March 12, 2020
Upgrading TM1, checkout Cognos Planning Analytics for Excel PAX
Are you a long time TM1 user looking to upgrade to the latest version of Planning Analytics? Well if you are on TM1 10.2 you are on an unsupported version, so you really should upgrade. You don’t want to have a Microsoft Excel update break your Perspectives report and not be able to get a patch because your version is unsupported by IBM. So, it’s time to plan your upgrade. When you are upgrading TM1 checkout Cognos Planning Analytics for Excel (PAX).
What is PAX
Planning Analytics for Excel (PAX) is the newer user interface that IBM has created for TM1 users. Officially per IBM, “IBM Planning Analytics for Microsoft Excel is a Microsoft Excel-based tool that professional report authors use to build sophisticated, multiple-sheet, multiple-query reports against multiple databases. Users can build sophisticated multiple-sheet, multiple-query reports in Excel from different kinds of data sources and analyze and explore IBM Cognos dimensionally modeled data.”
There are many benefits of PAX. The biggest benefit is that Planning Analytics for Microsoft Excel reports are designed to work even in a wide area network environment, without the need for Citrix. Visit this link to see other benefits.
You Own Planning Analytics for Excel (PAX)
Almost all TM1 clients that are current on IBM support have rights to download the latest version and have the rights to use Planning Analytics Excel (PAX). Note, there are a few clients that do not automatically have the rights to PAX, for details see our earlier blog on this topic. If you are an older IBM TM1 client there’s a likelihood that your end users might not have licensing for Planning Analytics Workspace (PAW), the new dashboarding and modeling interface, but they probably have PAX licensing. Whereas, TM1 Modelers typically have licensing for both the PAX and PAW.
What you need to know to use PAX
PAX and TM1 Perspectives
When you upgrade to Planning Analytics you might have older Perspectives reports that you still want to use. It’s important to know that Perspectives and Planning Analytics for Excel do not play nice together. So, when you install Planning Analytics, you will want to install Perspectives and PAX on separate servers or work stations. If you need both products, we recommend installing on Citrix or terminal services and separating them. Another big consideration is based on existing Perspective workbooks. You should copy that report and then open in PAX, leaving you both a Perspective version and a PAX version. If you open the original Perspective report in PAX it will convert and you will not have that report in Perspectives any longer. Last, Perspectives is a LAN (Local Area Network) tool and PAX is a WAN (Wide Area Network) tool and performance in PAX leveraging the wide area network, is much quicker and more stable.
You should Install PAW for PAX
Lodestar Solutions recommends that when you install Cognos Planning Analytics to upgrade your TM1, that you plan to also install the Planning Analytics Workspace (PAW), even if your end users don’t have PAW rights. Remember your TM1 Modelers do have PAW rights.
The Modelers will be able to use the PAW to create hierarchies which provides tremendous new flexibility in your TM1 models Check out this link for more info. Hierarchies enable the use of data as virtual dimensions. The hierarchies then can be used in PAX. Note you can’t create hierarchies in TM1 architect and that’s why PAW is so important.
Another reason to install the PAW is that your TM1 Modelers might want to do a proof of concept and show the executives and users the power of the new TM1 dashboarding functionality. Your dashboard could include a PAX view embedded in with visualizations. At Lodestar Solutions, we have found that clients that build a proof of concept for executives receive greater support for their initiatives and are more likely to receive funding. So, make sure you plan to install PAW with PAX when you upgrade.
PAX on the Web
For TM1 users that push Perspectives reports to TM1 web it’s important to know you can upgrade your Perspective reports to PAX. Additionally, you can push PAX reports to the TM1 Web as well.
It’s time for PAX!
You’re upgrading TM1, so checkout Cognos Planning Analytics for Excel (PAX) and plan appropriately! But you don’t have to go it alone! Lodestar Solutions can help answer all your questions and help you plan your upgrade. For a free consultation, email us at Services@lodestarsolutions.com.