Mod_plsql Not Supported in E-Business Suite Release 12

[July 11, 2008 Update:  Many readers have raised questions about why mod_plsql was removed from Release 12. Others have asked what to do about their mod_plsql-based Apps 11i customizations and extensions when upgrading to R12.

George Buzsaki,our preeminent E-Business Suite architect, has put together an excellent new whitepaper that addresses these topics.  For a pointer to that whitepaper, see this article.]

[June 4, 2008 Update:  It should be stressed that the Oracle E-Business Suite is distinct from Oracle Application Server.  Oracle E-Business Suite Development chooses to use specific Oracle Application Server components in the E-Business Suite technology stack.  These decisions by E-Business Suite Development should not be interpreted to represent the release policies or plans for Oracle Application Server. 

It must be emphasized that Oracle is fully committed to supporting
mod_plsql as part of Oracle Application Server and as part of the Oracle Database distribution into the indefinite future.]

One of my degrees is in psychology -- cognitive science, to be exact -- so it's interesting when that world intersects with my present work in the IT industry.  A landmark text in grief counseling is Elizabeth Kubler-Ross' On Death and Dying, in which she described the general grieving process as proceeding in roughly five stages:
  • Denial and isolation
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance
Floyd Teter has astutely pointed out that OpenWorld's news of mod_plsql's demise in Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 may trigger this process for some of you.  So, to help you through the first stage of denial, on behalf of the Applications Technology Group, I'll officially reiterate that here:
  • Release 12 will not support the use mod_plsql
Switching to Oracle Application Framework in Release 12

If you're planning on upgrading to R12 and you currently have Release 11i customizations that depend on mod_plsql, you would be well-advised to do the following things immediately:
  1. Inform your management about this upcoming change

  2. Prepare a comprehensive inventory of all of your existing 11i mod_plsql customizations and dependencies

  3. Review R12 capabilities with your business users and stakeholders, to see if your customizations are still needed

  4. If yes, budget time in your R12 upgrade cycle for:
  • A test install of an R12 demonstration environment to support a functional review with your business users, to see if the customizations can be further weeded out by relying on native R12 functionality

  • Training yourself and your developers in the Oracle Application Framework (OAF)

  • Doing the actual conversion from mod_plsql to the OA Framework model
For obvious reasons, the Release 12 Oracle Application Framework documentation is not available publicly yet.  In the meantime, it can't hurt to review the existing OA Framework documentation for Release 11i, which will help you get a general sense of the migration process. 

We plan to release some specific technical guidance on preparing your custom development for R12 soon; watch this space for that announcement.

Related
The above 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. 

Comments:

Hi,

Does this mean that we cannot use Oracle APEX with Apps 12 ?

Posted by anonymous on November 08, 2006 at 11:06 PM PST #

Yikes! I'm stil in stages 1-3, so I'm sorry, but I have to ask: mod_plsql is still a supported feature in 10.1.2AS and 10.1.3AS, so if you use a completely different OHS instance (not the one installed with Apps) can't you stll use mod_plsql there?

I completely understand Apps moving away from it, but for those of us not blessed with 4000 programmers, you just can't beat the simplicity of mod_plsql for the "little" stuff...

Posted by Jim Cassella on November 09, 2006 at 12:33 AM PST #

Steven,

First, thank you for making my job easier. My tech people are much more likely to believe this news when it comes from you. At a minimum, I owe you a fine dinner.

Second, kudos for the unique tongue-in-cheek intro to this post. BTW, I had no idea about your psychology degree. The stories I could tell you from my days in the legal world...

Third, thank you for laying a a road map for moving off mod_plsql. We'll highlight your post at tomorrow's OAUG Fusion Council telecon.

Posted by Floyd Teter on November 09, 2006 at 02:10 AM PST #

Hi, does that mean that Application Express (Apex;HtmlDb) extensions on top op Apps 12 will not be possible, or not be supported (which they were never, since no code of Oracle)?

If you answer the first option, i go right away for the anger category.

thanks,
thierry

Posted by thierry on November 09, 2006 at 02:33 AM PST #

Floyd, always happy to help.  One day I'd be interested to hear your stories (remind me sometime to tell you about a Vancouver law firm I'm intimately familiar with).We understand that this technology shift may be a challenge for some organizations.  Please let us know if the OAUG Fusion Council team has any other thoughts about this migration.Regards,Steven 

Posted by Steven Chan on November 09, 2006 at 07:41 AM PST #

Jim, Thierry,

Yes, you can still have a separate mid tier (AS installation) running mod_plsql and other mod_plsql-based tools (Oracle Application Express aka APEX).

It is just that EBS R12.0 code will be associated with a different AS installation.

