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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Support For Mobile Browsers In EPM 11.1.2.3

Financial Reporting 11.1.2.3 adds an interesting new twist to the EPM products: FR reports now have a mobile interface which is certified on iOS and Android platforms. EPM certification matrix states that the native browsers on Apple iOS5 & 6 and Android versions 3.x and 4.x are all supported. This means that no special apps are needed on either platform for viewing FR reports. I took the feature for a spin using the EPM test server I installed the other day.


Android Browser

I first tried the mobile UI using my Android 4.1 phone (Samsung Galaxy S3). The mobile interface is accessed via the slightly cumbersome URL: http://webserver:port/hr/mobile/HRMobileLogon.jsp

Mobile FR login page on Android browser

After logging in you are presented with a simple version of the Explore view from EPM Workspace. But for some reason I was not able to open reports using the native Android browser (the built-in app called "Internet") because only a grey bar showed up where the frame containing the report was supposed to appear.

Broken report view on Android browser

By clicking the PDF icon I was able to download the report and open it in the Adobe Reader app.



I also tried the Android version of Chrome (v26.0) and even though the browser is not certified it actually worked better than the native one. The HTML report view was usable (although only when holding the phone in landscape orientation).



As an added bonus I tested the report in Chrome running on my Android enabled television. Looks like you can now check your company's financial figures while laying on your couch! ;)



iOS Browser (Safari)

This test was done using my third-gen iPad. The user interface looked identical but worked slightly better because of the additional screen estate available.

FR mobile login screen on iPad

Report placement on the screen was a bit funky but the whole report was still readable.

HTML report view on iPad

The PDF view actually looked nicer as you see in the next pic. The "Launch out" link opens the report in Adobe Reader or other PDF reader app you might have installed on the iPad.

PDF report view on iPad

When changing the POV the Member Selector window opens in a separate tab that closes after you have made your selection.


I didn't test all functionality but according to the Reporting And Analysis documentation you should be able to respond to prompts, use expansions and open related content links in the mobile view.

Conclusions

While many people will undoubtedly brush the mobile user interface off as a gimmick it may still open some interesting new use cases for FR reports. The ability to open freshly generated reports directly on your iPad without generating them on your laptop first will most probably attract some interest. The mobile device needs to be connected to your company's network (HTTP access to the EPM server web required) but this should be achievable using third party VPN solutions even when working in a remote location.

Last thing worth noting regarding mobile access: Most documentation in the EPM 11.1.2.3 Documentation Library is now also available in the ePub format. According to the readmes ePub files are at the moment only certified on Apple devices (iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch), but ebook readers should be able to handle the files on other platforms (such as Android) as well. Docs in Mobi format (used by Amazon Kindle devices for example) have been available already in previous EPM releases.

4 comments :

  1. is thr any new mobile app for Essbase or planning or FR?

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    Replies
    1. The only EPM/BI mobile app I know about is the Oracle Business Intelligence Mobile HD which allows users to access OBIEE content on an iOS device. I'm not aware of plans for other apps but it would seem probable that Oracle will introduce new mobile functionality in the future.

      Delete
  2. Thanks Henri
    Do you think that the same reports can be used for printing, computer screen and mobile phone or do the reports need to be designed specifically for a smaller screen?

    ReplyDelete