Tuesday Feb 26, 2013

MKS Toolkit 9.5 certified with EBS Release 12.1 on Microsoft Windows

MKS Toolkit logoMKS Toolkit version 9.5 is now certified as a release maintenance tool with Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.1 or higher on Microsoft Windows Server (32-bit) and Microsoft Windows x64 (64-bit).

The operating systems supported by MKS Toolkit v9.5 on this platform:

  • Microsoft Windows Server (32-bit) (2003, 2008)
  • Microsoft Windows x64 (64-bit) (2008 R2)

Please review the documents below for all requirements to use MKS Toolkit v9.5 with E-Business Suite Release 12.

Where can I find more information?


Monday Feb 25, 2013

Avoid Mixing Custom Applications with E-Business Suite Environments

The E-Business Suite technology stack is extensive. Many components are distributed across the EBS database and application tiers.  These include the Oracle Database, Oracle HTTP Server, Oracle Forms and Reports 10g, Oracle Containers for Java, and many others.

EBS 12.1 technology stack architecture

Internal EBS components are tightly-coupled

Most of these components are not "user-serviceable" in the conventional manner.  They're tightly integrated with the E-Business Suite, with deep dependencies, custom configuration files, and dedicated configuration management utilities that are designed specifically for the E-Business Suite.  

The internal E-Business Suite technology stack is relatively tightly-coupled: you generally cannot change one thing without understanding how those changes will affect other components. 

Examples of what this means:

  • You can't drop a new UIX library into an EBS environment without also delivering the corresponding changes in the OA Framework layer.
  • You can't simply replace the E-Business Suite's Oracle Forms and Reports 10g with, say, Oracle Forms and Reports 11g. 

External integrations are loosely-coupled

It is also possible to integrate the E-Business Suite with other Oracle products.  These integrations are optional, in the sense that you don't need them to use the core E-Business Suite functionality.  These are sometimes called external integrations since they're outside of the core EBS technology stack.

Examples of external integrations:

  • You can optionally integrate Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition with your EBS environment to offer advanced analytic capabilities.
  • You can optionally use Oracle Access Manager and Oracle Internet Directory if you'd like to integrate the E-Business Suite with a third-party authentication system.
External integrations (e.g. OBIEE, Oracle Access Manager, Discoverer) are loosely-coupled.  For example, applying the Discoverer 11.1.1.6 patchset won't trigger changes to EBS products that deliver Discoverer workbooks. Some small interoperability patches required, but you can generally upgrade externally-integrated Oracle products without significant changes to E-Business Suite technology stack components or product level code. 

Before you upgrade internal and external components

You should always check that newer versions of internal and external components are certified before upgrading them.  We release around 80 new certified component updates a year, comprising over 150 configurations.  Monitoring or subscribing to this blog is the best way of keeping up.

The official Certification database on My Oracle Support is the definitive source of all EBS certifications.  I've also published a one-page summary of all of the latest E-Business Suite techstack certifications on this blog.

What does this mean for custom applications?

You might be tempted to deploy a custom application in the E-Business Suite technology stack.  After all, you think to yourself, that's easier than installing a separate server for, say, OC4J. 

Don't do it.

The E-Business Suite internal technology stack should be reserved strictly for the E-Business Suite. Mingling your own custom applications into the E-Business Suite technology stack:

  • Makes it difficult to debug or isolate EBS performance or stability issues.
  • Increases your security risk.  If your custom application is compromised, then your EBS environment may also be jeopardized, or vice versa.
  • Makes it difficult to upgrade EBS components if your custom application is dependent on older versions.
  • Makes it difficult to upgrade your custom application if the E-Business Suite is dependent on older component versions than your custom code.
  • Potentially doubles your maintenance outages for your users. Your EBS environment will be taken down every time you need to apply an update to your custom application, and vice versa.

What you should do

Option 1: Deploy on a separate server

Ideally, you should install your custom application and its required technology stack prerequisites on a different physical server.  This will ensure that the E-Business Suite remains completely isolated from your custom application, its technical requirements, and its load requirements.  This is the recommended approach.

Option 2: Deploy in a separate ORACLE_HOME on an EBS server

Less ideally, you can install your custom application in a different ORACLE_HOME on an existing E-Business Suite server.

This is not recommended. There are a number of downsides to this approach:

  • If your custom application's security is compromised, this might put your E-Business Suite environment at risk.
  • Deploying your custom application and its components on your EBS server will make performance tuning difficult.  If your server's resources are maxed out, how do you determine whether the problem lies with EBS or your custom application?  

  • A single point of failure: server maintenance or outages take down all applications that share that server.  Physical consolidation saves money but increases risk.

Implications for support

Here's the biggest reason not to mix EBS environments with custom applications:  it makes support very difficult, if not impossible. 

Oracle can best assist with issues that we can reproduce.  We can issue EBS patches only for issues that can be reproduced on standard EBS environments. 

If a problem occurs in an E-Business Suite environment that includes other uncertified components or code, then our default recommendation will be to disable those before investigating further.

Related Articles

Thursday Feb 21, 2013

Getting Started as an E-Business Suite DBA

The other day, a reader asked, "How does one become an EBS DBA?" He'd worked on an ERP environment in the past but seemed to be overwhelmed. This is understandable; there's lots to learn.  The good news is that there are many options to becoming an Apps DBA.

If you have limited funds

1. Start with the official documentation

There is a vast trove of information contained within the online E-Business Suite Documentation Library. Our documentation writers are devoted to capturing everything that you need to know to manage the E-Business Suite, and the organization of the documentation is top-notch.  All aspiring DBAs should start here:

Screenshot of new EBS documentation library

2. Build your own sandbox environment

The only way to learn is to work with a real environment. You can download Oracle VM templates for the E-Business Suite and have an environment running within a few hours:

3. Get the latest information

EBS technology is constantly being refreshed.  You can learn about specific EBS topics from the developers themselves in these free one-hour webcasts:

We release over 150 new certifications a year, so it's vital to monitor or subscribe to this blog to stay current:

4. Talk with your peers

There are dozens of Oracle EBS discussion forums. The best DBAs in the world congregate here and are generous with their expertise.  Some recommendations for DBAs:

If you prefer formal classroom-style training

Oracle University has some excellent courses: Oracle Applications - E-Business Suite Training

Here are some great ways get started in E-Business Suite Tools and Technologies:

If you want to get certified

You can get certified through the Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) program. Here is the learning track to becoming an EBS DBA:

There's no free lunch

As I was getting ready to fire off an email to the gentleman, I sat back and thought about the context of the gentleman’s inquiry. We have a diversified selection of education offerings that are fee-based and free. Oracle University courses are outstanding. Self study classes can be performed from anywhere. Our documentation resources are extensive as well as comprehensive. We have software to download and try. Everything is in place to achieve all the goals you might ever want to achieve dealing with Oracle Application Technologies. 

There is just one catch: whatever route the gentleman chooses to take, there will have to be a substantial investment in time and resources. Technology continually advances, so this will be an ongoing investment.

Often, individuals who embark on the path of learning our technologies miss that. I wish I could convey to those that start the journey, that even for those of us who are Oracle professionals, we never stop learning our own technologies.

There is no easy way to become an expert.  but it's worth it


Wednesday Feb 20, 2013

Plans for Certifying Windows 8 and IE 10 with E-Business Suite

Windows 8 logo

[Aug. 9, 2013 update: IE 10 is now certified with EBS]

Microsoft Windows 8 was recently released with Internet Explorer 10 as its default browser.  Here's an interim update on our plans for certifying them with Oracle E-Business Suite.

If you've reached this article via a search engine, it's possible that a later update on our status is available.  For our latest status, please check the Desktop Client Certifications section of our one-page Certifications summary.

Our current plans for Windows 8 and IE 10

We plan to certify Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11.5.10.2, 12.0, and 12.1 with Microsoft Windows 8 and Internet Explorer 10.

When will Win8 and IE 10 be certified with EBS?

Oracle's Revenue Recognition rules prohibit us from discussing certification and release dates, but you're welcome to monitor or subscribe to this blog for updates, which I'll post as soon as soon as they're available.    

Which Windows 8 versions will be certified?

As of today, I expect that we will explicitly test the Windows 8 Pro edition with Oracle E-Business Suite.  We expect that the results of these certification tests will apply equally to the following editions:

  • Windows 8
  • Windows 8 Enterprise
  • Windows 8 N edition
  • Windows 8 Pro N edition
  • Windows 8 Pro Pack N edition
We do not currently plan to certify the following editions with Oracle E-Business Suite:
  • Windows RT
  • Windows 8 tablet-oriented interface (formerly called Metro)

I would not expect the results of our certification to apply to Windows RT.

What about 64-bit Windows 8?

Windows 8 is available in a 64-bit version as well as a 32-bit version.  It is expected that we will certify the 32-bit version first, followed by the 64-bit version later.

IE logoWhat about IE 10 for other Windows releases?

Internet Explorer 10 requires Windows 8 or Windows 7 SP1.  We expect to certify IE10 on those operating systems as desktop clients for EBS 11.5.10.2, 12.0, and 12.1.

We have no current plans to certify the E-Business Suite with IE 10 on Windows RT.

Any Early Adopter Programs planned?

No, we don't currently have any plans to offer an Early Adopter Program for either Win8 or IE 10 with Oracle E-Business Suite.  If that changes, I'll post an article on this blog with a call for participants.  

Related Articles

Tuesday Feb 19, 2013

Java JRE 1.7.0_15 Certified with Oracle E-Business Suite

Java logoJava Runtime Environment 7u15 (a.k.a. JRE 7u15-b03) and later updates on the JRE 7 codeline are now certified with Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12 for Windows-based desktop clients.

All JRE 6 and 7 releases are certified with EBS upon release

Our standard policy is that all E-Business Suite customers can apply all JRE updates to end-user desktops from JRE 1.6.0_03 and later updates on the 1.6 codeline, and from JRE 7u10 and later updates on the JRE 7 codeline.  We test all new JRE 1.6 and JRE 7 releases in parallel with the JRE development process, so all new JRE 1.6 and 7 releases are considered certified with the E-Business Suite on the same day that they're released by our Java team. 

You do not need to wait for a certification announcement before applying new JRE 1.6 or JRE 7 releases to your EBS users' desktops.

What's needed to enable EBS environments for JRE 7?

EBS customers should ensure that they are running JRE 7u15, at minimum, on Windows desktop clients.

Of the compatibility issues identified with JRE 7, the most critical is an issue that prevents E-Business Suite Forms-based products from launching on Windows desktops that are running JRE 7. 

Customers can prevent this issue -- and all other JRE 7 compatibility issues -- by ensuring that they have applied the latest certified patches documented for JRE 7 configurations to their EBS application tier servers.  These are summarized here for convenience. If the requirements change over time, please check the Notes for the authoritative list of patches:

  1. Apply Forms patch 14615390 to EBS 11i environments (Note 125767.1)
  2. Apply Forms patch 14614795 to EBS 12.0 and 12.1 environments (Note 437878.1)

These patches are compatible with JRE 6 and 7, production ready, and fully-tested with the E-Business Suite.  These patches may be applied immediately to all E-Business Suite environments. All other Forms prerequisites documented in the Notes above should also be applied. 

Where are the official patch requirements documented?

