Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Hyperion Essbase Interview Questions

You may also like to read Essbase Interview Questions.

I have got this request from someone to post some FAQ's on Hyperion Essbase. Please do not just rely on these questions only. I recommend you read the Essbase documentation and get some hands on to understand the basics. The questions below shold guide you to narrow down your search for the topics you should focus on.

Que 1: What are the two storage options available in Essbase and what are the differences?
Ans: ASO( Aggregate Storage Option) - Used for 1. If we have large number of dimensions(generally more than 10) 2. Most of the dimensions are sparse 3. We cannot write back in ASO. I heard recently that ASO will also have the writeback capability. I don't remember.
BSO (Block Storage Option)- 1. Dimensions are less and dense(recommended values for no of dim are between 4 and 8) . 2. We can write back hence much suited for planning applications.
Financial applications are generally dense structures and normal analytical cubes are sparse. Here we also need to understand what are these dense and sparse members. When the intersections or cells of two dimensions mostly contains a value it is dense. Say for example we have two dimensions period(Month or quarter) and region and we are calculation the sales amount. Generally maximum regions(countries, cities) will have some sales value for a particular month or quarter. Hence we can say that our period dimensions would be dense. But now instead of period, consider another dimension products. Now there are some products which are sold in only some particular regions hence for them there will be no values in other regions or will have very low percentage of data values hence the structure will become sparse.
Now the question arises what is the use of calling them dense or sparse. What difference does it make. Do some research and try to find the answer.

Que 2: Can we build dimensions directly from data sources without using rule files.
Ans: No.

Que 3: When do we generally use build rules files?
Ans: To automate the process of creating dimensions with thousands of members.

Que 4: What are the three primary build methods for building dimensions?
Ans: 1. Generation references
2. level references
3. Parent-Child references.

Que 5: In what case we can define generation 1 to a feild in generation build method.
Ans: We cannot define that as Generation 1 is not valid.

Que 6: Suppose we have assigned Generation 2 and Generation 4 as of now and think of adding generation 3 later some time. Can we build the dimension.
Ans: No. If gen 2 and gen 4 exists, we must assign gen 3.

Que 7: Can we create more than 2 dimensions using only one build rule file.
Ans: Yes, we can do that but it is recommended to use seperate rule file for each dimension.

Que 8: What is UDA( user defined attributes). How are they different than Aliases.
Ans: UDA represents the class of the members. Aliases are just another names of the members. both are different and has different usage.

Que 9: Can we query a member for its UDA in a calculation script.
Ans: Yes. You can query a member for its UDA in a calculation script.

Que 10: How does UDA's impact database size?
Ans: Absolutely no impact as UDA's do not require additional storage space.

Que 11: What is the difference between UDA's and Attribute dimensions?
Ans : Attribute dimensions provides more flexibility than UDA's. Attribute calculations dimensions which include five members with the default names sum, count, min, max and avg are automatically created for the attribute dimensions and are calculate dynamically.

Que 12: How does Attribute dimensions and UDA's impact batch calculation performance?
Ans: UDA's- No Impact as they do not perform any inherent calculations.
Attribute dim- No Impact as they perform only dynamic calculations.

Que 13: How can we display UDA's in reports? How do they impact report report performance.
Ans: UDA's values are never displayed in the reports and hence do not impact report performance.

Que 14: How does Attribute dim impact report performance?
Ans: They highly impact the report performance as the attributes are calculated dynamically when referenced in the report. For very large number of att dim displayed in the report, the performance could drastically reduce.

Que 15: While loading the data, you have applied both the selection criteria as well as rejection criteria to a same record. What will be the outcome.
Ans: Thw record will be rejected.

Que 16: How is data stored in the Essbase database?
Ans: Essbase is an file based database where the data is stored in PAG files of 2 GB each and grows sequentially.

Que 17: Can we have multiple databases in one single application?
Ans: Yes. But only one database per application is recommended.

Que 18: Can we have one ASO database and one BSO database in one single application. If yes, how and If No, why.
Ans 18. No. Because we define ASO or BSO option while creating the appication and not database. Hence if the application is ASO, the databases it contains will be that type only.

Que 19: What are the file extensions for an outline, rule file and a calc script.
Ans: .OTL, .RUL and .CSC

Que 20: What is the role of provider services.
Ans: To communicate between Essbase and Microsoft office tools.

Que 21: What is an alternative to create metaoutline, rule file and load data.
Answer: Integration services and in version 11, we have Essbase studio.

Que 22: Can we start and stop an application individually. How ca this be used to increase performance.
Ans: Yes. We can manage our server resources by starting only the applications which receive heavy user traffic. When an application is started, all associated atabases are brought to the memory.

