - while this has gone out of favour as 'off the shelf' solutions are seen as more maintainable, the EPM suite has a well documented API which allows you to build an interface for your exact needs. For example at one client we wrote a C# based HFM tool to pick up files exported from EBS concurrent job, and load them into HFM + kick off a calculate or consolidation, and email the results to the email provided in the file footer. Simple yet robust.
- Batch Clients - Many of the EPM tools include batch clients (e.g. EPMA, DRM, HPCM, etc) and can be used to automate many of the tasks that would otherwise be manual.
Having experience in both the Metadata and Data integration we have created inovitive solutions that combine elements of the suite to provide a business solution.
As an example one client was involved in a huge Oracle EBS R11 to R12 conversion (including a major change to COA) and had a need to be able to show the financial controllers what the data would look like in it's new form, to check that the new hierarchies etc.
A combined FDM and DRM solution was developed that allowed a R12 cube to be created and compared with R11. This also allowed an early feed of data from the resulting cube to dependent EPM development applications that otherwise would have had to await completion of the EBS/COA work before development could commence.