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Monthly Planning & Budgeting Cloud Update - May 2019

  • , Consultant

Oracle updates all Planning & Budgeting Cloud environments (PBCS/EPBCS) monthly to address defects and introduce new features. These updates are delivered automatically on specific dates scheduled by Oracle, during the mandatory daily maintenance window. Keep in mind that while you can configure your daily maintenance window time, you can't change the dates these updates are applied. Oracle announces next month's update dates via newsletter at the end of each month.

May 2019 updates are currently scheduled to be deployed in test environments on Friday, May 3, 2019, and to production environments on Friday, May 17, 2019, starting at 22:00 p.m. UTC. Any schedule changes are also announced via the newsletter, which is automatically sent to all cloud administrators (keep an eye out for Oracle emails with Enterprise Performance Management Cloud Services in the subject).

These are the highlights of the May 2019 Planning & Budgeting Cloud update:

  • The new version of the EPM automate utility which will include enhancements for:
    • Ability to run utility on Mac OS computer – this has been a long time coming and should be a nice addition for those client administrators that are using Mac computers
    • Ability to run multiple instances of the utility from the same directory – each command acts separately from the other – This is a great addition to the utility. Previously, when trying to run multiple scripts independent of each other, the commands would conflict with each other. For instance, in the script you typically have a log in and log out command – while one script was logging in, the other could be logging you out. This new enhancement will eliminate those conflicts and allow for an increase in efficiency
    • New "ApplicationAdminMode" command – places application in administrator making the application only accessible to server administrators. As a consultant working with systems that are already in production, I find this command to be very useful. If at any time you need to migrate/make changes to the production environment, the admin can simply place the application into admin mode instead of having to mess around with any security
  • Removal of the ability to create new composite forms. This has been discussed for some time now in previous release notes and blog posts. We have expected Oracle to do away with the creating of composite forms for some time now. Well, the time has officially come. You still can use previously created composite forms and the capability to migrate previous built composite forms, but you will not be able to create new composite forms. I do not believe these will be missed…
    • The new version of Oracle Smart View for Office. New features and fixed defects (11.1.2.5.900)
    • Cell based POV – this will be interesting to test to see what this means, does this mean that individual cells will be able to pick up a POV when using functions only (ex: HsSetValue)? Will runtime prompt business rules now be able to identify the POV for these function-built cell? Stay tuned.
    • Submit without refresh – This should increase performance on webforms if you only need to submit the data. Maybe people will use this more often… but I like to see the results after submitting data
    • The new alert dialog to notify users of Smart View updates upon login – I think this is an interesting concept and something that Oracle can build upon. It would be nice if Oracle gave the administrators some control to place information in these dialog boxes. For example, the last time actuals were loaded into the system, if metadata has been changed in the cube, notes on updates that should be pushed to all users, etc.
    • Ability to support Microsoft Office 2019
  • Job status added for “Success with Warnings”. The Job status will now give details on what warnings occurred on successfully jobs. Nothing exhilarating to describe on this one, but a nice addition nonetheless
  • New Data Management Workflow Mode – option to have data deleted from the staging table once data has been loaded. The main purpose of this is to limit the space being used by the application (this will not affect performance but disk space). Data will sit in the workbench for validation purposes once imported, but once loaded the data will be deleted from the workbench. This is a good option for data sets that need to be loaded into the application, but not retained in the workbench for further analysis
  • Multi-Dimensional Member Type – In member mappings, you have the option now to select this new type, which allows for mapping by account, product, entity, etc. Typically (and hopefully) data being loaded into the system won’t need this granular of detail to be loaded… but this will serve as a nice enhancement for those one-off situations. I can see this being more useful on the FCCS side of things.

More details and analysis on the above enhancements to PBCS and EPBCS can be found in the release notes posted on Oracles Website.

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