pulse

5 hidden gems in Pulse that will change your life

If you’re using Pulse to monitor your IBM TM1 and Planning Analytics applications, this article is for you! Not using Pulse yet? Click here to learn more.

Pulse does so much more than monitoring your IBM TM1 and Planning Analytics applications. In this article you will find the top 5 hidden gems in Pulse that will change your life.

Search among all your objects

The Search box – this is definitely an underutilized feature in Pulse. The search icon is in the top right of the screen (regardless of where you are in Pulse), and can be very handy if you are, for example, looking for all references (Rules, TI, etc.) to a single element, or looking to see which processes reference a particular attribute. Give it a try!

 

 Find all your rules connections

Rules connections – there are several places you can analyze the rules connections in your model:

  • In the Flow Diagram, the lines between cubes indicate that they are connected via Rules

  • In the Model Spotlight, the box on the right shows “relationships” – the blue items are cube/rules connections, and the green are TI

  • To see the specific rules that are driving that connection, run the Technical Documentation (be sure to check the box that says “include rules information”)—this will show the rule stats for the cube itself, as well as the rule code snippets for each cube connection (look for the “relationships” section by cube once you have created the technical documentation, as shown below)

 

Monitor TM1 Web activity

Did you know you can monitor your TM1 Web activity using Pulse? Pulse can monitor TM1 Web, Excel and Canvas activity. If Pulse is co-hosted with TM1 Web, you simply need to turn on “Insert Web Logging Script” on the Admin/Configuration page. If TM1 Web is housed on its own server, there are a couple of steps to point Pulse to the TM1 Web location. You can see the instructions here —note that the setup is different depending on which version of TM1/PA you are using.

 

Run the License Optimization Report

Pulse tells you exactly who is using the application, when are they using it, how often are they using it and the type of user they are (Admin, Read-Only or Write). To run this report you will need to go to the Pulse Thick Client:

 

Schedule the System Summary Report

Pulse v5.8 introduces a brand-new report, the System Summary Report. This report will help TM1 administrators to monitor the health of their TM1 instances.

This report gathers all the most important Pulse data that you should look at when doing a health check of a TM1 instance such as user sessions, wait time and alerts.

It is recommended to schedule this report so you can keep track of the evolution of your systems.

 

Cubewise CODE Cheatsheet

The idea of the Cubewise CODE Cheatsheet is to gather in one PDF document the most important information that you need to know about all our products. The first page will give ou an overview of all products following by one page summary for Pulse, one for Canvas and the last one for Arc.

Dowload the PDF by clicking on the button below:

Deep dive into certain topics using the information icons which will send you to online articles.

Cheatsheet Summary

The Summary cheatsheet contains one section per products:

Pulse for TM1 Cheatsheet

The Pulse for TM1 cheatsheet is organised as follows:

  • BLACK: Features

  • GREEN: Configuration

  • BLUE: Tips

  • RED: Troubleshooting

  • ORANGE: Learn more

Canvas for TM1 Cheatsheet

The Pulse for TM1 cheatsheet is organised as follows:

  • BLACK: Features

  • GREEN: Configuration

  • BLUE: Tips

  • ORANGE: Learn more

Arc for TM1 Cheatsheet

The Arc for TM1 cheatsheet is organised as follows:

  • BLACK: Features

  • GREEN: Configuration

  • BLUE: Tips

  • DARK BLUE: Plugins

  • ORANGE: Learn more

Continuous improvement of your TM1 and Planning Analytics system

We are seeing a rapid uptake in our Cubewise CODE capabilities as developers scramble to respond to the rapidly changing business environment that they model and operate in.

Every system can use some improvement. Let us share with you in these videos our global experience with the latest technology and best practices for IBM TM1 and Planning Analytics that will help you identify high-impact improvement opportunities.

We will share valuable and actionable information addressing all aspects of the PA/TM1 development process, including modeling, migration and the beautification of your user interfaces, all with the aim of improving your application’s user experience and ROI.

Your hosts:

 
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Guido Tejeda

Senior Software Engineer at Cubewise

 

Luis Ruicon

Business Development Manager at Cubewise

 
 

Chapter 1 - Delivering efficiencies in the TM1 and Planning Analytics process

Guido shares some tips to improve your developments and some examples about how to use Bedrock for TM1:

 

Chapter 2 - Optimizing your backend system

In this second chapter, Luis goes through the different tools such as Hustle and Pulse which you can use to improve your backend system:

 

Chapter 3 - Leveraging the TM1 REST API

Everything you should know about the TM1 REST API is explained by Guido in this chapter:

 

Chapter 4 - Modernizing your TM1 applications

In this video, Luis analyzes on a single model, all the different user interfaces available on the market to create a planning and reporting web application for IBM TM1 and Planning Analytics:

 

Why it’s Vital to Monitor the Health of your TM1 System

As the data volumes, computational complexity and user community of your TM1 applications grow over time, effectively monitoring the health of your system becomes vital to business continuity. And by “effective”, we don’t mean just in-the-moment, but over time.

