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Hyperion Essbase FAQS

}=>. Linked Report object?

Ans: A report object saved to the Hyperion reports Repository that is
linked to a Hyperion report. Linked report objects can be grid
objects, text objects, or images.
}=>. What is Metadata?
Ans: A set of data that defines and describes the properties and
attributes of the data stored in a database or used by an application.
Examples of metadata are dimension names, member names,
properties, timeperiods and security.
}=>. Repository?
Ans: A container of report objects, report designs, and report
instances available to the user.
}=>. Snapshot report?
Ans: A report that has been generated and stores the static data.
Any subsequent change of data in a data source doesnt affect the
report content. A snapshot report is portable and can be stored on
the network, locally, or e-mailed.
}=>. Report object?
Ans: A basic element in report design. Report objects have separate
properties that define their properties of appearance. Report objects
include textboxes, grids, images and charts.
}=>. What are non-dimensional models?
Ans: A type of model in Hyperion hub that includes application
objects such as security filters, member lists, calcscripts, and web

}=>. Visual cue?

Ans: A formatted style, such as font or a color that highlights specific
type of data values. Data values may be dimension members;
parent, child, or shared members; dynamic calculations; members
containing a formula; read only data cells; read/write data cells or
linked objects.
}=>. Time series reporting?
Ans: A Process of reporting data based on a calendar date (for
example: year, month, quarter or week).
}=>. Transparent Partition?
Ans: A form of shared partition that provides the ability and
manipulates the remote data transparently as though is a part of
your local database. The remote data id retrieved from the data
source each time you request. Any updates that are made to the
data are written back to the data source and become immediately
accessible to both local data target users and transparent data
source users.
}=>. UDA?
Ans: A user- defined attribute. A UDA is a term associated with
members of an outline to describe particular characteristics of the
member. Users can specify UDAs with in calculation scripts and
reports so that they return lists of members that have the specified
UDA associated with them. UDAs can be applied to dense as well
as sparse dimensions.
}=>. Symmetric multi processing (SMP)?
Ans: A server architecture that enables multi processing and
multithreading. Essbase supports multi-threads over SMP servers

automatically. Thus performance is not significantly degraded when

a large no. of users connect to an essbase server simultaneously.
}=>. Substitution variable?
Ans: A variable that acts as a global place holder for information that
changes regularly. You set the variable and a corresponding string
value; the value can then be changed at any time. Substitution
variables can be used in calcscripts, report scripts, essbase-spread
sheet add-in, and essbase API.
}=>. Shared member?
Ans: A member that shares storage space with another member of
the same name. The shared member has a property that designate
it has a shared. The use of shared members prevents duplicate
calculation of members that appear more than once in an Essbase
}=>. Report Scripts?
Ans: An ASCII file containing essbase report writer commands that
generate one or more production reports. Reports scripts can be run
in batch mode, through the ESSCMD command line interface, or
through essbase application manager .the report script is a text file
that contains data retrieval, formatting and output instructions.
}=>. Replicated partition?
Ans: A portion of a database defined through partition manager that
you use to propagate an update to data that is mastered at one site
to copy of data that is store at another site. Users are able to access
the data as though it was the part of the local database.
}=>. Partitioning?
Ans: The process of defining areas of data that or shared or linked

between data models. Partitioning can affect the performance and

scalability of essbase applications.
}=>. Location alias?
Ans: A location alias is a descriptor that identifies s data source.
The location alias specifies a server, application, database,
username, and password. Location alias are set by the database
administrator at the database level using APP Manager, ESSCMD,
or the API.
}=>. Linked partition?
Ans: A form of shared partition that provides the ability to use a data
cell to link together two different databases. When a user clicks on a
linked cell in a worksheet, for example, Essbase opens a new sheet
displaying the dimensions in the second database. The user can
then drill down in to the available dimension sin the second
}=>. Dynamic time series?
Ans: A process that is used to perform dynamic period to date
reporting for all values associated with a query.
}=>. Dirty block?
Ans: A data block containing cells that have been changed since the
last calculation .upper level blocks are marked as dirty if their child
blocks are dirty(that is have been updated).
}=>. Currency partition?
Ans: A dimension type that separates local currency members for a
base currency, as defined in an application. A currency partition
identifies currency types such as Actual, Budget and forecast.

}=>. Calculation Script?

