Kscope19 live blog, so many days after the conference it can’t really be called live

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know: late

I plead a vacation, freedom from technology, and a healthy-ish communion with dirt, or in other words: tent camping. It was great, thanks for asking. And oh yeah, I’m on doxycycline, thank you .

And with that mea culpa, let’s jump right into Kscope19 and its import

I’ve been out of the Oracle world for the last two years to it’s all been a bit overwhelming as I try to catch up with lo the many new announcements. To wit, Oracle really seem to have their act together for the first time in quite a while.

By that I mean that there’s been a concerted effort to take the multiple SaaS products that make up the Oracle EPM product suite and combine them into a single offering. I am by no means an expert in product pricing (There are those, perhaps quite rightly, who believe that I am by no means an expert in anything – who can argue with such logic given abundant supporting evidence?) but it seems to me that a move away from EPM a la carte pricing on a product by product basis to a broader enterprise license is a good move towards simplifying how customers perceive and use the tools.

I’m not going to repeat my semi-live reportage, so have a look at my posts:

Keeping in mind that a lot of these photographs are the result of me feverishly taking snapshots and then trying to tweet them out (you do realize that you could have seen all of this a week+ ago by following me on Twitter) but in the absence of that let’s see if I can bring you up to speed with the latest and greatest.

The EPM roadmap


Keep in mind that there’s list price and then there’s whatever you actually pay. I can give you the link to the former and will note my very first boss once habitually said with glee as he put the screws to a software vendor: “Everything’s negotiable.”

Here’s Oracle’s take on how it all works out.

And here’s a better (and oooh, everything’s in $$$ and £££ because of the source). I’m not going to repeat Jazmin’s excellent overview and instead encourage you to check out her take on it all. Seriously, she covered everything EPM and – and this is quite an important bit – notes that there is something called Free Form Essbase.


Two more blogs you ought to read about (and I’m not going to crib from): Opal’s take on the changes and Pete’s review of the products and Dave’s candid thoughts on Oracle’s announcements. Much to read and ponder.

Also seriously

Jazmin, I sat right next to you in the EPM partner meeting and didn’t figure out who you are till I left the room. Sorry.

Essbase in EPM

No, I don’t mean under the covers within an EPM product Essbase, I mean Essbase.

Free Form Planning is a Essbase SaaS is awesome

And by Essbase I mean Free Form Planning. Which is I suppose isn’t Essbase but is pretty damn close.

At this time is a (I think I have this right) single instance supporting a single Essbase application with its own single database (ASO or BSO). I believe that in future this will support multiple databases per application. No matter, Essbase SaaS (that’s what it is, that’s what I’m calling it) is the EPM answer to those on-premises Essbase applications that just don’t fit into a Planning app and yes there are a ton of those. Huzzah! Finally! Essbase geeks rejoice. I will also note that the BSO databases are hybrid-enabled. Huzzah! Finally!

It’s not just Essbase (unlimited dimensions, no required dimensions, big dimensions) but it also includes EPM’s dimension editor and forms. Huzzah! I can’t write “Finally!” as I never thought of that latter bit of functionality.

Essbase SaaS is Essbase 11g. More anon on this.

But wait there’s more

You get the dimension editor, Data Management, REST API, and all of the other EPM Cloud functionality. I think the dimension editor alone makes Essbase SaaS a compelling choice for EPM customers.

Speaking of standalone Essbase, some really big news

That’s SaaS Essbase. What about PaaS (and arguably IaaS) Essbase?

First off, pure (Have you ever noticed this is the way Essbase apps are referred to? What, Planning apps are some sort of pollution of the Holy Essbase Grail? Discuss.) Essbase isn’t dead. Which is a bit of a relief as I:

  1. Went away for two years.
  2. Came back.
  3. Heard at Kscope, “They’re going to announce Essbase is dead.”
  4. Experienced comprehensively deep despair.
  5. Realized that maybe the death of Essbase after 25+ years isn’t really a personal existential crisis but is still a bit of a bummer.
  6. Attend product roadmap sessions and learn that in fact Essbase as a standalone product does have a future. Expect spontaneous and extremely geeky yet glorious outbreaks of song upon delivery with the teensy-weensy word substitution of “Essbase” as required upon SKU delivery.
  7. Became awfully happy that I won’t have to go through the Essbase version of the Kubler-Ross grief cycle.

I do like the product. Maybe I can sucker another persuade my sadly deluded uniquely gifted Essbase comrades into another book one day. And I really did say that I’d never write another one. We shall see.

Here’s the gen on Essbase

Yes, stolen from Oracle slides, but no matter as it’s too important not to clearly (my photographs leave much to be desired) document it all.

11g to 19c feature comparison

Feature Essbase 11g Essbase 19c
Outline/Metadata Management EAS Console Web UI/Cube Designer
Security Shared Services Customer LDAP integrated through Weblogic/IDCS
SmartView Supported Supported in addition to Web UI Analysis
EAS/Studio Supported Bye Bye Birdie
Essbase JAPI/CAPI Supported Supported + REST API
Varying Attributes Supported Supported for migrated applications only
Application mode Option: Non-Unicode or Unicode Unicode-only
Currency Conversion Module Supported Supported for migrated applications only (I think this is an awfully odd link but how could I resist given Mitzi Gaynor?  Phwoar.)

