Getting Started with Calculations in PBCS

Should we move our Hyperion Planning environment to PBCS (Planning Budgeting Cloud Service)? We are moving to PBCS – what is going to change?  We know we are moving to PBCS eventually – when is the best time?  There is a good chance you have asked or been asked one of these questions recently.

Like most other components of PBCS, calculations are pretty much the same whether it’s on-premise or in the cloud.  But there are a few differences.  Here are a few things you need to know.

New PBCS versions are applied every month. This writing assumes the December 2016 release.

What’s different?

The good news is that if you are already doing most or all your calculation work in Calc Manager there is very little difference.  Writing and executing Calc Manager business rules looks and works nearly the same in PBCS and on-premise.

There are a few significant differences including:

  • EAS (Essbase Administration Services) is absent from PBCS so you can’t rely on it for database information, to view log files or to manage sessions
  • You can’t change caches or Essbase.cfg file settings.
  • You need EPM Automate too automate rule execution.

Starting Calc Manager from the Simplified Interface

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  1. Click the “Hamburger” icon next to the Oracle masthead.
  2. Under “Create and Manage”, click Rules.


Calculation Manager (CM) is started, and you are ready to work on your calcs.

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Getting Database Information

For the die-hards (like me) who still find Essbase Admin Services (EAS) useful – it’s gone in PBCS so there are a few things you will need to know to find the features in CM to fully replace EAS.  The good news is that cutting the cord isn’t hard and there are many features in CM that are far superior to EAS.  Yes, it’s a much more complex interface with a lot more you need to learn – but IMHO that investment pays significant dividends.

Since writing and executing business rules is, for the most part the same, the biggest issues are on the administrative and debugging side.

Database Statistics

How do you view Database Properties, such as block statistics and dimension statistics?

  • Click System View
  • Click the green Database Properties icon

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  • Choose the application
  • Choose the database

You will see five tabs.  Notably, the Caches tab is missing because PBCS does not allow you to change caches. There are some minor differences on these tabs but nothing significant for most applications.

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Starting and Stopping Applications and Session Management

How do you stop and restart an application?  How do you kill jobs or log off users?

  • Click System View
  • Click the green Database Properties icon

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  • Right click the Application name

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Clicking Sessions will open the Session Management dialog where you can view active sessions and terminate sessions if you need to.  You can also start and stop applications and/or all the databases within an application.

Calculation Logs and Messages

At some point, you will want to review the calculation log messages.  It’s actually a little easier in Calc Manager than in EAS. In EAS you had to open the application log and search for the relevant messages.  In CM once you open a rule and execute it the relevant messages will appear in the Log Messages pane at the bottom of the rule window.

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While we are on the subject of log files, Calc Manager includes some script diagnostics.

With the rule open, on the Error and Warnings tab click the green button to launch the diagnostics.

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CM gives you a list of potential issues.  Interpreting these messages is another story.  Even perfectly good scripts may have many messages but there is also good information here. For example, this script makes two passes through the database which probably means it could be rewritten to run faster.

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Automating Calc Rule execution with EPM Automate

EPM Automate is a utility used to automate administrative tasks such as uploading and downloading files, loading data and metadata and executing calc rules.  To use it you must download it and install it on your local computer.

  1. Click the down arrow next to your username
  2. Click Downloads


Then download the version for your local computer operating system.

Run the installer.  The default install location is  C:\Oracle\EPM Automate\bin.

Users with Service Admin privileges can use start EPM Automate and execute individual commands from the command line or write a batch file that includes EPM Automate commands. Here is a link to the EPM Automate documentation and here are some examples specific to PBCS.