Just like a doctor visit, your current weight blood pressure and other health metrics are important, but they must also be compared to a historical baseline in order to be truly meaningful. Sudden increases or decreases in weight provide much more information than what your weight is Right Now.

With TM1, these trends and comparisons could take the following forms:

  • Is my application as responsive as it was before?

  • Does my server take longer to restart or shutdown than before?

  • Are alert events happening with increasing frequency?

  • Is memory consumption increasing, in which cubes, and at what rate?

  • Are the number and duration user sessions increasing or decreasing over time?

  • Is the user experience better or worse than before?

  • Do processes take longer to run?

  • Are certain times of the day more problematic than others?

New in Cubewise Pulse: the System Summary Report

With the new System Summary Report introduced in the latest version of Cubewise Pulse (5.8), IBM TM1 and Planning Analytics administrators have a powerful tool to provide accurate answers to many of these questions. The System Summary Report gathers all key performance indicators such as user sessions, wait time and alerts in a concise one-pager PDF report.

Analysing the Number of Sessions vs Number of Alerts

One of the biggest system management benefits of Pulse is the ability to setup alert conditions for proactive monitoring of your TM1 applications. Pulse alerts can be defined for multiple scenarios, alert conditions and thresholds, including memory use, free disk space, user run time & wait time, TM1 crashes, error logs, message logs, rollback events and many others.

The first graph in the System Summary report displays the correlation betwen number of sessions vs the number of triggered alerts:

This chart allows you to examine cause-and-effect relationships such as:

  • If the user sessions decrease over time

  • If the number of alerts increase each time the number sessions increase 

Analysing Wait Time

In the second section of the Report, administrators will see the Top 10 waiting time event, their duration, and a bar chart to analyse the maximum wait time by period.

Things to consider in this chart:

  • If the wait time is greater than 60 seconds during working hours

  • If the maximum wait time per period increases

Analysing Alerts

The last chart displays the distribution of alerts by type over time:

Things to monitor:

  • If the volume of alerts are increasing

  • If the distribution of the alert types are changing

Automatic Bursting

To make it easy to end this report to your team at pre-defined intervals, Pulse provides a scheduler. For example, you could distribute this report on a weekly basis that includes the last seven days of data.

More information about the Pulse system summary report can be found in the Help article:

Read more:

How Cubewise Code will shape the future of IBM TM1/Planning Analytics in 2018

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A lot happened in the TM1/Planning Analytics world in 2017. Canvas has been endorsed by many customers as their new way to build modern web planning and reporting applications. TM1py brought together for the first time, the TM1 and Python communities in order to find new ways to integrate external systems with your TM1 application. 

In 2018, we continue mastering the TM1 REST API by introducing a brand new product:

Something that all TM1 developers have been asking for! A new way to build your TM1 models which takes advantage of all the new features of TM1 11 / Planning Analytics. More information to come on this blog or you can contact your local Cubewise office.

Pulse goes Big Data with Kibana and Elasticsearch

Buiding reports and analysing the core of your TM1 application such as your TM1 user sessions, TM1 process errors, TM1 process/chore runtime... will become even easier now with Kibana and Elastic Search.

Kibana is probably the most exciting new feature of Pulse since migration was added. With Pulse v5.7, Pulse can now send data to Elasticsearch, one of the best and most popular Big Data stores. Kibana provides dashboarding / reporting on top of the Pulse data stored in Elasticsearch enabling you to develop your own metrics and share them with your TM1 community.

Canvas Cube Viewer and Subset Editor

Canvas will continue revolutioning the way TM1 planning and dashboarding applications are built. Canvas has proven in 2017 that it is a mature, scalable and stable solution for many customers. In 2018, we will make Canvas even better by introducing a lot of new exciting features such as the brand new Cube Viewer, Subset Editor and new samples.

A new version of Bedrock and TM1py

In 2018, there will be a new version of Bedrock (v4) which will be designed for IBM Planning Analytics. This will support hierarchies and all the new functions introduced with Planning Analytics Local. We will continue improving TM1py as well, with a lot of new features and articles to inform the TM1 Community about what you can do with Python.

