DSS News
                       by D. J. Power
             January 2, 2001 -- Vol. 2, No. 1
         A Bi-Weekly Publication of DSSResources.COM
Check the Web-Based Decision Aids at
* DSS Wisdom
* Ask Dan! -- What is a good replacement for models built using IFPS? 
* What's New at DSSResources.COM
* DSS News Stories
DSS Wisdom
"It is because of the varied and unpredictable nature of data required 
for strategic planning that an attempt to design an all-purpose internal 
information system is probably hopeless.  For the same reason, the dream 
of some computer specialists of a gigantic bank, from which planners can 
obtain all the information they wish by pressing some buttons, is 
probably no more than a dream." (45)
>From Anthony, Robert N.  Planning annd Control Systems: A Framework for 
Analysis.  Cambridge, Mass.: Graduate School of Business Administration, 
Harvard University, 1965.
Ask Dan!
What is a good replacement for models built using IFPS?  
Montreal, December 5, 2000
Hubert Deneault, Hydro-Quebec, wrote 
"First, I want to thank you for offering a service like  It is very helpful and very much appreciated."
"Here is our problem."
"For a number of years now, we have been using IFPS, a financial 
planning package first developed by EXECUCOM, in Austin, and later 
merged into COMSHARE.  Over these years, we have developed a few quite 
large models, which are linked together though not dynamically.  There 
are mainly 3 such models, the largest containing more than 1500 
variables(rows) and approximately 80 columns (time periods)." ...
"You probably guessed it we are looking for a replacement, i.e. 
something that will:"
"do what IFPS does in a more friendly and a more modern environment
preferably be based on WINDOWS and VISUAL BASIC, and be able to talk  to 
an OLAP application like Hyperion ESSBASE, or something similar."
"Can you, or anybody out there, help?"
Dear Mr. Deneault--
You mention a number of requirements for a new software package. Based 
on what you have told me I think you need to try the simplest solution, 
which is to use Microsoft Excel 2000.  This solution is easy to overlook 
and it does have some limitations.  You indicated the largest model 
contains more than 1500 variables (rows) and approximately 80 columns 
(time periods). In Microsoft Excel 2000 there are 256 columns and you 
can have 65,536 rows. So it should handle the data set.
With the built-in functions and add-ins I think you can develop a wide 
variety of planning models.  Excel 2000 is a more friendly and more 
modern environment and you can work with OLAP and post results as Web 
I checked Paul Gray's 1996 book Visual IFPS/PLUS for Business and there 
will be some issues that need to be addressed in working with 
simultaneous equations. 
Perhaps we'll get some feedback on this or other alternatives.
What's New! at DSSResources.COM
01/02/2001 Rotated Guestbook, News, What's New, and did other changes 
associated with a new year. For Old What's New, see the 2000 What's New 
page or the 1996-1999 What's New page.
DSS News Stories - Dec. 17, 2000 to Jan. 2, 2001
01/02/2001 Call For Papers for the BITWorld2001 International Conference 
on June 4-6, 2001 in Cairo, Egypt. Abstracts due January 28.
01/02/2001 New White Paper Explores the Technical, Operational and 
Business Sides of Content Delivery Networks.
01/02/2001 Global Crossing conferencing product recognized for its 
innovation and ceativity.
01/02/2001 A new book by Denis Bouyssou, Thierry Marchant, Patrice 
Perny, Marc Pirlot, Alexis Tsoukias, and Philippe
Vincke titled "Evaluation and Decision Models : A Critical Perspective" 
has been published.
01/01/2001 Call for Papers for the Fourth International Workshop on Web 
Engineering, on May 1, 2001 in Hong Kong.
Submission deadline January 29.
12/27/2000 IntraNet Solutions Wins "Products of the Year 2000" Award 
>From Imaging & Document Solutions Magazine for Xpedio.
12/26/2000 MicroStrategy launched an updated administration product for 
MicroStrategy 7 Platform.
12/22/2000 Oracle Openworld survey shows that 72% of Oracle(r) 
developers working with XML choose to use Java over C/C++.
12/21/2000 Call for Papers for 3rd International Workshop on Design and 
Management of Data Warehouses (DMDW'2001), June 4, 2001, Interlaken, 
12/21/2000 Call for Papers for ICEIS-2001, the 3rd International 
Conference on Enterprise Information Systems, Setubal, Portugal,July 
7-10, 2001. 
12/20/2000 Gartner Dataquest says CRM Services Industry to reach $19.9 
Billion by end of 2000. 
12/19/2000 Decisioneering released Open Crystal Ball 2.0.
12/19/2000 and Yevich, Lawson and Associates report that IBM 
leads in business intelligence and Data Warehousing.
12/18/2000 Alphablox ships German, French and Japanese versions of its 
Business Intelligence platform.
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