See how SAP Analytics Cloud Multi Actions change the way that you do planning
Let me guess… You’ve experienced this before.
- You got lost when you had to run several data actions on an SAP Analytics Cloud story. For example, you got forgot which data actions you ran and which ones you didn’t.
- You wanted to execute certain logics automatically after publishing, but discovered that’s not supported. Instead, you had to select Publish Data first then select the data action trigger to execute the logics.
- You wanted to run a cross-model copy, but you couldn’t add several cross-model copy steps to one data action when the target model was different.
I would like to share that we have just released a new planning feature: Multi Actions. This feature will help you overcome the situations listed above, and I believe it will boost your planning experience.
So what are multi actions?
Data actions versus multi actions
If you are familiar with data actions and have played around with multi actions a little bit, you may find that multi actions and data actions are similar in some ways. They both consist of a sequence of steps that you set up in a separate designer. When they’re ready, users can run them in stories or analytic applications using a planning trigger.
However, the focuses are different.
- Focus on core planning calculation capabilities including data manipulation, advanced formulas, allocation engine, and currency conversion.
- Data actions are a single SAP Analytics Cloud component which include the full design time for each supported calculation capability.
- An individual data action result can only be applied to one model and one version.
- Focus on the orchestration of various SAP Analytics Cloud components that can be tied together in a way that simplifies a task for planning users.
- Multi actions don’t include the design time for any individual component, but instead focus on logically bringing the different components together into an end-to-end workflow and providing a specific or common context to execute against.
- The execution scope can range across multiple models and versions.
Technology behind the scenes (optional to read)
I know some of you are still not convinced. You may wonder: why not extend the capability of data actions so they can execute across multiple models and versions? The answer is that the transaction data processing is fundamentally different between data actions and multi actions.
- The data engine behind data actions only allows one target model and one target version.
- All data action steps run on a single transaction, which means that all changes roll back if any of the steps fail. So, in the Version History panel, you only see one change unless the data action result is published. Users can only revert the whole data action, even if the data action includes several embedded steps.
- Multi actions leverage the planning process engine to orchestrate the execution of each data action step. Using this approach, the limitations can be overcome. Multi actions can handle multiple models and versions.
- The transaction of each step is executed and committed separately. One step failure will not roll back the previous successfully executed ones (this will also allow more flexibility when we further enhance multi actions). In the Version History panel, you can see multiple changes, generated by each data action. Users have the chance to revert the results of each data action in the multi action.
When to use multi actions
Consider using multi actions if your planning process involves running data actions on multiple versions or models, or publishing data between data actions. Some typical scenarios are mentioned at the beginning of this blog article.
You can also refer this table to determine whether to use a data action or a multi action:
|Use case||Example||Object type|
|Run a data action multiple times on the same version, and then publish it afterwards||You want to run depreciation calculations on several fixed assets for a single budget version.||Data Action or Multi Actions|
|Run data actions on multiple different target versions||You plan on multiple versions simultaneously and you want to populate all of them with initial data.||Multi Actions|
|Run data actions on multiple different target models||You need to copy data from a strategic planning model to multiple models such as workforce, sales, and finance models.||Multi Actions|
|Run a data action, publish data, and then run another data action||You want to copy initial data to a version, publish it, and then run an advanced formulas calculation on the version to prepare for planning.||Multi Actions|
How to create a multi action
Let’s use the second scenario mentioned at the beginning as an example. In this example: a user adds data in a table. They publish the data, but they also want to execute advanced formula logic (for example, increasing the amount by 10%) automatically.
Let’s assume we already created a data action with advanced formula logic. (Again, multi actions don’t provide the design time for individual components, but instead focus on logically bringing different components together into an end-to-end workflow.)
Step 1: Open multi actions and create a new multi action
Step 2: Add a version management step
Step 3: Add a data action step
Step 4: Save the multi action
Step 5: Add a multi action trigger to a story
Step 6: Now…show time! Let’s see how multi actions work its magic.
If you will be adding multiple data actions based on the same model and version, it is recommended to embed these data actions into a new data action first. You can then add the new embedded data action to your multi action to improve performance
You can quickly create a parameter from a data action step by typing in the Parameter field and selecting Create Parameter from the drop-down menu. All the parameter related info will be retrieved automatically for you
Further enhancements are coming soon to make multi actions even more powerful
We plan to integrate many SAC components into multi actions, such as predictive, model data import and export, data locking, etc.
