Friday, January 30, 2015

Say Hello To HFM 11.1.2.4

As many of you may already have heard, the Oracle EPM release 11.1.2.4 was made available on Oracle Technology Network earlier this week. Social media has been abuzz with activity since and many bloggers have already written posts about all the new features. Instead of making another set of installation screenshots I wanted to take a closer look at Hyperion Financial Management as HFM is the product that has gone through most changes in this version.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Oracle EPM, IE11 and Enterprise Mode Explained

The following message and the Bindows information page are familiar to those who have attempted to use current Oracle EPM versions with Internet Explorer 11. In August last year Oracle published an article stating that use of Internet Explorer 11 is now supported with EPM versions 11.1.2.2 and 11.1.2.3 as long as you use Enterprise Mode in the browser. In this post I will explain what Enterprise Mode is and how you can enable it for your EPM environment.




Thursday, January 8, 2015

HFM Base Level Data Extracts Via LCM

Starting with EPM 11.1.2.3 it is now possible to extract base level data from HFM applications using LCM. This is a handy way to back up your level 0 data without using third-party tools.


There is one requirement for this functionality that is easy to overlook in distributed environments though. (excerpt from the EPM System Lifecycle Management Guide)
In order to export or import Financial Management Data artifacts in a distributed EPM installation, Lifecycle Management must have a shared file system path. The domain account that has access to this shared/disk folder should be used to start services. Configure hfmLcmServiceAppPool(IIS) with this domain account.

If you have a two-server setup with web components installed on machine called "WebServer" and HFM application server components on "AppServer" you will need to make a small change to the default Foundation Services configuration.

  • Share the default import_export folder (usually looks like D:\Oracle\Middleware\user_projects\epmsystem1\import_export) so that the share is writable by local Administrators and by the HFM DCOM account (also verify the file system permissions)


  • Stop all EPM services
  • Use EPM System Configurator to modify the LCM import/export path to point to the shared folder (in my example \\webserver\import_export). After finishing the task in Config Utility you can verify the change by running EPM System Registry Editor from the Start menu and by searching for "filesystem.artifact.path". Note that in case the share is created locally you shouldn't need to change the login user for the Windows service that starts Foundation Services.




  • Start up EPM services and test that LCM is still able to read and write to the import/export folder.

  • Finally start a base level data extract from HFM to verify that the configuration is working. The data extract should appear as a gzip file in \\webserver\import_export\HFM data extract\HFM-APPNAME\resource\Application Base Level Data. You can open the file using a third-party tool such as 7-zip.







Some notes about the way the extract process works (may be useful for troubleshooting):
  • Data is initially extracted to the HFM working folder on the application server (for example D:\Oracle\Middleware\user_projects\epmsystem2\products\FinancialManagement\Server Working Folder\AppServerName_WorkingData_APPNAME) - this is done by the hsvdatasource.exe process
  • Hsvdatasource.exe copies the produced data file from the working folder directly to the LCM import/export folder defined in HSS Registry. This is why the modification described above is needed.
  • Some of the metadata files used in the process are transferred via the HFM FileTransfer folder (e.g. D:\Oracle\Middleware\user_projects\epmsystem1\products\FinancialManagement\Web\FileTransferData on the web server). Make sure the IIS application pools have write access to this directory.
  • The following error appears in HsvEventLog.log on the application server if the import/export folder is not properly configured as a share: "An unknown error occurred - Param: D:/Oracle/Middleware/user_projects/epmsystem1/import_export/MyExportFolderName/HFM-APPNAME/resource/Application Base Level Data/Data.gz."
  • The following error is produced in Foundation Services log file SharedServices_LCM.log if the import/export folder is not properly configured as a share: "[FoundationServices0] [ERROR] [EPMLCM-30034] [oracle.EPMLCM] [tid: 176] [userId: <anonymous>] [ecid: 00iQfXqUa0zFw00Fzzw0w00001ZS000ZAL,0:1:4:3:4:3:4:3:1:1:1:1] [APP: SHAREDSERVICES#11.1.2.0] [URI: /workspace/logon] [SRC_CLASS: com.hyperion.lcm.product.manager.WebServiceProductManager] [SRC_METHOD: exportArtifacts:717] Failed in communicating to Hyperion Financial Management remote service at URL "http://webserver:80/hfmlcmservice/LCMWS.asmx" during "export" operation for application name "APPNAME" and cluster name "HFMCLUSTR". Nested exception is  [[ org.apache.axis2.AxisFault: javax.xml.stream.XMLStreamException: Premature end of file encountered"

