New Whitepaper: Mod_plsql and E-Business Suite 12

Mod_plsql is an Apache web server extension that can be used to develop web application pages using Server PL/SQL. Architecture diagram showing flow from client to mod_plsql Apache mod to Oracle database The Past is Prologue Unlike Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i, Release 12 does not include mod_plsql as part of its technology stack. I've briefly discussed this architectural change in the following two articles: It should be stressed 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. 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. Going Into More Detail Many of you 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, and more: The whitepaper discusses:
  • The architectural rationale for dropping mod_plsql in EBS 12
  • Prioritized recommendations for dealing with custom mod_plsql pages from EBS 11i
  • Deployment and coding considerations when using mod_plsql in EBS 12
An Open Conversation George concludes the whitepaper by emphasizing that we encourage you to use your Release 12 upgrade as an opportunity to eliminate customizations or replace them with the use of native functionality or supported personalization or extension technologies. We don't expect this to be the final word in this discussion, but something that provides an informed starting point in an ongoing dialogue with us. If you have thoughts or questions about this whitepaper, please post them as comments here. If we're lucky, we'll get George and the mod_plsql development team participating directly in these online discussions with you. Related Articles
Comments:

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Posted by Raghu on July 11, 2008 at 07:05 AM PDT #

I am sure it is an excellent whitepaper, it would be even more excellent if it were made public on Metalink. Right now it seems to be accessible to Oracle employees only, any idea when it will be available to us "great unwashed"?

Posted by Steve West on July 11, 2008 at 07:27 AM PDT #

>sigh<

Sorry, folks. You're right. There's a lag between the time where we flip the "Externally Published" switch in our internal system and the time the article actually shows up in Metalink externally.

It's visible externally now. Just hit Refresh in your browsers.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on July 11, 2008 at 07:40 AM PDT #

nice read, but no single word about Apex (Application Express). Apex has solved a lot of the issues described in the white paper, is developed by Oracle, but not yet known by the eBusiness team, as it seems.

Posted by thierry on July 11, 2008 at 03:54 PM PDT #

Hi Steven,

Near the end of the metalink note is the following statement:
"...
Although some of the Oracle E-Business Suite mod_plsql infrastructure code appears to be carried forward to Release 12, none of it is tested, supported, or guaranteed to remain in the code base over time.
...."

Could you get some elaboration on this.

I also found it interesting that Oracle E-Business Suite is eliminating 'use of superseded technologies' - kind of makes me think about 8.0.6 ORACLE_HOME, iAS 1.0.2.2, etc. in 11.5.x environments.

Thanks,
Asif

Posted by Asif Gill on July 12, 2008 at 04:52 PM PDT #

"Although some of the Oracle E-Business Suite mod_plsql infrastructure code appears to be carried forward to Release 12, none of it is tested, supported, or guaranteed to remain in the code base over time."

Could you get some elaboration on this.

Thanks for the question, yes I should be more clear. Mod_plsql pages that were written by Oracle EBS development teams generally called a set of central PL/SQL APIs to handle session validation, common page header/footer code and other shared routines. This central functionality was implemented in a number of PL/SQL packages, generally starting with the "ICX_" or "ORACLE" prefix. Here is a representative list of these PL/SQL packages (but please not that this is not 100% complete):

ICX_SEC
ICX_UTIL
ICX_ON%
ICX_PORTLET%
ICX_ADMIN_SIG
ICX_ASK_ORACLE
ORACLENAVIGATE
ORACLEPLUGS
ORACLEAPPS
ORACLESSWA

It is possible that customers who extended EBS 11.5 using mod_plsql also called these packages, probably by simply copying working pages from base development. In many cases these PL/SQL packages appear to exist in EBS Release 12 as well, but they have not been tested, are not supported, and could be stubbed out or actually removed at any time.

Posted by George Buzsaki on July 14, 2008 at 05:47 AM PDT #

nice read, but no single word about Apex (Application Express). Apex has solved a lot of the issues described in the white paper, is developed by Oracle, but not yet known by the eBusiness team, as it seems.

Yes, Application Express is a high-level hosted application development framework that happens to use mod_plsql under the covers. Application Express developers define the structure and business logic of the application, and happily do not have to code the complex user interface rendering logic. So APEX developers are do not have to worry about most of the issues mentioned in my paper. That is one of the many reasons why people who use Application Express seem to love it!

