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Basic Adaptive Concepts for Sheets

These basic concepts help you understand how the Adaptive Suite works and where sheets fit into the Adaptive Suite

Instance and Model

An instance is the collection of structural components that define a fully-functional entity within Adaptive Planning. Sometimes called an installation, an instance consists of a single set of accounts, organization structure, versions, dimensions, attributes, sheets, versions, permissions, fiscal years, integrations, and so on. Adaptive Planning allows multiple instances of its hosted system, so users can switch between them. See Multi-Instance.

Think of your instance as your business and how it exists within the Adaptive Suite. It includes all your company's actuals and planning versions and all the related data, levels, and so on. The model of your instance refers to the the building blocks, (the accounts, levels, assumptions and formulas) and how they relate within Adaptive


A version is a collection of accounts, levels, and other data that represents a particular financial scenario.  For example, a version can include current-year actuals, a budget for next year, a three-year plan, and a what-if plan for evaluating the effects of a business transaction.

There are two types of versions: actuals and planning. When you're viewing actuals, you're looking at actual numbers of sales, costs, and so on, that have already happened in the past. There can be more than one sub-version of actuals. For example, you may have a sub-version of actuals that slices the data into smaller segments, based on levels, dimensions or attributes.

Planning, on the other hand, is data that has been or is being forecasted or budgeted. These are estimates of the future and an instance generally has more than one planning version. For example, you may see a Budget Planning version, a Forecast Planning version, a Working Budget as well as an Approved Budget. Planning versions may also be further broken down by year, level, dimension or attribute. 


Level access is the primary way your Adaptive Suite admin controls which users can see which data. The levels a user has permission to see dictates the data they can view and update. Levels also help you filter data displayed on sheets. 

Levels in a plan represent the organizational structures of your business (for example, departments, profit centers, cost centers, or geographical regions).


Check out the Sheets Overview, Sheets Interface Tour, and Sheet Types


An assumption is a global value that is accessible to all users when writing formulas in their own plans. Assumptions can vary over time and have different values in different versions, but will have the same value at all levels and in every account.

Assumptions are often associated with user-assigned sheets. These sheets let you see and update data to which you normally do not have access. For example, expenses from the IT department are allocated to all other departments based on the number of computers in each department. The IT manager does not have access to enter data in departments outside of IT. With a user-assigned sheet, the IT manager can enter the number of computers for each departments. The data can be used to calculate the IT allocation.

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