Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) and Oracle Data Integrator (ODI): Leveraging ODI the Old School Way

Published October 25 2019 by Wayne Paffhausen
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As mentioned in the previous post, The Future of EPM and ODI, the ODI Knowledge Modules (KMs) that load to Hyperion Financial Management (HFM) and Planning will not be available for EPM v11.2 and ODI 12c.  As a result, clients upgrading to the next EPM release that use these customized modules are encouraged to review and plan out a solutions strategy before upgrading.  The posts in this blog series help identify potential solutions for that roadmap.

This post takes a step backwards to cover using ODI in what I call an “old-fashioned” way.

Leveraging ODI in an Old Way – Option #3

If you are not new to the ODI scene and/or were not familiar with the KMs before, you might have built everything via command-line by using the Win32/fat-client software.  Think of Essbase/Planning and MaxL and MDX commands in a .BAT script.

Building out your processes in the command line and then stringing them together via ODI 12c is a viable option.  At the end of each stage, you can evaluate the return code and navigate down a potential path towards the desired resolution.  Some of the remaining standard modules that are in place for integration, checking, etc. can be used to still perform other necessary actions.

The commands available, from an example standpoint, range from MDX/MAXL commands as well as using the Outline-Load Utility to perform additional actions.  One of the benefits of this method is that you can sometimes perform a lot of additional actions that are not yet available via other methods, mostly since this is the technology that has been around the longest.

Below is a quick pro/con table for this option:

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Information on using Command-Line processes with Win32/fat-client software can be found here.

Keep in mind that the above solution will only work if you are using Hyperion Planning or Essbase. HFM no longer has a Fat/Win32 client, and data loads are only done via JAVA or the HFM Web Interface. Have no fear, though!  HFM can still be scripted via JAVA and command-line utilities to load and perform tasks. It is a more technical process to write in JAVA, but with a command-line interface, it is an option.

Leveraging JAVA API is not a new technology, but it is a newer API construct compared to some of the other EPM products.  The HFM JAVA API was introduced in v11.1.2.4 and was leveraged by FDMEE,  for its “action scripts” for loading data, consolidating, and data-checking validating.  With some skilled resources and time, these concepts can be leveraged in a command-line script with a java-wrapper to perform most remedial tasks as needed.

Below is a quick pros/cons table for this option:

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So How Would It Work?

Making this solution work would take a bit of scripting as well as some knowledge of the systems with which it is being integrated.  We would need to be able to piece together a series of objects in a workflow to build out an ODI scenario.  This scenario is then executable and will perform the actions as built.

The workflow would accept variables as inputs and produce checks along the way to ensure the process is working as defined.  These checks would mostly be returned status codes from the individual .BAT/.SH scripts from the “OdiOSCommand.”  When an error from a script is encountered, a particular event workflow would be triggered - generally an email notification is our preference.

The key thing to remember during this style of processing is to capture logs. The more logging, the better! To finance and IT, these processes are sometimes considered a black box and hard to troubleshoot. We need to make sure that we are writing or sending the output of these jobs to a clear and concise log that will tell us what step we are at and its status.

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As part of the Alithya standards, we identify when we enter a step, the work we are performing in a step, and when we exit a step. This way, any failures are cleanly and clearly identified. The logs that the scripts generate are also stored for diagnostic and audit purposes. This way, we don’t necessarily always have to reproduce the issue to capture the error.

What Do We Need To Do?

For comments, questions, or suggestions for future topics, please reach out to us at infosolutions@alithya.com. Follow Alithya on social media for the latest information about EPM, ERP, and Analytics solutions to meet your business needs.

I have over 15 years of business and technical experience. I am a Product Manager and an active member of the Alithya Product team. I work closely with Oracle Support/Development on new product features, functionality, and defects. I am an active member of the Oracle Technology Network where my expertise are consistently displayed. I am an expert in application design, automation, optimization, and performance tuning. I also work with customers to implement Hyperion FDM / FDMEE applications while gaining an understanding of the customers business needs and technology.

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