Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Firefox Update Breaks Smart View Links (On-Premise + Cloud)

Mozilla has just released a new version of their browser: Firefox 57 “Quantum”. The new release is promised to be even faster than before, but there is one downside as well; it disables extensions that haven’t been implemented with the new WebExtensions technology. The extension installed by Oracle Smart View is among the "legacy" extensions that can't be used with the latest Firefox version.

This means that the "Open in Smart View" links in HFM, Planning, PBCS and FCCS will cease to work in latest Firefox because they rely on the old extension.

Open in Smart View (HFM)

Open in Smart View (PBCS)

Oracle has published the following statement in the latest Smart View readme file and also in the monthly notes for the EPM Cloud Services.

Future releases of Mozilla Firefox will be phasing out support for XUL-based add-ons such as Smart View. Starting in mid-November 2017, only add-ons and extensions built with new web extension technology will work in Firefox. Therefore, Smart View only supports Firefox versions up to ESR 52.4.1. If you want to continue using Firefox with Smart View, do not upgrade your Firefox browser. If your Firefox browser is set to automatically install updates, Oracle recommends changing the setting to “Check for updates, but let me choose whether to install them.” See the Firefox help for instructions on changing this setting.

I have not heard any official statements yet, but I hope that Oracle will update the Smart View extension to work with the latest version soon. Meanwhile your best option is to use the less frequently updated Firefox ESR version as Oracle recommends.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Financial Reporting Studio's Days Are Numbered

There has been a lot of activity going on around Hyperion Financial Reporting Studio in the past few months. In case you haven't heard, Oracle is planning to get rid of the old Windows-based report authoring tool and this change is going to be carried out quite soon. Here are the facts:
  • Financial Reporting Web Studio was introduced in the March 2016 update for PBCS and released as Patch Set Update .701 for EPM two months later. Web Studio lacked some functionality at the time of the release but has almost reached parity with the Windows based Studio after recent updates.
  • As announced in the December 2016 update for PBCS, the desktop client is going to be replaced by this web-based solution. The switch is tentatively planned to happen in the May 2017 update of the cloud service. The same schedule is also mentioned in the Statement of Direction document recently released on My Oracle Support.
  • The readme file for FR Patch Set Update informs users that support for the Studio desktop client will be discontinued in an update preliminary scheduled for mid-2017.

How does this affect Hyperion administrators using FR Studio then? First of all, you can continue using the old client and Web Studio side by side until you feel comfortable moving to the new solution. But I recommend that all users of Oracle Cloud Services (PBCS or FCCS) and those running EPM should start familiarizing themselves with Web Studio as soon as possible. Financial Reporting has always been very picky in the sense that the client and server components have to run identical versions and this means that an update to Cloud Services will render the desktop Studio useless immediately when Oracle stops releasing an updated client. The same version requirement also applies to on-premise installations but there you will have more control over when to apply the "Studio-killing" patch (supposedly to be released in mid-2017). You can choose not to install the patch right away but it's not likely that you can postpone it forever though.

I assume that customers using EPM version or older will not be affected by these changes as older releases have already fallen outside Oracle's error correction policies. It's still worth keeping in mind that Web Studio will be the only option when you choose to upgrade to a later release.

Further reading: