You are on page 1of 8

Certification Self-Study Guide and

Key Categories Covered in Essbase 5 & 6 Certification Exams

To help you prepare for certification exams, these are the product areas or features that Hyperion
regards as key areas of knowledge on our products. Follow the links for the corresponding study
guide sections, including sample exam questions.

Each Hyperion Certified exam covers key concepts, technologies, and features of Hyperion's premier
products. In preparation for the exams, we recommend Hyperion's course Student Guides, product
User Guides, Installation Guides, white papers, and our Web site for review.

The following information will provide you with targeted areas of study to help you prepare for
certification for the Essbase, Enterprise and Pillar exams. We have also provided sample questions
that represent the format and content of the Hyperion Certified exams at Thomson Prometric.
Answering these questions correctly does not guarantee that you will pass the actual

Please note that there are 3 different Essbase exams: Essbase 5, Essbase 6 and Essbase 6 Bridge.
The Essbase 6 Bridge exam may only be taken if you are currently and Essbase 5 HCP and want to
upgrade your status. Otherwise, you must take either the Essbase 5 or Essbase 6 exam. The topics
and questions below are reflective of both Essbase 5 and Essbase 6.

• Hyperion Essbase Key Topics

• Architecture/ Storage Manager

• Outline editor
• Rules Files
• Partitioning
• Spreadsheet
• Calculations
• Optimization
• System Admin.
• Add-Ons (Currency, API, HIS, etc.)

Architecture/ Storage Manager

• Given a set of database statistics that show which dimensions are dense and sparse and how
many members are stored in each dimension, identify which dimensions are in the blocks and
which are in the index
• Identify how big blocks are and how many cells are in the blocks
• Given the database statistics (sparse density, block density, compression ratio, etc.), explain
how many blocks exist, how many cells on average have data, etc.
• Describe how a database's statistics would change during the following scenarios (A member
is added to the outline, data is added for that member, a member is changed to dynamic
calc, another month of data is added, the database contains input only data, the input data is
calculated, etc.)
• Identify what each cache does
• Given database statistics, explain which compression type would be used and why
• Given an exhibit, explain how the isolation level setting and commit access will affect user
access and rollback capabilities
• Identify the difference between input, level0 and upper level blocks
• Given exhibits of the Dense and sparse settings, explain what type of restructure will take
place when a change such as adding a dense member occurs
• Describe the incremental restructure feature
• Given a fragmented database scenario, identify the causes, the identification, and the
resolution of the fragmentation

Outline Editor

• Identify the use of the following properties and how they affect calculations and the database
(Expense reporting, time balance first/last, skip missing values, two pass, dynamic calc, label
only, never share, shared members, implicit share)
• Describe the use of the following tags and how they affect calculations (Account Dimension,
Time Dimension and dynamic time series)
• Identify the use of aliases
• Describe correct setting of UDA’s within the outline
• Identify correct use of UDA’s within calculations, etc.
• Identify the use of attribute dimensions

Rules Files

• Given requirements, choose the appropriate build method (Parent/child, level, generation)
• Given a file and an exhibit of various setting such as "allow shares, remove unspecified, allow
moves, etc.", correctly identify the resulting outline structure
• Identify how member properties can be set during a dimension build (For example: Dynamic
calcs, expense reporting, etc.)
• Given a file and a resulting outline structure, identify the field properties necessary to build
the outline (For example: Parent, Level3, Alias, Duplicate level2, etc.)
• Identify use of prefix, suffix, join, split, and replace. Given a file, explain how to set the
column delimiters, define the file headers and set the embedded column headers
• Given a file, set the appropriate field definitions (i.e. set the dimension names, members
names or '*data* for each column)
• Given a set of select and reject rules, identify which rows will load
• Given examples, identify an optimized data load