Thanks,
Ivo Dujmovic
Director of Development, Oracle Applications Technology Integration

Posted by Ivo Dujmovic on November 09, 2006 at 09:25 AM PST #

Thanks, now I can move on to acceptance :)

Posted by Jim Cassella on November 10, 2006 at 12:15 AM PST #

Thanks for the great blog Steven.

I'm currently using mod_plsql to request data from Oracle in a specific format, how is the OAF going to help? I have been working with JDev (on EBS) for a while now and I am battling to see how the OAF will help in this regard. I've been using it for Extensions and add-on applications.

Can you point me in the right direction as far as this is concerned?

Any help will be appreciated.

Posted by David on April 16, 2007 at 10:45 PM PDT #

Thanks for the feedback, David.One major use of mod_plsql has been to deploy customizations to the E-Business Suite, hence our recommendations to redeploy those customizations via OA Framework.  If you've been using mod_plsql for data extraction, OA Framework won't do much to help you with that.  OA Framework is intended as a development and deployment platform for HTML-based applications.In your specific case, it may be worth investigating whether other APIs or web services can meet your data requirements.  One way of researching options is our Integration Repository, which I've described here:Integration Repository for the E-Business SuiteDrop me a line or post another comment here if that doesn't work out for you.  Best of luck.Regards,Steven 

Posted by Steven Chan on April 20, 2007 at 08:15 AM PDT #

We use the standard Oracle APIs to get data to and from the interface tables to various eBusiness products, via the mod_plsql gateway. We also have some custom packages for inserting into the interface tables, submitting concurrent requests etc. Now that the plsql gateway is being removed we need to find a new way to make those calls through the web server. If we already have a library of packages, how easy/appropriate would it be to just build some sort of jsp front end to our packages, rather than rewrite our server code, and would the OA Framework be appropriate or should we be looking for some other technology.

There is no GUI component to our tools, we just need to make some PL/SQL calls through the web server. I am sure there are lots of people in our boat, who have invested a lot into a PLSQL library and just need to put a jsp "wrapper" around it. The OA Framework is all about modifying the GUI, so I struggle to see how this is the technology to use. Any ideas?

Thanks,

Steve

Posted by Steve West on April 20, 2007 at 10:08 PM PDT #

Steve,Sorry for the long delay in responding to this.  I've been working through my post-conference backlog, and a number of urgent things popped to the fore.I'm trying to get a more detailed recommendation from someone with more expertise in this area than me.  I'll post  an update here as soon as possible.Regards,Steven 

Posted by Steven Chan on May 01, 2007 at 06:06 AM PDT #

Hi Steven,

I've been having a look at the Integration Repository as you suggested. Sadly this is not really what we are looking for. My problem is very much the same as comment by Steve West.

Have you managed to speak to the relevant people about this yet? A post would be most appreciated. Maybe if you could put us in touch with the correct people, I could take this forward.

Any help would be great.

Regards

David

Posted by David on May 15, 2007 at 06:23 PM PDT #

David, Steve,I've confirmed that Ivo Dujmovic's statement (further above in this comment thread) still holds true:Although mod_plsql is no longer hosted as part of the standard Release 12 technology stack infrastructure, it's still possible to use it, in albeit a configuration that requires more diskspace.You can have a separate Oracle Application Server 10g installation, either in a separate ORACLE_HOME on an existing server, or on a physically separate machine.  You can use mod_plsql and other mod_plsql-based tools (such as Application Express) on that instance to access the E-Business Suite Release 12.  I believe that the generic Oracle Application Server 10g mod_plsql documentation covers such a configuration, with the possible proviso that you may need to add the external Oracle Application Server 10g instance's IP address to a list of machines authorized to access the R12 instance.  I'll follow up on that.Regards,Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on May 17, 2007 at 08:05 AM PDT #

Hi Steven,
Thanks for your comments, but what you are suggesting is back-end configuration to re-enable something that was disabled for security reasons, so we would rather move away from MOD_PLSQL altogether. We are not asking you for the answers to this, just a forum to go to, or a person to ask who would know about these things. All of the avenues we have tried so far have come to nothing.

