Update #5: Vista Certification with the E-Business Suite

[Nov 8, 2007 Update:  Vista is now certified with IE 7 for E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12.  See this article for full details.]

[Oct 11, 2007 Update:  Replaced original Applications Unlimited table with latest version.]


We're in the process of certifying Microsoft Vista with E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12.  Unfortunately, I have no information that I can post here about
certification dates, for reasons I've discussed in the past.  But I can give you an update on our progress and a recap of previously published updates.

Microsoft Vista Logo:

Our Certification Progress
  • Our E-Business Suite certification activities started in 2006 on prerelease Vista builds. 
  • Microsoft released Vista in January 2007. 
  • Formal certification began in earnest in June 2007 with Sun's release of JRE 1.5.0_12.  That JRE release was needed to fix a focus issue critical for E-Business Suite Forms users.
  • Base infrastructure testing by the Applications Technology Integration team (my team) has been completed.
  • Product team testing is underway.  These tests include automated regression tests, manual tests of advanced flows for selected E-Business Suite products, and testing of selected configurations involving internationalization and non-English languages.
  • Testing is proceeding well.  A relatively small number of issues have been identified, ranging in severity.  Some of these issues have been related to the configuration of our testing environments.  A subset of these issues have been identified that may require E-Business Suite patches of some sort.
  • All of these tests need to be completed for both Release 11i and 12.
Desktop Clients to be Certified

It is expected that the native Sun Java plug-in (JRE) will be certified for both E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12, for both Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers.

JInitiator 1.3 will not be certified for Vista desktops.  Jinitiator 1.3 is based on JDK 1.3.  JDK 1.3 is not compatible with Vista.  No new
updates to JInitiator are planned for Vista.

I understand that Microsoft and Sun had originally recommended that JRE 1.6 be used on Vista.  Perhaps my google-fu is a bit off today, but I
can't find any references on either Sun or Microsoft's sites that back up that assertion.  Nonetheless, the existence of the focus bug in the 1.6 codeline, combined with the fact that it won't be fixed until a later 1.6 release, has since prompted us to collectively revisit the original recommendation.

We've established the following certification plans after consultation with both Sun and Microsoft.  Our plans are to certify the following combinations:
  1. Vista + Release 11i + JRE 1.5
  2. Vista + Release 12 + JRE 1.5
  3. Vista + Release 11i + JRE 1.6
  4. Vista + Release 12 + JRE 1.6
It's likely that combinations 1 and 2 will be certified and released first, followed by combinations 3 and 4 at a later date. 

Compatibility with Other Windows Clients

It is expected that the following mixed desktop client environment will be supported:
  • Latest certified Windows and Mac OS X desktop combinations listed in Metalink Note 285218.1. These include:
    • Win2K / WinXP + IE6 / Firefox 2.x
    • WinXP + IE7 / Firefox 2.x
    • Mac OS X v10.3.9 + Safari 1.3 and higher
    • Mac OS X v10.4.7 + Safari 2.0 and higher
  • Vista desktop clients running the native JRE plug-in on IE or Firefox
What You Can Do Today to Prepare

As you can see, this certification is still underway.  As such, I'm not able to make firm statements about minimum prerequisites.  But it's reasonable to expect that the following things may help you prepare for a smooth rollout to support Vista clients:
  1. Ensure that your E-Business Suite environment is on the latest supported Maintenance Pack level (e.g. 11.5.9, 11.5.10, or 12).
  2. Ensure that you've applied the latest Consolidated Update (e.g. CU2).
  3. Ensure that you've applied the latest ATG Rollup and other techstack patches (e.g. the latest Developer6i patchset)
  4. Ensure that your Vista clients meet the minimum technical prerequisites required to support the native Sun Java (JRE) plug-in. 
Support for Older E-Business Suite Configurations

It is expected that we will need to release patches and documentation for running Vista desktop clients against the latest supported E-Business Suite releases.  "Supported" means the E-Business Suite releases eligible for Premier Support, as listed in this table:

Apps Unlimited Oct 2007: Application Unlimited desupport table for E-Business Suite releases as of October 2007

It's possible that you might be running an older E-Business Suite configuration that is no longer in Premier Support status.  For example, you might be running Release 11.5.7, for which Premier Support ended in May 2007. 

Our standing recommendation is that you upgrade those environments to the latest supported release. 

Oracle's general support policy is that we provide support for older or uncertified configurations on a best-efforts basis, subject to available staff, resources, and expertise. For these configurations, we provide -- on a best-efforts basis -- debugging and diagnostic guidance for isolating issues, and workarounds where it's technically feasible. There may be cases where workarounds are not technically feasible.  If so, the ultimate recommendation may be to upgrade to a certified and supported configuration.

