Wednesday Aug 27, 2014

New User Interface Features in Release 12.2.4

As I wrote several months ago,  we have been working on a major refresh of the Oracle E-Business Suite user interface.  Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.2.4 makes a big jump in our user interface.  Here are some of the new features you will see after upgrading to Release 12.2.4:
  • New skin
  • Rich table interactions
  • Simplified home page
  • Support for gestures on tablets

This is the first in a series of articles detailing these new user interface features.

The most obvious user interface change for this release is our new skin for both desktops and tablets.  The new skin provides a cleaner look and feel in Oracle Application Framework-based pages, with responsive features that give you more space for controlling the application with your fingers on a tablet while saving space on a desktop.  Here is the new look on a tablet and on a desktop:

New look on iPad

EBS new look on laptop in Firefox browser

We now have a streamlined touch-oriented, icon-based global header (the top navigation bar on the page). Users can choose whether to display icons, text links, or both by setting a user preference. This feature is one of the results of the usability testing we did last year, where we got user feedback for fine tuning the new look and feel.

Setting Your Display Preference

To change the display settings of the icons in the header, simply select Preferences from the Settings menu (gear icon):

Select Preferences from Settings menu

Then you see the Preferences Page:

Preferences Page

In the "Visual" region, "Page Header Display Style" field, select the choice you want:

  • Both Links and Icons
  • Icons Only
  • Links Only

Display style list

Apply your changes, and you're done! 

Here is how the "Links Only" style looks:

Links Only style of header

Here is how the "Both Links and Icons" style looks:

Both Links and Icons display style

We hope you like the new look!

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Friday Aug 22, 2014

Mobile Apps for Oracle E-Business Suite

Many things have changed in the mobile space over the last few years. Here's an update on our strategy for mobile apps for the E-Business Suite.

Mobile app strategy

We're building our family of mobile apps for the E-Business Suite using Oracle Mobile Application Framework.  This framework allows us to write a single application that can be run on Apple iOS and Google Android platforms. Mobile apps for the E-Business Suite will share a common look-and-feel.

The E-Business Suite is a suite of over 200 product modules spanning Financials, Supply Chain, Human Resources, and many other areas. Our mobile app strategy is to release standalone apps for specific product modules. 

Our Oracle Timecards app, which allows users to create and submit timecards, is an example of a standalone app.

Oracle Timecards app for E-Business Suite screenshot

Some common functions that span multiple product areas will have dedicated apps, too. An example of this is our Oracle Approvals app, which allows users to review and approve requests for expenses, requisitions, purchase orders, recruitment vacancies and offers, and more.

Approval app for E-Business Suite screenshot

You can read more about our Oracle Mobile Approvals app here:

Our goal is to support smaller screen (e.g. smartphones) as well as larger screens (e.g. tablets), with the smaller screen versions generally delivered first.  Where possible, we will deliver these as universal apps.  An example is our Oracle Mobile Field Service app, which allows field service technicians to remotely access customer, product, service request, and task-related information.  This app can run on a smartphone, while providing a richer experience for tablets.

Mobile Field Service for iPhones screenshot

Deploying EBS mobile apps

The mobile apps, themselves (i.e. client-side components) can be downloaded by end-users from the Apple iTunes today.  Android versions will be available from Google play. You can monitor this blog for Android-related updates.

Where possible, our mobile apps should be deployable with a minimum of server-side changes.  These changes will generally involve a consolidated server-side patch for technology-stack components, and possibly a server-side patch for the functional product module. Updates to existing mobile apps may require new server-side components to enable all of the latest mobile functionality.

All EBS product modules are certified for internal intranet deployments (i.e. used by employees within an organization's firewall).  Only a subset of EBS products such as iRecruitment are certified to be deployed externally (i.e. used by non-employees outside of an organization's firewall).  Today, many organizations running the E-Business Suite do not expose their EBS environment externally and all of the mobile apps that we're building are intended for internal employee use.  Recognizing this, our mobile apps are currently designed for users who are connected to the organization's intranet via VPN.  We expect that this may change in future updates to our mobile apps.