Ans: A set of commands that define how a database is consolidated
or aggregated. A calculation script may also contain commands that
specify allocation and other calculation rules separate from the
consolidation process.
}=>. Batch processing mode?
Ans: A method of using ESSCMD to write a batch or a script file that
can be used to automate routine server maintenance and
diagnostics tasks. ESSCMD script files can execute multiple
commands and can be run from the operating system command line
or from within operating system batch files. Batch files can be used
to call multiple ESSCMD scripts or run multiple instances of
}=>. Arithmetic data load?
Ans: A data load that performs operations on value sin the
database, such as adding }=> to each value.
}=>. Base dimension?
Ans: A standard dimension that is associated with one or more
dimensions .to Classify a member of base dimension, you associate
with member of one or more attribute dimensions that describe the
calculation, such as specific flavor. For example, assuming the
products have flavors, the product dimension is the base dimension
for the flavors attribute dimension.
}=>. Linked reporting object (LRO)?
Ans: An external file that is linked to a data cell in an Essbase
database. Linked reporting objects (LROs) can be cell notes, URLs,
or files that contain text, audio, video, or pictures.

}=>. Missing data (#MISSING)?

Ans: A marker indicating that data in the labeled location does not
exist, contains no meaningful value, or was never entered or loaded.
For example, missing data exists when an account contains data for
a previous or a future period but not for the current period.
}=>. Multithreading?
Ans: Within a single program, concurrent handling of multiple,
separately executable sequences of program instructions.
}=>. Online analytical processing (OLAP)?
Ans: A multidimensional, multi-user, client-server computing
environment for users who need to analyze consolidated enterprise
data. OLAP systems feature functionality such as drilling down, data
pivoting, complex calculations, trend analyses, and modeling.
}=>. Parallel calculation?
Ans: An optional calculation setting. Essbase divides a calculation
into tasks and calculates some of the tasks at the same time.
}=>. Batch calculation?
Ans: Any calculation on a database that is done in batch; for
example, a calculation script or a full database calculation. Dynamic
calculations are not considered to be batch calculations
}=>. What are the files Essbase uses while sparse restructures?
Ans: ESSxxxxx.IND
}=>. What are Data Locks?
Ans: Essbase issues write (exclusive) locks for blocks that are
created, updated, or deleted, and issues read (shared) locks for

blocks that needed to be accessed but not modified. By issuing the

appropriate locks, essbase ensures that data changed by on
operation cannot be corrupted by a concurrent update. Essbase
locks data blocks, not objects.
}=>. Transactions?
Ans: When a database is in read/write mode, essbase considered
every update request to the server (such as a data load, a
calculation, or a statement in a calculation script) as a transaction.
The transaction file contains an entry for each transaction and
tracks the current state of each transaction (Active, committed, or
}=>. Isolation Levels?
Ans: It determines how essbase commits data to disk. When data is
committed; it is taken from server memory and written to the
database on disk. Essbase automatically commits data to disk.
There are no explicit commands that users perform to commit data
blocks. However setting the isolation level for a database defines
how essbase automatically commits data blocks. Essbase offers
two isolation levels for transactions: committed access and
uncommitted access. You can optimize data integrity by using
committed access.
}=>. Rollback with Committed Access?
Ans: Under Committed Access, if the server crashes, Essbase rolls
back all database updated by transaction that were in progress
when the server stopped. Thus essbase ensures that changes
made by the aborted transactions are undone. If a transaction is
aborted due to non-fatal error, all changes made by the transactions
are rolled back.

}=>. Hybrid Analysis?

Ans: It offers a means of integrating a relational database with a
multidimensional database so that the lower level members and
their associated data remain in the relational data base whole upper
level members and their associated data reside in the relational data
base. This presents additional issue regarding the data consistency
and integrity.
}=>. Types of database restructure?
Ans: Full Restructure: If a member of a dense dimension is moved,
deleted, or added, essbase restructures the blocks in a data file and
create new data files. When Essbase restructures the data blocks, it
regenerates the index automatically so that index entries point to
new data blocks.
Essbase marks all restructured block as dirty, so after a full
restructure you need to recalculate the database. Full restructure is
the most time consuming of the restructures and, for large
databases, can take a very long time t complete.
Sparse Restructure: If a member of a sparse dimension or a
member of an attribute dimension is moved, deleted, or added,
Essbase restructures the index and create new index files.
Restructuring the index is relatively fast; the amount of time
depends on the size of the index.
Outline-only Restructure: If a change affects only the database
outline, Essbase does not restructure the index or data files.
Member name changes, creation of aliases, and dynamic
calculation formula changes are examples of changes that affect
only the database outline.

