Use CloudWorks to solve CurrentDate/CurrentTimestamp in Anaplan WITHOUT using third-party tools

Use CloudWorks to solve CurrentDate/CurrentTimestamp in Anaplan WITHOUT using third-party tools

As Solution Architect / Model builder, I would like to be able to create a "connection" in CloudWorks Anaplan using a webservice managed by Anaplan which automatically updates in the backend a file that contains the periodically updated CurrentTimestamp in UTC  (something like "2021-02-01T14:10:45").

I will know this will be solved if I can build an "integration" in CloudWorks and schedule it every hour to update a cell with the CurrentTimestamp in my Anaplan model.

 

This will finally solve the lacking of a function in Anaplan which returns the Current Date or Current Timestamp, without involving any other third-party applications

 

Currently, the workaround to have in Anaplan the Current Date /  CurrentTimestamp is to create an external scheduled task that updates a cell in system module from an Anaplan model with this information. To build this, it is needed an external on-premise machine (or other thrid-party integration REST API tool) from which it is triggered this scheduled task action.

 

If Anaplan would make available this CurrentTimestamp file automatically updated and to give access to this file using CloudWorks, it will not be necessary to involve any other third-party tools in order to build this workaround.

It is acceptable also that this CurrentTimestamp to be not every second updated....but only every 30mins/1hour. However, it will give enough information for 99.99999% of the cases where CurrentTimestamp is needed in Anaplan. 

 

Currently, the only service available in CloudWorks is "Amazon S3" and to have a file updated with the CurrentTimestamp in "Amazon S3" it is needed other third-party tools...this is why, in my opinion, will be needed that Anaplan to create some Anaplan proprietary Webservice and give access to everyone in order to make this work. 

 

What do you think?

Alex

5 Comments
AlejandroGomez
Master Anaplanner/Community Boss

Not sure whether this is the best way to get timestamps or not, is for the developers team to decide I guess, but what is true is that we need a way of retrieving the timestamps! and thus, you got my kudos!

Cheers.

Alex.

david.savarin
Frequent Contributor

Wouldnt Adding a standard function be better ? One depending on your profile time zone ?

alexpavel
Certified Master Anaplanner

@david.savarin  I am not sure if Anaplan will ever make available a Function to return the Current Timestamp. It is in discussions only the option that for a function that returns the Current Date. 

 

This is because Anaplan cells (all model cells)  are calculated "on-the-fly" in memory and the result of this function should be returned in a cell. 

Any modification to a cell will trigger calculations of the dependent cells in all Anaplan model. 

 

Imagine a function that returns the current timestamp similar to Now().. this means that Anaplan model will be always in recalculating mode because the timestamp changes every second. 

 

 

 

david.savarin
Frequent Contributor

@alexpavel : afaik the calc model only recalculates cells with dependence and i believe calculation is only done when model is opened.

 

So that would eventually make a one cell being recalculated every second, not much a burden on the engine i believe.

 

And anaplan could start with a currentdate(), so no calc each second.

 

alexpavel
Certified Master Anaplanner

@david.savarin 

Calculations are triggered when the model is opened, but also when any cell in the model is modified ( by manual input or imports actions) 

When a cell is modified, indeed, the re-calculating should be done only for dependent cells of the modified cells (as I already mentioned). 

 

What I noticed is that, during the re-calculation, the model is blocked for everyone ( same as when it is launched an export or import action). This is why I find it quite difficult to "see" how could be delivered a CurrentTimestamp function. This is why the proposal to solve the CurrentTimestamp using a scheduled import action which only periodically changes a cell the Anaplan model.

 

It is already possible to solve this using an external scheduled task, but it is mandatory to use some third-party tool that needs to run externally of Anaplan's environment. 

 

Indeed, the CurrentDate() function is easier to deliver because the date changes once every 24h... :).