Oracle EPM Cloud – FreeForm Applications: A Hybrid of Essbase and Planning
Since the February 2022 Introduction, FreeForm applications have continued to evolve, and are a great way to leverage the power of both traditional Planning and added Essbase cubes within a single environment. And, what if you could then use features like data forms with your Essbase cubes, and your cubes don’t have to contain the six required Planning dimensions?
Create a FreeForm application! FreeForm applications allow you to leverage many of the features you are familiar with in Planning but without some of the constraints
A FreeForm application can contain the following:
- Up to twelve cubes of any combination of BSO and ASO cubes. BSO cubes will automatically be set as Hybrid BSO cubes.
- Up to 26 dimensions (total across all cubes).
- All dimensions can be custom; the Account, Period, and Entity dimensions can be shared and inherited by new cubes. Individual cubes do not have Planning’s typical required dimensions.
- Each cube generates its own Essbase outline, so the application dimensionality is shared, but the outlines remain distinct.
- Features such as Smart Push, Copy Data, and data maps are available for cross-cube operations.
- Other familiar features like Data Forms, Smart Lists, and Business rules are available in FreeForm applications.
There are a few limitations in FreeForm to be aware of:
- Predictive Planning, Auto Predict, and IPM Insights are not available in FreeForm applications.
- The following features are also not available: Sandboxes, Approvals, and Task Manager.
- Existing Planning applications cannot be converted to FreeForm – you must create a new FreeForm application and migrate your existing applications to it.
- Member names must be unique across all dimensions in the entire application.
Creating FreeForm Cubes
You can create a new FreeForm application in two ways:
- By using the Application Creation Wizard, or
- Import an outline file or snapshot from an on-premises application (version 18.104.22.168 or later). Note that only the first FreeForm cube can be created in this manner; new cubes can then be created as needed.
One of the great benefits of a FreeForm application is that you can add a new cube, say an Essbase cube to be used for analytic purposes, at any time. Your new cube can leverage your existing Accounts, Period, or Entity dimensions, or it can contain entirely separate dimensionality.
There are important considerations and limits in leveraging a FreeForm application, and those above are only the most important of these. If you think a FreeForm application is something you would like to explore, PARC Consulting would be happy to assist you in determining if FreeForm is right for you.