Essbase Java API digging: data load from FTP?


I spend a lot of time working with the Essbase Java API, so I have become pretty familiar with it. I have used it to build a middle tier for a mobile reporting solution, a core part of the innovative Drillbridge drill-through solution for Essbase, Planning, and Financial Reporting, and countless other little apps. (In fact, my experience with Essbase, Java, ODI, and Jython are all at the confluence of one of my upcoming endeavors, but more on that later…)

In any case, much like a trip to Costco, going through the Essbase Java API can be a bit of a treasure hunt at times. One such thing I came across recently had to do with the loadData() method on a cube object (IEssCube).

There are actually a few loadData() methods – in programming parlance, the method is overloaded. That is, there are multiple functions with the same name, but they differ with their calling argument types, so behind the scenes, Java is intelligently able to figure out which one to call. Method overloading is frequently done for programming convenience.

For example, an object might have a method getGreeting(String name) that takes a name and returns “Hello ” plus that name. Another method with the same name might be getGreeting(String name, Date time) and this returns a greeting that is customized by the time of day.

The Essbase cube object in the Java API contains three loadData methods. One of them caught my eye. There’s a loadData() method that takes a username and password. According to the docs, you can actually load a file over FTP (in which case the file name would be an FTP path, presumably with a server and maybe even prefixed with ftp://), and the username/password are at the FTP username/password.

I thought this was kind of cool because it’s not something that’s ostensibly visible in EAS. So it could be something that’s buried in the API that is used behind the scenes, or maybe it was some plumbing done for PBCS. Maybe it has even been there forever. Like I said, I thought this was interesting… there are also a few other fun tidbits I’ve seen over the years in the API so I’ll try and point those out in the future. If you know of some please send them my way!

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