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Tried to explain this very powerful feature, introduced in BPC10 NW SP09, with some business use case examples

What is time dependent hierarchy – Hierarchies represent parent child relationship for a dimension that helps in aggregation/rollup of data. So the department figures roll up into company, products roll up into groups /categories etc. Time dependent hierarchy allows defining the hierarchies based on a time range and the roll up behavior will be different based on the time the data belongs to.

Use cases for time dependent hierarchy

  • Employee re-organization – This is one of the most popular use cases for workforce planning wherein you need to change the hierarchies over time period – parent/child relationship based on the reorganization of the employees. Typically employees are moved across different departments or structure and this is time bound.  Time dependent hierarchy is a very useful feature to take care of employee re-organization
  • Legal entity restructuring – M&A, Company Restructuring – For financial consolidation in order to report consolidated financial statements, hierarchies play a very important role. Given the dynamic nature of current organizations where Mergers & Acquisitions are ongoing and also lot of company restructuring to avail certain benefits, hierarchy structure often change over time. Time dependent hierarchy is most relevant for such scenario where the consolidations can happen according to the hierarchy structure of the time period.
  • Regional restructuring – moving region from Developed to Emerging – Many companies change their regional structures over time periods to optimize on the business opportunity. Typical example would be to pick a region and push it into an emerging market cluster. Time dependent hierarchy is good way to enable this region restructuring across time period very easily, so that planning and reporting can roll up into appropriate hierarchies based on the data.
  • Chart of accounts restructuring – Though not a regular affair, it’s very much a key requirements to roll up accounts data in different ways across time, when the chart of accounts have been restructured.
  • Customer reclassification – As customers grow, they are reclassified. It could be based on the relationship change with the customer. Typical example is moving customer from Medium Enterprise to Large Enterprise or to Key Accounts category. Time dependent hierarchy helps in ascertaining the right classification of customers depending on the time period they are analyzed or planned for.
  • Product category changes – Often market drives changes in product category. E.g. Cars moved into a newly formed market category. Business users would also like to explore and find out what if the product category is changed over time, and the impact. Often organization changes involve product category changes as well. Time dependent hierarchy is once again very useful in this use case

As you see there are several use cases for time dependent hierarchy. The important point to note here is that it becomes even more powerful in the planning context, as business users would like to try out in a “what if” scenario and how the numbers roll up after a potential reclassification or category change. This makes is even more powerful feature for helping in business decisions

How does Time dependent hierarchy work with SAP BPC 10 NW

Business admin can create different time versions for a hierarchy, as you see in the below screenshot:

TDH1.jpg

Now the business user would like to move Australia from “Established Markets” to “Emerging Markets” across different time periods for the Regional roll ups.

TDH2.jpg

The idea is to see how the numbers would look like after moving a country  – could be for an actual consolidations or just to simulate and review in a planning context. The user can create a report using EPM Add-in – by selecting Keydate as another context

TDH3.jpg

TDH4.jpg

Business user can also create two reports in a single view to see both the time dependent version of the hierarchy in EPM add-in

TDH5.jpg

As you can see, with a very intuitive user interface, Business users can fulfill many of the use cases mentioned above through the “time dependent hierarchy” feature available in SAP Business Planning and Consolidations NW 10.0 product.

Questions, comments welcome…

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96 Comments

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  1. Vigneswararao Vankayala

    Impressive information and TDH will solve lot of master data issues.. it gives strength to product.

    Thanks..

    Rao

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  2. Sue Rab

    Hi Muthu,

    Thanks for the information. Would you please inform if it’s possible to use time hierarchies from SAP BW into SAP BPC?

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    1. Muthu Ranganathan Post author

      Sue, SAP BPC NW uses BW as the backend, but it has a separate name space. the time dependent hierarchy created in BPC NW leverages the BW functionality only.

