When using the Oracle SOA Suite for web service development, chances are that you are also using an Oracle database and that you are at some point in need of a database adapter in one of your SOA composites. If that happens to be the case, you might also encounter the requirement to support multiple composite revisions and keep them as stabile as possible.
This requirement leads to development of multiple SOA composite revisions, but there is only one database. What if you need more database functionality in your new revision? And let’s say, for example, the package specification you are using in the database adapter needs to change. Is that going to be a problem or can you also have multiple database versions? Normally if the package specification changes the older composite revision will fail and you do have a problem in supporting multiple composite revisions. If you are working with an Oracle Database 11g Release 2 or higher one of its killer features, Edition-Based Redefinition, could provide a solution!
This feature was introduced to the database for hot deployment. It is meant to reduce or eliminate application upgrade down-time, as the Oracle documentation explains it (http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E11882_01/appdev.112/e10471/adfns_editions.htm#ADFNS0201).
With EBR it is possible to create multiple releases of your software in the database. When you create a new edition you can install the same software a second time (or more) in the same database without changing the older version of that same software. For hot deployment this means that a new release can be installed in the database next to the current situation and as soon as the new release is installed correctly the old release can be removed from the database. For more details on EBR I’d like to refer to the Oracle documentation. Read the complete article here.
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