In-Depth: Cloning OracleAS 10g + E-Business Suite Environments

As much as I'd prefer to avoid the subject, it's time to turn to address a subject of much ongoing controversy, namely cloning.  Cloning an E-Business Suite environment is easy. Cloning an E-Business Suite environment that's been integrated with Oracle Application Server 10g is not quite as easy, unfortunately.

What's Cloning?

Cloning is the process of creating an identical copy of an already existing Oracle Applications system, including both the application-tier and database-tier.

Why Clone?

Reasons for cloning E-Business Suite environments include:
  • Creating a copy of the production system for testing updates
  • Migrating an existing system to new hardware
  • Creating a stage area to reduce patching downtime
One of our more risk-averse customers informed me that they may create up to 15 clones of an E-Business Suite environment between the TEST and PRODUCTION rollout phases.

The Easy Part

The E-Business Suite Release 11i was architected to support cloning.  Experienced Apps DBAs know that the easiest way to create clones of their environments is to use the Rapid Clone utility introduced in 11.5.8.  Creating a n E-Business Suite clone is as simple as copying your application-tier and database-tier files to the new target system and then running the perl-based Rapid Clone (adcfgclone.pl) utility. 

The Not-So Easy Part

Oracle Application Server 10g was designed with different goals in mind.  Consequently, there are no Oracle tools available today to clone an entire OracleAS 10g environment in a single step.  In other words, OracleAS 10g does not have the equivalent of a Rapid Clone utility.

In the absence of a single turnkey tool like Rapid Clone, creating clones of new OracleAS 10g environments is a more involved process.  Not impossible, mind you -- but definitely more involved.

Things get even more complicated when an E-Business Suite environment is integrated with Oracle Application Server 10g

Nothing But Net

There are neither tools nor formal documents available from my group -- the Applications Technology Group -- or from Application Server Development, for cloning E-Business Suite environments that have been integrated with OracleAS 10g.

This hasn't exactly been a pleasant state of affairs, especially if you happen to be the person responsible for telling customers about the absence of this documentation and tools.  No matter -- I'm tough; I can take it.

But seriously, aside from this post, which will attempt to lay out general strategies for how you can fill in the gaps yourself through some old-fashioned elbow grease, there are no tools available to meet your comprehensive cloning requirements for combined OracleAS 10g + E-Business Suite environments today.  More on our future plans in a minute.

Warning:  Trail Ahead Requires Exploration

If you're willing to experiment a bit, the following are general guidelines to point you in the right direction.  Some customers and Oracle Consultants have used the following approaches to get the job done but have reported that there was some trial-and-error involved. 

These are neither detailed nor comprehensive instructions.  The following should be attempted only by system administrators who have a solid understanding of the principles outlined in Metalink Note 261914.1.

If you're going to experiment with these approaches, I strongly recommend that you take all sensible precautions, including backing up your environments at multiple stages, taking careful notes, and doing things in small, incremental steps to control your risk.

Cloning Scenarios

Assuming that you have an E-Business Suite environment that's been successfully integrated with OracleAS 10g, here are a few cloning scenarios that may apply to you:
  1. Create a clone of your Discoverer environment

  2. Create a clone of your Single Sign-On / Oracle Internet Directory environment
  3. Create a clone of your Portal environment 
Creating a Clone of Your Discoverer 10g Environment

If you've integrated Discoverer 10g with your E-Business Suite environment but have not chosen the Single Sign-On option, then the cloning process is relatively painless:
  1. Use Rapid Clone to create a clone of your E-Business Suite, including the application-tier and database-tier.  Remember that the E-Business Suite database already contains the Discoverer 10g End-User Layer.
  2. Create a fresh install of Discoverer 10g on your new server and point it to the End-User Layer in the cloned E-Business Suite instance.
Creating a Clone of Your Single Sign-On / Oracle Internet Directory Environment

If you've integrated Single Sign-On and Oracle Internet Directory 10g with your E-Business Suite environment, do the following:
  1. Use Rapid Clone to create a clone of your E-Business Suite, including the application-tier and database-tier.
  2. In your newly-cloned E-Business Suite instance, set the APPS_SSO_LDAP_SYNC profile option to "Disabled" at the site level (since there's no new Oracle Internet Directory instance to synchronize with yet).

  3. In your newly-cloned E-Business Suite instance, unlink all E-Business Suite users that were linked to the original Oracle Internet Directory 10g users (i.e. where FND_USER.USER_GUID is populated), since the those old links are no longer valid.  Those E-Business Suite users will need to be linked to their corresponding accounts in the as-yet non-existent new Oracle Internet Directory instance. 