Que 23: We have created an application as unicode mode. Can we change it later to non-unicode mode.
Ans: No.

Que 24: How can I migrate an application from my test environment to the production environment. Can I still do this if my test environment is a windows one and my production env is UNIX one. Also can I still do it if my test env and prod env versions are different.
Ans: Hyperion Administrative services console provides a migration utility to do this but onluy the application, database objects are migrated and no data is transferred. the answers to other two questions are Yes.

Que 25: A customer wants to run two instances of an Essbase server on a same machine to have both test env and Development env on the same server. Can he do that?
Ans: Yes. We can have multiple instances of an Essbase server on a single machine and there will be dfferent sets of windows services for all these instances.

Que: 26 suppose I have a dimension A with members B and C and I do not want B and C to roll up to A. how can I do this.
Ans: Using (~) exclude from consolidation operator.

Que 27: What does never consolidate operator(^) do?
Ans: It prevents members from being consolidate across any dimension.

Que 28: Can we have multiple metaoutlines based on one OLAP model in Integration services?
Ans: Yes

Que 29: Can we have an metaoutline based on two different OLAp models.
Ans: No.

Que 30: What is hybrid analysis?
Ans: Lower level members and associated data remains in relational database where as upper level members and associated data resides in Essbase database.

Que 31: Why top-down calculation less efficient than a bottom-up calculation?Being less efficient, why do we use them.
Ans: In the process it calculates more blocks than is necessary. Sometimes it is necessary to perform top-down calculation to get the correct calculation results.

Que 32: On what basis you will decide to invoke a serial or parellel calculation method.
Ans: If we have a single processor, we will use serial calculation but if we have multiple processors we can break the task into threads and make them run on different processors.

Que 33: What is block locking system?
Ans: Analytic services(or Essbase Services) locks the block and all other blocks which contain the childs of that block while calculating this block is block locking system.

Que 34: What are the types of partitioning options available in Essbase?
Ans: 1. Replicated partition. 2. Transparent partition 3. Linked partition.

Que 35: Dynamic calc decreases the retreival time and increases batch database calculation time. How true is the statement?
Ans: The statement should be just opposite. As dynamic calc members are calculated when requested, the retreival time should increase.

Que 36: A customer has a cube with 13 dimensions and the performance was fine. Now they have added two more dimensions in the existing cube and the performance becomes very very slow. Customer said logically nothing wrong with the two new dimensions they have added. What could be the reason for slowdown.
Ans: Even I dont have any clue. I experienced this few days back with a customer. If you can throw some light on this, please post your answer.

If you have more questions with answers, please post them so that all of us can benefit.

Also let me know your views and suggestions.

Manohar Rana


shivendra said...

Good interview question. Thanks for sharing.If u could post some more this will be better(I m Greedy person)

Anonymous said...

Mr. Manohar,
Thanks much for this post. It has helped me remember the concepts more vividly now.
Also, do you have any material for Hyperion planning which would help me get started?


Neeraj said...

Hi manohar

I am a recently graduated recruit from MBA in symbiosis. currently working in Wipro Tech bangalore...what should be my focus area if I want to make my career in hyperion area...Here in my industry nobody is being able to answer my question correctly....what should i do to become more of techno functional person...I dont want to get completely in technical...Pls suggest

b_turner said...

You didn't give much information for your customer problem. I'm assuming you're using ASO. What have you tried to improve this? Are the dimensions layed out as reccomended (account, time, biggest dense to smaller, smallest sparse to largest)? After re-diming have they exported, cleared, and reimported?

Manohar Singh Rana said...

Hi Turner,
Thanks for the post. I know I did not provided much explanation to the problem.
After couple of discussions I found out that
1. They are using BSO as they are writing back to the cube very frequently. Because of this frequent write backs, lot of fragmentation which they perform regularly. Well fragmentation was already there but because these 3 dimensions added more to this, it has started showing signs.
2. Also there are lot of dynamic calc members. Either they need to reduce them by storing or upgrade to 64 bit. I also suggested 3GT but that will be useful only to some extent.
I think they are planning to go for 64 bit.
Let me know your views and what would you have suggested.
Manohar Rana

Manohar Singh Rana said...

