Tuesday Apr 23, 2013

Using SAML-based Authentication for Web Services with Integrated SOA Gateway

Web services provided by Oracle E-Business Suite Integrated SOA Gateway are secured at the transport level through SSL and at the message level through authentication tokens – Username Token and SAML Token (Sender Vouches). I will discuss SAML Token (Sender Vouches) here.

Brief on SAML, SAML Token, SAML Token Profile

Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) is a XML-based framework to exchange security related information between Service Consumer, Identity Provider and Service Provider. The security information is expressed in terms of assertions. Statements about the subject or user form the SAML Token. 

WS-Security defines a set of security token profiles for different types of tokens embedded within the SOAP message as headers. SAML Token Profile is one of the WS-Security Token Profiles that describe the syntax and meaning of SAML Tokens. SAML Tokens are embedded within SOAP messages by placing assertion elements inside the SOAP Header.

As per WS-Security, there are three common methods to assure the Service Provider that the SOAP message came from the subject referenced in the token. The three common subject confirmation methods are Sender Vouches, Holder of Key, and Bearer. As of Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3, web services provided by Integrated SOA Gateway (inbound) support SAML Token using the Sender Vouches subject confirmation method.

SAML Token - Sender Vouches

SAML Tokens assert that the subject or user has already been authenticated. As the name suggests, in the Sender Vouches case, the Sender or SOAP web service client that sends the SOAP request message to SOAP web service vouches for the identity of the assertion’s subject.

SAML flow diagram

The SAML assertion may be provided by an external Identity Provider -- a SAML Authority or SAML Issuer. In this case, a client sends a SAML assertion request to a SAML Authority. The SAML Authority identifies the client, authenticates the subject, and sends SAML assertion as response to client. The client’s private key is used to sign both the assertion and the SOAP message body.

The E-Business Suite's Integrated SOA Gateway uses Oracle Application Server’s Web Services Security framework. It verifies the digital signature in a SOAP request and extracts the SAML Token. It validates the SAML assertion such as the issuer, validity period, and authentication statement. It extracts the SAML Subject Name Identifier and verifies the same with registered Oracle Internet Directory (OID) for single sign-on users or with FND_USER table in Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) database for non-single sign-on users. It uses Oracle Internet Directory to map the single sign-on user with the equivalent EBS user. The EBS username is then used for the authorization check for the web service execution.

When to use SAML Sender Vouches based authentication for web services provided by Integrated SOA Gateway?

SAML Token with Sender Vouches is best used for following scenarios:

  • Single Sign On: As part of your business process, you may want to authenticate once and propagate the authenticated identity as a SAML assertion to subsequent EBS web service calls.
  • Subject or user needs to be authenticated locally (at web service client end) or centrally by Identity Provider (or SAML Authority), and propagate the assertion to an EBS web service.

How to use SAML Token Sender Vouches in Integrated SOA Gateway?

The steps to expose an EBS API as web service are described in Oracle E-Business Suite Integrated SOA Gateway Implementation Guide and Developer's Guide

  • Create Grant for EBS API methods that you want to expose as web service operations
  • Generate and Deploy the EBS API as web service with SAML Token (Sender Vouches) authentication type
  • Configure client and EBS (server) for SAML  

See Setting Up SAML Token Security for Oracle E-Business Suite Integrated SOA Gateway Release 12.1.3 [Note 1144313.1] 

This Note describes the steps to configure SOAP Web Service Client as well as Oracle E-Business Suite (SOAP Web Service Provider). In Integrated SOA Gateway, a SAML Token Sender Vouches policy is applied at the web service level or port level. You may have to configure EBS for SAML for all web services that are deployed with Authentication Type as SAML Token (Sender Vouches).

  • Invoke web service with SAML Token

The Note also describes steps to test web service invocation with a SAML Token. Depending upon the client program, you may programmatically insert SAML assertions or let web service security policy enforcement products such Oracle Web Services Manager (OWSM) insert a SAML Token in a SOAP request message.

References

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Monday Apr 22, 2013

EBS 12 certified with Mac OS X 10.7 and 10.8 with Safari 6 and JRE 7

Apple logoOracle E-Business Suite Release 12 is now certified with the Safari 6 browser and the JRE 7 plugin on the following Apple Mac OS X desktop configurations:

  • Mac OS X 10.7 ("Lion" version 10.7.5 or higher) and 10.8 ("Mountain Lion" version 10.8.2 or higher)
  • Safari version 6 (6.0.2 or higher)
  • Oracle JRE 7 plugin (1.7.0_21 or higher)

Users should review all relevant information along with other specific patching requirements and known limitations posted in the Notes listed below.

Internationalization certification for non-English desktops is also in progress.

Where can I find more information?

