Friday, January 29, 2021

EPM 11.2.4 - Online and Here's Some Findings!

One day after my 11.2.4 Initial Thoughts post, I have a near-full-stack online consisting of everything except for Tax and Cost/Profitability.  (The customers I've worked with who used those modules were a small slice of my customer population, so elected to go for the "biggest bang for the buck" where my  "spare time" is concerned.

(Disclaimer - as of Jan 29, 2021 this post is a rough draft and may contain typos.  I'll fix them over the weekend if any are found)

For the most part, standing up Oracle EPM / Hyperion 11.2.4.0 is exactly the same as Releases 11.2.0.0 through 11.2.3.0.  Meaning:

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2016 SP2 only if you're going the Microsoft route, or Oracle RDBMS through 19c.
  • Oracle WebLogic 12c is still behind one "dot" release.  Oracle Fusion Middleware ("FMW") 11.2.1.3 versus 11.2.1.4.  The Certification Matrix suggests EPM 11.2.4 could work on FMW 11.2.1.4, as it says FMW "11.2.1.3+".  This may be a permutation I attempt later after all Unit Testing is complete.
  • Windows Server 2016 and 2019 and Linux 7 (RHEL and Oracle's only).  Essbase 21c is still limited to Linux 7-8 as of this writing.  
  • While Essbase 21c is certified for Linux 7 and 8, Essbase 11.2.4 (really 11.1.2.4 behind the scenes) is certified for Windows 2016-2019 and Linux 7 only.  Pro tip: if you're going to upgrade, don't use Windows 2012.... Essbase 11.2.4 (11.1.2.4) works on it, but 2012 is coming out of support before you will see a budget approved for another upgrade.
  • DRM and HFM still restricted to MS Windows servers only.
  • RCU hasn't gone away in 11.2.4 and we still need to deal with it.  Click the link to see my posts which mention RCU.
  • RCU does not support MS SQL Server when MSSQL is configured for SSL.
  • Certain Financial Reporting and EAS Server configurations require manual edits of WebLogic and/or Oracle HTTP Server ("OHS") files.  Instructions are contained within the 11.2.4 Release Notes.
  • OHS does not get setup as a Windows service.  The corresponding Linux pre-delivered startup scripts don't start OHS, either.  See my OHS StoreUserConfig post for a reminder on how OHS in 11.2.x (it is OHS 12c in this release) is different from all prior EPM releases going back to over a decade ago.
  • Installing OHS under the Foundation node in installTool is deselected by default.  You need to manually select it and then ignore the warning message in the bottom pane about a missing "null" folder.  It installs just fine.
  • Planning RMI still does not bind to its port and you have to apply my RMI Java solution.
  • The Java JDK that is bundled with EPM 11.2.4.0 is still over one year old: Java 8 update 181.  You need to grab a newer Java 8 from the latest quarterly Oracle Critical Patch Update before your IT department runs a scanner and starts hectoring you about running vulnerable software.
Here are a few ways EPM 11.2.4 is different from 11.2.0.0 through 11.2.1.3:
  • "Configure Database" step in configTool moved the checkbox that makes all DB entries the same.  Instead of being at the top left corner, it is now above the DB Name column.  In my testing, clicking that checkbox in an attempt to deselect all rows en-masse did not work.  I had to click each row by hand, so that I could make the database/schema names different.
  • "Deploy to Single Managed Server" is still the default.  But now if you deselect it, deploy Foundation only, and then go back to deploy more things, the option is no longer grayed out.  I have not explored this further.  I avoid the "Single Managed Server" architecture and someday I'll write a lengthy blog post explaining my rationale.  I understand why some folks like it.  I don't.  To each their own!
  • The pre-delivered validate batch file in EPM_INSTANCE/bin produces an HTML report that begins with "EPM Deployment Topology Report (Release 11.2.3.0.0)".  This is a typo.
  • The EPM Workspace home page is back!!!!


A final note before I dive back in and resume my Unit Test.

I said above that the JDK is at least 1 year behind.  A lot of other things are behind as well.  Oracle Middleware (WebLogic, ADF and OHS) and the Essbase Suite.  Here's a quick reference of the patches you get "out of the box" after you finish running installTool.

