Infrastructure

Oracle Critical Patch Update Oct. 2014

Yesterday Oracle released their quarterly Critical Patch Update.  Browsing through the various readme files, I found that no Hyperion or EPM products were directly listed this quarter.  OBIEE didn’t have any new patches to its software this quarter, either.

As you browse the information provided, you can see that WebLogic 10.3.6.0 does have some low risk vulnerabilities addressed by this CPU.  Oracle’s recommendation is to apply the 10.3.6.0.9 WebLogic Server Patch Set Update (Patch 19182814) to address some of the concerns with the WebLogic application server that is installed with and supports EPM and OBIEE.

In critical environments, it would also be advised to monitor and update the supporting Java SE version installed or used with Fusion Middleware products such as EPM and OBIEE.  See Oracle Support note 1492080.1 on updating the installed Java version for Fusion Middleware products.

In reality, most EPM/BI implementations are going to be safely behind a corporate firewall and won’t worry about these too much.  If you are hosting healthcare.gov, for instance, I would hope that you would already be aware of these and patched by now.

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Essbase & EAS 11.1.2.3.503 Patches available

Last Thursday, Oracle issued a slew of patches for Essbase and its peripheral components (EAS, client, Run Time Client).  Typically Oracle has kept Essbase Studio and APS aligned with the same patch level, but .503 patches have not appeared for those products yet. These patches address bugs at the .500 patch level so I highly recommend applying this latest round of patches if you are on Essbase 11.1.2.3.500+.

Patch Numbers:

Essbase Defects Fixed:

Defect Number Defect Fixed
19485568, 19190554 Using linked partitions and making changes to the outline, followed by running outline sync, may cause the application to terminate abnormally.
19358183 The Essbase Server can terminate abnormally when running concurrent requests to calculate the database as well as run queries.
19339625 When updating a partition definition, validating and updating the outline at the same moment can abnormally terminate the application.
19288595 In some cases, UDAs are not updated when trying to synchronize the outline of a replicated partition.
19178010 When a query is too large, an aggregate storage database can terminate abnormally.  With 11.1.2.3.503, it returns an error:
ERROR – 1200613 – Internal error: Query is too large and cannot be executed. The product of member counts across all dimensions in the query exceeds 2^64.
19150857 Using Smart View with Essbase Release 11.1.2.3 with SSOPTIMIZEDGRIDPROCESSING set to TRUE in essbase.cfg, data can be submitted by users to intersections that are secured as “read-only”.
19150857 The .db file can become corrupted under concurrent calculation requests.
19021424 Empty rows are inserted while performing a zoom-in on a member in Smart View Client.
18977312 On an aggregate storage database, an MDX formula can return inconsistent results.
18148156 A trigger can fail when ORACLEHARDWAREACCELERATION is set to TRUE in essbase.cfg.

EAS Defects Fixed:

Defect Number Defect Fixed
18684575 A data load rules file created in Administration Services console 11.1.2.3.500 cannot be used by MAXL.

EPM 11.1.2.2.500 – IE10, Windows 8, Office 2013 compatibility

On Wednesday, July 16, Oracle released EPM version 11.1.2.2.500. It appears as if this patch is very much the same as Oracle did with the 11.1.2.3.500 patch, where multiple products are patched in one large EPM bundle patch.

This PSU may be applied to all 11.1.2.2.x releases where .x is less than .500.

 

Products included in this patch:

  • Oracle Hyperion Planning
  • Oracle Hyperion Financial Data Quality Management ERP Integration Adapter for Oracle Applications
  • Oracle Hyperion EPM Architect
  • Oracle Hyperion Enterprise Performance Management Workspace
  • Oracle Hyperion Financial Reporting
  • Oracle Hyperion Reporting and Analysis Framework
  • Oracle Crystal Ball
  • Oracle Hyperion Strategic Finance
  • Oracle Hyperion Profitability and Cost Management
  • Oracle Hyperion Web Analysis
  • Oracle Hyperion Interactive Reporting
  • Oracle Hyperion Financial Management
  • Oracle Hyperion Shared Services
  • Oracle Hyperion Calculation Manager
  • Oracle Hyperion Financial Close Management

DRM, Performance Scorecard, Disclosure Management, and Smart View are not patched in this version.