Wednesday Apr 17, 2013

Java JRE 1.7.0_21 Certified with Oracle E-Business Suite

Java logoJava Runtime Environment 7u21 (a.k.a. JRE 7u21-b11) 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 7u17, 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 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_21 32-bit + EBS 11.5.10.2

JRE 1.70_21 32-bit + EBS 12.0 & 12.1

JRE 1.7.0_21 64-bit + EBS 11.5.10.2

JRE 1.70_21 64-bit + EBS 12.0 & 12.1

EBS + Discoverer 11g Users

JRE 1.7.0_21 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

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Java JRE 1.6.0_45 Certified with Oracle E-Business Suite

The latest Java Runtime Environment 1.6.0_45 (a.k.a. JRE 6u45-b06) 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_45?

See the 1.6.0_45 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

Friday Apr 05, 2013

Covering our EBS Technology Stack Roadmap at OAUG Collaborate

OAUG Collaborate 2013 Denver logo

[Update Apr. 25, 2013:  The presentation is available for download here:

I have historically covered our technology certification roadmap for the E-Business Suite in two sessions at OAUG Collaborate every year:  once during the EBS technology stack Special Interest Group meeting on Sunday, and again later in the week as a formally-scheduled conference session.

We're trying to expand our coverage of other topics with other speakers.  This year you'll only have one chance -- not two -- to hear this material:

  • EBS Applications Technology Special Interest Group
    SIG chair: Srini Chavali, Cummins
    Sunday, April 07, 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
    Location: Room 603

Please join us for this session if you'd like to hear about our latest E-Business Suite technology stack certification roadmap and updates to our support terms and policies. 

There will be a special panel in the same room at 1:15 PM where you will have the chance to ask questions of our Applications Technology Group staff members attending the conference.  These include Elke Phelps, Max Arderius, Kevin Hudson, Gustavo Jimenez, Isam Alyousfi, and me.  Other Oracle Development staff will be in the audience, too, since the dais can only seat a small number of us.

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Monday Apr 01, 2013

New Whitepaper: Function Security + Role-Based Access Control in Oracle EBS

There are two main ways to implement security in Oracle E-Business Suite: “traditional” Oracle E-Business Suite responsibility-based security (usually referred to as “function security”) and Role-Based Access Control (RBAC).   Since they overlap in functionality, and RBAC incorporates and builds upon responsibility-based security, there is often confusion about how the two security models coexist and interact.

I am pleased to announce the availability of a new whitepaper to help eliminate that confusion:

RBAC vs. Grants

This heavily-illustrated whitepaper discusses the main similarities and differences between the two types of security setups, as well as the objects involved.  It includes the following topics:

  1. Responsibility-based security (Function Security)
  2. Role-Based Access Control
  3. Functions and Permissions
  4. Roles and Grants
  5. Role Hierarchy and Role Inheritance
  6. Using Role Hierarchies to Simplify User Administration
  7. Best Practices for Implementing RBAC and Function Security

This whitepaper is written for Oracle E-Business Suite system administrators, super-users, and implementers.  It applies to Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i, 12.0, and 12.1.

Happy reading!


Wednesday Mar 27, 2013

Migrating from EBS 11i + Oracle Single Sign-On to EBS 12 + Oracle Access Manager

Our Identity Management team has just published an important change in the Oracle Software Technical Support Policies document (March, 2013):

"For customers with a current support contract for Oracle Single Sign-On 10gR3, Extended Support will be made available until December 2013 at then-current Extended Support fees. During this period, Extended Support will be limited to Severity 1 fixes only; critical patch updates will not be made available."

This is important if you've been wondering how to deal with this challenge: 

  • You know that Oracle Access Manager has supplanted Oracle Single Sign-On.  
  • You integrated Oracle Single Sign-On 10g with your E-Business Suite 11i environment several years ago.  
  • You plan to switch from Oracle Single Sign-On to Oracle Access Manager as part of your EBS 12 upgrade.
  • You want to get to EBS 12, but want to perform your EBS upgrade and OAM migrations different downtimes.
  • You've been staring at the latest EBS support timelines and deliberating your options:

Timeline showing updated EBS Support dates

All of the crucial pieces for this are now in place:

  1. Oracle Access Manager 11.1.2 is certified with EBS 11.5.10.2.
  2. Support for Oracle Single Sign-On 10g has been extended to Dec. 31, 2013.
  3. EBS 11.5.10's Exception to Sustaining Support has been extended to Dec. 31, 2014.
  4. EBS 12.1's Extended Support has been extended to Dec. 31, 2018.

This means that you have sufficient support coverage for all major components while you do this in a multi-phase implementation.  You can migrate your EBS 11i environment from Oracle SSO 10g to Oracle Access Manager 11.1.2 this year, in one initial downtime.  You can then upgrade that environment from EBS 11i to EBS 12.1.3 in a later downtime. 

