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31 May 2017

Head in the Essbase Cloud No. 4 -- Fixing Cube Designer's download

Procrastination really isn’t that bad sucks

For those of you who don’t follow me on Twitter (surely all of the sensible ones but here you are reading this so who knows), I just made the deadline for Kscope17 presentation submissions.  Is it possible that I may have waited till the last minute?  Possibly.  I will note that Tim German, my copresenter, had his slides to me in plenty of time so I suppose I have to own the almost-deadly tardiness.

In an effort to blame an inanimate object over my lateness, this post will illustrate something about Essbase Cloud that almost drove me to distraction over the weekend – updating Cube Desinger.

No, I’m not going to show you the beta I’m NDA’d to death with

My issue is that I’ve been blogging with the GA release of Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC) but need to show some interesting new stuff in what-will-be-GA-but-is-now-beta.  Whew.  This not-quite-yet-released version has new functionality that I want to demo and that means I needed the latest Cube Designer.  What you’re going to see below will not show anything Secret Squirrel-like other than a release number which, given that it is precisely one number up from the current release ought to not have Oracle breathing down my pencil neck.

Trying to make it work

Those unfortunates who know me know that I use VMWorkstation to virtualize server and client instances to keep software versions separate:  client X uses so that goes to Win 7 VM 1, client Y uses and I want to use Office 2016 so that goes to Win 10 VM1, etc.  All well and good, but the VM I use to do Essbase Cloud (yes, really, I do this) had the GA Cube Designer and I couldn’t get that upgrade to work.  Yes, I could have spun up another VM but I am lazy so thought I’d simply upgrade it.  That was possibly not a good idea.

NB – I’ve redacted server names and IP addresses.  Take it as read (This is a Britishism?  Lord love a duck I had no idea, which (the bit about the duck) also turns out to be an English expression.  It think I spend too much time around Tim German or Pete Nitschke or Mark Rittman or…who knows, maybe I’m just an odd duck.  Heh, probably so.)  when I say that the GA URL and the beta URL are not same.

Upgrade?  Or not.

For those of you who use Planning’s administrator extension, this Smart View screen ought to be a familiar looking dialog box.  In this screenshot I’ve clicked on the “Check for Updates, New Installs, and Uninstalls” link and got the Check for Updates query box.  Of course I click on OK.

Alas and alack, here’s the response:

Fwiw, I was actually connected to the OAC instance.

Then I saw this happy (or not) message:

Okeydoke, I’ll simply log in.  How could that not work?

After providing my credentials Smart View popped this up:

The maddening thing was that Cube Designer then showed up as a Smart View extension.  Success?  No, because while the new version (105) of Cube Designer showed up, it wasn’t actually installable.  Drat, foiled again.

I tried changing the OAC server, overriding the default download URL, turning three times on my head, etc., etc., etc. all to no avail.  I had once again demonstrated why, even with the cloud, my reputation for infrastructure incompetence is well deserved.

Great googly moogly

At this point (and you are looking at about an hour of trying different approaches leavened with plenty of Excel/Smart View going into its Never-never land of a blanked out screen) I just gave up and reached out to Oracle development.  Perhaps it was only a heartfelt attempt to make me go away on Memorial Day, they were very helpful in trying to resolve this.  

The first suggestion was to make sure I was connected to the new OAC instance.  ‘Natch, I did that from the start.

The next suggestion was to get rid of all of those horrible, redundant, and wrong (mostly) connections in the Smart View options.  I am somewhat embarrassed to admit I’ve never done this.  Sigh, another example of my well-deserved reputation for laziness.

Happily, there are those who are not as lethargic as I and went out and figured out how to do this:  Gary Adashek’s blog showes how to get rid of the properties.xml file that defines those entries.  Huzzah! I thought but no, it still didn’t work.

So deleting one list of connections didn’t help but it was suggested by Oracle.  Was there something else I might delete?  I wasn’t quite ready for the metaphorical analogue of this but I was pretty close.

Ah, but beyond the brute force approach that Gary outlined, it turns out that there’s another way to delete connection URLs over in Smart View connection panel.  

As Bertie Wooster would say, What ho!

That looks like the definition of the extensions although this time it’s on the OAC server.  What happens if I delete this?  I did just that and restarted Excel for good measure.  And then…

Would you believe it, it worked!

Btw, I have no idea, how Oracle Journals made its way onto my VM.  Perhaps I will be an accountant in future?  For the sake of every company out there let’s hope not as I get calls of exasperation from my accountant round tax time and what I’ll do to their close process doesn’t bear thinking about.

And there it is

Tim German and I are presenting on this release so I think it’s safe to say that many of you will go through this pain unless Oracle fix it in time.

Be seeing you.

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