Replacing Oracle JInitiator with Sun's Native Plug-In

[July 25, 2007 Update:  The Linux Early Adopter Program is on hold.  Please see this article for more details]

[June 27, 2007 Update:  This certification is now Generally Available.  All E-Business Suite customers can now deploy this configuration in production.  With the release of this certification, the Early Adopter Program for this configuration is now concluded.]

[May 23, 2007 Update:  We expect Sun to release a fix very soon for a focus issue that's been holding up this configuration's release into General Availability.  When we've verified that this fix is included in Sun's latest JRE plug-in, it is likely that this Early Adopter Program will end shortly afterwards.   In other words, this Early Adopter Program is in the final phase right now, and is expected to end very soon.]

[Apr 3, 2007 Update:  This Early Adopter Program is still running, and I'm still accepting customer nominations for new participants.  If you'd like to nominate your organization for this program, please drop me an email.
]

[July 3, 2006 Update:  We now support Sun Java 1.5.0_07 for Windows desktops.  All references changed internally below.]


Given a recent comment from a new reader, this seems like a good opportunity to cover one of our currently-running Early Adopter Programs in detail.  Although I've been promoting this program aggressively within our Oracle field community, this program's existence may be one of our best-kept secrets.

What's Oracle JInitiator?
The E-Business Suite Release 11i has two interfaces:  a web-based model for modules like iProcurement and iStore, and an Oracle Forms-based model for our professional services modules like Financials.

Oracle Forms are Java-based and require a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) to run.  Oracle JInitiator is Oracle's licenced version of Sun's JVM, and the E-Business Suite Forms-based modules are certified to run with Oracle's JInitiator.

Conflicts with Other Java Virtual Machines
This situation would be fine if it weren't for the existence of other Java Virtual Machines.  Sun, Microsoft, IBM, and other vendors each offer their own JVMs, and many of our customers run other Java-based applications with dependencies on specific JVM releases.

Naturally, complications ensue when multiple virtual JVMs are installed on the same Windows desktop.  For example, some customers encounter problems when running Oracle JInitiator concurrently with Microsoft's JVM.  Other customers encounter problems when running Sun JVM-based applications after running Oracle JInitiator. 

Replacing JInitiator with Sun's Native Java Virtual Machine
It may not solve all of your desktop management issues around clashing JVMs, but we're trying to eliminate the E-Business Suite's dependency on Oracle JInitiator, which should remove at at least one JVM from the mix.

Today, we've certified the E-Business Suite Release 11i with the native Sun JVM:  J2SE 5.0 (also known as 1.5).  Specifically, we've certified all E-Business Suite Forms-based modules to run with J2SE 1.5.0_07.

We plan future certifications with later 1.5.x releases, such as 1.5.0_08.  We also plan future certifications with J2SE 6.

Minimum Requirements for Microsoft Windows Desktops:
The prerequisites for this configuration are:
  • E-Business Suite 11.5.9 and higher
  • End-user desktops running Microsoft Windows 2000 or XP
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or Mozilla Firefox 1.0.4 and higher
  • Browsers running Sun J2SE 1.5.0_07
Minimum Requirements for Linux-based Desktops:
The prerequisites for this configuration are:
  • Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11.5.10 with ATG 11.5.10 CU2
  • Desktop client running Java2 Standard Edition (J2SE) 5.0 internal version 1.5.0._05 and higher
  • Desktop client requirements:
    • Intel x86 processors
    • Red Hat Linux Desktop 3.0 and higher
    • Mozilla Firefox 1.0.7 and higher
Coexistence with Oracle JInitiator:  Phased Roll-Out
This configuration requires a patch to the E-Business Suite's technology stack (our team produces and certifies this patch, by the way). 

The interesting thing about this configuration is that the patched E-Business Suite instance can be accessed simultaneously by both Oracle JInitiator users as well as Sun JVM users.  For example, Robert can be running Oracle Jinitiator at the same time that Janice is running Sun's JVM.

This allows companies to experiment with this configuration for a subset of their users, which minimizes the risk of upgrading the entire end-user desktop in a single Big Bang project.

Known Issues
There are a few known issues with this configuration.  These issues are bugs within Sun's JVM and we're working with Sun to resolve them.  Issues include:
  • Occasional focus problems, where focus on the Sun JVM is lost in certain circumstances.  There are workarounds for this.
  • Limited support for certain bidirectional character sets.  There are no workarounds for this, unfortunately.
Production Support and Upgrade Policies
There are approximately a dozen early adopters registered in this program today.  All Early Adopter Program participants agree to test this configuration thoroughly in internal testbeds.  If the testing goes well, we support the use of this configuration in their production environments.

