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Arbor Software and Microsoft team up to create tools for corporate budgeting applications; Open Budget Pack leverages tight integration between Microsoft Excel and Arbor's Essbase.

SUNNYVALE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 16, 1995--Arbor Software, a leading provider of multidimensional database software, and Microsoft Corp. Monday announced the cooperative development of the Open Budget Pack, a series of templates that leverage the power and tight integration between Arbor's Essbase multidimensional database and the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

The Open Budget Pack has been developed using the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) programming language and Arbor's Extended Spreadsheet Toolkit and is designed to speed the creation of enterprise-scale budgeting applications. It provides dynamic data entry screens, drop-down list boxes and graphs within Microsoft Excel, all completely "data driven" from Essbase. The entire pack is fully documented so that corporate IT, user organizations, independent software developers and consultants can adapt the templates to meet the needs of their own environment.

The Open Budget Pack uses Microsoft Excel as a front end to guide the user through a complete budget development cycle. Using VBA and Essbase, budget worksheets are dynamically maintained, which enable the user to enter data, enter budget assumptions (via OLE in Microsoft Word), view historical trends and perform what-if analysis. Budget data is stored using Essbase's multidimensional structure. Essbase is used to allocate and consolidate data using the budget model, as well as to derive complex ratios (such as product share and market share) that are used to analyze trends reflected in the budget.

"The Open Budget Pack allows users to combine the data capacity and compute power of Essbase with the strength of Microsoft Excel's flexible user interface," said James Dorrian, president and chief executive officer of Arbor Software. "This effort reinforces Arbor's commitment to open solutions for business planning and analysis."

"The result of this effort gives Microsoft and Arbor the ability to provide large organizations the foundations for building corporate budget applications," said Lewis Levin, general manager of Microsoft's Excel Group. "The combination of Microsoft Excel and Essbase is truly a powerful enterprise solution," he added. -0- Open Budget Pack Modules include:

- Performance Goals: Key financial performance goals are developed, analyzed and budgeted.

- Goal Allocation: High level corporate budgeting goals are allocated down to product divisions, territories, etc., based on historical trends.

- Detailed Plans: Monthly plans are derived from a bottom-up perspective on historical trends.

- Consolidation and Reconciliation: Bottom-up plans are consolidated and then compared to financial goals from the top-down perspective.

- Calendarization: Top level goals are calendarized based on historical trends and bottom-up plans.

- Management Reporting: Presentation of finalized budget plans and assumptions. -0-

All these Microsoft Excel-based modules are data driven from the underlying Essbase database model. Using the Essbase spreadsheet API, VBA in Microsoft Excel is used to dynamically create template sheets from the most current database structure. This minimizes the need to constantly maintain the application for changes in the Essbase structure.


The Open Budget Pack will be previewed for the first time at Dimensions '95, Arbor's First International Users Conference, and will be distributed by Arbor Software at no additional charge to those organizations that have licensed Essbase and Microsoft Excel.

About Arbor Software

Arbor Software develops and markets multidimensional database software for business planning, analysis and management reporting applications. Arbor's products are used by more than 500 corporations spanning a broad range of industries and business applications including: Chemical Bank, Emery, Fidelity, Los Angeles Times, Neutrogena, Pennzoil, PEPSICO and Prudential. Arbor's products are sold direct, as well as through systems integrators and VARs worldwide.

Arbor has alliances and partnerships with numerous companies including: Andyne, Cognos, Comshare, FiServ, Hewlett-Packard, Hogan Systems, Informix, Microsoft, Red Brick, Sybase, and Platinum Technology. Arbor offices are located in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Sunnyvale, Washington and London. More information on Arbor products and services can be found on Arbor's World Wide Web (WWW) site at

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing everyday.

CONTACT: Arbor Software

Marguerite Padovani, 408/541-4053


Waggener Edstrom

Jennifer Allen, 503/245-0905
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Oct 16, 1995
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