November 14, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: EPM Is Available (AKA Hyperion on All Platforms with Bug Fixes)

Oracle EPM - Generally Available
Well, that certainly took long enough.  On July 12, Oracle released the newest version of Hyperion (so called and all was great and wonderful except for one thing.  For the first time in my recollection, it was only released for Windows platforms.  The versions for other platforms (Unix and the like) were supposed to follow shortly after.

Then months went by with only Windows to keep us warm.

Finally, during the wee hours last night approximately 4 months after the Windows release of Hyperion 11x, we now have the full platform release.  To download the other platforms, go to and click on the product pack for "Oracle Enterprise Performance Management System."  You'll now see that there are multiple platforms available:
  • HP-UX (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • IBM AIX (only 64-bit)
  • Linux x86 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Sun Solaris (only 64-bit)
  • Windows (32-bit and 64-bit)
Lots of bugs are fixed
You'll also notice that the Windows media packs now come in two versions: and  The version with the extra "dot one" has patches for some of the more egregious bugs.  I've read the Read Me file for and there are 8+ pages of defects fixed in this release.  Some of them seem fairly major.  There are still 13+ pages of known issues in this release.  Personally, I like when the list of bugs fixed exceeds the known bug list, but with a version this major, I'm just happy as can be that they're actively fixing the major bugs.

For those of you who already installed, Oracle has been kind enough to allow us to install the patched version (with the extra "dot one") without reinstalling (hallelujah, by the way).  If you've already installed the initial 11 release, just make sure you select the "Apply Maintenance Release" option when you rerun the EPM System Installer.

New Features
You may be surprised to find out that there are some new features in this version (minor, but they're there).  I'm going through the Read Me files right now, but here are the new features I've spotted so far:
  • Essbase
    • Block storage cubes can now have the same date/time member intelligence that ASO began supporting in 9.3.  This also means that there are some new block storage calcs to work on these members: @DATEDIFF, @DATEPART, @DATEROLL, @FORMATDATE, and @TODATEEX.
    • When Essbase log files reach their maximum size (normally 2Gb), the log file will begin writing to a second file (or more than that).  This is simple but impressive.  Older versions of Essbase would just crash when the max file size was reached, but now they will keep generating new log files while preserving the old ones.
    • Visual Explorer is dramatically enhanced and now supports perspectives, has enhanced workspace capabilities, enhancements to dashboards, and most impressive of all, can be used to generate data mining scenarios (it even writes MDX for you).
    • Also, there is at least one feature that's been removed in this version: reference cubes are no longer supported for speeding up of @XREF calculations.  
  • Essbase Studio
    • Netezza is supported as a data source.
    • Migration is now supported (of metadata) from EIS (Essbase Integration Services) to Essbase Studio.
  • Financial Data Quality Management
    • Drill back from HFM, Strategic Finance, Essbase, and Planning to FDM.
    • Drill back from FRM to Oracle eBusiness Suite.
    • Support for Shared Services for user provisioning and authentication.
    • New adapters for Strategic Finance and Oracle eBusiness Suite.
    • Other random front-end enhancements.
  • Hyperion Financial Management (HFM).  So far as I can tell from the Read Me, there are no new features.
  • Hyperion Planning.  The Planning Outline Load utility has been updated and may now actually be helpful for building dimensions.
  • Profitability and Cost Management.  There are pages and pages of new features for HPCM.  I'll refer you to the hpm_11111_readme.pdf for more information on this.  Needless to say, someone was very busy adding features to HPCM since its initial release in July.
  • Reporting and Analysis (FR, IR, SQR, WA).  Nothing, so far as I can tell.
  • Smart View
    • Firefox is now supported for the web client.
    • Essbase substitution variables can be used in Excel spreadsheet retrieves.
    • There's a new "Disconnect All" menu item that disconnects from all data sources.
    • There's a new POV Control that can be used in the Report Designer (the new dashboard-like interface in Smart View 11x).  The POV control allows for greater member selection capabilities than the Slider control.  POV controls and sliders cannot both be used on the same report (they're mutually exclusive).
There are also some enhancements to some of the more minor supporting products that I didn't bother listing.  As you can tell, there aren't a lot of impressive features, but there are more than you'd think considering the minor updating of the version number.

What's Missing?
EPM/Hyperion is still English-only.  The last road map I saw in a public forum (i.e., that I'm able to talk about) said that the localized versions of the product should be out by the end of 2008.  With there being only 6 weeks until the end of 2008 and Oracle just getting around to the platform release in English, I seriously doubt we'll see Hyperion in Spanish, Japanese, and the like until the first quarter of 2009.

Also, there's no version of either Strategic Finance or Performance Scorecard.  I have no idea on when these will be released.

How long until Oracle informs everyone?
If you want to amuse yourself, see how long it takes for Oracle to let their users (and their own sales force) know that the full platform release is available.  I'm betting it's not until at least next week (if at all).