Saturday, June 27, 2020

News Flash: Oracle Extends Essbase 11.1.2.4 Extended Support Through 2024

No supporting detail to digest yet, but here it is:

https://blogs.oracle.com/proactivesupportepm/essbase-1112x-updates-to-the-extended-support-end-date

In short, the post linked above says Extended Support for Essbase 11.1.2.x is extended through DEC 2024.  (Safe Harbor: the Internet is forever, so if you found my blog through a Google search, please check Oracle's site for the latest information)

We also see there is again a break-out between Premiere Support and Extended Support.  Until yesterday, June 26, 2020, Premiere Support and Extended Support were on the same DEC 2021 expiration timeline.  Premiere Support remains on the DEC 2021 timeline, but Extended Support now gets the new DEC 2024 timeline.

Keep a few things in mind.

Although the post says "Essbase 11.1.2.x", in reality we're talking just about 11.1.2.4.  The ship has sailed on new patches coming out for Essbase 11.1.2.3 and prior a long time ago.  The terminal Oracle Essbase 11.1.2.3 patch is 11.1.2.3.508 and it was issued Dec 10, 2015.

Also note the post linked above is careful to talk about Essbase alone - not the entire Oracle EPM / Hyperion stack for 11.1.2.x.

What does this mean for on-premises EPM shops?

It suggests to me that Oracle intends to continue maintaining and patching Essbase 11.1.2.4 past the prior DEC 2021 Safe Harbor date. 

Perhaps COVID-19 delayed efforts to gather the Dev team together to get Essbase 19c ready to roll out to EPM 11.2.1.x.  Certainly, I can say COVID-19 has impacted many organizations and they delayed their upgrade from 11.1.2.x to 11.2.1.0 by 1-2 years.  It is possible Oracle received push-back from their customers and this could have contributed to extending the date.

Organizations still need to take Microsoft end-of-life dates into account.

Windows 7 is already out of support and the end-of-life date for Internet Explorer 11 has been aligned with end-of-life for Windows 10.  Customers who have moved to the Oracle EPM Cloud, but still use Windows 7, have 2 months remaining (as of the date of this post) to upgrade to Windows 10 so Microsoft Edge may be used; EPM Cloud will stop supporting Internet Explorer 11 in Fall 2020 (see the July 2020 EPM Cloud Update notes for details on this).

I am glad to see Essbase 11.1.2.4 has received a breath of life.  This particular component has been the most heavily patched within the 11.1.2.4 EPM on-premises suite, with a new cumulative patch coming out with significant bugfixes at a pace of one every 2 months.  For the sake of comparison, Hyperion Planning has 10 cumulative patches as of this writing, whereas Essbase has 40.

Those of us who rely upon on-premises Oracle EPM will need to re-check Oracle's site periodically to learn if the DEC 2024 Extended Support date might be applied to the rest of the EPM 11.1.2.4 stack, or if it remains applicable to Essbase only.  The fact that EPM 11.2.0.0 and 11.2.1.0 use Essbase 11.1.2.4 under the covers is a reason why I believe the date may have been extended specifically for Essbase.

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