• Identify the three types of partitions and the pros and cons of each type
• Given a partitioned database, identify the calculation implications (Which partitions need to
be calculated and in which order)
• Identify differences in the behavior of calculations when using replicated vs. transparent
• Identify which files are used to synchronize outlines and how to execute outline
• Demonstrate an understanding of the wizard, demonstrate an understanding of the
mappings, areas and cell count
• Identify how to import a map file
• Given a scenario, identify the partition type with the most optimal partitioning strategy


• Identify the location and limitations of LROs

• Given different exhibits of where member names are placed on a sheet for retrieval, correctly
identify the positive/negative implications
• Given a spreadsheet, which has implicitly shared members on it, correctly identify the impact
that a lock and send of the sheet will have on the database
• Given an exhibit of the member select screen, identify which members will be selected and
where they'll be placed on the spreadsheet
• Identify the use of the subset feature
• Given exhibits of various options settings, explain what the resulting spreadsheet retrieval
will look like
• Identify the uses of the Essbase Query Designer


• Given a calc script with updatecalc and clearupdatestatus set, describe which blocks will be
calculated and which will be clean or dirty at the end of the calculation. Identify the block
level of intelligence
• Identify what causes blocks to be tagged dirty
• Given an outline, the dense and sparse settings, identify the default calc order
• Given a calc script, identify the outcome. Given the numeric outcome, identify the script that
created the numbers
• Describe the problem with having the Create Blocks on Equation turned on
etc.) and describe how they affect the calculations


• Given examples of dimensions and their dense/sparse settings and number of members,
identify optimal dimension order in the outline
• Given an outline, identify any shared members or labels that would optimize the outline
• Given an exhibit of dense/sparse settings and part of the outline, identify when to use
dynamic calc
• Given database statistics, correctly identify how they would change if a few members were
changed to dynamic calc
• Identify the use of FormulaBottomUp command
• Given exhibits of dense/sparse settings correctly identify when to use multiple Fixes vs. Ifs in
a calc script
• Given a calc script, correctly identify how to optimize it to minimize the number of passes
through the database
• Given a scenario and statistics, correctly identify the optimal caches, dense /sparse
configuration and block size
• Identify when to use the Hash table

System Administration

• Identify the various security levels, the specific security settings allow/limit user capabilities
and access. Identify when and how to use filters, users, and groups. Given a filter. Explain
what access a user has. Given a filter and calculation access, explain what access the user
• Describe basic Esscmd and MaxL functions (reset, login, logoff, shutdown server, settings,
connect, dim build, import, calc, begin and end archive) and identify how to execute them
• Identify the location of certain database files (Security file, page and index files, logs, etc.)
• Given a database crash scenario, identify the files involved in recovery
• Given a scenario about migrating an application from one server to another, identify valid
• Given a sample Essbase.cfg file, identify functionality of each setting (Ssaudit, Notices and
calc cache settings, network settings)
• Identify use of various database settings (Aggregate missing values, report buffer sizes,
isolation levels, committed and uncommitted access, cache settings, Diskvolumes,
compression) and how they affect the database
• Given a server command, explain use (Dump, logoutuser, start application, stop application).
• Identify where substitution variables are set
• Identify how to use substitution variables in a calc script

Practice Exam Questions for Essbase

1. How can you link the main and currency databases when using the Currency
Conversion Module?

A. Use the <LINK Report Writer Command

B. Use the currency setting in the Essbase.cfg file

C. Establish a linked partition using Partition Wizard in Application Manager

D. Use the currency tab in the database settings dialog in Application Manager

2. Given Uncommitted access, which settings would ensure rollback?

A. Pre-image Access enabled

B. Pre-image Access disabled

C. Commit Block = 0; Commit Row = 0

D. Commit Block = 10; Commit Row = 10

3. What are substitution variables in a calculation script used for?

A. To decrease overall system maintenance

B. To declare a temporary variable in a calculation script

C. To prompt the user for a parameter in a calculation script

D. To dynamically allocate the calculator cache during calculation script execution

4. Which statement is true about partitioned databases assuming default settings?

A. Updating source data from the target of a transparent partition is possible

B. Updating target data in the target of a replicated partition is never possible

C. When data is replicated, the changes from the target will be copied to the source

D. Data updated at the target of a replicated partition can be viewed from the source

5. The character X is used to assign the Dynamic Calc tag to members in a source file
during a dimension build. Which step accomplishes this?

