Linux Clients for the E-Business Suite

We started our evaluations of the feasibility of certifying Linux desktop clients with the E-Business Suite over two years ago, an eon in this industry.

Tux Penguin Linux logo:

Linux Desktop Certification on Hold

Things have changed since then.  It may be technically feasible to use the native Sun JRE plug-in with Linux desktops, and I've seen anecdotal reports that suggest that some power users are using this configuration already. 

However, formal certification of Linux desktops with the E-Business Suite has been put on hold, and we have no immediate plans to conduct any Early Adopter Programs or internal certification tests with Linux desktops. 

Understanding Your Requirements

One of the challenges that we've had in prioritizing this certification is the relative lack of information about real customer demand.  This is further complicated by the plethora of available Linux distributions.  

We update our certification priorities regularly based on the latest available technologies and customer requirements, all of which are
constantly evolving.  If you'd like to let us know about your plans for Linux, drop me an email or post a comment here with answers to the following questions:
  1. How many production desktops are running Linux?
  2. How many production desktops are running Windows or Mac OS X?
  3. What Linux distribution and version are you using on your desktops?
    (e.g. Red Hat Linux Desktop 5)
  4. What chipset are your desktops running?
    (e.g. Intel x86, AMD64, and Intel 64)
  5. What browser and version are being used on Linux?
    (e.g. Firefox 2.0.0.5)
  6. What E-Business Suite release are you running?
    (e.g. Release 11.5.10.2, 12.0.2)
  7. What applications are you running?
    (e.g. Accounts Payable, Order Management, Inventory)
Related
Comments:

Two words, Steven: 'chicken', 'egg'.

And btw, who's vision or strategy is this? While the whole world is watching Vista with suspicion, Oracle is saying: 'well, we're not going to certify the Linux Desktop for EBS, because nobody seems to want it'? Did I miss something?

Another btw: You guys did certify Firefox, and made the following remark:
'By the way, we rarely hear about Firefox issues from our users, which has led many to speculate it's not a popular browser among our customers. (I've tried to explain how that logic is faulty, but not always with success.)'

Maybe you and Keith need to catch up on 'logic'.

Oh, wait, I did miss something (update #3 on the Vista certification):
'This has visibility at the highest executive levels in both of our respective organizations, so this certification effort has been prioritized accordingly. Both Oracle and Microsoft are highly motivated to complete this certification as soon as possible.'

Right... prioritized, or is it: negiotiated?

Posted by Anonymous on July 25, 2007 at 06:45 PM PDT #

Hi, Anonymous,I've released your comment for public viewing but would like to ask you to refrain from further ad hominem comments.   While I understand that some people feel strongly about the need for Linux advocacy, such advocacy might generate more good will and receptiveness if performed with grace and good humor.Also, remember that it's generally considered bad form to shoot the messenger.To some of your points:I appreciate the circularity of the reasoning around platform certification decisions.  Many of the same chicken-and-egg arguments have been made for Vista, as well.  Many customers have pointed out that they're holding back on Vista upgrades since many vendors, Oracle included, are still in the process of their Vista certification.Microsoft holds the world's monopoly on desktop operating systems.  Therefore, certification of the E-Business Suite on new Microsoft operating systems is almost-always a given.  Certification on other desktop operating systems is always subject to customer demand. If you would like to help spur Linux adoption, then specific information about your organization's plans for Linux would be helpful.  Such data is always useful in breaking through the chicken-and-egg paradox and moving the discussion along.Regards,Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on July 26, 2007 at 02:29 AM PDT #

Hi, Darrell,Thanks for your comments, and your insight as vendors into our shared customers' needs.  >Why not limit your efforts to the Oracle supported distribution of Linux?It's something that we've considered.  But it still boils down to the extent of customers who will benefit from this certification.  If we certify Oracle's Linux distribution, it won't do our customers much good if they're all using a different distro.   So, we need to determine (somehow) where we can serve the greatest number of Linux users.This is, indeed, one of the biggest challenges around executing a Linux certification plan for the E-Business Suite.Regards,Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on July 26, 2007 at 02:35 AM PDT #

I agree that the plethora of Linux distributions is a complicating factor. Why not limit your efforts to the Oracle supported distribution of Linux?

I don't have any insight on Linux desktops. We're a third-party software vendor in the E-Business Suite space and haven't run into Linux desktops either here or at our customers. I just think the Linux desktop is coming but probably it'll take another two years before there's much traction.

Darrell Murphy
RingMaster Software

Posted by Darrell Murphy on July 26, 2007 at 03:46 AM PDT #

What about integration OeBS (BI Publisher, Web ADI e.tc.) with Linux office systems (for sample OpenOffice)?

