Essbase/EssCS as a Data Source in Oracle Data Visualization

Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC) released today! There are many new and updated features to Business Intelligence Cloud Service and Data Visualization as well as a new cloud service – Essbase Cloud Service (EssCS)! There are quite a few people I have joined with today to help release OAC via a “blog hop” about the new service.

If you want to learn more about OAC, check out the blog hop participant posts below! What is a blog hop? A blog hop is a group of bloggers who all get together to blog on a particular topic. We share each other’s blog posts in an attempt to share a lot of great information in one place. Enjoy!

Onto my part of the OAC blog hop release…

My portion consists of establishing and using EssCS/Essbase as a data source in Oracle Data Visualization (DV). Note that the screenshots for DV look the same in the cloud as on Data Visualization Desktop. I’m using the cloud as my example today because it’s new!

When you first log into OAC, you will be brought to the homepage. From here, you can go many places, but we are going to focus on creating a new Data Source then create visualizations on Essbase data sources.


To create EssCS (or Essbase) as a Data Source, click the “Data Source” icon.


You will see all data sources already established. These range from BI Subject Areas, to Excel Files, Database connections, Oracle Applications connections, Connections, and Data Flows.

Click on “Connections”.

When you do this, you will be shown a filter of the data sources that are connections.


To create a new connection, click “Connection” in the bottom left-hand side of the screen.


Choose “Oracle Essbase (Beta)” as the connection type.

Note: Although it shows the connection type as beta, Oracle is working to make this connection fully supported very soon!


Give your Essbase connection the following details:
Name: Whatever you would like
DSN: {server}:1423 if on-premises; {ipaddress/domain}:1423 if cloud
Username/Password: self-explanatory
Authentication: Choose if you want to use the same login info each time, or if you want the users to provide their own credentials.

Why is this important (and really cool)? Say if you create a dashboard but only want certain departments to see their own data, but you don’t want to make 100 dashboards, you can utilize the row-based security in Essbase, Business Intelligence, the databases, etc to do the filtering for you. You end up making/maintaining one dashboard, not 100!

For the sake of demonstration, I chose “Always use this username and password”.


After you click “Save”, you will get a visual confirmation that the connection has been added with the green box at the top of the screen and by seeing the connection now in the list.


To create a data source off this new connection, when you hover over the connection name, you will see vertical ellipsis show. Click “Create New Data Source”.


You will be shown all of the Essbase applications and databases available for you to connect to in DV.


I chose “Federal.Budget” for my example. Once the database is chosen, it will show in your “Databases” list.


From here, you can choose to create a Project (in DV) or Analysis (that can be used in BI). Choose Project and you are ready to go!


To show different ideas on data options, I’ve changed the Essbase database I’m connecting to for this blog post. In DV, if I click on the first icon on the left side of the screen (the data sources tab), I can right-click on my data source name and choose different options for that data source. I’m going to example “Inspect”.


On the “Inspect” tab, I see the details of the connections…


…As well as the permissions I can give the data source.


In the second tab on the left, we have our data elements (columns) that we can use in our visualizations.

Notice the pound sign (not a hashtag, you millennials) and the A. The pound sign signifies that the data element is a numerical value. The A represents an attribute. Note that there is also a “clock” that signifies a date and/or time data element.


The third option in the list is where you can apply Advanced Analytics, if you would like. You can drag and drop these onto a canvas or right-click the option and choose “Add to visualization”. Simple enough!


Now we are in the fun place – the canvas. This is where the visualizations occur. To correspond to the numbers in the screenshot below:

  1. The blue box around a visualization is the one that is actively being built or modified.
  2. This visualization is a Pivot table. …This should look very familiar to Essbase users as it is how we are used to seeing data in Excel and Hyperion Financial Reports. You can change the visualization by clicking the down arrow next to the chosen visualization.
  3. As I mentioned before, you have visual cues to the data elemnts and the type of data they are stored as. DV helps you build visualizations by showing you where a numeric and attribute (or date/time) data element can be used in a visualization.
  4. The filter highlighted here is for a visualization filter. The filter will only apply to the selected visualization.
  5. You can have multiple tabs in a project. This project has three tabs with visualizations.


A picture of the second tab to show you are not limited to pivot tables for Essbase data!


I’ve changed the data source again (to Education_Salary)…this time to show you what a dimension with multiple generations looks like in the data elements pane. Also, there are some fun visualizations we can do with this data set.

To correspond to the numbers in the following screenshot:

  1. Location dimension, 3 generations
  2. Filters applied to the entire project, not just a visualization.


I have the option to drill to the next level of Essbase in DV. As an example, I have chosen all data points over a certain number (by clicking and dragging a rectangle around the values I want to see deeper) and right-clicked to show the shot the below.


If I choose “Drill”, DV will show the hierarchy to select a dimension and generation to drill up or down into. For demo purposes, I’m choosing to go from Gen3, Location to Gen4, Location.


Once I choose Gen4, Location, my canvas will refresh with the new criteria. To follow the numbering in the screenshot below:

  1. I have significantly fewer data points. Now, only the 4th generation members of Location for the 3rd generation members I highlighted previously.
  2. Notice that my Category item has changed from Gen3, Location to Gen4, Location.
  3. The 3rd generation members of Location I filtered on in the previous step are now in the project filters area.


Finally, I have put together a video to show you how building a project in DV is done with Essbase data.

On a final note, you can access a trial cloud instance of OAC by going to and requesting a 30 day trial. It is under the PaaS portion of the webpage.

Also, you can download Data Visualization Desktop from this link. You are not required to request a trial instance as it operates like an app on your phone, except on your computer. You are free to try it out for 30 days!

Stay tuned as I plan to blog quite a bit over the next few weeks about OAC!


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