Mobile apps and internationalization

The initial releases of our mobile apps will be in English.  Later updates will include translations for all left-to-right languages supported by the E-Business Suite.  Right-to-left languages will not be translated.

Customizing apps for enterprise deployments

The current generation of mobile apps for Oracle E-Business Suite cannot be customized. We are evaluating options for limited customizations, including corporate branding with logos, corporate color schemes, and others. This is a potentially-complex area with many tricky implications for deployment and maintenance.  We would be interested in hearing your requirements for customizations in enterprise deployments.



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The preceding is intended to outline our general product direction.  It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract.   It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decision.  The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle’s products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle.

Wednesday Aug 20, 2014

Consultations with ATG Development at OpenWorld 2014

[Aug. 21, 2014 Update:  corrected link to Apps Technology track sessions summary]

OpenWorld logoOur OpenWorld 2014 San Francisco conference is about six weeks away.  We have a great lineup of sessions this year.  Our EBS Applications Technology track sessions are listed here, and we'll have a more-detailed article about those soon.

One of the advantages of attending OpenWorld is that you can meet face-to-face with senior staff in ATG Development.  You can use these meetings to discusss your questions, requirements, plans, and deployment architectures with us.

There are several options for doing this:

  1. At general sessions: collar the speaker of your choice after his or her presentation.
  2. At the Meet The Experts sessions:  these are first-come first-served round-table discussions
  3. Setting up private meetings via your Oracle account manager

The last option is best if you have lots of in-depth questions or confidential details about your implementation that cannot be discussed in front of other customers. 

Many of this blog's experts, including me, will be attending OpenWorld this year.  If you'd like to meet with us privately, please contact your Oracle account manager to arrange that as soon as possible.  My calendar, in particular, is already starting to fill up.  It is often completely full by the time OpenWorld starts.

See you there!

Friday Aug 15, 2014

Oracle Functional Testing Suite Advanced Pack for Oracle EBS Now Available

There’s new news about automated testing of E-Business Suite using the Oracle Application Testing Suite, a.k.a, “OATS”.

E-Business Suite Development is pleased to announce the availability of the new Oracle Functional Testing Suite Advanced Pack for Oracle E-Business Suite. The new pack, available with the latest release of Oracle Application Testing Suite (, provides pre-built test components and flows to automate the in-depth testing of Oracle E-Business Suite applications. Designed for use with the Oracle Application Testing Suite and its Oracle Flow Builder capability, these pre-built components and flows can help Oracle E-Business Suite customers to significantly reduce the time and effort needed to create and maintain automated test scripts.

The Oracle Functional Testing Suite Advanced Pack for Oracle E-Business Suite is available now for EBS 12.1.3, and availability for EBS 12.2 is planned.

OATS Flow Builder screenshot

Some Background on Automating Testing with Oracle Application Testing Suite and Oracle Flow Builder     

Testing complex packaged applications like Oracle E-Business Suite can be time-consuming and challenging for organizations, hampering their ability to upgrade to latest releases or apply latest patches. Oracle Application Testing Suite offers organizations a unique and powerful testing platform for Oracle E-Business Suite and other Oracle applications.

With the release of Oracle Application Testing Suite, we introduced the Oracle Flow Builder testing framework and accompanying starter pack of pre-built test components and flows. The starter pack, which contains over 2000 components and 200 flows, provides broad coverage of commonly-used base functionality and is designed to jump-start the test automation effort.

Using Oracle Flow Builder, even non-technical testers can create working test scripts using the pre-built components that Oracle provides. Each component represents an atomic test operation such as “create an invoice batch” or “apply an invoice hold.” Testers can assemble the pre-built components into test flows, and combine test flows with spreadsheet data to drive the testing of multiple data conditions. The Oracle Flow Builder framework allows customers to add, modify and extend the pre-built components to address new functionality and customizations of the Oracle E-Business Suite.