Posted by guest on July 26, 2007 at 07:20 PM PDT #

Hi, A_B,We don't have any current plans to certify E-Business Suite components with Linux productivity applications like OpenOffice.  Regards,Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on July 27, 2007 at 04:35 AM PDT #

Saadi, Riaz,Thanks for your comments.  It's always interesting to see the amount of fervor and enthusiasm that non-Windows platform users bring to their advocacy discussions.  Linux and Mac users are always vociferous in their defence of these platforms against perceived insults or slights.A personal aside:   I run Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux myself.  Much to my wife's chagrin, I once spent a recent Thanksgiving holiday installing and comparing 13 Linux distros.This is to underline that Oracle's position on the Linux certification is distinct from my own opinions.  New desktop certifications require significant investment in testing infrastructure, testing team staffing worldwide, and possible opportunity cost when staff are pulled off other projects.  Given the magnitude of the costs involved, such decisions are handled at executive levels far above mine.  Please note the chicken-and-egg comments above.  Something has to kick this off, and my personal view is that Oracle is unlikely to use the E-Business Suite as the catalyst for triggering widespread Linux desktop adoption.  Therefore, in addition to your enthusiastic endorsement of Linux, I would strongly recommend that you provide hard statistics about your own organizations' Linux desktop adoption plans.  If you provide such statistics, these will be used as part of our Oracle's ongoing evaluations of the market demand for this certification. Regards,Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on July 30, 2007 at 02:38 AM PDT #

Hi Steven,

Its quite strange as to why the importance of Linux desktop certification is unable to find a place at Oracle, which does certify Mac, a platform that has already been taken over by Linux!

There appears to be a soft corner for Windows else what could be a good reason to ignore Linux. Honestly this is what I've picked up from this blog.

Saadi.

Posted by Saadi on July 30, 2007 at 03:59 AM PDT #

Hi, Vikram,Thanks for your comments.  Based on my periodic surveys of the latest Linux distros and the Linux versions of productivity apps like OpenOffice, I'm inclined to think that Linux's full potential has yet to be realized.  Biologists have long-since established that viruses and other
catastrophes sweep through monocultures faster than rich and diverse ecological
ecosystems.  I think that the desktop platform industry can benefit from more diversity, both in terms of fostering new user interface innovations as well as increasing robustness.  So I'm rooting for Linux, as well as Mac OS X.  The next decade is going to be interesting...Regards,Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on August 01, 2007 at 05:39 AM PDT #

As far as business users are concerned, Linux Desktop is not there yet. It is difficult to imagine an organization which doesn't use Microsoft Office and Windows. Of course in each company you'll have people like me playing with a Linux desktop. But business users are not tech enthusiasts. They need to get the job done. Linux is very much behind Windows as far as desktop operating systems are concerned.

Also, I think it is possible to use Linux as a desktop client for E-Business Suite if you implement Sun Java plugin instead of Jinitiator. Also by using this hack (not supported by oracle): http://teachmeoracle.com/howto02.html you could use Linux as a desktop.

Posted by Vikram Das on August 01, 2007 at 07:13 AM PDT #

Hello Steven,

150 or so desktops here waiting to be converted to Linux because everything that our business needs can be done / already being done including office productivity, collaboration, business intelligence, project management, CAM etc. on Linux desktop, except for EBS. But then these small numbers won't give enough reasons for Oracle to move. Strategic vision will!

A note for Vikram. Keep up with the developments in corporate world and education alike. There has been en masse migrations to Linux desktop and Open/Staroffice, now estimated at more than thirty million around the globe. After trying and testing mature desktops such as Suse and Xandros it is hard to accept that there is anything that Linux can't do, much more securely robustly and intelligently. Check it out !

Riaz

Posted by Riaz on August 03, 2007 at 01:39 AM PDT #

Hello, Riaz,Glad to hear that this has worked out well for your organization.  Which Linux distribution and version are you using?Regards,Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on August 03, 2007 at 05:10 AM PDT #

Hi Steven,

The simile with biological systems is interesting. It is possible that Linux desktop would take off during next decade. However the current status of Desktop Linux is not impressive. This article: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/08/07/desktop_linux_fluendo/ echoes my opinions and says that: "The Linux desktop reminds us of a dog humping a table leg. It's both fun and disturbing to watch, but ultimately there's very little payoff from the exercise." No offense on this, as it is again the opinion of the author. Let us hope that Linux is able to stand up to Windows in the Desktop space in the coming decade and make more real choices available.

- Vikram

Posted by Vikram Das on August 08, 2007 at 08:58 AM PDT #

Hi Riaz,

I too have a linux desktop in office and am trying to see how much of regular work can be done on it. OpenOffice works ok, it still doesn't support Microsoft VBA for macros (its in their todo list). The official chat client Sametime is now available in Linux version, so I have it on. The only other important thing I need is the Nortel VPN to work on Linux. I haven't been successful by using freeware tools like vpnc-nortel yet, though commercial clients like Apani VPN client for Linux is available for $100 or so. And of course, E-Business Suite will work when all the instances start using Sun Java plugin instead of Jinitiator. So I am not discounting the future of Linux. It is the present status with which I am not happy.

- Vikram

Posted by Vikram Das on August 08, 2007 at 09:05 AM PDT #

Hello Steven, Vikram,

We have a wonderful experience with both Xandros 3 and now 4 Professional edition. http://www.xandros.com/products/business/dsk_professional/features.html
It delivers Staroffice / Openoffice 'parceled' which means these office suites work as good as MS Office does on Windows. In fact the former have got an edge, being platform independent. A peace of mind during transition when you have a Linux-Windows mixed environment. Our Windows users didn't need any training when they migrated to Xandros which pleasantly runs some of the Windows applications including MS Office, Adobe Photoshop etc..

