Eric’s 11.1.2 common questions

I have said it before and I will say it again.  11.1.2 is the biggest architectural change to the EPM suite I have seen since 9.3.1.  (see my blog article on the IT differences in 11.1.2)

I applaud Oracle for their vision and agree on their go-forward strategy, however these major changes under the covers to the product is what is causing a lot of the challenges for Oracle development getting the 11.1.2.1 release out.   The 11.1.2.1 product will have a the highly anticipated full upgrade path. (However many of our clients have still upgraded to 11.1.2 – we can migrate most everything!)

the architectural changes have also caused a lot of confusion, not only with customers but even within Oracle support.  Assumptions that we have always had about this product from an IT and troubleshooting perspective can no longer be applied, and actually applying these assumptions can actually do very horrible things to it.

I have compiled a few common questions that come up with this latest version.  While this is not a complete list by any stretch it does help demonstrate that now, more than ever –whether you are doing a new implementation or an upgrade, whether you are going with 11.1.2 now or waiting for 11.1.2.1, it is imperative to engage a certified Oracle partner with proven experience with “The IT Side” of this enterprise application.   Going it alone without leveraging the experiences of others is a risky proposition to say the least.

What happened to the Essbase windows service?

With 11.1.2 there is no delivered windows service to start Essbase.  So what the heck is going on? …. It is OPMN.

The version of 11.1.2 is an obvious attempt by Oracle to not only remove all references of the word “Hyperion” but it is to integrate it into as many existing Oracle products as possible.  The obvious ones are Oracle WebLogic, Oracle Enterprise Linux, Oracle Cluster Server, Oracle HTTP Server, and OBIEE.  There is also OPMN:  Oracle Process Manager Notification Server.  OPMN is a another separate Oracle Product that has been integrated into the Oracle Fusion Middleware products that allows you to control and monitor services and agents

What’s good:

You can use OPMN to do things like monitor processes and automatically restart them if they go down, and use some failover features to provide high availability services.

What’s not so good:

They only integrated OPMN out of the box with Essbase, so it is totally confusing for those wondering why we have to do things differently for it.

It’s ok, however. You do not need to use it if you do not want to. You can start/stop Essbase using native or OPMN commands.   But from 11.1.2 going forward OPMN will be the strategic method for managing the Essbase service.   They have future plans for this as OPMN will eventually be able to monitor the health of Essbase and take corrective actions.

Do I really have a HTTP WEB SERVER installed on my Essbase Server!?!!?

Yup, you do.  Why?  Because of OPMN.  OPMN requires some of the binaries of the Oracle HTTP Server.  This can cause some concerns and confusion for shops that try to keep the Web, app., and database tiers separate.  The good thing is that while it is required, the actual HTTP server does not have to be running or even configured.  So don’t be surprised if the configuration utility has a big red X next to the web server saying that it has not been configured on the Essbase server.  We did that for a reason.

Where the heck are the logs?

I know this is a big issue.  In 11.1, we finally got Oracle to put the logs in a standard location.  <HperionHome>/logs We did not have to go hunting down enormous file paths to find basic logging information.  Hooray – thanks Oracle!

Whoa, wait…Not so fast.  11.1.2 comes along and changes everything… again.  Here are the locations:

 

EPM_ORACLE_HOME/diagnostics/logs/:

(installation-time logs)

 

MIDDLEWARE_HOME/user_projects/epmsystem1/diagnostics/logs/:

(configuration-time logs, service startup logs, and runtime logs for service components)

 

MIDDLEWARE_HOME/user_projects/domains/EPMSystem/servers/ <serverName>/logs:
(Web application runtime logs)

Where are Business Rules configured and stored?

Business rules have gone through a lot of changes over the years as far as how it is configured.  In previous versions, we had to configure HBR manually using a few config files such as Dao.properties, HUB.properties, HBRServer.properties and ensure we had other files copied and synced if Planning was located on a separate server. In 11.1.1 like most products, the HBR configuration parameters were stored in the EPM system registry – part of Shared Services under the LWA (Logical Web Application) called Business Rules.  Configuration of HBR is now done in Essbase Administration services.

In 11.1.2, the configuration is still  stored in the EPM system registry, and configured in EAS, but now it is stored under the  Essbase Administration Services LWA.

The Support matrix says Windows 2008 is supported. Does that mean r2?

No.  Hyperion products are not certifies on R2 and we have had a lot of issues trying to make it work with certain products such as Financial Reporting and HFM.  I would encourage everyone to stick with 2008 R1 or drop to Windows Server 2003 SP2.

~ by Eric Helmer on November 7, 2010.

3 Responses to “Eric’s 11.1.2 common questions”

  1. “I applaud Oracle for their vision and agree on their go-forward strategy”
    Well I do not fully agree with your enthusiasm about Oracle. As far as I can see there was a real race to deliver unfinished products beginning with Hyperion with products such as license manager, shared services and more recently with Oracle, with products such as Studio 11.1.1, Essbase 11.1.2 and other hype modules such as Calc Manager or Smart View. And on the other hand many consulting companies which forgot about what pragmatism is and that are pushing these immature releases … whatta mess.

  2. Thanx for sharing.

  3. sroux, I agree. What a mess! I hope that 11.1.2.1 helps out, but I believe it to be what 11.1.2 should have been and that 11.1.2.2 will be the first solid version.

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