Your implementation phases will look like this:

  1. Today: EBS 11i + Oracle Single Sign-On 10.1.4.3
  2. Interim phase:  EBS 11i + Oracle Access Manager 11.1.2
  3. Final phase: EBS 12.1.3 + Oracle Access Manager 11.1.2

Each of these undertakings can be fairly major initiatives on their own, so breaking the overall project into smaller parts helps you manage your risk.  I would be very interested in hearing about your experiences with this kind of combined migration + upgrade implementation approach.  Please feel free to post a comment here or drop me a line privately.

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Tuesday Mar 26, 2013

E-Business Suite Technology Sessions at OAUG Collaborate 13

OAUG Collaborate 2013 Denver logoMembers of our E-Business Suite Applications Technology Group will be at the OAUG Collaborate 13 conference at Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colorado on April 7 to 11, 2013.

Please drop by any of our sessions to hear the latest news and meet up with us.

Speaker Sessions

Session 12981
Upgrading your Customizations to Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1

Sara Woodhull, Principal Product Manager, Applications Technology Group, Oracle

Sunday, April 07, 03:45 pm - 04:45 pm
Location: Room 601

Come to this Oracle development session to learn about selecting the best upgrade approach for your existing customizations. Also learn how to create an inventory of your customizations and a strategy for mapping them to new functionality offered in E-Business Suite. The session will help you understand customization scenarios and use cases, tools, and technologies to ensure that your Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 environment fits your users’ needs and that any future customizations will be easy to upgrade.


Session 12965
Oracle E-Business Suite Directions: Deployment and System Administration
Max Arderius, Manager, Applications Development Group, Oracle

Monday, April 08, 09:45 am - 10:45 am
Location: Room 601

What’s coming in the next major version of Oracle E-Business Suite 12? This Oracle Development session covers the latest technology stack, including the use of Oracle WebLogic Server and Oracle Database 11.2. Topics include an architectural overview of the latest updates, installation, upgrade, new configuration options, and new tools for cloning. Come learn how online patching (based on the Oracle Database 11g Release 2 Edition-Based Redefinition feature) will reduce your database patching downtimes.


Session 12979
Planning Your Oracle E-Business Suite Upgrade from Release 11i

Anne Carlson, Sr. Director, Applications Technology Group, Oracle

Monday, April 08, 01:15 pm - 02:15 pm
Location: Room 113

Are you still on Release 11i deciding what to do next? This session discusses key road map and project planning considerations for customers on 11i who are looking to upgrade. It combines practical tips from customers who have already upgraded from 11i with expert advice from Oracle's Support, Consulting, Development and IT organizations. You will learn how to identify factors that affect your time and resources, decide between upgrade and reimplementation, manage custom code, and minimize downtime.


Session 13001
Oracle E-Business Suite Applications Strategy, Update and Roadmap
Cliff Godwin, Sr. VP, Application Development, Oracle

Monday, April 08, 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Location: Four Seasons Ballroom 2 & 3

In this session, hear from Oracle E-Business Suite General Manager Cliff Godwin as he delivers an update on the Oracle E-Business Suite product line. The session covers the value delivered by the current release of Oracle E-Business Suite applications, the momentum, and how Oracle E-Business Suite applications integrate into Oracle’s overall applications strategy. You will come away with an understanding of the value Oracle E-Business Suite applications deliver now and in the future.


Session 12980
Recommendations for Oracle E-Business Suite Performance Tuning
Isam Alyousfi, Sr. Director, Applications Performance, Oracle

Monday, April 08, 05:00 pm - 06:00 pm
Location: Room 601

This packed Oracle development session summarizes practical tips and lessons learned from performance-tuning and benchmarking the world’s largest Oracle E-Business Suite environments. Apps sysadmins will learn concrete tips and techniques for identifying and resolving performance bottlenecks on all layers, with special attention to application and database tier servers. Learn about tuning Oracle Forms, Oracle Concurrent Manager, Apache, and more. Track down memory leaks and other issues at the Java and JVM layers.


Session 12988
Oracle E-Business Suite Directions: Slashing Downtimes with Online Patching

Kevin Hudson, Sr. Director, Applications Technology Group, Oracle

Tuesday, April 09, 08:00 am - 09:00 am
Location: Room 601

Oracle E-Business Suite's new Online Patching feature reduces maintenance downtimes by allowing you to patch your system while users are online. This Oracle development session details how online patching works, with special attention to what���s happening behind the scenes when E-Business Suite patches are applied to an environment that’s still running. Come learn about the implications for minimizing maintenance downtimes when applying patches with this new technology and the related impact your customizations.


Session 13021
Efficiently Scaling Oracle E-Business Suite on Oracle Exadata and Oracle Exalogic

Isam Alyousfi, Sr. Director, Applications Performance, Oracle
Samer Barakat, Sr. Architect, Applications Performance, Oracle

Tuesday, April 09, 10:45 am - 11:45 am
Location: Room 601

Oracle Exadata and Oracle Exalogic are designed from the ground up with optimizations in software and hardware to deliver fast performance for mission-critical applications such as Oracle E-Business Suite. Oracle E-Business Suite applications run three to eight times as fast on the Oracle Exadata/Oracle Exalogic platform in standard benchmark tests. Besides performance, customers benefit from simplified support, enhanced manageability, and the ability to consolidate multiple Oracle E-Business Suite instances.


