Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Fun with Excel

At the recent Kaleidoscope Conference, one of the Oracle speakers asked how many people in the room used Smart View. Of the 200 or so people in the room, about 10 raised their hand. When he asked how many used the classic Essbase Excel add-in, everyone raised their hand. I think this small poll is representative of the community as a whole.

As the classic Excel add-in is not the strategic direction for Oracle, there hasn't been much incentive over the years to improve it and it shows as the bugs have been accumulating. Here is one pretty egregious bug that is so bad, I find it shocking that customers continue to put up with it. The bug occurs when the Essbase add-in gets confused when a user has two instances of Excel open (like no accountant would ever do that, right?) It is very easy to replicate as shown in this brief video:


By the way, the airplane on the screen is not mine (but my Cessna 210 is one year newer than the one in the picture!)

For what it is worth, Dodeca does not suffer from the same issue (nor any of the dozens of other Excel add-in issues Essbase users often see).


Jared said...

One other "interesting" aspect of that bug is that Formula Preservation doesn't work in the second instance of Excel. And if you Flashback to get your formulas back--you just get the *result* of the formula, not the formula itself! Shades of Essbase 4...

Tim Tow said...

Hmm.. Another one for the bug list.


Pranava said...

I agree with the concept of Oracle's strategy towards Smart View vs. the incentive to improve Essbase Add-In.

However, from a client POV, just as the example you mentioned, somehow, Essbase Add-In is more user friendly in the sense, its easier for users to 'scale' their knowledge of Excel towards Essbase Add-In as opposed to Smart View.