Hyperion Essbase Knowledgebase

Hyperion Planning

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What is Hyperion Planning?

Hyperion Planning is an application that facilitates distributed budgeting across the enterprise.  Data gathering can be done through the use of either web forms or excel entry via smartview.  For the more technically inclined, Hyperion Planning is in essence a web front end for budgeting / forecasting / modeling in essbase.  I repeat, essbase is the back end for Hyperion Planning.  While many of us were custom coding essbase / excel to perform these tasks (10 years ago), Hyperion Planning was evolving into what it is today, a full featured budgeting system that can greatly streamline your budget process and reduce your cycle time by weeks.  Everything is driven by using the mouse, from making web forms to assigning security (no custom coding required -java, .net, etc).  The real power of essbase is still there (calc scripts) through the use of business rules.  Business rules are really powerful in that they can accept parameters at run time from a web form.  Anything that is a dropdown can be fed into a business rule (modified calc script).  This means that through proper design you can build an enterprise wide budgeting solution with only using a handful of business rules (3 or 4).

Hyperion Planning has gone through some major transformations in terms of stability.  The current version is System 11.1.2 (w/patch that just came out).  While the install still includes ~3 servers and at least ~15 services, they have wrapped up the technical tweaking of files into a configuration utility.  This is actually an install that you can tackle yourself.  Typically it works best if you have an infrastructure firm come in and install a dev environment while you watch then you install the prod environment yourself.  Another tip is to install all environments at the same time.  The odds of getting the same infrastructure consultant back 2 months later is very unlikely.  I currently have resources that are available to perform either onsite or remote installs of the Hyperion System 11.1.2 (patch) or stacks.

I know Essbase, how is Hyperion Planning different?

Ok, if you're an essbase consultant on a Hyperion Planning project, you will be shot if you go into the outline and start making changes.  The hierarchy is maintained via the relational repository.  I repeat, do not touch the outline.  Since the back end of Hyperion Planning is an essbase database, there is an outline.

In essbase the inherent rule of one database per application is broken.  Planning can have up to 3 plan types*.  This means that one planning application will have up to 3 databases under the application.

Multiple plan types are used when budgeting needs to take place on different sets of data where not all dimensionality is present in all the data.  ie. more detail for a subset of data that is not necessarily general ledger based.  In a case like this, plan type 1 is the general ledger model.  Plan type 2 could contain more detailed data that rolls into a handful of accounts but with additional dimensionality.  Planning then generates dynamic xrefs to get the data from plan type 2 to plan type 1.  This is not always a good thing.

*With the addition of capital, workforce, and public sector budgeting, this number can be increase up to a possible 6  databases under the application.

OK, how do I get some new accounts into the planning system?

In order to add an account into Hyperion Planning, you need to get it into the relational repository.  Once it's in the relational repository, you then need to perform a refresh.  This will perform a restructure on your essbase database(s).  Depending on the tools you have chosen for your implementation your choices are different.  Currently as I understand it, you have 3 choices for updating the relational repository:

-EPMA - enterprise architect- once you go enterprise architect you can no longer use the web interface of Hyperion Planning to add an account

-dim- this is informatica (a full blown etl tool) that allows you to update the hierarchies from files or relational tables.  If using this tool, you can still add an account via the web interface.

-hal (vignette)- This tool is dead.  This tool is no longer supported as of System 11.  this tool was the only option for updating the repository with hierarchy information.  A lot of people have made some really fancy hal integrations that perform all kinds of crazy stuff.  I've stuck to using hal only for updating the hierarchy.  This tool has some major issues in that it is not that scalable.  I've tried to perform some light weight etl and process some files and it was really, really slow.  This tool is great in it's simplicity.  It is the easiest to learn.  Oracle also does not want anyone to use this tool in the future.  You need special permission to gain access to this tool.  You'll definitely want to perform your etl upstream on the relational side if possible.

-ODI- This is the replacement for HAL with quite a bit of additional functionality.  ODI is provided free and is the future direction of interfacing with Hyperion Planning.  It has a lot more functionality and connections than HAL previously possessed. 



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