The required interoperability patch to support this is released in specific Builds.  Because of the difficulty of supporting multiple versions of the interoperability patch, all early adopters agree to keep current with the latest Build released for this configuration.  This includes upgrading to the latest patch after we release this configuration into General Availability.

If early adopters encounter an issue with an older Build that can't be reproduced in the latest Build, we try to find a workaround or - ideally - encourage them to install the latter.

Registering For This Program
We're eager to get as many early adopters into this program as possible.  If you'd like to experiment with this configuration, even if it's for just a single lab desktop, please consider registering your company in this Early Adopter Program.

To register, contact your Oracle account manager and ask him/her to read this post.  Then, your Oracle account manager should contact me to get your company properly registered.

If you have trouble identifying your Oracle account manager, let me know.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Related

Comments:

Hi Steven,
This is a great move! We're currently experiencing an issue with Jinitiator and Microsoft SMS remote control functionality. It seems if you remote control someone while they have the forms based interface running, IE goes into an infinite loop, hogs all the processor and you end up having to reboot the machine. It's very intermittent. I thought the latest version of DirectDraw would fix the issue, and it did on some machines but not on others. I have had some success with the -Dsun.java2d.noddraw=true fixing the issue, but we're still testing.
Can you give an idea how big the interop patch is to apply if we did get in on the EA program? How long do you anticipate it being in EA?
One other thing, I had heard it rumored that there was another EA program to move the iAS stack over to 10gr1 Forms and Reports. Can you comment on that?
Sorry to bombard you! Just curious what to anticipate.

Thanks
Mark

Posted by Mark on April 18, 2006 at 03:12 PM PDT #

Hi, Mark,

Thanks for the feedback. It's great to start getting positive responses to this blog so early in its lifecycle. Tell your colleagues about it! <grin>

I haven't heard about such issues with JInitiator before, but it certainly seems conceivable that there may be problems with that configuration.

The interoperability patch truly is small - it's 1.5 MB.

We generally run Early Adopter Programs until we're satisfied that the configuration is ready for the general public (see my post, "Living on the Cutting Edge"). At present, we only have about a dozen participants, so the feedback is insufficient for us to make a call on a schedule to make it Generally Available. Hence our push to get as many customers using it via our Early Adopter Program quickly -- the more feedback we get, the faster we get to General Availability.

As for your question about E-Business Suite using the latest Oracle Application Server 10g Forms & Reports, watch this blog for a detailed series of posts on our upcoming Release 12 technology stack. I'm getting clearance on the amount of detail that I can share now, so a post on this will be coming soon.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on April 19, 2006 at 03:41 AM PDT #

Welcome news. Thanks for the note!

Posted by Kevin on April 19, 2006 at 03:42 AM PDT #

The minimum E-Business Suite prerequisite is Oracle Applications 11.5.9 or later, with Oracle Developer 6i patchset 17 (6.0.8.26.x) or later.As part of the implementation of this configuration, you'll stage the Sun JVM on your server for deployment to your client PC.  The actual JDK used for your Oracle9i Application Server 1.0.2.2.2 instance will not be affected.Regards,Steven  

Posted by Steven Chan on May 04, 2006 at 03:03 AM PDT #

HI Mr.Chan
I am running HP-UX (11.11) with 11.5.10.1. I would like to experiment this configuration. A few questions that I have are , do I upgrade to the jvm on my server to 1.5 or on my client only or both. Please let me know what are the pre-req to go in this direction
thaks

Posted by sarma chilukuri on May 04, 2006 at 05:48 AM PDT #

Hi Chan,
I found your blog recently. It is quite informative and interesting. I am following your blog on daily basis. I know I am replying to this post after a month, so, can we particapate in the beta at this time?

Thanks,
Rama Nalam

Posted by Rama Nalam on May 26, 2006 at 11:39 AM PDT #

Rama,Yes, this particular Early Adopter Program is still open and I'm accepting nominations for new participants.  If you email me the name of your Oracle account manager, I can get the registration process started.  If you don't know who that is, drop me a private email and we'll work this out somehow.Regards,Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on May 30, 2006 at 02:04 AM PDT #

Steven,
We recently became participants in this EAP. For the most part my only comment is 'Wow!'. This is a much better platform than the JInitiator. However, we are seeing a couple of issues. Do you prefer these be handled through the normal support channels? Or is there a specific support channel for this program?

Regards,
Scott

Posted by Scott Rice on June 21, 2006 at 01:00 AM PDT #

Scott,Glad to hear you're finding the native Sun plug-in to be an improvement.  All Early Adopter Program Service Requests go through the normal support channels; they're specially prioritized and are handled by a special core group within our support teams.Please log separate Service Requests via Metalink for each of the issues you're encountering, following the instructions in Appendix A of the unpublished "Upgrading Sun J2SE (Native Plug-in) with Oracle Applications 11i for Windows Clients" documentation.  Drop me an email with the new Service Requests numbers and I'll ensure that they get routed correctly.Regards,Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on June 21, 2006 at 01:52 AM PDT #

Hi, Irfan,Our Early Adopter Program for Windows desktops is still open; I'll follow up with you by email to get Deloitte registered.Regards,Steven 

Posted by Steven Chan on September 18, 2006 at 01:49 AM PDT #

Hey Steven,

We have just installed Oracle E-Business Suite 11.5.10 R2 on Sun Solaris server. I would like to test this functionality by registering OR is it too late?

Regards,
Irfan Momin,
Oracle Applications DBA
Deloitte

Posted by Irfan Momin on September 18, 2006 at 02:27 AM PDT #

Being a company that explores new ways of saving energy we want to implement the java option on Redhat Linux. Are there any moves toward using say Sun's Sunrays which will utilise the Linux desktop as their Sunray Server? We are attempting to contact our Oracle account manager to participate in the Sun JVM solution.

Posted by Mal on November 13, 2006 at 09:33 AM PST #

Mal,Unfortunately, we don't have any plans to certify Sun Sunrays desktop clients for the E-Business Suite.  Our plans are currently limited to Windows and Linux desktops for the foreseeable future.Regards,Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on November 14, 2006 at 04:15 AM PST #

Mal,Unfortunately, we don't have any plans to certify Sun Sunrays desktop clients for the E-Business Suite.  Our plans are currently limited to Windows and Linux desktops for the foreseeable future.Regards,Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on November 14, 2006 at 04:16 AM PST #

Hi, Francisco,Unfortunately, Wyse thin clients are not certified or supported for use as desktop clients with the E-Business Suite.  We only support the use of Windows or Mac OS X desktop clients for the E-Business Suite.Regards,Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on January 09, 2007 at 08:07 AM PST #

Hi Steve,

This is Francisco.

I have configured one of our Ebusiness environments to work with Linux Red Hat 3.0 and Red Hat 4.0 desktops to be able to open Oracle Ebusiness using Sun Java 5, (1.5.0.6).

I am trying to be able to access Oracle Ebusiness application using Linux V6 which is an embeeded Linux on WYSE's devices (thin clients). www.wyse.com

I would like to know if you have any info if these kind of devices are supported?

I am getting an error while trying to open Oracle Ebusiness application on these devices.

Thanks in advance.

Kind regards,

Francisco Mtz.

Posted by Francisco Mtz. on January 09, 2007 at 09:38 AM PST #

Thanks in advance Steven.

I have tested these kind of devices (WYSE thin clients), but only those who have Windows XP embeeded work properly with Oracle Ebusiness Suite.

Those with Linux V6 don't work like desktop clients with Oracle Ebusiness Suite, I have installed Firefox 1.5.0.3 and JDK 1.5.0_6, but it didn't work.

Kind regards,

Francisco Mtz.

Posted by Francisco Mtz. on January 10, 2007 at 01:40 AM PST #

It's interesting to hear that WinXP embedded devices work with the E-Business Suite.  We haven't had the chance to work with these platforms, so this is intriguing.Thanks for the feedback on your experiences with embedded Linux, too.I've passed your comments on to the certification teams for this area.Regards,Steven 

Posted by Steven Chan on January 11, 2007 at 02:53 AM PST #

Does Sun's release of Java 6 in any way effect the speed at which full certification of 11i will happen on Sun's JVM, due to the fact that JInitiator is based on JVM 1.3 which Sun have now presumably desupported?

