Hello! I am Sunil Pandey, an Oracle EPM (Hyperion) Consultant by profession and Blogger/Vlogger by passion.

Exploring various dimensions of the latest technologies and life experiences is what I love the most. I am working in Oracle EPM domain for past 10 years and have hands-on experience in Hyperion Development, Infrastructure, Administration, Upgrade, Automation, etc. In spare time, I like exploring new places, meeting new people and writing down my thoughts and ideas. If you have any query/feedback/suggestion, feel free to drop me an email at: skp.1world@gmail.com.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

// // Leave a Comment

EPM: Log4j vulnerability/security-threat in EPM 11.1.2.4

We all have heard about the Log4j vulnerabilities (CVE-2021-44228 and CVE-2021-45046) reported recently in Dec 2021. 

The Apache Software Foundation has released a security advisory to address a remote code execution vulnerability (CVE-2021-44228) and a denial of service vulnerability (CVE-2021-45046) affecting Log4j versions 2.0-beta9 to 2.15 ( a system running Apache Log4j version 2.15 or below i.e. Affected Versions are Apache Log4j versions 2.0--2.15.0). A remote attacker could exploit these vulnerabilities to take control of an affected system by executing arbitrary code. The recommendation is to upgrade to the latest Log4j 2.16.0 or applying recommended mitigations immediately. 

It has been determined that Log4j vulnerability impacts EPM (Enterprise Performance Management) application too via the Apache Log4j open source component it ships (EPM ships the log4j Java library as a jar file to be used by the applications like HFM, FCM etc.).

So its imperative to take mitigation steps to alleviate the impact associated with Log4j vulnerability for Oracle Enterprise Performance Management (EPM).

Currently we are in the process of upgrading our existing EPM 11.1.2.4 environment to EPM 11.2. So we though to know the impact of Log4j vulnerability/security-threat first on EPM 11.1.2.4 as we are sure that EPM 11.2.x is impacted by it.

What could be better option than checking with vendor Oracle itself about the impact and mitigation plan of Log4j vulnerability in EPM 11.1.2.4?

So those who still have EPM 11.1.2.4 up and running (as of 28th Dec 2021), you should know that:

EPM 11.1.2.4 is NOT AFFECTED by Log4j vulnerability/security-threat, as confirmed by Oracle support and shown below. EPM 11.1.2.4 uses log4j 1.x library which is not impacted by Log4j vulnerability (CVE-2021-44228 and CVE-2021-45046) reported for Apache Log4j version 2.x (i.e. Affected Versions are Apache Log4j versions 2.0--2.15.0).


That's all for this post.
I hope this article has helped you. Your suggestions/feedback are most welcome.
Keep learning and Have a great day!!!

Share this post.
Read More

Friday, December 17, 2021

// // Leave a Comment

EPM: Batch Script to backup essbase.sec file on Oracle Essbase server

As part of your EPM backup strategy, its important to backup your Essbase security file (essbase.sec) on daily basis to handle unforeseen issues in your Oracle EPM Essbase server/application.

Below is one batch script that you can use to backup/copy the latest essbase.sec file from your source (Essbase server) and paste it into a destination (Essbase server itself or any network share) renaming it with today's date for easy identification during restoration.

@echo off

:: Format today's date in YYYYMMDD format
for /f "delims=" %%a in ('wmic OS Get localdatetime ^| find "."') do set "dt=%%a"
set "YYYY=%dt:~0,4%"
set "MM=%dt:~4,2%"
set "DD=%dt:~6,2%"
set "today_date=%YYYY%%MM%%DD%"

:: Source path
set sourcepath=E:\apps\oracle\epm\Middleware\user_projects\epmsystem1\EssbaseServer\essbaseserver1\bin

:: Destination path
set destinationpath=E:\EPMBackup\Essbase_Backup\BKPFiles

:: Log path
set logfile=E:\EPMBackup\Essbase_Backup\Log\Essbase-Sec-File-Copy_%today_date%.log