The Application Express Product Management team is currently working on their own white paper that will discuss APEX and EBS integration best practices in detail. I don't have an ETA on that, but you can be sure that when the paper is available it will be featured in Steven Chan's blog.

Posted by George Buzsaki on July 14, 2008 at 06:01 AM PDT #

Thierry,

Re: No mention of APEX

APEX is well known within the eBusiness team. In fact we (the APEX Development team) are working closely with eBusiness Suite Development to develop a new APEX OTN page dedicated to utilizing APEX in an EBS environment. This page is intended to provide information and address issues such as those raised in the accompanying paper.

As part of this effort I will be blogging shortly (dpeake.blogspot.com), asking the community to provide further information on just how you are using the two tools together so we can all better understand how you are utilizing APEX within your eBusiness Suite environments.

Regards,
David Peake
Product Manager - Oracle Application Express
Oracle USA Inc.

Posted by David Peake on July 14, 2008 at 06:02 AM PDT #

David,

when is this said APEX-Ebusisness page likely to appear in OTN ?

Dinesh

Posted by Dinesh on August 13, 2008 at 11:23 AM PDT #

Dinesh,

The first step is to write a white paper on integrating Oracle APEX with eBusiness Suite. Further to this we are in the process of configuring a suitable environment where we can perform this integration and then write it up.

I have posted asking the community to fill out a simple survey to further assist us: http://dpeake.blogspot.com/2008/07/do-you-use-application-express-with.html

Please be patient while we produce the collateral for this page.

Regards,
David

Posted by David Peake on August 13, 2008 at 10:47 PM PDT #

Steven,

Where did you get this statement in your article "New Whitepaper: Mod_plsql and E-Business Suite 12":

It should be stressed 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.

Is it Oracle official statement?

Thanks.

OZZ

Posted by Zonghuan on September 24, 2008 at 03:59 AM PDT #

OZZ,

This is verbatim from the Fusion Middleware Development team that owns mod_sql and can be considered to be an official Oracle statement.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on September 26, 2008 at 01:45 AM PDT #

David/Steven,

When the APEX and E-Business paper is ready, it might be something that Oracle wants to showcase heavily at the upcoming Collaborate 09 show given that many Release 11i E-Business customers are, finally!, considering their R12 upgrade or re-implementation.

Just a suggestion...:-)

thx,
John

Posted by John Stouffer on October 28, 2008 at 04:20 AM PDT #

Hello Steven,

How can i Install Apex 3.1 over E-Biz R12.0.4.? Can you discuss in detail?

Balaji Srinivasan

Posted by Balaj Srinivasan on November 04, 2008 at 06:25 PM PST #

Hello Balaji,

From an eBiz perspective there is no documentation I am aware of, as this is not something that the eBiz team currently support.

I did find Note 373604.1 "How to integrate Apex with eBusiness Suite and setup authentication" (written by the Apex support team) so hope that helps you

As an aside, you may wish to contribute to the survey being gathered by the Apex Development team in their article "Do you use Application Express with eBusiness Suite? " (http://dpeake.blogspot.com/2008/07/do-you-use-application-express-with.html)

regards

Mike Shaw

Posted by Mike Shaw on November 05, 2008 at 04:33 PM PST #

Hi,

Want to know if we can use APEX in R12.0.4.? As far as I understand, that though EBS does not support Mod_plsql as a part of EBS, we can still use APEX as both may work at diffrent levels in terms of architecture.

Please explain this part. We have seen the quick developement capability of ApEx and are quite impressed and wish to integrate it with Oracle Apps R12. So please advise, if we can do so.

Regards,
Martand

Posted by Martand Joshi on November 23, 2008 at 03:14 PM PST #

Hi, Martand,

APEX is a great tool, and you are certainly free to develop custom extensions to EBS 12.0.4 (and other EBS releases) using it. Mod_plsql can be installed on your APEX server, outside of the EBS techstack.

Our APEX team is working on a whitepaper with tips on how to integrate with EBS environments. I'll ask them to provide an update on the progress of that whitepaper as part of this comment thread.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on November 24, 2008 at 06:47 AM PST #

Hi Steven,

Can you please help us with documentation to configure APEX 3.1.2 on 11i EBS environment.

