The new Planning Web Form Designer and the creation of formula calculated form content by Bernhard Kinkel
By Georgiana Codrescu on Feb 04, 2011
I want to introduce you to the completely new and quite improved form
designer interface in Oracle Hyperion Planning 11.1.2. It's not
only that accessibility and usability have been much enhanced compared
to the "old" (and sometimes a bit cumbersome) designer. Some exciting new features have also found their way into the new
designer, such as formula columns and rows, ad-hoc layout changes,
color coding and validation rules for data entry.
This last feature needs to be seen in conjunction with the new planning process management, which has also been redesigned and enhanced: it is possible now, to create more detailed planning unit combinations (incorporating additional dimensions), and also a clear promotional and approval path during the planning process can be defined now. Validation failures that occur for data entered by a planner might lead to changes in the promotional or approval path, or even to a rejection of saving data.
This article gives a general introduction to the new form designer and self-defined formula content for web forms. The new process management and validation rules will be the subject of a following article, but they are also taught in our new Planning 11.1.2 courses.
Opening the new form designer works slightly differently than before, as under the Administration menu for the Planning application in Workspace there's now a new Manage submenu that Data Forms entry belongs to as a sub item.
The following window appears, now showing a selection option for creating a Simple or Composite form.
The rest of the information to be entered here is the same as before. After selecting to create a simple form, the completely new Layout tab shows next, with all dimensions under the Point of View by default. Dimensions can now be organized by clicking on the icon in front of the dimension name and dragging and dropping them into the respective area for Page, Rows or Columns.
As the next step, in order to select the individual members per dimension, click on the icon on the right hand side of each dimension. The new member selector opens:
Tip: You can also click on the icon right beside Pages or Point of View in order to open the member selector for all dimensions in that area.
Then make single member selections or use the different Keep only options shown in the screen shot above for changing the way that members are displayed and selectable. Use the icon as another option or just right click a member in order to open the list with selection criteria for children, descendants etc. Finally confirm your selection with OK.
Tip: At any time you can preview the form by clicking the Preview button in the lower left hand corner of the form designer. The shown preview is now a real, fully working form, even showing data, opened in a separate window. Also you can now save your work at any time, even if preliminary, and without closing the form designer automatically. This was not the case in the former version.
If you would like to create an asymmetrical form, on the Layout tab right-click on a row or column header and select the menu option to add rows or columns, then make your member selections for this new section as described before.
Setting properties would be the subsequent action. Clicking on the row name ("1" in our example from the Layout Tab screen shot above), the column name ("A" in our example), or the icon for a dimension, shows and activates the property settings for all rows, columns or each dimension separately in the property panel on the right hand side. The following options are available:
Tip: It might be useful not to make any Suppress settings in the form definition, as common planners and view users cannot change form definitions themselves. But instead they could leverage the Suppress options from the right click menu in the final form when they display or use it, as shown below. Another option in this context menu is to filter data by keeping or removing certain values based on criteria.
Also column width can be adjusted by users themselves by drag and drop on the column separators in the column headers or by using the right-click menu on columns in a data form.
Rows and Columns:
After finishing all settings on the Layout tab by clicking on the Next button you come to the Other Options tab. The settings for user variables are now placed at the bottom of the window; most of the other settings here are the same as before.
But there's one new, and very powerful feature available now for forms, that should be mentioned:
"Enable for ad-hoc" provides
users with ad-hoc layout and analysis functionality, which allows them to move and
reorganize dimensions on the original form into a different layout, to change
members displayed and to finally save the changed form under a new name as a
private copy in the same folder - but without being able to overwrite the
original form. This feature is accessed on forms by using the right click menu on
columns or rows. First Ad-hoc needs to be activated by selecting Enter Ad-hoc
Mode (first figure), then accessind right-click menu again the detailed ad-hoc
menu becomes available (second figure):
Turning back to the forms designer, on the last tab you still have the Business Rules assignment, where no changes took place in the interface, and which concludes the from definition.
This was an introduction to the general use of the new form designer.
As a last thing I want to present the new option to add self-defined formula columns and rows to the form while designing it. Looking back again on the Layout tab of the form designer, right-click on a column or row header in the grid and select Add Formula Column (or Row). Above the Point of View area a Formula bar appears, from where you can select an operator out of a list of more than 20 functions, e.g. Difference, Sum, Count, or variances and percentages, and with a formula validation button on the right-hand side.
Mathematical functions accept numeric values, row, column, or cell references, or embedded functions as arguments. As an example of how to create the arguments let's look at the row, column, or cell argument, which identifies a row, column, or cell in a grid. The syntax is:
The argument components can be used as follows:
The simple example from the preceding screen shot shows a difference calculation created in order to subtract the first column from the third one: [C] - [A]. Much more complex formulas can be created, now offering a great new option to make forms more meaningful, but without the necessity of applying respective changes to the database model by an administrator. (For more detailed information and examples on creating formulas for web forms please refer to appendix C of the Planning 11.1.2 Administrator's Guide.)
So much for this article. If you are interested in other new features of Planning or also Essbase stay tuned for the next one. Or, if you are interested in participating in a web presentation about smart enhancements in Planning or Essbase, send me an email: email@example.com.
You can find general information about offerings for the Planning curriculum and other Oracle-Hyperion products here (please make sure to have the corresponding country/regional setting made on the top of this page), or in the OU Learning paths section, where Planning, Essbase and other Hyperion products can be found under the Fusion Middleware heading (again, please check the right country/regional setting).
Bernhard Kinkel started working for Hyperion Solutions as a Presales Consultant and Consultant in 1998 and moved to Hyperion Education Services in 1999. He joined Oracle University in 2007 where he is a Principal Education Consultant. Based on these many years of working with Hyperion products he has detailed product knowledge across several versions. He delivers both classroom and live virtual courses. His areas of expertise are Oracle/Hyperion Essbase, Oracle Hyperion Planning and Hyperion Web Analysis.