:: Copy the latest essbase.sec file
for /f %%i in ('dir "%sourcepath%\essbase.sec" /b/a-d/od/t:c') do set NewestFile=%%i
echo %today_date% >>%logfile%
echo ---------------->>%logfile%
echo %NewestFile% >>%logfile%
copy "%sourcepath%\%NewestFile%" "%destinationpath%\%NewestFile%_%today_date%" >>%logfile%

Notes:
  • I assumed that you have your Essbase component installed and configured on a Windows server.
  • If your Essbase is installed on Linux/Unix server, you can create a bash/shell script accordingly based on this same logic.
  • You can change source path, destination path and log file path as per your Essbase server and requirement.
  • Schedule this script in Windows Task scheduler on Essbase server to run everyday at a fixed time.
On successful run, everyday following two files will be created i.e. essbase.sec backup file and a corresponding log file.





That's all for this post.
I hope this article has helped you. Your suggestions/feedback are most welcome.
Keep learning and Have a great day!!!

Share this post.
Read More

Thursday, October 21, 2021

// // Leave a Comment

Unable to add/connect or expand Essbase server in EAS (Essbase Administration Services) console

Issue:

When we try to add/connect a new Essbase server or expand an existing Essbase server in EAS (Essbase Administration Services) console to see applications list etc., it keeps loading/rolling for long time and eventually Essbase server doesn’t get added or expanded being hanged, as shown below:

Adding new Essbase server:

Unable to add/connect or expand Essbase server in EAS (Essbase Administration Services) console

Expanding existing Essbase server:

Unable to add/connect or expand Essbase server in EAS (Essbase Administration Services) console


Investigation:

We check the easserver.log for the timestamp and noticed following error:

Log file path: E:\apps\OracleEPM\Middleware\user_projects\domains\EPMSystem\servers\EssbaseAdminServices0\logs\easserver.log

Error:

[2021-10-18T09:17:26.196-06:00] [EssbaseAdminServices0] [ERROR] [ESSEAS-24206] [oracle.epm.essbase.eas] [tid: 18] [userId: <anonymous>] [ecid: 00jBJTZ37vAB1FwDwFj8CW0002es0000Zt,0:1:4] [APP: EAS#11.1.2.0] Failed to handle request for com.essbase.eas.essbase.defs.ServerCommands.Connect. See below stack trace for more information. Possible cause for this exception is missing java archive for this request to handle. Check application server WEB-INF/lib folder or CLASSPATH, if the required java archive file is available.[[
com.essbase.eas.framework.server.defs.ApplicationException: java.net.SocketException: socket write error: Connection aborted by peer
.....
.....
Caused by: java.net.SocketException: socket write error: Connection aborted by peer


Solution that worked for us:

Note: We have Essbase component installed on Linux server and EAS service installed on Windows 20212 R2 server.

Error "socket write error: Connection aborted by peer" is usually caused by writing to a connection that had been aborted by the peer before getting the full response. It means that the other side aborted the connection. Since we are facing this error on client side (EAS console), then the Essbase server side must be the one aborting the connection. In most cases this can be caused either by the timeout issue (e.g. the response takes too much time or server is overloaded with the requests), or the client sent the SYN, but it didn't receive ACK (acknowledgment of the connection termination) from the other side.

We first checked with Network team to see if there is any network issue between the source (EAS server) and the target (Essbase server). But they confirmed it was all ok at Network end.

Then we decided to reboot our Essbase Linux server as the connection was getting aborted from that side.

Steps:
  • Stop Essbase and EAS services.
  • Reboot Essbase (Linux) server.
  • Start Essbase service and then EAS service.
  • Login to EAS console and try to add a new Essbase server or expand an existing Essbase server. It worked fine.

That's all for this post.
I hope this article has helped you. Your suggestions/feedback are most welcome.
Keep learning and Have a great day!!!

Share this post:
Read More

Saturday, July 31, 2021

// // Leave a Comment

Oracle Middleware Home, EPM Oracle Home and EPM Oracle Instance

In this post, we will see three important directories related to Oracle EPM installation and configuration:
  1. Oracle Middleware Home
  2. EPM Oracle Home
  3. EPM Oracle Instance
Oracle Middleware Home

In an Oracle EPM system, Oracle Middleware home consists of Oracle WebLogic Server home and EPM Oracle home. You can setup your Oracle Middleware home either on a local file system on the server or on a remote network shared location. 

When you do EPM installation and configuration first-time, you need to define Oracle Middleware Home, which will be then used for all further EPM product installations on that system. 

Oracle Middleware Home installation directory is referred as MIDDLEWARE_HOME with default location as Oracle/Middleware on your EPM system.  For example it could be:

MIDDLEWARE_HOME : E:\apps\OracleEPM\Middleware
Below is an example of MIDDLEWARE_HOME directory structure:

Oracle Middleware Home, EPM Oracle Home and EPM Oracle Instance


EPM Oracle Home

EPM Oracle Home resides within Oracle Middleware Home and contains following things:
  • Files/folders related to EPM applications/products installed on that EPM system
  • Files/folders related to common internal components used by these EPM applications/products .
You cannot change the EPM Oracle Home location, so before starting the installation and configuration of EPM applications on a system make sure you have allocated sufficient disk space to your EPM Oracle Home drive to accommodate all the EPM applications/products that you are going to install on that system. 

The default EPM Oracle home location is MIDDLEWARE_HOME/EPMSystem11R1. EPM Oracle home location is defined in the system environment variable called EPM_ORACLE_HOME. For example it could be:

EPM_ORACLE_HOME : E:\apps\OracleEPM\Middleware\EPMSystem11R1

In a distributed EPM environment setup, the EPM Oracle home directory structure must be the same on each machine of that EPM environment. For example, if the path for EPM Oracle home is E:\apps\OracleEPM\Middleware\EPMSystem11R1 on the first machine you configure, it must be E:\apps\OracleEPM\Middleware\EPMSystem11R1 on all the other machines in the deployment.

Below is an example of EPM_ORACLE_HOME directory structure:

Oracle Middleware Home, EPM Oracle Home and EPM Oracle Instance


EPM Oracle Instance

EPM Oracle Instance contains one or more EPM components like Oracle HTTP Server (OHS), Oracle Essbase Server, one or more Java web applications in one or more domains. 

Unlike EPM Oracle Home, EPM Oracle instance can reside anywhere; it need not to be within the Oracle Middleware home directory.

The default location for the EPM Oracle instance referred to as EPM_ORACLE_INSTANCE is MIDDLEWARE_HOME/user_projects/epmsystem1. For example it could be:

EPM_ORACLE_INSTANCE : E:\apps\OracleEPM\Middleware\user_projects\epmsystem_web

Java web applications are deployed to MIDDLEWARE_HOME/user_projects/domains/domainName for example it could be: E:\apps\OracleEPM\Middleware\user_projects\domains\EPMSystem.

For a distributed EPM environment, you need to create a new EPM Oracle instance on each machine of the environment. But if you are installing all EPM products on a single machine, then all EPM products are configured under a single EPM Oracle instance what you create for the first product configuration.

Below is an example of EPM_ORACLE_INSTANCE directory structure:

Oracle Middleware Home, EPM Oracle Home and EPM Oracle Instance

That's all for this post.
I hope this article has helped you. Your suggestions/feedback are most welcome.
Keep learning and Have a great day!!!

Share this post:
Read More

Monday, June 14, 2021

// // Leave a Comment

How to change temporary (temp) directory in Oracle Essbase Server

Recently we got a critical alert where /tmp directory on our Essbase Linux server (Version: 11.1.2.4.033) was utilizing more than 90% of total allocated space. When we checked, there were many temporary Outline(.otl) files created under the /tmp directory. Most of them were of few KBs size but couple of files were really huge-sized of around 2gb each causing this space crunch alert under /tmp directory. Below is some of those huge sized .otl files listed:
-rw-r----- 1 epmadmin sapsys 2049736704 May 22 12:39 0oKEzW.otl
-rw-r----- 1 epmadmin sapsys 1370583040 May 22 07:43 MsnP8R.otl
-rw-r----- 1 epmadmin sapsys 2049994752 May 22 12:53 spQfrr.otl
-rw-r----- 1 epmadmin sapsys 1360232448 May 22 07:43 wpWopg.otl
Temp directory mostly contains files that are required temporarily. Many Essbase activities use this to create lock files and for temporary storage of data. When an Essbase outline is opened, it creates such temp files. Other activities like HPCM application deployment to Essbase and FDMEE data load to Essbase, Metadata load to Essbase etc. also can create these temporary files. 

