Contact Us

#
6 Sep 2021

Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) Users Must Migrate To Oracle Analytics Server Before December 2021

Oracle E-Business Suite 12.1 and 12.2 can be integrated with Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise (OBIEE) 12c as a BI reporting solution. Claremont supports a number of customers that use this functionality.
 

To remain fully supported by Oracle it is necessary to migrate from OBIEE to a new product called Oracle Analytics Server (OAS) and this upgrade needs to happen before December 2021.

In this article, Kevin Behan, Managed Services DBA Consultant at Claremont, details why this step is required, what this involves technically, and what the impact will be on your existing OBIEE reports.

Oracle Lifetime Support and Error Correction Support

Oracle’s support policies around OBIEE 12c are a little complicated.
According to Oracle Lifetime Support for Fusion Middleware, Fusion Middleware 12.2.x remains in Premier Support until Aug 2025.

Diagram 1.png

However, a note on this entry refers to more information in the Oracle Fusion Middleware Error Correction Policy
This is My Oracle Support Note Database, FMW, Enterprise Manager, TimesTen In-Memory Database, and OCS Software Error Correction Support Policy (Doc ID 209768.1)

This in turn points to note Error Correction Support Dates for Oracle Fusion Middleware 12c - FMW/WLS (Doc ID 1933372.1)
Examining this Note reveals that the sub-release of Fusion Middleware 12.2 becomes important.

All versions below the terminal release 12.2.1.3 will be out of Error Correction Support from Dec 2021. So what is the difference between Lifetime Support and Error Correction Support?

Oracle provides a definition: In effect, new security fixes and bug fixes are not released for the sub-versions any longer in Error Correction Support. For example, fixes for critical security alert CVE-2020-14750 in Nov 2020 were only released on versions 12.2.1.3 and 12.2.1.4 as they were the only two versions in ECS at the time.

Therefore in order to remain fully supported and to be eligible to receive any future critical bug fixes, the application must be on a version that is still within Error Correction Support.

OBIEE and Fusion Middleware Certifications

So if you are using OBIEE with E-Business Suite, is the solution to simply upgrade to 12.2.1.4? Unfortunately not and here the picture becomes more complicated yet again.

There are two parts to the OBIEE installation – the OBIEE application itself, and the Fusion Middleware Infrastructure that underpins it and here is where we have a problem.

According to Oracle Note Is Oracle Business Intelligence 12.2.1.4 Certified or Supported With Fusion Middleware Infrastructure 12.2.1.4? (Doc ID 2606828.1)

This means that while the OBIEE application can be upgraded to version 12.2.1.4, the Fusion Middleware stack can only be used up to version 12.2.1.3 - the possible latest version of the technology stack possible is OBIEE 12.2.1.4 on top of Fusion Middleware 12.2.1.3.

But we know that version 12.2.1.3 will leave Error Correction Support in Dec 2021? How then do we keep the full technology stack of OBIEE/Fusion Middleware in Error Correction Support?

Oracle Analytics Server

With this in mind, what is the answer to this apparent conundrum?
Oracle’s advice is “Customers who wish to have FMw Infrastructure 12.2.1.4 should upgrade or migrate to Oracle Analytics Server (the re-branding of Oracle Business Intelligence)”
Now we need to look at  Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) and Oracle Analytics Server Error Correction Support (Doc ID 1664916.1)

Premier Support Dates

Premier Support dates.png

Error Correction Support Dates

Error Correction Dates.png

Note that this information contradicts the previous Oracle document which stated OBIEE 12.2.1.4 was in ECS until Aug 2025 whereas this document suggests it is actually Dec 2023. Moreover, there are no published dates at all for either Lifetime Support or Error Correction Support for Oracle Analytics Server.

Clearly, Oracle is still in the process of finalising their support offering for OBIEE/OAS and the fact that this information is spread across a number of documents makes it hard to get a clear picture (by my count this is the sixth document in the chain we have had to follow).

Nevertheless, the direction of travel is clearly moving from OBIEE to OAS, and in order to meet the challenge of the next critical milestone date of Dec 2021 (end of Error Correction for Fusion Middleware 12.2.1.3 which is the latest version certified with OBIEE 12c) a migration from OBIEE to OAS needs to be considered.
 

