Fun with Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC): Creating Essbase Cubes
Just like there are multiple ways to skin a cat, there’s more than one way to create an Essbase cube in Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC). While the best way to migrate on-premise Essbase cubes to OAC is to use the standalone “EssbaseLCMUtility” tool, to create cubes from scratch there are three ways that I have used so far: use the Web UI; build an Application Workbook by hand (or from a template); or use the Cube builder. The latter two are the focus of this blog.
The Application Workbook is essentially a Microsoft Excel workbook that contains a predefined set of tabs, with the contents arranged in a predetermined manner. What that means is the workbook has a bunch of tabs like this:
Each of these tabs serves a particular purpose, but from what I can tell only the first two are a “must” when creating the application:
The “Essbase.Cube” worksheet defines the application and database names, which are required information when creating a cube. In addition, this sheet is used to define the cube dimensions:
“Cube.Settings” and “Cube.Generations” define properties of the Essbase database. The former defines some crucial cube information, such as whether it is going to be a block storage option (BSO) or aggregate storage option (ASO) cube, and if it will allow for duplicate member names.
The remaining tabs populate the dimensions (“Dim” tabs), data (“Data” tabs) and/or define calculation scripts (“Calc” tabs) for the cube. If you are familiar with building Essbase dimensions or data files and/or writing calc scripts, these will look very familiar.
For those of you who are not familiar with these items, there is the option of using the Cube Designer.
This is an add-in for Microsoft Excel that you can download via Smart View from your OAC instance.
The “Cube Designer” menu item provides tabbed screens for creating the application workbook. Walking through the tabs allows to setup the application workbook, and the “To Sheet” and “From Sheet” options facilitate reading from, and pushing to, the active workbook:
Once complete, the cube can be created via the web user interface as an import.
This has greatly reduced the complexity of creating Essbase cubes, and is just one of the ways that OAC is redefining the way we perform analytics using Essbase.
As we explore the capabilities of OAC, we will continue to share our thoughts with you, so stay tuned. While you take this journey with us, if you have any questions on this, feel free to send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be in touch.