Usually, Essbase doesn't produce such huge sized temporary files. Mostly you will see the size in KBs only for such temp files. These temporary files are normally deleted automatically when the related operation is over. But on some occasions you will observe they are not automatically deleted.

We noticed that when these huge sized temporary files (around 2gb per file) are created under /tmp directory on Essbase Linux server, it not only causes /tmp directory go out of space with 100% utilization but also the following issues encountered at the same time:
  1. Essbase server gets hanged.
  2. FDMEE data load to Essbase gets failed.
  3. Unable to load Essbase applications in FDMEE 'Target Application' interface.
Apart from the above listed ones, there might be even more problems. All in all, these issues point towards 'Essbase server disconnection' at that particular point of time. 

So in order to fix it, as a temporary workaround, we moved all those huge-sized temporary .otl files from /tmp directory to some other location and it fixed all the issues. You can also delete these temp files, if not required.

In a Windows server, the temporary directory is set by the environment variable TEMP. In UNIX/LINUX server, the temporary directory is /tmp filesystem. As /tmp is a Linux/Unix OS Filesystem, it is not recommended to use OS file system for application usage because it may lead to even server crash if all /tmp space is consumed at any point of time. So the safe way out is to have a separate temp folder assigned for Essbase application usage other than OS /tmp directory.

Workarounds

As mentioned above, instant workaround is to move/delete these temporary files to clear up some space under /tmp directory.

But as a permanent fix, we decided to have a separate temp directory assigned to Essbase application, that we will discuss ahead.

Changing the Default Location for Essbase Temporary Files on Linux Platforms:

On Linux platforms, Essbase uses OS /tmp directory as the default location for creating temporary files.

To create temporary files in a different location, you must set the temp directory environment variable in opmn.xml and in setEnv.sh configuration files.

To set TEMP/TMP environment variable in opmn.xml

1- Find opmn.xml file on your Essbase server located at below path: /apps/oracle/epm/Middleware/user_projects/epmsystem_ess/config/OPMN/opmn/opmn.xml

2- In opmn.xml file, look for the following default entries:
<environment>
<variable id="TEMP" value="/tmp"/>
<variable id="TMP" value="/tmp"/>
</environment>
3- Change the default values of TEMP and TMP variables to your desired location as shown below and save the opmn.xml file :
<environment>
<variable id="TEMP" value="/apps/oracle/epm/Middleware/user_projects/epmsystem_ess/tmp"/>
<variable id="TMP" value="/apps/oracle/epm/Middleware/user_projects/epmsystem_ess/tmp"/>
</environment>

To set TMPDIR in setEnv.sh

1- Find setEnv.sh file on your Essbase server located at below path: /apps/oracle/epm/Middleware/user_projects/epmsystem_ess/bin/setEnv.sh

2- By default there will be no entry set for TEMPDIR in setEnv.sh (means your OS /tmp directory will be used to store temporary files). 
To change the default location, add the following entry at the end of setEnv.sh file and save it:
TEMPDIR="/apps/oracle/epm/Middleware/user_projects/epmsystem_ess/tmp"
export TEMPDIR
Note: You have to restart Essbase services to make these changes effective.

That's all for this post.
I hope this article has helped you. Your suggestions/feedback are most welcome.
Keep learning and Have a great day!!!

Share this post:
Read More

Thursday, May 20, 2021

// // 2 comments

Password Policies and Account Lockout Measure on EPM native 'ADMIN' and External Directory Users

As part of EPM Application audit and security control, most of us would have got this requirement to apply User account lockout measures on all EPM users whenever there is some specified number of consecutive failed login attempts.