I hope you enjoy working with multi actions and leverage this feature to improve the planning experience for your business users. We are looking forward to your comments and would love to hear which features you want to bring into multi actions next.
- Help page about multi actions
- Blog on predictive integration into multi action
- Find out what’s coming next on SAP Analytics Cloud Planning – Roadmap
- Learn more about SAP Analytics Cloud and Collaborative Enterprise Planning
Thank you for sharing this Article, I think this is very nice future. Hope sap will provide possibility to Add Input Prompt option while creating data action for cross Model copy. Currently cross model data action support single Version without having possibility to setup Input Prompt. Then we can use Multi action to copy cross model data for several Version together and publish.
Thanks for your comments. Currently, cross model data action also supports to pick up values from input control or story filter. Can this meet your requirement of having possibility to setup input prompt?
Thank you for reply, I can not find option in filter section for Input parameter in Cross model data action, In filter option its only allow to select one version. May be i am not updated here myself i worked on one Sac planning project 6 month back and there was no option setup input prompt in to cross model copy option. is it possible now to have story prompt filter in to cross model data action..?
Check out this help link. You will find out that data action can pick up parameters from input control. And yes you are right. For version dimension, it only allows one version selected, but for a generic dimension, you can choose multiple members.
For the mentioned use case 2: "You plan on multiple versions simultaneously and you want to populate all of them with initial data."
How can we run a data action on all versions? Because it seems I still need to select them one by one (hardcoded) in separately created data action steps, and need to update this manually every time a new version gets created.
Thanks for your comments.
For a specific data action, it can only run on one target version. But with multi actions, you can add two data actions for example, you can specify different target versions.
Regarding manually updating the version, actually you can define target version parameters in the multi action. When users trigger the multi actions from a story, users can choose the target version from member selector. You don't have to hardcode the target versions in the multi action.
Ok, so on the first run: users need to select for example 50 versions that exist in the model. This actually needs 50 different version parameters & 50 data action steps because only single Cardinality is allowed.
Next time users want to run the multi action, 57 versions exists (7 new versions were created).
So how can we make this dynamic? How is multi-actions helping?
Good question and thank you for raising this. It brings a new requirement that allow users choose multiple target versions as the parameter for a single data action step. Technically, multi action is responsible for executing the data action on each of the target versions. It is like a loop execution of the target versions that users choose. We will consider this in the future release. (So glad to receive the requirements from the comments)
Glad to hear that, and would great to see more coming.
Thanks for providing the additional inputs. Appreciate it.
By the way, how many use cases where the same logic(data action) applies to different versions? My understanding is different versions normally needs slightly different logics, for example budget version is 10% higher than actual.
The reason I am asking about this is if we enhance this feature, we would only support the versions list are against the same data action. Otherwise, we would need to provide users a mapping function(e.g budget 1 goes to data action 1, budget 2 goes to data action 2)
I see many different use cases for both. Imagine several different budget rounds. Or imagine a data action is needed to reclass historical data across all budgets.
Hoping to see that multiple version parameters (user prompts or dynamically defined) can be setup, with single or multiple cardinality. And in each data action step, we can choose which one to apply.
Very good article thank you very much for sharing!
The update for new integration: We have completed predictive integration. See the blog for more details.
And a new blog here.
I have created a multi-action using "Admin" user profile for my SAC tenant. I have also created a data action trigger to run the Multi action using the same admin user in the story.
However, the business users are not able to run the multi action (the button is not highlighted). I see a message "You don't have access rights to run this multi action"
I looked at the roles defined and could not find any access related to Multi action. Can you please suggest how we can overcome this issue? The admin user is able to run the multi action successfully.
Have you given the Execute rights to the multi action that the users were trying to run. See screenshot of role settings.
Also make sure that the users also have the Execute rights to the data actions inside of the multi action.
Thank you Charlie for pointing it out. Not sure why I couldn't find the setting before 🙁
Online Help for Multi Actions:
Hi @charlin lin,
Can we able to see the Multi action monitor for Multi action? , the way how we see the data action monitor
Hi praveen kumar no it's not possible today. However it's a great idea and it has been expressed already by other customers. You can vote the following SAC enhancement request https://influence.sap.com/sap/ino/#/idea/275864. Kind regards Antoine
PS: as a general community rule, if you have specific questions, please create questions using the SAC tag. Questions in comments are typically un-noticed and un-handled.
FYI Sarau Shen William Yu Sead Pozderac