All patches required for ensuring full compatibility of the E-Business Suite with JRE 7 are documented in these Notes:

For EBS 11i:

For EBS 12

Prerequisites for 32-bit and 64-bit JRE certifications

JRE 1.70_15 32-bit + EBS 11.5.10.2

JRE 1.70_15 32-bit + EBS 12.0 & 12.1

JRE 1.7.0_15 64-bit + EBS 11.5.10.2

JRE 1.70_15 64-bit + EBS 12.0 & 12.1

EBS + Discoverer 11g Users

JRE 1.7.0_15 (7u15) is certified for Discoverer 11g in E-Business Suite environments with the following minimum requirements:

Worried about the 'mismanaged session cookie' issue?

No need to worry -- it's fixed.  To recap: JRE releases 1.6.0_18 through 1.6.0_22 had issues with mismanaging session cookies that affected some users in some circumstances.

The fix for those issues was first included in JRE 1.6.0_23. These fixes will carry forward and continue to be fixed in all future JRE releases on the JRE 6 and 7 codelines.  In other words, if you wish to avoid the mismanaged session cookie issue, you should apply any release after JRE 1.6.0_22 on the JRE 6 codeline, and JRE 7u10 and later JRE 7 codeline updates.

Implications of Java 6 End of Public Updates for EBS Users

The Support Roadmap for Oracle Java is published here:

The latest updates to that page (as of Sept. 19, 2012) state (emphasis added):

Java SE 6 End of Public Updates Notice

After February 2013, Oracle will no longer post updates of Java SE 6 to its public download sites. Existing Java SE 6 downloads already posted as of February 2013 will remain accessible in the Java Archive on Oracle Technology Network. Developers and end-users are encouraged to update to more recent Java SE versions that remain available for public download. For enterprise customers, who need continued access to critical bug fixes and security fixes as well as general maintenance for Java SE 6 or older versions, long term support is available through Oracle Java SE Support .

What does this mean for Oracle E-Business Suite users?

EBS users fall under the category of "enterprise users" above.  Java is an integral part of the Oracle E-Business Suite technology stack, so EBS users will continue to receive Java SE 6 updates from February 2013 to the end of Java SE 6 Extended Support in June 2017.

In other words, nothing will change for EBS users after February 2013. 

EBS users will continue to receive critical bug fixes and security fixes as well as general maintenance for Java SE 6. These Java SE 6 updates will be made available to EBS users for the Extended Support periods documented in the Oracle Lifetime Support policy document for Oracle Applications (PDF):

  1. EBS 11i Extended Support ends November 2013
  2. EBS 12.0 Extended Support ends January 2015
  3. EBS 12.1 Extended Support ends December 2018

How can EBS customers obtain Java 6 updates after the public end-of-life?

EBS customers can download Java 6 patches from My Oracle Support.  For a complete list of all Java SE patch numbers, see:

Will EBS users be forced to upgrade to JRE 7 for Windows desktop clients?

No. This upgrade is highly recommended but currently remains optional. JRE 6 will be available to Windows users to run with EBS for the duration of your respective EBS Extended Support period.  Updates will be delivered via My Oracle Support, where you can continue to receive critical bug fixes and security fixes as well as general maintenance for JRE 6 desktop clients. 

Coexistence of JRE 6 and JRE 7 on Windows desktops

The upgrade to JRE 7 is highly recommended for EBS users, but some users may need to run both JRE 6 and 7 on their Windows desktops for reasons unrelated to the E-Business Suite.

Most EBS configurations with IE and Firefox use non-static versioning by default. JRE 7 will be invoked instead of JRE 6 if both are installed on a Windows desktop. For more details, see "Appendix B: Static vs. Non-static Versioning and Set Up Options" in Notes 290807.1 and 393931.1.

Applying Updates to JRE 6 and JRE 7 to Windows desktops

Auto-update will keep JRE 7 up-to-date for Windows users with JRE 7 installed.

Auto-update will only keep JRE 7 up-to-date for Windows users with both JRE 6 and 7 installed. 

JRE 6 users are strongly encouraged to apply the latest Critical Patch Updates as soon as possible after each release. The Jave SE CPUs will be available via My Oracle Support.  EBS users can find more information about JRE 6 and 7 updates here:

The dates for future Java SE CPUs can be found on the Critical Patch Updates, Security Alerts and Third Party Bulletin.  An RSS feed is available on that site for those who would like to be kept up-to-date.

What will Mac users need?

Oracle will provide updates to JRE 7 for Mac OS X users. EBS users running Macs will need to upgrade to JRE 7 to receive JRE updates.

The certification of Oracle E-Business Suite with JRE 7 for Mac-based desktop clients accessing EBS Forms-based content is underway. Mac users waiting for that certification may find this article useful:

Will EBS users be forced to upgrade to JDK 7 for EBS application tier servers?

No. This upgrade will be highly recommended but will be optional for EBS application tier servers running on Windows, Linux, and Solaris.  You can choose to remain on JDK 6 for the duration of your respective EBS Extended Support period.  If you remain on JDK 6, you will continue to receive critical bug fixes and security fixes as well as general maintenance for JDK 6.

The certification of Oracle E-Business Suite with JDK 7 for EBS application tier servers on Windows, Linux, and Solaris as well as other platforms such as IBM AIX and HP-UX is planned.  Customers running platforms other than Windows, Linux, and Solaris should refer to their Java vendors's sites for more information about their support policies.

References

Related Articles

Java JRE 1.6.0_41 Certified with Oracle E-Business Suite

The latest Java Runtime Environment 1.6.0_41 (a.k.a. JRE 6u41-b02) and later updates on the JRE 6 codeline are now certified with Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12 for Windows-based desktop clients.  

All JRE 6 and 7 releases are certified with EBS upon release

Our standard policy is that all E-Business Suite customers can apply all JRE updates to end-user desktops from JRE 1.6.0_03 and later updates on the 1.6 codeline, and from JRE 7u10 and later updates on the JRE 7 codeline.  We test all new JRE 1.6 and JRE 7 releases in parallel with the JRE development process, so all new JRE 1.6 and 7 releases are considered certified with the E-Business Suite on the same day that they're released by our Java team. 