}=>.. What is Dense restructure and why does this happen?

Ans: whenever we add/remove a dense dimension member from the
outline, the outline has to restructure itself so as to accommodate
the changes happened to the outline. This is called as dense
}=>.. What are shared members and why do we use them?
Ans: If there are same named members in the outline we can tag
one of the members as the shared member such that the data wont
be saved for this but it will point the original member instead when
}=>.. What files are created when you load a cube with data? How is
their structure?
Ans: Index file (.ind file), page file (.pag file), configuration file (.cfg
}=>.. Which files have .otn extension and why are they used? (Hint:
It is not .otl)
Ans .otn is a temporary Hyperion essbase outline file,
}=>. What is expense reporting and why do you use it?
Ans: Expense reporting is tagged to the accounts dimension such
that variance, profit etc. member will not show the negative value
when we calculate it.
}=>. What is Time Balancing and why is it used?
Ans: When we set time balance property to a member in accounts
dimension, it affects how Essbase affects the calculation of that
parent member in the time dimension. We need to tag the accounts
dimension as expenses and should have time dimension, we can
calculate ending inventory and opening inventory using this.

}=>. What is consolidation and why is it done?

Ans: Consolidation, the data of all the children/descendants will be
added and that will be rolled up to the parent member
}=>. What is MASK and why is it used?
Ans: Mask is Essbase command. It is used if Essbase data is
imported into a program that requires delimiters. Use INCMASK to
re-enable the display. Use SUPMASK to disable the display.
}=>. Differentiate between default calc and intelligent calc?
Ans: Default calc is used to calculate the whole cube and intelligent
calc is used to calculate the updated values only or the dirty cells.
}=>. Can you override default column grouping?
}=> Use the SYM command when the selection of column
members meets the requirements of the rule for asymmetry, but you
want to produce a symmetric report. The SYM command always
produces a symmetric report, creating all combinations of each
column dimension.
}=> Turn off the symmetric format and restore the rules for
asymmetric reports with the ASYM command.
}=>. What is the difference from symmetric and asymmetric reports?
Essbase reports can contain symmetric or asymmetric column
A symmetric report, shown below, is characterized by repeating,
identical groups of members.
An asymmetric report, shown below, is characterized by groups of
nested members that differ by at least one member in the nested
group. There can be a difference in the number of members or the

names of members.
By default, Essbase creates a symmetric report unless you select
the same number of members for all column dimensions.
}=>. What is the maximum number of parallel threads used to
Ans: Four threads.
}=>. How does Report Extractor Retrieves Data?
The Report Extractor processes the report script and retrieves data
in the following Order:
Composes the member list, based on all possible member
For example, the following command retrieves member East and all
of its Descendants:
}=> Applies member restrictions. For example, the following
command refines the member selection: LINK
}=> Orders the member output. For example, the following
command determines the order in which members are sorted:
}=> Extracts data from the following areas:
Local regions
Partitioned regions
Dynamically calculated data
}=> Restricts data. For example, the following command suppresses
the display of all rows that contain only missing values:
}=> Sorts data. For example, the following command returns rows
with the highest Values of a specified data column: TOP

}=> Formats output. For example, the following command skips one
or more lines in the final output report: {SKIP}
The order in which the Report Extractor retrieves data is important
when using complex extraction and formatting commands. For
example, because the Extractor restricts data (step 5) before sorting
data (step 6), if you place conditional retrieval Commands in the
wrong order, the report output results could be unexpected. Be
aware of the data retrieval process when designing your report
}=>. What is a batch POV (Point of View)?
Ans: The batch POV is a collection of all dimensions on the user
POV of every report And book in the batch. While scheduling the
batch the members selected on the batch POVs may be set.
}=>. Point of View (POV)?
Ans: A Unique set of dimension members that define specific
intersection of data.
}=>. Extensible Markup Language (XML)?
Ans: A Language comprised of set of tags used to assign attributes
to data that can be interpreted between the applications based on
the schema used.
}=>. What is a Grid POV?
Ans: The Grid POV enables designers to specify the members for a
dimension on a grid with out placing the dimension on the row,
column or page intersection. The report designer can set the POV
Values at the grid level, preventing the user POV from affecting the
particular grid. If a dimension has only one value for the entire grid,

the dimensions should be put in to the grid POV instead of the row,
column or page.
}=>. Why do you need a batch POV?
Ans: It allows anyone scheduling the batch to use the same default
values for all the grids in all reports in the batch simultaneously
when the batch is run. It is specific to a data source for a single
batch, but not specific to any report or grid to a report in a batch.
Since the batch POV values are only saved when the batch is
scheduled, you can set different values for the same batch.
Changes to the batch POV do not effect the designers POV the
changes to the designers POV do not effect the users POV.
}=>. What are Report member selections?
Ans: The Report member selections define the values for the values
for any dimensions not in the grids row, column, or page axis or set
in the grid POV for all reports in a specific report in the book.
}=>. Why do you need a book POV?
Ans: It allows anyone running the batch to use the same default
values for all the grids in all reports in the book simultaneously each
time the book is run. It is specific to a data source for a single book,
but not specific to any report or grid object in a report in that book.
As the book POV values are saved with the book itself, changes to
the book POV does not affect the designers POV.
}=>. Explain what the Never Share property is?
Ans: Never share: this property is tagged to any of the sparse
member such that it doesnt share the data with its parent/children
even though there is an explicit relationship exits but the data is just

}=>. What is a PS command?

Ans: PS command can be used to find the number of processes
running in UNIX environment.
}=>. How do find whether Essbase server is running or not on AIX
Ans, ps es! Grep
}=>. What is the difference between grep and egrep?
Ans: Grep: this statement is used to create or replace the file,Egrep:
this statement is used to append the existing file.
}=>. How many members can be there under a dimension?
Ans: There is no limit.
}=>. What is a calculator cache and why is it used?
Ans: Calculator cache is the buffer zone in the memory which is
used to track the data or create the data blocks at the time of
calculation; calculator cache enables the centralized control of the
memory in the calculator cache and also reduces the space and
improves the performance of the cube. Essbase default is }=>mb.
}=>. What is VBA?
Ans: VBA: Visual Basic Application Programming Interface (API)
used for accessing the data in the cube using the spread sheet addin.
}=>. What is an ad-hoc Report?
Ans: Report that is created on the fly.
}=>. List some report writer commands?

}=>. What are the different types of reports you can produce using
report scripts?
Ans: Sym, asym.
}=>. In how many ways can you get a data out of Essbase cube?
Ans: Using Report script, with export command or function and
Excel spread sheet add-in.
}=>. What does a Label only do? When you retrieve a Label Only
tagged member in a report which has three children what value
would you see?
Ans: It just carries the first childs value Label only tag will be used
so that the data is not consolidated to the higher level or generation
member or to the parent and we dont see any value if we retrieve a
label only tagged member.
}=>. Why do you use a load rule?
Ans: Load rule is used to create or update outline and/or load the
data in the outline.
}=>. How do you clear a specific block in the cube?
Ans: CLEARBLOCK OR CLEARDATA with or without using FIX
}=>. What is the limit on the name of app and database?
Ans: App: 8 bites and database: 8 bites
}=>. How do you zoom only to the next level in the report?
Ans: we need to go to view menu and click on the zoom in to the
next level

}=>. How do you calculate number of existing blocks?

Ans: The number of sparse dimensions member combinations
having the data will give the number of existing blocks.
}=>. What is the optimized way to structure your outline?
Ans: Hour-glass method is best optimized way to structure the
}=>. What is Generation and how would you compare it with level?
Ans: These two are build methods to develop the outline, generation
is top-down method of building the outline and level build is the
bottom-up method of building the outline.
}=>. What is a filter and why do you use them?
Ans: Filters are used for security purposes so that the users can
only do what they are permitted to do with an application or a
}=> How many build methods are there?
Ans: There are three build methods;Generation build methodLevel
build methodParent child build method (ancestors, sibling build
methods Descendents build method)
}=> Are you currently responsible for Production Essbase Cubes?
Ans: Yes, I did produced Essbase cubes
}=> How big is the largest cube?
Ans: The largest cube that I developed till now is }=>.5 gig.
}=> What is a data block?
Ans: The data block is a cell which is a combination of dense
dimensions and it has got some data.