Thanks for your time,

Steve

Posted by Steve West on May 17, 2007 at 07:08 PM PDT #

Steve,I hear you.  I'm still chasing this internally.  One of the difficulties I'm encountering is that we have rather restrictive policies on public discussions of security-related topics.  Getting authorization to discuss certain details here is a pretty involved process in itself.Hang in there -- I'll try and get more information to you soon.Regards,Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on May 22, 2007 at 03:45 AM PDT #

Steve,One of the recommendations that I just received from our security team is to register your custom PL/SQL programs in Concurrent Manager.  Procedures for doing this for Release 11i are published in Metalink Note 216589.1, Step By Step Guide to Creating a Custom Application in Applications 11i.  I don't think an equivalent of this Note has been published for Release 12 yet, so I've asked some of our team members to look into adding this to their documentation queue.  The approach should be similar for Release 12 (let me know if you encounter any issues with differences between the two releases).Does this approach meet your requirements?Regards,Steven 

Posted by Steven Chan on May 23, 2007 at 05:13 AM PDT #

Thanks Steven, I don't see this as a security issue, but a technology migration issue. What would be nice is some concrete guidelines like "if you do this with the PL/SQL gateway you should migrate to this framework; if you do that with it then go to another framework", with some good examples. However I don't think this space is mature enough yet for people (in Oracle or outside of Oracle) to have actually built things in real life, and then publish the results , so I am frankly not too hopeful.
We understand the need for and are prepared to do some basic research ourselves, I guess if someone in your position cannot access the answers then we just have to pull apart an R12 and see what makes it tick! I will let you know what we come up with, in the meantime keep up the blog, it is really interesting and informative.

Steve

Posted by Steve West on May 30, 2007 at 10:30 PM PDT #

Steve,Thanks for the comments.I've been trying to escalate this class of concerns internally within our
team for a while.  I agree with you:  we're going to have to augment our
documentation with more information for the various scenarios.  The existing
documentation doesn't discuss Java wrappers, Concurrent Manager programs, or
even the basic external integration architecture that's
feasible.
We're a bit backlogged right now, so this one gets added to the queue.  I'll post updates here if some meaningful documentation updates come out of this. Regards,Steven 

Posted by Steven Chan on June 01, 2007 at 07:13 AM PDT #

Sadly I am late to this party and must now move rapidly through the cycle.
I understand the denial part, its impossible to believe that Oracle can be that stupid. ANGER follows extra-ordinarilly quickly when we consider the cost of migration (its cheaper to re-implement in SAP!). Bargaining with Oracle has always been a waste of time, then bang the depression hits!
The of course I realise that I have always expected this to happen, and we built an isolation layer to keep our mod-plsql code isolated from Oracle's and that provided their is still equivalents to FND_GLOBAL and other security packages, then I can neatly avoid the entire issue and continue down the economically viable path of using mod-plsql.
This is where you have the chance to send me back to depression, by telling me that my dream is pure wishful thinking, and that the entire security structure has been moved to OAF, and I should sack my team of non-java, business experienced, programmers and get in some idiots who have no idea about business processes.

Posted by Andrew McPherson on August 21, 2007 at 06:55 PM PDT #

Hi, Andrew,Thanks for your feedback -- it obviously comes from the heart.  I've passed it on to our architects for this area.One of the viable options that's been covered earlier in this comment thread is that you can still host mod_plsql on an external instance and connect that to the E-Business Suite.  That way, your existing extensions will continue to work.  I don't think that FND_GLOBAL has been deprecated, but it'd be worth checking the Release 12 Integration Repository (part of the R12 Rapid Install) to verify that.As for staffing policies, it might be cheaper but I've never found it productive to hire idiots.  My practice is usually to hire folks who are smarter than me.  Some people might assert that that shouldn't be all that difficult.  ;-)Regards,Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on August 22, 2007 at 06:49 AM PDT #

I've been reviewing our mod-plsql code and the hinge point in 11.5.10 for security integration with Oracle Apps is the ICX_SEC package, from an API perspective, the ValidateSession function. Assuming this has been deprecated, there would need to be another way of confirming user has logged on and the current responsibility. Provided that is documented for use by mod-plsql, then the whole thing really just becomes a minor irritation! and that makes acceptance very easy!
Rewriting our code is not an option, we started using mod-plsql when it was the plsql cartridge in OWS, with Apps 10.7, because Oracle told us we would be "future-proofing". It is a great way to generate data intensive web pages and not having it will be a major reason not to upgrade to R12.

Posted by Andrew McPherson on August 22, 2007 at 01:17 PM PDT #

Andrew,I'm trying to confirm whether ICX_SEC and ValidateSession are still supported and documented in R12.  I'll post an update here as soon as I track this down.Regards,Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on August 23, 2007 at 06:02 AM PDT #

Steve,

I was wondering what are all the changes that have been incorporated in R12 for OAF. It seems from your post that R12 documentation is not publicly available. Any information in this direction would be helpful in planing for migration to R12.

Mohammed.

