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Thursday, July 16, 2015

HFM 11.1.2.4 PSU 100 - Fixes And New Features

EPM version 11.1.2.4 was released in February and as you probably already know it brought a lot of changes to Hyperion Financial Management. Application performance is promised to be better and the new simplified HFM architecture has other benefits as well. Still it's common for many customers to be careful after major changes like this and to wait for at least one Patch Set Update to become available before picking up the new version. After a long wait, HFM PSU 11.1.2.4.100 was released on Friday last week. You can download PSU .100 (patch nr. 20455650) on Oracle Support. Let's have a look at the list of changes in this update.

New Features

The following new features are introduced in the PSU.


Application Creation Wizard

The Consolidation Administration module now shows a wizard when you create a new HFM application in Classic mode. You can choose to create a new application from scratch (specifying the application profile details in the wizard), to copy the profile settings from an existing application or to load them from a file. The web based profile editor was already present in the initial 11.1.2.4 release but this wizard makes the process of creating new Classic applications more straightforward.





Printable Entity Details Reports

The Entity Details view, selectable from the context menu on web forms and grids, now includes a button you can use to bring up a printer-friendly view showing the cell's details. This view also includes the source and destination transaction information if you have defined the Nature parameter in your consolidation rules.





Application Year Update

The Modify Application function in Consolidation Administration now allows administrators to add years to an existing application. This option replaces the FMChangeNumberofYearsForApp utility that has been available for previous HFM versions.



Application Elements Download Log Option

A minor tweak to the HFM user interface: When loading or extracting application elements, you now have separate buttons for viewing and downloading the produced log file.



Application Tab Options

Another small change to the GUI: HFM application tabs now have the same options as the rest of the tabs in Workspace (Close, Close Others, Close All).



Journals in Smart View

You can open and work with journals directly in Smart View. You can view journal properties, create, edit, submit, approve, post, unpost, and delete journals. You can also create an adhoc query from within a journal.

The readme file for PSU 100 mentions that Smart View 11.1.2.5.500 is required to use the Journal functionality. At the time of writing the post this version was not available yet (I checked both the Patches section on My Oracle Support and the Smart View page on OTN).


Exalytics-Only Features

Insights Dashboard: A dashboard embedded in the Consolidation Administration view that allows administrators to view HFM system status at a glance. Available on Exalytics only.


Support for Solaris: With this PSU, HFM is also certified on the T-series of Exalytics servers running Solaris (in addition to Oracle Linux that was initially supported). The EPM Certification Matrix document doesn't seem to be updated with this information though.

HFM Copy Application Utility

As I mentioned in my first post about HFM 11.1.2.4, the Copy Application utility was dropped in this release. The only way to copy HFM applications (either between environments or inside a single system) was the newly introduced Application Snapshot option in LCM. This change was not received well among HFM administrators and consultants who have grown used to the flexibility of the old HfmCopyApplication tool and eventually we got news that the CopyApp functionality would make a comeback in PSU 100. This was sort of confirmed in the readme file for the PSU:
Defect Number 20667489 - A copy application feature is required.
But after inspecting the PSU package I soon noticed that there are no new .exe files included in it. It turned out that the PSU did include Copy Application functionality but it was not quite what we expected. The feature is added to the Consolidation Administration module and is implemented using the same Java based Backup & Recovery utility (BRC) that LCM uses when exporting and importing the Application Snapshot artifacts.


I have to say that I'm not too happy about this decision. Firstly, the new functionality most likely allows HFM applications only to be copied inside a single environment (not between Dev and Production environments for example). Secondly, the BRC utility has turned out to be rather slow and buggy (as I mentioned in my earlier post) and still requires the sysadmin role when used against an MS SQL database. I can understand that web-based tools are Oracle's choice in the future (as opposed to server-side executables) but I hope that more effort will be put to fixing and optimizing BRC in the upcoming PSUs.


Fixed Issues

I took a quick look to see whether the issues I told about in my earlier "Known Issues" post have been corrected or not. Please download the readme file for the PSU from Oracle Support to view the full list of defects fixed.

Security Class Management

The Assign Access Control view was mostly unusable in the initial 11.1.2.4 release because the changes made to the security class configuration could not be saved. I tested Assing Access Control after applying the PSU on my VM and found the feature to be working without problems.



Application Snapshot And Copy Application

The readme file for PSU 100 mentions several fixes made to the Backup & Recovery (BRC) utility that is used to extract and import data between the HFM database and the file system (.backup files). I tested the snapshot functionality in LCM and the new Copy Application function in Consolidation Administration and it seems that both are now working as expected. One big issue still remains though: Even with PSU 100 applied, you need to give the sysadmin role to the HFM database account when the EPM databases are stored on MS SQL Server. This requirement clashes with hosting partners' security policies so it needs to be fixed soon (especially now that application snapshots are pretty much the only supported way to transfer HFM applications between environments).

Note: The Duplicate As Deployed Application function in EPM Architect also uses BRC to create full copies of EPMA-enabled HFM applications. Before PSU 100 the utility failed to produce a single working application copy because it always encountered several errors related to SQL indexes. These issues appear to be solved in the PSU and in my post-patching tests I managed to duplicate HFM applications in EPMA without errors.


Conclusion


  • Some nice new features added
  • A lot of bugs squashed
  • Some issues still remain (remember to read through the list of Known Issues) but HFM 11.1.2.4 is getting more mature
  • To Oracle: Can we please have HFMCopyApplication.exe back? Pretty please?


6 comments :

  1. Great doc.
    I have the same issue to import apps from 11.1.2.1 , it seems there are no options to export in the new version as it says older application version...
    Waiting the update from the vendor

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Henri,
    thanks for the updates. I faced exact the same issue with HFM snapshot and MS SQL server. Without PSU100 the datasource was broken and with PSU100 the data is not included. Will check with the sysadmin role. My PS4 customer who is live uses still HFM Copy Utility to copy the apps between test and prod. Works fine so far and also within a migration between PS1 and PS4.
    Kind Regards
    Marc R.

    ReplyDelete
  3. My issue with hfm lcm was with the unc path, made this into UNC and all worked well.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I also want the FDMEE Audit Reports back for Map Monitor by Location as they are missing from v 11.1.2.4 even though I read they are slated to be in development for PSU 11.1.2.4.200, yet I can't understand why they deleted them.

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  5. Hi,

    The Assign Access Control view works well the for assignment, as does adding a security class through Dim Library when in EPM application mode, it shows on the view. But I was unable to test the deletion of a security class through EPM then on the view itself. Getting ''An error occurred accessing a security API in JHsxServer'', tried to remove the class manually through extracts, but was unsuccessfull. Patrick

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  6. Hello Henri,

    Thanks for information.
    I would like to make single application copy from HFM 11.1.2.1 to 11.1.2.4 version then what steps I need to follow?

    I repeat, we have already copied data from 2.1 to 2.4 HFM application successfully in last year, now for testing purpose we required to copy of single HFM application from current production 11.1.2.1 to new QA HFM application 11.1.2.4.

    How should go with using HFMCopy utility. Do I need to take any additional precaution?

    Thanks in advance,

    Kind Regards,
    Harshal Kulkarni

    ReplyDelete