Monday, 23 September 2013

Installing Essbase on Windows

Installing Essbase in a windows environment is for me quite a rare task, more often than not I’ll be installing on Linux. However a client has asked whether we could do it, so I thought I’d better give it a try to see if there are any issues.  Below are all the steps I went through, including a few not mentioned in the install docs.

I’m performing this install on Windows 2008 server upon which an oracle database has already been setup. Essbase/EPM needs a database for its repository and in this case it’s a new Oracle 12c instance.

The installation of Essbase is best done in two stages. Both use the same install and configuration utilities. The first stage is to install the EPM foundation, which includes the weblogic web server, the second stage is to install Essbase itself, deploying it as a second instance in the foundation weblogic server. 

I did try installing both the EPM foundation and Essbase at the same time (the installer will let you do this), but ran into numerous configuration problems. These could probably be overcome, but it’s a lot of effort when installing them separately runs smoothly.

Additional Software 

Before beginning the Essbase install there are a four pieces of additional software that need installing into windows first, the Windows IIS web server tools, .Net 4, a Java JRE and 7-zip.

Windows IIS web server tools is installed using the Server Manager. 

Select Features from the navigation window and click ‘Add Features’ in the summary screen.

Select ‘Web Server (IIS) Tools and click Next to run through the installation. You don’t strictly need to install this in advance of the Essbase install as the Essbase configuration tool will do this for you, It just seems wiser to get it done and out of the way in advance.

.Net 4 Framework absolutely must be installed before Essbase. Like the IIS tools above if not there the configuration tool will install it for you, however it will force a reboot of the server half way through the configuration, completely destroying the Essbase installation and you will need to start from scratch.

Obviously check that .Net 4 isn’t already installed. On my server only .Net 3.5 was there.

The .Net 4 installer, dotNetFx40_Full_x86_x64.exe , can be downloaded from

Just run the file once downloaded to install:

Any current Java JRE (or JDK if you prefer) can be installed from 1.6 onwards. I downloaded and installed 7.40 - jre-7u40-windows-x64.exe

Finally 7-zip. This is a zip utility and can be downloaded from

Some of the Essbase install files are larger than the maximum that most zip utilities can handle, resulting in ‘corrupt or incomplete zip file’ messages. 7-zip is the utility recommended by Oracle to unzip all of the install files.

Configure the repository database

The Oracle database that will store the EPM repositories needs to have the AL32UTF8 character set and have the following database parameters set:


Also, the sqlnet.ora file needs the following setting adding to it:


Whilst Essbase/EPM needs a database repository, the installer cannot create schema. You must do this before beginning the install. The name of the schema is up to you (I’ve called mine EPMSYS) and it requires the following permissions:

create user epmsys identified by xxxxxxx;

grant CREATE ANY SYNONYM to epmsys;

grant CREATE CLUSTER to epmsys;

grant CREATE INDEXTYPE to epmsys;

grant CREATE PROCEDURE to epmsys;

grant CREATE SEQUENCE to epmsys;

grant CREATE SESSION to epmsys;

grant CREATE TABLE to epmsys;

grant CREATE TRIGGER to epmsys;

grant CREATE TYPE to epmsys;

grant CREATE VIEW to epmsys;

grant DROP ANY SYNONYM to epmsys;


Download the Install files

I downloaded the following installation files from e-delivery after searching for ‘Oracle Enterprise Performance Management System’ under Windows x64 and chose

EPM System Release Installation Documents and Readmes

EPM System Release for Microsoft Windows (64-bit) Part 1 
EPM System Release for Microsoft Windows (64-bit) Part 2 
EPM System Release for Microsoft Windows (64-bit) Part 3                        

EPM System Release for Microsoft Windows (64-bit) Part 4 
EPM System Release for Microsoft Windows (64-bit) Part 5 
EPM System Release for Microsoft Windows (64-bit) Part 6 
EPM System Release for Microsoft Windows (64-bit) Part 7 
EPM System Release for Microsoft Windows (64-bit) Oracle HTTP Server

Which translates to the following zip files:

I also download the client installers although I’m not using them in this blog:

EPM System Release Client Installers for Microsoft Windows -

Then using 7-Zip I unzipped all of the files (except the client installer) into a single temporary directory.

