Oracle® Crystal Ball

New Features


Copyright © 2012, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.

Authors: EPM Information Development Team

Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

This software and related documentation are provided under a license agreement containing restrictions on use and disclosure and are protected by intellectual property laws. Except as expressly permitted in your license agreement or allowed by law, you may not use, copy, reproduce, translate, broadcast, modify, license, transmit, distribute, exhibit, perform, publish, or display any part, in any form, or by any means. Reverse engineering, disassembly, or decompilation of this software, unless required by law for interoperability, is prohibited.

The information contained herein is subject to change without notice and is not warranted to be error-free. If you find any errors, please report them to us in writing.

If this is software or related documentation that is delivered to the U.S. Government or anyone licensing it on behalf of the U.S. Government, the following notice is applicable:


Programs, software, databases, and related documentation and technical data delivered to U.S. Government customers are "commercial computer software" or "commercial technical data" pursuant to the applicable Federal Acquisition Regulation and agency-specific supplemental regulations. As such, the use, duplication, disclosure, modification, and adaptation shall be subject to the restrictions and license terms set forth in the applicable Government contract, and, to the extent applicable by the terms of the Government contract, the additional rights set forth in FAR 52.227-19, Commercial Computer Software License (December 2007). Oracle America, Inc., 500 Oracle Parkway, Redwood City, CA 94065.

This software or hardware is developed for general use in a variety of information management applications. It is not developed or intended for use in any inherently dangerous applications, including applications that may create a risk of personal injury. If you use this software or hardware in dangerous applications, then you shall be responsible to take all appropriate fail-safe, backup, redundancy, and other measures to ensure its safe use. Oracle Corporation and its affiliates disclaim any liability for any damages caused by use of this software or hardware in dangerous applications.

This software or hardware and documentation may provide access to or information on content, products, and services from third parties. Oracle Corporation and its affiliates are not responsible for and expressly disclaim all warranties of any kind with respect to third-party content, products, and services. Oracle Corporation and its affiliates will not be responsible for any loss, costs, or damages incurred due to your access to or use of third-party content, products, or services.

Table of Contents:

New Features, Crystal Ball Release

New Features, Previous Crystal Ball 11.1.2.x Releases

This section describes the new features introduced in release of:

  • Oracle Crystal Ball (and related classroom products)

  • Oracle Crystal Ball Decision Optimizer

  • Oracle Crystal Ball Enterprise Performance Management

For a description of new features introduced in previous related releases, see New Features, Previous Crystal Ball 11.1.2.x Releases.

Grouped Assumptions in Sensitivity Charts

You can group assumptions in a sensitivity chart to combine similar assumptions, such as grouping Monthly assumptions into a single Year assumption group. Use the Sensitivity menu in a sensitivity chart window.

Data Filtering When Fitting Distributions

When fitting distributions for assumptions, you can filter historical data to use only data values that fall within specified value ranges. Unused values are not permanently deleted, only discarded for the purpose of distribution fitting. Once used, filter settings are saved as global preferences and are used each time you select Filter data in the Fit Distribution dialog until you change the settings.

Parameter Edits When Fitting Distributions

A new setting in the Comparison Chart window enables you to edit parameters for assumptions created by distribution fitting. By default, a distribution of the accepted type with default parameters is created in the selected cell. If you select Edit after Accept, the Assumption dialog opens with the parameter entries taken from the chosen distribution. You can change the distribution parameters and save the modified assumption.

Expanded Distribution Parameters

The maximum number of trials allowed for binomial distributions and the maximum rate allowed for Poisson distributions have both been expanded to 1e9.

Predictor Parallelization

Predictor now uses multiple cores (CPUs) to process all the time series in historical data. Calculations are shared between all available cores, run in parallel, and the results are displayed much faster than before.

Localization into Additional Languages

The Crystal Ball user interface is now translated into French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish. Documentation is not translated.

New Features, Previous Crystal Ball 11.1.2.x Releases

This section describes the new features introduced in release of:

  • Crystal Ball (and related classroom products)

  • Oracle Crystal Ball Decision Optimizer

  • Crystal Ball EPM

Support for Microsoft Excel 2010

Crystal Ball release now supports Microsoft Excel 2010.

64-bit Crystal Ball for Compatibility with 64-bit Microsoft Excel 2010

A 64-bit version of Crystal Ball is now available for use with the 64-bit version of Microsoft Excel 2010.