You do not need to wait for a certification announcement before applying new JRE 1.6 or JRE 7 releases to your EBS users' desktops.

What's new in Java 1.6.0_41?

See the 1.6.0_41 Update Release Notes for details about what has changed in this release.  This release is available for download from the usual Sun channels and through the 'Java Automatic Update' mechanism. Java logo

32-bit and 64-bit versions certified

This certification includes both the 32-bit and 64-bit JRE versions.

32-bit JREs are certified on:

  • Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3)
  • Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Service Pack 2 (SP2)
  • Windows 7 and Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1)

64-bit JREs are certified only on 64-bit versions of Windows 7 and Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1).

Worried about the 'mismanaged session cookie' issue?

No need to worry -- it's fixed.  To recap: JRE releases 1.6.0_18 through 1.6.0_22 had issues with mismanaging session cookies that affected some users in some circumstances.

The fix for those issues was first included in JRE 1.6.0_23. These fixes will carry forward and continue to be fixed in all future JRE releases.  In other words, if you wish to avoid the mismanaged session cookie issue, you should apply any release after JRE 1.6.0_22.

Implications of Java 6 End of Public Updates for EBS Users

The Support Roadmap for Oracle Java is published here:

The latest updates to that page (as of Sept. 19, 2012) state (emphasis added):

Java SE 6 End of Public Updates Notice

After February 2013, Oracle will no longer post updates of Java SE 6 to its public download sites. Existing Java SE 6 downloads already posted as of February 2013 will remain accessible in the Java Archive on Oracle Technology Network. Developers and end-users are encouraged to update to more recent Java SE versions that remain available for public download. For enterprise customers, who need continued access to critical bug fixes and security fixes as well as general maintenance for Java SE 6 or older versions, long term support is available through Oracle Java SE Support .

What does this mean for Oracle E-Business Suite users?

EBS users fall under the category of "enterprise users" above.  Java is an integral part of the Oracle E-Business Suite technology stack, so EBS users will continue to receive Java SE 6 updates from February 2013 to the end of Java SE 6 Extended Support in June 2017.

In other words, nothing will change for EBS users after February 2013. 

EBS users will continue to receive critical bug fixes and security fixes as well as general maintenance for Java SE 6. These Java SE 6 updates will be made available to EBS users for the Extended Support periods documented in the Oracle Lifetime Support policy document for Oracle Applications (PDF):

  1. EBS 11i Extended Support ends November 2013
  2. EBS 12.0 Extended Support ends January 2015
  3. EBS 12.1 Extended Support ends December 2018

How can EBS customers obtain Java 6 updates after the public end-of-life?

EBS customers can download Java 6 patches from My Oracle Support.  For a complete list of all Java SE patch numbers, see:

Will EBS users be forced to upgrade to JRE 7 for Windows desktop clients?

No. This upgrade is highly recommended but currently remains optional. JRE 6 will be available to Windows users to run with EBS for the duration of your respective EBS Extended Support period.  Updates will be delivered via My Oracle Support, where you can continue to receive critical bug fixes and security fixes as well as general maintenance for JRE 6 desktop clients. 

Coexistence of JRE 6 and JRE 7 on Windows desktops

The upgrade to JRE 7 is highly recommended for EBS users, but some users may need to run both JRE 6 and 7 on their Windows desktops for reasons unrelated to the E-Business Suite.

Most EBS configurations with IE and Firefox use non-static versioning by default. JRE 7 will be invoked instead of JRE 6 if both are installed on a Windows desktop. For more details, see "Appendix B: Static vs. Non-static Versioning and Set Up Options" in Notes 290807.1 and 393931.1.

Applying Updates to JRE 6 and JRE 7 to Windows desktops

Auto-update will keep JRE 7 up-to-date for Windows users with JRE 7 installed.

Auto-update will only keep JRE 7 up-to-date for Windows users with both JRE 6 and 7 installed. 

JRE 6 users are strongly encouraged to apply the latest Critical Patch Updates as soon as possible after each release. The Jave SE CPUs will be available via My Oracle Support.  EBS users can find more information about JRE 6 and 7 updates here:

The dates for future Java SE CPUs can be found on the Critical Patch Updates, Security Alerts and Third Party Bulletin.  An RSS feed is available on that site for those who would like to be kept up-to-date.

References

Related Articles

Monday Feb 18, 2013

Plans for Certifying Microsoft Office 2013 with E-Business Suite

Microsoft Office 2013 logoCongratulations to my colleagues at Microsoft on their launch of Microsoft Office 2013 last month.  Questions about our certification plans for Office 2013 are filling my inbox, so here's an interim update on our plans. 

If you've reached this article via a search engine, it's possible that a later update on our status is available.  For our latest status, please check the Desktop Client Certifications section of our one-page Certifications summary.

Our current plans for Office 2013

We plan to certify Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11.5.10.2, 12.0, and 12.1 with Microsoft Office 2013.

When will Office 2013 be certified with EBS?

Oracle's Revenue Recognition rules prohibit us from discussing certification and release dates, but you're welcome to monitor or subscribe to this blog for updates, which I'll post as soon as soon as they're available.   

How does the E-Business Suite work with Microsoft Office?

The Oracle E-Business Suite is comprised of several product families such as Financials, Supply Chain Management, Human Resources, and so on.  These product families group together collections of individual products.  Some of these products may be optionally integrated with one or more Microsoft Office components such as Excel, Word, and Projects.

Individual E-Business Suite product teams have the option of building integrations between their products and one or more Microsoft Office components.  This is not mandatory.  Over forty E-Business Suite teams offer these kinds of Office integrations today.

