Thoughts, ideas and solutions from a few EPM consultants.

Debugging EPMA

Whether you love it or hate it, EPMA is here to stay. EPMA got off to a rocky start in the Oracle EPM world but these days it is a pretty stable tool. EPMA is similar to DRM and acts as a middle man between the user outline changes and Essbase or HFM. In particular EPMA shines when used in conjunction with Interface Tables and ADS files, EPMA allows metadata managers to test manual or automated metadata feeds without fear of breaking the reporting applications.

Most issues (Imports, Validations and Deployments) in EPMA can be easily diagnosed when examining the Library Job Console. Occasionally though users will come across error or warning messages that are less intuitive. Recently when running a dimension import we encounter an aborted job in the job console with no additional information.
EPMA Job Console Import Dimensions Aborted

EPMA Log Files

When we noticed that the job console was not able to provide useful information on what was causing the aborted situation we took to the EPMA log files. In particular we have found the DimensionServer.log useful. Although the job console was not able to tell us what was wrong in the import profile we found the following error in the log file:

SVR_ERR_DAL_COLUMN_NOT_FOUND:Column 'Value' not found.    at Hyperion.DataAccessLayerCore.DALDatasetCommand.ColumnValue(String columnName)

After reading the error message in the DimensionServer.log file we discovered that one of our views had the wrong column name. The column had been mislabeled as Child, once we changed the column in the view to be Value the import was successful.

Update

At a recent Oracle user group event I heard that Oracle may be looking at reversing their stance on EPMA. Specifically they will start pushing DRM as the hierarchy managment tool of choice. EPMA won't be removed any time soon but may not be actively enhanced. This information was deciminated via a third party and I have not heard this directily from Oracle so take this with a gain of salt. If correct, this news leaves me torn. Being application specific I feel that EPMA is far easier to use for the common EPM user and the tigher integration makes for a more seemless development experience. However a move like this would make sense as EPMA potentially canabalizes DRM sales. Also both DRM and EPMA are .NET applictions meaning they are Windows only products (as of 11.1.2.4) but recent versions of DRM have shown the API moving toward Java which would enable the product to run on Linux. During this time we have seen a few changes made to EPMA to move the web front end to WebLogic (Java) but have seen no such changes to the EPMA dimension server which does most of the heavy lifting in EPMA.