Hi Neeraj,
Clearly I see two paths 1. Technical consultant 2. Functional consultant.
To become a technical consultant you need to have strong knowledge of your tool and technology. Besides that you should have strong knowledge of related technologies in the industry. Generally tech consultants starts their career with a developer role which involves programming. In the due course they also start learning and understanding the functional concepts of the industries or verticals. and gradually they become techno functional consultant or Technical architects or solutions architects aafter 8-10 years of their experience.
You directly cannot think of becoming techno functional consultant.
You can take one say functional consultant and gradually when you get into it you also start understanding the technical aspects.
you might be thinking I said so much and nowhere gave you the suggestion. Here is it.
Choose one vertical where you think you are interested like banking, insurance, construction, manufacturing etc etc. While working on any one domain, learn the business flow the the industry. What are the different deprtments and how do they work. Gradually start learning basic architecture of an IT environment. try learning the basics of a database, application server, disaster recovery and backup recovery solutions, ERP , BI, Datawarehouse.
Once you understand all of it, start learning Hyperion and you will be a techno functional consultant.
I suggest the best way to learn functional aspects of any industry to learn an ERP used in that industry. SAP or Oracle E business suite would be a good choice.
If you want you can first learn this from an institute and work as a functional consultant. and after some time you can learn Hyperion.

Hope this would help.
I know giving advice is the most easiest thing in the world but I never move away from that just because I never got it when I needed it the most.
Good luck.

van said...

hey your blogs are so useful.
I really appreciate your work man.
i do have some doubts on the versions and the release dates of hyperion tools

I want you to help me out in this issue.

it would be great for me if you do so.

Manohar Singh Rana said...

Hi Van,

Please post your questions with sufficient details.


van said...

I wanna know about available Essbase versions with the release date details included.

Manohar Singh Rana said...

Hi Van,

I this this link will help you.

Read the release files .

Swatiii said...

Hi Manohar,
I have a query:

We are trying to migrate a database from our production server to another server. The issue that we are facing is our production server has language as Latin and the other server has Ascii. We are unable to migrate the database.

Could you suggesst a way out of this please.

uma said...

Hi manohar. i have read all the queries posted by you.It"s very impressive. i feel that if you post some calc scripts and the purpose of the script (i.e scenario of the script) it will help alot.
and one more thing is planning if you post some quries on planning it will help alot.


Manohar Singh Rana said...

Swati- I tried to find out but no solution in documents. Raise a service request ticket with Oracle.

Uma- You use calculation scripts for performing complex calculations that cannot be performed by operators in an Outline. Also to control the flow or execution of the calculation for example using control loops like if statements.
Hope this helps.

Manohar Rana

siva said...

Good questions and also give me the reply

1. How can we integrated MaxL script with windows environment?
2. Where can we find the Partitions definiations?
3. How can we use the XREF function with location alias? and Where?
4. In Hyperion Planning where we can find the Error Log file?
5. How can we add Dimension to already existing outline?
6. Can we export the Rulefile?

anky_10 said...

Hi Manohar,
I am working as Hyperion developer & am also follower of your blog.It's quite informative!

can you provide with interview questions reagarding Reporting tools (IR, FR & WAS)?


siva said...

hi manohar,
last week i send some question, Please post the answers for the questions

Thanks& Regards

siva said...

hi manohar,
Last week i send some questions, Please post the answers for that questions,

Manohar Singh Rana said...

Siva- Thanks for posting your questions.
1. How can we integrated MaxL script with windows environment?
Answer: You can issue operating system commands direcly from a MaxL session and the OS output becomes a part of MaxL output.
Also these MaxL commands can be called from BAT files which again can be scheduled using OS schedular services.
2. Where can we find the Partitions definiations?
Answer: Partioning options can be found in Administrative services menu( I don't say exactly wgere unless I look at it) and their definations are available in help files of Adm Services console.
3. How can we use the XREF function with location alias? and Where?
Answer: Sorry. Can't say.
4. In Hyperion Planning where we can find the Error Log file?
Answer: Hyperion planning uses Relational database, Essbase database and file system to store its data. All logs to the Planning applications and databases are found in Essbase log file. About the other two, I am not sure.
5. How can we add Dimension to already existing outline?
Answer: using Administration services console we can edit the Outline.
6. Can we export the Rulefile?
Answer: Yes

Anky- Will try to post BI+ reporting questions.


krishna said...

hi manohar
please tell me
what is differences between planning 4x and 9x

Anonymous said...

hi manohar,
your guidance is excellent.

I am doing certification on essbase 9.3.1. can you please be part of my success. can you please tell me the do's and dont's. also please post the questions if you know.
is the exam difficult compared to
essbase 7.


Manohar Singh Rana said...

Good luck for your exam. I cannot say if the exam is difficult simply because I am not certified.
I just had 1 Year experience on Hyperion and before taking exam I need to prepare myself throughly and have atleast 2 years on it.
do's- work hard with strong experience.
dont's- do not be in a hurry.


Anonymous said...

hi manohar,

thanks yaar.
i will try to do my best.
thinking whether to write 7 or 9.3.1.

thanks again for u support.


Mamtha said...

Hi Manohar,
Please let me know the exact precise differences between UDAs and attributes.
I heard the UDAs are being used like Aliases. In your post it says there is different usage of UDAS.

