Back to the Future with the Latest Release of OneStream XF

By John O’Rourke
This article originally appeared on the OneStream blog. Used with permission.

OneStream XF Version 4.2 Features Browserless App for Windows
OneStream Software recently delivered the eagerly anticipated OneStream XF 4.2 release. This release includes a broad set of new features and additional functionality that promote ease of use, faster implementation and easier maintenance. But the big innovation in this release is the introduction of the OneStream App for Windows.

This “browserless” user interface, along with its Spreadsheet and Text Editor functionality, eases end user deployment, provides deeper integration with Microsoft Windows and Office, and enhances overall usability of the application.

Back to the future image

Back to the Future?

You heard it right folks, OneStream has introduced an App for Microsoft Windows that doesn’t require a web browser. What? Why move away from web browsers? There has been a growing buzz around this topic in recent years, and many large corporations are starting to rethink employee use of web browsers for business. This is driven by cybersecurity concerns, as well as employees spending increasing amounts of work time on Fantasy Football, Facebook and other personal activities.

While the browser-based approach makes sense for consumer-facing applications, the future of corporate web applications is moving to this browserless deployment method because this model contains all the benefits of a web application without the resource overhead, compatibility issues, and security vulnerabilities that come with running web applications within a browser. In fact, native MAC and Windows Apps are increasingly available for other business software such as Microsoft Dynamics, QuickBooks, even LinkedIn offers a Windows App.

OneStream App for WIndows

OneStream App for Windows

Full Functionality of the Browser and More
While most corporate performance management (CPM a.k.a. EPM) software vendors have been focusing on enabling their solutions for access via web browsers, there have been a lot of hurdles encountered in achieving full compatibility across multiple browsers. OneStream will continue to support access to the application via web browsers, however, customers will see several advantages in the Windows App.

For Example:

  • The Windows App is available for the cloud or on-premise deployment and contains all functionality supported in the OneStream XF browser version and more.
  • The Windows App eliminates browser compatibility issues and provides enhanced application rendering performance beyond a browser-based equivalent.
  • The Windows App supports easy initial deployment and automatic subsequent upgrades.
  • The Windows App includes a Spreadsheet and Text Editor with functionality similar to Microsoft Excel and Word. The Spreadsheet feature has capabilities on par with the OneStream XF Excel Add-in (e.g. can run Quick Views, Retrieves, Cube Views) yet is easier to deploy.

Similar to Using Mobile Apps
Another way to think about the advantages of a purpose-built Windows App vs. browser access is the analogy to mobile apps. Anyone who has tried to access the web site of a major airline via a mobile web browser, then downloads and tries the airline’s mobile App, quickly sees the advantages. The user experience and performance are much better in the mobile App than the generic browser. And upgrades are typically seamless and automatic.

What about mobile access? OneStream still offers and supports an HTML5 mobile interface, which is optimized for mobile consumption – i.e. reporting and analysis.

OneStream customers have been very receptive to the new Windows App, and we look forward to delivering additional capabilities through this interface.

More on the New Spreadsheet Interface
OneStream Software has always, and will continue to offer the Quick View Excel add-in that connects this personal productivity tool to the OneStream XF application. This has been popular and useful in providing users (especially in Finance) with the ability to use Excel as a front-end while the application does the heavy lifting on the back end. In OneStream XF 4.2 there’s a new Spreadsheet interface included in the Windows App mentioned above that looks, feels, and acts just like the add-in. All OneStream ribbon functionality has been recreated for use directly inside the Windows App.

In addition to providing a familiar “spreadsheet user experience” within the application, the new Spreadsheet interface provides a more secure and integrated approach. The spreadsheet can be embedded in any workspace or dashboard for an Excel-like interface to the software bringing a richer user experience to OneStream XF for data entry, reporting and analysis. Data entry for budgeting and forecast processes will benefit from all the flexibility of Excel with a direct line of sight to the data and results. Plus, there’s no local software to install on the user’s desktop outside of the Windows App.

Learn More
As mentioned earlier, in addition to the new OneStream App for Windows, the latest release of OneStream XF also includes improvements in Planning functionality, overall usability enhancements, ease of implementation and maintenance features.

To learn more, existing customers can check out the release notes. Non-customers can sign up for our upcoming webinar with our customer Victaulic, or another upcoming event.

– John O’Rourke
John O’Rourke is Vice President of Product Marketing at OneStream Software. With a background in accounting and finance, John has over 30 years of experience in the software industry, including 20 years of experience in product marketing at Hyperion Solutions, Oracle and Host Analytics. He has worked with many customers and partners on financial reporting and planning initiatives and has spoken and written on many topics in corporate performance management. John has also held positions in strategic marketing and product marketing at Dun & Bradstreet Software, Kenan Systems and Decisyon.