  4. Create a fresh install of Single Sign-On and Oracle Internet Directory 10g on your new server.
  5. Assuming that you enabled bidirectional provisioning between the E-Business Suite and Oracle Internet Directory, do one of the following (but not all three):

    a) Redo your bulkload from the E-Business Suite into Oracle Internet Directory, reregister your E-Business Suite environment using the Bidirectional Provisioning Profile, and enable the APPS_SSO_AUTO_LINK_USER profile option, and set the profile option APPS_SSO_LDAP_SYNC back to Enabled at site level.

    b) Export your LDAP namespace from your original Oracle Internet Directory instance into an LDIF file, and then import the LDIF file into the new Oracle Internet Directory instance.  Reregister your E-Business Suite environment using the Bidirectional Provisioning Profile, and (assuming that the Oracle Internet Directory accounts are identical to the E-Business Suite accounts) enable the APPS_SSO_AUTO_LINK_USER profile option, and set the profile option APPS_SSO_LDAP_SYNC back to Enabled at site level.

    c) Connect the original Oracle Internet Directory instance to your new Oracle Internet Directory instance via a connector, synchronizing the namespaces.  Reregister your E-Business Suite environment using the Bidirectional Provisioning Profile, and (assuming that the Oracle Internet Directory accounts are identical to the E-Business Suite accounts) enable the APPS_SSO_AUTO_LINK_USER profile option, and set the profile option APPS_SSO_LDAP_SYNC back to Enabled at site level.
Creating a Clone of Your Portal Environment
  1. Portal requires a working Single Sign-On setup, so complete the previous section first.
  2. If you haven't already done so, create a fresh install of Portal 10g on your new server.

  3. Use the existing Portal 10g documentation to export your portal content and metadata from the original Portal instance.  Import that content into the new Portal 10g instance.
  4. Reregister the OAF Web Provider from your new E-Business Suite instance in your new Portal instance.
Other Alternatives To Exploring On Your Own

If you found the previous sections alarming and confusing, there are a few options:
  1. Hire an experienced consultant.  Check their references!  You don't want to pay someone for the privilege of training them -- including staff from Oracle Consulting.  There are some Oracle Consultants with experience in this area; email me if you'd like some contacts within Oracle.
  2. Wait for the formal documentation from the Applications Technology Group.  Be prepared to wait for a while, however.  A project proposal has been submitted for review but it has not been accepted or prioritized yet.  I'm continuing to press for the priority of this to be raised.  At present, there are no fixed schedules for this documentation yet.
Good luck... and remember to take frequent backups.

Comments:

What we've done with our Apps/AS cloning process is a bit different. We have up to a dozen test instances when things are really busy, but we don't keep a 1:1 relationship with AS components and Apps. For example, we only have a "production" OID, a "non-production" OID, and a "test" OID. All the non-production Apps clones get tied to the "non-production" OID (with sync enabled in only one instance). The "test" OID is used to test OID patches and config changes, and gets integrated as-needed to an Apps instance just for regression testing.

Portal follows a similar approach, with a standard DEV and TEST clone, and others only created as-needed by project.

Discoverer is stil WIP, but we plan to use a similar approach.

Hopefully this type of scenario will also be covered in the upcoming documentation?

Posted by Jim Cassella on May 11, 2006 at 12:41 AM PDT #

Nice to see you've discovered our blog, Jim.  Did you get into production with your configuration?  I'd had some difficulty getting updates from Lance on your status.I'd like to be able to discuss the kind of configuration above.  What you've described is a more sophisticated approach than the simple one-to-one configuration I described as the example scenario but is more representative of a common configuration.I'm glad to hear that you're taking this approach, which I've been describing theoretically in some presentations.  Nice to hear that it's a reality in the field.In our small architecture team, we're always somewhat challenged when deciding on which of the myriad possible architectures to describe and then certify.  This is a harder decision when faced with demands for three releases:  11i, R12, and Fusion.I suspect that our documentation will be released in phases, with the initial version describing a simple one-to-one architecture.  Later versions may incorporate a centralized many-to-one "corporate services" architecture and others.  Regards,Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on May 11, 2006 at 01:33 AM PDT #

Mark, thanks for the feedback; glad to hear that this is hitting the spot.  Please feel free to spread the word.Regards,Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on May 11, 2006 at 02:25 PM PDT #

Hi Steven,
It was interesting to read your cloning comments. we're on 11.5.10.1 and thinking of doing the SSO integration. We already have Discoverer 10gASR2 integrated into the 11.5.10 instance. I hadn't thought of the cloning aspect of the integration. You saved me a lot of headache (and created some more work).
I'm just curious if you know of any customers who have integrated 11.5.10.1, SSO and Microsoft AD, with MSAD being the "source of truth" for usernames and passwords. That's really where we are looking to be in the future.
Thanks for the blog! It's very informative to get a peek behind the scenes..

Mark

Posted by Mark on May 11, 2006 at 02:52 PM PDT #

Hi Steven,
Please disregard that earlier comment I made about AD. I found your other post about the third party SSO integration. This is great stuff!

