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PBCS and EPBCS Updates (June): Strategic Modeling, Oracle NetSuite Integration, Smart View Application Management, and More

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Next week, Oracle will roll out its June updates for Planning & Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS) and Enterprise Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (EPBCS). This blog post outlines several new features, fixed defects, and considerations when using these tools.

The monthly update for PBCS and EPBCS will occur on Friday, June 16 during your normal daily maintenance window.

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New EPM Automate Utility Version

A new version of the EPM Automate Utility is once again available. With this update, you’ll get an improved importsnapshotcommand, which now provides the resetPassword option. This option determines if the Identity Domain users’ (created while importing snapshots into an instance) default password must be changed after signing in for the first time.

Activity Report Now Shows Database Query Performance Data

The update comes with an enhanced Activity Report, which provides visibility into database query performance by providing the following information:

  • Worst performing database queries over 15 seconds, which lists top 10 queries that took more than 15 seconds to finish.
  • Top 10 database queries by duration, which lists top 10 queries that took the most time to execute.
  • Top 10 database queries by execution, which lists the top 10 queries that users executed.

Oracle NetSuite Integration with Oracle EPM Cloud

Data Management is now available as the integration mechanism for Oracle EPM Cloud customers looking to load data from Oracle NetSuite. Oracle EPM Cloud customers now have direct access to NetSuite’s unified suite of cloud-based ERP, CRM, and commerce applications. The integration uses the NetSuite Saved Search framework to query data from the NetSuite system, which includes pre-packaged or customer-defined Saved Searches.

NetSuite customers interested in leveraging this integration should contact NetSuite Support for more information on how to configure the required patch bundle in the NetSuite environment.

Ability to Change Number Format for Chart Point of Values and Axis Labels

In Financial Reporting Web Studio, you can now customize the number formatting in the Axes tab and in the Bar Options, Line Options, or Pie Options tabs depending on which chart type is selected.

Option to Clear and Push Data Combined Into One

When moving data to a reporting cube, you now have only one option: Push Data. Selecting this option invokes a user confirmation that asks you to confirm whether to clear the existing data first.

New Approval Unit Status Report

You can now create an approval status report to view detailed status of the approval process. The approval status report can be filtered by approval status, scenario, version, and approval unit hierarchy. Reports can be created in XSLX, PDF, HTML, or XML formats.

Setting Usage by Cube for Period Dimension Members

Service Administrators can now set usage by cube for members of the Period dimension in the same way that they can set usage by cube for members of custom dimensions, the Account dimension, and the Entity dimension.

Support Added for Google Chrome

Interoperability with Google Chrome and Oracle Smart View for Office 11.1.2.5.700+ is now available! From your service, you may now select Open In Smart View to access the same data in Microsoft Office. Conversely, you may launch Chrome from Smart View to access service instances when performing drill-through operations.

Ability to Manage Applications from Smart View

Service Administrators can now use Microsoft Excel to manage applications in Oracle Smart View for Office. Using a downloadable Excel workbook template, you can quickly create Planning applications in Smart View. By editing worksheets within the application template workbook, you define application properties, dimension and member properties, security (access permissions), and substitution variables. You can also load data from the template. Additionally, Service Administrators can edit and delete the application from Smart View.

Dashboards Offer a New Combination Chart Type

Dashboard designers and users can now select a new chart type called Combination that alternates displaying row data with vertical bars and lines in the chart. For example, the data in row 1 of a form is displayed as a bar and the data in row 2 as a line. This chart type is particularly useful when you want to compare two categories of data (for example, Germany and France’s average exchange rates over several years).

Upload Custom Fonts to Financial Reporting

You can now upload custom fonts to Financial Reporting. When you upload a custom font, the following restrictions apply: only TrueType fonts (.ttf) are supported, you can only upload one font at a time, and the font's embeddability property must be set to "installable." When uploading custom fonts, you are responsible for meeting the Terms of Service for the fonts and you should license them accordingly. Oracle does not guarantee that an uploaded font will work, and Oracle is not liable if a font is misused.

Application Type “Lite” Renamed to “Reporting”

In this update, the Lite application type has been renamed to Reporting. A Reporting application is a basic app with one cube and the core components that you need to get up and running quickly. If you later decide that you need more complex business logic, you can convert a Reporting application into a Standard or Enterprise application.

Updated Application Design Guidelines

As you plan an application, you can review design guidelines that help ensure that the application will meet your business needs.