      But given its in the separate namespace, you will have to model the hierachy in the BPC BW model

      Hope this helps

      regards

      Muthu

      Follow on twitter: @muthurangnathan

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      1. Sue Rab

        Hi Muthu,

        Thanks for your answer.

        I’ll try to detail my question.  I know it’s possible to load information from SAP BW (not BPC) into SAP BPC BW through loading master data (we can also load hierarchies).

        My question was if we already had some TDH in SAP BW (not BPC), we could load it into SAP BPC BW?(sometimes we get this TDH from SAP ECC)

        It seemed to me, given your answer, it’s not possible, you have to create your TDH from SAP BPC BW only. Is that correct?

        Sorry for the misunderstanding.

        Best regards,

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        1. Muthu Ranganathan Post author

          Hi Sue, i checked on this and yes the Time dependent hiearchy created in BW can be pulled into BPC, like bringing other master data, but we can update only one version at a time.

          regards

          Muthu

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  3. Krishna P

    Very good information .Great post .We are on SP 9 . But the key Date drop down where they can set the time in Next to Heirarchy in Dimension update screen is not available . Is there any setting that we need to do to  get that drop down ?

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    1. Muthu Ranganathan Post author

      Here is what we have in the SAP note

      • Logic script
        • There is NO new keyword introduced with logic script, it’s NOT possible specify key date in script file.
          • When script is triggered by data manager package, key date will be derived from selection screen when execute package.
            • For default logic, key date will be derived from input form.
              • For script logic test transaction UJKT, key date can be specified in field ‘PARAM’ with format: KEYDATE = yyyymmdd
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              1. Ramanath Ayyalasomayalula

                HI

                We do not see Key date in Data manager package for Default formulas’ as this process chain do not have the task LOAD as the process step. can you please recommend how to run the script logic.

                Regards

                Ram

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            • Muthu Ranganathan Post author

              Here is what we have in the SAP note

              • Logic script
                • There is NO new keyword introduced with logic script, it’s NOT possible specify key date in script file.
                  • When script is triggered by data manager package, key date will be derived from selection screen when execute package.
                    • For default logic, key date will be derived from input form.
                      • For script logic test transaction UJKT, key date can be specified in field ‘PARAM’ with format: KEYDATE = yyyymmdd
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                      1. Vadim Kalinin

                        Ups, a bit strange…

                        “When script is triggered by data manager package, key date will be derived from selection screen when execute package” – is it about DM prompts? Then some variable will be set like KEYDATE in UJKT.

                        It means that using slightly modified RUNLOGIC BADI with the ability to explicitly set $$ parameters it will be possible to run a chain of scripts with different keydates defined in the main script.

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                      2. Ramanath Kumar Ayyala Somayajula

                        Hi

                        I do not seem key date for the script logic (default formulas) DMP, even if you add as task in advance script it cannot handle as the Process chain does not has the step LOAD . so how to run the script logic for key dates.

                        Regards

                        Ramanath

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                      1. VaraPrasadraju Potturi

                        Dear Muthu,

                        It will become much powerful if Keydate act as a normal dimension.

                        Currently key date is not recognising as a dimension in EPM functions.

                        If we want to create dynamic comparison report with time periods then how do we create with out recognised as a dimension.

                          Is SAP development team working towards that direction?

                        Thanks,

                        Raju

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                        1. Muthu Ranganathan Post author

                          Raju, basically Keydate can be selected in EPM add-in as you can see the above screenshot.

                          Keydate cannot be a dimension because then we are expecting to have so many members in the cube to represent each date and the design would not be optimal

                          regards

                          Muthu

                          (0) 
                          1. VaraPrasadraju Potturi

                            Dear Muthu,

                            Yes understood. But Measures is also a dimension which will not store any data at cube level,still we can use it as a dimension.

                            Since Keydate is tied up with report, how can we create a dynamic report to compare different time periods with different structures.

                            eg:

                            ProfitCenter is Time dependent hier enabled and maintained 2 different structures for CY and LY.

