Enterprise Data Management (EDM) Derived Properties

Published November 6 2019 by Kevin Black
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It’s always nice when you look forward to something, and when it finally arrives, it meets or even exceeds your expectations. Being the Oracle Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) nerd that I am, I eagerly awaited the October 2019 release of Enterprise Data Management (EDM). Some of the highly anticipated features are discussed in my previous blog post, including FCCS adapter, transaction history, and compare selected nodes. The other big one was derived properties, the subject of this blog post.

For me, and for many other fans of Data Relationship Management (DRM), the flexibility we had with building (sometimes very intricate) formulas was great. The lack of derived properties has been a “gap” with EDM, but one that has significantly narrowed with the release of EDM 19.10.

Disclaimer: I will touch on, to some extent, the mechanics of building expressions in EDM but mostly will leave that for you to experiment with on your own (it’s the best way to learn!). Don’t neglect your trusty Oracle EDM product guide which does a nice job explaining the details of building expressions. Instead, I mainly want to focus on the subtleties and possibilities of derived properties in EDM in this post.

Expression Builder User Interface

Wait, it’s graphical? Why yes, it is, Captain Obvious! For those familiar with the DRM property editor, you won’t have the same type of free-form text box in which to enter your native formula or JavaScript commands. Instead, you will utilize a point-and-click approach to build your expressions - well - graphically. I would say the expression builder in EDM is a (little) like the DRM property query editor, not the DRM property editor, but it doesn't take long to get the hang of it.

The diagram below, courtesy of the Oracle EDM product guide, shows the canvas you have available as you bring your creative expressions to life.

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  • On the left is a palette where you can select Statements (if, else, return, comments), Objects (nodes, lookup sets, data types like Boolean, Integer, String), and Operators (your standard AND/OR operators).
  • On the right is the editor where you click on the boxes to select items from a list of pop-up values to string together the elements that make your expressions run.

Properties

You might be thinking "how do I access this expression builder you speak of?" Well, you need to inspect a property, either from the Properties card or by inspecting a property from within a node type.

In the Property Inspector, click next to an application name, click Edit, and change the Default Type to “Derived.”

Note: you cannot edit the “global” property, only the application-specific property override.

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Once you do this, you'll notice the dx symbol.  Click on that, and you have entered the mystical world of expression building.

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Now you can start building your expression. Use the blue arrows to insert statements, objects, and operators from the palette into the editor. Click on the “dots” preceding or following an element to add/remove pieces from your expression.

Example:  Click the “dot” following Core.Name, and a list of operators appears to insert into your statement. Easy peasy!

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Here is an example of a completed, simple expression for the PLN.Alias: Default property. This will concatenate the node name, a dash, and the node description to form an alias. You can further enhance this expression to only fire for bottom nodes or only for nodes that have a non-blank description by adding some “if” statements.

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Property Transformations

You're thinking, "Wait, there’s more?  Surely, you can’t be serious!"  I AM serious, and don’t call me Shirley, and don’t have the fish for dinner!

Property transformations are now possible with node type converters. Inspect a node type that has a converter and notice how you now have two operations to choose from: Copy or Transform.

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Select Transform,  and you will notice the familiar dx symbol replacing the source property name. Click on that, and you will enter the same expression builder user interface mentioned above.

This opens many possibilities. Not only can you create derived properties, but you can also define specific transformations within your node type converters on a property-by-property and application-by-application basis.

One Last Thing

Before I go, let me mention a few more things you can do with expressions along with a few items not yet available. After all, this is the first release of this functionality, so there are gaps to address.

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Wrap Up

I hope you found this overview of EDM derived properties helpful. I am very excited about this feature and look forward to further improvements that will inevitably come. Derived properties will help my EDM administrators by automatically maintaining key properties, reducing maintenance time, and reducing validation errors. The transformation possibilities within node type converters enable even more seamless mastering of enterprise data assets across your EPM environment. Pretty darn exciting!

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