 

New Features in this release:

Windows 8 support

Office 2013 support

Internet Explorer 10 compatibility

Firefox 24.x ESR compatibility

HPCM – This patch introduces a new Web Service to support multi-POV calculations for Standard Profitability applications.

Shared Services – You can now select and delete all taskflows listed on the Taskflows screen.

Planning – Response time has improved for Hyperion Planning 11.1.2.2.500 functionality in a browser. The Hyperion Planning response time for functionality within a browser is faster in the 11.1.2.2.500 release. For example, the 11.1.2.2.500 end-to-end response times through the browser averaged 41% faster than 11.1.2.2.300, with up to 200 users on the system. Some actions, such as scrolling forms, completed 70% faster in 11.1.2.2.500.

 

Patches required:

EPM Bundle Patch (search under Shared Services) – 18659116

11.1.2.2.500 Client Installers – 18856417

 

To see the full updated EPM Platform compatibility matrix, click here.

 

July 2014 Oracle Quarterly Critical Patch Availability

Today Oracle released a list of vulnerabilities to the EPM and related BI software along with a host of other products.  See the full announcement here: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/topics/security/cpujul2014-1972956.html

This one was interesting as my beloved Hyperion products were mentioned.  Seven vulnerabilities were identified with Hyperion products.  It was interesting that most of the patches for these vulnerabilities have been out for a little while, so hopefully you have already mitigated some of these.  Here is list of defects for Hyperion:

7-15-2014 5-25-14 PM

If you clicked the link from the announcement to My Oracle Support note number 1666884.1, the Patch Set Update and Critical Patch Update July 2014 Availability Document, will give you the patches to fix each vulnerability.

Patch Availability for Oracle Hyperion Analytic Provider Services

Product Home Patch Advisory Number Comments
11.1.2.3 SPU Patch 17767293 CVE-2014-4246  11.1.2.3.500 PSU
11.1.2.2 SPU Patch 18148649 CVE-2014-4246  11.1.2.2.106 PSU

Patch Availability for Oracle Hyperion BI+

Product Home Patch Advisory Number Comments
11.1.2.3 SPU Patch 17529887 and SPU Patch 18383790 CVE-2014-0436  11.1.2.3.500 PSU (included in 17767293) and 11.1.2.3.500 Client Installers PSE
11.1.2.2 SPU Patch 18659116 and SPU Patch 18856417 CVE-2014-0436 I could not find these patches. The links do not show the patch.

 

Patch Availability for Oracle Hyperion Common Admin

Product Home Patch Advisory Number Comments
11.1.2.3 CPU Patch 18672071 CVE-2014-4269, CVE-2014-4270 11.1.2.3.501 PSU for Shared Services
11.1.2.2 CPU Patch 18659116 CVE-2014-4269, CVE-2014-4270 I could not find this patch either.

 

Patch Availability for Oracle Hyperion EAS

Product Home Patch Advisory Number Comments
11.1.2.3 Admin Server Patch 17417347Admin Console Patch 17417344 Released January 2014  11.1.2.3.002 PSU, should also be included in 11.1.2.3.501 PSU
11.1.2.2 Admin Server Patch 17277761Admin Console Patch 17277764 Released January 2014  11.1.2.2.104 PSU
11.1.2.1 Admin Server Patch 17545122Admin Console Patch 17545124 Released January 2014  11.1.2.1.107 PSU

 

Patch Availability for Oracle Hyperion Enterprise Performance Management Architect

Product Home Patch Advisory Number Comments
11.1.2.3 SPU Patch 17529887 and SPU Patch 18383790 CVE-2014-4203, CVE-2014-4206  11.1.2.3.500 PSU and 11.1.2.3.500 Client Installers PSE
11.1.2.2 SPU Patch 18659116 and SPU Patch 18856417 CVE-2014-4203, CVE-2014-4206  I could not find this patch either.

