Over the last few months, a number of customers have started planning the upgrade to Planning Analytics Local. There seems to be the perception that this process is more complicated than any other upgrade done before with TM1. In this article, I try to bust some myths and provide the information for your upgrade.
Firstly, if you plan to upgrade your existing TM1 environment as it is today, the process is not different to what you would have done to move from let’s say 10.1.x to 10.2.x (or any other minor/major version upgrade you have done before). Most clients can complete this work in a few days.
Yes, an upgrade is always associated with risks. It should be well planned and prepared, but from a technical point of view PAL is not different to good old TM1.
As part of an upgrade you firstly have to install the TM1 server. The installation packages for this are more or less the same as in the previous versions and even most configurations are unchanged.
Next, you migrate your data directory from the old version to the new platform. As with every upgrade it is important to perform a throughout backup, but other than this nothing changes from a process point of view.
Coming to the user side you will likely currently either use Perspectives or TM1Web. Both components still exist in Planning Analytics under the same names. Changes to them are minimal from the end user point of view and mainly bring support for newer version of your operation system or Excel.
As you can see, up to this point nothing is different to a normal TM1 upgrade. Yes, the product got a new name, but any existing user interface and the server are still more or less the same.
Up to this point, you most likely don’t have any impact on your licenses as long as you still pay your annual software renewal fees. As there might be some special situations for your license stack, get in touch with us to double check the license status.
As with every upgrade, the move to PAL will fix bugs, bring support for new environments and might speed up some areas. TM1Web was also further developed now supporting modern web browsers and their technologies.
However, the main reason to upgrade are the major developments IBM has done to the server and interfaces. While preserving the backward compatibility to your existing model, one of the most powerful new feature of the server is the alternative hierarchy technology. It can have a significant impact to the complexity of your model going forward.
The REST API is becoming the interface for any new clients IBM or third parties are developing. Tools like Pulse and Canvas leverage these new capabilities and enable you to do more with your TM1 server. Also, the REST API builds the foundation for Planning Analytics for Excel (PAx) and Planning Analytics Workspace (PAW).
PAx (formerly known as Café) is one of the new clients developed by IBM to leverage the REST API. It is a new Excel client being optimised for environments where users are distributed around a central server. This new client will work without issues over long distances and with slow network connections. IBM is heavily developing it as a future replacement for Perspectives.
Lastly, we have Planning Analytics Workspace. This is actually the biggest change and here the installation turns out to be different compared to the previous versions of TM1. Planning Analytics Workspace requires a few additional components to be installed and configured. The initial versions posed a few challenges, but with newer releases the installation has become much easier.
Additionally, most clients most likely have to revisit their licenses and might have to pay for dedicated upgrade license to enable Planning Analytics Workspace. However, this fee only applies if you want to use PAW and is not required for an upgrade of the server, Perspectives or TM1Web.