Using Oracle Flow Builder’s component-based test generation framework instead of a traditional record/playback approach has allowed the EBS Quality Assurance team to reduce their test automation effort by 60%. E-Business Suite customers can significantly reduce their test automation effort using Oracle Application Testing Suite with Oracle Flow Builder and the pre-built test components and flows that Oracle provides.

Oracle Functional Testing Suite Advanced Pack for Oracle E-Business Suite Improves Test Coverage

With the Oracle Application Testing Suite and the new Oracle Functional Testing Suite Advanced Pack for Oracle E-Business Suite, we are now delivering a significant number of additional test components and flows beyond those contained in the Oracle Flow Builder starter pack. These additional test components and flows provide 70-80% test coverage and enable the automation of detailed and complex test flows across the following Oracle E-Business Suite products:

  • Oracle Asset Lifecycle Management
  • Oracle Channel Revenue Management
  • Oracle Discrete Manufacturing
  • Oracle Incentive Compensation
  • Oracle Lease and Finance Management
  • Oracle Process Manufacturing
  • Oracle Procurement
  • Oracle Project Management
  • Oracle Property Manager
  • Oracle Service


You can download the Oracle Functional Testing Suite Advanced Pack for Oracle E-Business Suite from the Oracle Technology Network.


Related Articles

Automate Testing Using Oracle Application Testing Suite with Flow Builder for E-Business Suite
EBS 12.1.1 Test Starter Kit Now Available for Oracle Applications Testing Suite
Oracle Application Testing Suite 9.0 Supported with Oracle E-Business Suite
Using the Oracle Application Testing Suite with EBS: Interim Update #1

Thursday Aug 14, 2014

Oracle VM Virtual Appliances for E-Business Suite 12.1.3 Now Available

I am pleased to announce that Oracle VM Virtual Appliances for E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3 are now available from the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud:

VM Appliances for EBS 12.1.3

Compatible with Oracle VM Manager and Oracle VM Virtualbox

These virtual appliances can be imported into Oracle VM Manager to deploy E-Business Suite Linux 64-bit environments on compatible server-class machines running Oracle VM Server.  They can also be imported into Oracle VM VirtualBox to create virtual machines on a desktop PC or laptop.

Includes the entire EBS technology stack

The virtual appliances deliver the full software stack, including the Oracle Linux 6.5 operating system, Oracle E-Business Suite, and additional required technology components.

Types of appliances available

The available Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3 virtual appliances are:

  1. Single Node VISION Demo
  2. VISION Demo Database Tier
  3. Production (PROD) Database Tier
  4. Application Tier
  5. Sparse Application Tier

The appliances contain the following embedded technology components:

  • Database Versions
DB Oracle Home
Single Node Vision Demo
Vision Demo Database Tier
Production (PROD) Database Tier
  • Application Tier Components
Application Tier
Code Level
Oracle Forms and Reports
Java Oracle Home
JDK Version
Java Plugin Version
CPU Level
Single Node Vision Demo
JDK 1.7 build 1.7.0_60-b19
J2SE 1.7
April  2014

Application Tier
JDK 1.7 build 1.7.0_60-b19
J2SE 1.7
April  2014

Using these appliances

These appliances can be used to support the following scenarios:

Single node E-Business Suite 12.1.3 installation: Choose the single node VISION Demo virtual appliance (Option 1 above) to create a unified virtual machine with the EBS 12.1.3 database and application tiers.

Multi-node E-Business Suite 12.1.3 installation: Create a multi-node system using the RDBMS 12c database virtual appliance of choice (either VISION or PROD) and the application tier virtual appliance. That is, Option 2 or 3 above, followed by Option 4.  You can then add secondary application tiers using Option 5.

