We have extensively tested HFM: 11.2.0 in our test lab. What are the consequences for your environment? And what functional and technical adjustments can you expect if you upgrade? Gabor Wieringa and Victor Brandsma share their findings.
3 reasons for upgrading from Oracle HFM 220.127.116.11 to 11.2
The results in our test lab were positive. Both functionally and technically, there are few significant changes. If not much changes, why would you consider an upgrade? There are certainly reasons why this can be a smart move:
1. Low investment
The upgrade can be a good alternative if you want to extend your application with only a small investment, especially in the current times. This way, you’ll need only a relatively small project to stay up to date. In terms of technology, this upgrade can be done in no time; within a few days, you are up and running.
2. Oracle Premier Support will end soon for the current version
Maybe the most important reason for upgrading is that Premier Support will end soon for the current version of HFM. Oracle has different support levels. When your application no longer receives Premier Support, there is probably still limited support from Oracle possible. However, the links with other systems are no longer supported. Take Windows, for example. A major challenge for many organizations is that Windows Server 2012 needs to be updated. However, the current version of HFM does not support higher versions. In the table you will find an overview of the links that are supported per HFM version:
3. Good fit with total IT landscape
In the long term, the consolidation solution must continue to fit within the IT landscape. If you want to move forward as an IT organization, it often pays to go to the latest version. This reason is especially important from a broader IT vision and approach.
Technical test results for Oracle HFM 11.2
We can be brief about the technical test results: they are positive. HFM 11.2 is not a major update in technology. Frankly, in this new version, there are not many changes in the technical aspects of HFM.
Naturally, we also tested the consolidation in our test lab. After all, the consolidation is why you’re using HFM. Therefore, we were curious about the impact of this new version on performance. The test results are positive for this crucial part; the consolidation looks excellent and fast.
The installation of HFM 11.2 is quite the same as for the previous version; it has even become a bit simpler. The most significant change is that a bit of extra software has to be installed; RCU (Repository Creation Utility). This additional software is necessary for proper functioning between the different layers and products of Oracle and HFM.
Functional test results for Oracle HFM 11.2
If you look purely at the functional consequences, not much has changed. The dimensions work as before, and you can do everything as usual. Upgrades used to be mainly finance-driven, with financials asking for additional functionalities. Take, for example, the addition of an infinite number of custom dimensions earlier in HFM’s history. This current upgrade is actually much more IT-driven. By now, most of the functional wishes have been fulfilled. It is currently much more about the connection with other systems such as Windows and the smoother implementation of future changes via a patch model. As a user, you will not notice much of this upgrade.
Are you the administrator of HFM within your organization? Then you will experience a difference, namely in the maintenance of your dimension structures. The significant functional change to HFM 11.2 from previous HFM versions is that Enterprise Performance Management Architect (EPMA) is no longer available. EPMA is the module in which the metadata structures are maintained.
Alternatives to EPMA in HFM 11.2
What are the alternatives to EPMA? Within the Oracle suite, there is a product that can do the same and more: Data Relationship Management (DRM). Oracle is making this product available to replace EPMA. However, DRM must be installed and set up to use the HFM application.
Would you rather not use DRM? Then you can use the HFM application in 11.2 in “classic mode”. The management of metadata is then done via files. You can edit those files manually, or you can edit them with the HFM Client, which you can install on your local machine. At this point, that is the client created for release 18.104.22.168. It still applies for use at 11.2.
The display in this desktop client is slightly more basic than in EPMA, but the metadata can certainly be maintained in it. Therefore, this tool is only intended for the administrators who maintain the application and, thus, an accessible alternative to DRM.
The Oracle roadmap contains a new version of a metadata editor:
The details of this new metadata editor are not yet known. We expect – and hope – that Oracle will work on this soon. We will certainly keep you informed.
How to upgrade to Oracle HFM 11.2?
Do you want to upgrade to Oracle HFM 11.2? To upgrade, the underlying Oracle EPM (Hyperion) must be at version 22.214.171.124. Once this underlying layer is on this version, you can switch relatively quickly to the 11.2 version of Oracle EPM.
The procedure is as follows:
- New servers
- Clean install
- Ready and time for coffee!
Conclusion test results Oracle HFM 11.2
This new version of HFM is a good alternative if you don’t want to go to the cloud. Moving to the cloud is a more intensive migration, and it may be a conscious choice to stay with HFM. In that case, it is smart to upgrade to this new version, so that you stay up to date. An important consideration is that you ensure cooperation with other systems, such as Windows, even if you want to use a new version for these other systems. This new version keeps not only HFM up to date but your entire IT landscape as well.
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Text: Gabor Wieringa