Using EPM Automate to back up your PBCS application

Author: Lydia Maksoud

 

About EPM Automate

EPM Automate is a utility which enables service administrators to remotely perform a selection of routine tasks on their PBCS system. The EPM Automate commands are referenced in batch scripts, meaning repeatable tasks can be automated easily. This is particularly useful when the automated task cannot be set up as a scheduled job from within the PBCS interface. The following tasks can be performed remotely using EPM Automate commands:

  • Import and export metadata and data
  • Refresh the application
  • Run business rules on data
  • Copy data from one database to another
  • Upload files into service instances, list files, and delete files from the service
  • Run a Data Management batch rule
  • Export and import application and artefact snapshots
  • Import and export Data Management mappings
  • Generate Data Management reports

 

Installing EPM Automate

Before you can use EPM Automate, it must be downloaded and installed to your local computer or server. To install the latest version of the EPM Automate utility:

  1. Open your PBCS instance and login as normal
  2. Access ‘Setting and Actions’ by clicking your user name in the top right-hand corner of the Home page.
  3. Click Downloads.
  4. In the Downloads page, click Download for Windows/Linux in the EPM Automate section.
  5. When prompted, choose to save the file to your computer.
  6. Once downloaded, right-click the ‘EPM Automate.exe’ file, and select Run as administrator.
  7. Follow on-screen prompts to complete the installation.

By default, the EPM Automate Utility is installed in C:/Oracle/EPM Automate.

 

Taking automatic system backups using EPM Automate

One of the most useful commands available through EPM Automate is to download artefact snapshots of your application from your PBCS instance to your local computer. As you may know, a full artefact snapshot of your PBCS application is automatically taken every night by Oracle. This includes a full backup of everything that makes up your application, including; all business rules, all FDMEE artefacts, all dimension metadata, Essbase data, forms, task lists, security and reports.

These nightly snapshots are overwritten each night, meaning there will only be one copy of your application stored on the system at any one time.  This can cause issues when needing to retrieve information from a system backup, which is why it is widely recommended to keep a seven-day rolling backup of your application. Artefact snapshots can be accessed and downloaded manually by a service administrator via the Application->Migration->Snapshots section of PBCS, however manually downloading the snapshot every day takes time and in the long run is not practical.

To avoid this manual work, the EPM Automate utility can be used to download and save the daily application snapshots automatically, enabling you to save multiple backups of your application to your computer with ease. 

The EPM Automate function which enables this task is downloadfile, and is referenced in a batch script with the following syntax:

Call epmautomate login USERNAME PASSWORD URL IDENTITYDOMAIN

Call epmautomate downloadfile "Artifact Snapshot”

Call epmautomate logout

Where the parameters in the above script are as follows:

  • USERNAME - the user name of the service administrator
  • PASSWORD - the password of the service administrator
  • URL – the URL of the PBCS service instance that you wish to connect to
  • IDENTITYDOMAIN – the identity domain of the PBCS service instance
  • "Artifact Snapshot” - the name of the automatic nightly snapshot performed by Oracle (change this to the required snapshot name if you wish to download a different application snapshot)

The file is downloaded as a zip file into the folder that EPM Automate was installed to. By default, this will be in directory C:\Oracle\EPM Automate. The snapshot file can then be moved to a more convenient location and renamed to keep as a backup of your PBCS application.

 

If you would like any more information on using EPM Automate to enhance your PBCS system, feel free to contact me or any of the team on 01483 685450.