Posted by Mohammed on September 02, 2007 at 06:48 PM PDT #

Mohammed,I don't have a lot of visibility into OAF, unfortunately.  I'm not entirely certain where a full list of R12 OAF *changes* might be.  One possibility:  check out the R12 TOI Training for OAF, accessed via Metalink Note 403349.1.Otherwise, our official R12 documentation published here will cover the high-watermark of everything (not just the new changes) in R12's OAF:http://download-west.oracle.com/docs/cd/B34956_01/current/html/docset.htmlRegards,Steven 

Posted by Steven Chan on September 06, 2007 at 08:24 AM PDT #

Mohammed,I've answered a similar question in this article, which addresses the criteria that I'd use if I were debating between Release 11i and 12:Choosing Between Release 12 or 11iThe decision to move to Fusion Applications instead of Release 12 should not be dictated by technology-based factors such as OAF.  This isn't an Apps DBA decision; it's one that only the business end-users can make.Implementing Release 12 will give your users new capabilities for managing their business.  If you can derive sufficient business value from that upgrade to warrant the costs, then go for it now.  A bird in the hand, after all, truly is worth two in the bush.It is currently harder to quantify the business benefits of Fusion Applications due to the relatively small amount of specific information released on functionality, features, and the like.  You'll need to weigh the expected business benefits of Fusion Applications against those of Release 12 to decide between the two.Regards,Steven 

Posted by Steven Chan on September 11, 2007 at 03:08 AM PDT #

Thanks Steve.

I guess by the time R12 is adopted in the market Fusion apps will already be there. How good would it be for now to migrate to R12 or wait for some more time till Fusion apps gets released. My understanding is migrating is OAF will be discontinued in Fusion and will be replaced by ADF.

Your comments and inputs would be appreciated.

Thanks
Mohammed.

Posted by Mohammed on September 11, 2007 at 03:16 AM PDT #

Maybe I'm missing something here, but for those who have release 10gR2 or higher of the database isn't the simplest solution to call their procedures via XDB's Embedded PL/SQL Gateway instead of OAS's mod_plsql?

--
Joe

Posted by SnippetyJoe on December 05, 2007 at 03:22 AM PST #

Hi, Joe,Hmmm... this particular option hasn't come up before.  I'd be interested to hear about your experiences with this approach.Regards,Steven 

Posted by Steven Chan on December 11, 2007 at 07:24 AM PST #

Hi,
We are upgrading our system from 11.5.9 to R12, we have some customization placed using mod_pl/sql. As we all know this concept is no longer being used in R12, how can we approach or strategize to get those customization in to R12.

Ex: we have a custom package which will generate a web page using sys/htp package (mod_pl/sql concept) to upload the Bank statement files. Pls let me have some directions to deploy the same customization in R12.

Thanks in advance,
Prabhu

Posted by Prabhu on October 19, 2008 at 06:26 PM PDT #

Hi, Prabhu,

I would recommend checking out the whitepaper linked from the following article:

New Whitepaper: Mod_plsql and E-Business Suite 12 -
http://blogs.oracle.com/stevenChan/2008/07/new_whitepaper_mod_plsql_and_e_1.html

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on October 23, 2008 at 02:58 AM PDT #

First, thanks Steve. This has been some very useful information. We have been planning our R12 upgrade.

As means to buy us some time while we learn how to redevelop our existing extensions in the R12 OA Framework as jsp, we are exploring using mod_plsql on a separate Oracle Application Server 10g installation to extend the life of our applications written using the pl/sql wweb toolkit.

So here is my question: How do you integrate applications using this seperate mod_plsql into R12's secutiry since it does not allow you to register a function type WWK (SSWA plsql function)? i.e registering as an EBS function then adding to a menu and so on.

Posted by Jeff Newhart on January 28, 2010 at 11:15 PM PST #

Hi, Jeff,

Let me check on this. Our architects are working on a related whitepaper for integrating Application Express (APEX, formerly HTMLdb) with Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12. The issue of seeding form functions is something that they're looking into. I'll post an update here.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on February 01, 2010 at 02:34 AM PST #

Let me check on this. Our architects are working on a related whitepaper for integrating Application Express (APEX, formerly HTMLdb) with Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12. The issue of seeding form functions is something that they're looking into. I'll post an update here.

Any update on this subject? Need it urgent! Thanks.

Posted by Anne on November 03, 2010 at 10:15 AM PDT #

Hello, Anne,

This whitepaper has taken much longer than any of us expected. The APEX team has periodically been pulled off to other higher-priority projects.

As of yesterday, I heard that they were creating a new testbed to validate the final draft of the whitepaper in an E-Business Suite environment that has been integrated with an external Single Sign-On instance. Once those tests are done, I'd expect they'd be ready to release the whitepaper externally.

Stay tuned; I'll post an update on this blog as soon as I hear more.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on November 04, 2010 at 04:07 AM PDT #

Post a Comment:
  • HTML Syntax: NOT allowed
About

Search

Categories
Archives
« April 2014
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
  
1
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
   
       
Today