Hitches and glitches come in your way when you try to "assemble" a Linux solution by yourself, picking-up bits and pieces from here and there. So, Let this tedious job better be done by the people whose job is it. For instance, in an enterprise, one shouldn't go for bare bones Openoffice. Instead, pay a little for Staroffice with enterprise support and you will get everything including macros and migration support from MS Office .
http://www.sun.com/software/star/staroffice/enterprises.jsp

Ubuntu is good for techies but not at all for serious business use. It lacks drivers, plug ins, mobile, VPN, security and other support. Dell made a mistake by adopting Ubuntu purely on the basis of vote-count. Lenovo has taken the right path by opting for Suse so does Peugeot who announced to migrate to Linux desktop on the eve of Vista-launch. http://www.novell.com/news/press/psa_peugeot_citro_eumln_chooses_suse_linux_enterprise_desktop_from_novell

Nonetheless, Vikram has enough reasons to be unhappy until Oracle provides EBS client / Sun JRE plug-in for Linux. Let's keep our fingers crossed!

Riaz

Posted by Riaz on August 09, 2007 at 06:04 PM PDT #

Saadi,You're always welcome to try this yourself, and I'd be interested to hear about your experiences.  However, if you encounter any issues, they would need to be reproduced on a Windows desktop client before we can assist with them.Regards,Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on September 12, 2007 at 02:17 AM PDT #

So, there's no possibility of running EBS client on any Linux desktop or thin client? Not even an uncertified option? Nor on Oracle's own Linux? What an irony!!! Can anybody help if Oracle Corp. is not listening???

Posted by Saadi on September 12, 2007 at 04:51 AM PDT #

Steven,
So far I've not been able to come across the instance running EBS client on Linux desktop, flawlessly, although some people have had success through codeweavers' crossover office. Is there any help out there? Linux desktop gaining traction on the back of initiatives from IBM, Sun, Suse and RedHat, isn't it time for Oracle not to miss the bandwagon?

Riaz, a correction for you. Openoffice downloads have crossed 100 million mark! (far more than 30 million you mentioned herein above )

Steven again. You also shunned Openoffice in the above blog. Will you still not consider? Look what Gartner is saying about the future of MS Office "It is unlikely that ISO will adopt Microsoft's Open XML document format." http://www.gartner.com/resources/140100/140101/iso_approval_of_oasis_opendo_140101.pdf
So, is Oracle sleeping on the past or embracing the future!

Best of luck for you guys at Oracle.

Saadi

Posted by Saadi on September 18, 2007 at 06:24 AM PDT #

Saadi,You're welcome to experiment with the use of Linux desktops connecting to the E-Business Suite, and I'd be interested in hearing about your experiences.  However, as I've mentioned elsewhere, we're only able to provide patches or workarounds for issues that can be reproduced on Windows desktop clients.As for OpenOffice:  we're monitoring market uptake of this closely.  It will be interesting to see how the recent news about IBM will affect market uptake of OpenOffice.  If levels of customers using Linux desktops and OpenOffice change notably, we're open to revisiting our certification position for the E-Business Suite.Regards,Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on September 19, 2007 at 01:38 AM PDT #

I have seen Linux Desktops on some government and not-for profit organizations.

The main reason is not to pay Windows licensing costs. On some institutions here you cant even afford to paint the walls, so why would you purchase a expensive desktop operating system for a operator or data entry terminal, that dont even need a word processor. Of course they use a free flavour of linux, and support it themselves.

There is a interesting case I know of a organization that uses both custom developed Forms applications and Oracle eBusiness suite with thin clients connecting to a central server, running linux. And they access eBusiness suite using Netscape navigator and the Sun Java plugin. If they used a Windows on the central server, they would need to pay Windows license costs for every user.

There was some work to map the Forms fonts correctly, and you need to discover what to change on appsweb.cfg to get the applet started.

Posted by Luis Freitas on September 25, 2007 at 01:26 PM PDT #

Hi, Luis,Sorry for the delay in responding.  I've been working through my post-vacation backlog.I understand the motivation driving Linux adoption on the desktop.  If all goes well in this space, the market penetration may reach a threshold point where Linux certifications will be offered as a matter of course.  We'll keep our eyes open for that day.Regards,Steven 

Posted by Steven Chan on October 05, 2007 at 04:08 AM PDT #

# How many production desktops are running Linux?
Currently we have only few desktop for testing. Users using EBS definitely not running Linux Desktop.

# How many production desktops are running Windows or Mac OS X?
1582++

# What Linux distribution and version are you using on your desktops?
Fedora 8

# What chipset are your desktops running?
Intel and AMD

# What browser and version are being used on Linux?
Firefox 2.0

# What E-Business Suite release are you running?
Release 11.5.10.2

# What applications are you running?
Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivables, General Ledger, Assets, Order Management, Inventory, Depot Repair, CRM, Purchasing

Posted by Dapid Candra on April 24, 2008 at 06:53 PM PDT #

Hello Steven,

A year ago you were not sure about Star / Openoffice support in EBS. Meahwile SAP is there. https://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/sdn/weblogs?blog=/pub/wlg/10337

So, does Oracle still have any plan to support the Star / Openoffice and / or the Linux desktop client for the EBS?

Riaz

Posted by Riaz on August 17, 2008 at 07:27 PM PDT #

Hello, Riaz,

Thanks for the pointer to the SAP site.

We have no immediate plans to certify Star / OpenOffice or Linux desktops with the E-Business Suite right now.