Examples of these integrations include:
  • HRMS Payroll integrations with Microsoft Excel
  • Supply Chain Management Contracts Core integration with Microsoft Word
  • Financials General Ledger (GL) integration with Microsoft Excel
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Proposals integration with Microsoft Word
  • Web Application Desktop Integrator (Web ADI)
  • Desktop Integration Framework
Which Office versions will be certified?

Our actual certification plans are under review, but as of today, I expect that we will explicitly test the Office 2013 Professional edition with Oracle E-Business Suite.  We expect that the results of these certification tests will apply equally to the following desktop-installed editions:
  • Home & Student 2013
  • Home & Business 2013
  • Standard 2013 
  • Professional 2013
  • Professional Plus 2013
We do not currently plan to certify the following editions with Oracle E-Business Suite:
  • SkyDrive-based documents
  • Office On Demand
  • Office Web Apps
  • Office 365
  • Office Home & Student RT

I would not expect the results of our certification with Office 2013 Professional Edition to apply to the above editions or features.

What about 64-bit Office?

Office 2013 offers a 64-bit version as well as a 32-bit version.  It is expected that we will certify the 32-bit version first, followed by the 64-bit version later.

Any Early Adopter Programs planned?

No, we don't currently have any plans to offer an Early Adopter Program for Office 2013 with Oracle E-Business Suite.  If that changes, I'll post an article on this blog with a call for participants. 

What about OpenOffice, StarOffice, LibreOffice?

We have no plans to certify the E-Business Suite with versions of OpenOffice, StarOffice, LibreOffice, or other equivalents.  

Related Articles

Thursday Feb 14, 2013

Webcast Replay Available: Top 10 Free Ways of Securing Your EBS Instance

I am pleased to announce the availability of the webcast replay for the Top 10 Free Ways of Securing Your EBS Instance here:

This webcast was presented by Eric Bing, Senior Director, and Elke Phelps, Senior Principal Product Manager, and covers things you can do to improve the security of your Oracle E-Business Suite instance. Best of all, the actions discussed in this webcast are free! This webcast was targeted to system administrators, DBAs, and implementers.

E-Business Suite architecture diagram showing firewalls and internal and external application servers

This webcast, led by Eric Bing,Senior Director, and Elke Phelps, Senior Principal Product Manager, covered the following topics:

  • Check Profile Settings
  • Change Default Passwords
  • Secure APPLSYSPUB
  • Activate Server Security
  • Implement IP address restrictions
  • Migrate to Password Hashing
  • Enable Application Tier Secure Socket Layer (SSL)
  • Move Off of Client/Server Components
  • Secure Configuration of Attachments
  • Turn on ModSecurity
  • Encrypt Credit Card Data
  • Separation of Duties: Review Access To “Sensitive Administrative Pages”

Related Articles

Introducing Lauren Cohn, Guest Author

I'm pleased to welcome Lauren Cohn to our panel of guest bloggers. Lauren assumes all of the blogging and curriculum responsibilities formerly-managed by Bill Sawyer.

Lauren Cohn is the Senior Curriculum Resource assigned to the E-Business Suite Applications Technology Group (ATG). In addition to developing and managing the ATG curriculum efforts, Lauren represents ATG to Oracle University and manages the ATG Live Webcasts.

Lauren started her career at Oracle in 1997. Within Oracle, she has been a Technical Writer, a Developer, an Oracle University Instructor, an Oracle Consultant, and an Oracle Support Analyst.  In between the times she has left Oracle and returned, she has been a Controller for Education and Training, and been part of a training development organization in the UK.  She has taught throughout Europe, the UK and Mexico.
Prior to 1997, she was a Radiology Quality Control Coordinator as well as served in the United States Navy.

"Your life's work should be an art form. Examine every aspect of it. Delve into related areas as a painter, sculptor, musician or playwright would each other's craft. Only then, can you be considered an Artist and achieve Permanence."

When not working, she is passionate about anything with two wheels as well as photography and working with her metal mill and lathe.

Wednesday Feb 13, 2013

Call for Oracle Customer Advisory Panel Participants

Oracle conducts focus groups, surveys, and polls across our customer base as part of our Oracle Customer Advisory Panel program. This Customer Advisory Panel program covers all Oracle products, and is not restricted to the E-Business Suite.

Oracle will be running a series of targeted online panels in March and April 2013.  Sponsored by Oracle’s Development General Managers, the panels will collect input that assess your current experiences and future priorities. Participants will receive results summaries from the sponsors at the conclusion of each panel.

You can find out more about joining the Oracle Customer Advisory Panel here:


Tuesday Feb 12, 2013

New Source Databases Added for Transportable Tablespaces + EBS 11i

The Transportable Tablespace (TTS) process was originally certified for migrating E-Business Suite 11i databases across different "endian" (byte ordering) formats from 11gR2 source databases to 11g2 target databases.

This certification has now been expanded to include two new source database releases:

  • Database 11gR1 11.1.0.7
  • Database 10gR2 10.2.0.5

Endian formats supported

Obtaining this patch

This migration process requires a Controlled patch delivered by the Oracle E-Business Suite Platform Engineering team, i.e. it requires a password obtainable from Oracle Support. We released the patch in this manner to gauge uptake, and help identify and monitor any customer issues due to the nature of this technology. 

Does it meet your requirements?

Note that for migration across platforms of the same "endian" format, users are advised to use the Transportable Database (TDB) migration process instead for large databases. The "endian-ness" target platforms can be verified by querying the view V$DB_TRANSPORTABLE_PLATFORM using SQL*Plus (connected as sysdba) on the source platform:

SQL>select platform_name from v$db_transportable_platform;

If the intended target platform does not appear in the output, it means that it is of a different endian format from the source. Consequently. database migration will need to be performed via Transportable Tablespaces (for large databases) or export/import.