OBIEE vs OAS

Oracle’s reference to Oracle Analytics Server as the “re-branding of Oracle Business Intelligence” suggests that there is little actual difference between the two products and that this is merely a matter of nomenclature.

This is however a little misleading as there are clear functional differences between the two products. Oracle provides a Feature Comparison so it is perhaps not going to be that straightforward.

Technical Steps to Migrate from OBIEE to OAS

The migration path from OBIEE to OAS is documented fairly well by Oracle

Claremont has carried out this exercise on an internal demonstration environment and the technical steps are summarised below:

  • Install the latest version of Java8
  • Install Fusion Middleware Infrastructure 12.2.1.4:

cd /backup/stage/FMW_12.2.1.4.0
/app/java/latest/bin/java -jar fmw_12.2.1.4.0_infrastructure.jar

  • Install Weblogic patch 30657796
  • Install Oracle Analytics Server 5.9.0

cd /backup/stage/OAS
export _JAVA_OPTIONS="-Djava.io.tmpdir=/app/OBIDEV/tmp"
/app/java/latest/bin/java -jar Oracle_Analytics_Server_Linux_5.9.0.jar

  • Run pre-upgrade readiness check

cd $ORACLE_HOME/oracle_common/upgrade/bin
./ua -readiness

  • Shutdown OBIEE application
  • Perform a backup
  • Run the upgrade assistant to upgrade Product Schemas

cd $ORACLE_HOME/oracle_common/upgrade/bin
./ua

  • Run the Reconfiguration Wizard

cd $ORACLE_HOME/oracle_common/common/bin
./reconfig.sh -log=/app/OBIDEV/stage/OBIDEV_12214.log -log_priority=ALL

  • Run the upgrade assistant to upgrade the Domain Components Configurations

cd $ORACLE_HOME/oracle_common/upgrade/bin
./ua

  • Re-enable features which are deprecated in OAS but which are required for integration with eBusiness Suite

cd $DOMAIN_HOME/config/fmwconfig/biconfig/OBIS
vi NQSConfig.INI

Find the [SERVER] section.

Add line:

ENABLE_XML_DATA_SOURCE = YES;

cd $DOMAIN_HOME/config/fmwconfig/biconfig/OBIPS
vi incubation.properties
oracle.bips.marketing.enabled=true
oracle.bips.auth.nextGenAuth=false
Update various server configuration files to allow integration with eBusiness Suite
authenticationschemas.xml
localedefinitions.xml
localemappings.xml
tnsnames.ora

  • Apply the latest Stack Bundle Patch (SPB)

opatch napply -oh $ORACLE_HOME -phBaseFile linux64_patchlist.txt

  • Amend Application Policies in Fusion Middleware Control to allow edit of OAS system properties 
  • Increase Evaluation Level from 0 to 2 in OAS system settings
  • Restart OAS application and sanity check integration with eBusiness Suite 

OAS Impact Assessment

Following the proof of concept migration to OAS on our internal environment, we then carried out a functional assessment. The key findings were:

  • The full reports catalogue was immediately available post-upgrade without the need for remediation or intervention
  • Existing reports and dashboards worked as expected when compared with OBIEE
  • New items could be created required

We are now planning with our customers that use OBIEE a migration project to move them all over to Oracle Analytics Server.

Conclusions

  • If you are using OBIEE 12c integration with E-Business Suite, you need to migrate to Oracle Analytics Server before December 2021 in order to remain in full Error Correction Support for the entire Fusion Middleware stack. This fact is by no means immediately obvious from the Oracle documentation.
  •  Claremont has detailed the technical steps for the migration from OBIEE to OAS and has proven that there is little functional impact as a result of this upgrade and is in a good place to start rolling this out for our customer base.

Choosing the Right Managed Services Provider

If you are looking for an Oracle Managed Services Provider who can help you with your Oracle support requirements, goes about it the right way, and can back up the talk, then contact us.

And if you would like to find out more about our Managed Services or have a question, you can email us at info@claremont.co.uk or phone us on +44 (0) 1483 549004.

Kevin Behan, Managed Services Database Administrator (DBA) at Claremont, with over 20 years of experience in the world of Oracle.