Session 12968
Oracle E-Business Suite Technology: Latest Features and Roadmap
Lisa Parekh, Vice President, Applications Technology Group, Oracle

Tuesday, April 09, 02:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Location: Room 601

This Oracle development session provides a comprehensive overview of the product strategy for Oracle E-Business Suite technology, capabilities and associated business benefits of recent releases and a review of capabilities on the product roadmap. Come hear about the latest enhancements of the user interface; systems administration and configuration management tools; security-related updates; and tools and options for extending, customizing, and integrating Oracle E-Business Suite with other applications.


Session 13100
10 Things you can do today to prepare for Oracle E-Business Suite 12.2
Nadia Bendjedou, Sr. Director, Product Strategy, Oracle
Kevin Hudson, Sr. Director, Applications Technology Group, Oracle

Wednesday, April 10, 08:15 am - 09:15 am
Location: Room 603

Whether you are on 11i, 12.0 or 12.1, this is a must session. This development session will help you prepare for future uptake of Oracle E-Business Suite 12.2 by explaining the technology and skills requirements for 12.2, and highlighting what you can do now. It will include a deep dive into the internals of Oracle E-Business Suite 12.2 Online Patching to help you understand how to ensure your custom code will be compatible with Online Patching.


Session 12993
Oracle E-Business Suite Extensions for Oracle Endeca Overview and Roadmap

Osama Elkady, Sr. Director, Applications Internationalization, Oracle

Wednesday, April 10, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Location: Room 601

Oracle Endeca includes a leading unstructured data correlation and analytics engine, together with a best-in-class catalog search and guided navigation solution for improving the productivity of all types of users in your enterprise. This development session focuses on the details behind the Oracle Endeca platform’s integration into Oracle E-Business Suite.


Session 12990
Minimizing Oracle E-Business Suite Maintenance Downtimes

Elke Phelps, Sr. Principal Product Manager, Applications Technology Group, Oracle

Wednesday, April 10, 01:00 pm - 02:00 pm
Location: Room 601

This Oracle development session features a survey of the best techniques sysadmins can use to minimize patching downtimes. It starts with an architectural-level review of Oracle E-Business Suite fundamentals and then moves to a practical view of the various tools and approaches for downtimes. Topics include patching shortcuts, merging patches, distributing worker processes across multiple servers, running ADPatch in noninteractive mode, staged APPL_TOPs, shared file systems, deferring systemwide database tasks.


Session 12983
Advanced Management of Oracle E-Business Suite with Oracle Enterprise Manager
Angelo Rosado, Principal Product Manager, Applications Technology Group, Oracle

Wednesday, April 10, 03:00 pm - 04:00 pm
Location: Room 601

Oracle Enterprise Manager is the only product on the market that is designed to monitor and manage all the different technologies that constitute Oracle E-Business Suite applications. Learn how to use Oracle Enterprise Manager to gain dramatic improvements in system visibility and diagnostic capability as well as administrator productivity. The purpose of this session is to highlight the key features and benefits of Oracle Enterprise Manager and Oracle Application Management Suite for Oracle E-Business Suite.


Session 12984
Personalize and Extend Oracle E-Business Suite Applications
Gustavo Jimenez, Sr. Manager, Applications Technology Group, Oracle

Wednesday, April 10, 04:15 pm - 05:15 pm
Location: Room 601

This session covers a wide range of options for personalizing and extending your existing Oracle E-Business Suite applications. Learn how to use Oracle Application Framework Personalization to tailor the functionality of the E-Business Suite to meet your organization's needs in an upgrade-safe manner. Learn also how to use Fusion Middleware technologies with E-Business Suite, including Oracle Application Development Framework (Oracle ADF), Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition and more.


Session 12986
Desktop Integration in Oracle E-Business Suite 12.1
Padmaprabodh Ambale, Group Manager, Applications Technology Group, Oracle
Thursday, April 11, 08:30 am - 09:30 am
Location: Room 501

Upgrading to Release 12? Implementing WebADI and Report Manager? WebADI and Report Manager deliver many new capabilities beyond those in Client ADI. This presentation covers the latest functional enhancements in Oracle Web Applications Desktop Integrator and Oracle Report Manager, enhanced Microsoft Office support, and greater support for building custom desktop integration solutions. The session also presents tips and tricks for upgrading from Oracle Applications Desktop Integrator to Oracle Web Applications.