A. Add X as a prefix to each member in the source file

B. Add X as a suffix to each member in the source file

C. Add a column to the left of member column and assign X as an attribute

D. Add a column to the right of member column and assign X as an attribute

6. The ESS00001.IND is 70 MB and the ESS00001.PAG is 600 MB. Given these choices
what is the optimal Index Cache setting?

A. 50 MB

B. 140 MB

C. 500 MB

D. 600 MB

7. What cannot be linked to a cell with Linked Reporting Objects (LRO)?

A. A text note

B. A sound file

C. An Excel file

D. A link to

E. A link to another cell in the same database

8. Given the following settings, what is the optimal outline order?

Dimensions D/S Actual/Stored Dimension Type

Time Period Dense 17/12 Time

Measures Dense 35/30 Accounts

Years Dense 5/4 None

Products Sparse 2000/1000 None

Clients Sparse 600/600 None

A. Measures, Time Period, Years, Clients, Products

B. Measures, Time Period, Years, Products, Clients
C. Years, Time Period, Clients, Measures, Products
D. Years, Time Period, Measures, Products, Clients

9. Given the following settings, what is the optimal outline order?

Dimensions D/S Actual/Stored Dimension Type

Years Dense 20/17 Time

Measures Dense 15/9 Accounts

Product Sparse 22/22 None

Market Sparse 250/250 None

Scenario Dense 5/3 None

A. Measures, Year, Scenario, Product, Market

B. Product, Market, Scenario, Year, Measures
C. Scenario, Measures, Year, Market, Product
D. Year, Measures, Product, Market, Scenario

10. Which partition method could significantly increase disk usage?

A. Linked
B. Joined
C. Shared
D. Replicated
E. Transparent

11. Which partition method should be used to seamlessly view data from the target

A. Linked
B. Joined
C. Shared
D. Replicated
E. Transparent

12. When would you select Shared Member functionality, as opposed to Attribute
dimension functionality? (Choose Three)

A. When creating crosstab reports

B. When desiring precalculated a totals
C. When associating with a Dense dimension
D. When using alternate consolidation properties (=, -, ~, etc…) for members
E. When increasing the amount of dimensionality without increasing the sparsity of the

13. How should you have Essbase assign a multiplication unary operator to members
in a dimension build?

A. Add “*“ as a prefix to each member in the source file

B. Add “*“ as a suffix to each member in the source file
C. Add a column to the left of member column and assign “*“ as a property
D. Add a column to the right of member column and assign “*“ as a property

14. Which type of member is associated with the most efficient use of multiple IF
commands in a calculation script?

A. Dense
B. Sparse
C. Locked
D. Unlocked

15. What is the proper use of the two Substitution Variables, Current_Month and
Prior_Month, in a calculation script?

A. Prior_Month = Current_Month * 1.1;

B. &Prior_Month = &Current_Month * 1.1;
C. @Prior_Month = @Current_Month * 1.1;
D. “Prior_Month” = “Current_Month” * 1.1;

16. In the Member Selection Dialog available in the Essbase Spreadsheet add-in, what
should you use to select members based on User Defined Attributes and Attribute

A. Find
B. Subset
C. Level Name
D. Member Information
Answers for Practice Exam Questions for Essbase

1. Documentation: Essbase 5: Database Administrators Guide, correct answer "D"

2. Documentation: DBA Guide, Volume II, correct answer "C"
3. Documentation: Calc Script Training, correct answer "A"
4. Documentation: Partitioning Training, correct answer "A"
5. Documentation: Calc Script Training, correct answer "D"
6. A
7. E
8. A
9. A
10. D
11. E
12. B, C, D
13. D
14. A
15. B
16. B