Please feel free to drop me a line with the details of your firm's planned production rollouts of these technologies.

If market demand shows that these technologies are gaining considerable momentum and a suitable number of customers confirm their plans for productions deployments, we'd be happy to revisit this as part of our certification cycle.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on August 25, 2008 at 03:01 AM PDT #

With all these blogs I read. there is no answere, if I can run Linux clinet for Release 12 just as test purpose and what r the steps.. what do I need to do ? what JRE plugin do i need to install.. where do I get it ?

Posted by sanjay on August 25, 2008 at 05:02 AM PDT #

Sanjay,

See this article:

Linux Clients for the E-Business Suite - http://blogs.oracle.com/stevenChan/2007/07/linux_clients_for_the_ebusines.html

We have no immediate plans to support the use of Linux desktop clients with the E-Business Suite. If your firm is planning a widescale production rollout of Linux desktops across your enterprise, please feel free to send a completed survey (from the linked article).

Also remember that a guaranteed way of getting an authoritative reply to all of your certification questions is to log a formal Service Request via Oracle Metalink. This might save you from having to scour the Internet for dubious-quality responses from non-Oracle staff.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on August 25, 2008 at 05:55 AM PDT #

Hi,

I just wanted to add to the posts above. I have been able to get EBS 11.5.10.2 working on Ubuntu 8.0.4 LTS and Firefox and everything is working like a bomb.

I currently use SQL developer for any database dev work.

There is also a release of forms and reports 6i for linux but unfortunately I have not yet had the time to get this to work, so for now I am rdesktop'ing in to another windoze workstation to do form and report development until I can invest the time to get forms and reports developer working properly.

I too would like to see Oracle make more of a concerted effort to supporting more of the linux desktop environments available!

Posted by Hadley Van Lille on September 16, 2008 at 05:28 PM PDT #

Hi, Hadley,

Glad to hear this is working out for your test environment. Is your firm evaluating a production rollout of Linux desktops clients across your organisation?

If yes, would you have any additional details about the scope, distro, and so on?

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on September 17, 2008 at 01:44 AM PDT #

I can second the Ubuntu 8.04 LTS operability with 11i. I am accessing EBS 11.5.10.2 using firefox 3.0.3. This combination has not been able to work for me on the following Linux Distros: CentOS 5.2, Ubuntu 8.10, Sidux, and Mint Linux. One of the major problems is getting firefox to use the JRE plug-in required by Oracle 11i and once configured not crashing.

Posted by John A on November 06, 2008 at 09:36 AM PST #

Hi, John,

Thanks for letting us know about your experiences with these distros.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on November 07, 2008 at 02:53 AM PST #

From:

http://linux.slashdot.org/article.pl?id=09/03/25/1550215&from=rss

"Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst questioned the relevance of Linux on the desktop, citing several financial and interoperability hurdles to business adoption at a panel on end-users and Linux last night at the OSBC. 'First of all, I don't know how to make money on it,' Whitehurst said, adding that he was uncertain how relevant the desktop itself will be in five years given advances in cloud-based and smartphone computing, as well as VDI. 'The concept of a desktop is kind of ridiculous in this day and age. I'd rather think about skating to where the puck is going to be than where it is now.' Despite increasing awareness that desktop Linux is ready for widespread mainstream adoption, fellow panelists questioned the practicality of switching to Linux, noting that even some Linux developers prefer Macs to Linux. 'There's a desire [to use desktop Linux],' one panelist said, 'but practicality sets in. There are significant barriers to switching.'"

Posted by Vikram Das on March 25, 2009 at 02:14 AM PDT #

Thanks for the link, Vikram. I found this a very interesting read, given that it's Red Hat's CEO himself saying that. Definitely food for thought.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on March 25, 2009 at 06:45 AM PDT #

Hi

We have a client who is running about 4000 Suse V9 desktop clients vs 8844 MS Windows clients.
In June the number of Linux desktops will go up to 9000 and the MS Windows machines will stay at 8844 (roughly).

The client is also implementing Oracle EBS for the first time (R12 - 12.0.6).
We have however, with some disappointment and surprise, realized exactly how little support or information is available for Linux clients. This surprises me as I would have thought that this issue would have been addressed by now.

Due to the negative budget impact, should the client have to migrate the Linux machines to Windows, the client will be very tempted to stay with Linux to say the very least and will request a very, very solid reason for having to make the extra investment in terms of both time and money.

We are however struggling to find any info with regards to what kind of problems can be expected. The quick and easy answer that everyone from Oracle is throwing at us is that it will not be supported.

We have known this from day 1.
However, we are now at day 35 of this investigation and still have had no feedback with regards to what problems we can expect out of a technical perspective. If you do the math you will understand that the additional investment will hardly be qualified with: "you cannot log support calls".

Is there anyone that can inform us of whether or not we will be able to get this setup working or whether we should not even attempt it?! What kind of problems will we be facing?!

Off course the client can still log support calls from the Windows clients, should the problem be reproducible on a Windows client, after being noticed on a Linux client.

So, what we need to know is, can we expect running into more problems on the Linux machines, which might not be reproducible on the Windows machines?

I realize there might be some extra setup involved initially to experiment and optimize the Linux clients such as standardizing to a distro which is better suited to EBS/ JRE config etc.

But can we expect to run EBS properly from Linux clients in the long run?