Session 13022
EBS Extensions for Endeca: Technical Considerations

Anne Carlson, Sr. Director, Applications Technology Group, Oracle
Anurag Malik, Director, ALM Product Management, Oracle

Thursday, April 11, 08:30 am - 09:30 am
Location: Room 601

Come to this session to learn more about how the Oracle E-Business Suite integration with Oracle Endeca works, and how you can get the most out of it in your own enterprise. This session will cover important technical and practical guidance including how to deploy and maintain EBS extensions for Endeca, how to size the system to meet your needs, and options for personalizing and customizing Endeca content.


Session 12991
Latest Oracle E-Business Suite User Interface and Usability Enhancements
Padmaprabodh Ambale, Group Manager, Applications Technology Group, Oracle

Thursday, April 11, 09:45 am - 10:45 am
Location: Room 608

This Oracle development session details the latest UI enhancements to Oracle Application Framework in Oracle E-Business Suite. Developers will get a detailed look at new features to enhance usability, offer more capabilities for personalization and extensions, and support the development and use of dashboards and web services. Topics include new rich UI capabilities such as new home page features, Navigator and Favorites pull-down menus, embedded widgets for analytics content.


Session 12992
Integration Options for Oracle E-Business Suite

Rajesh Ghosh, Group Manager, Applications Technology Group, Oracle

Thursday, April 11, 09:45 am - 10:45 am
Location: Room 601

In this session, you will get an understanding of how, when and where you can leverage Oracle’s integration technologies to connect end-to-end business processes across your enterprise, including your Oracle Applications portfolio. This session offers a technical look at Oracle E-Business Suite Integrated SOA Gateway, Oracle SOA Suite, Oracle Application Adapters for Data Integration for Oracle E-Business Suite, and other options for integrating Oracle E-Business Suite with other applications.


Special Interest Groups (SIG)
Session 13072
OAUG EBS Applications Technology SIG (Part I)
Srini Chaval, Cummins

Sunday, April 07, 12:00 pm - 01:00 pm
Location: Room 603

Guest Presentation:
Oracle E-Business Suite Technology Certification Primer and Roadmap
Steven Chan, Sr. Director, Applications Technology Group, Oracle


Session 13128
OAUG EBS Applications Technology SIG (Part II)
Srini Chaval, Cummins

Sunday, April 07, 01:15 pm - 02:15 pm
Location: Room 603

Guest Presentation:
Q&A Session with the Applications Technology Group staff members
Steven Chan, Elke Phelps, Max Arderius, Kevin Hudson, Gustavo Jimenez, Isam Alyousfi


Session 13079
OAUG Upgrade SIG (Part I
)
Sandra Vucinic, VLAD Group, Inc.

Wednesday, April 10, 08:15 am - 09:15 am
Location: Room 605

Upgrade SIG will host a business meeting followed by panel (Q&A) related to EBS Upgrade topics and Oracle presentation.

Guest Presentation:
Oracle E-Business Suite 12.1 Upgrade Best Practices: Technical Insight

Isam Alyousfi, Sr. Director, Applications Performance, Oracle
Nadia Bendjedou, Sr. Director, Product Strategy, Oracle
Anne Carlson, Sr. Director, Applications Technology Group, Oracle
Udayan Parvate, Director, Release Engineering, Quality and Release Management, Oracle


Session 13113
OAUG Upgrade SIG (Part II
)
Sandra Vucinic, VLAD Group, Inc.

Wednesday, April 10, 09:30 am - 10:30 am
Location: Room 605

Upgrade SIG will host a business meeting followed by panel (Q&A) related to EBS Upgrade topics and Oracle presentation.

Panels

Session 11672
Oracle E-Business Suite Cloning Panel
Sandra Vucinic, VLAD Group, Inc.

Wednesday, April 10, 04:15 pm - 05:15 pm
Location: Room 605

This panel will discuss differences between available release 11i, R12 and R12.1 cloning methods. Advantages and disadvantages of each cloning method will be discussed in depth. This panel of experienced database administrators will lead a discussion focusing on the questions such as “which cloning method is best to use in your particular environment”. Attendees will gain practical knowledge, tips and tricks to assist with cloning of Oracle E-Business Suite release 11i, R12 and R12.1 environments.

Meet the Experts

We're planning to have round-table discussions where you can review your questions with senior E-Business Suite ATG staff. This is the place where attendees can have informal and semistructured but open one-on-one discussions with Strategy and Development regarding Oracle Applications strategy and your specific business and IT strategy.

The experts will be available to discuss the value of the latest releases and share insights into the best path for your enterprise, so come ready with your questions.

Meetings last 20 minutes and space is limited, so make sure you register HERE.

Location: Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center, Granite ABC.

