In today’s post we’ll take a look at the creation of an initial EPBCS application. Then we’ll dive into the Lite application type specifics.
When you first log into EPBCS for the very first time, you’re taken to a screen that can be a bit confusing. You’re asked if you’d like to create a Planning and Budgeting or Financial Consolidation and Close application. Hmmm. Yes, this means that EPBCS comes with EPBCS, PBCS, and FCCS. Score!
Notice that there is a “Lifecycle Management” option in the upper right-hand corner. If you choose to remove your application, you can also use this screen to restore from a backup. Snapshots are saved and archived regardless of application deletion.
Since this post is obviously about EPBCS, we’re going to go the Planning and Budgeting route. Once I press Start, I see several options available to me:
- Lite (your basic, empty Planning application) – described as “all-in-one planning and reporting models that you can expand over time”
- Standard – (your basic PBCS application) described as “elaborate flexible models for any business process”
- Enterprise – (a PBCS application with options to enable frameworks) described as “built-in planning and budgeting models for [each framework]”
Let’s start by taking a tour of the EPBCS Lite application. If you’re interested in the steps to create other types of EPBCS applications, look at these blog posts:
The wizard screens are very familiar. First, I need to choose a name (up to 8 characters), as well as a required description.
Next, I can choose simple details about the application. For a Lite application, there are several options for planning frequency. The sub-options to the right change based upon my selection. I can also choose to enable a rolling forecast (and set the duration), multicurrency (with 2 options, although only the Standard option is available), and choose the name of my one required cube. (As shown below, I realized later that this is not a reporting cube – it’s the one plan type that comes with your application. So this area of the setup is incorrectly labeled.)
I’m going to turn off multicurrency.
Then I get a summary of my results and create the application.
This process takes approximately 4 minutes. I get a message indicating that everything was successful.
I haven’t played around much with Lite EPBCS applications yet. The PBCS documentation (the EPBCS documentation is currently unreleased to the public and skips over application types) reveals several important notes about Lite applications in the PBCS world:
- You can only have a single plan type (of ASO type)
- You can add up to 20 total dimensions
- Only MDX formulas are allowed
- Only the following components are supported: business rules, map reporting, copy data, copy version, exchange rates, or currency conversion
- This can later be converted to the Standard or Enterprise application type
Note that I’m assuming that the PBCS documentation is correct when it comes to EPBCS Standard applications. Without the proper full testing and finalized EPBCS documentation, it’s all we can rely on now.
What’s clear about this type of application is that it’s very simple and customizable. This reminds of what it’s like to create an empty application in on-prem Planning. It comes out of the box with the standard Planning dimensions of Account, Entity, Currency (if enabled), Period, Years, Scenario, and Version. The dimensions are mostly empty. Scenario comes with Current. Version comes with BU_Version1. Currency comes with the default application currency and more can be added. Period and Years resemble the selections I made during application creation.
The “reporting” cube (which is a misnomer) seems to be of ASO type, although I do see dimension options for Dense/Sparse and then also solve order (which is confusing). This one plan type comes pre-populated only with Account (which is empty) and Period. Note that the other dimensions are available to the entire application, although not showing in the dimension list for the plan type.
I look through the objects and notice that there aren’t any pre-configured dashboards, task lists, forms, rules, or reports yet, but I expected this. As the Lite application uses the Standard multicurrency option only, no input forms come with it out of the box.
I notice that the option to configure frameworks is missing from the Console card, so that’s not even possible within this application type. There won’t be any pre-configured components for those. However, you can take a Lite application and supposedly migrate it to a Standard or Enterprise application type later. There are some considerations that have to be thought through before a conversion to another application type can occur – like whether or not the application uses custom time periods, for instance.
Note that, based on a hunch I had, I did try to migrate a Lite application type to an Enterprise application type. An error flashed on the screen. It was so fast that I couldn’t read it. After trying several things and finally seeing what it said, I realized that my suspicions were confirmed. A Lite application type only supports the Standard multicurrency option, whereas an Enterprise application type only supports the Simplified multicurrency option. Therefore, you can’t convert the Lite type to the Enterprise type – at least, not now. I will have to log this and see if it’s on their radar (especially since the Simplified type is available, but greyed out). It seems odd that they’d offer the option and then not allow you to do it.
Note that I was able to successfully convert to a Standard application type. But since I’m locked into the Standard multicurrency option, I still can’t migrate from the converted Standard application type to the Enterprise application type. Considerations, considerations…
There is more to investigate, but these are the basics of the Lite application. Tomorrow we’ll take a look at creating the Standard application type.