Wednesday, October 4, 2017
The observed behavior is you have an HFM data grid open in SmartView and you get the session expired / disconnected message well in advance of the defined session timeout setting.
I've noticed this seems to happen more frequently if your user has a bunch of VB SmartView retrieval functions on their retrieval template instead of defining a traditional ad-hoc grid. This is pure speculation on my part as I don't have too many systems I'm supporting that are on this particular patch. It seems that each VB retrieval cell maintains its own connection, and apparently once one cell gets disconnected, all of them do and your back-end XFM ODL logs are flooded with messages.
Oracle Development has indicated the bug will be fixed in the upcoming patch HFM 22.214.171.124.206 PSU.
For now, the only known workaround available for the issue is to downgrade to HFM 126.96.36.199.204 PSU.
Monday, September 25, 2017
Update Part Two: This information in this blog post is now obsolete. I have kept the original content as-is for historical reference purposes. As of April 2018, there is a newer WebLogic Server 10.3.6 patch, designated patch # "GFWX" 27395085. To fully remediate the security issues address by this patch, you need (as per Oracle):
"Supported versions of Java SE are: JDK6u191, JDK7u181 and JDK8u172. Your version must be one of these versions or higher."
There was a bit of buzz on the Internet a few weeks ago concerning a zero-day exploit discovered within Apache Struts 2. I did some sleuthing around in my EPM 188.8.131.52 on-premises lab and found evidence of Struts within several WebLogic processes (Calculation Manager, EPM Foundation, and more).
This past Friday, September 22, Oracle issued a Security Alert they've named CVE-2017-9805. This includes a fix for Apache Struts 2 within WebLogic 10.3.6, which every EPM 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11 system on the face of the planet uses behind the scenes.
The patch number to download for WebLogic 10.3.6 is 26835212.
The procedure to apply this patch is different from how we normally apply EPM patches. On each server in the environment where you have a folder named \Oracle\Middleware\wlserver_10.3, you will want to edit this file:
Modify the MEM_ARGS line to be as so:
set MEM_ARGS=-Xms2048m -Xmx2048m
If you don't do this, the patch utility runs for a long time and then fails with an OutOfMemory exception error.
Next, copy the unzipped contents of the patch into this folder:
You would then shutdown EPM web services and execute the bsu script you edited earlier, and examine the output.
I would take things 1 step further and blow away the /cache and /tmp folders for each WebLogic Managed Server underneath \Oracle\Middleware\user_projects\domains\EPMSystem\servers
Stay safe out there!
Also, this patch has a conflict with the April 2017 critical patch "RVBS". RVBS needs to be rolled back first. This adds another 12 minutes.
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
This worked in PSUs 18.104.22.168.700 through 22.214.171.124.705.
I've opened an SR with Oracle and will share the solution once it is discovered.
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Oracle published a workaround for this a while ago, in the form of the ESSCMDQ utility. Once installed and we automate the suggested ASO restructure script, this was a reliable way to avoid the 255 limitation.... until very recently!
A few patches ago, ESSCMDQ started behaving... erratically. Sometimes the restructure script would complete, and other times ESSCMDQ would crash. The crash message would complain about a DLL within the Microsoft Windows version of the 126.96.36.199 Essbase Client, such as ESSOPGN.dll.
It just so happens that Oracle discovered this and published an update, but you have to dig for it within the Knowledge Base!
The Knowledge Base article # on support.oracle.com is "2273191.1". This article acknowledges the bug and includes a download link to a version of ESSCMDQ.exe recompiled for Essbase 188.8.131.52.015 and higher. Unfortunately, this version isn't included on the main download page for ESSCMDQ.
Oracle is issuing patches for on-premises Essbase 184.108.40.206 at the pace of about once every 2 months. Since 220.127.116.11.0 first came out, as of this writing 19 cumulative patches have been issued for Essbase. This means if you are using ASO and are on 18.104.22.168.015 through 22.214.171.124.019, you will want to hit the "2273191.1" article and grab the newer version of ESSCMDQ.
