I am writing this entry on Thursday night after the 'It's a Wrap' party ended and I don't actually have anything on my schedule for the next hour! I am going to talk about the conference sessions both from my view of the sessions I attended (with some relevant Hyperion info, of course) and from conversations I had with other attendees.
During registration, there was a special Hyperion program that you could register for and it was priced less expensively than the full conference price. The Hyperion related sessions were on Monday and Tuesday and were headquartered at the Marriott Hotel that is attached to the Moscone Center. I talked with some former Hyperion people and they said there were about a thousand people attending the Hyperion program.
A couple of Hyperion sessions I attended were very informative. The first, entitled "S291191 - Hyperion Super Session: Introduction to Oracle's EPM System", was given by John Kopcke, the former Hyperion CTO who is now a Senior Vice President within Oracle. This session essentially covered the strategy Oracle has for integrating the Hyperion suite into Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition ("OBIEE") suite. The good news is that the architecture shows Essbase, Hyperion Planning and Hyperion Financial Management playing a prominent role in the Oracle strategy. Further, Interactive Reporting, Financial Reporting, Web Analysis and the other reporting tools are on the architecture slide in a box next to the existing OBIEE tools. I expect that over time, the Hyperion and OBIEE product lines will converge as part of the Oracle Fusion architecture (note: I will talk a little more on Fusion coming in a later post). It was very informative but I think the OBIEE terminology is too hard to say. Can you say it fast 3 times? (O-B-I-E-E O-B-I-E-E O-B-I-E-E)
Another great session (that I caught most of) was the Hyperion Roadmap session given by some of my friends in Hyperion Development. There was some really cool stuff in this session including:
- A new unified, distributed installation for all products. It will gather information about all of the Hyperion products you want to install, get server topologies and then perform all of the installations.
- Lifecycle management tools that can significantly help migrate applications from development to production. The lifecycle management will allow administrators to choose artifacts form Planning, HFM and Essbase to migrate and will also maintain an audit trail of the migrations.
- A next generation administration tool called Essbase Studio. It will replace Essbase Integration Server and portions of Essbase Administration Server when it ships; it will eventually replace all of EAS. It unifies modeling of many sources including relational, flat files, xml, BPM architect and SAP and will provide traceability of the data lineage.
Much to my surprise, the slides from the OpenWorld sessions, including these sessions, will be posted online which never was the case for roadmap sessions. When they are posted, I will make another post with the URL. After all of the exciting things I had to write about this week, I may not have much to write about for a bit.
There were also two sessions on Smart Space Gadgets, a new UI concept that mimics some of the online vendors gadgets/widgets and also a prevalent new UI element in Windows Vista. One of the sessions, were I was a co-speaker, was more of a technical session on using the Gadget Developers Kit that makes it easy to write your own gadget. Unfortunately for me, during the session my demo failed due to a bug in the beta code that caused my connection settings to be lost when I tried to add a new instance of the gadget; of course, I found out about it *after* the demo. No biggie, when you give demos on beta software, you have to be prepared to be publicly embarrassed from time to time. Our session ended with some great interactive discussion of possible gadgets that Hyperion, partners or customers could build. There will also be Oracle Technical Network (OTN) forums on Smart Space and Gadget Building when the product ships so I expect more great gadget idea threads there.
Regarding the Hyperion sessions as a whole, some of the people I talked with had some interesting observations. First, there were very few Hyperion customer 'success story' sessions where attendees can learn the lessons learned by other companies and gain ideas that can really help their implementations. On the flip side, the Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG) has a conference in Denver next April which has more focus on success story sessions. Further, it has only been seven months since Solutions 2007 and I expect the next Oracle OpenWorld next September will feature more Hyperion content.
One word of wisdom I can relay to you on sessions. If you go to OpenWorld in the future, definitely go into the online Schedule Builder and sign-up for the sessions you want to see. People who have pre-registered get in first; others are let in if the room is not full 5 minutes before the session starts. They also use the registration to determine the necessary room size and will change to a larger room if the session gets too crowded. In fact, the Kopcke 'Super Session' was in a small room of about 150 seats. At least 40 people were turned away from this session because they didn't preregister. That was never an issue at any Hyperion Solutions conference I attended.
I also attended some Oracle sessions and will talk about those in another (shorter) post to come.