Expertise Beyond the Numbers

Finkle is Einhorn and PBCS is Hyperion Planning, Right?

PBCS is Hyperion Planning in the cloud, right?  The short answer is yes, and our clients have had a tremendous amount of success implementing PBCS thus far. There are however some differences between PBCS and Hyperion Planning that are important to understand.  Most of these differences have a positive impact on both the administration and use of the application.  However, there are a few differences that may change the way that your business uses Hyperion Planning.  I have included several differences across many application areas in the details below.

Application Setup

  • There are no hardware requirements as the application will be in the Oracle Cloud (obviously!)
  • The simplified interface has an application creation wizard.  The wizard allows you to create a simple or advanced PBCS application with a simple click and a few menu selections.
  • Once the application is created, the detailed setup is very similar to the setup of Hyperion Planning.
  • There are two pods/environments, Test and Production.  You do not have the ability to add more pods/environments.  Each pod can contain one application with up to 3 BSO and 1 ASO cube.

Essbase

  • With PBCS, you do not have direct access to Essbase.
  • Most performance tuning and settings changes that can be made (and there aren’t many) need to be made through Oracle Support.
  • There are no calc scripts.  All rules must be written in Calc manager.
  • But…
    • You can change the ‘aggregate missing values’ setting within Calc manager.
    • You can change performance settings and evaluation order within PBCS.

Managing Dimensions

  • Metadata is managed in the classic planning interface.  There is no EPMA in the cloud.
  • There is a new feature in 11.1.2.400 that is also available in PBCS that allows you to manage metadata using the Essbase Microsoft Excel add in and it is awesome!  Look for more on this topic in a future blog post.

Data Integrations

  • FDMEE is the primary tool used for data integrations in PBCS.  You cannot use classic FDM.
  • There are currently no pre-built integration’s to source GL systems.
  • A tool called EPM Automate is used to create scheduled data loads to PBCS.
  • You can also build custom data load processes to load data and extract data from PBCS using third party software.

Security

  • Shared Services is now called Application Management in PBCS.
  • MSAD configuration was not available in the initial release of PBCS but has since been added.  However, there are still some limitations to the MSAD configuration in PBCS.
  • Users are setup and maintained within a dashboard outside of the application, not within Shared Services.

Backups

  • There is a mandatory maintenance window each day.
  • Oracle takes an Artifact Snapshot each day during the maintenance window which includes a backup of all PBCS artifacts.

Dashboards (Available with release 11.1.2.400 in Hyperion Planning and in PBCS)

  • The PBCS interface allows you to create dashboards.
  • The foundation of each dashboard is a web form that is created like all other web forms.
  • Dashboards can include multiple pains including links to external websites.

Simplified Interface

  • Standard Interface was scheduled to go be eliminated in January 2016 but that date has been pushed back.  Once the standard interface is eliminated form PBCS, users will be required to use the Simplified Interface.
  • Users view/utilize artifacts within the Simplified Interface, however the simplified interface contains links to views that appears exactly the same as they did in the standard interface.

Browser Requirements

  • Mozilla Firefox is the recommended browser by Oracle.
  • Newer versions of Internet Explorer can be used as well.
  • Google Chrome can only be used to access the Simplified Interface.

Overall using PBCS is very similar to using Hyperion Planning 11.1.2.400.  There are some key differences that are important to understand before making the decision to move to PBCS.  The most critical differences include features that do not yet exist yet in PBCS such as pre-built integrations back to source systems and the lack of ability to change Essbase settings.  PBCS continues to be a major focus for Oracle and new features are added with each quarterly update cycle.  Any gaps that exist between PBCS and Hyperion Planning should be resolved with future PBCS releases.