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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Financial Reporting Web Studio Arrives To On-Premise EPM

If you have attended an Oracle EPM roadmap session lately you have most probably heard that unlike previous years a new EPM release is not scheduled for 2016. While waiting for the big 12c release to drop, new updates and features will be added to the current version in the form of Patch Set Updates. HFM PSU 11.1.2.4.200 was a prime example of this strategy and now Financial Reporting is the next product to get a feature-laden update.

Financial Reporting PSU 11.1.2.4.701 was released today and it contains two big changes: FR Web Studio (a web-based report authoring tool) and an updated charting engine. I applied the PSU on my virtual machine running EPM 11.1.2.4 and took a peek at these new features.


A note regarding the patch installation: You apply the update using OPatch as usual but there is an extra step required: a new proxy configuration section must be added to Oracle HTTP Server or IIS, whichever product is used as the primary web server in the environment. As seen in the configuration snippet below, the Web Studio application has a new URL of its own: http://server:port/frdesigner .


After applying the patch, redeploying the FR web application and starting all EPM services again I found a new menu item in Workspace called Launch Reporting Web Studio:


Selecting the item pops up a new browser window with the Web Studio interface.


The look-and-feel and overall functionality of Web Studio mimics the old Windows client's counterparts. The report definition format has not changed and therefore both the new web interface and the classic Studio can be used to edit the same reports. The following functions are not yet implemented in the current version of Web Studio though:
  • Related content
  • Conditional formatting and suppression
  • Auto calculations
  • Sorting
  • Row/column templates, saved/linked objects
  • Ability to edit multiple reports at the same time
  • “Same As” member selection function
  • When formatting a cell in a grid, the Replace tab is not available in the Format Cell dialog box
These features are expected to be added in later updates.

I created some basic reports against the HFM sample application data to test the web-based tool. Getting used to the look and feel took some time but I was able to figure out the most common functions easily.


Grid editing mode:



Grid POV setup:



Member selector window:


If you need guidance there is new documentation available for the Web Studio on the Oracle EPM Help Center website: Financial Reporting Web Studio User's Guide

Charts

Chart functionality has been enhanced by introducing a new charting engine that should do a better job of sizing the graph elements and also offering better formatting options. See the Help Center document called Reporting And Analysis Charting Guide to find out the details about what has changed between the old and new engines.






Note that the graph objects seen in the design view are still just placeholder images (not reflecting your data until you run the report). 

This was just a quick look into what FR Web Studio looks like... I need to test the tool more thoroughly to get a better idea of how usable it is for daily report editing tasks. But remember that it should be safe to apply the PSU as you will still have access to the trusty old Windows client in case you run into issues with the new one.

Patch information:

6 comments :

  1. Hi Henri,
    Good post! I'm not able to see the new button within the workspace, did you re-configure the OHS part with the configtool ? (It works with the ^/frdesigner URL)Any idea ?
    Pierre.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you redeploy the FR web application using EPM System Configurator? I don't think I did any special steps besides that...

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    2. Thank you for the answer. I deleted the tmp folder in a first time and I redeployed the FR web application using the EPM Configtool in second time. I'll try to apply this patch on another environment to check.

      Delete
  2. Excellent overview!!
    Keith

    ReplyDelete
  3. Does the latest version of FR Studio (not the new web studio) allow you to edit multiple reports at the same time? Is that introduced in 11.1.2.3.500/700 or 11.1.2.4? By chance you have a link about the article that discuss the process? Thanks in advance!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Can we hide/delete FR Web Studio from Tools menu?

    ReplyDelete