Oracle/Middleware/EPMSystem11R1 OPatch #s

29260139
30717472
31206874
31206851
31206864
(Look them up and you'll see they're mostly the Essbase Suite 11.1.2.4 and 6 months to a year behind - EAS, Essbase RunTime Client, Essbase Server, etc).  Grab the Essbase Suite patches 11.1.2.4.041 or a higher version you trust, and you may apply them to your 11.2.4.0 system.  Try it and you will see OPatch lets you do it.

Oracle/Middleware/ohs OPatch #s

30687404 
26550599 
26355633
26287183  
26261906 
26051289 
25549931
25360603
25115951

Oracle/Middleware OPatch #s
26626168
30447461
29338031 
27747932
27430060
26355633
26287183
26261906
26051289

"Now wait a minute, Dave?  No oracle_common patches?  No util\bsu WebLogic patches?  You slacker?!?"  Welcome to Oracle Middleware 12c, my friend!  Those things are gone and what I listed in bold above are the -oh parameters you pass to the Opatch utility (add your drive letter of course).

/Oracle/Middleware is the combination of WebLogic and ADF/JDeveloper for Oracle 12c.  OHS and EPM still get their own OPatch folders as before.

I'm not looking up the English descriptions of those patch #s for you, as I've already given away too much for free.  That lookup is very easy to do with an Oracle Support subscription and access to https://support.oracle.com.

Snowed in this week, so I figured I'd make myself useful to the community somehow!

Be well, upgrade to 11.2, and patch up!

January 31, 2021 Update
My earlier remark about being able to change the "Deploy to Single Managed Server" option may have been premature.  I went back into configTool tonight, and the option is now grayed out.  The earlier behavior I experienced, where it was not grayed out, may have been a one-time fluke?

6 comments:

  1. Hi Dave

    Thank you for your posts.
    One question, we had a fresh EPM 11.2.3 installation and today I upgraded to 11.2.4. Could you explain how to enable EPM Workspace HomePage? I have another installation in 11.1.2.3.500, I don't know if I can get something from 11.1.2.3.500.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Xavier,

    My EPM 11.2.4.0 is a fresh install. I took a backup of my 11.2.3.0 instance and may spin it back up and attempt the in-place upgrade to 11.2.4.

    In doing a fresh 11.2.4 install, there's no step to "enable" the Workspace home page. It just happens. In your case, if you're not seeing, I would try these steps.
    1. Stop services.
    2. Re-run configTool and pick these 2 options: Foundation->Deploy to Application Server, and Foundation->Configure HTTP Server.
    3. Once configTool is done, close out of it and then delete the folders domains\EPMSystem\servers\FoundationServices0\tmp and \cache
    4. Clear browser cache.
    5. Restart OHS and EPM services, and try logging in. Both Foundation and Financial Reporting need to be running, or you will see multiple pop-up warnings.

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Dave,
      I will schedule the task. Thank you very much for your blog!
      Regards.

      Delete
  3. You might also want to try and verify that you set your home page to "Home" in your user preferences. In an update from 11.2.3 to 11.2.4, I found that any users that were previously provisioned needed to just reset their home page in their preferences. I believe the default for newly provisioned users is to have it set to the new home page, after you are in 11.2.4.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very interesting, Larry. This stuff is stored in the back-end relational repository exclusively now, so I'm wondering if there's a SQL statement that could set the User Preferences for "Home" for everyone all in one shot. I wouldn't relish the task of having to click through every user one-by-one.

      I avoided 11.1.2.4.9xx like the plague, so I'm having to go back and figure out the Financial Reporting repository changes now. The V8_CONTAINER table is gone, for example, but I have found what seems to be its replacement.

      Delete
  4. Hi Dave. Excellent topic. Thanks for posting. I am planning to install 11.2.4 on the top of 11.2.3. I think 11.2.3 version onwards support SQL2019 and i did used it. I had issue only on configuring RCU using SQL instance so i removed SQL instance and it worked fine.

    ReplyDelete

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