EBS Table 1 - Strategy & Roadmap
Cliff Godwin, Nadia Bendjedou

  • Monday 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
  • Monday 4:30 pm to 5:00 pm
  • Tuesday 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
  • Wednesday 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
EBS Table 2 (Morning) - Apps Tools & Tech
Steven Chan, Lisa Parekh, Elke Phelps, Max Arderius
  • Monday 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
  • Wednesday 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
EBS Table 2 (Afternoon) - Endeca
Osama Elkady, Anurag Malik
  • Monday 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
  • Tuesday 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
  • Wednesday 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
EBS Table 4 - Upgrades
Anne Carlson, Nadia Bendjedou, Udayan Parvate
  • Monday 1:00 pm -5:00 pm
  • Tuesday 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
  • Wednesday 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • Wednesday 4:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Demos (Kiosk #28)

We have one booth in the exhibition demogrounds this year, where you can get your questions answered. Please stop by and meet our staff to have discussions about on the following areas:

  • Advanced Architecture and Technology Stack for Oracle E-Business Suite
  • New User Productivity Capabilities in Oracle E-Business Suite
  • Oracle E-Business Suite System Management
  • Oracle E-Business Suite 12.1 Technical Upgrade Best Practices
  • SOA-Based Integration for Oracle E-Business Suite



For complete listing of all speaker sessions and other activities, please visit the OAUG Collaborate Web Site.


Friday Mar 22, 2013

Apple iPads Certified with Oracle E-Business Suite 12.1

Apple iPad and iPad miniApple iPads are certified with Oracle E-Business Suite 12.1. 

This certification covers Safari with E-Business Suite OA Framework-based (HTML) applications.  These are sometimes also referred to as "Self-Service Web Applications" (SSWA).

This certification also covers the use of Apple's Mail app to approve E-Business Suite Workflow notification emails.

It is not possible to run Java-based applications on iOS devices, so Oracle Forms-based products requiring the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) plug-in are not available on iPads.

Requirements

  • Oracle E-Business Suite 12.1.3 and higher
  • iOS 6.0 and higher

What about iPhones?

EBS OA Framework-based products are currently designed assuming that the client device has a desktop-class screen (e.g. 1024 x 768).  Safari on iPhones also works, but given the smaller screen size, the user experience is not ideal.  We recommend using iPads for the optimal user experience when accessing OA Framework-based EBS products.

The use of Apple's Mail app to approve EBS Workflow notification emails is certified for both iPads and iPhones.

Using standards-compliant mail clients to approve Workflow notifications

Oracle Workflow is a key part of the E-Business Suite's technology stack.  It can be configured to send emails (via SMTP) that notify E-Business Suite users that certain EBS transactions are awaiting their approval.  E-Business Suite end-users can respond to those notification emails by clicking on a link in those emails, or responding with an email containing certain keywords in the body of a reply.

We test Workflow and E-Business Suite notifications using Windows desktop based email clients such as Microsoft Outlook.  We have tested Apple's Mail app as part of this iOS certification.  We do not currently perform any tests of Workflow notification emails with other mobile devices (e.g. Android, BlackBerry Email).

We would expect standards-compliant email clients to be able to handle Workflow notification emails properly, including email clients on mobile devices.  Some mobile email clients are unable to handle standards-based emails, and other email clients may truncate long Workflow notification emails.  These issues may prevent certain email clients on mobile devices from handling Workflow notifications properly.

If you encounter issues with Workflow email notifications on smartphones or mobile devices that can't be reproduced on standards-compliant email client, our recommendation would be to process Workflow notifications on the latter.

On a side note: technically-inclined readers might be interested to hear that we're aware of at least one web-based email client that does not comply with RFC 2368 in its handling of new line characters in mailto URL encoding.  Web-based email clients with issues like that will be unable to handle Workflow notifications properly.  If you encounter issues with web-based email clients that cannot be reproduced on a conventional Windows desktop-based email client, our recommendation would be to process Workflow notifications on the latter.

What about other mobile devices?

Other mobile devices are not certified yet.  If you have deployment plans for Android-based devices as EBS clients in your organisation, please drop me a line with details.  We are working through complications around fragmentation in the Android space, and insights into your requirements would be helpful.

References

Related Articles

Monday Mar 18, 2013

Oracle Access Manager 11.1.2 Certified With E-Business Suite 11i

I am pleased to announce that Oracle Access Manager 11gR2 (11.1.2.0.0) is now certified with E-Business Suite Release 11.5.10.2.  If you are implementing single sign-on for the first time, or currently use Oracle Access Manager or Oracle Single Sign-On, you may integrate with Oracle Access Manager 11gR2 using Oracle Access Manager WebGate and Oracle E-Business Suite AccessGate.

EBS Oracle Access Manager architecture

Transitionary architecture for EBS 12 upgrades

This new certification can be used as a intermediate architecture on your upgrade path to EBS 12. This may allow you to reduce your overall risk and downtimes by doing your upgrade in multiple phases.

