As mentioned in the EPM 184.108.40.206 Installation Readme file the media downloads have been simplified. Unless you're installing some of the more exotic products like DRM, EAL or FCM you will need to download only the packages shown in the screenshot (parts 1-7 as needed [check the Media Pack readme file], OHS assembly and client installers). These packages add up to around 10 GB to download from eDelivery.
EPM System And Client Installers
The EPM System installer has mainly gone through small cosmetic changes. The prerequisites are still the same which means that UAC must be switched off when installing on Windows Server 2008. After launching the installTool.cmd (or .sh) you will be greeted by the splash screen which now also displays some status information on the bottom.
Errors about the prerequisites not being met are shown in a proper installer window instead of the auto-closing DOS box which was a bit annoying at times.
Most EPM clients can now be installed using a separate executable package (all supporting silent installations with command line options). The Client Installers package includes installers for the following products:
- Disclosure Management Add-in
- EAS Console
- Essbase (MaxL and Esscmd)
- Essbase Spreadsheet Add-in
- Essbase Studio Console
- Financial Reporting Studio
- HFM Client (includes Sample applications)
- Offline Planning
- Predictive Planning
- Smart View
- Strategic Finance Client
Financial Reporting Server has merged to the Financial Reporting web application so you don't need to install and configure FR Print anymore. The FR web application handles the PDF conversion duties and does not need any virtual printers installed on the server.
EPM System Configuration
EPM System Configuration Utility looks the same compared to previous 11.1.2 versions. You start off by creating an EPM instance and configuring the Shared Service database:
To make your EPM System installation slightly more secure you can now change the native admin user's username to whatever you like:
If you want to change the RMI ports used by Financial Reporting you can do this in the Configuration Utility:
Essbase cluster configuration has seen some changes regarding the cluster setup. Note that Essbase now officially supports UNC paths as ARBORPATHs in active-passive cluster setups (with the following disclaimer added to the Installation Guide: "Oracle recommends SAN or a fast NAS device such as NetApp filers because of reduced I/O latency and failover times.")
HFM web and application server configuration tasks have not changed on the surface but the cluster information is now stored in Shared Services Registry rather than in the Windows registry. This means that all HFM app servers will pick up modifications done to the cluster configuration without having to repeat the changes on all servers.
Update (April 14th): I forgot to add a note about the changes made to the HFM web parts. During the HFM specific Configure Web Server task you select the web components that will be configured in IIS. The Financial Management Web Services IIS application (/hfmapplicationservice) was previously only required when installing Financial Close Management but in 220.127.116.11 it can be considered a mandatory component. The reason for this is the new ADF based HFM web application that uses Web Services for providing the HFM user interface in Workspace.
So just to clarify the roles of the HFM web applications deployed on WebLogic:
- FM ADF web application (new in 18.104.22.168): Generates the HFM web UI that is displayed in Workspace. Connects to HFM via the HFM IIS Web Services application (/hfmapplicationservice).
- FM Web Services: Web Services provider used by Financial Close Management. Also connects to HFM via the HFM IIS Web Services application (/hfmapplicationservice).
Web Application Deployment
The Deploy To Application Server task in EPM System Configurator now includes an option to deploy all applications to a single managed WebLogic server. This so called compact deployment method existed as a manual option in EPM 22.214.171.124 but the process has now been automated so that it only requires a single box to be ticked on the web application deployment panel. Single managed server means that web applications will be running under a single JVM and on Windows they are started using one Windows service.
Compact deployment reduces the overall memory requirement of EPM System and also cuts down on the web applications startup time. After testing Workspace, Shared Services, HFM, Planning, Financial Reporting I found the JVM process consuming around 1.4 GB of memory which is still significantly less than what the web apps would require when running with the normal JVM-per-app configuration. The single managed server deployment looks like a useful way to reduce the memory requirements for small-scale EPM installations such as one-server Development environments.
There is also an option on the Configure Web Server panel where you can choose embedded WebLogic HTTP Server instead of Oracle HTTP Server. This is another way to reduce the EPM server footprint but it's worth noting that the embedded web server is not recommended for production use.
This concludes the first part of my EPM 126.96.36.199 observations. I plan on posting a second part soon where I show some interesting under-the-hood additions such as the Deployment Report tool and the embedded Enterprise Manager Fusion Middleware Control. Stay tuned!