End-of-Life Impact of Adobe Flash on Oracle Business Intelligence (OBIEE 11g) and Alternatives

Jimmy LutzCase Studies, Cloud and Virtualization, Offerings, Oracle, Technical TipsLeave a Comment

If you have recently installed Adobe Flash Player before December 31, 2020, you may have noticed a popup displayed by the program that informs you that Adobe Flash support is ending on December 31, 2020. As of January 12, 2021, Adobe has put the final nail into the EOL coffin and will block Adobe Flash content from running Adobe Flash Player, and all browsers before 2021 will have a “kill switch” to deactivate Adobe Flash. Adobe strongly recommends users to make the transition out of Adobe Flash in order to help protect their systems as vulnerabilities may be present in unsupported versions. Little did they know how fitting the date would be for its end of life.

We get it. Sometimes things don’t go as planned. One of our clients was still using the outdated version of OBIEE software (OBIEE 11.1.1.7) that used Adobe Flash content dynamically generated by BI Presentation services. As mentioned, because Adobe Flash is no longer being supported, our client was no longer able to manage BI applications and upgrade to a later version. This caused a major issue to the client and their business partners since their management members were heavy BI users.

So, where does this leave you if you were unable to make the transition away from Adobe Flash as it reaches its end of life due to time and budget constraints? Look no further. This article is intended to give you the same guidance, tips, and workarounds all right here.

Solution

OBIEE 11g (11.1.1.9) onwards – HTML5 is the default

Note: You must be on a bundle patch later than 11.1.1.9.191015 to avoid the “Copy Link requires Adobe Flash Player” message.

This version is out of Premier support and Error Correction support. You are advised to migrate to Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC), Oracle Analytics Server (preferred on-premises), or OBI 12c (12.2.1.4 minimum on-premises) where HTML5 is the default and flash is not used.

OBIEE 11g (11.1.1.7) or belowthis version is out of Premier support and Error Correction support. You are advised to migrate to Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC), Oracle Analytics Server (preferred on-premises), or OBI 12c (12.2.1.4 minimum on-premises) where HTML5 is the default and flash is no longer used.

OBIEE 11g (11.1.1.7.150120) or below, refer to Oracle support site, for required and Recommended Bundle Patches and Patch Sets

Workaround 1: Replace Adobe Flash content with static PNG content

Configure BI Presentation Services to render charts in PNG format via the DefaultWebImageType setting in the instanceconfig.xml, under Views => Charts section

For example

<ServerInstance>
  <Views>
    <Charts>
     <EmbedFonts>true</EmbedFonts>
     <SectionSliderDefault>150</SectionSliderDefault>
     <SectionSliderLimit>300</SectionSliderLimit>
     <DefaultWebImageType>png</DefaultWebImageType>
     <FlashCodeBase>\\CORPORATE\Download\Flash</FlashCodeBase>
     <FlashCLSID>E38CDB6E-BA6D-21CF-96B8-432553540000</FlashCLSID>
    </Charts>
  </Views>
</ServerInstance>

The possible options of DefaulWebImageType are flash, PNG, SVG, and HTML5. SVG is not supported in this release and uses flash instead, while HTML5 is supported only from OBIEE 11.1.1.9 onwards, on a browser that supports HTML5

The instance instanceconfig.xml file is located under “ORACLE_INSTANCE\config\OracleBIPresentationServicesComponent\coreapplication_obipsnwhere n is the host, eg, n=1

Workaround 2: Enable Adobe Flash Player with override

Enable the final release version of Adobe Flash Player to be used within the browser (at your own risk). This may be fine, especially if the plugin operates safely within the Intranet. If you are an enterprise customer and risk-averse, you may contact Harman who has taken over as the technology sustenance partner for Adobe for licensing and support options.

Download the Adobe Flash Player plugin, if you don’t have it already (eg. Adobe Flash Player download is still available on the Mozilla site). The last version was 32.0.0.445. https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/install-flash-plugin-view-videos-animations-games

Edit the mms.cfg file to allow requisite URLs for OBIEE:

Open the mms.cfg file in a text editor (Notepad, requires Admin permissions due to its location).

32-bit OS: C:\Windows\Systemew\Macromed\Flash\mms.cfg

64-bit OS: C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash\mms.cfg

Add the entry you need, e.g.

EOLUninstallDisable = 1
EnableAllowList = 1
AllowListUrlPattern = https://biprod.mycompany.com/
AllowListUrlPattern = https://*.mycompany.com:port_number

Save the mms.cfg file, and restart the browser for the changes to take effect.

We’re Here to Help

In the years to follow the EOL for Adobe Flash, Adobe had hoped to provide ample time for developers, designers, and businesses to make the transition away from Adobe Flash content to newer standards. Unforeseen circumstances and constraints may result in the failure to make such transitions. We understand that software migrations and what would be best for your organization can be daunting. Whether you’re looking to take the next step, ask questions, require guidance, or want a general consultation, reach out to set up a time to talk, we’d love to help!

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