}=> How do you order the outline?

Ans: We order the outline by keeping the dense dimensions before
the sparse dimensions and in these dense and sparse dimensions
keeping the users requirements like the performance or the retrieval
of the cube, we can arrange the sparse dimensions having more
members before the sparse dimensions having less members or like
the more queried dimension can be in the top than others. But
usually we prefer hour-glass order of outline.
}=> Name 3 Esscmd commands (excluding Login)? And define their
Ans: 1, BUILDDIM: This command dynamically builds one or more
dimension from the data file or SQL source.}=> COPYAPP: This
command copies an application.}=> COPYDB: This command
copies the database.
}=> How many partition types are present and what are they?
Ans: There are three types of partitions, they are replicated partition,
transparent partition and linked partition.
}=> Why do you use Dynamic Calc?
Ans: Dynamic calc is used so as to save the space in the data
block, when member is tagged as a dynamic calc then that member
is not calculated during the regular calculation like calc all but it
calculates when that member is retrieved in a spreadsheet add-in or
running a report script for that member.
}=> What members in the outline cannot be Dynamic Calc?
Ans, level 0 members and the label only tagged members cannot be
Dynamic calc. With one exception of label only member with onmember formula.

}=> For a member to be Two-Pass, what must exist in the outline?

Ans: Member must to be tagged as accounts or expense and they
should be dynamic calc.
}=>. What functions are you familiar with (min 8): Name them?
}=>. Using the AVG function, if you want to leave out zeros, what
parameter can you use?
Ans: Skip zero.
}=>. Do you like optimization or design better?
Ans: I like to design the cube as much as I like to optimize it.
}=>. What is the difference between FIX and IF statements? In what
situations they are used and what are its pros and cons?
Ans: FIX: this statement restricts the path of outline during
calculation/retrieval such that it doesnt have to go through whole of
the outline.IF: this is conditional statement, when used if the given
condition is true it takes the given value in the condition and it
moves forward or if the given condition is false it takes another value
to calculate/retrieval and it moves forward.**With FIX u cannot
restrict the members to be checked with, fix u can say which one u
need to check.
}=>. What are different types of memory caches? What are their
optimal memory settings?
Ans: Data file, pagefile 8kb, (page 10}=>)

}=>. What is the max length of filter we can write in Essbase }=>5
and lower version?
Ans: 64kb
}=>. Which one of the following is fixed? Data file size, Data cache
size, Page files size, index file size.
Ans: Index file 8kb.
}=>. What is committed and Uncommitted Access?
Ans: Committed access provides a high level of data consistency
because only one transaction at a time is written to data block.
Under committed access, Essbase allows transactions to hold
read/write locks on all data blocks involved with the transaction until
the transaction completes and commits. However, you can still allow
read-only access to the last committed data values. It is time
consuming if the data size is too large. Uncommitted access
(enabled by default), the Essbase kernel allows transactions to hold
read/write locks on a block-by-block basis; Essbase releases a
block after it is updated but does not commit blocks until the
transaction completes or until a specified limit (a synchronization
point) has been reached. You can set this limit, as described below.
It is faster, but in case of catastrophic conditions loads data
again.Concurrent users accessing the same data blocks might
experience unexpected results under uncommitted access, because
Essbase allows read-only access to data at its last commit
point.With uncommitted access, you can control when Essbase
performs an explicit commit operation by specifying synchronization
point parameters: Commit Blocks (number of blocks modified before
a synchronization point occurs). The default is 3,000.

}=>. Give some MaxL statements and their syntax?

Ans: Create application: CREATE APPLICATION News amp as
Sample;Create function: CREATE
SPEC@COVARIANCE (expList1, expList2) COMMENT computes
covariance of two sequences given as expression lists;CREATE
USER: CREATE OR REPLACE user bala identified by password
as Recycle Me;Display application: display application;
}=>. What is data block size? (How do you find the size of the
Ans: Data block size is determined by the amount of data in
particular combination of dense dimensions. For ex: when you
change the dense or sparse configuration of one or more
dimensions in the database, the data block size changes. Data
block size is 8n bytes, where n is the number of cells that exist for
that combination of dense dimensions.Note: Optimal range is 8 to
100 kb