Making and controlling change in your HFM application

Hoa Pham explains the importance of extracting metadata from HFM into Excel and how to track the changes as you redesign your HFM consolidation. Your existing metadata can be a big advantage.

This is the second part of a three part series. To start at the beginning click here. To move on to the third part click here.

When you are building Hyperion Financial Management (HFM) metadata in a redesign process, you have to expect to make significant changes.  It's helpful to lay out all your changes on an Excel spreadsheet first before committing them into the HFM application. You can do this via the EPMA dimension library or the classic HFM .app metadata file.  Your existing HFM metadata is a big advantage.  Use your existing HFM metadata as a starting point, even if you expect that cumulative changes will drastically alter the metadata.    HFM Application Toolbox can assist you in building metadata in a spreadsheet.

Fig. 1: The HFM Application Toolbox

Using the HFM Application Toolbox, connect to your existing HFM application. From there you can extract any dimension into a spreadsheet in the hierarchical or tree view (Figure 2).

Fig. 2: An account dimension extracted into a spreadsheet.

In Figure 1, you can see the account dimension starts at the top level in column A and then each generation (or level) is indented over to the right by one column in the spreadsheet.  This helps you visualize how the metadata will look when it is built in HFM.  Metadata properties such as the IsICP field and the top custom member name fields need to be identified to make the metadata valid.  The HFM Application Toolbox export should contain all the major properties that you need to maintain.  Working in Excel lets you make mass changes using Find & Replace commands, and use Sort & Filter commands to view the metadata in different configurations.

Create a tracking process in your spreadsheet to match the old metadata to the new metadata members.  This will be extremely valuable when you convert historical data and map changes to existing reports.  In Figure 3, I've inserted two new columns (highlighted in yellow) for change control tracking.  The first new column shows the old metadata member name. The second new column stores text that identifies the change made to the metadata.  This second new column can be sorted and filtered to isolate modifications or to show a specific set of similar changes. 

Fig. 3: The spreadsheet from Figure 2 during the metadata redesign.

Next Steps

How to create business rules in Oracle HFM

How to redesign your Hyperion consolidation

Dig Deeper on Oracle Hyperion