Installing EPM Foundation

Now we can start the installation. In the temporary directory where the files where unzipped find and run InstallTool.cmd

I was logged in as a user with Admin rights, rather than Administrator, so I ran the file by right-clicking on it and selecting ‘run as administrator’:

After choosing the language the welcome screen appears. Just click next to carry on.

Then we are ask where to install the software. As I already had an Oracle home under c:\app, I placed this under there too.

Then select the ‘New Installation’ option (since this is the first, that’s all you can choose anyway)

Now you get to choose which EPM components you want to install. You need to be careful here. By default everything is selected, which include the Hyperion products of Planning, Financial Management etc. So select the ‘Uncheck All’ option.

Now select ‘Foundation Services’, then expand it and Foundation Components beneath it. Firstly check that Oracle HTTP Server is selected (a couple of times I’ve found it misses this, I don’t know why…), then below this there are two Oracle database clients - 32 and 64 bit, unselect the one you don’t need. I had a 64bit Windows OS, so I unselected the 32 bit client. (I tried leaving both selected, but this does cause problems when the Oracle database is on the same server)
Finally we needed to select some of the Essbase components, but no Essbase Server itself. Select ‘Essbase Administration Services Java Web Application’, ‘Provider Services Java Web Application’ and ‘Essbase Studio Server’ – the three components that are deployed directly in the web server.

You then get the confirmation screen listing the components to be installed. Click Next to begin.

Once complete all components should have a green tick.

Select Configure to close the installer and start the Configuration tool. Note that sometimes the configuration tool may not work properly – the second screen where you setup the shared services and registry database connection sometimes has the ‘Perform first time configuration’ option greyed out. If you get this exit from the configuration tool and run it manually. To do this open a command window (using run as administrator)

Then change directory to the following directory:


And run the configtool.bat file with the –forceRegistry option:

configtool.bat -forceRegistry

However the configuration tool is run, after the splash screen you will be asked to enter the EPM instance directory and name. I generally leave the directory as the default (middleware_home\user_projects), but change the instance name to EPMx:

You then need to setup the shared services and registry database connection. Select the ‘Perform first-time configuration’ option and enter the details of the database and schema for your database:

You are then asked which components you which to configure. Some components do not need configuration unless you specifically want to use them (such as the connection to Oracle BI and publisher).  I left the components selected as default.

Now you need to configure common settings, these being the user under which the system will run (if not the user which you are using to install the software), whether you want to configure SSL and the location of the Life-Cycle Management export/import directory. I left all the settings as default.

Next you get to determine which database repository various components will use, I’m using the default of all components using the repository created above.

Now you need to choose whether to deploy to a new or existing weblogic domain. As this is a first installation in a single server environment, deploying to a new domain is the obvious thing to do. I left the domain name, port and user as default and entered the password for the admin user.

Within Weblogic you can specify the ports for individual components. Again I left the default values in place.

Next you need to specify the ports for the dimension server for the Performance Management Architect. Again I left these as default.

Next you specify the location for data source files for Essbase Studio.

Then comes the web server. The default is Oracle HTTP Server with the port of 19000, but if other web servers are installed you can use these instead.

Next is the Oracle Support email details, which I always turn off.

The final step is to specify the username and password for the Shared Services admin user – probably the most important one you will need on a daily basis.

Then the configuration confirmation screen appears. Click next to start the configuration.

This takes a while, but you should eventually see all components configured correctly.

If any fail configuration you can use the Task Panel button to return to the start of the configuration process and try again. After that you may need to investigate the configuration log files to find the problem. These can be found under middleware_home\user_projects\EPM1\diagnostics\logs\config
Assuming all has configuration correctly you can now start the EPM services. From the start menu select ‘Oracle EPM System’ -> ‘EPM1’ (or the name of the instance you gave above) -> ‘Foundation Services’ -> ‘Start EPM System’

This opens a command window, wait for it to disappear.

Then open a browser and enter the following URL:
You should see the workspace login screen. Login with the shared services admin user/password you entered above.

Note: if, like me, you prefer firefox to IE, the login screen (and other URLs used by EPM & Essbase) won’t work initially. This is because an add-on is required. You will get the following error:

Download the add-on from the following URL:
and install it in Firefox. From the Tools menu select ‘Add-on’s and for the Remote XUL Manager click on the Options button

And enter the server name:

Then close and restart Firefox and enter the workspace URL.
Once logged in you will be able to access the various components of the core EPM:

The services started by the ‘Start EPM System’ link ran above are all configured as services and will auto-start with windows, so you do not need to run ‘Start EPM System’ after each server restart.