Mark

Posted by Mark on May 11, 2006 at 03:00 PM PDT #

Steven,

Great information and well done! Nice layout of the general strategies. For the Discoverer users of the Tech Stack, I will point your readers to "some old-fashioned elbow grease" to fill in the gaps.

This will apply to import/export of an EUL at the database level. It may not be necessary when cloning the entire database and not modifying the EUL, but will be if creating a DEV/TEST/PROD type clone. It might save a headache or two down the line :-).

Discoverer recognizes EULs using unique reference numbers. However, if you use the database export and import utilities to copy an EUL, the new EUL (including its reference number) will be identical to the original EUL. When EULs have the same reference number, EUL consistency issues can arise if you do both of the following:

* if you modify objects in both the original EUL and in the new EUL
* having modified objects in both EULs, if you then attempt to copy objects between the two EULs using the Discoverer Export Wizard and Import Wizard (or the Discoverer /export and /import commands)

To avoid potential EUL consistency issues, run the eul5_id.sql script as the owner of the new EUL. The eul5_id.sql script gives a new refererence number to the new EUL and thereby avoids any potential EUL consistency issues.

Reference:
Oracle® Business Intelligence Discoverer Administration Guide
10g Release 2 (10.1.2.1)
B13916-04
How to import an EUL using the standard database import utility
http://download-west.oracle.com/docs/html/B13916_04/maintain_eul.htm#i1008632

Best Regards,

Steve

Posted by Steve Fitzgerald on August 22, 2006 at 02:10 AM PDT #

Dear steven,
i was wondering if now after R12 this kind of feature Cloning Apps 11i with Application server10g is available as an oracle note (like Cloning with Rapid Clone).

Regards
fadi

Posted by Fadi Hasweh on January 31, 2007 at 09:14 PM PST #

Hi, Fadi,The Release 12 equivalent is Metalink Note 406982.1, "Cloning Oracle Applications Release 12 with Rapid Clone."  I plan to do a series of articles on the new Release 12 techstack documentation; stay tuned.Regards,Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on February 02, 2007 at 08:36 AM PST #

Hi Steven,

I have an 11.5.9 customer asking about any type of option on cloning along with data subsetting, to protect sensitive data such as CCard numbers, etc., within a test bed. Any light in the tunnel options I can provide or direction?

Posted by Allen Robertson on February 23, 2011 at 03:48 AM PST #

Hi, Allen,

If your customer has licenced Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control and our Application Management Pack, they can take advantage of this older functionality:

Scrambling Sensitive E-Business Suite Data During Cloning
http://blogs.oracle.com/stevenChan/2008/02/scrambling_sensitive_ebusiness.html

That functionality has since been deprecated in favor of the Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control Data Masking Pack:

Comparing OEM Data Masking and AMP Data Scrambling Features
http://blogs.oracle.com/stevenChan/2008/04/comparing_oem_data_masking_and.html

If they're licenced for the Data Masking Pack, they can build their own custom data masking templates to scrub this data in the cloned instance. We're also working on some prebuilt data masking templates right now to make that task easier in the future.

Oracle's Revenue Recognition rules prohibit us from discussing certification and release dates for those new templates, 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.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on February 23, 2011 at 04:56 AM PST #

What about when Oracle Access MAnager is also used. What additional steps are needed when you clone your EBS environment

we have a prod sso/oid/OAM and a dev SSO/OID/OAM. only prod ebs is configured with prod oid....everything else gets pointed to dev OID.

so when we clone prod ebs to dev....DEV EBS was originally working with DEV SSO/OID/OAM...now we need to point the newly cloned dev to the DEV SSO/OID/OAM. the new dev ebs is keeping same ports/directories/passwords as previous dev

Posted by guest on July 16, 2013 at 11:18 AM PDT #

Guest,

Thank you for your inquiry. The steps necessary to clone an E-Business Suite environment integrated with Oracle Access Manager using E-Business Suite AccessGate are very similar to the steps outlined in this blog article for "Creating a Clone of Your Single Sign-On / Oracle Internet Directory Environment".

The primary difference when cloning an integration with Oracle Access Manager is that you will need to configure AccessGate for each non-production E-Business Suite instance that requires the single sign-on integration. Please also note that currently a separate managed server for each E-Business Suite AccessGate is required. Please refer to BUG 14736219.

Please refer to the following My Oracle Support Knowledge Document for steps to deregister and remove references and the to re-register with the Development OID:
- Registering Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 with Oracle Internet Directory 11gR1 and Single Sign-On (Doc ID 1370938.1)

Please also refer to the version specific document for the E-Business Suite Integration with Oracle Access Manager for installation and configuration steps.

Thanks.
Elke

Posted by Elke Phelps (Oracle Development) on July 26, 2013 at 08:56 PM PDT #

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