At the time PCM 14.0 BIPE was released many in the PCM community were excited to hear of the retirement of InfoMaker, but at the same time dismayed to hear there was no ‘upgrade’ or ‘conversion’ from their extensively customized libraries. I have started my own personal journey to being equally comfortable with BI Publisher. And it looks like it will be a long journey.
Aligning with the Oracle Toolset — With the acquisition of Primavera by Oracle in 2009, many of Oracle’s other products are being introduced into the applications Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management and Primavera Contract Management. The default database server, application server, content repository and reporting tool have been replaced with Oracle owned products such as Oracle Server, WebLogic, Enterprise Content Management and BI Publisher. Additionally, the introduction of Business Process Management, User Productivity Kit, Fusion Middleware and BI Enterprise Edition into the Primavera applications further extends the power and availability of your work product.
BI Publisher Resources — Many great resources are available for BI Publisher. The most important resources are the product documentation and Oracle’s support team. This will help with the proper installation and integration of BI Publisher with Primavera Contract Management. Failure to get this fundamental step completed accurately will make this journey all the more frustrating. Additional resources I have found valuable include the Oracle Blogs and Community pages, as well as content found on the BI Publisher YouTube channel. Although not geared to Primavera applications specifically, the BI Publisher Fundamentals training from Oracle University gives you a glimpse into the possibilities while giving some comfort with the tool.
“Practice makes Perfect” — With all the resources available, using the tool will be the best way to learn. Rebuilding the stock reports and forms gave me the comfort of using the tool and validation of how the pieces work together. I am not venturing into rebuilding some custom content that I have previously created in InfoMaker. In the near future I see working with the new template and output options available and seeing how they fit into Primavera Contract Management.
Conclusion — While sad to see my trusted friend InfoMaker disappear after a 15 year love-hate relationship, I see the power of BI Publisher being a great reason to embrace the future and this this tool. While this journey is nowhere near the end, I do see that I will continue to use the resources I have mentioned to make the travels a little less uncomfortable, even if that means circling back many times. Hope to see you on the road…
Collaborate12 — I will be presenting on this topic at Collaborate 12 in Las Vegas, NV. My presentation will be one of several on the topic of BI Publisher. Be sure to check out this conference.read more
Collaborate 2011 was a fantastic conference put on by Quest, OAUG and IOUG, three users groups all related to Oracle products. New this year is OPSIG, sponsored by both Quest and OAUG. This is the Oracle Primavera Special Interest Group. They significantly helped the Primavera community have a presence at Collaborate.
There were many great sessions throughout the conference. One of these sessions was presented by the Oracle development team for Primavera Contract Management. They provided a glimpse of the future for PCM and some of the changes abound.
Contract Management v14 should be released in calendar year 2011. With it comes one major and fantastic change. InfoMaker is planned to be replaced by Oracle’s BI Publisher. This decision will allow for graphic reporting, and the inclusion of P6 data in one report. They will be providing a stock library of forms and reports, but at this point there is no direct path from InfoMaker to BI Publisher if you have customized forms and reports. More to come in future postings on this dilemma…
Highlights of version 14 include at this time:
* Web Services
* Development of BPM work flows
* BI Publisher
* Redesign to look more like P6 R8
* User Productivity Kit
* Technical enhancements
Not in the initial release, but still planned, seem to be:
* Enhanced document control
* Notifications (YES!)
* Cost Worksheet Calculations (Yes!)
* more BPM work flows (Yay!)
* Security enhancements
* Mobile support (Super Yay!)
* Expansion of PCM functionality in P6 (single platform?)
Stay tuned for more updates!
Of course the standard ‘safe harbor’ statement applies…
The preceding is intended to outline the general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decision. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle’s products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle.