Products and Families and Versions - Oh, My!
By Steven Chan - EBS-Oracle on Apr 17, 2009
[Oct 1, 2010 Update: Tweaked the Apps Unlimited section and updated EBS release versions]
[Apr 15, 2009 Update: Added EBS version names and numbers, database version names and numbers, latest version numbers of other components, and new definitions for Applications Unlimited, Consolidated Updates, Critical Patch Collections, Release Update Packs, and the ever-confusing "RUP". Added link to one-page summary of EBS Certifications]
I spend a depressing amount of time explaining the relationships between Oracle marketing brands, products, product families, versions, and patchsets to customers as well as internal Oracle staff. You're confused too? Don't worry, you're not alone. Here's a cheatsheet for the things I spend the most time explaining:
Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i or 12
An integrated suite of over 200 enterprise resource planning applications, including modules for Procurement, Accounts Payables, Accounts Receivables, Order Management, Payroll, Supply Chain Planning, Customer Call Centers, and many, many others.
Also Known As: Oracle Applications, Oracle Apps, EBS, eBS, E-Biz, R11, 11i, R12, 12i (incorrect name!)
Oracle Application Server 10g
An integrated suite of development, runtime, and systems management tools, including Forms, JDeveloper, Oracle Application Server Containers for J2EE (OC4J), Single Sign-On, Oracle Internet Directory, Portal, Discoverer, Web Cache, Integration, Oracle BPEL Process Manager, Business Activity Monitoring, Enterprise Manager, and others.
Also Known As: OracleAS 10g, Application Server 10g, App Server 10g, AS10g, 10gAS, AS10gR1, AS10gR2, AS10gR3, 10gR2, 10gR3
Well, it's Oracle's flagship product, so if I need to describe it, we're in real trouble. This includes the Real Application Clusters (RAC) feature. Everyone frequently confuses the Database with the Application Server products. If someone says, "10gR2," the chances are pretty good that they're talking about the database, but it's always safe to verify that.
Also Known As: 8i, 9i, 10gR1, 10gR2, 11gR1, 11gR2
A family of middleware products including Oracle Application Server as well as Grid, Business Intelligence, Business Process Management, Collaboration, Content Management, Data Integration, Developer Tools, Event Driven Architecture, Service-Oriented Architecture, SOA Governance, Transaction Processing, Identity Management, and other middleware tools.
Also Known As: FMW, OFM
The next-generation of our integrated enterprise resource planning suite, representing the convergence of Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, and perhaps even more to come.
Also Known As: Project Fusion, Fusion Apps
This term officially refers to the lifetime support program for Oracle's applications product lines, including E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft Enterprise, Siebel, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, JD Edwards World, Hyperion Performance Management, Primavera Enterprise Project Portfolio Management, Agile Product Lifecycle Management, AutoVue Enterprise Visualization, and Oracle Fusion Applications. This term is sometimes incorrectly used to refer to all of these products as a group -- it's not a "group," it's a formal program with support and release implications).
Also Known As: Apps Unlimited, AU
E-Business Suite Release and Patch Naming Conventions
"Product Families" Groups of applications modules that are functionally related. For example, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, and Chart of Accounts are members of the Financials product family.
"Emergency Patch" (a.k.a. interim patches) A patch containing a fix for a specific bug for a specific product. For example, Order Management might release patch 3968068 to fix a very tightly-defined bug. Some emergency patches are released to fix a cluster of interrelated bugs.
"Product Mini-Pack" A collection of bug fixes for a specific applications module. For example, fixes for XML Publisher would be released in an XML Publisher mini-pack called 11i.XDO.H.
"Product Family Patchset" A collection of product mini-packs for a specific, individual product family. For example, fixes for Payroll, Benefits, and Training Administration would be released together in a Human Resources Suite Product Family Patchset called 11i.HR_PF.K. New features are not supposed to be included in product family patchsets, but it happens. This is sometimes also called a Rollup Patchset, or RUP (see below).
"Recommended Patch List" A list of individual patches for a specific product family that you should have applied. These lists might include recommended emergency patches as well as product mini-packs. If a product family recommends a patch via these lists, it's usually a very good idea to heed that.
"Critical Patch Collection" This term was introduced for the EBS 12 codeline. It includes the latest patches from the Recommended Patch List for a single EBS 12 product family. If a product family (e.g. Financials) releases a new Critical Patch Collection, it's usually a very good idea to apply it at your earliest convenience.
"Maintenance Packs" A comprehensive collection of all of the latest product family patchsets and new features. For example, the 184.108.40.206 Maintenance Pack includes product family patchsets for Financials, Procurement, HR, Supply Chain, and everything else in the E-Business Suite.
"Consolidated Updates" A large collection of all of the latest EBS 11i recommended patch lists, including new features. Released after a maintenance pack, such as the Consolidated Update for 11.5.10. This term is used only for EBS 11i. The EBS 12 equivalent term is "Release Update Pack."
"Release Update Packs" A large collection of all of the latest EBS 12 recommended patch lists, including new features. This term is used only for EBS 12. The EBS 11i equivalent term is "Consolidated Update."
"Technology Stack Updates" Any combination of patchsets or mini-packs that change the underlying services that product families depend upon. For example, the latest Applications Technology Family Pack is released in 11i.ATG_PF.H.
Generally, fixes to functional applications products like iReceivables don't require changes to the E-Business Suite technology stack, and vice versa. There are exceptions to that, of course, but that's our general strategy.
"RUP" This one's a bit confusing since this term is used and abused in varying ways even internally within the E-Business Suite division. Bear with me on this:
Remember that in the E-Business Suite Release 11i timeframe, a given product team (e.g. the Applications Technology Group) would release a Product Family Patchset that includes all previously-released patches, emergency patches, and new features. This was often called a Rollup Patchset, or RUP.
In the E-Business Suite Release 12 timeframe, the term "Release Update Pack" is being used in place of "Consolidated Updates". R12 Release Update Packs combine patches created across several E-Business Suite product families. Given the way neologisms form, these became referred to in shortened form as "RUPs" too.
Still with me? In EBS 11i, RUP referred to a single product family patchset, while in EBS 12, RUP generally refers to a consolidated update spanning multiple products. Now brace yourself. Here's the confusing part:
In EBS 12, we're also still releasing product family patchsets, and -- wait for it -- they're sometimes called rollup patchsets, too. These R12 rollup patchset references will invariably be shortened to RUP, too. So, there are two definitions of "RUP" even within the R12 codeline.
Tip: If someone refers to a RUP in your presence, make sure that you clarify whether it's a "Release Update Pack" or a "Rollup Patchset." The difference between the two is vast.
Oracle E-Business Suite Releases
Applications 10.7 Network Computing Architure (10.7 NCA)
Applications Release 11
Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i
- 11.5.1 - 11.5.10
- 11.5.10 Consolidated Update 1, 11.5.10.CU1 or 220.127.116.11
- 11.5.10 Consolidated Update 2, 11.5.10.CU2 or 18.104.22.168
Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12
- 12.0.5 (HRMS and Financials only)
- 12.0.7 (HRMS only)
- 12.0.8 (HRMS only)
Oracle Application Server 10g Releases
OracleAS 10g Release 1 (10gR1)
OracleAS 10g Release 2 (10gR2)
- Version 22.214.171.124
- Version 126.96.36.199
- Version 188.8.131.52
OracleAS 10g Release 3 (10gR3)
- Version 10.1.2.0.0
- Version 10.1.2.0.2
- Version 10.1.2.1
- Version 10.1.3
Oracle Database Server Releases
Patch Compatibility and Certification Matrix
Oracle 9i Release 2 (9iR2)
Oracle 10g Release 1 (10gR1)
Oracle 10g Release 2 (10gR2)
Oracle 11g Release 1 (11gR1)
Here's where I lose the three remaining readers of this post.
Only specific versions of Oracle products work together. It's critical to check whether a specific patch works with your configuration.
It's a tricky system to use, but the final word on all supported configurations is captured in a massive database called Certify. To access this system, log on to MetaLink and click the Certify tab in the upper-right corner.
It's easy to get lost in Certify, and it's sometimes very hard to get an answer to a simple question. If you get stuck, the best route is to log a Service Request and let an Oracle Support Engineer wade through the Certify database for you.
A Simplified Version of Certify
Certify is the official repository for all Oracle certifications. It's tricky to use, so you may find a simplified summary of all E-Business Suite technology stack certifications useful. Hit the "Certifications" link in the menubar above, or just navigate to it directly here:
Whew. Let's move on to more interesting topics; this one felt too much like real work.