Goodbye HAL, Hello ODI!

Avatar

By
June 21st, 2012


Welcome to the world of Oracle EPM version 11! You’ve upgraded to one of the latest software releases (11.1.2.2, anyone?) and you’ve made the quick realization that the world you live in now is vastly different than before. If you’ve migrated from version 9, security looks different, the installations are a lot more complex, some client tools have moved to the web, the interface has been given a makeover, and there is a LOT more functionality in the toolsets, just to name a few changes. If you’ve migrated from version 4 or 7…well, let’s just say that your former world is almost unrecognizable.

But, onto geeky more important things – where did your beloved Hyperion Application Link (“HAL”) go?

Gone are the HAL days. Actually, long gone are those days with the introduction of EPM version 11.x (which premiered several years ago for those of you who are just now getting up to speed). And you’re hearing about a vast number of other tools with similar functions: Oracle Data Integrator (“ODI”), Enterprise Performance Management Architect (“EPMA”), Data Relationship Management (“DRM”), etc. Which tool (tools?) do you need to use to replace HAL and how do you use it? And, is there a direct migration path from HAL to that tool?

Oracle’s Replacement Strategy for HAL

In a nutshell, Oracle’s replacement tool for HAL is called Oracle Data Integrator (“ODI”). (And note that as of 2010, ODI is also Data Integration Management’s (“DIM”) replacement tool.) ODI used to be Sunopsis and was acquired by Oracle in 2006 due to its strong and unique data integration capabilities. Next, it was rebranded as Oracle Data Integrator and then integrated with the EPM toolset.

ODI made its appearance onto the Hyperion scene over five years ago. Although the functionality looks and feels the same in theory, ODI is not the same tool as HAL. Therefore, (sadly) there is no direct migration path between the 2 software components. However, ODI does provide a channel for similar notable features:

  • Direct integration into the EPM suite with Hyperion “adapters”
  • ETL capabilities (transformation of data and metadata and loads from source to target)
  • Tools suite with utility “adapters” (i.e. flat file)
  • Ability to string together multiple steps and processes into an automatable file
  • “Drag and drop” development

In addition, ODI has many more capabilities, offers a scalable architecture, and advanced functionality that extends well beyond the world of Hyperion.

How are HAL and ODI different?

So, without seeing an up close demo for yourself, what are the differences between HAL and ODI? To name a few from the 10,000 foot view:

  • Tool architecture
  • Overall look and feel
  • Number and type of source and target technologies they integrate with ODI leverages a strong relational backbone
  • Automatable features

Again, the tools are completely different. They were created on dissimilar platforms, with different source coding behind the scenes. Therefore, they are not expected to be the same, but they do have overlapping capabilities. The basic concepts are unchanged – there are “routines” that you create, with steps that can be combined together to give you work flow and automation. And those individual steps may involve loading/exporting data, updating metadata, creating a flat file, IF/THEN logic, etc. There is also a comparable concept of “adapters”, which are code templates used to connect to various technologies and perform specific functions.

What about those other tools?

Do you recall those other tools you keep hearing about? EPMA, DRM, Life Cycle Management (“LCM”), Financial Data Quality Management (“FDM”), Essbase Integration Studio (“EIS”), Essbase Studio…and the list goes on and on. But what do all of these tools do? And how do you know when to use each one?

Here is a quick table to get you acquainted with the basic usages:

Tool

Load/Export Metadata

Load/Export Data

Work Flow

Master Data Management

Drill back into Source

Other Uses

Data Relationship Management (DRM)

X

X

*Data Integration Management (DIM) – older versions supported only

X

X

Enterprise Performance Management Architect (EPMA)

X

X

X

**ERP Integrator (ERPi)

X

X

X

X

Essbase Integration Studio (EIS)

X

X

X

X

Essbase Load Rules / SQL Interface

X

X

Essbase Studio

X

X

X

X

***Extended Analytics

X

X

Financial Data Quality Management (FDM)

X

Hyperion Application Link (HFM) –older versions supported only

X

X

X

Life Cycle Management (LCM)

X

X

Oracle Data Integrator (ODI)

X

X

X

 

 

X

Planning Outline Load Utility (OLU)

X

X

Note that the above table is intended to express the purpose behind each tool, and does not address all tool capabilities. For instance, DRM can be used to store data in addition to metadata, but the purpose of the tool is for master data management which relates more to metadata than data.

*DIM connects to Informatica, which is a prerequisite, and is used to load data directly into a Hyperion application (i.e. Essbase).

**ERPi uses components of both FDM and ODI. It is a multi-tool suite.

***Extended Analytics is an extension of Hyperion Financial Management (“HFM”).

Out with the old, in with the new – what do I do?

Now that you’ve gotten a primer, are you ready to move away from HAL and into the waiting arms of ODI? As we tell clients, unfortunately, it is not painless to jump on the version 11 bandwagon. Just like with HAL, there is an initial learning curve and ramp up period. But once you really start to dig in, you’ll get a very good understanding into why Oracle chose to replace HAL with a more strategic software. The capabilities are far-reaching with ODI.

But how do you do it? The #1 method is the old-fashioned way: recreate your HAL routines in ODI from scratch. It may sound a little hairy, but it is faster than you think, assuming you have the ODI know-how. Some HAL routines may get consolidated into fewer ODI steps and routines. And most HAL routines can experience an “upgrade” – once you start incorporating the features of ODI. (Who said you can’t get error files emailed directly to you when there is an issue?)


Avatar

About TopDown Team

The TopDown Team includes members of TopDown Consulting who want to let the community know about webcasts, conferences, and other events. The team also conducts interviews on various EPM industry topics.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *