FCCS First Look: Creating an Application

FCCS is a new consolidations & close Cloud offering in the Oracle EPM world. Not much is known about it yet publicly, as we’re all still trying to get up to speed. Luckily, the Oracle development team is working closely with customers and partners to ensure that implementations are successful.

In case you missed them, here are the high level PSA’s about this technology (for more details on what features have been released with FCCS version 1, take a look at this past blog post):

  • FCCS is not “HFM on the cloud”
  • This is a pre-built solution
  • Calculations are restricted to member formulas (i.e. no custom scripting allowed)
  • Support for Data Management (FDMEE “lite” on the Cloud) and FDMEE are coming soon
  • FCCS is built on top of the EPBCS platform (and therefore, is powered by Essbase)

I have not had a lot of experience with this solution yet, but after working with EPBCS and creating a basic application in FCCS, I can say that FCCS definitely feels like a different flavor of EPBCS.

Today, let’s take a look at the basics of creating an application for the first time in FCCS. We’ll also take a tour of what components come out of the box.

Remember that when you first create an application, you’re given the option to choose if you’d like to create either an EPBCS or FCCS application:

Creating an App 01

First, you’re asked to create the required application name and description. Just like in EPBCS, the FCCS application name is restricted to 8 characters (due to a limitation in Essbase).

Creating an App 02

Next, you’ll be able to choose the base application options. These include settings for time periods and currency. For time periods, there are 12-month and 13-month options. You can also set the start and end year (and add more years to the application later, as needed), as well as choose the start month. For currency, your options are to choose the main reporting currency, as well as decide if you would like to enable multicurrency.

Creating an App 03

Now we get to the good stuff. The next screen asks you to select the configuration options/features of your FCCS application. Note that some of these options can be enabled after the fact. I have randomly selected as many options as possible below.

Creating an App 04Creating an App 05

Now that the settings and configuration options have been selected, a review screen is available (i.e. “are you sure?”) and you’re given one last opportunity to make changes before proceeding with the application creation.

Creating an App 06

Once you press “Create”, you’ll receive a status message. The light blue text indicates the current step of the application creation process and it will update as each task progresses.

Creating an App 07

Finally, you’ll receive a confirmation message if your application was created successfully. Application creation takes between 5-10 minutes.

Creating an App 08

Now that we’re done, let’s take a look at what the home screen looks like for our FCCS application. The familiar Simplified UI, common across all Oracle EPM Cloud products, is presented:

Simplified UI

There’s a flipboard to the left to indicate which tasks are open and overdue for the logged in user. In addition, the cards and clusters are on the right.

Let’s see what cubes were generated as a result of this application creation. It looks like two, Consol and Rates:

Cubes

In addition, within the Application card, administrators can import and export data, refresh the database (a required step for Planning technologies – if you make changes in members, dimensions, security, and/or member properties, etc., you need to “refresh the database”), remove the entire application (to start over), modify the 1-hour maintenance window and see what version the product is on, and view the files in the Inbox/Outbox area through the Actions menu.

And real quick – here’s what the Dimensions tab in the Application card looks like. This is a place where you can go to quickly see the dimension list for each cube, change the evaluation order, and import and export the dimensions. If you want to do a more detailed manual administration of each dimension, go to the Administrator >> Dimensions area within Navigator (shown later in this post) for that.

Dimension Exports

Here are the options for the Simplified UI export metadata option.

Export Metadata

This is a great feature if you want to know what the pre-configured member formulas and properties are for each cube. You can export all of the dimensions and view them within individual .csv files. You can also download and install the Smart View admin extension, which will allow you to view and edit the FCCS dimension members and member properties through Smart View.

Now let’s cruise through the pre-built content. There is a special pre-configured navigation flow/cluster available for dashboards (to be covered in more detail further down in this blog post):

Simplified UI-Clusters.jpg

Here’s a slide show of all of the dimensionality that comes out of the box with the Consol cube. Some of this dimensionality is dependent on the setting and configuration options selected during application creation:

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And here is the dimensionality of the Rates cube (only unique dimensions and members shown – those not shown mirror the Consol cube hierarchies):

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Now that we’re familiar with the dimensionality, what pre-configured Dashboard objects come with FCCS?

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Here are the other pre-configured components that come with FCCS: (action menus, business rules, forms, smart lists, variables, etc.)

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Now let’s take a look at some of the administrator areas. Here are the various tabs in the Console card:

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And here are the tabs in the Settings card:

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Here are the options available to administrators in the Navigator screen. Navigator can be accessed via the “three-line” menu in the upper left-hand corner of the standard FCCS screen. Notice that EAS (an administrator console available to on-prem Essbase) and Calculation Manager are absent, as promised.

Navigator

Here are the traditional application settings (not to be confused with the initial application creation settings). These can also be accessed through Navigator – this settings area is common to the Planning technology set:

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Finally, here’s what the FCCS connection looks like in Smart View:

Smart View FCCS Shared Connection

And that’s the basic journey through FCCS. More on FCCS later!

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