Exciting IBM TM1/Planning Analytics conferences coming close to you

This year TM1 and Planning Analytics conferences will be held in four locations:

  • London in April
  • Sydney and Melbourne in August
  • Las Vegas in September

We will also be at Think conference in March so if you are in Las Vegas drop by and say hello.

Read more:

 

 

How Cubewise CODE has revolutionized TM1 Planning Analytics in 2017

A lot happened in 2017 in the IBM Planning Analytics (TM1) world. Here is a quick recap from Cubewise CODE.

Pulse: Centralized Database Architecture

Pulse take up continues to grow beyond 150 customers globally allowing our customers to watch over a combined total of well over 50 million lines of TM1 code. Accordingly, the number of “large enterprise” TM1 implementations has increased necessitating support for MS SQL Server. The latest version,  Pulse v5.6,  incorporates a centralized database architecture which brings downstream benefits such as forensic TM1 server and user reporting via Big Data provider, Elasticsearch. This version is a big step forward for Pulse in the cloud.

Canvas v2 Released

Canvas v2 was a major milestone in the maturity, scalability and stability of the product. This new version introduced lots of new features such as:

A new way to integrate systems with your IBM TM1 Planning Analytics application

TM1py is a free Python package that wraps the TM1 REST API in a simple to use library. Making it easier to integrate systems more effectively with IBM Planning Analytics.

Speed up your IBM Planning Analytics development with our free products

Bedrock, TM1Kill, Hustle and many more other free products will save you lots of time as a TM1 developer:

Cubewise EDU Conferences and Training

In 2017, we hosted more than 500 paying delegates at our IBM Planning Analytics conferences in Sydney, London, NYC and Los Angeles. To learn more about our products, training is now available from the Cubewise EDU page.

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Looking forward to 2018

2017 was a great year for the TM1 community and Cubewise Code. We are looking forward to 2018 and making IBM Planning Analytics even better!

READ MORE:

Determine the version of IBM Planning Analytics

It is not easy to know which IBM TM1/Planning Analytics version is installed on your server, even if you know the TM1 server version number it is difficult to tell from the version number if you are using the RTM (first release) or an interim fix or a fix pack. This article shows all versions number from TM1 9.5.2 to help you to find out what is the exact IBM TM1/Planning Analytics version installed on your server.

How to find the TM1 server version number

To find out what IBM TM1/Planning Analytics version you are using, you need to check the version of the TM1 server. There are two ways to find the TM1 server version number:

1. Open cmplst.txt file

Depending on the TM1 version, the default location of the cmplst.txt file could be:

  • C:\Program Files\ibm\cognos\tm1: TM1 9.5.2 and lower

  • C:\Program Files\ibm\cognos\tm1_64: TM1 10.1 and higher version

  • C:\Program Files\ibm\cognos\pa_64: PAL 2.0

Once you have opened the file, look for TM1SERVER_version and you will get the TM1 server version number:

2. Go to properties of tm1s.exe

Another way to find the TM1 server version number is to open the properties of the bin64\tm1s.exe file and look for the File version:

Check the version number with Pulse

A quicker way to check the TM1 version number is to open the Pulse dashboard, in the server section you will find the TM1 server version which matches the version number in the cmplst.txt:

Once you know the version number you can check the list below to find out what version, RTM (first release) or interim fix or fix pack is installed in your environment:

Determine the version of IBM Cognos TM1

If your TM1 server version number is between 9.5.20000.x and  10.2.20700.x, you should check this IBM article which lists all IBM Cognos TM1 versions from 9.5.2 to 10.2.

Determine the version of IBM Planning Analytics

If your TM1 server version number starts with 11, it means that you have installed one of the IBM Planning Analytics version below:

IBM Planning Analytics tm1s.exe cmplst.txt
2.0 11.0.00000.918 11.0.00000.918
2.0.1 11.0.100.927 11.0.00100.927-0
2.0.1 IF1 11.0.101.931 11.0.00101.931
2.0.2 11.0.200.998 11.0.00200.998
2.0.2 IF2 11.0.202.1014 11.0.00202.1014
2.0.2 IF4 11.0.204.1030 11.0.00204.1030
2.0.3 11.1.0.30 11.1.00000.30
2.0.3 (dec 2018) 11.1.4.2 11.1.00004.2
2.0.4 11.2.0.27 11.2.00000.27
2.0.5 11.3.0.27 11.3.00000.27
2.0.5 IF3 11.3.3.1 11.3.00003.1
2.0.6 11.4.0.21 11.4.00000.21
2.0.6 IF3 11.4.3.8 11.4.00003.8
2.0.7 11.5.0.23 11.5.00000.23
2.0.8 11.6.0.14 11.6.00000.14

For more information about all IBM Planning Analytics version you should check the IBM Planning Analytics fix lists:

Pulse v5.6 Released

The best TM1 management system just got better thanks to the great feedback we have received from our 150+ customers worldwide.