Friday, August 11, 2017
The frustrating thing is the window renders correctly in IE8. What's going on here?
When we migrate a Planning application via LCM from one environment/version to another, the Application Properties are typically included within the migrated artifacts. ORACLE_ADF_UI = false is the culprit here!
"Sherman, set the wayback machine to Hyperion Planning patch set 126.96.36.199.300!"
When Oracle rolled out PSU 188.8.131.52.300 for Planning, they introduced the ADF user interface. This interface is what we know and love today in 184.108.40.206. Back in the 220.127.116.11.300 days, however, some people were still using browsers older than IE9, which couldn't fully utilize ADF. So as a workaround, Oracle documented a method to deliberately disable ADF. By manually adding the ORACLE_ADF_UI property and setting it to false, one could force Planning to behave as it did in releases prior to 18.104.22.168.300.
The problem here is IE11 doesn't know how to render the Member Selection pop-up window when ORACLE_ADF_UI is present and set to false.
A few final notes:
When either deleting this property or changing it from false to true, it is necessary to stop and restart the Planning web service before the change takes effect.
Oracle also advises that once we are running in ADF mode and new Planning web forms are designed, it is not advisable to revert back to non-ADF mode. The forms you built in ADF mode might not render the way you intend when you revert to non-ADF mode.
Saturday, August 5, 2017
Traditional relational database backups and routine disk backups / VM snapshots are great things to have automated, but are not sufficient in and of themselves to fully protect your EPM system from disaster.
"Disaster", in the context of this post, is an Administrator or PowerUser doing any of the following:
- Edit the design of a Planning web form, Calculation Manager rule, or Financial Report in such a way that it is no longer usable. Adding insult to injury, the developer doesn't remember which exact changes were made, and there's no Edit->Undo after clicking Save.
- A click-and-drag operation in the EPMA Dimension Library gone horribly wrong.
- Delete a folder hierarchy within Reporting Framework in EPM Workspace. (Yes, it gives an "Are you sure?" prompt, and yes, I've had to do a restore because someone clicked Yes in Production by mistake).
In the case where Reporting Framework is concerned, we additionally need to restore the ReportingAnalysis\data folder on the RAF Agent server, and that needs to be synchronized with the RAF relational restore.
But I digress....
Best practice is to automate nightly exports via Oracle's LCM command-line utility for EPM. If you're unfamiliar with this utility, read LCM user guide Chapter 7.
My personal preference is to maintain multiple rolling rotations of LCM backups. This is because sometimes a problem isn't reported for a few days.
And now we get to the nugget of why I'm writing this post today....
Certain LCM artifacts have extremely deep directory paths. Reporting Framework and Financial Close Management immediately jump to mind. In Windows Server 2008 R2, rotating and pruning the LCM export folders wasn't a problem. But with 22.214.171.124's support for Windows Server 2012, we hit a new issue we didn't have to deal with in the past: Microsoft's deep directory path character limitation.
In Windows Server 2012, try running RMDIR /S /Q on your oldest LCM folder for RAF or FCM. You will likely see a failure message stating the directory path is too deep.
So off we go to our favorite web search engine to find a solution. The 2 most frequently posted solutions are too "clunky" to use, in my opinion:
- Mount a temporary drive to a point in the path before the # of characters reach 255-260. CD to it and delete from there. Then delete the temporary drive.
- Use a tool like 7-zip, which uses a different API and doesn't have the character limitation. You can navigate to the parent folder and shift-delete it, and it is gone.
Create this Jython script:
# rmRotation7.py # # This Jython script removes the oldest LCM backup folder. # We use this technique to work around the Windows Server 2012 # limitation concerning directories containing deep pathnames. # # Written on 11/02/2016 by Dave Shay (Datavail) # Modified on MM/DD/YYYY by Your Name - Briefly list changes import shutil shutil.rmtree('E:/Backup/LCM/Rotation7')
Why Jython? Because that shutil.rmtree function does everything we need with just 2 lines of code, and all modern Hyperion systems have access to Jython!
