Since Oracle’s roll out of Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service, there have been plenty of user friendly and unique PBCS features that Oracle hasn’t heavily advertised. In this series, we will be exploring some of the tools that can make your job as a PBCS user or developer a lot simpler and provide an improved user experience.   Part 1 covered the new capability to further limit the years and periods shown on input forms based on the Scenario dimension properties.   Part 2 had a look at the new option to load multi-lingual labels for all your customized planning artifacts.   In this third post, we will look at the enhancements to interacting with Attribute Dimensions in a planning application.

Advancements with Attribute Dimensions

One of the nice features of PBCS is that Attributes now have several options for use on planning forms, and are also fully accessible in Smart View ad hoc analysis.  For those familiar with how attributes behave (or rather don’t behave all that well) with on-premise Planning, this is a long-awaited feature for users who rely on attributes to plan and analyze.

Attributes in Planning Ad Hoc!

The Smart View option to “Insert Attributes” is now available in your PBCS Planning Adhoc connection.   You can pick one or more Attributes Dimension (specific members) to add to your point of view.  Then you can interact with them on your sheet as you would any other dimension.

Advancements with Attribute Dimensions - Insert Attributes

From the example above, I’ve selected the Attribute “Size”,  and want to see this on the grid. After inserting this attribute, I moved the attribute to the row and zoomed in.  Now I can see my data by each of the Size members:

Attribute Dimensions in PBCS - viewing data by size

In addition to making Attributes available in Ad Hoc Analysis, they are also now shown in the Planning form setup and available to be used anywhere on the form – POV, Page, Rows, and Columns.

Attribute Dimensions in PBCS - Planning form setup

The only catch is that directly using Attribute dimensions in the form definition makes the form read-only.   So still useful for quick “intra-plan” analysis forms, but don’t try this on an input form.  For example, let’s say you want to create a review form to show Op Expense by Size, where user can choose the size type they want to see.

You move the Size attribute to the page and define it as Children of Size.

Now you can quickly see the size totals one by one.

Small entities:

Attribute Dimensions in PBCS - small entities

Medium entities:

Or you can put the attribute dimension in the rows and see all the values.

But I still want to input to my input form!   The option for turning on the “Enable custom attributes” in the form definition is still available, and works fine on web forms.  This will display the associated attribute value for the base dimension members.  However, that option still does not render in Smart View, as shown below.

Web:                                                                                 Smart View:

You can also of course still leverage attributes to filter row and column expansion directly within the base dimension selection in the form setup.   This method allows input forms to remain as input-capable, while still using attributes to focus the user’s attention.

The attribute filter on the base dimension is found on the Variables tab.

Next in this series – Part 4: PBCS Metadata Loads with Data Management!