Essbase 19c new features

Feature Essbase 19c
Federated partitions (I have to confess I’m not sure I understand what this is) Can query Data Sources with zero footprint Essbase partition. (Nope, still don’t understand it.)
Data Source/Connections New construct to abstract data sources for Rule Files, Data Transformation, and Partitions
Sandboxing and Scenario Management Lightweight scenario management with workflow
Cube Designer SV Excel plug-in to build dimensions (I believe it used to do data loads but that was what I saw two years ago)
CLI + MaxL REST API CLI for administration and HTTPS-based MaxL. (What, no Esscmd?)
Modern web UI Modern UI with close feature parity with EAS. (There better be – today’s web UI works okay with Sample.Basic and not much else)
Excel Templates Domain and feature based quick start templates
Simplified Security 3 user roles and 4 application privileges for security management
ADW support ADW as a data source for Essbase

19c version 1 support matrix

  • Oracle Linux 7.x
  • Oracle DB for Metadata RCU – 12.1c, 12.2c, 18c
  • Security integration with other directory services supported via WebLogic or IDCS when using OCI
  • In the longer term: more

OCI Marketplace

  • Used for good practice deployments
    • Automatic install and configuration
    • OCI cloud architecture
    • Uses existing OCI deployments
  • Customer managed Essbase
    • Access to on-premises data via VPN
    • SSH
    • Patching control
    • Potential configuration customization
  • Enhanced functionality
    • Use existing cloud migration utilities
    • Use existing on-premises artefacts
      • Server side scripts
      • Custom JDBC drivers
    • New features
      • Data sources
      • Scenario Management
      • Cube Designer
      • Hybrid Mode (default for all BSO cubes)
      • Hot backup (coming in V2)

Essbase stack

  • OCI compute node
    • Preinstalled Essbase 19c on Linux 7.6
    • Automatically configured for target compute shape (cpu, RAM)
  • Block volume formatted to XFS
    • Optional encryption
  • Object storage bucket
    • Dedicated for managing Essbase instance content (backups)
    • Optional encryption
  • Database instance (Autonomous DB, OCI DB)
  • Load balancer
  • KMS/Vault entries
    • Secure key storage for encryption

Wither Essbase in OAC?

Wow, I’m glad I was away for the whole OAC thing-y as I now don’t have to forget all of this.

  • OCI-C customers should migrate to 19c when available
  • OAC Essbase will remain 12c
    • Existing customer support continues along with patches
    • OAC customers can migrate to 19c
  • Common migration (I am guessing from on-premises 11g) for 12c and 19c
  • No change to OAC Analytics capabilities across 12c and 19c

Ermagwad, there’ll be an on-premises version in 19c

Big news as there will:

  • Be feature parity with cloud
  • A migration utility from 11g, going back to (Really, is anyone using that release? Really?
  • Release some time after 19c cloud.

One important thing to note: EPM applications will continue to use 11g, not 19c. No, I have no idea why, either.

When oh when oh when?

Not all that far away:

  • Essbase 19c Cloud – H1 FY2020
  • Essbase 19c on-premises – with loads o’luck, sometime 12 months after cloud release

There, is that enough Essbase goodness?

If it isn’t, what pray tell might? Essbase has a future, thankfully. It’s amazing the legs a 25+ year old product like this has, but perhaps that’s because it’s absolutely brilliant? Likely.

The fun

Kscope is ever so much more than just technology: it’s also all about the people. The warmth, enthusiasm, kindness, and curiosity are easy to see. It’s quite nice. Many, many, many people told me how happy they were to see me again. The feeling is mutual.

Things that make one blush

Also quite nice was seeing the LinkedIn post 10 Key EPM Takeaways from KScope19 from Muthu Ranganathan, to wit:

I suspect this is rather more about a Certain Fellow Consultant than Yr. Obt. Svt. but I’ll take the perhaps wildly-misattributed and certainly wildly-incorrect complement.

I’d also note that Kscope is for everyone, even consultants.

And things that really ought to make one blush. And do.

My bestie Natalie Delemar convinced me to go full dress up at the Kscope Wednesday night entertainment. Like a fool, I did it.

Here we are:

No, alas, that isn’t us. Here are Nyota Uhuru and James Tiberius Kirk at Kscope19:

Spock only smiled once or twice on TOS. Here he is doing it again:

Did you know he has a twin?

Kscope can take three ostensibly sober and intelligent adults and make them play make-believe. It’s just that much fun.

Be seeing you in Boston

And with that, I’ve finished my take on Kscope19. I hope to see you in Boston at Kscope2020.

Be seeing you.

4 thoughts on “Kscope19 live blog, so many days after the conference it can’t really be called live

  1. I’m planning to do a post about federated partitions unless someone beats me to it. I’m pretty busy the next few weeks but hope to get around to it in August.

  2. Thanks for the email letting me know you were going to KScope19. Very glad to see you’re back although I don’t quite understand exactly how you and Celvin are back, but that’s your business. I’m still learning from your old posts and books and am delighted for any new content. Put me down for a order for your new Essbase book if you decide to write it. 😉

    1. Chris, we’re partially back — both Oracle EPM and OneStream CPM as it’s a multiproduct world. It is *wonderful* to be back in the Oracle world. And the book — we shall see. I have to catch up with two years of progress first. Essbase 19c has to come out as well.

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