Monday, March 28, 2016

Hyperion Planning + OBIEE v/s Jedox EPM/BI suite

Hyperion Planning + OBIEE  v/s Jedox  EPM/BI suite

After working in Hyperion suite of products for more than 9 years I got an opportunity to work on another EPM/BI suite of products called Jedox ( . To be honest after being in a relationship for 9 years with Hyperion it was a tough situation to try something new  J .  In past 9 years I rarely got a chance to work on something other than HYPERION ( Worked on MS BI and few other BI tools like Tableau for a small POC and evaluation), so was pretty excited and tensed when I got into Jedox .. So, below are few things on which I can compare Hyperion suite of products (Planning,Essbase, FDM and OBIEE) v/s Jedox .  As I don’t have much exposure to some other Hyperion products like HFM, ODI, don’t think I am a correct person to compare it with any other product. Also, as stated prior about 9 years of love affair with Hyperion I will still try to be as neutral as possible ( That would be tough!!)

 1. Ease of Application Building/ Dimension building :

Hyperion Essbase :  There are multiple ways to build your dimensions in essbase like manually adding members in EAS, using rule files or using some other ETL tools like ODI.
Hyperion Planning:   Again same as Essbase there are multiple ways like using outline load utility, EPM , ODI etc..
Jedox:   Dimension building is pretty simple in Jedox. Similar to Essbase, you can add members manually or using flat files or from RDBMS using in-built ETL. One more flexible option in Jedox is that you can build dimension just by copy+pasting data from excel/text file into Jedox Excel Ad-in.
Overall, both products are pretty developer friendly when it comes to dimension building. One advantage of Jedox over Hyperion is that as it is in-memory product you don’t have to go through painful dense restructures after adding members in your Account/Period dimension. Hyperion gives much more properties tagged to members (Like Skip missing while taking average or Balance account etc) which are missing in Jedox and can be achieved only by using database formula.

 2.Calculation capabilities:

 Hyperion Essbase/Planning: Hyperion has very powerful calculation engine. There are multiple ways to perform complex calculations required for planning/budgeting. With extensive list of functions available you can fulfil almost all kind of business requirements.

Jedox: In Jedox you can perform simple calculations using DB formula (Similar to essbase member formula) for complex calculations you need to use ETL transformations
Hyperion is a clear winner when it comes to complex calculations and ease of doing it. Jedox calculations will be faster, but it has limitations. It is extremely difficult ( sometimes impossible) to perform some of the complex calculations in Jedox ETL which are pretty simple to do in Hyperion.
  1. Customization of Look-n-Feel :

Jedox clearly has an upper hand, when it comes to customization. In Hyperion there is very limited opportunity to customize artifacts like user webform or user task lists.  Jedox interface in simple words is like an enhanced excel which you can publish, so possibilities are limitless.

  1. ETL capabilities:

Hyperion Essbase/Planning adapters are available in various ETL tools like FDM, ODI, ERPi, EIS (No longer there) . Jedox has its own ETL module which can perform all kind of ETL operations.
No one is a clear winner here. If you want to integrate your EPM with Oracle GL then definitely Hyperion has more options and more in-built capabilities. Jedox ETL is comprehensive as well and can perform most of the ETL tasks.  From licencing standpoint, for Jedox you don’t need to buy one more ETL , whereas in Hyperion in most of the cases you do need to pay for ETL separately.

  1. In-Built planning/Budgeting features:

Hyperion Planning gives many out of the box features like tasks lists or workflow which are not available readily in Jedox. But, you can build them as per your requirements with some efforts and knowledge of PHP.

  1. BI capabilities:

 Jedox is much better in terms of quick turn-around time and performance when it comes to building BI dashboards and reports. I found building a dashboards and interactive reports more convenient in Jedox as compared to OBIEE.  For basic Financial Reports (generally achieved using HFR in Hyperion ) will take similar efforts in both products. May be in Jedox you can customize them more as it is basically excel report published as Web report.

  1. Server Maintenance/Installation :

Jedox has very straight forward installation and it’s pretty simple in terms of server maintenance as well. You won’t require a full time server admin in case of Jedox. Again, with the evolution of oracle cloud and PBCS this might be an invalid point in future. Jedox also has its own cloud offering.   

  1. Application Maintenance/Support :

I personally think that supporting/ maintaining  Hyperion application would be simpler as compared to Jedox (Again this might be because of 9 years of in-relationship  status with Hyperion :P ). In a complex Jedox application you certainly need to use custom PHP widgets which can be painful to maintain and support in a long run, whereas in Hyperion customized codes are limited and can be easily handover to support team.

  1. Cost :

Jedox licences are much cheaper as compared to Oracle Hyperion licences. Overall Jedox product cost would be half as compared to Hyperion.

 So, overall it’s not really possible to say one product is a clear winner. Both have pros and cons, both have strong points and weakness.  Hyperion is much more matured and robust as compared to Jedox. Jedox is much faster and cheaper than Hyperion. Calculation capabilities of Hyperion are unparalleled; customization capabilities of Jedox are limitless. Depending upon requirements and situation any one of them can be a winner..