Wednesday, October 21, 2020

EPM 11.2.3.0 In-Place Upgrade: Why I Did It, and Issues Encountered

As mentioned in my previous post about EPM 11.2.3.0, I decided to attempt an in-place upgrade from Hyperion / Oracle EPM 11.2.2.0 to 11.2.3.0.

Before I launch into this discussion, I want to be very up-front:  I do not like EPM in-place upgrades.  They are fraught with risk as you never know what issues you'll encounter.  Once you encounter them, you have to work non-stop to fix them because the system you've attempted to upgrade is now non-functional.

This spells disaster for a Production system where the customer only provides a weekend to get it all done; everything must be online by 7AM Monday morning.

So why did I even bother???

Let's look at the recent Oracle EPM 11.2.x release history:

  1. EPM 11.2.0.0 released December 2019
  2. EPM 11.2.1.0 released April 2020; Chrome and Edge fully certified, IE11 de-certified
  3. EPM 11.2.2.0 released June 2020 and includes Linux
  4. EPM 11.2.3.0 released sometime between September 15 - early October 2020

Now lets examine the list of patches for EPM 11.2.x:

  1. Ziltch
  2. None
  3. Nada

Oracle is patching Essbase 11.1.2.4, and I'd have to check but I believe patches for DRM 11.2 are also on a separate track.  The rest of the EPM suite, however, only has bugfixes as provided in EPM Releases 11.2.1.0 through 11.2.3.0 as listed above.

The question lingers in my mind: will we see PSEs or PSUs start to trickle out for the non-Essbase components, or will we continue to see new "dot" releases every 3 months or so?

Doubting the former, I considered the latter.

If Oracle were to continue this trend of issuing dot releases instead of PSEs/PSUs, then us remaining on-premises Infrastructure people ought to get comfortable with performing in-place upgrades within the EPM 11.2.x.x releases.  Thus, my adventure began.

The above out of the way, here's my observations after performing the in-place upgrade and troubleshooting it.  In no particular order:

  • The documentation is absolutely correct that we need to edit \Oracle\Middleware\EPMSystem11R1\products\Essbase\eas\console\bin\admincon.bat and change the reference of Java from Java 6 to Java 8.  Java 6 has been out of Extended Support for some time.
  • Essbase Sample Applications not visible after installing them via installtool.  In 11.2.2.0, I didn't install the sample applications.  In 11.2.3.0 I wanted to test them.  Installtool said the install was a success.  After digging around, I found them in \Oracle\Middleware\EPMSystem11R1\products\Essbase\EssbaseServer\app
    • This was NOT my ARBORPATH
    • I checked epmsys_registry and \Oracle\Middleware\user_projects\epmsystem1\EssbaseServer\essbaseserver1\bin\setEssbaseEnv.bat -- both of them had the ARBORPATH I wanted
    • I'm not sure if this is the correct method, but I edited \Oracle\Middleware\user_projects\epmsystem1\EssbaseServer\essbaseserver1\bin\server.properties and followed the comments within it.  I added an entry for ARBORPATH, bounced Essbase, and then I could migrate or create apps and they appeared where I wanted.
  • installtool re-applies Middleware and Essbase patches every time it runs. This behavior is not new and dates back to at least 11.1.2.4.  I don't recall if 11.1.2.3 and prior did this.  When you see installtool "stuck" at 97-98%, that's what it is doing.  The lesson here is don't start applying Essbase patches or the quarterly critical Oracle Middleware patches until you're satisfied you're completely done using installtool.
  • Analytic Provider Services does not work.  This behavior started in 11.2.0.0 and continues through 11.2.3.0.
    • The error message in the WebLogic log is "weblogic.application.ModuleException: java.lang.RuntimeException: Failed to deploy/initialize the application as given archive is missing required standard webservice deployment decriptor."  ("descriptor" typo is Oracle's, not mine).
    • The fix is to patch the Essbase Suite up to a higher patch level, such as 11.1.2.4.040 or .041 as of this writing.  Consult the APS patch README to see which other patches correlate to the Analytic Provider Services patch you want to apply.
  • Oracle database clients, WebLogic Server, and OHS would not upgrade and installtool shows errors during the upgrade process.  Don't worry about this as you don't need to upgrade them.  11.2.0.0 through 11.2.3.0 use the same versions of this software.  Just ignore and move on!
  • On a positive note, the Google Chrome "white screen" rendering bug in LCM has been fixed in 11.2.3.0!
  • Consolidation Administration->Settings->System still has the same defaults as 11.1.2.4.
    • MinDataCacheSizeInMB: 2.25GB -- This is likely too high for sandboxes and DEV environments.  It might be OK for UAT and PROD.  You decide!  Tuning is an art, not science.
    • SessionManagerTimeoutInMS 1,200,000 (20 minutes) -- Many HFM admins asked me to triple it. This affects EPM Workspace AND SmartView.
  • Another positive note. Oracle has done a great job cleaning up the many references within scripts to Java 6 that I mentioned in my more than a cupful of Java post.  EAS Console thick client launcher and MetadataMerge.bat are the last remaining offenders now.
    • I completely understand why EAS Console is still referring to Java 6.  EAS Console is 11.1.2.4 software at this time, so it needs to work in an 11.1.2.4 system that uses Java 6.
  • Another positive note. My Windows Registry fix for the Planning RMI issue was preserved.  Bookmark the post I linked if you need to use the classic Planning command-line utilities, as they need RMI running properly.

That's about it!  (But isn't that enough?)

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