For example, you might be using Oracle Single Sign-On with your EBS 11i environment today.  You will need to switch from Oracle Single Sign-On to Oracle Access Manager as part of your upgrade.  You can use the following strategy to phase in this new component:

  1. Today: EBS 11i + Oracle Single Sign-On 10.1.4.3
  2. Interim phase:  EBS 11i + Oracle Access Manager 11.1.2
  3. Final phase: EBS 12.1.3 + Oracle Access Manager 11.1.2
Supported Architecture and Release Versions
  • Oracle Access Manager 11.1.2
  • Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11.5.10.2 + ATG Rollup Patchset 6 (11i.ATG_PF.H.delta.6) and higher.
  • Oracle Internet Directory 11.1.1.6
  • Oracle WebLogic Server 10.3.5+

References

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Tuesday Mar 12, 2013

New YouTube Channel for Oracle E-Business Suite

We've just launched a new YouTube channel for Oracle E-Business Suite.  The videos on this YouTube channel have a strategic and functional focus, so it's an excellent business-oriented complement to this blog's technology stack and DBA-oriented material and our ATG Live Webcasts.

Cliff Godwin, Senior Vice President, has just posted a new video discussing the E-Business Suite's latest Strategy and Roadmap:

EBS YouTube channel screenshot

This video covers some of the highlights of Cliff's presentation at conferences such as Oracle OpenWorld, OAUG Collaborate, and other international events.

You and your business users can subscribe to this channel to get updates on a variety of functionally-oriented EBS topics.

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Thursday Mar 07, 2013

Four Weeks Travelling Internationally with Just an iPad mini

iPad miniI recently spent four weeks travelling internationally for business with just an iPad mini.  I left my laptop and regular iPad at home.  Misha Vaughn, an architect in our User Experience group, became curious and interviewed me about my impressions.  This is a bit of a departure from our regular coverage on this blog, but I'm pleased to let you know that she's published a few excerpts from that conversation on her site:

Misha's blog, VoX ("Voice of User Experience for Applications"), is really interesting reading, by the way.  It's worth adding to your newsfeeds.

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Tuesday Mar 05, 2013

Resolving "JInitiator version too low" Errors in EBS Environments

[Aug. 7, 2013: Clarified JRE 1.7 compatibility with EBS; removed old interop patch numbers]

Oracle JInitiator 1.3 was desupported for E-Business Suite environments at the end of July 2009.  JInitiator 1.1.8 was desupported at the end of December 2008. E-Business Suite users should have switched from Oracle JInitiator to the native Java JRE plug-in at that time.

JRE 1.7 is certified with E-Business Suite 11i, 12.0, and 12.1. Some EBS sysadmins are mistakenly concluding that the following error message means that they must revert to JRE 1.6:

FRM-92095: Oracle Jlnitiator version too low. Please install version 1.1.8.2 or higher.

FRM-92095: Oracle Jlnitiator version too low. Please install version 1.1.8.2 or higher.

Details:
Java Exception: oracle.forms.engine.RunformException: FRM-92095: oracle Jlnitiator version too low. Please install version 1.1.8.2 or higher.

at oraclr.forms.net.HTTPConnection.<init>(Unknown Source)
at oraclr.forms.engine.FormsDispatcher.initConnection(Unknown Source)
at oraclr.forms.engine.FormsDispatcher.init(Unknown Source)
at oraclr.forms.Runform.initConnection(Unknown Source)
at oraclr.forms.Runform.startRunForm(Unknown Source)
at oraclr.forms.Main.createRunform(Unknown Source)
at oraclr.forms.Main.start(Unknown Source)
at com.sun.deploy.uitoolkit.impl.awt.AWTAppletAdapter.start(Unknown Source)
at sun.plugin2.applet.plugin2Manager$AppletExecutuonRunnable.run(Unknown Source)
at java.lang.Thread.run(Threat.java.722)

What's causing this error?

This error message may occur if you try and launch an E-Business Suite form using the JRE 7 client plug-in without applying the prerequisite Forms patch needed to enable JRE 7 compatibility.

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

EBS customers should ensure that they are running the latest JRE 7 plug-in, at minimum, on Windows desktop clients.  If you've reached this article via a search engine, please check our Certifications summary page for the latest certified JRE 7 release.

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.  Clease check the Notes for the authoritative list of patches.

The documented interop 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

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Monday Mar 04, 2013

Java JRE 1.6.0_43 Certified with Oracle E-Business Suite

The latest Java Runtime Environment 1.6.0_43 (a.k.a. JRE 6u43-b01) 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_43?

See the 1.6.0_43 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

Java JRE 1.7.0_17 Certified with Oracle E-Business Suite

Java logoJava Runtime Environment 7u17 (a.k.a. JRE 7u15-b02) 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 7u17, 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 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_17 32-bit + EBS 11.5.10.2

JRE 1.70_17 32-bit + EBS 12.0 & 12.1

JRE 1.7.0_17 64-bit + EBS 11.5.10.2

JRE 1.70_17 64-bit + EBS 12.0 & 12.1

EBS + Discoverer 11g Users

JRE 1.7.0_17 (7u17) 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

Postpone IE 10 Upgrades Until E-Business Suite Certification

New IE logo

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

[May 3, 2013 update: Added EBS version numbers]

Microsoft has recently announced their plans to automatically update IE 8 or IE 9 on Windows 7 desktops to IE 10; see:

Microsoft states:

Distribution of Internet Explorer 10 by Automatic Updates will begin slowly and take several months to complete.

