Roundup: Oracle JInitiator 1.3 Desupported for EBS Customers in July 2009

[June 29, 2009 Update: The July 2009 desupport date for JInitiator 1.3 applies to E-Business Suite customers only. Generic Oracle Forms customers should see Note 761159.1 for generic JInitiator desupport dates.]

We've covered the impending demise of JInitiator and the certification of the native Sun Java client in many articles already.  With the sun setting on Oracle Jinitiator next month, this is a good time to summarize the essentials about running Windows-based Java clients with the E-Business Suite:

  1. Sun's Java Runtime Engine (JRE) is certified with both EBS 11i and 12
  2. JInitiator 1.3 will be desupported for E-Business Suite customers at the end of July 2009
  3. JInitiator 1.1.8 was desupported at the end of December, 2008
  4. JInitiator cannot be run on Vista Desktops

If you haven't already started migrating your E-Business Suite end-users to the native Sun JRE plug-in, I'd strongly recommend that you begin this process immediately.

Sun Java Website screenshot Screencap of Sun's Java SE website

1. Sun's Java Runtime Engine (JRE) is Certified with EBS 11i & 12

Oracle JInitiator was originally released as a licenced version of Sun's Java client back when specific features were required to support Oracle Forms. This was particularly necessary for E-Business Suite Forms-based functionality, since the E-Business Suite pushed the envelope of what Forms and Java could do collectively from a user interface perspective.

Sun has since incorporated all of the enhancements needed to support Oracle Forms into their native Sun Java Runtime Engine plug-in. This eliminates the need for Oracle to package its own Java client just for running Oracle Forms-based applications. 

To convert your E-Business Suite environment from JInitiator to the native Sun Java plug-in, see:

Benefits of Switching to the Sun Java Client

The elimination of Oracle JInitiator simplifies your desktop administration environment.  Apps DBAs who have migrated their users to the native Sun JRE no longer have to struggle with compatibility and coexistence problems between JInitiator and other Java runtime clients on the same desktop.

Minimizing Risks of Switching from JInitiator to Sun Java Clients

The majority of customers switching from Oracle JInitiator to the Sun Java Runtime Engine have experienced minimal issues with this conversion.  However, some customers have reported problems, some rather painful.  Problems typically fall into the following categories:

  1. Missing prerequisite E-Business Suite patches or configuration steps
  2. Known issues, e.g. focus-related problems
  3. Conflicts with legacy Java-based application requirements

I strongly recommend a careful review of the Notes above, to ensure that you don't miss any prerequisites or configuration steps.  We document all of the known issues in the respective Notes for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12.  We also update our Notes regularly whenever we find new JRE-related compatibility issues with the E-Business Suite.

Some of you might have legacy Java-based applications that require earlier Java clients.  Those legacy applications might only be certified with an old Java release like 1.4.x, and will not work with later JRE releases such as 1.5 or 1.6.  Oracle doesn't have much guidance on third-party Java application compatibility, naturally, so your best option in those situations would be to lobby your legacy application vendor to upgrade their certifications to include the latest Java clients. 

Sun has changed the options for handling multiple Java plug-ins through their "Classic Java Plug-in" and "Next-generation Java Plug-in" technologies.  Handling your requirements for multiple Java plug-ins will vary based upon the JRE versions installed and your default corporate browsers.  If you have multiple Java clients installed on the same Windows desktop, I would strongly recommend that you review the "Static vs. Non-Static Versioning and Set-Up Options" appendices in either Note 290807.1 or 393931.1. 

If you're encountering issues with your EBS conversion to use the Sun Java client, you might find the following document useful:

Minimum JRE Versions Required for E-Business Suite

Apps 11i was originally certified with Oracle JInitiator to run Oracle Forms-based content.  Apps 11i is now certified with the native Sun Java Runtime Engine plug-in.  Apps 11i end-users can use JRE releases on either of the following version levels:

  • JRE 1.5.0_13 and higher
  • JRE 1.6.0_03 and higher

Apps 12 was certified only with the native Sun Java Runtime Engine.  Oracle JInitiator is not certified or supported with Apps 12.

EBS Compatibility and Support for Future JRE Releases

E-Business Suite end-users can upgrade their JRE clients whenever Sun releases a new JRE release on either the 1.5 or 1.6 versions.  EBS users do not need to wait for Oracle to certify new JRE 1.5 or 1.6 plug-in updates with the E-Business Suite.

2.  JInitiator 1.3 will be Desupported for E-Business Suite customers at the end of July 2009

JInitiator 1.3.1.30 was the final certified version for Apps 11i.

