On December 13, 2018, Brian Moore and Colin MacDonald from QueBIT conducted a public Advanced Topics webinar on the subject of IBM Planning Analytics and Planning Analytics Workspace. The webinar covered information about upgrading from older versions of IBM Cognos TM1, as well as Tips and Tricks on how to make the most of the new features.
This article contains audience questions and answers from our experts, especially the presenters and Andrew Leighton.
Question: Do we have any customers using Planning Analytics / PAW and QueBIT WebWORQ?Answer: Yes, WebWORQ is fully compatible with Planning Analytics’s latest TM1 Server, when it is run on-premises (PA Local) or hosted in a third party Cloud. WebWORQ, for those who are not familiar with it, is a tool for creating customized UIs on top of TM1/Planning Analytics that enable you to control the end user’s experience very tightly. PAW would just be an alternate UI option for accessing the same data that is available in WebWORQ; just be aware that the PAW experience is generally a lot less controlled/controllable.
WebWORQ is not currently supported when PA is running in IBM’s Cloud: if there is significant interest please let us know. Visit https://quebit.com/what-we-offer/products/our-products/frameworq/webworq for more information.
Question: Is TM1 Web integrated with Planning Analytics Workspace (PAW)?
Answer: Yes. TM1 Web websheets can be embedded in PAW screens.
Question: Does PAW have a report scheduler?
Answer: PAW does not natively have a report scheduler, but can be integrated with QueBIT’s ReportWORQ which has a comprehensive set of report generation and distribution capabilities. ReportWORQ can be used in many ways with PAW including to create a report subscription page that users can go to and request to be emailed standard reports. Visit www.quebit.com/RW for more information.
Question: When will Alternate hierarchies from PAW be useable in PAX?
Answer: Hierarchies are already available in PAx Explorations, but we are not sure of IBM’s roadmap for when/whether they will be available on other PAx report types. Click here for more information on PAx explorations.
Question: Will there be an update to allow the PAW chat feature to send email notifications through a tagging system? For instance, if I write @BrianMoore in the chat feature, could it notify Brian via email that a comment has been made within PAW?
Answer: QueBIT is not aware of whether this email/tagging feature will become available in PAW chat. Please review IBM’s Planning Analytics roadmap which is updated at this link for future product updates that are in the works.
Question: How do IBM updates get applied to the PAW container?
Answer: If you are running PA in the IBM Cloud, this is taken care of for you by IBM. If you are running PA Local in your own data center or hosted environment, you can reference this blog post on how to keep your PAW Local application up to date.
Question: The rules and TI processes updated in PAW are available in Architect/Perspectives, right?Answer: Yes, correct.
Question: What version of Excel is recommended?
Answer: Excel 2013 and 2016 are supported. Here's a link to IBM's PA compatibility information: https://www.ibm.com/software/reports/compatibility/clarity/softwareReqsForProduct.html
Question: How was the map incorporated? What's the type attribute for GEO?
Answer: Once properly formatted, map visualizations are available by selecting the corresponding map icon. For further detail on this configuration, please visit the following blog post: https://blog.quebit.com/blog/quebit-blog-paw-pro-tips-2-interactive-map-visualizations
Question: Is there a built-in debugger for TI (Turbo Integrator) Processes?
Answer: Yes. You can watch QueBIT’s webinar on the TI debugger here.
Question: Will dragging of cells still remove formula (DBRW)?
Answer: Two of the new PAx reporting formats Quick Report and Exploration do not rely on DBRW formulas in cells so there is no longer a concern of destroying these cell references. Click here for more info on building Quick Reports. Dynamic and Custom Reports in PAx are still reliant on DBRWs so the same concern for dragging cells and removing formulas in these two report types is still an issue.
Question: How is security managed for PAW books?? Can we use TM1 groups?
Answer: Security for books is managed within the settings on each individual book. These settings can be modified by users with the appropriate permissions. PAW users can be given ‘View Only’, ‘View and Edit’ or ‘Full Control’ for each book. TM1 groups cannot be referenced to maintain these security settings.
Question: Have you tried the date picker functionality? Any opinions on it?
Answer: Yes, it is helpful in managing proper date formatting and avoiding formatting errors. The interface is also very user friendly. It maintains dates as an index number in the dataset behind the scenes which is useful so long as the developer is aware of this structure.
Question: When will maps be customizable to custom shape files?
Answer: Current mapping is limited to existing regions (State, Province, or Country) in PA. Cognos Analytics offers much greater flexibility for custom shapes in maps. Please review the Planning Analytics roadmap located here for periodic feature updates.
Question: If there are 4 cube views in a single view in PAW, is it possible to zoom out one of those cube views visually? Also, when we add a 5th view to it, are we able to define the size it shows up as?
Answer: The PAW canvas is fully customizable; adding a 5th or 6th view is possible. However, end users would not be able to resize shared public content.
Question: Do you recommend converting old Dimension functions to new Hierarchy Functions if you are planning on taking advantage of the new Hierarchy functionality?
Answer: Dimension functions are forward compatible with PAW Hierarchies, however PA customers should make a plan to update these dimension functions to the hierarchy functions for consistency and ease of maintenance going forward.
Question: Do you have TM1 and Planning Analytics training courses?
Answer: Yes, we do! We have an extensive set of offerings that include instructor led and computer based self-paced courses. You can sign up on-line or contact us here for more information. Right now, our most popular classes are our self-paced PAW and PAx (Planning Analytics for Excel) training classes which you can take in your own time. Customization options are also available, so your end users will see cubes and screens that are familiar to them.
Question: I have clients with large instances > 500 GB RAM and hundreds of scripts. Does PAW have issues scaling to these environments?
Answer: IBM Planning Analytics still has TM1 Server technology at its core. Any functioning TM1 model in TM1 10.2.2 ought to transition to Planning Analytics with no difficulty. PAW is a user interface tool that communicates with the TM1 server; it does not itself store any data. PAW’s scalability is more a function of the number of users and the complexity of the data requested from the TM1 server. Obviously if the TM1 Server is slow to retrieve data, PAW users will experience slowness as well.
Question: We're currently using 10.2.2 FP7 and Perspectives APIs. Will these go away when we go to TM1 v11?
Answer: When you upgrade to IBM Planning Analytics (also known as TM1 11), you will still have access to Perspectives. It is however prudent to start planning to transition to the new user interfaces over the next 12 – 18 months, as IBM has made clear that Perspectives and Architect will not be supported indefinitely.
Question: For development, were you recommending we start developing in PAW instead of Perspectives/Architect?
Answer: Yes, we believe it is prudent (and fun!) to start exploring and taking advantage of PAW’s development tools, as IBM has made clear that Perspectives and Architect will not be supported indefinitely. As shown in the presentation, the TI and Rules editors incorporate function wizards and auto-correct features which make process and rule writing/reading much easier and less error prone.
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