MS SQL Server can optionally be used

To achieve better performance on large Pulse installations and concurrent active Pulse users, we now support MS SQL Server. Importantly this centralized database architecture is a needed and big step in the cloud enablement of Pulse. 

Pause and rewind up to 10 min of your TM1 history

With Pulse v5.6, you can now navigate through 10 min of your TM1 history. For example, you receive a Pulse alert that someone is waiting, you can then go back to the beginning of the event to find out what is causing the lock.

Canvas logging

With Pulse v5.6, you are now able to see which Canvas pages have been opened and who opened them.

Pulse self-usage tracking

Pulse is monitoring itself, you will be able to know who logs in and which features are used:

Migration Packages can be refreshed/recreated.

Migration Packages can be refreshed with the latest version of their contained TM1 objects. When you click the recreate button, Pulse is going to create a new migration package based on the same list of TM1 objects but it is going to take the current version from the TM1 data folder.

A new lighter Excel logger

Pulse v5.6 introduces a new Excel Add-ins to track Excel. This new logger is written in .NET. This new silent add-in, which logs Excel usage to Pulse and has no user interface.

READ MORE:

 

Understand relationships between your IBM TM1 objects

As your IBM TM1/ Planning Analytics application grows, your number of TM1 objects is likely to increase as well. It is good practice to clean up all objects which are not used anymore. In a complex TM1 model, knowing which TM1 objects can be deleted could be time consuming.

This article shows the different features of Pulse which will help you to understand quickly all relationships between your TM1 objects and to determine which objects are not relevant anymore.

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Interactive Flow Diagram

The Flow diagram gives you an overview of your application, you can easily identify which cubes or TM1 processes are not linked to the others.

You can then highlight a specific object by clicking on it or you can zoom on a specific area to see the object names:

Relationship Diagram

With the relationship diagram, you can focus on specific TM1 objects by including or excluding some objects you do not want to see. It creates a PDF report which you can then share with others:

Technical Documentation

To get more details about your TM1 objects, you can run the technical documentation. It will create a PDF document with lots of information about each object such as description, statistics and all relations to the other objects:

Explore the Pulse databases

To dig even deeper, you can access the Pulse database and with a simple SQL find all relationships. You can then export the table to Excel for further analysis:

What if Heimdall was part of your IBM TM1 team?

Heimdall is a main character in the Thor comic books and movies. He is the guardian of Asgard which is the home of Thor. More importantly he is the gate keeper, he knows the difference between what is good or bad.

What will Heimdall do in your IBM TM1 team?

Heimdall could be your IBM TM1 gatekeeper. He could block everything which should not go into production. Data reconciliation and user requirements should not be the only two criteria to take into account before pushing a release into production. There are other criteria that you should consider such as:

  • Check Best Practice in TM1 rules and TM1 processes.
  • Check naming convention.
  • Check increase in memory consumption.
  • Check the speed performance.

Checking all these criteria is time consuming even for Heimdall unless you give him the right tool.

'Twilight sword' vs Pulse for TM1

Heimdall is in possession of the 'Twillight Sword', it is a weapon that could destroy the 'known worlds'. It sounds amazing and all powerful but it is not going to help you with your IBM TM1 application.

Pulse has lots of features which could help him to make sure that everything that you migrate into production meets user requirements, SOX compliance and IBM TM1 Best Practices such as:

Every IBM TM1 team needs a Heimdall who should be in charge of quality and consistency.

Meet the Cubewise Code team in Sydney

The 2017 Sydney TM1 & Planning Analytics User Conference is coming very soon, the 15th of August. The Cubewise Code team will be there.

For the first time this year, there will be two hands-on sessions where you will be able to try Pulse and Canvas.

There will be plenty of opportunities to meet us:

Pulse user group

On Day 1, It is a customer feedback sessions where you will get the latest news on Pulse, learn a new way to access Pulse databases and Customer stories.

Pulse Hands-On

On Day 3, Try Pulse and learn in this session how to improve your Change Management process by using the change tracking, migration and user analytics features.

Canvas Hands-On

On Day 3, Try Canvas and learn how to build a TM1 data entry template using the modern web technology. Take the opportunity to learn the basics of HTML, Bootstrap and Angular.