Oracle JInitiator 1.3 was built on Sun's JDK 1.3.  Sun has long-since desupported JDK 1.3, so JInitiator 1.3 must be desupported, as well.  Oracle Forms Development has no plans to port JInitiator to JDK 1.4 or higher.

Support Implications for JInitiator Users

Here's what you can expect if you log an Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i Service Request against JInitiator after the respective dates shown above:

  1. Oracle Support will help you diagnose and isolate the root cause of any compatibility issues between JInitiator and the E-Business Suite.

  2. If there's a workaround or an existing Forms or JInitiator patch, Oracle Support will help you obtain the fix.

  3. If the issue requires a new Forms patch and can be reproduced using the native Sun JRE plug-in, a new bug will be logged against Oracle Forms.

  4. If the issue cannot be reproduced with the native Sun JRE client, no new Forms or JInitiator bugs will be logged.

3.  JInitiator 1.1.8 was desupported at the end of December, 2008

JInitiator 1.1.8.27 was the final certified version for Apps 11i.

I know that some of you continue to run JInitiator 1.1.8 with your E-Business Suite Release 11i environments for legacy compatibility reasons.  I'm afraid that the time has come for you to retire JInitiator 1.1.8.  Error Correction Support for JInitiator 1.1.8 ended on December 31, 2008.  In other words, the Oracle Forms group will no longer issue bug fixes via new versions of JInitiator 1.1.8.x as of December 31, 2008.

The "Support Implications for JInitiator Users" section, above, applies equally to JInitiator 1.1.8, also.

By the way, Oracle Forms Development has (somewhat inexplicably) published Metalink Note 789049.1 indicating that JInitiator will be generically supported until March 29, 2010.  I can't say that I understand this, myself, but the December 2008 desupport notice for JInitiator 1.1.8 for Apps 11i clients is published in Note 472154.1.

4.  JInitiator cannot be run on Vista Desktops

It's not possible to run Oracle JInitiator 1.3 on Microsoft Vista.  Here's why:

  • Oracle JInitiator 1.3 is based on Sun's JDK 1.3
  • Sun's JDK 1.3 is incompatible with Vista.
  • Sun has desupported JDK 1.3, so they have no plans to make it Vista compatible
  • Therefore, JInitiator is fundamentally incompatible with Vista due to its JDK 1.3 dependencies

On Hacking Up JInitiator

Various creative individuals have discovered that it's possible to replace a certain DLL in Oracle JInitiator 1.3 with a JVM from, say, JDK 1.6.  I can't personally testify that these hacks work.  I can say that this kind of surgery makes me intensely uncomfortable.

While it's nice to see creative initiative, I have to remind you that Oracle would regard this as a customization.  We don't recommend customizing Oracle JInitiator for production environments.

What Happens When Something Goes Wrong?

If you do choose to customize Oracle JInitiator 1.3, you should consider the support implications for your users.  If you encounter any issues specific to your customized version of JInitiator, Oracle's default recommendation will be to use the native Sun JRE plug-in.

What Does Oracle Recommend for Vista?

We recommend using the native Sun Java plug-in for Vista client desktops connecting to either Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i or 12.  The native JRE client is the only certified and supported Java client for E-Business Suite desktops end-users running on Microsoft Windows Vista.

Getting Support from Oracle for Your Conversion

Naturally, we're very interested in helping you get through this upgrade process with a minimum of pain.  If you hit any problems with your conversion to the native Sun JRE plug-in, please log a formal Service Request via Metalink.  Our Support engineers will work with you on this, and also track the underlying issues to see whether changes to our documentation or patches are warranted.  If necessary, we'll work with Sun to get fixes prioritized for future JRE releases, too.

Given my position in Oracle Development and the visibility of this blog, I sometimes think that my perspective on customer deployments might be a little skewed.  This blog's readers tend to be seasoned and highly-skilled Apps sysadmins and Oracle DBAs.  

I'd appreciate your help in getting an accurate view of how these conversions are going for you. I'd be very interested in hearing about your experiences, good or bad.  What went well?  What went sideways?  Please feel free to sound off in the comments or drop me a private email with more details about your migration.

Related Articles

Comments:

Hi Steven,
I'd like to switch to the latest JRE 1.6.x but currently there is a performance problem when using that version of the JRE and Discoverer Plus. Currently if you install 1.6.0_13 on a machine Apps works fine but the Discoverer Plus client suffers severe performance problems when opening workbooks. I'd like to standardize on a single version of the JRE for all the Oracle software but this issue is preventing us from doing that.
Can you comment on that or know of any workarounds?

