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Clarifying Oracle EPM Versioning

Sunday, November 29, 2015


Even for EPM insiders, Oracle's versioning scheme for Oracle EPM can be confusing. With this post I attempt to shed some light on this matter. This post will assume the latest version of EPM available at the time of writing, which is The rumour is that this is the last EPM 11.x version, in 2017 version 12.x is expected. Essbase v12.x has recently been released embedded in the latest version of OBIEE.

Oracle EPM Versioning

Below a picture which explains the EPM versioning scheme:


The above versioning is based on RTM releases, but how to patches influence the version? There are basically four kinds of patches:

PS (Patch Set)

Personally I consider this to be a Major release of Oracle EPM, although Oracle treats this as an a minor release. Depending on your situation installing this PS involves either a in-place upgrade or a new install which requires a migration of all (meta-) data.

A PS updates all components within EPM suite and potentially some or all embedded middleware components. In addition the underlying architecture might change significantly, therefore a new design may be required. This is why I treat a PS as a major release.

PSU (Patch Set Update)

This is a proactive maintenance release of a specific EPM software component. However in most cases the PSU patch depends on PSU's for other EPM components. Each component can have their own PSU version level. Typically PSU's for Essbase related components have a different version number from the rest.

In the past Oracle released (to my best knowledge for EPM and a so called "Super Patch", which is actually a set of PSU's and PSE's that patches multiple EPM components and Oracle Middleware components in one go. Essbase and among some other components are not part of these Super Patches. This method has been dropped since

PSE (Patch Set Exception)

In case a serious defect is encountered that cannot wait to be addressed in a PS or PSU, a PSE is released. These are EPM component, version and PSU level specific patches. A PSE doesn't change the version of that component. Typically a PSE addresses a single or at best a few defects. Therefore it is recommended to only install when you suffer from the defect(s) this patch fixes.

CPU (Critical Patch Update)

This is a patch specialized in addresses security related defects. Although the other patches might address a security related defect, in most cases these patches focus on functional and/or technical defects. CPU's are released each calendar month and published through  as so called Oracle Critical Patch Update Advisory. You can subscribe here in order to be informed of CPU released.

There has been allot of debate (also by me) whether to install the released CPU's or not. In short Oracle advice's to install all released CPU's on all relevant components within the EPM suite (which includes all Middleware components). However I do recommend to take in account the relevance of a CPU. However this might be a nice subject for another post ;-)

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