Booth for demo

You can meet us at our demo booth where we can show you all our products.

Book your ticket

If you haven't booked your ticket yet, you can see the full agenda and book your ticket on the cubewise website: cubewise.com/conference/.

5 simple ways to be more productive as a TM1 Administrator

The following article describes how TM1 Administrators using Pulse for TM1, can be more productive and deliver better outcomes for their business users.

1. Be Pro-Active

Do no wait for an issue to happen. Pulse for TM1 can send you email alerts before an issue happen. For instance if a TM1 process or chore is taking longer than usual or if the data do not reconcile and many more...

Do not wait that your TM1 users complain to take action, with Pulse you will be the first to know when and where there is an issue.

2. Know all possible impacts

Always keep an overview of even the most complex TM1 models with Pulse’s magic documentation feature including all dependencies. Having current documentation and the ability to view a TM1 model visually via relationship diagrams also means your team can feel confident changing the system knowing all possible impacts.

3. Be confident before a new release

Never forget a TM1 object. When migrating a TM1 object, Pulse finds all dependencies which should be included during the migration.

View changes before migration. It tells you exactly what is going to be updated in the target instance. You can view in details the exact lines of code which are going to be updated.

4. Easily roll-back changes

Pulse gives you total transparency about what changed. Every time an object is changed by either a user or system process, it is tracked and logged by Pulse. There is no need to keep lists of what has been changed in your development environments and in production Pulse can provide the needed governance and transparency.  

Quickly rollback changes, Use the rollback feature to retrieve a previous version of TM1 process or rule file.

5. Improve testing procedures

It is fair to say that testing phases are painful for business users. In addition to their daily tasks they have to find some times to test new features before a new release. Unfortunately it often happens that they do not have time to do proper testing. Pulse helps you to ensure that testing procedures have been strictly adhered to by monitoring and tracking the test user’s activity.

Sending Email Alerts from TM1

There are many situations where you would like IBM TM1/Planning Analytics to send an email to the TM1 administrators or to TM1 users.

For example if a chore runs longer than expected, if some users are waiting or if the data does not reconciled.

IBM TM1/Planning Analytics does not include any tools to help you to send emails to your users. There are some workarounds but they are not very easy to set up.

You can overcome this by using Pulse for TM1, which is full of features that can help you in your day to day TM1 jobs, one of them is pro-active alerting. Pulse has lots of alert types that you can set-up such as memory alert, if the instance is offline and many more.

Use case: In most TM1 applications, chores run every night to load data, a chore can run successfully but it does not mean the data will reconcile. This article describes how Pulse can send you an email when the data between two cubes do not reconcile.

1. Write into the TM1 message log

From TM1 v10.2.2, a new function LogOutput has been included, it enables you to write to the tm1server.log from a TM1 process:

  • LogOutput('SeverityLevel', 'MessageString');

In the example below if the value is not the same between the General Ledger and Retail cubes, a message will be written the message log:

# Check Reconciliation
#### 
IF( nValueGL <> nValueRetail );
 message = 'Cost of Sales reconciliation failed between GL ( '| sValueGL | ' ) and Retail ( '| sValueRetail | ' ) for ' | cVersion | ' - ' | cYear ;
 LogOutput ('INFO', message);
ENDIF;

2. Define an Alert in Pulse

In Pulse we would need to define a "Message in Log" alert. This will generate an alert every time a parameterized filter pattern is found in the tm1server.log.

For this example, we will set the filter  "*failed*" as the pattern to be detected by Pulse and a Notification Group (TM1Admin), in order to email those users that could be interested in receiving this notification.

You can also set this alert to be triggered by one instance or for all (leave instance blank), in this case, the alert will only applied for cxmd. 

 

 

 

 

Email Alert Sent

As a result, every time the TM1 process writes the “failure” message in the tm1server.log, Pulse will alert via email:

The email alert will report that the text pattern “failed”  has been found within the message log and will also include a snapshot of the instance’s TM1Top data:

TM1 migration has never been so convenient

At first sight, the TM1's file-based architectural makes TM1 migration from one instance to another quite straight forward: 

Even if it looks easy, you have to make sure that you picked all the files from the source instance. For example if you are migrating a cube, all dimensions have to be included and to migrate a dimension with its attributes you have to include all control objects.

If you miss one TM1 object, you will have to restart the target instance again. It might not be a big deal if you are working on development but if you are in production it might be difficult to find a new time-slot.

The Pulse migration feature overcomes TM1's file-based architectural limitations with a centralized model that reduces risk of mistakes.