Operating system-only installation (Oracle Linux 6.5): The sparse application tier virtual appliance (Option 5) includes the necessary operating system packages, kernel parameter settings, and users (oracle and applmgr) required to install Oracle E-Business Suite, providing benefit for customers who plan to use Rapid Install for their 12.1.3 installation.


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Wednesday Aug 13, 2014

Quarterly E-Business Suite Upgrade Recommendations: August 2014 Edition

We've previously provided advice on the general priorities for applying EBS updates.  This article will help you understand your top priorities for major upgrades to EBS and its technology stack components.  This webcast can help you create a maintenance strategy.

The following is a summary of our latest upgrade recommendations for E-Business Suite updates and technology stack components.  These quarterly recommendations are based upon the latest updates to Oracle's product strategies, latest support timelines, and newly-certified releases. 

Upgrade Recommendations for August 2014

  1. EBS 11i users should upgrade to 12.1.3 or 12.2.  Before upgrading, 11i users should be on the minimum 11i patching baseline.

  2. EBS 12.0 users should upgrade to 12.1.3 or 12.2.  Before upgrading, 12.0 users should be on the minimum 12.0 patching baseline,

  3. EBS 12.1 users should upgrade to 12.1.3 RP1 or 12.2.

  4. EBS 12.2 users should upgrade to 12.2.4 or the latest AD/TXK tools and the latest StartCD.

  5. Oracle Database 10gR2 and 11gR1 users should upgrade to or

  6. EBS 11i and 12 users of Oracle Single Sign-On 10g users should migrate to OAM 11gR2 Patchset 1

  7. Oracle Internet Directory 10g users should upgrade to Oracle Internet Directory 11g

  8. Oracle Discoverer users should migrate to Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE), Oracle Business Intelligence Applications (OBIA), or Discoverer 11g

  9. Oracle Portal 10g users should migrate to Oracle WebCenter 11g or upgrade to Portal 11g

  10. All Windows desktop users should migrate from JInitiator and older Java releases to JRE 1.6.0_81 or later 1.6 updates or JRE 1.7.0_67 or later 1.7 updates.

  11. All EBS 11i, 12.0, 12.1, and 12.2 users must sign their environment's JAR files now.

  12. All Firefox users should upgrade to Firefox Extended Support Release 24.

  13. All EBS 11i, 12.0, 12.1, 12.2 users should apply the latest Critical Patch Update.

  14. Windows XP and Office 2003 users should upgrade to later versions.

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Friday Aug 08, 2014

Oracle E-Business Suite 12.2.4 Now Available

We are very pleased to announce that Oracle E-Business Suite 12.2.4 is generally available for download now.

Instructions for downloading and applying the update:

EBS 12.2.4 Patch download screenshot

What Does EBS 12.2.4 Include?

This Release Update Pack (RUP) for the EBS 12.2 release codeline includes new features as well as statutory and regulatory updates, and error corrections for stability, performance, and security. 

This is a consolidated suite-wide patch set. Release 12.2.4 is cumulative and includes new updates as well as updates made available in one-off patches for prior 12.2 releases.

For a complete list of new features, see:

Upgrading to EBS 12.2.4

Is there a direct upgrade path from EBS 11i to 12.2.4?

No.  EBS 11i customers must first upgrade to EBS 12.2 before applying 12.2.4.

Is there a direct upgrade path from EBS 12.0 to 12.2.4?

No.  EBS 12.0 customers must first upgrade to EBS 12.2 before applying 12.2.4.

Is there a direct upgrade path from EBS 12.2 to 12.2.4?

Yes.  EBS 12.2 customers can apply 12.2.4 directly to their environments.  EBS 12.2.4 is an Online Patch -- it may be applied while EBS 12.2 is running.

How can I prepare for EBS 12.2?