What Does "Vista Certification" Mean?

The
deceptively-simple phrase, "Certification of the E-Business Suite on Vista" actually hides a great deal of complexity.  This certification covers two major E-Business Suite releases -- Versions 11i and 12. Depending on who's counting, there are between 200 to 240 products to be tested.  In additional to base functional testing, additional tests are required for MLS languages, including right-to-left multi-byte /Unicode character sets.  Each set of tests performed need to be duplicated for both Internet Explorer and Firefox.

Each of these releases have three parts that need to be tested:
  1. Oracle Forms-based components of the E-Business Suite running in Sun's Java Runtime Environment (JRE) plug-in on Vista, for both IE7 & Firefox
  2. HTML/Javascript-based components of the E-Business Suite running in IE7 & Firefox
  3. Client/server administration components of the E-Business Suite running on Vista
Predicting Certification Dates

It's very important to remember that all technology certifications are inherently iterative. Any issues found and fixed in the course of testing may cause some or all of these activities to restart from the very beginning.  For example, a Vista compatibility issue discovered and fixed downstream in Release 12
may require fixes to be backported to 11i.  Such fixes will trigger retesting in both releases.

The iterative nature of these types of certifications makes it extremely difficult to predict certification dates accurately.

Your Feedback is Important

We're working closely with Microsoft on this certification.  I meet with them regularly to discuss technical issues.

This has visibility at the highest executive levels in both of our respective organizations, so this certification effort has been prioritized accordingly.  Both Oracle and Microsoft are highly motivated to complete this certification as soon as possible.

Oracle and Microsoft have been pooling lists of our shared customers waiting for this certification.   So far, we have only heard from approximately 60
customers planning this migration.  I suspect that this may not be representative of the real scope of impact. 

If you haven't already sent me your plans for upgrading your E-Business Suite uses to Vista, please post a comment or drop me an email to get visibility for
your organization's requirements.   As part of our ongoing prioritization activities, it would be helpful for us to understand your plans for adopting Windows Vista, specifically:
  1. When will your organization first start conducting trials of Vista? 
  2. Which Vista editions will you be deploying?
  3. When will Vista be rolled out to the majority of your desktops?  How many desktops?
  4. When will you need Vista to be certified with Release 11i?
  5. When will you need Vista to be certified with Release 12?
The above is intended to outline our general product direction.  It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract.   It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decision.  The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle's products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle.

Comments:

You can see that Sun recommends Java 6 Update 3 by visiting http://www.java.com/en/download/manual.jsp

Since Microsoft just points people to java.com (see http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-CA/help/59c3a93d-1342-43a6-a01a-f720c7a17ffc1033.mspx) then it is implied that they recommend whatever java.com recommends.

Steven, is there a public document for the list of Windows and OS X desktops environments supported (https://metalink.oracle.com/metalink/plsql/showdoc?db=NOT&id=285218.1)?

Thanks for the helpful post!

Posted by david on October 12, 2007 at 02:41 AM PDT #

A follow-up question that I meant to ask in my last comment:

What specific focus bug(s) are you referring to in 1.6 that was present up to JRE 1.5 update 12 and 1.6 update 1?

Posted by david on October 12, 2007 at 02:48 AM PDT #

Hi, David,Details on the focus issue are linked off the "Our Certification Progress" section.  The link points to:http://blogs.oracle.com/schan/2007/05/will_the_real_jre_please_stand.htmlThanks for the pointer to the MS background.  The references to 1.6 + Vista dependencies are in a variety of places on Sun's site, which makes the actual reference a bit ambiguous, in my eyes.There are no externally-posted versions of Metalink documents.  I've updated the article with more details, but you might wish to check with someone else on the UAB sysadmin team for your Metalink login details.  That way, you'll have access to the rest of the good stuff on Metalink.Regards,Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on October 12, 2007 at 06:22 AM PDT #

Hi Steve,

It seems that it,If i access 11.5.10.2 instance using Windows vista i am forced to use only Sun Java Plugin(not the Jinitiatir)
Am i right on this ?

Posted by Jagatheeesh R on October 13, 2007 at 08:51 AM PDT #

Hi, Jagatheesh,Yes.  From the posted article:It is expected that the native Sun Java plug-in (JRE) will be certified
for both E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12, for both Internet
Explorer and Firefox browsers.JInitiator 1.3 will not be certified for Vista desktops.  Jinitiator
1.3 is based on JDK 1.3.  JDK 1.3 is not compatible with Vista.  No new
updates to JInitiator are planned for Vista.Regards,Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on October 15, 2007 at 02:14 AM PDT #

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