The use of Transportable Tablespaces can greatly speed up the migration of the data portion of the database. However, it does not affect metadata, which must still be migrated using export/import. We recommend that users initially perform a test migration on their database, using export/import with the 'metrics=y' parameter. This will help identify the relative amounts of data and metadata, and provide a basis for assessing likely gains in timing. In general, the larger the amount of data (compared to metadata), the greater the reduction in downtime that can be expected from using XTTS as a migration process.

Where can I find more information?

Related Articles

Thursday Feb 07, 2013

Webcast Replay Available: Minimizing E-Business Suite Maintenance Downtimes

If you missed this webcast, you should make plans to listen to the recording of our latest Minimizing Oracle E-Business Suite Maintenance Downtimes session by Elke Phelps, Senior Principal Product Manager, and Santiago Bastidas, Principal Product Manager. All EBS sysadmins would benefit from this webcast, regardless of whether you're a new DBA or not. This new 2011 recording covers new material since its original broadcast in 2011.

The replay is available here:

This one-hour webcast provides an overview of the plans and decisions you can make, and the actions you can take, that will help you minimize maintenance downtimes for your E-Business Suite instances. It is targeted to system administrators, DBAs, developers, and implementers.

Phases of EBS patching

This session covers best practices, tools, utilities, and tasks to help you minimize maintenance downtimes during the four key maintenance phases:

  • Pre-Patching: Reviewing the list of patches and analyzing their impact
  • Patching Trials: Testing the patch prior to actual production deployment
  • Patch Deployment: Applying patching to your system
  • Post Patching Analysis: Validating the patch application


Wednesday Feb 06, 2013

Using Oracle Label Security with Oracle E-Business Suite

Most security administrators know how to use E-Business Suite responsibilities to manage access to data and functionality.  The majority of EBS customers will never need anything beyond those standard capabilities. Some organisations may need specialised security to complement the EBS responsibility model. Oracle Label Security may appropriate for certain specialised requirements.

Oracle Label Security example diagram

Oracle Label Security allows administrators to classify every row in a table, ensuring that access to sensitive data is restricted to users with the appropriate clearance level. OLS can be used to enforce regulatory compliance with a policy-based administration model to support custom data classification schemes for implementing “need to know” access. Labels can be used as factors within Oracle Database Vault command rules for multi-factor authorization polices.

Supported but not certified

It is possible to use Oracle Label Security with the E-Business Suite.  Custom OLS policies will -- by design -- change the end-user behavior of EBS.  It is possible for an OLS policy to break EBS, so we can't offer the standard technology certification in this case.   What is certified is "the approach" of using OLS to implement custom security policies over EBS relational data.  We do not certify specific versions of OLS, nor do we certify specific OLS policies.

From a support perspective, we treat OLS policies like any other EBS customization, namely:

  • We can only issue EBS patches for issues that can be reproduced in environments without custom OLS policies.
  • If you report an issue that can't be reproduced in vanilla, uncustomized environments, our default guidance will be to disable the custom OLS policies.
  • We cannot review your OLS policies or make recommendations on how to create custom OLS policies.

How do I define OLS policies in EBS environments?

This rather-elderly Note explains techniques for adding OLS policy initialization logic to EBS session initialization.  Although this Note is written specifically for Oracle9i Label Security and EBS 11i, the techniques documented here remain valid today to later database and EBS releases:

Related Articles


Tuesday Feb 05, 2013

Webcast Replay Available for EBS Directions: Deployment and System Administration

When will EBS 12.2 be released?  Sorry, we're not permitted to speculate about release dates.  But we can tell you a bit more about what's going to be in that release.

Max Arderius, Manager, ATG, recently presented a webcast that provided a sneak peek at how our upcoming E-Business Suite 12.2 release affect your deployment and system administration experience.  The recorded replay for this webcast is available here:

EBS 12.2 Technology Stack Architecture diagram


This webcast compares existing deployment and system administration tools for EBS 12.0 and 12.1 with the upcoming functionality planned for EBS 12.2. This was a very popular session at OpenWorld 2012, and covers:

  • Understanding the Oracle E-Business Suite 12.2 Architecture
  • Installing & Upgrading EBS 12.2
  • Online Patching in EBS 12.2
  • Cloning in EBS 12.2

Related Article


Saturday Feb 02, 2013

Java JRE 1.7.0_13 Certified with Oracle E-Business Suite

Java logoJava Runtime Environment 7u13 (a.k.a. JRE 1.7.0_13 build 20) and later updates on the JRE 7 codeline are now certified with Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12 for Windows-based desktop clients.

All JRE 6 and 7 releases are certified with EBS upon release

Our standard policy is that all E-Business Suite customers can apply all JRE updates to end-user desktops from JRE 1.6.0_03 and later updates on the 1.6 codeline, and from JRE 7u10 and later updates on the JRE 7 codeline.  We test all new JRE 1.6 and JRE 7 releases in parallel with the JRE development process, so all new JRE 1.6 and 7 releases are considered certified with the E-Business Suite on the same day that they're released by our Java team. 

You do not need to wait for a certification announcement before applying new JRE 1.6 or JRE 7 releases to your EBS users' desktops.

What's needed to enable EBS environments for JRE 7?

EBS customers should ensure that they are running JRE 7u13, at minimum, on Windows desktop clients.

Of the compatibility issues identified with JRE 7, the most critical is an issue that prevents E-Business Suite Forms-based products from launching on Windows desktops that are running JRE 7. 

Customers can prevent this issue -- and all other JRE 7 compatibility issues -- by ensuring that they have applied the latest certified patches documented for JRE 7 configurations to their EBS application tier servers.  These are summarized here for convenience. If the requirements change over time, please check the Notes for the authoritative list of patches:

  1. Apply Forms patch 14615390 to EBS 11i environments (Note 125767.1)
  2. Apply Forms patch 14614795 to EBS 12.0 and 12.1 environments (Note 437878.1)

These patches are compatible with JRE 6 and 7, production ready, and fully-tested with the E-Business Suite.  These patches may be applied immediately to all E-Business Suite environments. All other Forms prerequisites documented in the Notes above should also be applied. 

