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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The HFM Upgrade Diaries Part 1 - Known Issues

Lately I have been busy installing HFM 11.1.2.4 environments for several local customers. In this series of blog posts I will share my experiences about these upgrades - hopefully making life a bit easier for other early adopters.


Known Issues In HFM 11.1.2.4

In this first post I will list the most notable problems I (and my colleagues) have ran into so far.


Application Snapshots Broken on MS SQL

Thanks to my colleagues Kieron Cassidy and Bianca Radu for pointing this one out. EPM Lifecycle Management (LCM) includes a function in release 11.1.2.4 that allows administrators to export the entire state of an HFM application to disk. This is achieved by dumping all application specific tables into a temporary location and then storing the tables inside a .backup file that is practically a zip archive containing serialized data.

The snapshot function works fine when HFM is configured using Oracle database but with MS SQL Server it produces a broken backup file. The LCM export finishes without any visible errors but still the generated file does not contain any data. Oracle Support has been able to reproduce this issue and the following bug report has been created: "Bug 21032270 - Creating An Application Via LCM Requires Sysadmin Role For Database User". We haven't received information about any potential fixes yet but while waiting for one you can use this workaround: Adding the sysadmin role for the database login used by HFM allows the snapshot process to enumerate the required database tables and then to complete the backup without errors.

Snapshot file of the Comma application before and after adding the sysadmin role

Another thing about LCM and HFM... The following statement that's taken from the EPM 11.1.2.4 Installation Guide is also important to follow in order to get any HFM artifacts exported via LCM:
"If you are using Financial Management in a distributed environment, configure the
LCM Export Import folder with Read/Write access for all the Financial Management
Application Servers in the environment."
In previous versions the import_export folder only needed to be placed on shared disk when Foundation Services was deployed on two or more servers. But in 11.1.2.4 the folder needs to be shared (configured as a UNC path in Windows) so that the HFM Java Server process can directly write exported artifacts into it. This also means that the Windows service for HFM Java Server must be configured to log on as a domain account instead of the default system account "Local System".


Security Class Management Issue

When you attempt to use the Assign Access Control view to update security class access for an HFM application, the following error is produced:

EPMHFM-07384: An error occurred accessing a security API in JHsxServer.

Security classes and class access seem to be correctly stored in the HFM database and you can extract and import them via the Classic management interface, but the user interface for making changes in Shared Services is broken. According to Oracle the bug (#20930526 - Error In System Messages Saving A New Security Class In Assign Access Control) is tentatively planned to be fixed in upcoming Patch Set Update 11.1.2.4.100. In this case the workaround is to extract HFM security into a text file, make the required changes and load the file back into the application.


Extracted Rule File Contains Garbage

The Classic Extract Rule function produces a garbled text file when extracting rules from HFM applications migrated to release 11.1.2.4. The Bug 21050352 - Extract Rule File Does Not Contain Any Information is planned to be fixed in PSU 11.1.2.4.200. Workaround: Load a rules file from previous HFM version into the application after which the extract should generate a clean file.

Binary junk in an extracted rule file

No Copy Application Utility!

Oracle has decided not to include most of the old Windows based utilities in the HFM 11.1.2.4 release. But it seems that the customers didn't appreciate this choice and have made their opinion clear because recently I heard that the Copy Application Utility will be making a comeback in PSU .100. I don't know if it's going to be exactly the same old tool we all know and love but after seeing the issues with the new Application Snapshot functionality I will be happy to get a more traditional alternative anyway.


That's All For Now

Have you already upgraded your HFM environments to version 11.1.2.4? Was it smooth sailing or did you run into trouble? Please post your thoughts in the comments below. As you see I haven't really encountered any show-stopper bugs so far and the new version is still looking promising. Hopefully most of the glitches mentioned above will be ironed out when the first Patch Set Update gets released (which should happen very soon based on what I've heard).

8 comments :

  1. Thanks for these feedback as far as I can read we'll stay with 11.1.2.3 where we had many bug with FDMEE. Seems like testing phase at Oracle is far less critical than marketing phase.

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  2. Any idea when hfm 11.1.2.4.100 will be released?

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    1. I think the PSU has slipped at least two release dates alredy... But the latest information I have heard was "in June".

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    2. But as developers always say, "it will be published when it's ready". ;)

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    3. We upgraded to 11.1.2.4 and the PSU .100 as it fixed some things with the LCM snapshot for HFM, but there are still problems with it as the journal entry labels to data is not correct, yet the data seems ok.

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  3. Seems the same Garbage file is created for MemberLists

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  4. Thanks Henri - Mark Swift

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  5. Thanks Henri for the info for PSU .101 as we just applied it to our servers and it fixed the LCM Snapshot journal issue for HFM.

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