Thanks,
Satya

Posted by Satya on December 04, 2008 at 11:28 PM PST #

Hi, Satya,

Our APEX team is still working on a whitepaper with tips on how to integrate with EBS environments. I've asked them once again to provide an update on the progress of that whitepaper as part of this comment thread.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on December 05, 2008 at 05:24 AM PST #

Any update for R12? We are looking at an APEX solution on 11i. But of course R12 is on the horizon and I don't want to implement something that won't work properly in a year.

I know they are working on it, but you are doing your customers a disservice by not addressing this issue in a timely manner. I know Oracle is pushing customers toward OAF but there is no denying APEX is a great tool for quick applications.

As it stands we may have to go with a COTS product instead of APEX because of the uncertainty. Kind of difficult for your product (APEX) to gain acceptance if its now unusable by a segment of your customers (R12'ers).

Anyway thats my 2 cents.

Posted by Chris Seymour on December 19, 2008 at 08:47 AM PST #

Hi, Chris,

I can understand your concerns, and like you, I think APEX is a great product whose adoption could be accelerated with more EBS-specific configuration and interoperability information.

I've pinged our APEX team again on where they stand on their promised whitepaper. I haven't heard from them yet, but will post updates here as soon as I get more details from them.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on December 29, 2008 at 05:54 AM PST #

We (the APEX team) apologize for not delivering our promised whitepaper yet. We have been exceedingly busy working on our latest release APEX 3.2 - Oracle Forms Conversion.

The issue with Oracle Application Express and R12 is not one of interoperability but configuration. With Apps 11i many customers installed APEX directly on the same server that was running their EBS instance. With R12 this will not be a supported configuration, therefore, APEX will need to be configured on a separate server. Our whitepaper will outline fully supported configurations which will be applicable to all versions of EBS.

Regards,
David

Posted by David Peake on December 30, 2008 at 01:43 AM PST #

Steven/David,

We integrated AS10g Portal/SSO/OID with EBS 11i and followed note: 373604.1 How to integrate Apex with Oracle eBusiness Suite and setup authentication configuring Apex and 11i. Then we registered Apex as a partner application in SSO...

We used Apex for a lot of our core business functionalities in conjunction with AS10g/EBS11i Framework, workflow, etc. It worked great in past 3 ~ 4 years until we upgraded 11i DB to 10.2.0.3...We hit a bug, which requires upgrading Apex from 2.2 to 3.1.2. After the Apex upgrade the authentication part stopped working with 11i apps...

There is SR: 7338006.993 open for this issue, but they pointed me to the Steve Chan's blog. Is there a way that you can help?

Thanks in advance for your time and help!
Jennifer.

Posted by Jennifer Chen on February 11, 2009 at 02:28 AM PST #

Steven/David,

We narrowed down the problem is on the Apex f procedure today. The standard procedure stopped working after upgrading Apex from 2.2 to 3.1.2:

CREATE OR REPLACE procedure c_htmldb_launcher (p_app_id in number)
as
begin
f(p=> p_app_id || ':1');
end;
/

If we hard coded the redirect URL as a workaround, it works.

CREATE OR REPLACE procedure c_htmldb_launcher (p_app_id in number)
as
begin
OWA_UTIL.redirect_url('https://xxxxx-app1.mccdc.usmc.mil/pls/apex/f?p='||p_app_id||':1');
end;
/

We are transferring the SR from EBS Techstack to HTMLDB group to try to figure what was changed on the f procedure (it is wrapped).

Thanks for your time and attention.
Jennifer.

Posted by Jennifer Chen on February 12, 2009 at 04:03 AM PST #

Hi, Jennifer,

I've asked David for another update on this whitepaper. The last time I spoke with him, he indicated that some staffing issues had caused a delay in this project.

I've also asked him to look at the specific technical issue that you've raised in SR 7338006.993. I expect that he'll work through the Support Engineer assigned to your current SR with any new suggestions on how to debug this issue.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on February 16, 2009 at 07:16 AM PST #

Hi Steven,

Due to the lack of the mod_plsql extension in 12i, I did some research and found that it is possible to configure the "Embedded PL/SQL Gateway” of the 10g database that comes with 12i. What are, in your opinion, the con’s of using the EPG in an 12i environment?

Regards,
Christian

Posted by Christian Rokitta on March 25, 2009 at 09:33 PM PDT #

Hi, Christian,

We haven't had a chance to work with this feature in EBS R12 environments. We don't have any guidance about potential pros or cons of using this to customize or extend your EBS environment.

