Friday, February 26, 2010

Essbase 11 Formatted Values, Text and Date Measures

There was a question on the Network54 recently about formatted values in Essbase 11, so I thought I would post a little info from 'under the covers' with formatted values and how they relate to Text Measures and Dates.

First, Essbase does support formatted values in Essbase 11. You can see in this screenshot from EAS, the format string is a property of the member.

The format string is in MDX format and there seems to be no valid examples in the docs of how to actually do a format.  Thanks to the beauty of the internet and the hard work of Venkat at RittmanMead Consulting, I found an example on their blog.  In the screenshot below, you will see the result of the formatted value:

Under the covers, there is a setting at the API level that determines if the formatted values are retrieved from the database.  Uses of Smart View control this setting using the 'Format String' option in the Options dialog.

The same setting also governs whether Date and Text Measures are returned as either the formatted values or as numbers (which are what are stored in the database).   Here is a screenshot of how the Java API returns formatted values with both the formatted values returned and the the formatted values not returned:

The value circled in yellow is a formatted value; note that the number below is the numeric value (which can also be returned in the same retrieve at the API level).  The value circled in green is a Date measure; I don't think my date values are valid though.  It seems limited that the earliest date supported is January 1, 1970 (and I think I used Excel dates to fill the cell which starts at January 1, 1900.

The values circled in red and blue are Text Measures.  Text Measures get their values from Smart Lists.  Here is the EAS editor showing my simple Smart List:

OK, so it says 'Text Lists' in the dialog, but if you look at the API level, you see Smart Lists:

Now you probably know more about Formatted Values, Text and Date Measures than you ever cared to know.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Ohio Valley OAUG Meeting - February 19 in Cincinnati

I will be attending the Ohio Valley OAUG meeting in Cincinnati in a couple of weeks.  Though I will not be doing a presentation there, one of our customers, Matt Holt, from Kroger will be presenting "Kroger's use of the Dodeca product with Oracle EPM".  Kroger uses Dodeca in a number of areas, including executive management, finance, regional operations, store reporting, manufacturing and merchandise planning, to save their users time, save the company money and to gain a competitive advantage.

The full agenda for the meeting, which includes tracks on Hyperion EPM/Essbase, Oracle E-Business Suite, and Technology, is available at

The cost of attending this day of education is an extremely reasonable $30.  For more information, and to register, visit  I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

EPM Connection Point® Regional Conference - Jersey City

The full conference schedule for the OAUG Connection Point® — Enterprise Performance Management regional conference has been released.   The conference will be held later this month, February 23 and 24, in Jersey City, NJ.  The full conference agenda is at

This mini-conference is targeted towards business decision makers who want to better understand the Hyperion EPM products, including Hyperion Planning, Hyperion Financial Management and Hyperion Strategic Finance, and would like to learn best practices via case studies of various company implementations.

As my focus is primarily Essbase, I don't currently plan to be at this conference.  A number of friends, including fellow Oracle ACE Directors Edward Roske from interRel Consulting, Tracy McMullen from interRel Consulting, and Eric Helmer from The Hackett Group, will be speaking there.  Other friends speaking there include Juan Porter from TopDown Consulting, Rob Cybulski from Finit Solutions and Kevin Corlett from Decision Support Technologies.  Jay Laabs from Bluestone International is more of an acquaintance but may be the world's foremost expert on Hyperion Strategic Finance.

If you are in the New York metro area, check the agenda to see if the content interests you and, if it does, sign up and go!

Note: the PDF is labeled for the Dubai - 2009 conference, but this conference really is in Jersey City.  As an aside, my wife lived in Abu Dhabi just before I met her 22 years ago and she played in a one-pitch softball tournament in Dubai - If the pitch is a strike, you're out and if the pitch is a ball, it's a walk. Otherwise, you hit the ball and run.  That is the way to play softball when it's 120° F (46° C) outside.