Tuesday Aug 06, 2013

You're Closer to EBS 12.1.3 Than You Think

Congratulations -- you're running EBS 12.1.1 or 12.1.2 in production.  Our standing recommendation is to apply the EBS 12.1.3 suite-wide Release Update Pack (RUP), despite the relaxed requirements in the recent changes to our Error Correction Support Policy.

If you can't apply the suite-wide 12.1.3 Release Update Pack, you should apply the individual 12.1.3 Family Packs for the EBS products that you've deployed.

Here's our best-kept secret:  this will change your environment less than you think.  If you've applied any patches to your 12.1.1 or 12.1.2 environment, you probably already have much of 12.1.3 already in production today.  

A glimpse behind the curtain

This is due to the way that our EBS source code control system works: we deliver patches based upon the latest versions of code in our source control system.  Developers sometimes refer to this as "delivering code on the tip of the codeline."

If "source control systems" are unknown territory to you, here's an example to illustrate this:

Let's imagine that you're running 12.1.1 and report an issue with a Financials screen. 

That Financials screen was first released in 12.1.1, updated in 12.1.2, and updated again in 12.1.3.

Whatever patch you apply will deliver the latest version of the 12.1.3 code and all of the related dependencies in other screens or packages

In this particular case, you might think you're on 12.1.1, but applying that patch has raised your code level for the updated files to the 12.1.3 level or even later.

Apps DBA Tip: Check which files a patch changes

Here's how to check this out yourself.  The Oracle Applications Manager contains a tool that all Apps DBAs should use:

The Patch Wizard has an "Analyze Specific Patches" function that tells you how a specific patch will affect your system.

Patch Wizard Analyse Specific Patches screenshot

The resulting "Patch Impact Analysis" report provides you with a summary of:

  • Applications patched
  • New files introduced
  • Existing files changed
  • Existing files unchanged

Screenshot of Patch Wizard Impact Analysis Report

Power users tip:  identify affected customizations

Patch Wizard Register Flagged Files screenshotIf you've flagged your customized files using the Oracle Applications Manager "Register Flagged Files" function, the Patch Wizard will also identify which of your customizations are affected by a given patch.

This allows you to reassure your developers and end-users that you have very-granular control over the impact of a given patch on critical customized functionality.

A case study: Financials and Procurement 12.1.3 vs. 12.1.1

A major steel manufacturer running EBS 12.1.1 approached us with their concerns about applying the suite-wide EBS 12.1.3 Release Update Pack to their environment.  Like many manufacturers, every hour of EBS downtime meant lost productivity so they wanted to minimize the amount of retesting triggered by 12.1.3.

They had been running 12.1.1 Financials and Procurement in production for quite some time.  They had stabilized their environment with a number of one-off patches on top of 12.1.1.  

We used the Patch Wizard's "Patch Impact Analysis" report to assess the number of files that would be affected by the 12.1.3 Family Packs for Financials and Procurement.  Here's what we found:

  • They already had applied 81% of the 12.1.3 Procurement Family Pack.  The 12.1.3 Procurement Family Pack has ~3,800 files, which means that over 3,100 files were unchanged.  Only 3 of the files that they'd customized needed review.

  • The 12.1.3 Financials Family Pack contains ~12,000 files.  They had already applied 72% of the 12.1.3 Financials Family Pack, leaving over 8,600 files unchanged.  Only one of their customized files needed review.

Do your own 12.1.3 impact analysis

Your mileage will vary.  Run the Patch Wizard comparing the 12.1.3 Family Packs to see how close you are.

I'd be interested in hearing your reports.  Feel free to post a comment here or drop me an email with your results.

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