Being no exception we too faced this question. Our security team had released following 'Account lockout' requirements to be implemented in EPM:
  • Account lockout after 6 or less consecutive failed login attempts.
  • Re-enable locked account after 30 minutes of lockout.
So we explored the available options in EPM that I have shared below.

We know there are mainly two types of users in EPM system:
  1. Hyperion Shared Services Native users (Admin etc.)
  2. External directory users (Microsoft Active Directory-MSAD, LDAP-enabled user directory, Oracle Internet Directory-OID etc.)
Lets see both one by one.

Hyperion Shared Services Native Directory users (Admin etc.)

There is no inbuilt account lockout and password policies setting for EPM Native Directory users including EPM Shared Services ‘Admin’ account. Therefore EPM Shared services 'Admin' account never gets locked after any number of unsuccessful login attempts (due to the obvious reason that if ADMIN gets locked in EPM then none can unlock it). 

On entering wrong password for EPM native ‘Admin’ account, it keeps throwing following error without being locked:
EPMCSS-00301: Failed to authenticate user. Invalid credentials. Enter valid credentials.

Password Policies and Account Lockout Measure on EPM native 'ADMIN' and External Directory Users

You can mitigate this risk for native 'Admin' user failed login attempts by creating a script or using any log analyzing tool to monitor Framework.log present on all Foundation servers (E:\apps\OracleEPM\Middleware\user_projects\domains\EPMSystem\servers\FoundationServicesN\logs\Framework.log) which records the messages for both successful and failed login attempts made by EPM native 'Admin' user.

External directory users (Microsoft Active Directory-MSAD or an LDAP-enabled user directory such as Oracle Internet Directory-OID)

There is no settings within EPM application (till EPM 11.2 release) which can be used to control password policies and account lockout measures for external directory users. 

For external directory users (MSAD, LDAP, OID etc.), password policies and Account lockout measure on failed login attempts can be enforced and controlled at external directory side setup only. So you can check with your external AD team and define password policies for external AD users to specify how many logon attempts to allow before locking out end users and how they will be unlocked. 

EPM System honors all locks controlled by the password policies for the external user directory. Whatever Account lockout policy is set there by your Active Directory (AD) team, EPM system will simply follow that.


That's all for this post.
I hope this article has helped you. Your suggestions/feedback are most welcome.
Keep learning and Have a great day!!!

Share this post:
Read More

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

// // Leave a Comment

EPM 11.1.2.4: EPMA is not compatible with Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge browsers

To get the context of the issue discussed in this blog, I would suggest you to first read following two posts:

EPM 11.1.2.4: Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome browsers support patching : Part-1
EPM 11.1.2.4: Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome browsers support patching : Part-2

In order to make EPM 11.1.2.4 environment compatible to run on Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge browsers we apply some patches mentioned in the following knowledge article: 


Post patching when we validated our EPM environments, all applications like Workspace, Essbase, HFM, HPCM, DRM, FDMEE are working fine. We haven't faced any showstopper issue/error in these applications as such.

But its important to note here that EPMA is not compatible with Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge browsers. It not like EPMA doesn't work at all on Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge browsers. You may face issue while using few of the EPMA functionalities.

One such issue is when we try to create Import Profile in EPMA Dimension Library (EPMA dimension library--File--Import--Create profile--New Profile--File Properties), there is a blank screen coming in place of "File Properties" page in Chrome and Edge browsers. While the same works fine in Internet Explorer browser. Please notice following screenshots depicting the same:

In Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge browsers (Blank Screen):

EPM 11.1.2.4: EPMA is not compatible with Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge browsers

In Internet Explorer browser (Working):

EPM 11.1.2.4: EPMA is not compatible with Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge browsers

So you can recommend your end users to use IE (Internet Explorer) only for EPMA related work. For other applications, Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge work all fine.

That's all for this post. Please let me know in comment box how the latest browsers support patching goes for you.

That's all for this post.
I hope this article has helped you. Your suggestions/feedback are most welcome.
Keep learning and Have a great day!!!

Share this post:
Read More