Install Essbase Server

So now have the EPM Foundation installed and configured and a weblogic domain into which we can install Essbase server.
Before starting we need to create a directory for the essbase application databases. By default these are stored about six levels down deep in the weblogic directory structure, which is not a good place to have to go hunting for them. So it’s best to create a new directory on the disk where you want the databases to reside. I’ve created c:\epm_data here.
Now start the same installer as for the EPM foundation install above, running as administrator as before

Skip past the welcome screen.

This time the installer will detect the previous installation and default the Middleware home to the same location.

You must select ‘New Installation’, otherwise it will try to re-install the EPM foundation that’s already there.

Now all I want to install is just Essbase Server. If you’re new to Essbase you might want the Sample databases too.

Check what’s being installed and click next to begin.

Once complete, click Configure to close the installer and open the configuration tool.

We need to configure Essbase in the same instances Home directory (user_projects under the Middleware home), but enter a different name for the Instance. From here on the EPM and Essbase instances can be configured and control separately.

The Configuration tool will try to configure all components that have been installed, both in this installation and the previous one. We don’t need this, so click the Uncheck all option, then expand Essbase and just check ‘Essbase’.

Unless you specifically want to change the cluster name or ports, leave then as the defaults. Change the application location path to database directory you created above, in this case c:\epm_data.  (FYI, ARBORPATH is a throwback reference to the company that originally developed Essbase, but is still used to refer to the location of the application databases)

If you want to use SSL check the ‘Active’ box after the SSL Agent Port Number. This can be configured later on, so normally I don’t bother with it just yet – I just want to ensure Essbase is working properly before adding advanced security configuration (I usually configuring it for LDAP as well). So for now even if you do select SSL, I wouldn’t de-activate the non-SSL port number just yet.

Check whats being configured and click Next to begin.

Once completed click Finish to close the configuration tool.

You can now start the Essbase instance from the start menu, ‘Oracle EPM System’ -> ‘ESSBASE1’ (or the name of the instance you gave above) -> ‘Foundation Services’ -> ‘Start EPM System’

This opens a command window, wait for it to close.
You can now open the Essbase Admin console. Open a browser and enter the URL:

Click the Launch button.

This downloads and run a java application. You can select open then ok to launch straight away or you can select save file – save it to you desktop (or somewhere else and create a shortcut). In future you can then load the admin console straight from the desktop rather than going through the URL above (it will prompt you to open/save the file everything you run it and get a little annoying!).

The first time you launch the Admin Console  you will get this security warning, tick the “do not show again” box and run.

Now the Admin Console will load. Login with the shared services user-id/password entered during the EPM Foundation installation.

Initially the Admin Console does not know of any Essbase servers. To tell it, expand the Enterprise View, right click on Essbase Servers and click ‘Add Essbase Server’.

The node already be filled in, if not enter servername:essbaseport.  If you have actived the SSL port number you could use that – and check the Use SSL option. If you untick the ‘use Single Sign On’ option you will need to re-enter the admin user-id/password – th only reason you’d do this is if you were going to turn off shared services security later on. (you need shared services security if you intend to use LDAP security).

I didn’t install the Sample databases, so I have no applications, but Essbase is running and I’m connected to it, so I could now start to build databases.
Like the EPM Services above, the Essbase services under windows will be configured to auto start when the server is rebooted, so you will not need to call the ‘Start EPM System’ process.

Note that the Weblogic Admin Server does not start automatically. So run this, from the start menu, select ‘Oracle WebLogic’ -> ‘User Projects’ -> ‘EPMSystem’ -> ‘Start Admin Server for Weblogic Server’

This opens a command window, but it does not close. Wait for the ‘Server started in RUNNING mode’ message, the minimise (but do not close) the window. Closing the window will shutdown the service.

You can now access the Weblogic Admin server through the following URL:
Login with the EPM System user-id/password you entered during the EPM Foundation configuration (the user-id defaulted to epm_admin).

From here you’ll be able to configure, amongst other things, SSL.

So that’s it, a few gotcha’s at the beginning with pre-installed additional software, but otherwise a striaght forward installation.


  1. If installing the Oracle HTTP server what is the need for Windows IIS Server?

  2. Thank you very much. I followed the steps mentioned, especially, in the prerequisites. And it worked fine to me.