The I.T. Side: EPM 11.1.2 Infrastructure Update

Let’s face it, there are many great new functional enhancements in 11.1.2 which were all the buzz at last week’s Collaborate conference in Las Vegas!  There are significant enhancements to Planning, reporting, and Smartview.  There is better integration with ERP/OBIEE, etc and now you can even spin off Essbase cubes from HFM live or on demand.  Cool stuff, however, as I focus on The I.T. Side, I wanted to bring your attention to the significant IT/Infrastructure changes in the new EPM 11.1.2 Suite. Enjoy…

1.)  New install only.

This version is designed for a new installation only and there is no out-of-the box migration path from previous versions.  It is also not officially compatible with any previous version.  The next version will have a migration path from previous versions.

2.)  Weblogic Only

This version will only use Weblogic.  As a matter of fact, it comes bundled in.  Weblogic has officially replaced Tomcat as the bundled J2EE app server.  The next version is supposed to include support for the other J2EE App Servers, however it looks like Oracle wants to standardize on Weblogic, surprise surprise.

3.)  Oracle HTTP server has replaced Apache.

No surprise here

4.)  Additional support

  1. Windows server 2008
  2. Internet Explorer 7 and 8
  3. Firefox 3.5 (except FDM)

5.)  Better 64-bit support

However there are still some 32-bit binaries floating around such as:

  1. FDM
  2. FR Print Server
  3. Strategic  Finance

6.)  New SSL Support

  1. Full SSL Deployment (including data access)
  2. SSL Terminating at the Web Server
  3. SSL Accelerators (off-loading)
  4. Two-way SSL

This has been something we have been waiting for.  Up until now, the only officially supported method was to do SSL through the entire enterprise, which caused significant performance issues.  Now, we can offload SSL to just the web server.

7.)  Admin user password

EPM System Configurator now requires the Shared Services “admin” password to be changed during system configuration. Once deployed, subsequent password changes are done through Shared Services.

8.)  Install/Config

Finally we have real client installers.  We don’t have to download handfuls of assemblies  just to install the clients. ‘Bout time…

1.    Smart View for Office
2.    Essbase Excel
3.    Disclosure Management

9.)  Timeout values set in the EPM Configurator

There are options to set web timeouts in the EPM system configurator, such as the HFM Web Session timeout.

10.) New Directory Structure.

This is an obvious attempt to start eliminating the word “Hyperion” throughout the product.

  1. MIDDLEWARE_HOME (ie: C:/Oracle/Middleware)
    1. Weblogic
    2. EPM Common Home
  2. EPM_ORACLE_HOME (ie C:/Oracle/Middleware/EPMSystem11R1)
    1. Application specific binaries
    2. Uses an environment variable (EPM_ORACLE_HOME)

11.) Integrated Essbase clustering

Essbase now supports active-passive failover without Oracle Clusterware. You can use EPM System Configurator to configure Essbase in an active-passive failover configuration with write-back capability.  Before, Oracle did not officially support Essbase failure, however we did it all the time.  Finally a fully supported usable high availability strategy for Essbase.

12.) No More Mr. OpenLDAP

Native Security will now be housed in the Shared Services Repository tables, so OpenLDAP will not be used and will not be shipped with the product anymore.  Also, the EPM System no longer installs or supports Oracle Internet Directory (OID) for use as Native Directory, sorry if you adopted that in 11.1.1.3….

13.) WebLogic JVM Consolidation

HSS and Workspace are now deployed by default to the same JVM managed server, consolidating the “Foundation” into one space.

14.) Real Shared Services Load Balancing

Because  #12 and #13 above, we can now do true active-active load balancing of Shared Services

15.)Logging

Oracle Diagnostics Logging (ODL) Integration – Shared Services has adopted Oracle Diagnostic Logging (ODL) as the logging mechanism

1.    managing log files
2.    log file rotation
3.    maximum log file size
4.    maximum log directory size.

16.) Life Cycle Management  enhancements

  1. LCM will now determine the correct order in which to import objects
  2. We can now user LCM for Essbase data and outline!  So now, LCM is not only becoming better for full migrations, but is also becoming a more viable solution for backup/recovery and disaster recovery.

All in all 11.1.1 looks great and is a giant leap forward for Oracle, although the new-install-only will limit early adopters.  However if you are new to EPM, or don’t mind re-building some things from scratch, 11.1.2 is a great place product for your consideration.

Let me know and I’ll be happy to help you figure out which EPM version will fit your organization best and define a clear roadmap to get you there.  Either way, if you are still on version 9 or below…. take notice…it’s time.

~ by Eric Helmer on April 28, 2010.

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