Introducing Essbase

In This Section:


Essbase Product Components

Key Features


Oracle Essbase products help you deliver critical business information to the right people at the right time. With Essbase, you can quickly integrate data from multiple data sources, and then distribute that information to users in a format tailored to their needs. With the ability to interact with and explore data in real time, along familiar business dimensions, you can perform speed-of-thought analytics.

Essbase products incorporate powerful architectural features to handle a wide range of analytic applications across large multiuser environments.


Essbase—a multi-threaded OLAP database software that takes advantage of symmetric multiprocessing hardware platforms—is based on Web-deployable, thin-client architecture. The server acts as a shared resource, handling all data storage, caching, calculations, and data security. The Essbase Server client needs only to retrieve and view data that resides on a server.

All Essbase application components, including database outlines and calculation scripts, application control, and multidimensional database information, reside on a server. With Essbase, you can configure server disk storage to span multiple disk drives, enabling you to store large databases. Essbase requires a server to run a multi-threaded operating system so a server can efficiently manage simultaneous requests. A server also runs a server agent process that acts as a traffic coordinator for all user requests to applications.

Aggregate storage databases provide an alternative to block storage databases and enable dramatic increases in database dimensionality. Using aggregate storage, Essbase serves a wide range of analytic needs—financial analysis, planning, budgeting, sales analysis, marketing analysis, supply-chain analysis, profitability analytics—all from a single analytic infrastructure.

MaxL—a multidimensional database access language that is part of Essbase Server—provides a flexible way to automate Essbase administration and maintenance tasks.

Sample Essbase Applications

Essbase provides a set of sample applications and associated databases that you can use to learn about Essbase features, and which are the basis for many of the examples given in this document.

Sample applications are installed with Essbase Server.

To use the sample applications, see Setting Up Sample Applications.

Provider Services

Oracle Hyperion Provider Services is a middle-tier data-source provider to Essbase for Java API, Oracle Smart View for Office, and XMLA clients. Provider Services supports highly concurrent analytical scenarios and provides scalability and reliability in a distributed Web-enabled enterprise environment.

Smart View

Smart View provides a common Microsoft Office interface for Essbase, Oracle Hyperion Financial Management, Oracle Hyperion Planning, and Oracle Hyperion Enterprise Performance Management Workspace data. Using Smart View, you can view, import, manipulate, distribute, and share data in Microsoft Excel, Word, and PowerPoint interfaces.

Application Programming Interface (API)

Essbase API—the developers’ interface to Essbase—enables you to create customized applications. See the Oracle Essbase and Provider Services Java API Reference or Oracle Essbase API Reference (C API).

Developer Products

Essbase developer products enable the rapid creation, management, and deployment of tailored enterprise analytic applications, whether or not users have programming knowledge.

The products (for example, Application Builder and Oracle Hyperion Application Builder for .NET) provide a comprehensive set of application programming interfaces, drag-and-drop components, and services.

Lifecycle Management

Oracle Hyperion Enterprise Performance Management System Lifecycle Management provides a consistent way for Oracle Enterprise Performance Management System products to migrate an application, a repository, or individual artifacts across product environments and operating systems. Generally, the Lifecycle Management interface in Oracle Hyperion Shared Services Console is consistent for all EPM System products that support Lifecycle Management. However, EPM System products display different artifact listings and export and import options in the Lifecycle Management interface.

Lifecycle Management features:

  • Viewing applications and folders

  • Searching for artifacts

  • Migrating directly from one application to another

  • Migrating to and from the file system

  • Saving and loading migration definition files

  • Viewing selected artifacts

  • Auditing migrations

  • Viewing the status of migrations

  • Importing and exporting individual artifacts for quick changes on the file system

In addition to providing the Lifecycle Management interface in Oracle Hyperion Shared Services Console, there is a command-line utility called Lifecycle Management Utility that provides an alternate way to migrate artifacts from source to destination. The Lifecycle Management Utility can be used with a third-party scheduling service such as Windows Task Scheduler or Oracle Enterprise Manager.

Lastly, there is a Lifecycle Management Application Programming Interface (API) that enables users to customize and extend the Lifecycle Management functionality.

For detailed information about Oracle Hyperion Enterprise Performance Management System Lifecycle Management, see the Oracle Enterprise Performance Management System Lifecycle Management Guide.

Key Features

Integration with Existing Infrastructure

Essbase products integrate with your existing business intelligence infrastructure. Essbase products meet the enterprise analytic demands of users for critical business information with a minimum of information technology (IT) overhead, and therefore enable organizations to realize maximum return on their existing IT investments:

  • Provides an extensible architecture

  • Supports a comprehensive range of data sources, hardware and operating system platforms, access interfaces, and development languages

  • Enables analytic applications to be deployed across a local or wide area network and across an intranet or Internet

Data Integration

Essbase products enable organizations to leverage data in their data warehouses, legacy systems, online transaction processing (OLTP) systems, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, e-business systems, customer relationship management (CRM) applications, Web log files and other external data sources.

Mission Critical Applications in Web-based Environments

A middle-tier framework extends the power of Essbase products by creating a Web-enabled, distributed platform for Essbase applications, hence serving the analysis needs of large numbers of users in Web-based environments. Provider Services provides clustering and failover support, extending the scalability and reliability of the platform, and supports mission-critical applications in a 24 x 7 environment.

Powerful Querying

Large communities of business users can interact with data in real time to quickly analyze business performance. Using Essbase products, you can organize and present data along familiar business dimensions, enabling users to view and explore the data intuitively and turn it into actionable information.


Essbase includes powerful calculation features for demanding analytic requirements. A rich library of functions makes it easy to define advanced and sophisticated business logic and relationships. Essbase gives users the flexibility to build, customize, and extend the calculator through custom-defined macros and functions, as well as the ability to span calculations across databases. On multiprocessor systems, a DBA can configure a single calculation request to use multiple threads to accomplish the calculation, providing enhanced calculation speed.

Aggregate storage databases provide an alternative to block storage databases and enable dramatic improvements in database aggregation time for certain types of applications.

Write-Back and Security

Essbase provides unique multi-user read and write capabilities, including data update and multi-user recalculation. Business users with front-end tools can write data back to a server and recalculate the data on a server using calculation scripts—key functionality to support sophisticated modeling and planning applications.

The robust, multilevel security model provides server-, database-, and cell-level security. Full control of data access, views, and write capabilities are managed through administration. EPM System security allows you to integrate with a variety of external user directories including LDAP-enabled directories such as Oracle Internet Directory and Microsoft Active Directory, and relational databases.

Ease of Development

Essbase offers many key advantages to help users develop effective multidimensional applications. Users can:

  • Design and manage applications using a graphical interface to control most server functions.

  • Quickly add dimensions, change calculations, and modify hierarchies to reflect new business developments. In addition, the dynamic dimension builder automatically defines and dynamically loads large amounts of data, including data from spreadsheets, flat files, and supported relational database tables directly into a database.

  • Define key calculations without having to write a program.

  • Define security for individuals and groups and customize views and retrieval procedures for each user without writing a program.