OK, so how do we invoke it?
Paste these 2 lines of code into your LCM automation wrapper script:
SET CLASSPATH=%CLASSPATH%;E:\Oracle\Middleware\oracle_common\modules\oracle.jrf_11.1.1\jrf-wlstman.jar %JAVA_HOME%\bin\java weblogic.WLST E:/Scripts/rmRotation7.py
The first line is what prepares your DOS shell so that it can run Jython scripts. It does run a little slow and will delay your script for a few seconds. The second line invokes your Jython script and prunes the folder named in rmRotation7.py.
There are other ways to tackle this problem, such as installing 3rd party tools like Cygwin. My preference when working with customers' Hyperion systems is to utilize the framework already available. In my opinion, it makes knowledge transfer and ongoing maintenance a little easier. When we instead install a 3rd party tool, now we've introduced yet another thing we need to potentially patch and maintain.
Friday, August 4, 2017
The Observed Symptom
An upstream system automatically provides ASCII text files for FDMEE to load. The timing of the delivery varies from day to day, so a batch process is kicked off by the Windows Task Scheduler to continually check for the files' presence and process them when discovered.
On an intermittent basis, the FDMEE load doesn't properly complete. The files are detected, the FDMEE load is attempted and fails, and then the files are moved into an archive folder by the consultant's DOS wrapper script.
Root Cause Analysis
The consultant setup the FDMEE automation via a Windows Task Scheduler job, which triggered to run "On Startup". The script loops with a 60 second pause. Once files are detected in the expected folder location, the pre-delivered FDMEE load utility is invoked. The files are moved into an archive folder after this runs.
Unfortunately, the FDMEE server was rebooted via Windows Update. Some time after the reboot, the files were delivered and picked up by the automation, but FDMEE has not yet finished its Oracle WebLogic startup sequence.
Plain English: The FDMEE's load utility couldn't process the file, since FDMEE wasn't online.
FDMEE 126.96.36.199 is one of the services that takes the longest to complete its WebLogic start-up sequence. Depending upon the computing resources available, this can require 3-5 minutes or longer.
When FDMEE is fully initialized and ready to accept connections, the system is listening to TCP port 6550 (this is the default FDMEE port unless someone changed it).
We add 1 line to the top of our FDMEE automation wrapper script:
Next, we create the WaitForFDMEE.ps1 script. Here is the script in full:
# This script loops until FDMEE's port is online.
# If you receive a security policy error about “unsigned” Powershell scripts when
# running this process, open a command prompt and type:
# powershell.exe Set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted
# Written on 08/04/2017 by Dave Shay (Datavail)
# Modified on MM/DD/YYYY by Your Name - Briefly list changes
$ErrorActionPreference = "SilentlyContinue"
# Loop forever until FDMEE is online
$socket = new-object System.Net.Sockets.TcpClient("localhost", 6550)
if ($socket -eq $null)
write-host "FDMEE isn't fully initialized yet. Sleeping 20 seconds..."
powershell.exe Start-Sleep -s 20
} until ($socket -ne $null)
write-host "FDMEE is ready to accept connections."
Finally, we copy & paste this line to the command prompt. This prevents a Powershell security error. We only need to issue this command one time.
powershell.exe Set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted
And that's it! The FDMEE automation wrapper script now sleeps until it detects that FDMEE is online.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
9 times out of 10, whenever we implement a new on-premises Oracle EPM / Hyperion system, we receive complaints about intermittent browser or SmartView lock-ups. This can happen when we're hitting Oracle's EPM Cloud instances, too.
Any EPM consultant worth their salt knows the root cause: missing or incorrect Windows Registry keys on the end-user's workstation.
I always find it tedious having to crawl through the regedit tool to find the various keys to see how they're set. How about a simple script that does the checking for you?