We're still certifying Microsoft Internet Explorer 10 with Oracle E-Business Suite 11.5.10.2, 12.0, and 12.1. We expect IE 10 to work with few issues, but it is always prudent to ensure that your mission-critical desktops remain on an earlier certified IE version until this certification is completed.  You can block automatic updates by using Microsoft's Internet Explorer 10 Blocker Toolkit:

When will IE10 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. I'll post updates here as soon as soon as they're available.   

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Friday Mar 01, 2013

Plans for Certifying Google Chrome with E-Business Suite

Google Chrome logoGoogle Chrome is a popular browser in the consumer sector.  It's fast, clean, and standards-compliant.  It's also popular internally at Oracle: many of our own Applications Technology Group staff -- notably, our OA Framework architects and developers -- ignore Oracle's own desktop standards and use Chrome as their default browser. 

This tells you that Chrome generally works nicely with Oracle E-Business Suite. There may be some quirks with specific products, but it is largely compatible with most OA Framework-based screens.

That said, it isn't officially certified with the E-Business Suite.

Why not?

We're reserving judgement on making it an official certification because of what appears to be low demand from EBS enterprise customers. This seemingly-low demand doesn't warrant expanding our current certification permutations further.

Our current certification space is already intimidatingly-large.  For Windows desktops alone, we currently have over 400 officially-certified combinations of EBS {11i | 12.0 | 12.1} * Windows {XP | Vista | 7 | 8} * {{IE 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10} | Firefox ESR } * JRE {6 | 7} * Office {2003 | 2007 | 2010 | 2013}.

Adding Chrome for just Windows 7 and 8 could add up to 48 new combinations to be tested.

The impending death of the conventional browser certification model

You're probably not shocked to hear that we don't test every one of those 400 combinations with every new EBS release.  And, yes, I've heard every variant of the obvious jokes about the number of combinations that we actually do test.

It's clear that conventional certification approaches aren't sustainable.  Mobile devices and their associated browsers are proliferating. The new reality of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) in the enterprise space is inescapable.

We're examining options for moving beyond the conventional certification model for EBS browsers.  I'll post more details when they're available.  Until then, we're going to continue with the status quo of certifying specific browser versions with specific clients with specific EBS releases.

Enterprises leery of browsers on rapid release cycles?

In 2011, Mozilla switched Firefox to a rapid release cycle with a new release coming out every six weeks.  Most enterprises (including Oracle) can't keep up with that deployment rate, so we switched our E-Business Suite + Firefox certification track to Mozilla's Extended Support Release (ESR) channel. Mozilla's ESR releases come out every 12 months.

My impression is that enterprises have become a little wary of using Firefox since Mozilla's change to a rapid release cycle. I conduct straw polls of my audiences at various conferences.  It seems like enterprise use of Firefox has dwindled dramatically in the last few years.

That's just a theory, and it doesn't affect our certification policies.  We've certified Firefox with the E-Business Suite in the past, so we'll continue to certify Firefox for the foreseeable future. But that illustrates the importance of being careful about certification decisions.  Once we certify something, it's very difficult to withdraw support in the future.

Chrome is also released on a rapid release cycle.  This cycle appears to be driven by various less-predictable or unpublished factors, but the upshot is that their cycles average out to a new release every 6 to 8 weeks

This begs some interesting questions.  If enterprise usage of Firefox changed because of Mozilla's switch to a rapid release cycle, what do enterprises think of Chrome's rapid release cycle?  Google doesn't offer an equivalent of Mozilla's annually-updated option for Chrome.  How are enterprises managing Chrome deployments?

Some EBS customers can't control their users desktops

EBS customers with externally-facing modules (e.g. iRecruitment, iSupplier, iStore, etc) cannot control their users's desktops.  This is especially true for educational institutions.

Luckily for those customers, the vast majority of EBS OA Framework-based (HTML) screens work reliably with a wide range of certified and uncertified browsers, including Chrome.  Things get trickier when dealing with the Forms-based products that require specific JRE releases, but this generally isn't an issue since Forms-based EBS products aren't available to "external" (non-enterprise) users.

Would you like us to certify Chrome with EBS?

Chrome generally works well with the E-Business Suite, but we can only provide EBS patches for issues that can be reproduced with certified browsers. 

If you'd like us to add Chrome as an officially-certified browser, please log a Service Request and ask Support to update enhancement request 5921574 with details about:

  • Your business case (e.g. "student user population not centrally managed")
  • Minimum desired EBS release
  • EBS products to be used
  • Estimates of desktops affected
  • Minimum desired Windows release

Related Articles

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?

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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:

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