Advantages of using Pulse for TM1 migration

  • Never forget a TM1 object: When migrating a TM1 object, Pulse finds all dependencies which should be included during the migration.
  • View changes before migration: Pulse tells you exactly what is going to be updated in the target instance. You can view in details the exact lines of code which are going to be updated.
  • Automatically back-up the database folder.
  • Very robust: It is used by many clients for the past years. With Pulse v5.5, we optimized the migration to make it even faster.

How it works?

Pulse provides a structured approach to migration, which follows two important steps: 

  1.  Create migration package: Gather all TM1 objects you want to migrate into one package from one source instance.
  2. Execute migration package: Import all TM1 objects from the package to the target instance.

Each package contains all the information and files required to update a target instance.

Migration methods


Pulse has several methods for creating a migration package. The two main methods are source control and manual migration:

  • The Source Control option allows you to query for a list of changes based on a date range and also by developer/user (leave this blank for all users) and then select the items you want to migrate.
  • The Manual option allows you to pick the objects you want to migrate manually. It is not restricted by changes that have been made, any object can be migrated (except views and subsets). Pulse will then find all dependencies of the TM1 objects selected:

Types of packages

Once you picked which methods you want to use to create the package, you will then have to decide the package type:

  • Live Update: The execution of packages can be performed while the server is still running.
  • Offline Update: Pulse will create a folder with the TM1 object files. You can then copy the files manually into the target instance.

Pulse provides enterprise grade migration features allowing you to easily move changes in your TM1 models between servers.

Read more:

10 Tips to improve your TM1 application

Over the years your TM1 application will grow, you might create new cubes, create/update rules or TM1 processes, create new elements.... All these changes will have an impact on your application performance. 

If you want to minimize this impact, here are 10 tips that you should look at. When you design an application, it is always difficult to find the right balance between users requirements, design standards and performance that is why these tips might not all be relevant to your application.

1. Improve TM1 rules

As the size and the complexity of systems grow, your TM1 rule files become more complex so if you do not want to lose calculation time, here are some best practices that you can follow:

  • Use skipcheck algorithm.

  • Use TM1 attributes instead of text functions (SUBST, SCAN): Text comparison in TM1 are slower than operating on attributes.

  • Try to create consolidations instead of rules: Consolidation is the fastest way to calculate values:

Use FTE as a consolidation of Hours with a weight of (1/8)

instead of

['FTE']=['Hours']/8;

  • Area statements are faster than IF statements:

['A'] = N: 1;
['B'] = N: 0;

instead of

[{'A','B'}] = N: IF( !Column @= 'A' , 1 , 0 ) ;

Pulse for TM1 can help you to follow these best practices. The validation report can help you to validate your best practice rules against your model.

2. MTQ (Multi-Threaded Query)

Even if TM1 was already fast, IBM made TM1 even faster with the introduction of MTQ with v10.2. Instead of doing the calculation on one CPU, TM1 can now use several CPU at the same time. As IBM recommendations, the best practice is to set the MTQ value such that the maximum available processor cores are used.

3. Run TM1 processes in parallel

Parallel processing is a TM1 feature which unfortunately is not enough used. Imagine for instance that instead of running one TM1 process which copy data for one year, you could run one TM1 process which then launches one TM1 process per months (12 processes running at the same time) using TM1RUNTI.

 

Instead of

If you want to do parallel processing, I highly recommend you to use Hustle. It is a free tool which will help you to handle the number of threads you want to run at the same time.

4. Avoid User Locking

Having users locked and not able to access their data is one of the worst situation for a TM1 Administrator, hopefully it does not happen often in the TM1 world. Here some tips to avoid user locking:

  • Turn off cube logging by using CellPutS( 'NO', '}CubeProperties', 'cubename', 'LOGGING' ) instead of CubeSetLogChanges( 'cubename', 0 ).

  • Avoid dimensions update during working hours ( Split metadata update and data update in 2 different TI)

  • Use CellGetN with cautious, it can create locking.

  • Security Refresh (use processes over rules to update TM1 security).

  • Set up Alerts to be the first to know when there is an issue.

5. Train your users

After implementation it is usual for users to develop their own TM1 spreadsheets that may or may not be designed according to best practices. Depending on what they build (Large cube view or do spreading on a high consolidation), it might slow down or even lock TM1 during working hours. In order to avoid these issues you should make sure that they know the TM1 basics:

  • Use VIEW function in a slice.

  • Use DBRW instead of DBR.

Pulse analyses all Excel workbooks linked to your TM1 application and can help you to identify users who need training.