TIA,

Ian

Posted by Ian Neal on March 01, 2007 at 05:23 AM PST #

Ian,Our certification of the native Sun Java plug-in is pending two fixes from Sun and Oracle for a known issue with focus control.  These fixes must be deployed together -- one on the Oracle Forms side, and the other in the Sun JVM itself.  We're waiting for Sun's fix right now (I don't have a schedule from Sun for that yet).The release of certification is independent of the desupport of JVM 1.3.  The impact of Sun's desupport of 1.3 for Apps environments is, itself, a more involved topic, one that I'm refraining on commenting upon until some internal discussions have concluded.  As soon as I have more information that I can share, I'll be sure to post an article here.Regards,Steven 

Posted by Steven Chan on March 02, 2007 at 03:40 AM PST #

Hi, Andras,The benefits are primarily the elimination of conflicts between JInitiator and other Java clients; see the article for more details.The interoperability patch and documentation for this configuration for E-Business Suite Release 11i is only available to participants in our Early Adopter Program.  If you'd like to nominate Alcoa for this Early Adopter Program, drop me and your Oracle account manager an email and we'll get the registration process started.Regards,Steven 

Posted by Steven Chan on March 07, 2007 at 12:47 AM PST #

Hi Steven,
Could you please explain me what benefit our company (Alcoa) could have with this Early Adopter Program?
The native Sun JVM: J2SE 5.0 is already certified, right?
I will try to push this inside the management, if you can give some points why this would be good for us.
regards,
Andras

Posted by Andras on March 07, 2007 at 01:09 AM PST #

Steven, we would like to be able to have a "Coexistence with Oracle JInitiator" when the Sun version of JRE 1.5.0_12 is cretified for the Vista Win/OS. This would allow us to skip testing Win/XP and the SUN JRE which would be a big win for us here at Darden. Will this be a standard option when Vista is certified or do we need to sign up for the Early Adopter Program?

We would like to continue with the Jinitiator 1.3.1.29 on our Win/XP clients as we rollout Vista clients on the Sun JRE 1.5.0_12 when certified.
Thanks
Rob

Posted by Rob Culhane on November 05, 2007 at 05:40 AM PST #

Rob,Yes, Vista clients running JRE 1.5.x should be able to coexist with WinXP clients running JInitiator when the former is certified with the E-Business Suite.  Once the certification is actually completed, you'll be able to roll this out without having to participate in any Early Adopter Programs.Watch this space for upcoming news about this certification.Regards,Steven 

Posted by Steven Chan on November 06, 2007 at 05:44 AM PST #

Hi Steven,

Could you direct me to a note and patch that I could reference for JRE Coexistence with Oracle JInitiator: Phased Roll-Out.
This configuration requires a patch to the E-Business Suite's technology stack (our team produces and certifies this patch, by the way). You mention a patch in your blog and configuration. I can't seem to find this information on Metalink. It appears to be one way or the other.
Thanks,
Jan

Posted by Jan on January 16, 2008 at 06:05 AM PST #

Hi, Jan,Check out this latest article for pointers to the latest documentation for this configuration:Replacing JInitiator with Sun Java Plug-in 1.5.0_13 - http://blogs.oracle.com/schan/2007/12/replacing_jinitiator_with_sun.htmlBoth the Release 11i and 12 documentation have appendices that discuss options for supporting a mix of connections from JRE and JInitiator clients simultaneously.  Good luck with your implementation.Regards,Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on January 17, 2008 at 03:32 AM PST #

Dear Jan
I have IBM application called"IBM Filenet IDM webservice" installed ony my server.
It is aweb application used for scaning documents.
The problem now is that this product uses other Java Virtual Machines. IBM.
This cause a Conflict with Oracle JInitiator.
So , I decided to depends on Sun or IBM java virtual machine.
But i do not know how to do this.
What are the configurations required?
Please help

Posted by tarek on September 14, 2008 at 06:46 PM PDT #

Hi, Tarek,

You can find pointers to the documentation on how to switch your EBS environment to use the native Sun plug-in here:

Replacing Jinitiator: Java Plug-In 1.5.0_12 Certified with Apps 11i & 12 -
http://blogs.oracle.com/stevenChan/2007/06/replacing_jinitiator_java_plug.html

If you encounter any issues with your switchover, feel free to log a formal Service Request via Oracle Metalink to get one of our ATG JRE specialists engaged.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on September 16, 2008 at 03:12 AM PDT #

Hi, Rama,

Glad to hear that you're gearing up for an EBS upgrade. I'd be interested in hearing how that goes for you.

I can't comment on the release dates of the next 11gR2 ports, naturally, but you're right: this certification came a lot faster due to a new certification process that we've implemented internally. I'm very proud of the fact that this E-Business Suite certification happened five weeks after the Generally Available release of 11gR2. This is a record for us.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on October 20, 2009 at 06:33 AM PDT #

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