Little Features – Big Value!

So often with software, it’s the little “hidden” features that wow users.  FDM is no different.  In this post I’ll spend a little time introducing you to these hidden gems.  Don’t worry the FDM mapping series will return soon but I wanted to do something a little different this post.

Import Log

How many times have you imported a data file and wondered, did all of the records import successfully?  Why are certain records not imported?  Well wonder no more, there’s a log for that.  On the Import Workflow screen, select the View Options tab.

Click the View Log button and detailed information & statistics for the data file imported are displayed.

The path to the imported data file is specified at the top of the log as the source file.  Next there is a legend of the codes which specify the reason why a record was not imported into FDM.  The next section – highlighted in yellow – displays each of the records that were not imported along with reason why the record was skipped.  For example, a code of ZP indicates that a record was not imported because the data value/amount is zero.  Zero value records by default are not imported into FDM because there are only rare occasions that would require a zero to actually be loaded to an EPM application like HFM or Essbase.

The section following the record by record detail specifies the number of records not imported, the number of blank records and the total records imported.  Finally at the very bottom of the log, there is a valuable performance metric that shows how long it took to import the data file into the FDM database.

Everything you wanted to know about the import, all in one log. One caveat, this log only gets produced when a flat file is imported.  Data imported using an integration script will not generate this log.

On the Import Workflow screen, there are several key options available to further interrogate the data.  These options are accessed by clicking on the data amount.  A submenu will be displayed with the available options.

Show Attributes

Attributes are fields that can be used to import information about a record but are not used as part of the mapping process.  Attributes are often used in custom script processes or simply to provide additional information for reporting and/or other downstream systems.





In the above, one of the attributes has been used to store the posting date of the record.

Show Archive Information

Each time the Import workflow process is executed FDM keeps a record of that activity, including generating an archive copy of the data file.  This feature is used to display the name of file that was processed, by whom and when.  While this feature has somewhat limited utility, it is valuable when trying to determine which file was processed and when.








Open Processing Log

This feature opens the Import Log that I noted above.

Open Source Document

Open source document will display the imported data file in a text viewer.




Again this is a feature with somewhat limited utility.  Wait a second Tony.  What if I can’t locate the original data file and need to reprocess it, couldn’t I just copy from this window into notepad and save the file?  Well you could but why not use the Restore Source Document feature instead?

Restore Source Document

So I outlined the use case for this feature already.  Simply click the link and a copy of the original data file import is restored to the ArchiveRestore directory within the application Inbox.  This file can then be processed the same as the original file.




Show Conversion Rules

You may have noticed that my coverage of the Import features skipped Show Conversion Rules.  That was by design.  This feature is one of the most useful and one I use consistently.  So I saved the best for last.

Conversion rules are another term for Maps.  This feature will display the maps that were applied to the record.

In the above screenshot, the Sales account was transformed with an explicit map to the HFM member Sales but importantly, the sign on the data amount was flipped.  The entity map was transformed using a simple Like pass through map.  But there is one more piece of functionality that you may not have noticed.  If you click on the Dimension name (ex: FM Account), FDM will take you directly to the mapping record in the Maps.

From here, maps can be modified as you are actually in the Maps screen of FDM.  Everything is wrapped and self-contained.  Streamlined and elegant – the measure of a quality system.

I hope this post has introduced you to a few of the hidden gems of FDM.  I encourage you to take some time to explore the system and see what other features you discover.  Feel free to share here so that others might learn of items that you find valuable.


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One Response to Little Features – Big Value!

  1. David says:

    I was digging around in this menu just a couple of weeks ago. Now I understand a bit more of what I’m looking at, but what really got my attention was the map list that you covered last. It is GREAT when trying to diagnose a complex map and a number that went to the wrong place. Didn’t know you could go straight to the rule, but that makes it even better.
    Thank you!

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