ARIMA Added to Predictor

The Predictor feature of Crystal Ball now includes ARIMA (autoregressive integrated moving average), an advanced modeling technique for time-series analysis. Time-series forecasting with classic models like moving average and exponential smoothing becomes difficult when a series exhibits complex trends. ARIMA is a flexible model that can be used for fitting and forecasting many of these series. With the addition of ARIMA, Crystal Ball increases the forecasting power of Predictor to better meet the needs of enterprises that depend on high-quality forecasts.

Event Forecasting Added to Predictor

Predictor time-series forecasting now enables you to capture special events in the data and leverage your knowledge of similar future events to improve forecasts. These events can be one-time occurrences, such as a major marketing program, or events that repeat on a regular basis, such as quarterly sales promotions. You can also capture events that repeat at irregular intervals, such as assembly-line lockouts.

Crystal Ball Enterprise Performance Management for Enterprise Planning Suite

Related to Crystal Ball EPM, Oracle Crystal Ball Enterprise Performance Management for Oracle Hyperion Enterprise Planning Suite is now available as an option for customers of Oracle Hyperion Enterprise Planning Suite. Oracle Crystal Ball Enterprise Performance Management for Oracle Hyperion Enterprise Planning Suite enables Enterprise Planning Suite customers to run simulations and time-series forecasts against Oracle Essbase, Oracle Hyperion Strategic Finance, and Oracle Hyperion Planning.

More Powerful Crystal Ball API

You can now add risk analysis, forecasting, and simulation to your corporate applications and extend your enterprise modeling capabilities beyond Microsoft Excel by using the Crystal Ball Application Programming Interface for Microsoft .NET Framework (the Crystal Ball API). The Crystal Ball API has been updated and expanded to include the latest Crystal Ball features and is packaged to be built directly into your Web and Microsoft Windows-based applications.

New Features, Crystal Ball Release

This section describes features released in Crystal Ball

Predictor Integration with Planning and Essbase

With Crystal Ball EPM release, you can now use the powerful time-series forecasting capabilities of Predictor on historical data from Planning and Essbase. Predictor works within Oracle Crystal Ball Enterprise Performance Management and Oracle Hyperion Smart View for Office to create forecasts and paste them directly into a Planning form or ad hoc queries in Planning or Essbase. Forecasts are then submitted back to the Oracle Hyperion Planning or Oracle Essbase server to help create more accurate budgets and rolling forecasts.

Define Assumptions from Forecasts

You can now define an assumption using the data from a forecast. Crystal Ball automatically fits an assumption to the forecast data and selects the best fit, or you can create a custom distribution assumption using the raw data. This feature enables you to quickly use forecasts from Crystal Ball simulations as inputs to a model.

Updated Scenario Analysis Tool

The Scenario Analysis tool was updated with a new wizard interface similar to the ones used for other Crystal Ball tools. Scenario Analysis is a powerful analysis tool that runs a simulation and then sorts and matches all the resulting values of a target forecast with their corresponding assumption values. This tool enables you to investigate which combination of assumption values gives a particular result.

Localized for Spanish and Japanese

The user interface for Crystal Ball release was localized into Spanish and Japanese. An installer menu enables you choose the language to use for the installation as well as the Crystal Ball user interface.

Addresses U.S. Section 508 Accessibility

Crystal Ball release was designed to address the U.S. Federal government's accessibility standards for Section 508 enabling individuals who rely on assistive technologies such as screen readers and screen magnifiers to more effectively use the software.

Keyboard equivalents for menu commands and dialog controls are available at all times. An additional Accessibility mode activates other features described in Appendix B of the Oracle Crystal Ball User's Guide.

The accessibility status of Crystal Ball was documented using the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT). The VPAT can be used by U.S Federal contracting and procurement officials to evaluate a product with respect to the provisions contained in Section 508.

Designed for U.S. FDCC Mandate

Crystal Ball release was designed to meet the U.S. Federal Desktop Core Configuration (FDCC) mandate. FDCC specifies mandatory configuration requirements for the Microsoft Windows XP Pro and Windows Vista operating systems when used on U.S. Government desktop systems.

Support for New Windows Version

Oracle Crystal Ball is now supported on Microsoft Windows 7.