Friday, April 24, 2009

HUG-MN Rocks!

I made my way home from the HUG-MN meeting in Minneapolis. One thing is for certain; the Minneapolis area appears to have a thriving Hyperion community. The meeting was held at the Land-o-Lakes corporate headquarters and there was a crowd of between 70 and 90 users in attendance. The facility was very nice and it should be.. After all, doesn’t everyone have a package of both Land-o-Lakes Salted Butter and Land-o-Lakes Unsalted Butter in their refrigerator?

The first speaker was Kelly Green from Target. He is a frequent contributor to the OTN message board and spoke about their use of Hyperion Reports with HFM. Good job Kelly!

My presentation was an introduction to Dodeca. Most, if not all, of the attendees had never seen Dodeca before so it was exciting to be able to show them what we do. I only had a few slides plus a screencam video from one of our customers that shows off our Intelligent Navigation feature.

My co-speaker was one of our local customers, Chris Lynd, SVP of Financial Systems at U.S. Bank. It was great to sit back and listen to Chris talk about how easy our product is to use and manage. I learned something new in his presentation. Chris said they now have 7,000 users on Dodeca across the world supported by one server and 2 people who create and deploy reports and manage the system; last I heard they only had 5,000 users!

U.S. Bank uses Dodeca with a number of data sources including Essbase, Oracle database and Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services. One of the reasons Chris chose our product is that Dodeca weaves those data sources together in such a way that his users don’t realize where the data is coming from. They don't really care. They just need to easily get to the information required to do their jobs. Thanks again to Chris for speaking with me at this event.

Meanwhile, attendee Jeff Sims, from Tethys Corp, alerted me to a separate Essbase geeks get-together Wednesday night in Bloomington (near the airport, the infamous Mall of America and, my wife’s favorite, IKEA). I didn’t make it to that meeting; maybe next time. It was fascinating, though, that these two separate events were happening in Minneapolis the same day!

Thanks again to D.J. Hoelscher from Harbinger Consulting Group for arranging for me to speak and to Tony Winkler, the local Oracle representative, for sponsoring the user group.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

HUG MN User Group Meeting

I am traveling to Minneapolis today to speak at the Hyperion User Group - Minnesota meeting tomorrow. I will be co-presenting with one of our customers, Chris Lynd, from U.S. Bank about how they use Essbase in their bank. They currently have approximately 7,000 users, at all levels of the bank, utilizing Dodeca to access Essbase and relational data.

Chris sent me some flash videos of their application today. I think he is planning to show some of these videos, which are part of their on-line training, during his part of the presentation.

Thanks to Applied OLAP partner D.J. Hoelscher from Harbinger Consulting Group for making arrangements for me to speak to the group. If you are in Minneapolis, I hope to see you there.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

AVG Anti-Virus vs EAS

We use AVG anti-virus at our company. Last weekend, one of my developers was prompted to upgrade to the new version of AVG; installation was painless (or so we thought)..

A few hours later, he was working on a customer prototype of Dodeca and needed to look at the Essbase outline the customer had sent us. No matter what he tried, he could not connect to EAS and called me as I am, of course, the company expert in such matters. We pulled up (what I thought would be) a quick GotoMeeting and, after a couple of hours had not made much progress *except* that we determined the only thing that changed was that he had upgraded AVG. We tried to shutdown the EAS service and launch EAS server manually and, after searching through logs, we finally found where there was a JVM Binding Exception which meant that *something* else was running on port 10080, the default EAS Server port.

We ran netstat on his machine and confirmed it but, the strange thing was, there was no process ID associated with whatever program was running on the port. A quick check of the web got a couple of hits of people who had other problems with port 10080 and the new version of AVG. We had two choices: find what in AVG caused the problem or reconfigure EAS to run on a new port. My employee tracked down the AVG component, Web Shield and disabled it.

It is not likely that many EAS users will see this as it is doubtful they are running AVG on their EAS server. On the other hand, those people who have the entire Hyperion stack running on their laptops, like many of us Essbase geeks (er... professionals), might run into this. Hopefully this will save some of you some time. No charge (but I am willing to accept free coffees at Collaborate and Kaleidoscope!)