How Does AutoPatch Handle Shared E-Business Suite Products?

Space... is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly hugely mindbogglingly big it is.
~ Douglas Adams

Douglas Adams could have been talking about the E-Business Suite.  Depending upon whom you ask (and how you count them), there are between 200 to 240 products in Oracle E-Business Suite. 

The products that make up Oracle E-Business Suite are tightly integrated. Some of these products are known as shared or dependent products. Installed and registered automatically by Rapid Install, such products depend on components from other products for full functionality.

For example:
  • General Ledger (GL) depends on Application Object Library (FND) and Oracle Receivables (AR)
  • Inventory (INV) depends on FND and GL
  • Receivables (AR) depends on FND, INV, and GL
It can sometimes be challenging to craft a patching strategy for these types of product dependencies.  To help you with that, our Applications Database (AD) team has recently published a new document that describes the actions AutoPatch takes with shared Oracle E-Business Suite products:
screenshot-adpatch-timing.png
This document complements the respective Oracle Applications Maintenance Utilities guides for both Apps 11i and 12 with additional information about:
  • Product dependencies and AutoPatch actions
  • File driver files
  • Installed products
  • Shared products
References
Related Articles

Comments:

Here at JPL, we are currently planning our R12 upgrade strategy. One of the issues we are grappling with is identifying the dependency tree of the modules that we are using. Since some modules that were previously optional in 11i are now mandatory in 12.x, this is quite a challenge because we do not always have them turned on in our 11i instances.

Does the referenced note include a table of product dependencies and, if so, will this table be maintained? Alternatively, is there a way of getting this product dependency list directly out of the instance (via OAM or similar)?

I am sure we are not the only customer that is experiencing this pain.

Thanks,
Ara

Posted by Ara on April 06, 2010 at 03:47 PM PDT #

Hi, Ara,

No, the referenced Note does not include any tables of dependencies between products.

The FND_PRODUCT_INSTALLATIONS table captures dependencies; see the Note for more details.

Good luck with your R12 upgrade planning efforts.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on April 08, 2010 at 02:51 AM PDT #

Apologies but I'm finding it difficult to follow Note 1069099.1.
Reasons for not patching a shared product look to be contradictory to the reasons given for patching.

Posted by Ravi Bhandari on April 15, 2010 at 01:00 AM PDT #

Hi, Ravi,

I'm sorry to hear that you're having trouble with this Note. I'd like to have someone in our ATG Support team help you with your questions. Can you log a formal Service Request via My Oracle Support (formerly Metalink) to get one of our specialists engaged?

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on April 15, 2010 at 04:09 AM PDT #

I agree with Ravi that note 1069099.1. is difficult to follow. I would like to ask you - Do you recommend patch application for shared products in R11i?

Posted by Yamini Saini on April 20, 2010 at 05:30 AM PDT #

Hi, Yamini,

Thanks for your feedback on this Note. I've passed it on to the Note's author.

I'd be interested in having someone give you advice that's specific to your circumstances, rather than on the basis of your brief question. Please log a formal SR with the particulars about your patching requirements. If you send me the SR number, I'll make sure that someone from the AD team works with Support on this one.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on April 22, 2010 at 04:21 AM PDT #

Hi Steven

Excellent insight in this article, thank you.

I have one "deeper" question on this though.

What is then the recommended (correct) way for licensing an additional module/product in eBS, after you have been live for some time
(and that product was in either shared or not-installed mode)?

e.g. We have Financials, HRMS, Telesales implementation. We started on R12.0.0 and patched up to 12.0.4 (12.0.5 for HRMS & Finance). Then we upgraded to R12.1.1.
- At that time OIC (Oracle Incentive Compensation) was in shared mode.
- We now want to implement OIC.

We have performed the following steps:
- License the product in License Manager
- regenerate forms, reports, messages, JAR files via adadmin
- manually recompiled all OIC related JSPs (because Support could not help us and we noticed that the compiled versions were not touched during patching)

Are the above enough?

I ask because we have also noticed that although a lot of database object files (packages, etc.) were coppied to file system, they were not executed/loaded during database portion of 12.1.1 patch (guessing since product was in SHARED mode).
- How do we get those loaded into the database?
(In the 11i days we would just find the most current product family pack and apply it.)