 

Patch Availability for Oracle Hyperion Essbase

Product Home Patch Advisory Number Comments
11.1.2.3 SPU Patch 18505489 CVE-2014-4271  11.1.2.3.501 PSU
11.1.2.2 SPU Patch 18520684 CVE-2014-4271  11.1.2.2.000 Patch Set Update Exception (PSE): 11.1.2.2.106 (18520684)

 

Patch Availability for Oracle Hyperion Strategic Finance

Product Home Patch Advisory Number Comments
11.1.2.2 CPU Patch 14593946 Released April 2014 11.1.2.2.301 PSU
11.1.2.1 CPU Patch 17636270 Released April 2014 11.1.2.1.103 PSU

 

In addition to the application patches, we also find that WebLogic Server 10.3.6.0 is listed.  This is important because it is part of our installation of EPM 11.1.2.x and most of us take it for granted.

Patch Set Update Availability for Oracle WebLogic Server

Product Home Patch Advisory Number Comments
Oracle Java SE home JDK/JRE 6 Update 81:

See Note 1492980.1How to Maintain the Java SE Installed or Used with FMW 11g Products
Oracle JRockit 28.x home R28.3.3- Patch 18763693
WebLogic Server 10.3.6.0.0 home PSU 10.3.6.0.8 Patch 18040640 CVE-2014-2480, CVE-2014-2481, CVE-2014-4256, CVE-2014-4242, CVE-2014-4253, CVE-2014-4267, CVE-2014-4255, CVE-2014-4254, CVE-2014-2479, CVE-2014-4210, CVE-2014-4241, CVE-2014-4217, CVE-2014-4201, CVE-2014-4202 See Note 1306505.1Announcing Oracle WebLogic Server PSUs (Patch Set Updates)For CVE-2014-4256, see Note 1903763.1, Download Request for Security Configuration

 

Also note in the announcement that there is a patch for OBIEE’s Mobile App Designer.

Patch Availability for Oracle Business Intelligence App Mobile Designer

Product Home Patch Advisory Number Comments
11.1.1.7.0 SPU Patch 18794832 CVE-2014-4249 Must delete existing MAD deployment and install this one.  Check the readme.

 

This appears to be a replacement for the entire MAD install.  Going forward, I will use the Oracle BI Mobile App Designer patch 18794832 instead of the older 17220994 patch.  This patch came out on 6/3, so they aren’t very good about announcing these patches.  I guess that’s why we should be reading these quarterly announcements to find out what has been fixed.

 

EPM 11.1.2.3.500 revisited

As I previously posted (http://wp.me/p2jaSq-2k), the Essbase 11.1.2.3.500 patches include many new features, but that was not all.  Oracle had another patch hit just a couple of days later as John Goodwin reported (http://john-goodwin.blogspot.com/2014/03/epm-patch-11123500-has-landed.html).

So, I had a new install at a client and wanted to see how all of this actually works.  I installed EPM 11.1.2.3 as normal.  At this client, that included Essbase, EAS, APS, FR, and OBIEE.  I started by applying the new Hyperion HUB patch 17529887.

The “superpatch” as Goodwin called it did appear to patch many products.  My Foundation Services, Provider Services, Financial Reporting, and Reporting and Analysis Framework all seemed to have been patched.  That’s fantastic; however, APS was not patched to 11.1.2.3.500 as expected, it was a lower version, 11.1.2.3.000.4380.  EAS and Essbase were not touched by the superpatch.

Workspace Help>About screen with version information.

Workspace Help>About screen with version information.

Therefore, the reason behind my post today is to inform the public that in order to patch the entire system, you will need the superpatch as well as the other patches that I previously mentioned.  The whole stack, as far as I am aware, requires the following patches:

  • Hyperion HUB (17529887)
  • Hyperion Client Patches (18383790)
    • Crystal Ball
    • EPMA clients
    • HSF Client (32 & 64-bit)
    • Planning Smart View Extension
    • Predictive Planning (32 & 64-bit)
  • Essbase Client (17767307)
  • Essbase Runtime Client (17767299)
  • EAS (17767309)
  • EAS Console (17767316)
  • APS (17767293)
  • Essbase Studio (17767295)
  • Essbase Studio Console (17767296)
  • Essbase Server (17767302)

 

Issue with restarting Essbase Administration Services

I wanted to send a quick note of thanks to Sundeep Reddy for his blog post about recreating a corrupted cwallet.sso file when EAS would not restart.  I had this exact thing happen today at a client and his instructions are spot on.

