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Oracle quietly released a new installer for 11.1.2.4.x labeled 11.1.2.4.900 May 1st on edelivery. I’ve not seen any announcements from Oracle about it and it was not included in the “EPM Patch Set Updates - April 2018” blog announcement which came out on 5/4/18.

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Recently Oracle published an article on performance concerns in PBCS titled “EPM Cloud - Can the Capacity of an EPM Cloud Service be Increased?” In the article Kash Mohammadi, VP of EPM Cloud says the underlying compute resources in the cloud are designed for “elastic stability” and memory or CPU issues are very unlikely the cause of any performance issues. Instead customers should look at application design as the most likely cause of performance issues. Oracle provides a tool for reviewing an application’s design call the “Application Activity Report.”  This very useful tool provides a wealth of metrics which can be used to identify performance issues and provide a starting point for improving your application's design and performance. 

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With the latest Oracle Cloud Updates the EPM Automate utility now supports proxy authentication. The EPM Automate utility is the tool used for automating many of the maintenance activities in the EPM cloud. With the 17.10 Oracle Cloud updates released in October the utility has been updated to allow for additional login functionality that support Internet Proxies which require authentication. For more information administrators should check out the latest documentation available from Oracle. New login command information for EPM Automate can be found here EPM Automate Login Commands.

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Essbase allows for active/passive clustering of the servers for use in a failover or DR scenario.  Oracle uses OPMN to handle the failover from one node to another in the event of a failure. The EPM Config tool, used to configure ESSBASE, does not update the OPMN.xml file correctly and needs to be manually updated as a post install step.

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It’s not uncommon these days to load balance the HTTP layer for the EPM Stack. This includes using a virtual ip address or ‘VIP’. Many of our clients are also implementing SSL offloading at the VIP.  When using SSL, sometimes EAS will fail to load the EAS Console correctly. It will usually show an error with three possible bad URLs.

  • a URL that is not SSL
  • or the URL may not use the correct VIP address
  • or the URL may even be pointed to the default 10080 port

To force EAS to always call back to the correct SSL address, you can add a java argument for EAS “-DEAS_FE_URL.”

In Unix Environments:

The java argument should be added to the set CustomParamatersEssbaseAdminServices.sh (or bat). The file is found in the EPM_INSTANCE/bin/deploymentScripts/ directory. The argument can be added directly into “JAVA_OPTIONS” section of the file, or as its own entry. I prefer a separate entry so I can better see it has actually been applied.

I add these lines in the file:

They can be added at the top or the bottom of the file.

In Windows Environments:

The java argument should be added appropriately in the Windows Registry.

Related links:

  • Want to meet us in person at KScope in Chicago? Join us!
  • This Essbase Subvar Updater Tool generates a MaxL script based on a few inputs. Download a copy now.

 

 

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The .500 PSU set for Oracle’s EPM version 11.1.2.3 adds support for latest Oracle RDBS version 12c, Internet Explorer 10, and Windows 8. Some things you need to know…

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The Cloud provider assumed it would be managing the DNS and so requested SSL certificates that were for hostnames they manged such as foo.cloudserver.net.  When the client set everything up and DNS was updated, they used the url https://foo.myclientserver.net.  The browser immediately did not like this.  It warned every user that their was a hostname mismatch.  Users were requesting foo.myclientserver.net and were being directed to foo.cloudservet.net.  SSL thought this was some sort of man in the middle attack and through up the warning banners. This required the Cloud vendor to request new certificates using the Customer friendly names, reconfigure EPM to use the customer Named hosts, and somehow support DNS resolution on their side of the network for the domain myclientserver.net.  

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In an EPM Planning environment, there must only be one Essbase Administration Services (EAS) Server in any given environment.  One of the most common mistakes when it comes to implementing an EPM planning environment involves EAS and not Planning.  Many architects try to load balance EAS, or install more than one for fault tolerance, or just for convenience and install EAS wherever they install Essbase.  In fact, if you read the latest documentation in 11.1.2, the High Availability and Disaster Recovery guide says you can use Weblogic Clustering for high availability.  Years of practical field experience and support cases say otherwise.  

The problem is one of functionality. Specifically the functionality in Business Rules (HBR) and its relationship with Hyperion Planning.  In almost every Hyperion Planning environment, Business Rules are in use.  Calc Manager has simply not gained enough momentum yet.  The functional problem that requires only one EAS server is around how Planning and HBR communicate.  In business rules a rule is assigned to a "Location".  These are usually in the format > PlanningServer/PlanningApplication/Cube.  They are seeded into HBR as applications become "active", and can then be assigned.

If you have installed or administered Hyperion Planning, you know there are two Planning services, or components, that have to be running. The first is the Planning Web Application itself.  The other, the Hyperion RMI Registry.  Planning notifies HBR that a location is available or "active" when someone logs into a planning application for the first time by sending a message through the RMI registry service to the HBR server.  It knows where the HBR server is because it's stored as a property in the HBRServer.properties file found either on the file system (pre 11.x) or in the EPM System Registry.

When there are more than one EAS servers it will only notify the EAS server registered in the HBRServer.properties file. The properties file stores only one server name. The result is business rule development on any EAS server but the registered EAS server lacks the functionality to assign planning locations to business rules. Even if the EAS servers share a repository, the second server might be able to see the locations, because it shares the same schema, but the locations can fail to connect because the RMI connectivity fails.

If you are not using HBR you may be able to install multiple EAS servers in an environment.  But consider EAS as an administrative tool, and not an end user tool.  It does not support any functionality that requires high availability.  If you want to install the admin client on every Essbase server that makes sense, but there should not be a need for more than one EAS server. If you are using HBR a single EAS server is a must, so why architect yourself into a situation that can limit functionality should your client decide to use HBR down the road.

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