Where are the official patch requirements documented?

All patches required for ensuring full compatibility of the E-Business Suite with JRE 7 are documented in these Notes:

For EBS 11i:

For EBS 12

Prerequisites for 32-bit and 64-bit JRE certifications

JRE 1.70_13 32-bit + EBS 11.5.10.2

JRE 1.70_13 32-bit + EBS 12.0 & 12.1

JRE 1.7.0_13 64-bit + EBS 11.5.10.2

JRE 1.70_13 64-bit + EBS 12.0 & 12.1

EBS + Discoverer 11g Users

JRE 1.7.0_13 (7u13) is certified for Discoverer 11g in E-Business Suite environments with the following minimum requirements:

Worried about the 'mismanaged session cookie' issue?

No need to worry -- it's fixed.  To recap: JRE releases 1.6.0_18 through 1.6.0_22 had issues with mismanaging session cookies that affected some users in some circumstances.

The fix for those issues was first included in JRE 1.6.0_23. These fixes will carry forward and continue to be fixed in all future JRE releases on the JRE 6 and 7 codelines.  In other words, if you wish to avoid the mismanaged session cookie issue, you should apply any release after JRE 1.6.0_22 on the JRE 6 codeline, and JRE 7u10 and later JRE 7 codeline updates.

Implications of Java 6 End of Public Updates for EBS Users

The Support Roadmap for Oracle Java is published here:

The latest updates to that page (as of Sept. 19, 2012) state (emphasis added):

Java SE 6 End of Public Updates Notice

After February 2013, Oracle will no longer post updates of Java SE 6 to its public download sites. Existing Java SE 6 downloads already posted as of February 2013 will remain accessible in the Java Archive on Oracle Technology Network. Developers and end-users are encouraged to update to more recent Java SE versions that remain available for public download. For enterprise customers, who need continued access to critical bug fixes and security fixes as well as general maintenance for Java SE 6 or older versions, long term support is available through Oracle Java SE Support .

What does this mean for Oracle E-Business Suite users?

EBS users fall under the category of "enterprise users" above.  Java is an integral part of the Oracle E-Business Suite technology stack, so EBS users will continue to receive Java SE 6 updates from February 2013 to the end of Java SE 6 Extended Support in June 2017.

In other words, nothing will change for EBS users after February 2013. 

EBS users will continue to receive critical bug fixes and security fixes as well as general maintenance for Java SE 6. These Java SE 6 updates will be made available to EBS users for the Extended Support periods documented in the Oracle Lifetime Support policy document for Oracle Applications (PDF):

  1. EBS 11i Extended Support ends November 2013
  2. EBS 12.0 Extended Support ends January 2015
  3. EBS 12.1 Extended Support ends December 2018

How can EBS customers obtain Java 6 updates after the public end-of-life?

EBS customers can download Java 6 patches from My Oracle Support.  For a complete list of all Java SE patch numbers, see:

Will EBS users be forced to upgrade to JRE 7 for Windows desktop clients?

No. This upgrade is highly recommended but currently remains optional. JRE 6 will be available to Windows users to run with EBS for the duration of your respective EBS Extended Support period.  Updates will be delivered via My Oracle Support, where you can continue to receive critical bug fixes and security fixes as well as general maintenance for JRE 6 desktop clients. 

Coexistence of JRE 6 and JRE 7 on Windows desktops

The upgrade to JRE 7 is highly recommended for EBS users, but some users may need to run both JRE 6 and 7 on their Windows desktops for reasons unrelated to the E-Business Suite.

Most EBS configurations with IE and Firefox use non-static versioning by default. JRE 7 will be invoked instead of JRE 6 if both are installed on a Windows desktop. For more details, see "Appendix B: Static vs. Non-static Versioning and Set Up Options" in Notes 290807.1 and 393931.1.

Applying Updates to JRE 6 and JRE 7 to Windows desktops

Auto-update will keep JRE 7 up-to-date for Windows users with JRE 7 installed.

Auto-update will only keep JRE 7 up-to-date for Windows users with both JRE 6 and 7 installed. 

JRE 6 users are strongly encouraged to apply the latest Critical Patch Updates as soon as possible after each release. The Jave SE CPUs will be available via My Oracle Support.  EBS users can find more information about JRE 6 and 7 updates here:

The dates for future Java SE CPUs can be found on the Critical Patch Updates, Security Alerts and Third Party Bulletin.  An RSS feed is available on that site for those who would like to be kept up-to-date.

What will Mac users need?

Oracle will provide updates to JRE 7 for Mac OS X users. EBS users running Macs will need to upgrade to JRE 7 to receive JRE updates.

The certification of Oracle E-Business Suite with JRE 7 for Mac-based desktop clients accessing EBS Forms-based content is underway. Mac users waiting for that certification may find this article useful:

Will EBS users be forced to upgrade to JDK 7 for EBS application tier servers?

No. This upgrade will be highly recommended but will be optional for EBS application tier servers running on Windows, Linux, and Solaris.  You can choose to remain on JDK 6 for the duration of your respective EBS Extended Support period.  If you remain on JDK 6, you will continue to receive critical bug fixes and security fixes as well as general maintenance for JDK 6.

The certification of Oracle E-Business Suite with JDK 7 for EBS application tier servers on Windows, Linux, and Solaris as well as other platforms such as IBM AIX and HP-UX is planned.  Customers running platforms other than Windows, Linux, and Solaris should refer to their Java vendors's sites for more information about their support policies.

References

Related Articles

Java JRE 1.6.0_39 Certified with Oracle E-Business Suite

Java logoThe latest Java Runtime Environment 1.6.0_39 (a.k.a. JRE 6u39-b04) and later updates on the JRE 6 codeline are now certified with Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12 for Windows-based desktop clients.  