I did get an error that there was no JDK folder inside the …/Middleware/oracle_common directory, so I copied the …/Middleware/jdk160_29 directory and its contents to …/Middleware/oracle_common/jdk and then the orapki tool ran fine for me.

Hyperion Essbase: Issue with restarting Essbase Aministration Services EAS when EAS hung up.

Exalytics First Impressions

For all of the much deserved hype surrounding the famed Oracle Exalytics platform (it’s 40 cpus of processing power, 1 Terrabyte of RAM, available flash disk drives, optimized in-memory data retrievals, etc.); the Exalytics server is just another 64-bit Linux server to the software installer. I must admit, I was a little disappointed. I was so geeked out to work on an Exalytics server and then I found out that the install is pretty much exactly what I had done on a 64-bit Linux server just a couple of months ago. The beauty of Exalytics, is that the installation of EPM is exactly the same as a 64-bit Linux server install.

Perhaps a little back story is in order. The client that I am working with for this project ordered two Exalytics servers: one for production and one that was to be split between development and test. The client purchased the EPM/BI Foundation Suite, but doesn’t have any plans to implement OBIEE for this phase of the project. The Exalytics servers were purchased to support the EPM suite, not OBIEE and Times Ten as most Exalytics servers are targeted. In fact, Times Ten was specifically not purchased by the client and was not to be installed.

Oracle has an excellent team that handles the business end of these Exalytics servers. They have a great process worked out to make sure that the clients receive exactly what they order on tight timeframes. The amount of time passed from the signed order was delivered to Oracle to delivery of the servers was no more than eight days. That is just a testament to the organization of Oracle’s team behind these servers.

So, the order for this build was to install as many EPM components on the Exalytics server as possible, and utilize Windows servers for the non-compatible components. The EPM system in this case includes Essbase, Planning, HFM, FDM, EAL, DRM, ODI, FR, Web Analysis, Calc Manager, and EPMA. Of course, not all of these products are compatible with Linux and/or Exalytics (HFM, FDM, and the EPMA Dimension Server to name a few).

The installation went smoothly for the most part. Splitting one box for use with two different environments required different Middleware Homes and port numbers which were fun to try and sort out. Splitting one server for two environments appears to be easier beginning with 11.1.2.3 as the EPM System Registry now stores the port numbers for more products than in 11.1.2.2.

Oracle has a special documentation library just for Exalytics here: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/documentation/exalytics-doc-1645656.html.  This is where you can find great information as to what products are supported on the Exalytics hardware.

Exalytics Installation in progress

Exalytics Installation in progress

Today I began my first of three Exalytics installations at a client. I am geeking out just working on the hardware.

Rather than having Oracle do the software installation, this client has opted for me to install EPM and OBIEE on these servers. The standard installation for EPM is Essbase only where this client is going to host the majority of their EPM stack (Planning and Essbase along with other requisite software) on the Exalytics servers and HFM/FDM/ODI/EPMA on Windows.

The Exalytics server isn’t that much different from any other 64-bit Linux server with the exception of the 1TB of RAM and 40 processing cores.  The OS is Oracle Linux release 5.5, which appears to be based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5.  The same downloads and installation steps for a regular 64-bit EPM install are used on Exalytics with very few exceptions.  I will follow up on the status with my thoughts as the project progresses.

OBIEE 11.1.1.7 is now available

OBIEE 11.1.1.7 is now available for download from Oracle.  Please visit the links below for the downloads.

New Features:

Recommended Visualizations Feature for Creating Views

In this release, when you create a view, you can choose a recommended view type based on the data in your analysis and, optionally, what you want to use it for (for example, to analyze trends).

You can choose a suggested “Best Visualization” as well as a “Recommended Subtype”. Or you can instead choose the “Recommended Visualization” option, for which you specify your intent for the new view. For example, will the view compare values, compare percentages, visualize trends, or something else? From a list of suggested view types that is ordered with the best option at the top, you can then choose your preferred view type. See “What Is the Recommended Visualizations Feature?” for more information.

Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs have been added to help users understand their current location within Oracle BI content and the path that they have used to navigate Oracle BI content. Breadcrumbs display at the bottom of the page, and users can click a breadcrumb or the breadcrumb overflow button to navigate to a specific location on their breadcrumb trail. See “Navigating With Breadcrumbs” for more information.

Enhancement to Dashboards

This release provides the following enhancements to dashboards:

  • The ability to create custom print layouts for high-fidelity printing of dashboard pages. See “About Creating Custom Print Layouts for High-Fidelity Printing of Dashboard Pages”.

  • The new default style is FusionFX. See the “Dashboard Properties dialog”.

  • The addition of the Freeze Column option to the Column Properties menu. This option allows you to freeze a column at an edge (top or left) of a dashboard layout. See “Properties Buttons for Objects”.

  • The addition of the following options that allow you to control the position and size of columns and sections:

    The ability to export an entire dashboard or a single dashboard page to Microsoft Excel 2007+. See “Exporting Dashboards and Dashboard Pages”.

  • The addition of options to replace an analysis on a dashboard and to return to a dashboard from the Analysis editor:

    • The Replace analysis in <dashboard name> option was added to the Save As dialog. This option displays when the user is viewing a dashboard, clicks an embedded analysis’ Analyze or Edit link, edits the analysis, and selects Save As to rename and save the analysis. The Replace analysis in <dashboard name> option allows the designer to choose to include the modified analysis on the dashboard. See “Save As dialog” for additional information.

    • The Return to <dashboard name> option was added to the Analysis editor. This option displays in the Analysis editor when the user is viewing a dashboard and clicks an embedded analysis’ Analyze or Edit link. The designer can click this option to easily move from the Analysis editor to the dashboard. See “Analysis editor” for additional information.

Enhancements to Graphs

In this release graphs have been enhanced in various ways.

  • New graph types include:

    Zoom to data range. This option lets the system evaluate the range of values on an axis, and choose appropriate minimum and maximum values for the scale. This is useful when graphing a set of large values that are all within a small percentage of each other. See “Graph Properties dialog: Scale tab” for additional information.

    • Waterfall graph. A waterfall graph lets you visualize how a value increases or decreases sequentially and cumulatively. An initial value is summed with subsequent values (both negative and positive changes or deltas) to arrive at an end value, focusing your attention on h ow each measure contributes to the whole.

    • Stacked graph as a new subtype to the area graph. A stacked graph is useful for comparing the proportional contributions within a category. A stacked graph displays the relative value that each part contributes to the whole.

    • 100% stacked graph as subtypes to the bar graph and the area graph. A 100% stacked graph, like the stacked graph subtype, lets you compare the parts to the whole. But while the stacked graph shows cumulative total in the units of the measure, the 100% stacked graph always shows units as percentages of the total, and the axis scale is always zero to 100 percent.

    See “What Types of Graphs Are Available?” for additional information about the new graphs in this release.

  • Hide sliders in graph views that listen to master-detail events. For graphs in master-detail relationships, if you want to simplify the appearance of an analysis or dashboard, you can hide the slider that is created to accommodate detail columns. See “Defining the Detail View” for more information.

Enhancements to Views

This release includes enhancements to various view types, including those in the following list:

  • A new view type named performance tile. This view type displays a single aggregate measure value in a manner that is both visually simple and prominent. See “Editing Performance Tile Views” for additional information.

  • Action links in trellis views. In simple trellis views, action links can now be used on inner graphs per unit, including the context of the outer edges. Action links can also be used in legends and in axis labels. In advanced trellis views, action links can be used in microcharts, where the microchart functions as a single unit (such as an aggregate number), including the context of the outer edges. For more information, see “What Are Action Links and Action Link Menus?”

  • For map views:

    Null suppression at view and analysis levels. You can set null suppression options at the view level (which overrides the analysis level) for data views including: table, pivot table, trellis (both simple and advanced), graph, gauge, and funnel views when the entire row or column contains nulls. See “Understanding Null Suppression” for additional information.