I'd be interested in hearing about your experiences with this. Drop me a note if you decide to experiment with this customization.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on March 26, 2009 at 04:50 AM PDT #

Steven,

Basically the configuration is exactly the same as the APEX DAD configuration on XE or 11g. I managed to configure the 10g database of an 12i installation and could access my Oracle Web Toolkit application. Here a brief description of the steps I followed:

# modify/add two init.ora parameters to let the database listen for HTTP requests:

dispatchers="(PROTOCOL=TCP)(SERVICE=XDB)"
local_listener="(ADDRESS=(PROTOCOL=TCP)(HOST=)(port=))"

# next configure the HTTP port of the EPG:

CONN / AS SYSDBA
CALL DBMS_XDB.SETHTTPPORT(8080); -- 8080 is the default
ALTER SYSTEM REGISTER;
EXIT

# database needs to be restarted to make the init.ora changes effective.

# unlock the anonymous user and enable anonymous access by modifying the XDB configuration file

# create the DAD using the DBMS_EPG package.

# if your application uses image files you will have to place those files into the XDB WebDav: create a folder and grant read-only access to this folder to public.

That’s it.
A document with more detailed instructions will follow soon.

Regards,
Christian

Posted by Christian Rokitta on March 27, 2009 at 12:37 AM PDT #

Hi, Christian,

Many thanks for posting the details here. Very interesting.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on April 03, 2009 at 02:11 AM PDT #

Hello Steven
I read this posting and other related postings related to mod_plsql and R12. One of the things suggested is to maintain another application server and include mod_plsql components there.
Can we not integrate with the 10.1.3 Oracle Home that comes as part of R12 tech stack. Is there any reason that it would not work?
From a support point of view, I am not sure of oracle would consider it but I am thinking it may work. Any ideas or thoughts on this?

Thank you
Kumar

Posted by Kumar on December 27, 2009 at 12:04 AM PST #

Hello, Kumar,

There are hardcoded restrictions within the internal E-Business Suite R12 techstack that prevent the use of mod_plsql inside the existing E-Business Suite ORACLE_HOMEs.

It is certainly still feasible to deploy mod_plsql on an external application tier server and integrate that server with the E-Business Suite.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on December 28, 2009 at 06:36 AM PST #

To
.Christian Rokitta:

Is there a document available with your experience on using EPG.

Hi Steve:
In another previous update, you did mention about Embedded PLSQL Gateway not tested. Is it tested at this point of time to work wiht Oracle Applications? Could this be used as an alternative instead of adding another application server?

Also apart from the updates in this blog, I could not find any references or notes on how exactly to integrate a separarte app server with modplsql with ebiz (I mean a step by step procedure).

Thank you
Kumar

Posted by Kumar Madduri on December 28, 2009 at 12:23 PM PST #

Hi, Kumar,

Embedded PLSQL Gateway has still not been tested.

Our Architecture team has not released any detailed cookbooks or whitepapers with steps on how to integrate an external Oracle Application Server 10g running mod_plsql with the E-Business Suite. They maintain that the generic Oracle Application Server 10g documentation should cover this scenario already, so there isn't any need for E-Business Suite-specific documentation.

If you have questions about the generic Oracle Application Server 10g integration documentation, I'd recommend logging a Service Request against that product.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on January 05, 2010 at 06:49 AM PST #

Hello,
What is the latest on the issue of APEX workin with R12? Has the whitepaper referenced in the comments about been released yet?

We have extensive mod/plsql programming that we would like to convert over to R12 and using APEX rather than OAF/Java would be preferable atleast initially.

Thanks
Andy

Posted by andy on December 15, 2010 at 12:28 AM PST #

Hello, Andy,

APEX 4.0 is the latest version available. The APEX team tells me that it works with EBS with no issues. I'm told that their is "in its final stages of validation." I'll ping them on this.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on December 15, 2010 at 02:54 AM PST #

For those interested, I pulled this link for "Extending Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 using Oracle Application Express White Paper" from David Peake's blog http://dpeake.blogspot.com/:
Extending Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 using Oracle Application Express: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/developer-tools/apex/learnmore/apex-ebs-extension-white-paper-345780.pdf

Posted by Randy Matthews on March 27, 2012 at 02:51 AM PDT #

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