Planning Application Business Objects

Updated: 2009-07-23

PerformancePoint Planning applications consist of a list of business objects. Planning modelers use Planning Business Modeler to model their business using these Planning business objects. Some of these business objects are predefined by Planning Server and can be customized by the users; others are user-defined. With these Planning business objects, you can build powerful applications that perform complex planning, budgeting, forecasting, and consolidation.

Planning application business objects consist of the following types of objects:


  • Applications

  • Root model sites

  • Model subsites

  • Models

  • Dimensions

  • Hierarchies (member sets and member views)

  • Business rules

  • Associations

  • Application calendars

Business Process:

  • Cycles

  • Jobs

  • Assignments

  • Reports and forms


  • Users

  • Administrator roles

  • Business roles


There are a few business objects inside the modeling category. Business modelers work with Planning Modeling business objects to model their business. The following diagram shows all the business objects inside the Planning application space.

domain objects diagram


An application is the top-level container for all Planning Server components. Applications are designed to perform complex planning, budgeting, forecasting, and performance management functions. To create applications, business analysts define models, dimensions, assignments, cycles, and associated business processes. An application also contains a shared library. Each application is contained in its own Microsoft SQL Server database.

For example, a Planning Server application is the container for the following:

  • A company's Planning Server-based business-model definitions

  • Predefined and user-defined dimensions

  • Mappings that connect business model definitions with the company's data source

  • Planning Server metadata like views, permissions, and workflow information

Root model sites

Model sites are used to organize your application and data. Each application has one root model site that contains predefined dimensions and global assumption models. All other model sites in the application are referred to as model subsites. You deploy each model site to a SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services database.

Model subsites

Model subsites represent the business structure of a company. They can be based on a company's reporting structure, financial processes, operational processes, and so on. For example, a company may create subsites based on divisions, on business units, or on security access restrictions that require separation of processes or functions.

Model subsites inherit some of the shared metadata that is associated with each ancestor model site. This includes assumption models, dimensions, and dimension members. Additionally, model subsites might contain models, dimensions, or dimension members that are unique to that model subsite.

The following diagram shows the hierarchical structure of the model sites within a Planning application.

model sites diagram


A dimension is a structural attribute of an online analytical processing (OLAP) cube, an organized hierarchy of categories that describes the data in a fact table. These categories typically describe a similar set of elements. For example, a Geography dimension might have categories such as Country, Region, State or Province, and City. Members of the dimension would be actual place names in these categories, such as Country: USA; Region: Northeast; State: New York; City: Albany.

Planning Server provides two categories of dimensions: predefined and user-defined. The predefined dimensions are automatically generated by Planning Server when an application is created.

Planning Server provides the following predefined dimensions:

  • Account

  • Business Process

  • Consolidation Method

  • Currency

  • Entity

  • Exchange Rate

  • Flow

  • Intercompany

  • Scenario

  • Time

  • TimeDataView

You can use predefined dimensions or choose to modify or expand the predefined dimensions to match your current data structure and naming conventions.


Each model site usually contains one or more models. Models contain dimension member sets, which are user-defined sets of members, and fact data.

Each model maps to a cube in the model site's Analysis Services database.

Each model belongs to a specific model type. There are five model types in Planning Server.

Model type Description


Predefined rules for accounting logic are not included.

Global assumption

Available to all model sites. An assumption model holds baseline data that applies throughout a business or to a financial model.

Exchange rate

Tracks various foreign exchange values for a given period, exchange type, and all currencies in the system.

Financial with shares calculations

Has the ability to perform a statutory consolidation with shares calculations.

Financial without shares calculations

Has built-in logic to perform a consolidation without shares calculations.

Model dimensions are the dimensions selected when you create a model. Some dimensions are automatically selected for you based on the model type.

Hierarchies (member sets and member views)

Planning Business Modeler helps you manage dimensions by organizing the dimension members into member sets. Dimension members can belong to multiple member sets. Member sets are then used to create models that contain the data that is used by applications.

A member set can be flat, and have all dimension members organized as siblings, or it can be organized into a hierarchy.

Dimension members can be organized by using member views, which are hierarchies of dimension members that are grouped according to member properties. Member views are not used to build models. Instead, member views provide an alternative way to create reports on the members of a dimension by using dimension member properties to analyze groups of related members. After you create a member view, you can use it to calculate the sum of all dimension members that have the same value for a given property.

Both member sets and member views are forms of hierarchies.

Business rules

A business rule is an executable program that performs a business task. In Planning Business Modeler, business rules operate on the multidimensional data in a model. For example, you can use rules to allocate resources, calculate forecasts, determine variances, and find key performance indicators (KPIs). Rules can help you run queries, seed data in Microsoft Office Excel forms, and move balances from one period to another.

Some rules can be run directly by users, and other rules can be run only as part of a specific type of job. When run, a rule applies the actions that are written in the rule statement.


An association is a logical relationship between two models in Planning Business Modeler. The models are called the source model and the destination model. When you create and run an association, you can move fact data from the source model to the destination model, and if you want, aggregate that data during the process.

Associations that move data are useful in a variety of scenarios.

Application calendars

The application calendar is used to set up a concept of time periods that matches the practices that are used in your company. An accurate application calendar provides your past, present, and forecasted data with the context that you require for successful financial tracking and benchmarking. The application calendar is created as part of the application-creation process and is a required step.

Planning Server supports both fiscal calendar and the Gregorian calendar.


The calendar in Planning Business Modeler is restricted to durations that do not exceed 25 years into the future. If you need to extend this calendar in Planning Business Modeler longer than 25 years in the future you must install the PerformancePoint Server 2007 hotfix package: June 17, 2009.


The hotfix file (PBMCli.msp) for the PerformancePoint Server 2007 hotfix package: June 17, 2009, must be applied to all client computers that run PerformancePoint Planning Business Modeler. Additionally, the administrator must configure each user profile in the BizModelerstate.xml file on all PerformancePoint Planning Business Modeler client computers.

Business Process

PerformancePoint Planning enables users to create and track data-submission assignments for users and jobs for automated system actions. The following table describes each of the elements of business process management.

Process element Description


A process-related task, such as data entry, that is assigned to a user. Assignments can be defined to include review and/or approval by other users.


A system task such as loading data, running rule sets, or sending notifications. Jobs can be defined and run either as part of a cycle, or independently.


Defines the date that a job will occur or that an assignment is due. A cycle might be a one-time occurrence, or it might be scheduled to recur repeatedly over a span of time or a specific number of instances.


Used for data entry, whereas a report is used to display data. Forms and reports are created in PerformancePoint Add-in for Excel as worksheets.


The security model for Planning Server is based on roles. Users are assigned to roles, and their permission levels in the Planning Server system are dictated by the roles to which they belong. The two types of roles are administrative roles and business roles.

  • Administrative roles are used to build applications or to grant appropriate permissions to key personnel in your organization.

  • Business roles are used to control access to business data for PerformancePoint Add-in for Excel users. A role applies only to the model site that it is created in.

A user is a person within the Planning system that performs one or more tasks. For example, a user can be a contributor, a reviewer, or an approver.

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