With the introduction of the Oracle EPM 11.2 platform, at least one major difference was introduced. The tool to maintain the metadata for your EPM applications, Enterprise Performance Management Architect (EPMA), is no longer part of the toolset. If you were using EPMA or want to improve your metadata maintenance procedures, Oracle now offers Data Relationship Management (DRM). The word “Management” hints to a major advantage that you’ll gain in your current procedures.
What are my options?
Now that EPMA is no longer in your toolset, what are your options for maintaining your metadata?
The first option is the Classic method. That was an option from the start already. If you are maintaining your metadata in the Classic way, you can keep on doing this. If you were using EPMA for this, you can convert your applications to Classic and start using the “old” method. For Financial Management, this means that you must go back to the HFM Metadata Manager. For your Planning applications, you must go back to the web interface offered in Planning itself. If you shared metadata in EPMA between applications, that will no longer be possible in the Classic method.
What Oracle includes in the standard toolset of their 11.2 environment is DRM. Before, you had to buy licenses for this tool, but it is now part of the standard toolset and therefore “free” of charge.
Limitations of DRM
Although DRM is free to use in your Oracle EPM 11.2 metadata management procedures, there are some limitations:
- You can use DRM only to maintain the metadata for your Oracle EPM targets. This means that you cannot use it for the maintenance of your COA in for example Oracle Financials or any other General Ledger.
- Data Relationship Governance (DRG), the tool for DRM to create workflows that are more suited for business use, is not included. Already before, this tool was available as an addition to DRM, with its own licenses. If you want business users to start the request for a change in your EPM environment and build a workflow around that, DRG is a real option for this.
Advantages of using DRM
As mentioned above, the “Management” in DRM is your real gain.
- Versioning. In DRM you store a version of your entire metadata set for all your EPM applications. Once you deploy this set into your target, you can store that version and start with a copy of it for your next period. Although you cannot necessarily go back once you have deployed your metadata, you can still use these “old” versions for comparisons and report on the changes made. In EPMA or the Classic way for Planning, you cannot use versioning at all. In the Classic approach for Financial Management this means multiple version of your APP file, that you cannot compare very easily.
- Validations. With DRM you can validate your metadata real-time, in batches, or even before you export it to your targets, to make sure no issues will come up at that moment. These are not only basic technical validations for your target (e.g. the label of the account cannot be more than 80 characters and cannot contain specific characters), you can also build your own business validations into your application. As an example: if you create an Asset account, the label must start with an “A” followed by 6 digits.
- FDMEE as a target. Although your licensed DRM version does not allow you to target applications other than the Oracle EPM targets, FDMEE is a possible target. This means that you can set up hierarchies from your source(s) and connect these to your EPM target members. You can export this information and import this as mapping into FDMEE.
- Valid as off. Since you can create your own properties, you can build a “Valid as off”-construction, allowing you to make future changes in your current version. If you then export only those that are currently valid, this adds a real maintenance option.
If you really want to manage your metadata changes, Oracle Data Relationship Management is a valid option. Whether you come from a Classic or an EPMA-based background, DRM will improve your change processes. DRM comes with several example applications provided by Oracle. These are not really user-friendly. This is the reason why inlumi developed their own application to maintain your metadata. All technical validations are already built-in and will provide you with a platform for future development. Next to this a method has been created to import your current applications into DRM as a starting point.
If you have any questions on this or want more detailed information, feel free to reach out to me.