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CXO-Cockpit Reporting Suite 4.3 Release Notes

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These release notes are up to date till version 4.3.

For a historical overview of the release notes go to: Release Notes Overview

Release notes for 4.3.2 version can be found here.

Release notes for 4.3.3 version can be found here.

Release notes for 4.3.4 version can be found here.

Introduction

The project code for this release has been ‘M4’: “Maturity, Mass and Mobility and More”.

In the evolution of the CXO-Cockpit Community, we see three developments:

a) Maturity: Drive to perfection
The CXO-Cockpit is used by a larger community, for a larger number of users with a larger variety of requirements. Clearly the Community is maturing, which is best reflected by a number of requirements related to getting report quality status from good to perfect. In the 4.3 release we therefore added a lot of functions that have come directly from the Cockpit Captains.

b) Mass: Large and Very large databases
We see a significant number of companies with larger databases. Especially on Essbase we regularly see databases that are large or very large. In version 4.3. we have implemented some significant enhancements that will guarantee good performance on even these larger Essbase databases.

c) Mobility: Fast developments in Mobile Access to CXO-Cockpit
Mobile technology is the strongest driver for dashboarding technology. For the CXO-Cockpit that is no different. More than 50% of our customers are selecting CXO-Cockpits for its mobile ability. With the new Android and CXO-Viewer app we have made another step ahead of the BI crowd.

d) More: Expand the benefits of CXO-Cockpit into other EPM areas
With the consolidation of EPM vendors into Oracle (Hyperion) and SAP (Outlooksoft), there are two dominant players in the EPM market. Where we have focused on Hyperion until now, we have expanded the CXO-Cockpit to connect to SAP BPC (Business Planning and Consolidation) as well as to SAP ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning). In addition, we have expanded the possibility to use the information from Oracle Hyperion Essbase in CXO-Cockpit without the requirement to license all CXO-Cockpit end users with Essbase.

Through the realization of these release points, we have strengthened our leading position as the Reporting and Analysis platform for Hyperion and SAP users.

Maturity: Drive to perfection

The functional improvement requests that we have implemented in this release are

Books (Scripted StoryBoards)

Where our StoryBoard technology was very well received for creating standard management books and reports, a number of customers have asked us to implement the functionality similar to the ‘Books’ functionality in systems like Hyperion Enterprise and HFM. Based on that we have designed a concept that combines the Books functionality with the StoryBoard technology of the CXO-Cockpit and that has led to the creation of ‘Scripted StoryBoards’.

A scripted StoryBoard can best be seen as a StoryBoard that is not driven by manual inserts of Bookmarks, but by a Macro (StoryBoard Script). The Script allows the users to add reports and change the point of view with enormous flexibility and ease of use and maintenance, allowing users to generate large StoryBoards for printing or viewing within a matter of minutes.

You can find more details on Scripted StoryBoards in the Scripted StoryBoard article.

Very Dynamic Member Lists (MDX Lists)

For most situations current Member List functionality in all its varieties (normal, dynamic) is sufficient. However, in some situations, especially with larger databases and for member lists with multiple dimensions, it can lead to a situation where Normal (Fixed) Member Lists can be difficult to maintain.

With this situation in mind, we have created very dynamic Member Lists (MDX Lists) that are based on the standard MDX language. We can now use all of the SET related MDX functions to create a Member list with all of the dynamics of hierarchies, ranges, exclusions while still having the ability to format the lists to the end users preferences. For example, it is possible to make certain levels bold or indented or have the last member of a list formatted as a sum, with the typical bold and overline attributes.

This functionality is not only useful for very large models, but also for specific models such as Hyperion Enterprise derived models. In these application, you often see accounts that are a subtotal from a range of accounts above itself. With the MDX lists, it is possible to drill down from that account into an account lists based on an MDX list specified as a dynamic range of accounts.

Fixed Headers (in MultiColumn reports)

Where most multicolumn reports of our customers have rows that fit on a single page, some use it for long or very long lists. In such reports, we now have the possibility for the user to fix (freeze) the header, so that a user scrolling to the lowest row in the report still sees the column applicable to this row.

Customizing the Set of standard colors in CXO-Cockpit (Color Palette)

Previously we had a predefined set of colors in CXO-Cockpit for Actuals (Blue), Reference (Amber)and within the Threshold Better (Green), Worse (Red) and (Amber). As of version 4.3 these colors (Palettes) can be customized by application as well as by report. This allows our customers to use a company standard set of colors or adapt them to the audiences preferences.

Customizing font of headers and numbers

In previous version some of the sizes and fonts were fixed. As of version 4.3 fonts (including size) of headers and numbers are variable by report. Read more in the Format article.

Sorting on Pie charts

In order to make the Pie chart applicable for a wider number of situations, we have added sort options to this graph type (available in the generic template).

Extension of the Thresholds

Currently the CXO-Cockpit has two types of threshold, specified either in absolute values "-999;999" or in percentage values "-9%;9%". This is now extended to a combination of absolute and percentage values “-9%, -999;9%,999”.
You can find out more in Variance Threshold article.