Members of a dimension can share the same UDA, If this is the case how can we say that UDAs can be like Aliases.
And also please let me know where and all we use these UDAs

Mamtha said...

To the above post explanation with business scenario will help me lot

Rajesh.B said...

Hi All,

My name is Rajesh and i'm currently in search of Job on HYPERION ESSBASE, if any of u come across any requirement kindly let me know and help for my future growth. I have 3+ Years of hands on experience. Kindly pls do this needful, pls frnds

kbrydc said...

Your blog is incredibly relevant and useful, thank you! Now, I was wondering if you had good OBIEE interview questions.

Mohan said...

Hi Manohar,

How to do requirement gathering and how to do hyperion Analysys in Hyperion ?

vetri said...

Hi Manohar/Rajesh,

I am very interested to learn HYPERION ESSBASE and I have 2+ experience in BI side. Please
suggest me a link or material to study.

Vetri Selvan.

saroja said...

Hi Manohar,

I am just starting to learn Hyperion essbase. For the question 36, I think(not sure just a guess) that lower performance due to the addition of two more new dimensions is because the dimension properties were not set properly meaning dense and sparse. Let me know if I am right or wrong.

Haju said...

Hi, i have a situation like the export jobs are creating files greater than 2 GB. I have tried using the Export command(MAXL) and PAREXPORT (ESSCMD) but i m not getting the required result. I am using Essbase version 6.5.5. Please do advice.

Using Maxl command:

export database 'Samp'.'DB' level0 data to data_file

Using PARExport Esscmd:

parexport -threads 4 -in "/apps/exports/sls.txt" 2 0;

Created files are abc1.txt,abc2.txt,abc2_1.txt,abc3.txt,abc3_1.txt,abc4.txt. In these files abc1.txt is always found to be more than 2 GB in both the methods.
Please advice

Naresh said...


I've just gone through the questions, they are really good.
But how is the carrer path in Hyperion Essbase. I'm almost 2 yrs now working on Essbase.

And where can I get the sample certification questions?

rams said...

Hi, Thanks a lot for your interview questions. This is kishore from Hyderabd completed MBA Finance in 2008. I have two years of experience as a Researcher. Now am interested to learn Essbase. Is it suits to me or not. I can speak Spanish also.How should I have to start this course.

rams said...

Hi, thanks a lot to posting the FAQ's
I have completed MBA with Finance. Is Essbase is good for me. How should I have to start my course. Please let me know. I have two years of exp as a Researcher and I speak Spanish. I am interested to Certification in Essbase. Please friend let me know the details and where should I have to take class

ashis said...

Hello Boss
i have 2+ exp in Java,I want to do Hyperion ,is it suite for me or not.please suggest me.

Anchit said...


Thanks 4 sharing the interview questions. If you have any institute. If so i am interested in joining. or you know any good institutes in banglore where i can enhance my skills in hyperion essbase. Please reply to my mail: also.


pradeep c said...

Hi Manohar,

I have just started my career with hyperion in oracle. I need a expert's advice which will very helpfull as i don find much ppl sharing knowledge in this feild. Can you please add me to your messenger

Vijay said...

Hi Manohar,

Pls need answer to this..

Can i have A.S.O and B.S.O both on the same essbase sever?

Mah said...


Warm Regards,

Mah said...


Warm Regards,

arpitha said...

hi manohar..
am just learning hyperion essbase planning, please could u give me some suggestions in practicing, and also am confused regarding accounts diemension, what are the members to be inserted for accounts.....if u can help me out...that would be very greatful

thanks sai

arpitha said...

hi manohar..
am just learning hyperion essbase planning, please could u give me some suggestions in practicing, and also am confused regarding accounts diemension, what are the members to be inserted for accounts.....if u can help me out...that would be very greatful

thanks sai

neha said...

I m Neha,working as essbase developer in wipro. How i can clear my all concepts of essbase. Is there any practise book?

choco said...

Hi Manohar, This is one of the bestest blogs i have ever seen in my life, and as requested by above few users, I would request you to please let me know if there are any online resources to Learn Hyperion for a beginner.

Thank You So much..

narasimha said...

hi friends i just started learning hyperion, i bought a dell laptop, i always getting problem in s/w and drivers 2003 server, internet problems , i installed 4 to 5 times would u please tell me which is the lap top suitable for or can take load of hyperion s/w and available drivers , internet problems etc...i would like to buy a laptop which is suitable...

Chinnu said...

Hi Manohar,

I have 9 years of IT experience into mainframes and learnt Hyperion Essbase, Planning, Reporting recently and planning to shift my technology to Hyperion. I started attending the interviews.

Please suggest me whether is this the right time shift the technology from mainframes to Hyperion.