Hyperion Data Integration Tools - A Comparison
Hyperion Data Integration Tools - A Comparison
Data integration is an integral part of any Hyperion implementation. All the Hyperion EPM applications, be it Planning, Financial Management or Reporting, rely on that one integration tool which will gather data from a company's various transactional systems and transform or convert it into a form which can be loaded to the EPM applications.
Oracle provide some very useful Hyperion integration tools like:
1. Oracle Data Integrator (ODI)
2. Enterprise Resource Planning Integrator (ERPi)
3. Financial Data Management (FDM)
4. Essbase Studio
5. Data Synchronization
6. Data Integration Management (DIM)
7. Hyperion Application Link (HAL)
Out of these, DIM is an old tool and is no longer used - it has been replaced by ODI. It was mainly used to load data from external sources into Essbase.
Similarly, HAL too was an old world integration tool now replaced by FDM and ODI.
FDM and EPRi have been combined and released as a new integrated tool called FDMEE (FDM Enterprise Edition) which beautifully combines the best of both worlds and is a new improved and more powerful blend of both.
Essbase Studio was required to be used as an Integration tools since FDM, up to version 184.108.40.206, did not support data load to Planning applications if the planning applications were hosted on a clustered environment. However, this bug is fixed with the release of FDMEE and Planning integrations became seamless thus eliminating the need to use Essbase Studio.
Data Synchronization was used to load data between Hyperion EPM applications e.g. when budget/forecast data was required to load between Planning and Financial Management applications. However the latest release of FDMEE 220.127.116.11 will be integrating Data Synchronization inside FDMEE itself thus eliminating the need to use a different tool for inter-application data loads.
So we can narrow down our search for Integration tools and ultimately decide between ODI and FDMEE depending upon the business requirements and the respective pros and cons of each tool.
Oracle Data Integrator (ODI):
1. Based on EL-T architecture.
2. Capable of transforming large volume of data efficiently.
3. Supports a number of different types of source and target systems which can be easily configured to extract data.
4. Useful for loading metadata to the Hyperion applications.
5. Ideal tool for one-time data loads to applications e.g. if historical data needs to be loaded to the applications, it will be a one-time activity which can be scheduled to run in the background or will be done by the IT support team.
1. ODI processes will run in the background - either through scheduled jobs or manually - and business users will always need the support of the IT staff for maintenance or reconciliation of their data.
2. Very technical tool and not at all user friendly.
3. No audit trail support.
4. License cost is high.
Financial Data Management Enterprise Edition (FDMEE):
1. Extremely user friendly - data can be loaded by the business users themselves instead of relying on the IT support team. Also transformation errors, if any, can be resolved immediately by the users and there is no delay in the data load process.
2. Provides an extremely useful drill - back feature where users can see where the data came from and how it was calculated. Drill back is supported from Planning, Financial Management applications to FDMEE and from FDMEE to EBS General Ledgers.
3. Provides users different out-of-the-box reports useful for auditing purposes.
4. Security can be user specific and component specific - hence multiple users can load data to multiple systems without interfering with each other's loads.
5. Supports write-back functionality as well where budget/forecast data from the Hyperion applications can be written back to the source EBS systems.
6. Comparatively easier to create data load interfaces with FDMEE.
7. Once configured, very minimal IT support needed.
8. Ideal tool for monthly actual data loads and yearly budget or forecast data loads.
1. Since it is a web based tool, network speed directly impacts the performance.
2. Performance is a bit slow for very large volume of data.
3. If source data is required to be extracted from database tables, additional coding needs to be done which may need IT support.
When it comes to an integration tool, the most important feature that business users look for is a good UI, ease of use and flexibility along with auditing capabilities which FDMEE provides very effectively.
Considering various business requirements and scenarios, I would say that ODI is the best tool for one-time Historical Data Migration done by IT support and FDMEE is the best for monthly actuals and yearly budget and forecast data loads done by the users themselves.