Understanding EBS Support Windows, Redux

Last month we discussed the two interlocking support policies that affect E-Business Suite users:
  1. Oracle's Lifetime Support Policy
    Specifies support dates for major EBS release codelines (e.g. EBS 11.5.10.2, 12.0, 12.1) -- and by implication, the latest EBS patchset for a given codeline. The Lifetime Support Policy presents support definitions and dates for three different levels of support:  Premier, Extended, and Sustaining. 

  2. E-Business Suite Error Correction Support Policy (Note 1195034.1)
    Specifies support principles for EBS release update packs for a given EBS releases codeline covered by Premier Support.  Examples of EBS release update packs (RUPs) include EBS 12.0.2, 12.0.3, 12.0.4, 12.0.5, 12.0.6, 12.1.2, 12.1.3. 
The first version of the Error Correction Support Policy introduced the concept of grace periods to allow you time to upgrade to the latest E-Business Suite Release Update Pack.  Generally speaking, this window was eighteen months.

Your feedback led us to review this policy.  In response to your comments, we've made a number of important changes to relax these support policies.  These changes are published in Version 2 of the E-Business Suite Error Correction Support Policy released earlier this month. 

The central theme of these changes is to simplify your maintenance planning by providing you with more detailed information about the dates by which specific Release Update Packs will become minimum baselines for new patches.  In most cases, the new policy allows for more than 18 months to apply the latest Release Update Pack. 

These changes have important operational implications for all E-Business Suite 12 users.  We strongly recommend that you review them carefully.

What's Changed in Version 2 of this policy?
1. Clarified the relationship between one-off patches and Release Update Packs

In particular, we've given more information about the conditions under which one-off patches are created, as well as the minimum release requirements for one-off patches.

2. Replaced the "18 month grace period for N-1 RUPs" concept for general EBS 12 products with simpler baselines
  • E-Business Suite Release Update Pack 12.0.4 for EBS 12.0 after January 2011.
  • E-Business Suite Release Update Pack 12.1.3 for EBS 12.1 after January 2013.
3. Clarified specific exceptions for minimum baselines for two EBS areas
  • EBS modules that are subject to annual legislative updates
  • Applications Technology Group Release Update Packs:
  • ATG Release Update Pack 12.0.6 will be the minimum baseline for EBS 12.0 on February 1, 2011
  • ATG Release Update Pack 12.1.2 will be the minimum baseline for EBS 12.1 on July 1, 2011
  • ATG Release Update Pack 12.1.3 will be the minimum baseline for EBS 12.1 on February 1, 2012
4. Described the process of transitioning from Premier Support to Extended Support

A minimum level of suite‐wide Release Update Packs, product family Release Update Packs, Critical Patch Updates, and applicable technology stack certifications will be set for each E‐Business Suite release prior to its transition from Premier Support to Extended Support.
Although the minimum requirements have not been finalized yet, we've listed some preliminary baselines for both E-Business Suite 12.0 and 12.1 to help you with your maintenance and upgrade planning.
What about E-Business Suite technology stack components?

It's important to remember that Fusion Middleware and database components in EBS instances are separate from the the ATG Release Update Packs and are governed by their own support policies and dates.  This applies to the technology stack components installed by the E-Business Suite Rapid Install (e.g. Oracle Forms, OC4J, database).  This also applies to external standalone components (e.g. Oracle Single Sign-On, Discoverer, SOA Suite) that you may have integrated with your E-Business Suite environment.

You must also plan to update those technology stack components on an ongoing basis.  If you're interested in learning more about the implications of Fusion Middleware and database support windows for E-Business Suite users, see these two articles:
Related Articles

Comments:

Hi Steven,

We are about to upgrade our 11.5.10.2 system to 12.1 by applying the HCM & ATG 12.1.3 RUPs only. Would we be required to apply the full E-Business Suite 12.1.3 RUP at some stage or could we continue applying the HCM and ATG RUPs only ?

Regards,
Matt

Posted by Matt turney on December 13, 2010 at 03:13 AM PST #

Hi, Matt,

Good to hear from you. You've condensed your upgrade process into shorthand. I'm assuming that you meant to say:

1. You're upgrading your EBS 11.5.10.2 environment to R12.1.1.

2. You're then applying only the 12.1.3 Release Update Packs for HCM and ATG.

I don't really see the point of applying only the HCM and ATG 12.1.3 Release Update Packs. This may save you a bit of patching time, but for your particular customer's environment, your major investment will be in:

a) Planning the upgrade from a business perspective
b) Performing user acceptance testing
c) Performing large-scale performance and scalability testing

All of those activities still need to be done, regardless of which Release Update Packs you apply. You might as well simply apply the 12.1.3 suite-wide Release Update Pack, in my view. This will give you the most-uniform baseline upon which subsequent patches, certifications, and upgrade paths will depend.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on December 13, 2010 at 03:28 AM PST #

Hi Steven,

Thanks for the reply. Apologies, yes I did use shorthand and we are upgrading to 12.1.1 first. The decision to take the individual RUPs was driven by our Release cycle. We would have preferred to take the full 12.1.3 RUP, however, due to the timing of our planned Production upgrade, we were unable to wait for this to be released.

Regards,
Matt

Posted by Matt turney on December 13, 2010 at 04:08 AM PST #

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