Thanks,
Mark

Posted by Mark Coleman on July 23, 2009 at 12:10 PM PDT #

Hi, Mark,

I'm afraid that this is news to me. Can you email me your Service Request number so that I can have someone look into this?

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on July 27, 2009 at 04:08 AM PDT #

Hi Steven,

We use the Oracle Forms10gR2 with Jinitiator 1.3.1.28. Unfortunatly we can't use the Sun JRE, because - as I see - it is usable only at 11 or 12. When the Jinitiator 1.3.1.28 haven't installed on a desktop PC (doesn't matter, that any JRE installed or not on this PC), and I try to open the application form, the IE advises to install it by an ActiveX component.
We can use our Oracle Forms application on the IE8 or on Vista only by "hacking" the jvm.dll file. And yes, sometimes the application Form with the IE automaticly closes without any sign. In your opinion, what is our best, legal solution for use our Oracle Forms applicaion properly and perfectly?

Thanks,
Zoltan

Posted by Zoltan Dudas on November 16, 2009 at 06:08 PM PST #

Hi, Zoltan,

We don't advise hacking up DLLs and combining JInitiator with other JRE components -- that's a Frankensteinian combination that neither Oracle nor Sun would be able to support.

The only "legal" (meaning certified and supported) way of running E-Business Suite Oracle Forms content on Vista is with the Sun JRE.

I'm a little unclear on why the Sun JRE isn't a viable option for you. If you're having trouble running with the Sun JRE with the E-Business Suite, your best bet would be to log a formal Service Request via My Oracle Support (formerly Metalink) to get one of our specialists engaged.

Please feel free to forward your Service Request number to me if it gets stuck in the support process for some reason.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on November 17, 2009 at 04:05 AM PST #

can you send me step by step on migrating from Oracle JInitiator 1.3 to Sun Java? We Oracle 10g Application Server

Thank you very much

Posted by Sherwin on January 17, 2010 at 02:16 PM PST #

Sherwin,

I'm afraid that these Notes are available only to My Oracle Support subscribers, so I'm not permitted to email them directly to you. You can log onto My Oracle Support (formerly Metalink) and download either Note 393931.1 or 290807.1.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on January 19, 2010 at 02:36 AM PST #

Hi Steven,

We've got a significant installed user base still running JInitiator 1.3. We're in the process of upgrading to JRE 1.6 to ensure we meet the 11i extended support requirements.

I've been advised that we need to upgrade all users and the application server to v1.6 at the same time (i.e. JInitiator clients won't run with JRE1.6 app server and JRE1.6 clients won't run with a 1.3 app server).

Are there any options to rolling out the 1.6 upgrades in a staged approach? Appendix B of the note you quote in your article above (290807.1) suggests it's possible to run multiple Java versions on a per-user basis - I'm wondering if we could leverage that to upgrade PCs to 1.6 and then switch over all users. Do you have any advice on performing this migration?

Thanks and regards,
Andrew

Posted by Andrew on August 25, 2010 at 07:20 AM PDT #

Hi Andrew,

You should be able to upgrade your users using a staged approach as you suggest above. I cannot guarantee this is totally bullet proof as there will be certain patching requirements for some products as you move to the higher plug-in release that may cause issues if trying to run jinit. You can see certain product patching requirements in note 290807.1. I don't know which browser your users are running but it will also be less troublesome if you are using IE whilst you are serving both java versions.

If you follow note 290807.1 and apply the interop and any other patch requirements, your web server will then be calling JRE 1.6 as the default plug-in. Using the method described in Appendix B under 'Adding Additional Java plugin Versions' of the note to set up a JInitiator version in your appsweb file will allow you to set your chosen Oracle Applications Users to continue running on JInitiator in the meantime.

Despite the non-static versioning model which is default behaviour in the later JRE releases, JInitiator can still co-exist independantly to it from the same desktop. Therefore it should also not be an issue if you install both versions on the users desktops during the changeover. The version used will be totally governed by the Oracle Applications User that is being run.

Please note the Alert at the top of note 290807.1 when deciding on the JRE 1.6 version you wish to initially upgrade to.

Regards,
Tim.

Posted by Tim Mervyn on August 27, 2010 at 05:53 AM PDT #

If it's possible to run Oracle JInitiator 1.3 on Windows 7

Posted by Yao Lin on May 13, 2012 at 09:29 PM PDT #

Yao,

No, it's not. Windows 7 has the same restrictions that are discussed in the section above titled "JInitiator cannot be run on Vista Desktops".

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on May 30, 2012 at 09:15 AM PDT #

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