It's axiomatic that everyone wants to minimize maintenance downtimes for their E-Business Suite environments. This is particularly crucial for environments with users in multiple timezones. I've previously summarized some of the most-effective ways
of reducing patching downtimes for E-Business Suite environments. As noted in that article, one of the best ways of minimizing your maintenance downtimes is to use a staged Applications system.
The staged approach allows you to perform as many changes as possible in an offline Apps environment, and defers taking down your production environment only for the final database patches tasks. Using this approach, you apply your new patches to an exact clone of your production E-Business Suite environment. This can be done while your production system is still running. The staged Applications environment is then used to run database updates and APPL_TOP changes into your production environment.
Making It Painless
There are a few important things to remember when using a staged Applications system:
There are a number of other important steps for updating your production database and production APPL_TOP, as well as using the adphmigr.pl utility to synchronize your patch history between
your staged and production environments. For full details, see the Metalink Note for your E-Business Suite release:
Commonly confused: "Staged" versus "Shared"
A final reminder about terminology might be helpful. Experienced Apps sysadmins know that we support staged application systems as well as shared application
systems. Both of these maintenance strategies have the same goal: they help reduce your patching downtimes. However, it's important to remember that they're not the same thing: