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Kscope Recap: Big Changes with Essbase 19c

Author: Tom Hoblitzell | | August 20, 2019

There were a lot of changes to the Oracle product suite announced at Kscope19 this year. In a previous blog post, we already discussed the changes that Oracle plans to roll out for its business intelligence and data analytics solutions.

Perhaps the biggest news at Kscope19 was that Oracle has chosen to remove Essbase from Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC). Instead, Essbase will be spun off as its own product, Essbase 19c, that should be available during Oracle’s FY2020 H1*.

This article will go into more detail about Oracle’s decision and discuss how the change will affect you as a user of OAC or Essbase.

Essbase 19c: What’s in Store?

Essbase Cloud has traditionally been part of the Oracle Analytics Cloud software suite, which provides business intelligence and data analytics solutions to Oracle users in the cloud. Non-technical users can enter queries and get lightning-fast responses that deliver the intelligent, data-driven insights they need.

This classification will change when Essbase becomes a standalone cloud product starting sometime in the first half of FY2020, according to Oracle’s announcement at Kscope19. Reaction from Essbase customers at Kscope19 and elsewhere has been largely positive, especially since the move will give users more control and flexibility with their Essbase deployment.

Oracle has revealed that Essbase 19c will be available in both cloud and on-premises versions, which means that users will have to decide which option is right for them. Following Oracle’s stated Cloud First direction, we’ll see Essbase 19c released first for the cloud. An on-premises version is planned for release in the next 12 months. If you’ve been contemplating an Essbase upgrade for some time, for example, this would be an excellent opportunity to migrate to the cloud as well.

Cloud versions of Oracle software will receive new features and functionality before their on-premises equivalents—and that’s not to mention all the standard benefits of cloud services, such as scalability and total cost of ownership. Essbase 19c cloud and on-premises will have feature parity at first, but it’s clear that Oracle believes that the future of the company lies in its cloud offerings.

Based on Oracle’s announcement at Kscope19, we have a few more pieces of information about the upcoming transition from Essbase to Essbase 19c:

  • Essbase 19c will be sold through the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Marketplace.
  • Users with current OAC licensing will be able to keep using Essbase as part of the OAC platform, even after Essbase 19c is released.
  • However, OAC will no longer come bundled with Essbase. Instead, users will have to install Essbase separately, and then migrate Essbase cubes from the old instance to the new one.
  • Essbase 19c will be Customer Managed (only!).
  • Existing standalone 11g customers can migrate to 19c via provided migration utilities, while existing OAC Essbase customers can migrate via tools that are common to both 12c and 19c Essbase.
  • Essbase 19c will initially come out only on Linux, with a Windows version to be released later.

The good news for Essbase users is that besides the rebranding, very little else will change functionally about the Essbase software between 12c and 19c initially.  A lot of effort has however been put into additional “hardening” of the Hybrid code in 19c – with much deeper dependency analysis, freeing memory constraints that previously would arise.

Of course, there are tremendously enhanced capabilities found within this next generation of Essbase when compared to previous 11g versions. Besides an enhanced Hybrid Engine, greatly increased performance versus 11g, and deeper feature integration with Smart View, Essbase 19c has improved data source connections and added multi-cell drill-through.

Oracle has moved Essbase development work from the EPM team to the Oracle Database team, but the database itself will remain OLAP (online analytical processing) rather than relational. Essbase is once again known as a database with this change!

Final Thoughts

The recent shakeup with Essbase and OAC has left many current Oracle customers wondering: what’s best for my business, Essbase on-premises or in the cloud? And how will this affect my current usage of OAC? Can I migrate from 11g or 12c, to Essbase 19c by myself? Can I instantiate an instance of Essbase 19c on my own, or would it be more prudent to have guidance from a Platinum Partner?

Datavail is here to help. If you have questions about the announcements at Kscope19, including the impending release of Essbase 19c as a standalone product, we can discuss your business needs and objectives to decide on the best path forward for your organization. Take a look at our Essbase services or contact us today to start building your roadmap.

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