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Essbase Analytics Link Gets Updated

Oracle Essbase Analytics Link for Hyperion Financial Management (let's just say "EAL") is a very handy product if you want to take data out of HFM and create reports out of it in Essbase (or using OBIEE for example). The product is not quite integrated with the rest of the Oracle EPM product suite though and it also hasn't received too many updates lately. Now it looks like EAL has awakened from its slumber as Oracle has produced Patch Set Update 11.1.2.2.400 for the product. The most important change is that EAL finally has official support for the EPM 11.1.2.3 release:
Analytic Links 11.1.2.2.400 can be used with the Oracle Enterprise Performance Management System 11.1.2.2.xxx and 11.1.2.3.xxx EPM System releases only. Pre-11.1.2.2.xxx EPM System releases are not supported.
Another new feature is that migration of HFM security to Essbase has been improved for more fine grained control when using Shared Services groups with HFM security classes. And as usual, lots of bugs have been squashed. See the Patch Details page on Oracle Support for full description of the update: Oracle Essbase Analytics Link for Hyperion Financial Management Patch Set Update (PSU): 11.1.2.2.400

Note that this update requires a full installation of EAL (uninstall previous version, install updated one, configure the updated version).

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Smart View Version 11.1.2.5.215 Available

Oracle has released an updated version of their Swiss army knife add-in for MS Office. The installer for Oracle Smart View 11.1.2.5.215 is currently only available in form of a patch on Oracle Support (Patch 18977986: Patch Set Update: 11.1.2.5.215 for Oracle Smart View for Office) but I expect the Smart View page on OTN also to be updated soon.

As of this version Smart View is certified with Windows 8.1. Most of the other changes are bug fixes to make the add-in work more smoothly with Oracle BI products but a handful of other issues have been addressed as well. As always, have a look at the readme file on Oracle Support to get the full details. Also note that two server-side patches are required in order to get full benefits of the fixes related to OBIEE.

Update: Oracle has now released a knowledge base document on My Oracle Support to clarify supported OS and Office versions and interoperability between Smart View and other Oracle products:

Monday, August 18, 2014

EPM Product Versions Supported By Smart View

The Oracle EPM System Supported Platforms document, often also called the Certification Matrix, includes a compatibility chart that can be used to determine interoperability between EPM versions and other Oracle software (such as the versions of ODI you can use with Essbase 11.1.2.3). When Smart View started living a life of its own after the 11.1.2.5 release, the product was removed from the common EPM certification matrix. This change has made it harder to figure out what exact EPM versions you can use with the latest Smart View release; even the readme files included with the SV installer do not mention this information anymore. It seems that the following Support articles are the only place for finding this knowledge at the moment:

To make life easier for EPM admins I decided to collect the Smart View specific information from the articles in the table below (status for Smart View 11.1.2.5.210 as of August 18th 2014). Please use the links above to double check the latest Smart View version in case you are reading this post later.

EPM System product versions supported by Smart View 11.1.2.5.210:


Essbase*HFMPlanning
11.1.1.3.50011.1.1.311.1.1.3
11.1.1.411.1.1.411.1.1.4
11.1.2.x11.1.2.x11.1.2.x


*) Note: Some Essbase specific features introduced in Smart View client version 11.1.2.1.102 are only available when you use Essbase server 11.1.2.1.102 or later release.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

PSU 11.1.2.2.500 And Other New Patches

I'm still enjoying my summer holiday but wanted to briefly switch into working mode just to point out that the long-awaited Patch Set Update 11.1.2.2.500 has now been released. The Oracle Business Analytics Proactive Support blog sums the patch up nicely in their post Patch Release: EPM 11.1.2.2.500. I find it quite odd that the readme file for 11.1.2.2.500 does not specifically mention added support for Internet Explorer 10 even though this is considered the most important change in this patch bundle. The EPM Certification Matrix document has been updated to include new browser specific information for 11.1.2.2 though.
"Internet Explorer 10.x is supported only in 11.1.2.2.500, and only with Windows 7 and Windows 8."

Several EPM products have recently received new updates in the 11.1.2.3 code branch as well. See the following blog post for more details: EPM Patch Set Updates - June 2014. Note that the HFM PSU .501 (patch nr. 18792393) is also available although it's not included in the list.