@echo off REM EPMClientRegCheck.bat REM REM This simply script displays the values of the Windows Registry key entries REM relevant to browser and SmartView timeouts, and SmartView flickering. REM REM Written 07/12/2017 by Dave Shay (Datavail) REM Modified MM/DD/YYYY by Your Name - Briefly list changes echo ------------------------ echo KeepAliveTimeout should be set to dword:2bf20 echo Here is the current value: reg query "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings" /v KeepAliveTimeout echo ------------------------ echo ServerInfoTimeout should be set to dword:2bf20 echo Here is the current value: reg query "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings" /v ServerInfoTimeout echo ------------------------ echo ReceiveTimeout should be set to dword:75300 echo Here is the current value: reg query "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings" /v ReceiveTimeout echo ------------------------ echo DisableWindowTransitionsOnAddinTaskPanes should be set to dword:1 echo Here is the current value: reg query HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common\Toolbars /v DisableWindowTransitionsOnAddinTaskPanes echo ------------------------ echo DisableAnimations should be set to dword:1 echo Here is the current value: reg query HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common\Graphics /v DisableAnimations echo All done checking! pause
Double-click the .bat file and you'll see something like this:
------------------------ KeepAliveTimeout should be set to dword:2bf20 Here is the current value: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings KeepAliveTimeout REG_DWORD 0x2bf20 ------------------------ ServerInfoTimeout should be set to dword:2bf20 Here is the current value: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings ServerInfoTimeout REG_DWORD 0x2bf20 ------------------------ ReceiveTimeout should be set to dword:75300 Here is the current value: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings ReceiveTimeout REG_DWORD 0x75300 ------------------------ DisableWindowTransitionsOnAddinTaskPanes should be set to dword:1 Here is the current value: ERROR: The system was unable to find the specified registry key or value. ------------------------ DisableAnimations should be set to dword:1 Here is the current value: ERROR: The system was unable to find the specified registry key or value. All done checking! Press any key to continue . . .
Here we see two ERROR messages advising us of missing keys. (These keys in particular are the ones that prevent SmartView graphic flickering issues in Office 2013)
Easy and simple. I like that!
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Here, therefore, is the combined registry file I use that address all of these issues.
If applying on a one-off basis, simply copy & paste all of the text you see below this paragraph into Notepad or your favorite editor. Name the file whatever you want, but change the filename's extension from .txt to .reg. Double-click the .reg file and then click OK/Yes when prompted to merge the changes into your registry. If you have many Hyperion users who need these changes, instead forward the paragraph below to your IT department and ask they be pushed out via "Group Policy Update" - your IT department will know what that means.
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings] "KeepAliveTimeout"=dword:0002bf20 "ServerInfoTimeout"=dword:0002bf20 "ReceiveTimeout"=dword:00075300 [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common\Toolbars] "DisableWindowTransitionsOnAddinTaskPanes"=dword:1 [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common\Graphics] "DisableAnimations"=dword:1
Saturday, July 8, 2017
To change the EPM Workspace title that appears to the right of the Oracle logo, or whatever custom logo you've replaced it with, run this SQL statement against your EPM System Registry database:
SET property_value = 'EPM Workspace 188.8.131.52 - Datavail Demo Lab'
WHERE property_name = 'ApplicationName'
You can set property_value to be whatever you want. The property_name value is case-sensitive and must be 'ApplicationName' exactly.
EPM Foundation caches this property when it is first initialized, so you will need to stop and restart your EPM Foundation service in order for this change to take effect.
No editing .war files inside of .ear files, and no replacing contents of /tmp folders. Problem solved!
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Hop onto your Financial Reporting host server and inspect this folder:
Look for a file here named FRLogging.log. How large has it grown?
In all versions older than HFR 184.108.40.206.700, FRLogging.log would rotate automatically. Starting in 220.127.116.11.700, however, this behavior broke and the log grows indefinitely.
This log in particular contains the details about the reports your users are running. By default, each report generates 3-5 pages of log entries. If your users heavily rely upon Hyperion Financial Reporting during month-end and/or quarter-end close, this log file can grow very quickly!
Root Cause and Workaround!