I hope you are still reading by this point. :-)

Thank you & Regards
Hans

Posted by Hans Kitshoff on April 28, 2010 at 01:40 AM PDT #

Hi, Hans,

Interesting question. I'm afraid this one falls outside of my area of expertise, though, since it is oriented towards functional product implementation (and I'm a techstack guy). I've forwarded it on to our R12 Center of Excellence team; they may be able to provide some insight into this.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on April 28, 2010 at 08:10 AM PDT #

Hi Steven

Sorry if all my rambling has confused the issue. This is actually very much a technical question.
I am not asking about the functional implementation of the module (OIC). I merely used our scenario as an example. This is in regards to any module.

The applicable question is still:
"What is the recommended (correct) way for licensing an additional module/product in eBS, after you have been live for some time?"
- this is absolutely from the Apps DBA perspective, i.e. what does he/she need to do before handing over the system to the functional implementers?

(We have had numerous technical issues with OIC after licensing it, which Oracle Support has been all at sea with - read: did not have a clue. We eventually figured out by ourselves that if we manually recompile the JSPs most of those issues go away and seemingly missing functionality appears. We have now also noticed that several database objects, e.g. pl/sql packages were delivered/copied by the 12.1.1 upgrade but not compiled/run into the database. So there must be something we are missing in the process to license the additional module?)

In 11i the answer to this question was easier, since one licensed the product and then just applied the most up to date product patchset/"MiniPack", which, being cumulative, would ensure everything is compiled and as it should be. In R12/R12.1 this is no more, since one cannot get a product "MiniPack".

I hope the question/issue is more clearly put now.

Thank you very much for your attention in this matter. Highly appreciated!

Regards
Hans

Posted by Hans Kitshoff on April 28, 2010 at 05:56 PM PDT #

Hi, Hans,

Thanks for the additional details. This isn't really my area of expertise, which is why logging a formal SR might still be the best way for you to get help. One of my Consulting colleagues noted:

"We do that often for our customers... Basically, desired applications need to be licensed using license manager after which all concurrent programs, reports, forms, and messages need to be regenerated.

"The license manager will mark required applications installed with any dependent applications as shared or installed. This will enable customer implement additional applications. The customer must setup newly licensed applications along with any shared applications before using them. "

If your SR gets bogged down for some reason, feel free to send it to me and I'll ensure that the right team gives it a push.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on April 30, 2010 at 06:17 AM PDT #

Hi Steven,

While discussing Shared Products, I have a question around achieving minimum patch baseline for 11.5.10 extended support:

The minimum baseline requirements document on My Oracle Support lists several patches, some of which may be for Shared Products for an installation.

Can you please opine whether is it also required to apply the minimum baseline patches for shared products - alongwith the licensed ones, to be able to qualify for minimum baseline for extended support (or are those the ones that may be omitted) ?

Thanks !

Rakesh

Posted by Rakesh Tripathi on May 01, 2010 at 05:00 PM PDT #

Hi Steven,

Can you please provide your views on my above query ?

Thanks in advance.

Regards,
Rakesh

Posted by Rakesh Tripathi on May 07, 2010 at 04:50 AM PDT #

Hi, Rakesh,

You must apply all minimum patches for shared products, too. This makes sense to me; after all, if one of the products that you're using depends on a shared product that's not patched up to the minimum standards, there's no guarantee that the dependencies will work as expected.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on May 10, 2010 at 03:00 AM PDT #

Steven,

Good final comment about shared modules. Our SI is indicated that Shared Modules don't need to be patched current for 11.5.10.2 Extended Support but 883202.1 shows that certain shared products must be patched for extended support.

Would it be a best practice to patch all "shared" product modules so as to have the most recent code and objects as we move into extended support? Is there a specific note or document other than your comment above (and I've been looking..:-)) that states this on MOS?

Hope you had a great vacation. You deserve it...see you in San Fran.

thx,
John

Posted by John Stouffer on June 06, 2010 at 11:20 PM PDT #

Hi, John,

Vacation? What vacation? A few days in the office have a way of erasing memories like that.

Yes, if you were to take the most-conservative approach, I would advise on getting all shared products up to the latest levels (even higher than the documented minimums). The 11i Recommended Patch List should list those.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on June 17, 2010 at 04:38 AM PDT #

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