Sunday, July 7, 2019

KScope 2019 - Candid Thoughts

1. I'm not an employee of Oracle Corporation and do not claim to speak for them. This blog contains my own independent observations.
2. Safe Harbor applies.  Some of Oracle's comments at KScope were directional in nature and may change in the future.
I’ve spent a bit of time reflecting upon my time at KScope 2019.

Some highlights:

  • Oracle has moved the Essbase development work out of EPM and into the Oracle Database development team.  Essbase will remain an OLAP database rather than relational – Oracle just shuffled some deck chairs.
  • When EPM 11.2 comes out, Essbase will initially remain technology under the covers:  we won’t be getting the new Sandbox features introduced with Essbase 12 in on-premises OBI12 / cloud OAC.
  • On-premises CapEx, Workforce and Project planning modules will be deprecated and not available in EPM 11.2.  (We knew for some time that Project Planning will be going away; nobody seems to use it).  But losing CapEx and Workforce was a bit of a shock.  This means those cubes would need to be re-implemented as custom cubes in 11.2 Planning; no more pre-built content for them.
  • Disclosure Management, Interactive Reporting, WebAnalysis (deprecated when came out), and SQR Reporting are also sunset and will not be available post-
  • It is clear Oracle wants to push CapEx, Workforce and HSF customers to the cloud.
  • At some point, we’re not sure when, EPMA will be gone in 11.2 and will be replaced by a limited-use version of Enterprise DRM.  This DRM will be bundled with 11.2.  This is a complete reversal from previous Safe Harbor statements made by Oracle
  • Out-of-place / lift-and-shift migration from to 11.2 will apparently be certified.  Some kind of migration tool will be provided for this.
  • OAC will no longer have Essbase bundled with it, effective immediately for all new customer-managed OAC implementations.  Essbase “12c” will have to be installed separately as a standalone instance, and then Essbase cubes would need to be migrated from the old Essbase instance into a new standalone Essbase 12c instance.  The jury is out on this.  Unsure if Oracle will soften their position and bend to the collective will of their customers.
  • A new Essbase, Essbase 19c, is under development for 11.2.  It is expected to come out sometime next year.  Essbase 19c will be for on-premises only.  So the confusion: Essbase is for 11.2 in the short term and also EPM Cloud.  Customer-managed OAC will remain on Essbase 12.  Oracle-managed OAC might eventually get Essbase 19c.
  • on-premises Essbase patch development has apparently stopped and will not continue.  This makes no sense as there are still unsolved bugs lingering out there, and EPM Cloud uses technology behind the scenes.  No word yet if EPM Cloud will be bumped up to 11.2.  My gut feeling is EPM Cloud will get 11.2 first, as the cloud’s servers run Linux.  Plan on opening SRs galore if Oracle plans on doing this within the first 6 months of 11.2’s release.  They’ve pushed out 11.2’s release multiple times now, so they must be fighting bugs.

Lots of confusion due to EPM and Essbase now being split.  People are also scratching their heads about possible migration paths to either 11.2 or the cloud, especially when Essbase is in the mix of their on-premises suite.

It is rumored that 11.2 will first come out for Linux only, perhaps as early as Sept 2019 (SAFE HARBOR APPLIES), and a Windows version will not come out until Q1 or Q2 2020 (SAFE HARBOR APPLIES).  No clue if HFM will be certified for commodity Linux servers, or Windows & Exalytics only.  CORRECTION: Oracle has indicated the release for Windows will come out first, and Linux will be released later (probably sometime in 2020).  The slides have a typo and say Windows Server 2019 will be certify; they really meant 2016.  Hopefully Oracle addresses this in a future PSU, as certification for Windows Server 2016 only buys us a few more years of time (2027), and then we'd be looking at another major upgrade.

All in all, it was a great event and ODTUG is to be commended.  Kudos to Oracle Product Managers for showing up and taking the heat.  It was great to reconnect with old colleagues as well!

I'm just a little bummed I missed the chance to chat with my favorite blogger from AppliedOLAP.  I pale in comparison with him.

On the upside:  I met with family in Seattle and took a few days off to take the cross-country Amtrak from Seattle back to Omaha.  Crossed one item off of the bucket list!!!!

Downside:  rafters on the Colorado River MOONED THE TRAIN.  I suspect alcohol was involved. :)


  1. The way 19c was explained to me by folks from Oracle is as follows: 19c is the most current code line for Essbase. It will be released in the Cloud sometime later this year (hopefully September). 19c would then be released for on-prem approximately three months later. Future releases of Essbase should be expected every year and will follow the same pattern. So 20c would be released in the cloud at some point in 2020 and would be released to on-prem three months later.

  2. Tim, good comment! The documentation I was given tells a different story, but I will wait to see what actually happens. I hope the scenario you described actually plays out. The Essbase community would be better served by a single version of Essbase being maintained, vs. 3 different versions.

  3. Correction: The Oracle release 11.2 slides specifically say Windows deployment will be first release, and Linux will follow in a PSU.

  4. Hello,
    Any comments on customers with Workforce planning in use in, will we get some migration path to move all Artifacts/Metadata/Data to 11.2 ?

    1. Hi Azmat, Oracle has not revealed any details in the meetings I've attended. I attended a webcast yesterday and Oracle said "most people customize their WrkForce and CapEx cubes anyway". In theory, it out to be possible to LCM migrate everything. The LCM artifacts may need to be edited to replace "Wrkforce" with Plan2 or Plan3. The trick is whether or not their are Custom Defined Functions in Essbase that might not migrate. This smells like it would become a small development project to figure out how to bring it into 11.2.

  5. Thanks Dave....hope Oracle can come up with a good strategy for migration from to 11.2

  6. Hello, if Workforce Planning is not supported on 11.2, What about PSPB (Public Sector Planning & Budgeting) applications? is it going to be supported in 11.2 version? Also, what are the alternatives to CAPEX and PFP modules?


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