Also, who can advise us on this process from Oracle's side? Will someone be able to take ownership of this matter from an Architectural point?

This matter is becoming quite serious and I believe that both Oracle and the client might be able to benefit from this implementation if handled correctly.

Regards
De Wet du Toit
Oracle Technical Team Lead
Tekora Consulting
CLIENT NAME WITHELD BUT AVAILABLE ON REQUEST

Posted by De Wet du Toit on April 06, 2009 at 02:26 PM PDT #

Hello, De Wet,

Thank you for the background about your client's plans for Linux desktops.

>Is there anyone that can inform us of whether or not we will be able to get this setup working or whether we should not even attempt it?! What kind of problems will we be facing?!

>can we expect to run EBS properly from Linux clients in the long run?

As of today, we still do not have any plans to perform formal certification tests of any Linux desktop clients with the E-Business Suite. In fact, we have not performed any tests with Linux distros at all. Given our lack of hands-on experience with any Linux distros, it's very difficult for us to give you any informed guidance about the potential issues that your client might encounter with this configuration.

As you can see from some of the anecdotal reports from customers above, some folks are running Firefox with their Linux desktops. My impressions of their experiences so far:

- Firefox on Linux generally works with EBS
- These are primarily non-production desktops
- They've encountered seemingly-minor issues with JRE compatibility
- They have ongoing issues with the lack of transparent integration with OpenOffice (this is more of an issue with OpenOffice not supporting the complete set of MS Office APIs)

>you cannot log support calls

Any questions about support require a nuanced discussion. It is not accurate for anyone to say that you cannot log support calls.

To be more precise about this: your client is free to report any issues that they encounter with Linux desktops running Firefox and the E-Business Suite.

Your client should understand that neither Oracle Support nor Development have access to Linux desktops. Therefore, Oracle Support and Development will attempt to reproduce reported issues on Firefox running on Windows desktops. Note that Oracle Support and Development will be able to provide patches and workarounds only for issues that can be reproduced on Windows desktops. Oracle can't guarantee that those patches and workarounds will have the same effect on Firefox running on Linux desktops.

>can we expect running into more problems on the Linux machines, which might not be reproducible on the Windows machines?

This is something that you might wish to run by the Mozilla Foundation. The key question is whether Firefox running on Linux is 100% compatible with Firefox running on Windows. Oracle lacks the experience with the former platform to make any statements about functional equivalency between the two browser ports.

>who can advise us on this process from Oracle's side?

I am part of the Applications Technology Integration group, the EBS development team that certifies various technologies with the E-Business Suite. Here's my advice:

If you're looking for a fully certified and supported desktop platform for the E-Business Suite, I recommend using either Microsoft Windows or Mac OS X. These are the only fully certified and supported desktops for the E-Business Suite.

If you are comfortable with doing your own compatibility testing of your Linux distro with EBS, then you should consider the support implications that I've discussed above. There is always the risk that Firefox on Linux will exhibit behaviour that can't be reproduced on Firefox on Windows. If you encounter issues like that, you will need to log bugs with Firefox/Mozilla Foundation; Oracle will not be able to provide Linux-specific compatibility patches for EBS.

>Will someone be able to take ownership of this matter from an Architectural point?

No groups within the EBS Division have funding to perform Linux desktop certifications with the E-Business Suite today. We continue to monitor Linux desktop penetration statistics, so this kind of feedback is useful. At present, our estimates are that less than .0007% of our EBS customer base is interested in Linux. This number is going up, but very, very slowly. As you can imagine, it will need to be much higher before we can seriously consider funding this certification.

We revisit our certification strategy for Linux periodically, and will consider your feedback as part of these periodic reviews.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on April 08, 2009 at 06:13 AM PDT #

Hello Steven,

What are Oracle's plan for Openoffice (Staroffice) now?

Posted by Riaz on April 24, 2009 at 11:32 PM PDT #

Hello, Riaz,

It's a little early in the process to comment on certification implications of the still-pending Sun acquisition. We're not permitted to discuss anything associated with this acquisition yet.

I'll post an update on OpenOffice and other Sun-related topics for EBS users as soon as this situation changes.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on April 27, 2009 at 03:10 AM PDT #

Hi!
Recently find this your site and I'm sorry to read that the program is on hold.

I use sunray client desktop on Solaris 10, with Java Desktop 3, FireFox 2.0.0.9, Open Office 3.1 for 70 users.
In last 3 years I can't find any problem regarding “unsupported configuration” for above client.
Just a minor one to make java plugins work.

What do you need to move on this project?

Posted by Gabriel Costache on December 08, 2009 at 09:56 PM PST #

Hi, Gabriel,

Thanks for letting me know about your Sunray deployment. I've noted your requirements for now, but as far as I know, we don't have any immediate plans for Linux or other thin-client certifications at this point. If that changes, I'll be sure to post an update here.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on December 09, 2009 at 01:22 AM PST #

Hello Steven,

It appears that Oracle is still reluctant to embrace Linux on the desktop, leaving EBS customers lurching, who, alluded by Oracle's slogan "Linux everywhere", planned their sever and desktop infrastructure to be on Linux and are struggling, at their own, since then!

Any update on Openoffice with EBS?

