Art of BI: Hyperion 11 Lifecycle Management (LCM) in Action – Part 1

One of the smartest tools Oracle/Hyperion ever integrated into its product suite was the migration utility. Overtime this has evolved to the LifeCycle Managment utility or LCM for short. Actually Oracle/Hyperion has taken it even one step further by calling its fully integrated migration tool the BI+ Artifact LifeCycle Management utility even though they have retained the same acronym, LCM. I saw a job board posting for a BI+ administrator recently that touted knowledge of LCM as a “must have”. So, between that and a recent client project request, I thought I would shine some light and/or seek to demystify this tool, LCM.

LCM, has actually been incorporated into the Hyperion suite since Hyperion System 9x. I believe starting with 9.3 which is when I started using it. At that point it was really just a command-line tool. It was very much a kluge and in my opinion it still is especially after you do the first migration from dev to prod (or whatever you envrionment structure look like). I’ll go into that later.

Why do we need LCM?
Technically you don’t. You can get along without it like we did in the previous versions of Hyperion by copying objects and migrating them individually. One could still use the Essbase “Copy…” command in EAS to get a database from dev to prod and vice-versa with no problem. The same goes with getting security from one environment to another although that’s usually a bit more work that simply moving Essbase objects around.
 

You could even stick with the old Avalanche Migration Utility under Workspace that many of us have come to love and depend on. LCM doesn’t even provide versioning or anything cool like that. So, do we really need it? The answer to that question really depends on the Oracle roadmap. Ultimately, I think in the next few versions it will be the only acceptable means of migrating objects from one environment to another. It would probably be smart to get on board with it now and hope that they add cool features to it in those future releases.

What’s the benefit of LCM in Hyperion 11x?
The benefit of LCM in Hyperion System 11x is that it is now fully integrated with Shared Services (not WorkSpace) since this is an administrative tool. Keep in mind that you can still launch LCM from the command-line but you really need to be an expert with JDBC, XML, command-line syntax, and other development logic in order to make it work for you. Hyperion 11x definitely simplifies this process.

What are Artifacts?
An artifact by definitionis an object that has been created for a practical purpose.  In this case any pieces of your EPM infrasture that contain meta-data or data.  When you use the LCM tool you are able to select individual objects or artifacts during the migration. For example, one can migrate a single Essbase database instead of the entire Analytics Server’s database.  However, one cannot move an individual report object via LCM. Like the Avalance Migration tool it is all or nothing for some of the artifacts.  Of course, with HFR reports and the like we know that using the Workspace export tool for HFR reports works just fine anyway.

How does the LCM utility work?
It’s all XML based. That is to say that once you define your migration (i.e.: select which artifacts are to be moved) an XML, file-system based directory structure is created. It is created under the Shared Services directory on the server for which Shared Services resides. Now, here’s the ugly part which is a bit of a kluge. After you define the migration and your XML-based file structure is created, one whom has LCM administrator permissions must then manually move the file-structure from one server environment to the other. That can be done either by copying and pasting or via FTP.

In case anyone asks you, in the previously mentioned command-line version you had one additional option for migration. This other option allows you to push the artifacts immediately to the target system from your source system with no extra steps involved if the target and source are on the same network.

Where are the tools located on my system?
The LCM utilities are just batch files that get called when one wishes to execute the tool for operation. These batch files merely launch the java runtime clients and access some JAR files.

  • LCM Launched from Shared Services
    • [HYPERION_HOME]commonutilitiesLCM9.5.0.0binhsslcmutility.bat
  • LCM Launched from Command-Line – Standalone
    • [HYPERION_HOME]commonutilitiesLCM9.5.0.0binhsslcmutility.bat
  • WorkSpace “Avalanche” Migration Utility
    • [HYPERION_HOME]productsFoundationworkspaceMigrationUtilitybinmigrator.bat

Conclusion
If you’ve been on several EPM projects you will know that migrating from development into QA or PROD for the very first time with LCM is no problem at all. This is where the tool, despite its limitations with versioning and its not knowing artifact dependencies, actually makes migration a snap. Oracle has even put together a few documents on Oracle by Example for the different Hyperion suites. These are great for those who need an introduction and a how-to for the tool.

Here also is the System 9x documentation (PDF) for the LCM standalone command-line utlity.

I believe that LCM breaks down and needs much more hand-holding when migrating artifacts between environments after the first-time migration status. Once there are objects in production that need to be move backdown to development for testing which ultimately need to be moved back to production one will need to be astutely involved and have solid knowledge of the Oracle/Hyperion EPM tools to pull this scenario off smoothly.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments by posting a comment below.

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Christian Screen
Christian is an innovator in analytics and data warehousing design, best practices, and delivery. With more than fifteenyears of decision support and data warehousing with key experiences at Office Depot HQ, Sierra-Cedar, and Capgemini, he oversees the Oracle Analytics Practice which includes the technical development and delivery of Oracle BI collaboration software, data warehouse solutions, Oracle BI/EPM projects, and packaged analytics solutions at Datavail.

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8 thoughts on “Art of BI: Hyperion 11 Lifecycle Management (LCM) in Action – Part 1”
    1. Jerry,
      This is a loaded question. You've got a lot of different variables to look at during a migration. It is not as simple as downloading the 11x version of the suite, installing it, and pressing a "start migration" button. What are you migrating? Will it be part of the suite or all of tools? Is this a parallel migration (of course, always recommended), etc?

      This really depends on your infrastructure. I can say that just about all of the migrations I have done with leaps in versions like 9x to 11x are complete server infrastructure environment migrations so that the existing infrastructure can run continue to run in 9x as parallel testing takes place with the 11x environment. Once all is kosher, the 9x environment can be "sunset" if that is the directive.

      Good Luck.

  1. Do you know if LCM can be used to actually migrate Shared Services between environments (Prod to QA)?

    We're running version 11.1.1.2 and keeping Shared Services in synch between environments is our biggest challenge by far.

    Thanks,

    Patrick Coyle

      1. Hi,

        this is raman, i want know how the lcm is work and how to configure the lcm.

        plz let me know this.

        thanks
        raman

  2. all of our users in native directory and groups are also, how to move them and extenralize them to external authentication, does the LCM utility help for native to externalizing too..