By now you know Oracle has decided to sunset EPM Architect (EPMA) with the latest release of Oracle EPM version 11.2**. As consultants, we will miss the functionality that EPMA provides to easily manage and share metadata across EPM components and applications like Planning, HFM, Essbase, etc.
**Download our assessment guide to help you chart the right path for upgrading your Oracle Hyperion EPM on-premise environment to 11.2
Since you found this article, you're likely looking for options to keep the functionality you have counted on from Oracle EPMA.
Remember: All on-premise Oracle EPM versions prior to 11.2 will reach end-of-life in December 2021. Once you upgrade to version 11.2, all prior versions of EMPA will no longer be available. If your existing solution uses EPMA to share dimensions across multiple EPM applications, you will need to decide how your future without EPMA will work.
Ultimately, any existing EPMA applications will need to be converted or rebuilt as “classic” or stand-alone applications. But, classic applications do not allow for sharing of metadata from one to another, so prior to the upgrade, you must make a decision of which path to take. Let’s explore those options in more detail, so you can consider how your organization is currently using EPMA, and ensure a smooth transition to 11.2.
Option 1: Oracle DRM (Fully licensed version)
One option for EPMA users, is to utilize full-use Oracle Data Relationship Manager (DRM) for metadata management in Oracle EPM 11.2.
Oracle Data Relationship Management (DRM) is an enterprise change management solution for building and retaining consistency within master data assets despite endless changes necessary to support underlying transactional and analytical systems.
A key advantage of full-use DRM is that it encompasses much more than just master data management. DRM includes functionality around data governance, process control, change management, etc.
Critical to your decision here is whether you are trying to manage metadata not just within your EPM system, but outside of it as well. Some of our clients have chosen to automate feeds of metadata from their general ledger (GL) into their EPM system, thus metadata is dynamically crossing the boundary of your EPM solution. In a scenario like this, you would need the fully licensed version of DRM.
Option 2: Oracle DRM (Restricted Use)
Oracle has historically included a free metadata sharing component in their on-premises software (read EPMA). As we learned in 2019 at Oracle's Kscope conference, on-premises customers can implement DRM on a free, but restricted, use basis*.
*Note: This only applies to non-DRM customers; so existing DRM customers are excluded from this offer.
Since the use of this tool is free, you don't get all the bells and whistles that come with the fully licensed version of Oracle DRM. It's important to note the free/lite version of Oracle DRM can only be used to manage data within your on-premises Oracle EPM system.
'Restricted use' Oracle DRM means:
- NO automated management of hierarchies within your GL
- NO syncing data to/from cloud instances, external systems, or data warehouse
- Does NOT include functionality around Data Relationship Governance and process control management
Also note, with "restricted use," you get five (5) seats for Oracle DRM. Depending on the depth of your EPM administration, you should consider the number of users involved in your metadata management processes.
Option 3: FDMEE
Oracle Hyperion Financial Data Quality Management Enterprise Edition (FDMEE) is an integration tool for finance users to bring data from a source system to a target application in a consumable format for Oracle Hyperion products (i.e. HFM, Essbase, and Planning). In addition to the data management capabilities, FDMEE has a lesser known feature that enables it to update metadata.
Unlike DRM or EPMA, FDMEE does not include a graphical hierarchy management component, so hierarchies would have to be maintained in some other application (e.g., excel, a database, etc.). A specialized file would need to be created and loaded through FDMEE for each target application to update the common metadata.
Option 4: Classic Applications
The last option we'll cover is to convert or rebuild your existing EPMA applications as "classic" applications and make due with the individual interfaces for managing metadata (e.g., EAS Console, Planning administration, HFM administration, etc.).
If you don't have much metadata sharing across applications, or if your shared dimensions are relatively static, then these built-in methods would be a good option. However, if you're needing to sync data across multiple application types, it is possible to stitch together custom automations to facilitate the movement of members across your applications, such as, HFM->Planning, BSO->ASO, etc.
Undoubtedly, there are 3rd-party solutions outside of the Oracle suite that can be applied to help manage metadata, but assuming you are upgrading to 11.2 in order to maintain your Oracle support agreements, we are only presenting options within the Oracle ecosystem.
Remember, all on-premise Oracle EPM versions prior to 11.2 will reach end-of-life in December 2021. Once you upgrade to 11.2 all prior versions of EMPA will no longer be available. Now is the time to plan on how you will handle this transition.
Depending on the extent of your metadata sharing, you might consider manually replicating metadata changes in each application, creating a custom process for programmatically updating applications from a common source, or implementing a replacement master data management tool to manage your EPM data.
Tevpro is a proud implementation partner for market leaders Oracle EPM and OneStream Software. Should you need help navigating these waters, rest assured that we're here to help. If you have any questions or want more detailed information, feel free to reach out to us by email or on Twitter.
Tevpro consultants have over 20 years experience implementing world-class EPM solutions to help you eliminate manual processes, enable fact-based business planning, and make informed decisions that drive competitiveness. Our proven delivery processes and certified consultants specialize in complex data management solutions, EPM implementations, and custom software development.
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