Posted by Riaz on February 05, 2010 at 03:51 PM PST #

Hello, Riaz,

See: http://blogs.oracle.com/stevenChan/2010/01/msoffice_2003_2007_ebs.html

If your organization is interested in OpenOffice, please feel free to complete and send me the questionnaire at the end of that article with your details.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on February 06, 2010 at 02:41 AM PST #

Linux Desktop Certification? Why? We've got about 50 or so users (digital artists) using Linux/Irix desktops with Apps Rel 11 (since 2001 and now on 11.5.10.2) via Jinitiator. We are planning to upgrading to JRE soon. Maybe it's just the specific timecard forms based application we are using but we've never had any problems using Linux as a client.

Posted by Dan on February 20, 2010 at 12:22 PM PST #

Hi,
We are in the process of proposing Oracle E BiZ Applications namely Asset Management, CRM,Project management and also Oracle Meter Data Management,Energy accounting for a client.There will be 2000 plus desktops(with Intel/AMD processor,Firefox).Preferred desktop OS is Ubuntu.

The client requires that all server and desktop os shoudl be FOSS based(Red Hat/Suse/Solaris is permitted).

Would the above mentioned applications work on a red hat linux/ubuntu/suse/solaris at the DESKTOP & SERVER LEVELS?

Posted by Jaikrishnan on April 13, 2010 at 04:17 PM PDT #

Hello, Jaikrishnan,

Depending upon the database versions and application tier configurations you're planning to deploy, you should be able to work with our E-Business Suite server-level certifications for Red Hat, SUSE, and Solaris. Your best bet would be to log a formal Service Request via My Oracle Support (formerly Metalink) to confirm the available version certifications for your planned server-level operating system platforms (or ask your Oracle account manager to assist with the platform version validations).

Remember that server-level certifications don't apply to desktop client certifications. See this article:

Confused About E-Business Server vs. Desktop Operating System Certifications?
http://blogs.oracle.com/stevenChan/2009/08/confused_about_e-business_server_vs_desktop_operat.html

Thanks for the details on your customer's desktop client requirements. We have no current plans to certify or support Linux (or Ubuntu) desktop clients with the E-Business Suite. Until our desktop certification position changes for Linux, I would recommend evaluating either Windows or Mac-based desktop clients for your customer's deployment.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on April 14, 2010 at 05:49 AM PDT #

Hi Steve,

I have recently discovered this blog and your posts into which I have found a cave of interesting material.

But sometimes I have litterally astonished... I have been in the software biz for over 25 years now and I can definately call myself a "veteran".

Therefore certain positions, not you own but Oracle's ones, really feel unacceptable to me.

Let me explain.

I am the CIO of a relatively small business counting about 300 clients using Oracle eBS r11.5.10.2.

We too got jammed into the JRE mess around release 18 to 20 and the various 21 flavours.

Then, while before SUN was relatively an "open" company and you could get some info about release timeline, Oracle is definately a "locked-in" company and you won't get a single word about what's going to happen next month, not to mention next year.

And this is extremely frustrating for small biz with thight budgets and narrow boundaries that demand extremely careful planning.

You may say the eBS isn't for small biz anymore.... because this lead back to the topic of this post.

For small biz MS is pretty much a tax. Doesn't really provide any actual development not to mention costs reduction. MS has been holding a lid on real progress in the IT biz for quite a long while and the "svista" they even strated pushing the string. Many small to mid sized company started a long while ago switching to Linux because of the total lack of real innovation and efficiency improvement by MS.

And so I am doing.

So... over 3 years after this topic was started, you concluded "We have no current plans to certify or support Linux (or Ubuntu) desktop clients with the E-Business Suite", probably because you started it with the wrong approach: "# How many production desktops are running Linux?
# How many production desktops are running Windows or Mac OS X?"

Well... I am switching the company to Linux. Already done on the whole server side, and so it will on the client side.

The world has changed around u (Oracle I mean, not you Steve), and probably you haven't realized that you had peaked the parabola. Just like MS. When too large corps. need to hold innovation in order to profit it's high time to switch.

So, if eBS won't work on Linux, high time to rid of it.

Cheers.

Posted by Paolo on August 29, 2010 at 07:10 PM PDT #

Hi, Paolo,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. I'm glad to hear your enthusiasm for Linux desktops and appreciate how strongly you feel about things like Microsoft software.

As with nearly all things, our EBS certification plans for Linux are based on market demand. While Linux on the application and database tiers is unquestionably a major market force in the corporate space, Linux's penetration into the corporate end-user space is still in its early stages. There are many, many different Linux desktop distros, and we're keeping an eye on their various market shares over time. We'd be happy to reevaluate our certification if corporate demand for certification with a particular distro warrants it.