                            User requirement is they want to compare CY vs LY by profitCenter. If the report is static then we can create 2 different reports to combine together to get CY and LY for selected ProfitCenter. But requirement is dynamic, user want to compare CY vs LS based on base members of selected profitcenter.

                            Movement we create different reports to compare the data,  every time user has to go to Edit report to select required period as key date if comparison is not fixed.

                            i.e CY vs user selected year.

                            User point of view this not so flexible if they do not know how to create/edit report.

                            Thanks,

                            Raju

                            (0) 
                            1. William Yu

                              Hi Raju,

                                I agree that it can make the comparison reports more flexible if we could make more dynamic selection for key date.

                                But within current delivery, we can specify key data ‘From context’ or ‘Current date’. So in your case, you can select key date for CY as ‘Current date’, this will always use calendar date of the date user execute the report; and you can select ‘From context’ for LY report. Thus user don’t need to to report editor, he can simply change key date in context bar for LY, and CY is automatically upate according to calendar date.

                                Can this help?

                              Best regards, William

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                  • David Ormerod

                    Hi Muthu,

                    This is great information – will allow customers to develop their BPC solutions to tackle some really important challenges around flexible reporting and what-if analysis.  Can you confirm which dimension types can be made time-dependent?  Or does it apply to ANY dimension?

                    regards

                    David

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                    1. Muthu Ranganathan Post author

                      thanks David.

                      All dimension types can be made time dependent. As mentioned in the use cases above, could be for Product, Customer, Department, Region , Entity (for consol) etc

                      regards

                      Muthu

                      (0) 
                    2. William Yu

                      Hi David,

                        All BPC dimensions except dimension with type ‘TIME’ can be time-depedent.

                      Thank you and Besty regards, William

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                  • SIVANI K

                    Muthu,

                    This is a great information and we have restatement requirements…the feature works like BCS ..Question did you ever worked on a Daily consolidation or planning.

                    In EPM 10  we can maintain custom hierarchies in the time dimension.

                    Any guidance ..pl

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                  • Parminder Ghatahora

                    Hi Muthu – I like the article. 

                    With regards to legal consolidations, if the scope dimension is used to manage the organizational hierarchy while the entity dimension has no hierarchy, then TDH is not beneficial?  Since the scope dimension through the ownership manager is ‘time dependent’.  Am I missing something?

                    Thanks

                    Parminder

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                    1. Muthu Ranganathan Post author

                      thanks Parminder. This feature is for the normal dimensions, could be leveraged in consolidations reporting. For the legal consolidations you still go with the scope definition in ownership manager.

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                    2. Arnold Warhonowicz

                      Hi Parminder,

                      when you look at the control monitor, the entities are listed by scope which comes from the ownership model. However, if you want to set the work status for a group (derived from a hierarchy in the dimension) you need to run the controls for all entities in that group. So if the hierarchy is different from the information for the scope you will run into problems. These can be solved by using a time dependant hierarchy for the entity dimension so the hierarchy and the ownership information are identical.

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                  • Richard Groot

                    Hi Muthu, nice blog!

                    Apart from setting the valid-from and valid-to dates for the Entity hierarchy members, can you also (in list view) change any property member of a particular Entity, so that each property member change can be saved as a new valid-from date?

                    In that case we are able to setup a historical view of Entity attributes at the time of data submission.

                    Thanks,
                    Richard

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                      1. Richard Groot

                        Ah that’s a shame..

                        Any other thoughts on how we could create the historical thruth in terms of attributes for reporting purposes? E.g. once a submission has taken place, copy the BPC data in the BW Cube to a DSO?

                        Thanks, Richard

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                  • Michael Btner

                    Hello Muthu,

                    when I implemented this feature, in the backend everything followed the described way. I was also able to activate the TDH for my Dimension and to create a hierarchy with another key date. I can see this hierarchy in BW as well.

                    However, when I try to log on in the EPM Client, I receive the error message “Wrong CSV Format”.

