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How to Install or Upgrade Planning Analytics for Excel (PAX/PAfE) Add-in

Updated for PAX v 2.0.90 – Single File Install. Here we are going to detail how to upgrade or install IBM Planning Analytics for Excel on a user’s PC.

What is Planning Analytics for Excel (PAX/PAfE)?

Planning Analytics for Excel (PAX – also sometimes known as PAfE) is the Excel add-in that provides access to TM1 cubes. With it, you can do ad-hoc explorations, create quick reports, universal reports, create unlimited length dynamic reports and highly customised reports. It replaces the old TM1 Perspectives add-in.

What is the PAX/PAfE Add-in?

PAX/PAfE connects to the Planning Analytics Workspace (PAW) server (not the TM1 server). To do this it uses an Excel Add-in.

There is a separate add-in for both 32- and 64-bit versions of Excel. If you get the wrong one it just won’t work. Please check your version of Excel prior to this process.

There are new versions of the PAX/PAfE add-in released by IBM every month or so. You should have a recent, say within the last three months, version installed.

Instructions to Install Planning Analytics for Excel

Installing Planning Analytics for Excel is a simple process and does not require administration rights to install anything. You end up just running the .xll file and it opens PAX inside Excel straight up.

Time needed: 10 minutes.

Here are the detailed, step by step instructions for installation of the Planning Analytics for Excel (PAfE) for version 2.0.65 and beyond.

  1. Check Supported Environment

    First, check that your PC satisfies the supported environment from IBM. This is available here and includes: At least .Net 4.6.1 (if not present, download it from here).
    If installing PAX onto an old version of Excel (2007, 2010), then install the Primary Interop Assemblies (PIA) for your version of MS Office Office 2007 here, Office 2010 here. For Office 2013, 2016 or 2019, Microsoft doesn’t publish a PIA as apparently they are not needed).
    If you get errors installing please see this post.
    Finally, check what version of Excel you are running – is it 32 or 64 bit. This will determine which version of the PAX plugin you need to use (File, Account, About Excel).

  2. Backup PAX Connections

    Backup the connections inside Planning Analytics for Excel if you are upgrading. Just copy and paste the connection string out to Notepad.

  3. Quit from Excel

    Exit from Excel, if it is still open.

  4. If Upgrading from prior to 2.0.65, Uninstall Previous Version

    Uninstall any previous version of PAX.
    Click Start menu, Programs, IBM Planning Analytics for Microsoft Office, Uninstall IBM Office Addins, Uninstall IBM Office Addins.
    This will bring up the Uninstall Wizard and you should follow the steps in it to remove your current version of PAX.
    Ensure you select the option to leave your configuration settings in place as you don’t want to lose them!
    Removing the prior version is absolutely mandatory, especially if you are upgrading from a version up until 2.0.64.

  5. Create a Folder for PAfE

    Create a new folder somewhere that is accessible to you. Say, C:Planning Analytics for Excel, or E:PAX or something similar. Then copy the relevant .xll file (either 32 or 64 bit) to this location. These are the files that need to be directly run to open PAX directly inside Excel.

  6. Download and Save .xll File

    Then either from PAW (on the Administrator screen) or from IBM Fix Central, download the relevant .xll file (either 32 or 64 bit) and save to this new folder. There is no Windows installation for PAX now. These are the files that need to be run directly to open PAX inside Excel.
    Make sure you are deploying the correct .xll file (i.e. 32 or 64 bit – if you don’t know which one to use, open Excel and check the About info). You can see the two versions of it below, differentiated by the x64 or x86 in their names.

  7. Rename Downloaded .xll

    We now have the .xll file in a location that is easy to find, but we want to get it into our Windows Start menu. This is an easy process and below are the steps that will make it easy for you to find and update it in the future.
    Rename the .xll file as just plain old “Planning Analytics for Excel.xll” (i.e. without any version info). This is done this so that when we create the shortcut it is named this AND, more importantly, when we upgrade PAX to a later version in a few months time, we will rename the newly downloaded version using that same name and Windows will still locate the shortcut target.

  8. Create Shortcut

    Next we create a short cut to it to place in the Windows Start Menu.
    You will see here that we have placed the .xll it to a folder, called E:PAX.
    Then create a shortcut to the .xll and rename it to just be “Planning Analytics for Excel” – nothing more, because that is how we want it to appear in our Start Menu.

  9. Copy Shortcut to Start Menu

    This is a little beyond my Windows pay grade, but if you go to %AppData%MicrosoftWindowsStart MenuPrograms in Windows Explorer and paste the shortcut there, it will now be visible on the Start Menu.

  10. Open the .xll File

    Now with the file in the correct location on your PC, go to your Start menu and open Planning Analytics for Excel.

  11. Enable Code from IBM

    When you first open PAfE directly from the .xll, Windows will ask you about a potential security threat from the .xll file. You can either select to enable for this session only, or to enable all code from the publisher. Obviously if you don’t want to have to answer this popup every time you open PAX, then you need to choose the first option, to “Enable all code published by this publisher”.

  12. Set Language and Accept IBM Licence

    Straight after the security warning from Windows, you will also be asked to select your language and accept the licence from IBM. This only occurs once.

  13. PAX is Open – et Viola!

    Planning Analytics for Excel will then open in Excel and will not open any document (unlike in the pre 2.0.65 days). You will then need to Connect to Planning Analytics to work with the files stored inside your TM1 server.

  14. Create Connection to TM1 Model

    Now that you have installed the Planning Analytics for Excel add-in, you need to create a connection to a TM1 model. Please see this post for detailed instructions on how to do this.

PAX/PAW/PASS/PA Server Version Sync

Planning Analytics needs to be kept roughly in sync between the core Planning Analytics (TM1) server, Planning Analytics Workspace (PAW), Planning Analytics for Excel (PAX/PAfE) and Planning Analytics Spreadsheet Services (PASS/TM1Web). IBM releases new version of PAX and PAW about every month and a new version of PA server about every quarter. Just make sure you upgrade all three, not just PAX and leave PA server or PAW, or it will clunk eventually!

If you need more information on PA version management, please see this post.

Old Versions of TM1 Add-ins

Planning Analytics for Excel is NOT TM1 Perspectives!

Please note that if you are looking for instructions to install TM1 Perspectives, please see this post.

Planning Analytics for Excel prior to Version 2.0.65

As of version 2.0.65, the installation of PAfE changed. It is now a single file installation, rather than the installation of a set of Excel add-ins. The PAfE admin provides reporting and analysis of TM1 cubes via Excel.

If you need to install a prior version than 2.0.65, then please follow the steps at on this post.

Need Help with Planning Analytics for Excel?

If you need any help with Planning Analytics for Excel, be it creating reports, migrating from Perspectives, user training or creating fully integrated PAW books that have PAX web sheets seamlessly embedded in them, or anything else, give us a call. We’re here to help!

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John Vaughan

John Vaughan

John is a CPA, MBA and has been a Performance Management consultant for over 25 years. He is the founder of ExploringTM1 and highly regarded for his experience combining financial management with corporate planning, reporting and analysis. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two of his three children, their cat, Freckles, a bunch of chooks and some fish. John is a sports nut, who played rugby until he was 40, started playing football at 54 and loves being outdoors.

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