Monday, March 6, 2017

EPM Automate - DOS style automation for Oracle EPM Cloud

Ever heard the phrase "history repeats itself" or "something out of fashion will become popular again"? EPM Automate is a good example.

EPM Automate is the automation tool for the Oracle EPM cloud products: EPBCS, PBCS, FCCS, ARCS, etc. It allows users to log into the cloud, perform various actions, and log off. It can be run interactively or scripted and then scheduled.

The "history repeating itself" piece of this comes from the user interface and the scripting language: MS-DOS command line and MS-DOS batch file (or PC-DOS if you got your copy of DOS direct from IBM instead of Microsoft or a clone manufacturer). Or if you've ever used the command line on a Unix computer - did you know Apple's Mac OS X is a Unix operating system? - then you'll feel right at home. A DEC VAX had something similar but the language was different.

Actually the idea of a cloud environment harkens back to mainframe computing, so "what goes around comes around." Ok, no more phrases.

Anyway, the first step is to log into the cloud product and download the installer - works with Windows or Linux (64 bit versions only). As the cloud environment is updated each month, the downloaded program should be updated each month too.

After the install, launch the program from the menu. You're basically put into a command line environment, complete with drive/folder> and blinking cursor. Type in what you want to do, like login, and then get a response back. If you don't know what you can type then enter "help" and get a list. For help on a specific command, type the command and then help, like "login help".

For automating, write a batch file and then schedule that with Windows Scheduler, CA-7, etc.  I'm tempted to use EDLIN as the text editor, just for the full 1980s DOS effect.

Notice I'm skipping screenshots for this post - Oracle has a YouTube video that shows you how it works - this video uses PBCS for the cloud product.

For full documentation on EPM Automate, go to:

Overall, a simple and easy way to work with the Oracle EPM Cloud products. I wish they'd make this available for HFM - I like it better than task flows. HFM Batch (Google it) was similar but wasn't replaced when (with no Windows API) came out.

P.S. With good ideas from the past being brought to bear in current day solutions, I wonder when keypunch cards are coming back. I need a new holiday wreath (search Pinterest).