                    If I connect to a model which does not contain an Dimension with TDH I can connect normally.

                    Do you have any idea, what may cause this issue?

                    Thanks and regards

                    Michael

                    Does anybody have a hint on this

                    (0) 
                    1. William Yu

                      Hi Michael,

                       

                        Please first make sure that you have the correct EPM add-in version installed. Then if you still have issue please try to clear client side cache or please just create an OSS to SAP since it looks like a bug to me.          

                      Thank you and Best regards, William

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                  • Suresh S

                    Hi Muthu,

                    Very nice article. I really confused when I heard this word from one consultant:-) Now its clear.

                    Here I’ve got a question for you. I have a requierment that a DM package have to Copy the comments based on certain criteria. I can write a BAdi for that, no worries.

                    My question is, User will select source member and target member in DM package for one dimension which is Time Dependent Hierarchy, so now is that any issue will occur due to TDH. Because this package will run once in 6 months.

                    Is there any problem because of TDH dimension. What I have to do overcome that, if any.

                    Thanks,

                    Suresh

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                    1. William Yu

                      Hi Suresh,

                        I see no big issue here since comment can be save either on base level or parent node of BPC master data hierarchy.

                        The only to take care whe you select range for copy on DM package, since it wil only use current key date for time dependent hierarchy.

                      Best regards, William

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                  • William Yu

                    Hi Oleksandr,

                      Currently BPC only support ONE key date per report( either report from web client or report from EPM add-in).

                      To achieve your requirement, you can create two reports in one Excel sheet since EPM add-in supports multiple reports and share axis between reports.

                      You can create one report with TIME from JAN to JUN with key date where member X under node A100, and you create second report with TIME from JULY to DEC wit key date where member X under node B200.

                    Best regards, William

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                  • Vadim Kalinin

                    Hi Oleksandr,

                    You want some strange things… It’s not possible to show different versions of one hierarchy in one report. Different version means that you can completely reorganize hierarchy (move base members and nodes, add new members etc.).

                    With THD you are able to see previous year report using the hierarchy that was approved for this year. Before THD the only solution was to copy environment before hierarchy change and view reports from this copy.

                    Withing one year the correct approach is to create additional member  and assign  new parent to the new member and post new data to new member.

                    B.R. Vadim

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                  • Vadim Kalinin

                    Hi Oleksandr,

                    You are discussing one specific scenario:

                    1. You have constant nodes

                    2. You move only base members

                    3. You report shows only nodes!

                    4. You want to show number of periods on the same report (some periods before move, some – after).

                    TDH is a generic solution, with Key Date as a simple version ID. It’s not applicable to this scenario.

                    Vadim

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                  • Vadim Kalinin

                    Your proposal will not work if nodes structure changed and if base members have to be shown in the report (nodes structure often changes in HR). In general it looks unrealistic. Sorry!

                    Vadim

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                  • Mark Sapey

                    I have been having a look at time dependent hierarchies (TDH) and wondered how they work in a system that as planning and consolidation data.

                    As far as I can see the TDH has a definitive date when a hierarchy changes. If you are running a planning environment, the date of the switch would vary depending upon category. Nothing in the how go guide on configuring TDH that mentions different categories.

                    For example, an environment has 3 categories, Actual, Budget and Forecast.

                    In April the a change to the entity structure takes place.  Obviously the change for Actual is April, Forecast has not yet happened, so this can use the new structure. However for Budget, the old structure should be used as this data was already in the system from when the Budget was done the previous year. So for Budget the cut off for the change is December not April.

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                    1. Muthu Ranganathan Post author

                      Mark,

                      Interesting use case, right now TDH is done only at the dimension level. But generally i would assume that companies would like to do a variance analysis of apples to apples, which means that the hierarchy structure should be common across budget and actual categories to have meaningful comparisons.

