Original Publication: January 14th, 2017
Updated: April 18th, 2017
With a renewed focus on moving our products forward under the 9DOTS brand, 2016 has been a stellar year for the 9DOTS development team in terms of bug fixes, utility creation, and performance improvements. In addition, the team has been hard at work preparing our next generation of products due out in the coming year that will further improve performance and scalability of our onePlan budgeting/forecasting product while maintaining a strong position for the proCube platform to be leveraged for deep analysis.
In 2017, we look forward to continuing our mission to hear more about how our clients use our products and incorporate that into the product roadmap. We hope you will take advantage of our most recent updates and look forward to continuing to improve your experience as a 9DOTS client.
2. Bug fixes
In 2015, the team fixed 71 application bugs in the onePlan budgeting & forecasting application. In 2016, that number has dropped to just 29 application bugs. The pace of reported bugs in the first quarter of 2017 is trending even lower.
Some of the most common bugs that are now fixed:
- Deleting a forecast rule causes a "Build Matrix" error and "Initialize" error
- Target Spread Method - Working Days not applied when selected via Quick Spreads in P&L Planner
- When editing forecast rules, unless rule window closed between editing, 2nd change does not take
- Calculate Button in Ribbon isn't Working
- Cannot Open Staffing Input and Report at Same Time
- When deleting a rule in forecast maintenance, an out of range exception is thrown
- Spreadsheet Reopens on full refresh
- Error 91 in BConReqChe
- If onePlan loaded after Euro Currency tool, Error 91 - object not found (onRibbonLoad does not fire)
As you can see from this sample list, bugs pertaining to conflicts with other Excel Add-ins, Excel ribbon issues, and common usage tasks have been “squashed’.
3. Utilities / Add-ons
To solve specific challenges with proCube / onePlan, we introduced new utilities that help manage data and improve performance.
- Data Caching Utility – Because proCube is an in-memory OLAP tool, any time data is refreshed, the cubes need to re-cache data into memory. This process takes longer as the data sets grow over time. This only typically affects the first load of the day, but can become troublesome for users that only use the application occasionally. To enable users to get started more quickly after an automated update, administrators can select which cubes are accessed most frequently and have the data cached into memory for faster loads. This has lead some clients to report initial load times reduced by as much as 90%.
- Dimension Cleanup Utility – Introduced in 2015 at the request of some clients, this utility helps an organization to ‘tidy’ up some metadata that builds up over time. This is particularly helpful for data that has a short usable life (i.e. sales opportunities, short term projects, etc) in the planning processes. An administrator selects a cube and dimension to clean. The admin then enters search criteria for the dimension and the utility returns the members that match. Removing these unused members can improve overall performance of the database.
- Reporting Instance – A values-only based reporting module to allow faster retrieval of data. The reporting instance is an exact copy of whatever is in the planning instance from the day before. This add-on instance removes the complex calculations and overhead associated with the planning instance to allow users to quickly navigate and pull reporting out of onePlan. Users have reported being able to pull reports in a fraction of the time it takes in the planning instance.
4. Updates & Enhancements
- Microsoft Office Excel
- Excel 2013: Excel 2013 has been supported since the end of 2013 and is currently the recommended version for proCube / onePlan. However, we are still supporting Excel 2010 installations through the end of 2017. Anyone still using Excel 2007 should upgrade immediately or additional fees may apply for support calls.
- Excel 2016: We have had a significant delay in delivering a version of proCube for Excel 2016. However, it is currently in beta testing and we expect to have a general release by the end of May 2017. onePlan for Excel 2016 will follow shortly after – Expected by June 2017.
- The current general release is proCube 8.3.
- The beta release is 8.5
- This release will include compatibility with Excel 2016
- A significant number of clients are running 8.0 or 8.1. We will look to have the majority of our clients upgrade to version 8.5 by the end of 2017.
- The current general release is onePlan 8.5
- This release includes an enhanced installer it greatly reduces the manual steps necessary to deploy the application to end users.
- The beta release is 8.6
- This release will have an updated Member Selector in the onePlan ribbon to allow users to select all their desired members before hitting the database to retrieve the data. This reduces congestions on the server and improves the user experience.
- The current general release is onePlan 8.5
- General Performance & Stability improvements
- Enhanced error handling and tracking.
- Code optimizations and simplifications.
- Improved integration between proCube & onePlan.