ERPi – The Future of Data Integration

11 years ago, UpStream Software changed the face of data integration with its simple, yet powerful user friendly data transformation tool known as UpStream WebLink. Two acquisitions and over a decade later, and the former niche product of Upstream WebLink has morphed into a world class data integration option known as Financial Data Quality Management (FDM) & Enterprise Resource Planning Integrator (ERPi).

While FDM and its capabilities are well known, the introduction of the ERPi module has revolutionized how organizations approach data integration with their Oracle EPM suite of products. So what exactly is ERPi? I’m glad you asked.

At a 50,000 foot level, ERPi is a new product in the Fusion edition (11.1.1.3+) of the EPM suite that allows data to be sourced directly from Oracle eBusiness Suite (eBS) and PeopleSoft ERP systems using the powerful and proven technology of Oracle Data Integrator (ODI). No complex SQL queries to write, no FTP process to move flat files – ERPi hooks directly into the source system, retrieves the data, transforms to the EPM dimensionality and then loads to the EPM application. From an end user perspective, this entire process is controlled from the familiar Oracle/Hyperion Workspace (or FDM – more on this in a moment) webpage.

While this alone could easily have one saying “Ooh and Aah”, the truly amazing feature that ERPi provides is the ability to drill through from the Oracle EPM application (or even a report!) back to the transactional detail within the ERP system. Gone are the days of seeing a number and wondering what makes up that amount. With ERPi, a user right clicks and drills down to the details in the ledger. Want to see the journal details that make up the trial balance amount? No problem, double click the balance and the ledger displays the detail. I want to highlight that this entire process is self contained. As a user, I log into 1 system – there is no need to look at a number on a report, open up the ERP system, run a transaction/function to try to find the balances that comprise the value displaying on the report. With ERPi, data investigation is seamless.

So if all of this is available through Workspace, the next question is, where/how does FDM fit into this new integration process? FDM can be used in conjunction with ERPi to further leverage the capabilities that make FDM valuable to the data integration process. The following out of the box functionality of FDM can further enhance the ERPi data integration process to:

  • FDM Logic Groups allow defined intersections to be duplicated to enable 1 data point to be loaded to multiple target intersections. This functionality is often used to drive specific reporting needs.
  • FDM includes the ability to map 1 dimension based on 1 or more source or target dimensions. For example, if a GL account is X, then the target entity is Y. An example of how I have seen this used is “special charges” accounts where the entity is always corporate.
  • Data protection is specific to HFM integrations. This functionality prevents manually entered data from being cleared during FDM data loads. For example, Property, Plant & Equipment (PPE) roll forward detail is generally manually entered. Without data protection, this data is cleared every time the source ledger information is loaded. Without data protection, this requires the data to either be extracted and reloaded (after FDM) or re-entered by the end user. With data protection, the data is never cleared and no additional action is required.
  • Out of the box, the intersection validation report is specific to HFM integrations; however, with a little imagination the functionality can be extended to Essbase or other targets. The intersection validation report detects which intersection in HFM will not accept data input and alerts the user with a detailed report during the Validate workflow step. This key functionality prevents data load errors and allows data quality issues to be addressed earlier in the process.
  • FDM can execute a calculation/consolidation after a data load completes thereby making the entire data process self contained. A user no longer needs to log in the target application to aggregate their data, FDM simply manages the process.
  • The Check Report in FDM will retrieve post load/post calculated values directly from the target application (HFM/Essbase) and compare them to a set of administrator defined thresholds. Any values that do not adhere to the administrator defined limits are flagged. This allows users to immediately see the “quality” of the data that was loaded and take action on any items that do not adhere to the defined requirements.
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    Finally, while the ERPi process can be automated using JAVA, this requires a bit more programming experience. The FDM batch loader provides an elegant, proven, out of the box automation solution for data integration.

    As noted above, ERPi is currently enabled for the Oracle eBS & PeopleSoft ERP systems. JD Edwards is currently on the roadmap as is SAP R3 & ECC. The goal is to continue to extend to more ledgers and sources. If this technology is something that would benefit your organization (I can’t honestly think of any reason why it wouldn’t), I strongly encourage you to explore its usage and value add in your organization.

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    2 Responses to ERPi – The Future of Data Integration

    1. sakthihyperion says:

      Hi Tony

      Excellent info

      I have a query on using import action script along with ERPI adapter , since we cannot use normal import script.

      how to define the dimensions (from ERPI tables )within the script? do we need to establish a db connection with the “tdataseg_t” table and fetch the data?

      Thanks
      Sakthi

    2. Pingback: ERPi – Another Leap Forward | The FDM Information Source

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