Extension of Traffic Light options

The number of options to indicate better/worse variance (currently arrows up or down) has been extended with customer specific pictures. With this option, customers can add their own set of arrows or indicators to replace the standard ones of the CXO-Cockpit. These traffic light options can be used in the multicolumn and the generic templates.

Rules for "classical" Dynamic lists

Previously the members of the "classical" dynamic lists (e.g. DescendantsInclusive, BaseExclusive, etc.) could not be formatted. Starting from this version, we are introducing the functionality of applying formatting rules to such lists. You can find detailed information in the Rules Editor article.

Better/worse variance representation

You can now choose to display positive variance with positive sign and negative variance with minus sign. This can be achieved by using a Better/worse option in Variance Formula Editor and applied to multi-column reports. You can find more details in VAR Formula article.

Mass: Large and Very Large databases

MDX Filtering in dimensions

Sometimes we encounter a large or very large database where the customer only wants to access a part (or until a certain detail) to the CXO-Cockpit users. With these situations in mind, we created the functionality to set a filter for each of the dimensions of an OLAP cube. With this filter, we can specify by application and by dimension, which members are to be included and to which level in the dimension the Members should be included.

In one example, where a customer had 10,000 very technical members at the lowest level in the Product hierarchy, but only the Product Groups were relevant (and recognized by) the CXO-Cockpit users. With the MDX filter dimension, we were able to reduce the dimension to 400 members and allow maximum performance and the greatest ease of use.

Read more about this functionality in the Limit Metadata with MDX Filters article.

High Performing Essbase Attribute dimensions (Exclude Top Members)

For source system Hyperion Essbase only: when CXO-Cockpit connects to Hyperion Essbase, it uses MDX language to retrieve the data. When the Essbase model contains attribute dimensions, the performance of the MDX query to retrieve the data can be significantly improved by excluding the top members from those attribute dimensions from the query. In version 4.3. we allow a user to specify if a dimension is an attribute dimension (‘Exclude Member from Query’) and CXO-Cockpit then optimizes the MDX Query.

Depending on the size and structure of the applications, we have seen query improvements of up to 10 times for some applications by using this option.

Read how to apply this in the Dimension Mapping article.

Mobility: Fast developments in Mobile Access to CXO-Cockpit

Viewer iPad App

To make the distribution of reports on mobile device even easier, we have added the Viewer application for iPad. CXO-Cockpit users can send their StoryBoards to executives’ iPads who will automatically be redirected to this new iPad application upon opening the E-mail. The added value for the executive is the ability to keep a list of previously viewed StoryBoard (typically to review previous months StoryBoards) and to store the StoryBoards offline (to review data when no internet connection is available)

Android Application

While the iPad was by far the best mobile device for analyzing CXO-Cockpit reports on a mobile device, the Android devices have made impressive improvements and are now at par with the iPad. As of version 4.3. CXO-Cockpit provides a full mobile application for Android devices on Google Play.

More: Expand the benefits of CXO-Cockpit into other EPM areas

SAP BPC

As of version 4.3. CXO-Cockpit connects directly with the SAP BPC Application Set for SAP BPC for Windows users. All of the functionality and intelligence directly applies to the underlying structures of these cubes. Multiple SAP BPC cubes can be integrated into one CXO-Cockpit application so that the end users can consume the information without even knowing the structures or cube split-up.

SAP ERP application connector

In partnership with a partner of SAP (New Frontiers, www.newfrontiers.com ) we now offer the CXO-Cockpit on SAP ERP. The Nemis FS software of new Frontiers take care of the creation of the OLAP cubes and CXO-Cockpit provides all of the functionality of the CXO-Cockpit Reporting Suite.

Essbase to SSAS Adapter

We have had several requests of customers who wanted to give end users access to their Essbase database, but were reluctant to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars/euros on Oracle Essbase licenses for users who would only view a couple of reports every now and then. It is for these companies that we created the Essbase to MSAS convertor. This converts an Essbase model and its data into an MSAS (Microsoft Analysis Services) model, with the same hierarchies and performance. The model in MSAS is optimized for CXO-Cockpit and requires no additional maintenance efforts.

Other

The following other functionality improvements has been implemented in this release:

Introduction of administrative roles

It is now possible to define multiple administrative roles. Administrators can be authorized to administrate the application security and or the reports.

Stop the editor from closing if the user has not saved the text

Currently the editor cancels all changes when the user is not active for sometime. This can result in a lot of text being entered but not saved. As of version 4.3 we stop the editor from automatically cancelling the input of text.

Eliminate requirements for admin rights on Hyperion Essbase outline

As of version 4.3 it is no longer required to give the CXO-Cockpit user admin access rights to the Essbase database. It is enough to provide the user with readonly or filter permissions.

Integration of Cockpit and Viewer

In previous versions, the CXO-Cockpit and the CXO-Viewer were separate application pools. As of version 4.3.these are integrated, which leads to easier installation and updating of the software.