6. Restart your TM1 server on a weekly basis

TM1 elements that are deleted aren't removed from the TM1 indexes until a server restart. So if you are frequently removing and adding elements your memory will grow overtime. Restarting the TM1 instance will help removing temporary files.

7. Clean dimensions

The number of elements in dimensions increase over time. Even if it is not an issue for a cube to have lots of "0" cells, having lots of elements in your dimension will slow down all your MDX query or dynamic subsets.

This is relevant only for Large dimensions (>100,000 elements) such as Product or Customer dimensions. Be very careful during this step because if you delete an element, you will lose the data attached to it.

8. Snapshot old data

Rules should be applied only on a specific cube area where data changes. You do not need rules if your data is static such as last year data for example. What you could do is export cube data for the specific year, remove the rules and then load the data back, the data for this year will then be static and it will be much faster to query them.

9. Tune VMM/VMT

TM1 keeps the calculation in memory, the first time you open a cubeview, if it takes more time than the VMT value (default is 5 sec), TM1 will keep this view in memory (TM1 creates a stargate view), next time you open the cubeview, it will be much faster because TM1 will open the stargate view instead of recreating the view from scratch.

VMM is the amount of RAM reserved on the server for the storage of stargate views. Increasing this value will allow TM1 to store more stargate views, which means that TM1 will be much faster but it will consume more memory.

10. Disable anti-virus on the TM1 data folder

Virus scan software can negatively impact your TM1 application performance. You should set up your anti-virus to skip TM1 folders.

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Monitor and manage your TM1 environment in one place

Managing the performance of your company’s IBM TM1 applications has never been an easy task with the limited built in tools. You and your company can appreciate that as the size and complexity of systems grow you need the right tools to understand your model, track what is happening and then diagnose issues as they arise. Pulse for TM1 has been developed for this very purpose; it is the one and only all-encompassing management tool for TM1.
With Pulse for TM1 you and your company can take the management of your system to the next level: be the first to know when there is an issue, deliver performance reports to your users and understand the design of your system more than you ever have before.

What's the magic behind Pulse:

Pulse constantly tracks your TM1 services. It is composed of two services which update two internal databases. Pulse must be installed on each server where TM1 is installed.

The Excel Addins:

Pulse comes with the Extend Excel add-in. Extend monitors how Excel is used by the TM1 users. It communicates back to the Pulse server each time a user creates, saves, opens or closes a TM1 enabled Excel workbook. A TM1 enabled workbook is one that contains at least one of the following formulas: TM1RPTVIEW, VIEW, SUBNM, DBRW, DBR or DBS.

Key features:

Read more:

 

 

Happy TM1 users by Pro-Active support

Over the years your TM1 application is growing, as your TM1 application grows, your TM1 user base is likely to grow as well. Supporting a large number of users can be time consuming, especially during month end closes and budgeting/forecasting periods, I can bet that these questions have been asked of you many times before:

  • Where is this data coming from?

  • Why can't I access my reports?

  • My Excel is freezing, is there something running on the TM1 application?

Typically we see that by giving the appropriate tools to your TM1 users to better understand the TM1 application, you'll reduce the number of support calls and increase the user adoption. Thanks to different assets that I will refer to in this article, I'm going to show you that Pulse for TM1 can be the answer.

Give User's transparency

With Pulse's Live Monitor capability users can view exactly what's happening on the TM1 application. If the TM1 users think there is something wrong with the TM1 application, they can go and investigate the issue by themselves instead of calling the TM1 support team.

One of our clients reduced their number of support calls by 50% by exposing the Pulse Live Monitor to all its TM1 users.

Bring confidence to TM1 users

To truly trust the data, TM1 users need to understand the TM1 application. Explaining how the application works or where the data is coming from, is time consuming, especially if you have to explain the same things to different users.

To overcome this challenge we recommend using Pulse's dynamic reports and documentation which can help the users to understand how the TM1 application works at the click of a button:

Having current documentation and the ability to view a TM1 model visually via relationship diagrams also means your users will feel confident about the application knowing all source and relationship between cubes.

Train your users

Users building large views or doing data spreading on large dimensions can slow down the TM1 application. Pulse can help you to identify which users are making these requests and might require TM1 training. With Pulse you can for example analyze all workbooks in your application, the number of sheets, number of rows and if they are using VBA:

Conclusion:

You can improve your TM1 application as much as you want but if your TM1 users do not know how to use it, or do not understand how it works, you will likely continue to receive a disproportionate number of low level support calls. The best way to reduce the number of support calls is to give your users the tools to understand the TM1 application themselves.