Updates to Academy

You now have access to additional content in the Academy within EPBCS. To view the updates, access a service instance, and then click Academy.

Change of Behavior: File Uploads

To enhance security, Oracle now prevents you from uploading executable files (for example, files with extensions such as .EXE, .BAT, and .sh) to the service. Starting with the 17.06 updates, you cannot upload executable files that may contain data, metadata, and so on, to the application.

Updates to EPBCS Only

Strategic Modeling

Strategic Modeling combines a set of rich financial forecasting and modeling features with built-in on-the-fly scenario analysis and modeling capabilities. It helps users quickly model and evaluate financial scenarios, and it offers out-of-the-box treasury capabilities for sophisticated debt and capital structure management. It provides a complete solution that can be used to build long-range forecast models, perform quick financial impact analysis, and present focused financial information for informed decision making. Strategic Modeling can be used as a standalone business process or along with other business processes.

Strategic Modeling provides these key features:

  • Ability to create models on the fly
  • On-the-fly scenario modeling
  • Consolidate across scenario models
  • Account forecasting with out-of-the-box forecast methods
  • Audit trail to determine how values are calculated
  • Goal seek
  • Funding options
  • Out-of-the-box model reports, including income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow
  • Create custom reports using Excel
  • A built-in hierarchical chart of accounts to get you up and running quickly, along with the ability to add subaccounts for planning at a more detailed level
  • The ability to check the status of consolidations from the Job Console, and the ability to customize navigation flows
  • Access control to manage permissions for models

Strategic Modeling provides a familiar web and Smart View interface.

Ability to Create Business Rules Written in the Groovy Scripting Language

Oracle now supports the creation of business rules written in the Groovy scripting language. Groovy business rules allow customers to design sophisticated rules that solve use cases that normal business rules cannot solve. For example, rules to prevent users from saving data on forms if the data value is above a predefined threshold. Groovy rules are created in Calculation Manager, deployed, validated, and run in the application.

Integration of EPBCS Workforce with Oracle Human Capital Management

In this update, EPBCS customers who use the Workforce business process can now align and pull workforce data from Oracle HCM Cloud. Data Management provides an out-of-the-box solution that enables customers to apply predefined mappings from the Oracle HCM Cloud data model to target dimensions in Workforce. Customers can also customize and extend these integrations, for example, by applying other mappings as needed to meet their business requirements.

Additional Checks in Enable Features, Increment Enablement, and Upgrade Processes

In EPBCS, when Service Administrators enable features for business processes, the application is put in maintenance mode and only Service Administrators can use the application. If any metadata changes are detected, the database is refreshed before the business process features are enabled. If the database refresh fails, Service Administrators must resolve the issues before enabling features. The database is refreshed when needed for first time enablement, incremental enablement, and content upgrade.

Removal of Support

Standard Interface (PBCS Workspace)

This change affects PBCS customers who activated their subscriptions on or before July 31, 2016 only.

The Simplified Interface, an option available in the service since November 2014, will be established as the standard across the service. As a result, the current Standard Interface, which is also known as the EPBCS Workspace, will not be supported starting with the December 2017 update to the service (December 1, 2017 for test instances and December 15, 2017 for production instances). After the deployment of the November update to production instances on November 17, 2017, bugs or enhancements for the Standard Interface will not be addressed.

Financial Reporting Studio Desktop Client

With this update, Financial Reporting Web Studio will become the only environment for designing and building reports.

Oracle is providing additional time for users to transition from Financial Reporting Desktop Studio to Financial Reporting Web Studio. Tentative plans call for functional parity between Financial Reporting Web Studio and Financial Reporting Desktop Studio in late 2017, at which time support for the desktop Studio will transition to the Web Studio and distribution of the Desktop Studio will cease.

Oracle recommends that you transition to using Financial Reporting Web Studio at the earliest opportunity.

File-based Integration of Data Management with Oracle Fusion Financial Cloud

Oracle Fusion Financial Cloud Budgetary Control and Encumbrance Accounting is now fully integrated with Data Management.

This enhancement brings the integration of Oracle Fusion Financials Cloud with Oracle EPM Cloud on par with the current, out-of-the-box, file-based integration. As a result, the file-based integration will be phased out starting the September update to the service.

If you are using file-based integration between Oracle Fusion Financials Cloud and Oracle EPM Cloud, Oracle recommends that you adopt this new integration as soon as possible.

Fixed Defects

Defect Number

Description

26051522

 

When PLAN6 is used as a target in a selected data load rule, the import succeeds but no rows are displayed in the Workbench.