In the meantime, it would be very helpful if you could provide more details about your Linux desktops, browsers used, and so on (mentioned in the questionnaire above). While your enthusiasm for Linux is very clear, I can add to the business plan for a particular distro only if there's sufficient hard data to justify it -- and am relying on Linux users like you to help provide that hard data.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on August 30, 2010 at 01:18 AM PDT #

Thanks for your prompt reply Steven,

You claim:”As with nearly all things, our EBS certification plans for Linux are based on market demand ” which is absolutely reasonable. If you look at the shares:
http://www.osnews.com/story/21035/Ballmer_Linux_Bigger_Competitor_than_Apple
“official” figures by Gartner see Linux around 1,2% share in the US market which probably will never represent that “demand” that you are looking for. But as you certify MacOS X I have already switched the entire exec board on Apple's Macs (achieving a costs reduction already in the 1st Q), so let's put things the other way around: let's say I'm a professional photographer. I use Adobe Photoshop daily, which unquestionably is the leader image editing software, and because of the magic I operate with Photoshop I keep my family dry and fed. Then the credit-crunch bursts just out of the blue and I need to cut costs by 30%. Among the not-so-many-things I can cut I might consider switching to Linux... if only Adobe would sport Photoshop for Linux...
Just like many other CIOs across Europe I have a mandatory 30% costs cut demand from the exec board before Q4 2011.
So, on behalf of my company, I volunteer to finance a survey: take 2 people for a week in Oracle's marketing division with a list of small-to-mid size clients. Cold call their CIOs and ask exactly this question:”if Oracle would certify the eBS on Linux clients, would you switch your clients to Linux?”
Then share in this very post how many “yes!!” you'll get.
As you said Linux in the server arena now has its own growing space, but not because of the “market's invisible hand”, but because it was born in environments where db apps where dominant, and it was originally mainly adopted to run DBMS, so again... the application ruled, not the OS itself. Once an OS appeared that didn't need (therefore to buy) an anit-virus, anti-malware, anti-spam, anti-disc-fragmentation, anti-db-size-limit, anti-data-loss, anti-datastore-size-limit, anti-emailbox-size-limit the “invisible hand of the market” adopted Linux.
Then when it comes to the Linux plethora, nobody will ever ask you to certify the eBS on PuppyLinux (although a respectable piece of software), in the corporate market you'll only have to deal with Ubuntu and Suse (mostly in EU) and RedHat derivatives like your own Unbreakable Linux. But... I might not get it right, your eBS works within the browser trough the JRE. So why do you worry about the many Linux distro? The mechanism is exactly the same on ANY distro, and definitely I don't believe that the investment in the Linux certification is beyond Oracle's reach or that even that 1,2% (which is definitely higher in EU and Asia) of market share won't justify the effort.
Then what doesn't really add up, is that when this topic started you “had been considering for over 2 years” meaning over 5 years from now, whether to certify Linux or not. In the past 5 years Linux share both in server and desktop area has grown, and especially in EU and Asia significantly.
Then, Oracle now owns at least 3 different Oss (Unbreakable Linxu, Solaris and OpenSolaris), owns Java itself and the eBS of course. Why to certify the eBS on everything but its own Os?
I have been using the eBS along its 24 modules we own for over 3 years with Ubuntu-based client test workstations without a single glitch. The JRE works much smoother and faster on Linux than on Windows, and the only real major issue was the JREu18,19,20 family and the change to “next generation” plug-in that left behind pre-3.6 Firefox releases.
Recently we even started testing a the stripped-down netbook remix, we have removed all the unnecessary packages and removed all the apt repositories building our own to manage the updates of solely the packages we actually need and that were thoroughly tested. What I have achieved is:
1. Total freedom on hardware selection
2. Extremely small OS footprint leading to high performance on old or low-end hardware
3. No software licenses
4. total cost of the workstation around 200 usd.
I could immediately deploy this client to about 250 seats out of the 300 I manage and currently my only obstacle in doing so is the lack of eBS certification.
I could report very similar situations in some other and larger companies in my region that are running on eBS, like the Province's Public Health Care Department whose CIO would switch to Linux his 3000 seats, and at least 3 more companies out of the first that come to my mind right now.
I'm afraid the question is rather if Oracle feels like making such a gift to Canonical (or the other Linux players) because such a certification would definitely pave the road to Linux adoption in the corporate sphere.
Open-Source business is radically alien to Oracle's high-profit-high-revenue DNA. But... yet again, the world has changed. Small/mid business cannot cope with Oracle's pace especially facing this crisis that is going to be an L-shape long lasting one.
So if that market is in Oracle's interests, Linux adoption is a necessary step.

Posted by paolo on August 30, 2010 at 07:27 PM PDT #

Hi, Paolo,

It's been my experience that Linux desktop users are often passionate about Linux desktops. It seems like you feel strongly about this, and I respect your sentiments. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with our readers.

General statements about Linux benefits are interesting, but perhaps less-so than specifics about your own organization's desktop operating environment. The latter are more useful in building a business case for EBS certifications. Feel free to answer the questionnaire above with details about your Linux desktops if you're so inclined.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on August 31, 2010 at 02:25 AM PDT #

