Sunday, April 26, 2020

Stop Editing Workspace EAR Files - EASY Way to Change the Title!

I mentioned in my last ODTUG webinar that Oracle EPM 11.2.x's workspace looks exactly the same as's.  Everything looks identical right down to the color schema and title of the tab in your browser.

In the old days, we had to manipulate the WAR file inside of the EAR file to change the Oracle logo, manipulate the color codes, or whatnot so as to discriminate between Production, non-Production, or even different versions of EPM.  Replacing the logo image requires the know-how to make an image of the exact same height & width -- or being a fairly good Internet meme creator.

Worse, I sometimes find evidence that some consultants made edits directly within WebLogic's domains/EPMSystem/servers/FoundationServices0/tmp folder, rather than within the EAR+WAR file itself.

Stop doing that!!!

Do you know that a 1-line SQL statement makes your EPM Workspace title and browser tab look similar to my screenshot above?

Execute the SQL statement and bounce the EPM Foundation service, and you'll never have to worry about what happens if somebody subsequently patches Workspace or blows away WebLogic's /tmp folder.

Which SQL statement????   Here you go.  As my dear mother used to tell me in her dry humor, "never say I didn't do anything for you..."

UPDATE hss_component_property_values
SET property_value = 'EPM Workspace - Datavail Sandbox'
WHERE property_name = 'ApplicationName'

property_name = 'ApplicationName' is case-sensitive for both Oracle and MSSQL.  What you specify for property_value may be anything you want.  My suggestion is to indicate the version (e.g., or as appropriate) and the environment designation (PROD, UAT, DEV, etc...)

The above SQL statement works for all 11.1.2.x and 11.2.x versions as of this writing.  If you're still on 11.1.1.x or 9.3.x..... good luck!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

EPM to In-Place Upgrade

Here's a quick follow-up to my earlier post regarding EPM Initial Thoughts.

If you installed Oracle EPM shortly after it was released in December 2019, you are likely considering moving up to EPM so you may enjoy the new certifications for Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome.

But do you need to start all over?  No, you don't!

As mentioned in the installation guide, provides a Maintenance Upgrade option, whereby you may perform an in-place upgrade on and bring it up to

I ran this process over the weekend, and here are my observations:

In short, the process is easy and and is identical to how the in-place upgrade worked within the 11.1.1.x and 11.1.2.x series of releases.  The installTool.cmd utility detects the previous installation and forces you to upgrade the existing components first before allowing you to go back and install additional components.

When you perform an in-place upgrade from to, the binaries for Oracle WebLogic Server and Oracle HTTP Server initially remain untouched.  All of the .ear files underneath \Oracle\Middleware\EPMSystem11R1\products, however, will be replaced by the upgrade.

One thing to note is when installTool.cmd reaches 97% progress and seems stuck at "updating Oracle Inventory", there are some additional things happening behind the scenes; the installer applies Oracle Middleware and Essbase patches during this phase.  Patches previously applied by's installTool are re-applied by's installTool.  These patches include Oracle WebLogic, Oracle HTTP Server, and Essbase.

If you use SmartView for Essbase, you will need to reapply the Java fix for Essbase SmartView ad-hoc.  This is because installTool applies the Essbase patches in a slightly incorrect order, leaving two Java artifacts in Oracle\Middleware\EPMSystem11R1\common\EssbaseJavaAPI\\lib\ with an incorrect version.  Click the link within this paragraph to see the exact fix.

After you finish running installTool, configTool indicates the web applications need to be redeployed.  In truth, this doesn't provide much benefit as WebLogic automatically picks up the newer .ear files the next time you restart services.

It isn't a bad idea to run the redeploy step, though, because the act of redeploying makes a few minor updates to the Shared Services Registry database.  Specifically, a few components will have their version numbers updated from to  This makes the EPM System Registry Report and also Help->About EPM System->Show Details slightly more accurate (although not exactly accurate in all cases).  Doing this will help reduce some confusion should you need to work with Oracle Support in the future.

April 23, 2020 update:  Michael Fredericks of FinWeb Solutions noted he received a Communication Error when trying to login to EPM Workspace after performing the upgrade.  He resolved the issue by running the redeploy step.  He also reminds us that when redeploying, we need to go back and re-apply any Java Heap customizations.  Thanks for your comment on LinkedIn, Michael!

One final point about this in-place upgrade: You don't need to touch or re-do RCU.

Monday, April 20, 2020

EPM Initial Thoughts

Let's begin with a comparison chart I whipped up...

Here are my observations after standing up Oracle EPM
  • The install and config steps in are identical to in all respects.  You still need to worry about RCU, OHS still isn't its own Windows service, etc.
  • The Oracle Middleware layer is also identical between and, with the exception of 2 patches that automatically installs: 27747932 and 27430060. Simply applying these 2 patches to an system doesn't give it the Edge & Chrome certifications; you need to be on as Oracle recompiled a lot of their Java classes within the EPM .ear files for Workspace, Planning, etc.  We can see evidence of this when we crawl through the .war files within the .ear files in a tool such as 7-zip.
  • As with, you'll find is one year behind (as of this writing) in terms of the quarterly Oracle Critical Patch Updates for WebLogic, Java, and OHS.
  • There is no need to install first and then in-place upgrade to  You may install fresh and then LCM your application content from
The chief benefits to over are the certifications added for Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome.

IE11 will continue to receive Microsoft security updates for as long as Windows 10 remains supported, but as they say, "shots have been fired".  As Microsoft has indicated Edge is the browser of the future, so has Oracle and thus (I suspect) the push to get out the door.  (People have been clamoring for Chrome certification as well)

Further reading on Microsoft's site: Microsoft Lifecycle FAQ

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Time to Spin up EPM

Oracle Announcement

More analysis will be forthcoming.  I'm inclined to pick the fresh download & install option vs. upgrading from

Of interest: support for Google Chrome is back with this new release, and we finally get Microsoft Edge support as well (bringing EPM on-premises more into parity with EPM Cloud).

Many people have asked me about MS Windows Server 2016 certification, and this new release includes that as well.

On this point, Oracle indicates EPM is on the development roadmap, and Internet Explorer will be de-certified at that time.

Stay tuned!  I haven't seen a release come out this quickly since the Essbase 5.0 fiasco.