    • Vary the width of a line by measure to accentuate a feature. See “Line (Layer) dialog” for additional information.

    • Link a map view as a detail in a master-detail relationship. See “Defining the Detail View” for additional information.

    • Auto Correct option. A map view error can occur for various reasons. If the issue appears to be related to missing layers, maps, or styles, then it might be possible to correct the map by replacing the missing map view components with similar items that exist in the spatial metadata. See “Editing Map Views” for additional information.

    • Legend and formatting highlighting. See “What Are the Components of Map Views?” for additional information.

  • Ability to include or exclude calculated items and groups at the view level for columns and column headers. Specifically, two new options have been added:Include Custom Member and Exclude Custom Member. These interactions are available for tables, pivot tables, and trellises. See “Creating Groups and Calculated Items” for additional information.

  • For tables, pivot tables, and advanced trellises, the ability to:

    Row count. If your table or pivot table view contains a grand total or subtotal on the row edge, the display totals, that is the grand total and subtotals, are now included in the Rows per Page count for content paging. In prior releases, if you had the Rows per Page count set to 10 for example, the table or pivot table would display more than 10 records if display totals were shown in the view results. See “Editing Views” for additional information.

  • For right-click interactions, the ability to specify whether the Hide Columns interaction is available at runtime. See “Right-Click Interactions in Views” for additional information.

Enhancements to Prompts

This release includes enhancements to prompts, including those in the following list:

  • This release includes an enhancement to the SQL Results prompt option. If you are working with double columns, you can now write the SQL statement so that filtering is done on code values rather than display values. For more information, see “New Prompt dialog”.

  • This release includes an enhancement to the prompt constraint option. The prompts designer can now limit a column prompt value list by more than one column. For more information, see the Limit values by component in the “New Prompt dialog”.

  • This release includes enhancements to the parameters for prompted links. For more information, see “What Are Prompted Links?”.

New Menu Options for Exporting Views and Results

This release adds the Excel 2007+ and Powerpoint 2007+ options for exporting views and results.

See “Export Menu Options for Views and Results”.

Total Member Placement for Hierarchical Columns

This release includes an enhancement that allows placement of total members on a hierarchy. See “Analysis Properties dialog: Data tab” for additional information.

Browse Catalog Search Results by Object Attributes

This release provides the capability to use full-text search to find catalog objects and then filter the search results by attributes. This search is available when the administrator integrates Oracle BI Enterprise Edition with Oracle Endeca Server. After the full-text search results are returned, the Catalog area displays a list of matching items, and the Search pane displays the search results grouped by attribute (that is, Type, Name, Path, and Created By). See “What Results are Returned from a Full-Text Catalog Search?” for additional information.

Navigate from the Total or Grand Total in a Table or Pivot Table

If an analysis contains a total or grand total and the associated attribute or hierarchical column contains an action link or a conditional action link, the action link (or conditional action link) is applied to both the column and the total or grand total. See “What Are Actions?” for additional information.

New BI Desktop Tools Available for Download

This release adds the following tools to the list of BI desktop tools that are available for download:

  • Oracle Hyperion Smart View for Office

  • Oracle Hyperion Financial Reporting Studio (if Essbase is installed)

  • Oracle Essbase Studio Console (if Essbase is installed)

  • Oracle Essbase Administrative Services Console (if Essbase is installed)

See “Downloading BI Desktop Tools” for additional information.

Enhancement to Favorites

This release provides the capability to organize your favorites from the Category Tree area and the Selected Category area in the Manage Favorites dialog. In previous releases, you could organize favorites from the Category Tree area, only. See “Organizing Favorites” for additional information.

Integration of Oracle BI EE with Oracle Enterprise Performance Management System

With this release, Oracle BI EE is integrated with Enterprise Performance Management Workspace. See “Integration of Oracle BI EE with Oracle Enterprise Performance Management System”.

So, Smart View 11.1.2.2.310 functionality with OBIEE can now be used.  I would expect the hits to keep coming from Oracle, EPM 11.1.2.3 should probably be released soon as well so check back for more information on that as well.

Download now: Oracle Business Intelligence (11.1.1.x) Downloads.

Documentation link – http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E28280_01/bi.htm