# How many production desktops are running Linux?
4 (if the EBS was certified there would be 250)

# How many production desktops are running Windows or Mac OS X?
5 MacOS X 10.6
295 Windows XP SP3

# What Linux distribution and version are you using on your desktops?
On test platform Ubuntu 8.04 and 10.04

# What chipset are your desktops running?
Intel x86

# What browser and version are being used on Linux?
Firefox 3 and 3.6

# What E-Business Suite release are you running?
11.5.10.2

# What applications are you running?
Activity Based Management
Oracle Common Modules-AK
Alert
Payables
Receivables
Sales Foundation
Sales Online
Order Capture
Global Accounting Engine
Application Implementation
Applications BIS
Service Intelligence
Bills of Material
Balanced Scorecard
Cash Management
Incentive Compensation
Service
Customer Care
Depot Repair
Enterprise Install Base
Field Service
Install Base
Spares Management
Scheduler
Support
SEM Exchange
e-Commerce Gateway
E-Records
Engineering
Value Based Management
Assets
Strategic Enterprise Management
Financial Intelligence
Application Object Library
Report Manager
Federal Financials
General Ledger
Process Manufacturing Systems
Process Manufacturing Product Development
Process Manufacturing Process Execution
Process Manufacturing Financials
Process Manufacturing Inventory
Process Manufacturing Logistics
Process Manufacturing Process Planning
Process Manufacturing Regulatory Management
iStore
Self-Service Web Applications
Public Sector Financials International
Inventory
CRM Foundation
Master Scheduling/MRP
Advanced Supply Chain Planning
Contracts for Subscriptions (obsolete)
Contracts Core
Contracts Intelligence
Contracts for Sales
Contracts for Rights
Service Contracts
Contracts Integration
Order Management
Projects
Process Manufacturing Intelligence
Purchasing
Purchasing Intelligence
Public Sector Financials
Partner Management
Advanced Pricing
Application Report Generator
Release Management
SSP
Work in Process
Shipping Execution
Number Portability

Posted by paolo on August 31, 2010 at 05:05 AM PDT #

I believe Paolo makes some very good points. We have been running desktop linux in production on a very small number of system for several years. We feel tied to Oracle's supported os's and office suites by EBS certifications. It seems as if we voice this concern to our Oracle sales team about every 6 months. We would certainly like to be able to re-appropriate the additional costs Paolo notes into software that can enhance our business.
--
How many production desktops are running Linux?
5
--
How many production desktops are running Windows or Mac OS X?
3 MacOS X 10.6
50 Windows 7
150 Windows XP SP3
--
What Linux distribution and version are you using on your desktops?
Ubuntu 9.10, Redhat 5.5, OEL 5.5
--
What chipset are your desktops running?
Intel x86, AMD64, and Intel 64
--
What browser and version are being used on Linux?
Firefox 3.6, Google Chrome 6.0.472.62
--
What E-Business Suite release are you running?
11.5.10.2
--
What applications are you running?
Financials Suite
Process Manufacturing Suite
Order Management
Advanced Pricing
Inventory
Purchasing
HR Foundation
Trade Management

Posted by Eric on September 21, 2010 at 01:23 AM PDT #

Hi, Eric,

Thanks for the feedback and the details about your current desktop environment. We'll take this into consideration as part of our ongoing deliberations about support for new EBS clients.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on September 23, 2010 at 03:05 PM PDT #

# How many production desktops are running Linux?
30
# How many production desktops are running Windows or Mac OS X?
70
# What Linux distribution and version are you using on your desktops?
(e.g. Red Hat Linux Desktop 5)
CentOS 5 x86_64
# What chipset are your desktops running?
(e.g. Intel x86, AMD64, and Intel 64)
Intel 64
# What browser and version are being used on Linux?
Firefox 3
(e.g. Firefox 2.0.0.5)
# What E-Business Suite release are you running?
(e.g. Release 11.5.10.2, 12.0.2)
12
# What applications are you running?
(e.g. Accounts Payable, Order Management, Inventory)
Order Management, Inventory, Service, GL

Looks like I'm not the only one waiting for a certified Linux Desktop Platform.

Posted by Wally on September 30, 2010 at 01:49 AM PDT #

Step1: Download java from http://www.java.com/en/ as per you operating system (32 / 64 Bit)

Step 2 Install Oracle JAVA (Here i used Version 6 Update 31)

Open Terminal go to the in which we downloaded JAVA (Mostly Downloads)

(Add execution permission to downloaded file)
$ chmod u+x jre-6u31-linux-i586.bin (32 Bit OS)
$ chmod u+x jre-6u31-linux-x64.bin (64 Bit OS)
(Executing downloaded file)
$ ./jre-6u31-linux-i586.bin (32 Bit OS)
$ ./jre-6u31-linux-x64.bin (64 Bit OS)

$ sudo mv jre1.6.0_31 /usr/lib/jvm/

$ sudo update-alternatives --install "/usr/bin/java" "java" "/usr/lib/jvm/jre1.6.0_31/bin/java" 1
$ sudo update-alternatives --install "/usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/libjavaplugin.so" "mozilla-javaplugin.so" "/usr/lib/jvm/jre1.6.0_31/lib/i386/libnpjp2.so" 1 (32 Bit OS)
$ sudo update-alternatives --install "/usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/libjavaplugin.so" "mozilla-javaplugin.so" "/usr/lib/jvm/jre1.6.0_31/lib/amd64/libnpjp2.so" 1 (64 Bit OS)

IMPORTANT choose the java you installed as default (SUN / Oracle JAVA)

$ sudo update-alternatives --config java
$ sudo update-alternatives --config mozilla-javaplugin.so

Restart Firefox now oracle forms will start working.

Posted by vinob on April 25, 2012 at 04:21 AM PDT #

Hi, Vinob,

Thanks for sharing these notes with our readers.

Everyone else:

The steps described above are not endorsed, supported, or tested by Oracle. I'm publishing them here as a resource for advanced users willing to experiment with advanced configurations without the backing of Oracle Support.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on April 26, 2012 at 12:51 PM PDT #

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