PBCS Pro Tip: Manage Multiple Test Accounts with One Gmail Address

During the testing phase of most Planning implementations, developers need to create test user accounts.  I typically create at least one test user for each security group so I can verify that the correct access has been assigned.  With an on-premises Hyperion Planning implementation, this is easy – simply create user ID’s in the Shared Services native directory.  With PBCS, creating bulk test ID’s can be difficult, as each user ID requires a unique e-mail address.  If you need 50 test users, should you create 50 fake/temporary e-mail accounts?  Luckily the answer is no.

The Easy Way . . .

Gmail has a clever feature that allows developers to use the same address (almost) for all test user e-mail accounts, and it involves the “+” sign.  Specifically, the plus sign and everything to the right of a “+” in a Gmail e-mail address is ignored.  Here’s an example.  Let’s say I want to create one test account per security group, and I have the following groups:

  • Sales_Read
  • Sales_Write
  • Marketing_Read
  • Marketing_Write
  • Executive_Read
  • Executive_Write

I created a free Gmail account with the e-mail address pbcstest@gmail.com.  If I try to use this same e-mail address for all six of my PBCS test accounts, I’ll get an error.  Each account requires a unique e-mail address.  However I want to manage all of my test accounts from a single e-mail address.  To do this, I need to use a “+” sign in the e-mail addresses of my test users.

Here’s an example.  For the Sales_Read group, I might create an account called Test_Sales_Read.  When I assign an e-mail address to this account, I’ll use pbcstest+sales_read@gmail.com.  Gmail will ignore the plus sign and the text to the right of the “+”.  All confirmation e-mails will be send directly to the pbcstest@gmail.com account.  I can create as many users like this as I want, as long as the text to the right of the “+” sign is unique for each account. PBCS will treat the e-mail addresses as if they are unique.  My six accounts above might look something like this:


When Oracle Cloud sends the user ID confirmation messages with temporary passwords, they will all be delivered to pbcstest@gmail.com.

On a Personal Note . . .

This feature isn’t just useful for PBCS.  Imagine creating rules within Outlook that route your personal e-mails to folders based upon the following:

  • myaccount+netflix@gmail.com
  • myaccount+bankstuff@gmail.com
  • myaccount+amazon@gmail.com
  • myaccount+travel@gmail.com
  • myaccount+odtug@gmail.com

Let your e-mail OCD run wild!  (and simplify the creation of PBCS test accounts)