Oracle Data Relationship Management (DRM) is an enterprise data management application mostly used by large enterprises to manage financial chart of accounts master data. It has been a reliable solution over the past decade while catering different needs of enterprise master data. In the recent years, we have witnessed significant changes in how organizations manage and use master data to help them in making quick decisions, business transformations and staying flexible with their plans. All these have posed new challenges to the master data needs:
- Users need a way to manage multiple hierarchies that allows them to do scenario planning across teams while being able to choose the best alternative scenario. Existing tools and hierarchies do not prove to be as helpful currently.
- Moving away from the “Single Source of Truth” paradigm: By now, we all understand that the notion of “Single Source of Truth” may not work in the fast-changing world where organizations cannot rely on one form or single structure of master data across its systems.
- Need for Cloud: Cloud migration has been a major focus for many organizations today. Even though this process is important, developing a strategic road map to transition current on-prem applications can be complex.
Oracle attempted to answer the above challenges with its new master data management cloud offering known as Oracle Enterprise Data Management Cloud Service (EDMCS).
- In 2018 Oracle released its latest Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) cloud offering, known as Oracle Enterprise Data Management Cloud Service (EDMCS). This is an Oracle Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) application.
- EDMCS offers a fresh outlook towards current and future enterprise data management needs while incorporating elements from the current Oracle DRM application. With all the updates since its inception in Jan -2018, now may be the time to discuss some of the high level EDMCS features and functionalities.
First and foremost, EDMCS has a nice and simplified user interface that makes for no navigation hassles. EDMCS comes with pre-configured adapters to other EPM SaaS products like PBCS, EPBCS and custom application adapter to connect with cloud business applications. More built in connectors are expected in the future for Oracle EPM, ERP & GL cloud applications.
Built-in validations are tied to the available applications that are currently integrated with EDMCS. Applications can be registered via simple question and answer wizards along with the master data objects (Dimensions, Node Types, Properties etc.) for the given application.
EDMCS has a new foundation and a different data model compared to the on-prem DRM. The successful creation of an application results in a Data Chain which includes an integrated chain of master data objects like Node Types, Hierarchy Sets, Node Sets & the final view of the hierarchy structure known as a Viewpoint.
Unlike the standard hierarchies in on-prem DRM, EDMCS comes with a classification of Hierarchy & List structures. A Hierarchy Structure provides a Parent – Child relationship where as a List hierarchy acts as a Flat structure.
In EDMCS, Oracle introduces the feature of Views which is a collection of lists and/or hierarchies. Views consist of one or more Viewpoints where you can update data. Using views data can easily be grouped or filtered for different users, activities and business purposes. Users can create their custom views to slice and dice or group different dimensions to analyze the data and manage data based on a specific business purpose. Updates in one View are automatically synchronized to linked Views.
EDMCS also allows you to subscribe to Viewpoints. Subscriptions enable sharing data between target Viewpoint to a source Viewpoint using node type converters. When you create a subscription, you specify whether the system should auto submit the request in the target Viewpoints or if it should be submitted manually.
Curating Changes to Enterprise Data Elements & Audit History
EDMCS will natively support data visualization as a foundational element of modeling changes. Each change can be logged using request items and actions, thus providing the data stewards a chance to analyze the impact of the changes prior to making them.
In EDMCS, the changes (node updates) to the dimension are only possible through requests. This helps the data stewards to analyze the audit history and trace it back to a request. It has the capability to make a single node change or bulk node changes by using a flat file.
EDMCS has a feature to display certain visual cues (+,->,-,) that help data stewards understand the type of the changes that are going to affect the hierarchy.
EDMCS comes with built-in validations that are tied to connected applications which fire once the user selects, inspects or submits a request.
Email notifications are sent for subscription requests to make users aware of changes received through a subscription and to inform assignees of requests that have been assigned to them for review or issue resolution.
When loading request items from an Excel file, the spreadsheet file can now contain multiple worksheets which can be loaded to multiple viewpoints in the same View. This enables users to make related changes for multiple Viewpoints in a single load.
The requests in EDMCS still lacks the governance component. This is an important feature expected in the future releases.
Integrations – Import & Export
EDMCS has provided the capability of exporting the hierarchy at the Application & Viewpoint level. The export options are limited to flat files in the current releases. Options to export files to remote/ftp locations and external connections (DB on Cloud or relational Database) are something to expect in the future releases along with extended export types.
EDMCS has provided the capability of Import at Application level. Only a comma delimited (.csv) file format is available for Import*.
Automate & REST API
EPM Automate is the utility used to automate and remotely perform tasks in EDMCS and other Oracle EPM Cloud applications. EDMCS will now be able to leverage REST API as well.
The current update of EPM automate for EDMCS provides limited automation capabilities but we expect to see more options/commands in the upcoming releases.
The following are a few key automation commands:
- Import & Export metadata & attributes
- Upload files into environment
- Run DRM Batch
- Generate Provision reports
- Daily maintenance & Import – Export Snapshots
So, that leaves us with an important question: Is EDMCS ready to be seriously considered for complex enterprises? Probably not yet, given the limited capabilities of integrations and features required to cater the master data needs of large organizations and their many master data dependent applications.
Although Oracle has made significant progress in enhancing EDMCS since its inception early this year, Oracle EPM and ERP Cloud applications are only its initial reach. Based on Oracle’s road map for EDMCS, it will take more time for EDMCS to mature and exceed the current on-prem DRM capabilities.
Until then, it is important for organizations to analyze if EDMCS fits into their road map and decide to continue using the existing master data management solution until EDMCS becomes a more mature product.