 

26044617/ 25769964

 

For the Financials business process in Enterprise Planning and Budgeting Cloud, you can now add child members under more members in the balance sheet accounts:

OFS_Indirect Cash Flow Statement

OFS_Revenue Planning

OFS_Expense Planning

OFS_Gross Profit

OFS_Total Expenses

OFS_Depreciation and Amortization

OFS_Non Current Assets

OFS_Rolling Accounts Calculated

OFS_Total Preferred and Common Stock

OFS_Total Other Current Liabilities

OFS_Short Term Borrowings

OFS_Fixed Assets

OFS_Cash Flow from Operating Activities

OFS_Net Cash From Investing Activities

OFS_Net Cash from Financing Activities

OFS_Adjustments to Net Income

OFS_Sources of Cash

OFS_Uses of Cash

OFS_Total Non Current Liabilities

OFS_Accumulated Depreciation and Amortization

OFS_Variable Expense

OFS_Total Fixed Expenses

OFS_Cash

OFS_Depreciation

OFS_Total Retained Earnings

25980310

 

In EPBCS Financials, you no longer receive an error message when you attempt to configure Expense Accounts by selecting Application and then Configure.

 

25974115

 

You can now export a dynamic report to Excel without receiving an "Unable to process request" error.

 

25945535

 

In Financial Reporting Web Studio, charts with the "Page Break Before" property set now correctly display on separate pages in the PDF report.

 

25933968

 

Exports using Migration now correctly create snapshots containing the period mappings available in the application.

 

25926700

 

You now can export a report that contains an ampersand symbol (&) from Excel without any errors.

 

25917378

 

PDF preview no longer merges one grid with another grid.

 

25905487

 

You can now use the "DisplayFilterBySecurity" option on the Server tab in Financial Reporting Web Studio preferences to restrict non-administrative users so that they can only see the members to which they have access.

 

25896901

 

Saving ore refreshing data in forms now retains the cell focus.

 

25892406

 

Financial Reporting reports now correctly open in Excel when opened from the Simplified Interface.

 

25885110

 

Smart Push now gives the same results as using the Data Maps Clear and Push command.

 

25877833

 

You are now able to enable all dimensions after creating a new block storage cube in an application.

 

25877285

 

In EPBCS, the “Planning and Forecast Preparation” configuration tasks now uses the correct period if you previously made a change in the “Planning and Forecast Preparation” page but did not save your changes.

 

25874460

 

HTML preview now works correctly when you use Financial Reporting Web Studio to create a report in Japanese, and you add a prompt to a column.

 

25852056

 

When using a Chrome browser, when you run a Financial Reporting report in Excel, the prompt to select criteria in the Simplified Interface is now correctly displayed.

 

25830085

 

All rows in a form now display correctly after a form changes position in a dashboard.

 

25829683

 

You can now print forms by clicking the Print button or by pressing Ctrl+Alt+P key combination. Also, print preview displays as designed.

 

25764682

 

In the Workforce business process, changing the Hiring Requisition Status to Closed now correctly removes the compensation expense. Note that after upgrading your application, you must run the Change Hiring Requisition Status rule to set status to Closed.

 

25760533

 

When viewing a Financial Reporting report in the Simplified Interface, the Grid POV is now displayed.

 

25722233

 

When a user is deleted from the application, all instances of the user in the application are deleted.

 

25689592

 

When changing the time zone on the Daily Maintenance page, the application will now automatically convert the existing time to the new time zone.

 

25657911

 

When setting Current Application Defaults using the Navigator menu, you can now save Application Settings without error.

 

25607521

 

For the Capital business process in Enterprise Planning and Budgeting Cloud, accumulated depreciation now calculates correctly for all In Service dates. (Fixed in 17.05)

 

25470358

 

When working with Business Rules Folders in Rules Security, previously deleted folders are no longer reappearing in the folders list.

 

25452803

 

You can now successfully export a Financial Report to Excel from the Simplified Interface.

 

25451586

 

When locking an approval unit fails, a link is provided to access the data validation error(s).

 

 

Considerations

Because of some security changes made to Financial Reporting objects introduced in the 17.04 update, users who are granted the User (Planner) predefined role in the service are no longer able to access Financial Reporting folders and reports.

Workaround: Sign in as a Service Administrator and assign the WORLD group to each affected report and folder. You assign the group by editing the current permissions of the report or folder.


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