The following new features are introduced in the PSU.
Application Creation WizardThe 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 126.96.36.199 release but this wizard makes the process of creating new Classic applications more straightforward.
Printable Entity Details ReportsThe 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 UpdateThe 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 OptionA 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 OptionsAnother 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 ViewYou 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 188.8.131.52.500 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 FeaturesInsights 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 UtilityAs I mentioned in my first post about HFM 184.108.40.206, 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.
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 ManagementThe Assign Access Control view was mostly unusable in the initial 220.127.116.11 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 ApplicationThe 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.
- 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 18.104.22.168 is getting more mature
- To Oracle: Can we please have HFMCopyApplication.exe back? Pretty please?