                      Actually the Category dimension is usually a flat dimension and is not hierarchical. The hierarchy change is probably best done in Entity dimension or Account dimension.Best option would be to combine the category dimension with entity and have combination dimension to handle this use case. Good puzzle to solve

                      regards

                      Muthu

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                  • Paul Kucera

                    Hi,

                    can you please tell me where do I activate the TDH in BPC10.1 running on BW 7.4 SP5, EPM Add-in 10, SP16?

                    a) I create a new user defined dimension

                    b) I go to the “Structure of Dimension” setting in Admin client.

                    c) I select the box next to “Time-Dependent Hierarchy”

                    d) that activates the Save button

                    e) I click Save, the system goes through Saving process and immediately after the saving process finishes the box next to “Time-Dependent Hierarchy” clears.

                    Is there something I have to activate in BW first?

                    thank you

                    Paul

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                    1. William Yu

                      Hi Paul,

                         That’s pretty much all you need to do enable time-dependent hierarchy, you don’t have to go to BW to do anything. You may find more details with note 1800842, it applies to 10.1 as well.

                          Based on what you described, it looks like a bug to me. Please create a ticket on that.

                      Thanks.

                      Best regards, William

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                      1. Paul Kucera

                        Hi William, actually I found a document called “How To… Configure and use Time Dependent Hierarchy in SAP BPC 10.0, Version for NetWeaver” and following the steps in there I added the config missing in BW and everything that didn’t work before started working. The document seemed to be targetting BPC 10 on BW 7.3 but it looks like it worked on BPC 10.1 BW 7.4 as well..

                        thanks

                        Paul

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                  • Farirai Mathew Matyatya

                    Hi guys,

                    I`ve just added a member formula for one account dimension member. When I switch between the 2 TD hierarchies in a report, the “CALC= Y” property hasn’t been replicated to the 2nd hierarchy, i.e. in the 2nd TD hierarchy, in the account`s properties, it still shows “CALC=N” regardless of it showing that is has a member formula.

                    Is there anyone who has experienced this before??? We`re on BPC 10NW Enhancement Pack 1 SP 4. (See attachment below)

                    Member Formulas.JPG

                    Regards,

                    Farie

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                  • Farirai Mathew Matyatya

                    Hi William,

                    I managed to resolve the issue. Apparently when you create a member formula and process the dimension with TDHs activated, the “CALC=Y” property is updated on the original hierarchy only. I had to switch to the TDH version and process it as well. The “CALC” property seems to have replicated to the TDH version and everything works fine now.

                    Regards,

                    Farie

                    (0) 
                  • Ramanath Kumar Ayyala Somayajula

                    Hi Muthu Ranganathan 

                    This is a great article, Thanks for sharing this, i have a question.we automate ENTITY (company code) or get master data and hierarchies from BW to BPC,

                    we have our entity Infoobject as Time dependent Hierachy, when ever the Hierarchy is changed in BW we pull that into BPC, my question is how stable BPC dimension is to capture the versions of changed Time dependent Hierarchy.will it store the previous versions each time we load hierarchies, when i read your Blog you metioned it will load current hierarchy and versions to be maintained in BPC by Admin is it true, with our manual intervention of this how can we capture the versions in BPC.

                    Regards

                    Ram

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                    1. William Yu

                      Hi Ram,

                        When execute data manager package to load hierarchy from BW, you will have option to load hierarchy into a new time version or modify an existing time version.

                      Best regards, William

                      (0) 
                      1. Ramanath Kumar Ayyala Somayajula

                        Hi Yu

                        Thanks!!! We are already onCPMBPC 800 SP11 , when i chekced with BASIS the note is not applicable as we are on higher versions, still i do not see how to set the time dependent in BPC side, i did not get the check box, please advice.

                        Regards

                        Ram

                        (0) 
                        1. William Yu

                          Hi Ram,

                             You first need to enable time-dependent hierarchy for BPC dimension inside BPC admin UI, then you would be able to do thatin data manager package.

