Productivity Tip – Firefox Smart Keywords

No MDX, Essbase or ASO internals in the post (you may be relieved to read).

Instead, I want to highlight a very simple but wonderful feature of the Firefox browser – using Smart Keywords (aka ‘Smart Bookmarks‘) to perform custom searches. In brief, ‘Smart Keywords’ allow you to associate the search function of a web page with a text keyword.

If you’re already familiar – as many ‘tech’ types will be – you can stop reading now. If you aren’t, I think you’ll be very pleasantly surprised by how easy this makes accessing your go-to EPM online resources. Continue reading

Use MDX for Custom ASO Roll-Ups that Respect Ratios and Variances

Snappy title, huh?

This post is a quick note on a powerful but hopefully non-obvious feature of MDX against Essbase, inspired by an interesting thread on the Network54 Essbase board.  That discussion is about implementing custom groupings from the reporting layer – i.e. being able to retrieve roll-ups that don’t exist in the underlying cube.  For example, the ASOsamp.Sample Products dimension looks like this:ASOsamp.Sample Product dimension



Suppose that you want to do some reporting on the total of [Personal Electronics] and [Home Entertainment], for which there is no roll-up in the cube.  MDX can do the summing, of course.  But won’t that mess up any ratio- or variance-type measures, by adding the values for [Personal Electronics] and [Home Entertainment] together?  As it turns out, the answer is ‘not necessarily’. Continue reading

Automatic CALCTASKDIMS and Empty Tasks

Some Old News

One relatively unsung enhancement to Essbase in was a change to CALCTASKDIMS behavior.  Before, CALCTASKDIMS defaulted to a value of 1.  From,  Essbase selects a value for CALCTASKDIMS automatically unless overridden by the user with either the CALCTASKDIMS .cfg file setting or the SET CALCTASKDIMS calculation command.

So why am I blogging about this years after came out?  First, there is a good theoretical reason why the above Essbase ‘enhancement’ might have a seriously negative effect on calculation performance, which can be especially surprising when it occurs following a supposed upgrade.  Second, this actually bit a coworker a few days ago, and it’s always satisfying (for me, if not my coworker) when empirical data and theory coincide.
Continue reading