More technical references

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Tuesday Aug 05, 2014

JRE 1.7.0_67 Certified with Oracle E-Business Suite

Java logo

[Aug. 6, 2014 update: Removed sentence, "If you are already running 1.7.0_65 auto-update will not be triggered to upgrade to 1.7.0_67."]

Java Runtime Environment 1.7.0_67 (a.k.a. JRE 7u67-b01) and later updates on the JRE 7 codeline are now certified with Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12.0, 12.1, and 12.2 for Windows-based desktop clients.

Effects of new support dates on Java upgrades for EBS environments

Support dates for the E-Business Suite and Java have changed.  Please review the sections below for more details:

  • What does this mean for Oracle E-Business Suite users?
  • Will EBS users be forced to upgrade to JRE 7 for Windows desktop clients?
  • Will EBS users be forced to upgrade to JDK 7 for EBS application tier servers?

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 this release?

JRE 1.7.0_67 fixes a regression in JRE 1.7.0_65 which prevented applets launching when using a "java_ arguments" parameter. This is the only change, it does not include any further security enhancements. Oracle E-Business Suite users are unlikely to be affected by this issue so moving to this release is optional, see the Update Release Notes for further information.

JRE 1.7.0_67 is available for download through the usual Java and Oracle Java SE Downloads public sites. The standard release is also available through Patch 19295656 as well as a special release which has the auto-update function turned off through Patch 19295660.

32-bit and 64-bit versions certified

This certification includes both the 32-bit and 64-bit JRE versions for various Windows operating systems. See the respective Recommended Browser documentation for your EBS release for details.

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 12.0, 12.1, 12.2
EBS + Discoverer 11g Users

This JRE release 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 changes 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 until the end of Java SE 6 Extended Support in June 2017.

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:

Both JDK and JRE packages are contained in a single combined download after 6u45.  Download the "JDK" package for both the desktop client JRE and the server-side JDK package. 

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

This upgrade is highly recommended but remains optional while Java 6 is covered by Extended Support. 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. 

Java 6 is covered by Extended Support until June 2017.  All E-Business Suite customers must upgrade to JRE 7 by June 2017.

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 do Mac users need?

Mac users running Mac OS X 10.9 can run JRE 7 plug-ins.  See this article:

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

JRE is used for desktop clients.  JDK is used for application tier servers

JDK upgrades for E-Business Suite application tier servers are highly recommended but currently remain optional while Java 6 is covered by Extended Support. 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 JDK 6 for application tier servers. 

Java SE 6 is covered by Extended Support until June 2017.  All EBS customers with application tier servers on Windows, Solaris, and Linux must upgrade to JDK 7 by June 2017. EBS customers running their application tier servers on other operating systems should check with their respective vendors for the support dates for those platforms.

JDK 7 is certified with E-Business Suite 12.  See:


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Friday Aug 01, 2014

New Solaris SPARC OS Requirements for EBS R12

Solaris logoBeginning on December 1st 2014, Oracle E-Business Suite patches for Release 12 (12.0, 12.1, 12.2) on the Oracle Solaris on SPARC platform will be built with a newer version of the Solaris Studio compiler (v 12.3) and the Solaris OS (v 10).

Solaris customers who plan to patch their EBS environments after December 1st 2014 with EBS application tier patches generated after this date must meet the new OS requirements prior to applying those new patches. These customers must upgrade their Solaris OS to Solaris 10 10/08 (Update 6) or higher and apply specific OS patches indicated in the documentation below. R12 environments on Solaris 11 should not be affected by this as Solaris 11 includes all required patches and relinking tools.

Customers can perform the OS upgrade now without any adverse effects as the associated tools and OS patches will work with all currently generated EBS patches - it's just that after December 1st 2014, patches generated for R12 on Solaris SPARC will not work with older versions of the Solaris OS. The older Solaris versions 8 and 9 will also both be in Sustaining Support by this date - we strongly recommend that customers upgrade to Solaris 10 to get updates and new fixes on their systems.


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