Saturday, July 13, 2013

Next Generation Essbase Outline Extractor Released!

After a bunch of work, we have finally released the Next Generation Essbase Outline Extractor. So, what is the Next Generation Essbase Outline Extractor?  Well, the original outline extractor was written in Visual Basic and Visual Basic has has not been supported by Microsoft for a number of years.  In addition, the original Essbase Outline Extractor requires the 32-bit runtime client which is getting harder and harder to support.  In addition, users have asked for new functionality over the years and it just wasn't feasible to add the new functionality to a VB based product.

Some people have asked me "What about the new Maxl Outline Extractor?"  That is a good question, but keep in mind it only works with 11.1.2.x and higher plus it gives you an XML output. You still have to do something with the XML format for it to be useful.

The Next Generation Essbase Outline Extractor was completely redesigned from scratch.  The main design goals were:
  • Design for long term
    • Extensible
    • Use Oracle’s strategic technology
  • Design for supportability
    • Wider adoption
    • Wider platform choices
    • Less support calls
It was also architected for extensibility to enable new functionality to be added and to allow programmers to write their own extensions to the code.  I chose to write the extractor in Java for a number of reasons.  First, it is Oracle's strategic API for the future which means new features of Essbase will be available in the Java API first.  In addition, Java is multi-platform which means it runs on Windows, Linux, AIX, Solaris, and MacOS regardless of whether it is 32-bit or 64-bit.  In addition, with the Java API, we can ship a single zip download that has everything it needs (except Java itself).  There is no need for the runtime client with the new extractor!

The new Outline Extractor also supports a number of features.  Many of these features are ne:
  • Export one or more dimensions in an outline.
  • Filter members to to be exported by dimension.
  • Write to multiple outputs on a single pass of the outline.
  • Output multiple alias tables into a single output file.
  • Write to Hyperion Planning Outline Load Utility format.
  • Output to real relational databases via JDBC.
The extractor was also designed to be run by a batch process using Java properties files.  The properties files can be written from the GUI interface and directly executed from the GUI.  There is even built-in functionality that optionally encrypts the username and password on first usage.

Here are a few screenshots of the new extractor.  The first screenshot shows the GUI screen where you can select one or more writers for output.

The second screenshot shows the option screen showing the options for the Load File Text Writer.

The final screenshot shows the execution screen. 

The Next Generation Outline Extractor is available on our website at  If you have any questions on the new extractor, don't hesitate to contact us at


Doug Burke said...


Bravo to you and your team! This is an excellent tool that you have made much better.

Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Hello Tim.

Can you compare with this

Tim Tow said...

I do some comparison with the Maxl Extractor in my blog post.


Unknown said...

Hi Tim,

The Outline extractor has gone through some serious transformations. I am glad to see the features you outlined for Outline Extractor. Could you let me know which version of Outline extractor has this new features ?

Unknown said...

Very excited to see the transformations Outline extractor has got. Could you please let me know on which version of OE are the new features available ?

Tim Tow said...

Hi Satish,

Any of the releases of the Next Generation Outline Extractor have the capabilities shown above.


Alex Ladd said...

Tim, this is AWESOME! Thank you very much for doing this.

Anonymous said...

Hi tim,

I have downloaded Next Generation Outline Extractor v11.1.2.1.Let me know how i need to connect essbase .Is there i need to made any changes in cmd files .can please explain me the process how i need to use this tool .
Appriciate for your help.


Tim Tow said...

We are working on a user guide that will be released soon.