Heads-Up: Preparing for E-Business Suite 12.0 Extended Support

Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.0 will transition from Premier Support to Extended Support on February 1, 2012.  New EBS 12.0 patches will be created and tested during Extended Support against the minimum patching baseline documented in our E-Business Suite Error Correction Support Policy (Note 1195034.1).

Timeline diagram showing E-Business Suite 11i 12 Premier and Extended Support windows ebs_11i_12_support_windows.png
That document currently reads:
To be eligible for Extended Support, [EBS 12.0] customers will need to have applied at minimum the 12.0.6 Release Update Pack (Note ID 743368.1) and the Financials CPC July 2009 (Note ID 557869.1).   Additional minimum requirements for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.0 have not been finalized yet.

Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.0 users are strongly encouraged to apply the latest suite-wide Release Update Packs, product family Release Update Packs, Critical Patch Updates, and applicable technology stack certifications to minimize future upgrade requirements.
Ranking your upgrade options

If I were running EBS 12.0 today, I'd rank my options like this:
1. Upgrade to EBS 12.1.3

Upgrading to EBS 12.1.3 unquestionably provides the greatest return on your patching investment.  This allows you to completely avoid having to ask, "What EBS 12.0 patches do I need to apply to reach the minimum patching baseline?" 

This option may be relatively more work than simply patching EBS 12.0, but it's the most-efficient strategy in the long-run.  Moving to 12.1.3 means that you don't need to worry about new minimum patching baselines until June 1, 2014.

2. Apply the suite-wide 12.0.6 Release Update Pack

Applying the 12.0.6 Release Update Pack is straightforward.  This option may require less effort than upgrading to 12.1.3.  However, there's a non-trivial chance that 12.0.6 may not be the only patch needed.  The Error Correction Support Policy document explicitly states, "Additional minimum requirements for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.0 have not been finalized yet." 

This means that it's possible that other patches on top of 12.0.6 may be added to the minimum patching baseline.  In other words, it's possible that other product family Release Update Packs, Critical Patch Updates, and technology stack certifications may be added to that list.

3. Do nothing

This is always an option.  I wouldn't recommend it.  Leaving your EBS environment at the, say, 12.0.4 level with one or two other later product family Release Update Packs may create support problems downstream.  For example, you may report a problem that can be reproduced on 12.0.6.  The subsequent patch will have 12.0.6 as a hard prerequisite.
Getting ahead of the curve

It might seem like February 1, 2012 is a long way off, but don't be fooled.  That's the temporal equivalent of an optical illusion.  It's only 13 months away.  I urge you to get started on your EBS 12.0 upgrade planning immediately.

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