This article is part of the monthly Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS) Update Series from eCapital Advisors. On a monthly basis, experts at eCapital Advisors review the Oracle PBCS release notes to provide a look at the latest features and changes users & administrators must know about to manage their financial planning software environment properly.

As part of the review of Oracle’s Planning and Budgeting Cloud October 2018 Release (18.10), the eCapital team highlighted a few key areas on video and prepared a full-length video recording of their PBCS review. Highlighted areas for October include a substitution variable management move, a new EPM Automate version, master-detail dashboard form relationships, and daily maintenance performance.

The members of the eCapital Advisors team who have prepared this month’s update are Eric Milbrandt and Jay Adler. Eric Milbrandt has been in Finance and Technology roles for over a decade where he serves as a project lead and lead developer. Eric is Oracle certified in Hyperion Planning 11 as well as Essbase 11 and has experience working with resources in all corners of the globe through all phases of the implementation process. Eric has also delivered custom FDQM and FDMEE solutions and is passionate about creating dynamic low-maintenance solutions to achieve the most value for his clients. Jay Adler is an Oracle Certified Implementation Specialist with a background in Hyperion Planning & Essbase and strives toward creating innovative EPM solutions. Jay has consulted on valuable strategic projects for his clients across numerous industries and enjoys shaping business needs into seamless, automated applications.

Check out all the video and slides from the October 2018 Oracle PBCS Monthly update below.


  1. What is PBCS?
  2. Why Choose PBCS?
  3. Don’t Forget About EPBCS!
  4. Smart View Excel Add-in
  5. New in October
  6. Oracle Cloud Customer Connect
  7. Documentation Feedback
  8. Monthly Update Schedule
  9. Substitution Variable Management Move
  10. New EPM Automate Version
  11. Task List Dashboard Task Type
  12. New Calculation Manager Functions
  13. FR Web Studio Server Setting
  14. Master-Detail Dashboard Form Relationships
  15. Daily Maintenance Performance
  16. Today’s Webinar
  17. Proposed Changes to Application Level Access Control
  18. Classic Dimension Editor
  19. Composite Form Sunsetting Update





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Another thing we want to call attention to from last month is that there was an undocumented change in the way that substitution variables are edited they have moved away from the old location and now you can find them under the navigation menu under Tools and user variables and is the substitution variable have which allows administrators to design and change substitution variables as well as their value so if anyone’s kind of misplaced though it wasn’t your fault there just has been a quiet kind of move and so this is where they are now located.


The next update which is been fairly common in recent months as there is a new version of EPM Automate which again is that command line batch tool that allows Automation and command-line interaction with your Cloud instance. Updates in this release include a couple new commands

The first one is rename snapshot and the second one is to run daily maintenance and what these do are provide automation around be snapshotting that happens daily around the schedule it’s been prescribed as far as renaming as well as the runs daily maintenance command with an enhancement for skip next is a new parameter. Skip next is a new parameter it allows you to skip the next occurrence of a daily maintenance process if there is a long-running ad-hoc process or one-off process running for a quarter or a year-end or something like that. We like to include a link on the side which is the place where Oracle provides documentation and syntax for all of these EPM automate commands which is really probably the best resource to understand through examples and and Oracle speak exactly whats available for all the EPM Automate commands and functionality.

Here is a snippet from that document, and as you can see, there is a usage, an example, and a syntactical example which will show you exactly what these commands are doing. As you can see: USAGE > EPM AUTOMATE > Initialize EPM automate tool space > rename snapshot > your command > and the snapshot name. It would be very easy very similar to Googling a calculation function command such as that @ relative if you were looking for documentation on the on-premise calculation functions. A very helpful tool that we would recommend you check out if you’re looking at getting more in-depth. Of course, you can always reach out to us at eCapital Advisors.


Next update here has to do with dashboarding and getting kind of in-depth with how you’re managing contacts between forms and charts and graphs within dashboarding. New this month is the ability to tag one data form within a dashboard as the master data form. This is the case when you have multiple objects within a dashboard, so at least one data form possibly multiple, or having graphs charts in there. When the secondary objects within that dashboard are containing the same type of information the same kind of context as the master form you can then use the master form kind of as a guide to set context throughout the dashboard. You can you can select specific information within the master form and you just hit a quick selector that’s called apply context and what that does is cascade to the other the other dashboards assuming that they have all the same members within their definitions. What you’re selecting in the master form is contained in the secondary forms and/or charts you can then see that information based on kind of the point of view or the context in master form so kind of some more some more in-depth tools hear some flexibility that we’re seeing especially I think as we move towards phasing-out composite forms and moving towards dashboarding within PBCS.


The final specific update for October, this month, would be a new application Level setting within PBCS for export planning smart list data during your automated maintenance window. This is a toggle in the application settings where you can decide between exporting out all objects, which is the current default and it includes smart-less detail. Now you’re able to hit NO on this setting which means that your automated backups will contain a complete backup with data but excluding smart forms. The reason this is coming about is Oracle decided they’re seeing that when you’re exporting all data and having to also include smart list text detail within that, they weren’t quite hitting their hour window for backups so now that gives you the option to either continue which means that back up might take a little longer than expected.

When you export everything including smart list detail then you can incrementally import back in piece by piece as you normally would with your LCM from the environment selecting no means that you’re only able to bring in the same set of objects as are exported meeting you won’t have that smart list detailing you won’t have the ability to incrementally import back into the environment before specific objects. Something to keep in mind here if you have smart lists in your environment and you’re seeing that your back up is taking longer than expected. This is an option to expedite that process if need be.


Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service is a planning, budgeting, and forecasting solution used by many large, medium and small companies worldwide to solve enterprise-wide business planning use cases. Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service provides a rich Web and Microsoft Office work environment that has solved a wide variety of financial, sales and operational planning use cases across multiple industries.


Every month, experts at eCapital Advisors review and test the latest release of Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS). As part of the update, eCapital Advisors covers new features, significant announcements, and customer questions in a monthly webinar and highlight videos. The Oracle PBCS Monthly Update Series helps customers stay up-to-date on the latest features developed by Oracle, aware of critical changes, and answers pressing customer questions. Subscribe at


eCapital Advisors is one of the nation’s largest performance management and business analytics firms. Since 2001, we have been building long-term relationships and exceptional analytics solutions for leading organizations. With hundreds of clients in an array of industries, we have the experience, the solutions, and the team to help meet your goals. eCapital is an IBM Platinum Partner and Oracle Gold Partner. Visit us at