Edit this file:
Find this section within the file:
The above block of XML is entirely missing the rotation-related settings. Here's a corrected version you can use to replace the above:
The above is what I prefer to use. This will cause your logging.xml file to rotate daily, with a maximum retention of 7 days' worth of files.
One thing to bear in mind: This logging.xml file resides both on your Hyperion Financial Reporting host machine and also the WebLogic Admin Server's machine. Whenever WebLogic Admin Server is running, and Financial Reporting is restarted, the logging.xml file on the WAS server is pushed to the HFR server. Also, if you have HFR clustered across multiple instances/machines, you'll need to edit logging.xml within FinancialReporting1, FinancialReporting2, etc., as appropriate.
Update: I've submitted an Oracle SR to issue a BUG about this issue, as I've encountered this in every single 18.104.22.168 implementation I've done across multiple Oracle customers.
Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Here is the underlying problem:
Once your DBA has configured the back-end relational database to only accept SSL client connections, it is impossible to create (or use) a data source within Hyperion Planning's data source administration screen. This is because, unlike the EPM System Configurator, there is no checkbox for enabling SSL, and no input boxes to specify your Java keystore and password. This means we have to click the checkbox for a custom JDBC URL, and we must figure out the syntax ourselves.
After reaching multiple dead-ends, I stumbled upon the solution. Because I had already gone through the steps of configuring SSL for the various databases, and I deployed the applications to WebLogic, the JDBC URL syntax we need to emulate has already been provided!
On any of your EPM servers where you've deployed to WebLogic, navigate to this folder:
Let's walk through a specific example. Suppose we have already created our Java keystore with a default password of "changeme", as per Oracle's documentation within epm_security.pdf, and we've saved it as:
Furthermore, let's say we're using Microsoft SQL Server as our database (2008 or 2012, but you want to be using 2012 by now), and we have empty database named "Vision" for our new Planning data source.
In this scenario, here's the custom JDBC URL we'd copy & paste into the data source creation screen. Bear in mind, the text you see below is all one line. I've added linebreaks for ease of reading:
jdbc:weblogic:sqlserver://SQLSERVERHOSTNAME:1433; databaseName=Vision; ENCRYPTIONMETHOD=SSL; TRUSTSTORE=E:\Oracle\Middleware\ssl\myIdentity.jks; TRUSTSTOREPASSWORD=changeme; VALIDATESERVERCERTIFICATE="true"; loadLibraryPath=E:\Oracle\Middleware\wlserver_10.3\server\lib
Personally, I find configuring EPM for full end-to-end SSL extremely time consuming and tedious. My preference is to put an SSL offloader in front of Oracle HTTP Server, but some IT organizations are becoming increasingly concerned about hardening their data's security as it passes through their internal network.
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
(Disclaimer: If all you have is just Essbase, upgrading is super easy. Otherwise, upgrading can be a "project")
If your EPM environment is version 22.214.171.124 or older, chances are high you're hosted on Windows Server 2008 R2. While I'm not afraid of UNIX, most Hyperion implementers seem to be, and thus the vast majority of EPM environments I've seen are Windows-based. Furthermore, just over half tend to use SQL Server rather than Oracle for their back-end relational databases.
So, this blog post is directed to the community who is using SQL Server 2008 or SQL Server 2008 R2 for their Hyperion environments.
Surrender, Dorothy, and upgrade!
As you prepare your capital budget for fiscal 2018, make sure you include a Hyperion system upgrade. Here's why:
Microsoft Extended Support ends for SQL Server 2008 R2 on July 9, 2019
If you wait until the last minute to plan your upgrade -- that is to say, sometime in 2019 -- you will likely have to wait in line. Us EPM on-premises infrastructure consultants will be busier than a roofing contractor after a thunderstorm rolls through town.
Now is the perfect time to plan your on-premises Hyperion upgrade. Oracle Sales is heavily pushing their Cloud offerings, so the pace of new on-premises implementations is decreasing. This means you could get a good deal on an upgrade project between now and 3rd Quarter 2018.