By Mark Wilson
October 24th, 2017
The good news is that Oracle has extended support for on-premise EPM applications but what you may not realize is that you are likely still not fully supported.
At Kscope17, Matt Bradley, SVP, Development, announced that Oracle was extending Premier Support for both 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52 on-premise EPM versions into May 2018 and Dec 2020 respectively.
The announcement was great news. However, once the dust settled, there was some lingering confusion over how exactly the extension of support pertains to dot releases and patches.
The Oracle Lifetime Support Policy indicates that HFM and Planning support has been extended to 2020 for version 11.1.2.x. The policy is vague about the version numbers, making it seem like any number after 11.1.2.x is supported. The missing piece is the Error Correction Policy, which indicates only specific versions and patches are fully supported.
According to the Error Correction Policy, Oracle only fully supports the latest version and patch sets. And yes, error correction is specific to patch set. For example, these are the currently fully supported versions and patches for HFM:
- HFM 184.108.40.206 patch 205
- HFM 220.127.116.11 patch 204
- HFM 18.104.22.168 patch 702
Real World Scenarios
Let’s look at a couple of examples to illustrate how this works out.
Real World Example Number 1
Company X is running HFM, Planning, and Essbase v22.214.171.124. If they upgrade, they can ensure compliance. What they did not realize is that Oracle Error Support Policy shows that Oracle has not fully supported their version, 126.96.36.199, since 2012. This important nuance is so misunderstood that few of our clients and even some Oracle account reps do not know to look at this second document. The good news is you only need to update to a supported version to stay on support.
Real World Example Number 2
Company Y was planning an upgrade then heard the announcement about extended support. They decided to wait and evaluate moving to the cloud only to realize the 11.1.2.x version they were running was not supported. Now they will have to upgrade to ensure compliance and that their system works with the latest browser versions, while they are evaluating a move to the cloud.
What does it all mean?
At Oracle OpenWorld 2017, Mark Hurd essentially said upgrading is a hassle. The patching and updating process is often time-consuming and worse, a “when we can get to it” activity. The result is businesses are more often than not on an earlier version longer than they want or need to be, and the upgrade happens when it’s urgent or rushed.
The support extension allows you to keep your on-premise applications on support for a few more years. However, you need to check the Oracle Lifetime Support Policy AND the Error Correction Policy, to make sure you are running the latest patches, and install them if you aren’t. Migrating to Cloud is another option that offers full support and no need to upgrade again.
In summary, the devil is in the details. Make sure you know them.