How to measure TM1 user adoption

User adoption is good way to evaluate the success of any application. You can build the most efficient application ever created but at the end of the day if users are not using it, it's ROI is questionable.
Typically, in most projects, only key users are involved during the design phase. While most business users will only ever see the application at the end of the project… which might be too late to get their buy in.

Knowing who is using your application, when are they using it and how they are using it, is very important if you want to improve your application, increase its user adoption and measure the applications ROI.

 

How to measure it ?

Without Pulse, it is very hard to know who is really using the TM1 application and what are they consuming.

Pulse keeps track of user sessions. You know who is using your TM1 application, when are they using it, what are they consuming and lots of other statistics like number of sessions, session times...:

With this data, you will be able to see who is not using your TM1 application and ask them why. Maybe you just need to make a few changes to get them back on board.

And there is more, Pulse tells you exactly how the users are using your TM1 application, you can see if users are consuming the TM1 reports you built or if they prefer to build their own:

Pulse keeps track of TM1 spreadsheets in both Excel and TM1 Web. If you want to know more about User Analytics or Excel Analytics with Pulse just click on the links.

What is the Return on Investment of Pulse?

Pulse brings many new opportunities to those responsible for the administration and development of TM1 systems. Up until now what is actually happening within your TM1 servers has very much been a black-box. Pulse enables you to shine a light on your system and actually deliver better, faster and more maintainable system to your users.

Save time doing during migration process

Pulse moves TM1 from a departmental solution to one that can be managed at an enterprise level with large development teams and hundreds or thousands of users. 
Source control enables accountability and oversight of your developers by giving full transparency of changes that have been made.
The migration features allow you to separate the duties of your developers and those that are responsible for support of your production system. Developers no longer need access to your production systems and all changes can be applied in a managed way that is tracked. 
This makes the process of complying with the strict governance controls required by the governance models mandated in Sarbanes–Oxley (SOX) and Euro-SOX much easier.


License OPTIMIZATION

For any company with TM1 or Cognos Express there is a significant investment in purchase of licenses for your users. If you are a company that is expanding your TM1 footprint (or wanting to), you are moving from one license scheme to another or conversely you are worried about whether you are within your current entitlements Pulse can deliver the information you need. You can make informed decisions by actually having hard evidence of how your system is used.
Each time a user logs into the system the type of user (admin, write or read-only) is logged to the internal database. The following statistics are available out of the box:

FOLLOW TM1 BEST PRACTICE

Best practice is often talked about but rarely is it followed and enforced, developers have their own ideas on how a system should be built. Pulse for TM1 allows you to validate your best practice rules against your model. This allows you to ensure consistency in design. A consistent system is one that is easy to maintain, saving countless hours and shortening the time taken for new developers to understand how it all fits together.
Shipped as part of the Pulse, are 40 best practice rules that have been formulated with decade’s worth of collective TM1 consulting experience. You can use these straight out of the box on your own models or develop your own to fit your particular needs.

PULSE DOES THE DOCUMENTATION FOR YOU

Documentation is a long and costly task that is often ignored for more “interesting” tasks by developers and administrators alike. Pulse for TM1 automates much of this process by doing all of the tedious tasks for you. For a typical integrated TM1 model we have found that Pulse saves between 10 and 15 days of work giving you significant savings. The information produced by Pulse is also up to date and can be generated quickly at any time. 

Quality Control

The documentation features gives you an insight not only to the system architecture but can also identify and highlight common bad practices. If you are managing large development teams in can be very difficult to efficiently review the code base, Pulse can reduce this time by highlighting issues that are known to lead to performance degradation. 
The changes between development iterations can be easily identified and viewed ensuring best practices and overall architectural design has been adhered to.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Pulse for TM1 is a tool for all companies interested in maximising their Business Intelligence investment through developing End-to-End Sustainable Competence – from Server through to the Users. With this tool you will have the information to develop, remedy, measure and maintain core TM1 applications and be sure your users are benefiting and growing with you.

 

 

Google for your TM1 model

Pulse is your friend. If there is something you'd like to know about your TM1 application such as, how a cube is updated, where an attribute is used or where a specific string is referenced, just ask Pulse.

For example if you want to know all TM1 processes which update the "General Ledger" cube, just type "General ledger" in the search bar:

and you will see the list of all TM1 objects which contain the string "General Ledger" in the code:

If you want to know which TM1 process updates a specific attribute or hierarchy. Just type the hierarchy name in the search bar, click the search button and Pulse will tell you which line of the TM1 process contains this hierarchy or attribute:  

Having current information about your TM1 application will bring you more confidence to change your application knowing all possible impacts.