All JRE 6 and 7 releases are certified with EBS upon release

Our standard policy is that all E-Business Suite customers can apply all JRE updates to end-user desktops from JRE 1.6.0_03 and later updates on the 1.6 codeline, and from JRE 7u10 and later updates on the JRE 7 codeline.  We test all new JRE 1.6 and JRE 7 releases in parallel with the JRE development process, so all new JRE 1.6 and 7 releases are considered certified with the E-Business Suite on the same day that they're released by our Java team. 

You do not need to wait for a certification announcement before applying new JRE 1.6 or JRE 7 releases to your EBS users' desktops.

What's new in Java 1.6.0_39?

See the 1.6.0_39 Update Release Notes for details about what has changed in this release.  This release is available for download from the usual Sun channels and through the 'Java Automatic Update' mechanism.

32-bit and 64-bit versions certified

This certification includes both the 32-bit and 64-bit JRE versions.

32-bit JREs are certified on:

  • Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3)
  • Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Service Pack 2 (SP2)
  • Windows 7 and Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1)

64-bit JREs are certified only on 64-bit versions of Windows 7 and Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1).

Worried about the 'mismanaged session cookie' issue?

No need to worry -- it's fixed.  To recap: JRE releases 1.6.0_18 through 1.6.0_22 had issues with mismanaging session cookies that affected some users in some circumstances.

The fix for those issues was first included in JRE 1.6.0_23. These fixes will carry forward and continue to be fixed in all future JRE releases.  In other words, if you wish to avoid the mismanaged session cookie issue, you should apply any release after JRE 1.6.0_22.

Implications of Java 6 End of Public Updates for EBS Users

The Support Roadmap for Oracle Java is published here:

The latest updates to that page (as of Sept. 19, 2012) state (emphasis added):

Java SE 6 End of Public Updates Notice

After February 2013, Oracle will no longer post updates of Java SE 6 to its public download sites. Existing Java SE 6 downloads already posted as of February 2013 will remain accessible in the Java Archive on Oracle Technology Network. Developers and end-users are encouraged to update to more recent Java SE versions that remain available for public download. For enterprise customers, who need continued access to critical bug fixes and security fixes as well as general maintenance for Java SE 6 or older versions, long term support is available through Oracle Java SE Support .

What does this mean for Oracle E-Business Suite users?

EBS users fall under the category of "enterprise users" above.  Java is an integral part of the Oracle E-Business Suite technology stack, so EBS users will continue to receive Java SE 6 updates from February 2013 to the end of Java SE 6 Extended Support in June 2017.

In other words, nothing will change for EBS users after February 2013. 

EBS users will continue to receive critical bug fixes and security fixes as well as general maintenance for Java SE 6. These Java SE 6 updates will be made available to EBS users for the Extended Support periods documented in the Oracle Lifetime Support policy document for Oracle Applications (PDF):

  1. EBS 11i Extended Support ends November 2013
  2. EBS 12.0 Extended Support ends January 2015
  3. EBS 12.1 Extended Support ends December 2018

How can EBS customers obtain Java 6 updates after the public end-of-life?

EBS customers can download Java 6 patches from My Oracle Support.  For a complete list of all Java SE patch numbers, see:

Will EBS users be forced to upgrade to JRE 7 for Windows desktop clients?

No. This upgrade is highly recommended but currently remains optional. JRE 6 will be available to Windows users to run with EBS for the duration of your respective EBS Extended Support period.  Updates will be delivered via My Oracle Support, where you can continue to receive critical bug fixes and security fixes as well as general maintenance for JRE 6 desktop clients. 

Coexistence of JRE 6 and JRE 7 on Windows desktops

The upgrade to JRE 7 is highly recommended for EBS users, but some users may need to run both JRE 6 and 7 on their Windows desktops for reasons unrelated to the E-Business Suite.

Most EBS configurations with IE and Firefox use non-static versioning by default. JRE 7 will be invoked instead of JRE 6 if both are installed on a Windows desktop. For more details, see "Appendix B: Static vs. Non-static Versioning and Set Up Options" in Notes 290807.1 and 393931.1.

Applying Updates to JRE 6 and JRE 7 to Windows desktops

Auto-update will keep JRE 7 up-to-date for Windows users with JRE 7 installed.

Auto-update will only keep JRE 7 up-to-date for Windows users with both JRE 6 and 7 installed. 

JRE 6 users are strongly encouraged to apply the latest Critical Patch Updates as soon as possible after each release. The Jave SE CPUs will be available via My Oracle Support.  EBS users can find more information about JRE 6 and 7 updates here:

The dates for future Java SE CPUs can be found on the Critical Patch Updates, Security Alerts and Third Party Bulletin.  An RSS feed is available on that site for those who would like to be kept up-to-date.

References

Related Articles

Friday Feb 01, 2013

Grace Period Increased for Applying (some) Database Patchsets

It's crucial to maintain the database in your E-Business Suite environments by applying the latest database patchsets.  Database patchsets contain important security, performance, and stability updates. As of today, the latest database patchset certified with EBS is 11.2.0.3. We strongly recommend that all EBS customers should be running this patchset now.

Oracle Database release roadmap

Until now, whenever a new database patchset was released, you had up to 12 months to apply it.  This is called the grace period.  No new patches for the previous patchset would be released after that 12 month grace period.

Oracle's Server Technologies group has just increased the grace period for the second and later patchsets to two years.

This is easier to understand with an example:

  • 11.2.0.1 was the major release for the 11gR2 codeline.
  • 11.2.0.2 was the first patchset.  You had 12 months to apply that patchset once it was released.
  • 11.2.0.3 was the second patchset.  You now have 24 months to apply that patchset after its release.

For more information about these database support policies, see:

Related Articles

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