Q: How long will UITS continue to support Hyperion? If we’re moving to WebFOCUS soon, it seems as if it would be a waste of time to rewrite Hyperion reports for SADM_SS rather than developing WebFOCUS reports from the start, but we’ve been using Hyperion exclusively, so a SADM_SS/WebFOCUS transition will take us longer than a SADM_SS/Hyperion one.
A: Good question and not a simple answer. We plan to support Hyperion IR as long as needed by those that rely on it for as long as possible. The catch is that Oracle is not upgrading Hyperion IR any longer. That means that if it breaks and there is a fix available, we can apply the fix and keep going, but support for new technologies like operating systems and browsers will not be back-ported to the release we are running (version 9). So, for now Hyperion IR is functionally stabilized. Since our implementation of Hyperion IR exposes security risks we will be having to secure the service behind a technology called Citrix. More communication on this will be forthcoming soon.
Additionally, in the next twelve months or so we will be building a new Student Information System reporting environment (SIS-RE) in the Data Warehouse along with the already developed Finance environment and the partial load of HR data. We are developing a proposal to formalize a SADM offload initiative, but it will require resources and funding. Until then, once we finish the SIS-RE build, the options are to:
Move to SADM_SS with Hyperion IR or
Move to SADM_SS with WebFOCUS and
Begin gradual migration from SADM to SIS-RE using WebFOCUS as time and resources permit
We realize that it may take more effort to report off SADM_SS with WebFOCUS. Since Hyperion IR is at end-of-life, if reports are developed on that platform, in a couple of years at the most (my best guess), those will then have to be converted to WebFOCUS.
Our understanding is that WebFOCUS will have access to SADM_SS but not to the individual SADM snapshots that currently exist. Is that correct?
This is correct because this year’s SA audit raised a finding that identified the 50 snapshots (full copies of SADM) as a security risk because it contains Personally Identifiable Information (PII); birth dates, gender, SSN ,etc. and they are requesting that those 50 or so instances of SADM be deleted once they are consolidated into a single instance in SADM_SS.
Is the plan still for all reporting to move to WebFOCUS and away from Hyperion, since the vendor is no longer supporting Hyperion?
Yes, when Kuali’s reporting needs were being assessed, UCONN was predominantly a split shop – 50% Hyperion, 50% Mainframe FOCUS. We contracted for an enterprise license for WebFOCUS to satisfy Finance. Since then, Oracle has announced end-of-life for Hyperion. Oracle is superseding Hyperion IR with a OBIEE. We could bring in OBIEE, but the cost would be over a million dollars and there would still be a learning curve for the report developers since it’s architecture and syntax is not like Hyperion and they do not have a tool that can port the Hyperion reports to OBIEE.
If so, would you concur that a good strategy for us would be to develop our new WebFOCUS reports (since we’ve been using Hyperion exclusively) on SADM_SS and test the results against Hyperion reports we currently have on various snapshots?
Yes. This would take longer, but I think it is a better business decision.
I am told that in addition to the move to WebFOCUS there’s a move to a different ETL product to move data from production SA files to the snapshots in SADM_SS. What’s the timeline for that migration, and what’s the plan for testing the ETL to make sure that the new transformation scheme will get the data into the archive in a format that existing reports can use? How should we think about this migration affecting our plans with WebFOCUS and SADM_SS?
The ETL process is a transparent event since the construction of a Data Warehouse or Data Mart is to decouple the source from the repository and from the access layers. Any report developed against the repository is shielded from the changes in the ETL. Testing will be needed but not rewriting. We now have a fully loaded SADM_SS. After we do validation on the data we will open it up for others to use.
Are there plans for university-wide WebFOCUS training? It seems to me that we, the Registrar’s Office, Undergraduate Admissions, and the Bursar’s Office at least are liable to have staff who need training.
Not at this time. We plan to write up a formal proposal that deals with the total migration off of SADM. This proposal will include training and services to move to the strategic platform: PeopleSoft-EPM. Even so, this will be a long-term initiative. Information Builders does offer a feature called an EdPack where you can buy educational credits at a discount depending on the value of the EdPack. Generally speaking their training, costs are $650 per person per day. Some of their classes are two or three days. The advanced classes tend to be five days. When we did the training for Kuali Finance bought around $90,000 of EdPack and we trained 75 people on site.