                          Best regards, William

                          (0) 
                  • Nicholas Mahal

                    Question – if a Dimension has more than one Hierarchy – create version base on each hierarchy change  would be a snap shot of all at a point in time or  will it kept individual record per hierarchy

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                  • Arpan Halder

                    Hi Willium, Muthu,

                    Quick question – is time dependent hierarchy feature is available on BPC 10 MS?

                    Appreciate your help!!

                    Best Regards,

                    Arpan

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                    1. Mark Sapey

                      Hi Arpan,

                      I am sure that it is only available in the NetWeaver version.  It is one of the major advantages of the NW version.

                      I have never seen anything saying that it is available on MS.

                      Regards,

                      Mark

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                  • Alessandro Baiocchi

                    Very useful link. I would like to know (I’m new on BPC), if it is possible when I look at the Hierarchy in the Excel Layout, to expand and/or collapse nodes? Because I cannot see this option in your screen. I have a Business User that wants to manage a Planning process by using the Costcenter HIER and he wants XLS interface (not WEB) and he’s asking for expanding or not parent nodes (like in a BEx query). Is this possible?

                    Thank you very much.

                    Alessandro

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                    1. Vadim Kalinin

                      Hi Alessandro,

                      It’s a standard EPM BPC feature – expand and/or collapse nodes (using menu or simply double click on member).

                      Vadim

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                  • Ramanath Kumar Ayyala Somayajula

                    Hi

                    As Gustavo mentioned ..how to bring two views of hierarchy in same sheet, can I bring key date into the sheet. is it some way this feature is mis leading. For example my transaction data is for the month of 205.MAY with segment as TDH . while reporting on the current month if I change the current date/view of hierarchy to the past is it not mis leading. Data being current month but hierarchy view being past.

                    Regards

                    Ram

                    (0) 
                    1. Vadim Kalinin

                      Hi Ram,

                      Key date is a property of report – single report can have only single key date. You can have multiple reports on the same sheet…

                      Vadim

                      (0) 
                      1. Ramanath Kumar Ayyala Somayajula

                        Thank You Vadim!!! Is there any way that I can report on different hierarchies at the same time in single sheet ..as you mentioned each report can have each key date in single sheet. how to achive that.

                        Regards

                        Ram

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                  • Muta Kang

                    Can I use the EPMRetrieveData function by KeyDate?

                    My TDH report wants to use the  EPMRetrieveData function, but the result always show the current data value.

                    Can I use the EPMRetrieveData function by KeyDate?

                    Regards

                    KANG

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                  • Michael Büttner

                    Hello,

                    we actually want to implement TDH in our BPC 10.1 on Hana System.

                    However, as soon as we add an alternative Hierarchy (not a second time dependent Version, a real alternative Hierarchy; eg. PARENTH1 = by Org, PARENTH2 = by Country) we get error Messages whenever we want to refresh a Report that is using the Dimension with the TDH.

                    The message says “UJAHANA_SQE_EXCEPTION_007”.

                    When we delete the alternative Hierarchy everything works again.

                    Is this a Standard Limitation of TDH?

                    Is it only a Limitation under HANA or in General?

                    Thanks and regards

                    Michael

                    (0) 
                        1. Vadim Kalinin

                          Please open a new discussion and provide a test – on the fresh copy of ENVIRONMENTSHELL – update some dimension to have 2 hierarchy with a few members and then enable TDH.

                          Vadim

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                        1. Michael Büttner

                          Thanks for your Responses.

                          I cannot reproduce the issue in a fresh Copy of Environmentshell. There it is working.

                          However, development is to advanced to start from scratch again.

                          It would be really nice if you could share the Content of the note. Maybe it can help.

                          (0) 
                          1. William Yu

                            Hi Michael,

                               I’m sorry that seems this note is still in status pilot release. Probably I can ask dev when it will be releated to all.

                             

                               It’s said in the note it might be related to HANA revision under 97.

                            Best regards, William

                            (0) 

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