Thursday Dec 02, 2010

Maintaining Your EBS Environment for Maximum Performance

I think that all E-Business Suite DBAs know that they need to apply a number of interoperability patches when upgrading from one database release to another.  These are documented in our Interoperability Upgrade Notes for a given EBS + database combination.  For example, if you're upgrading Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 to the latest 11gR2 11.2.0.2 database, you'd apply the patches listed here:
However, I don't think it's as widely-known that there are two other classes of patches that you might need to apply.  These are documented in the following two Notes:
  1. Oracle E-Business Suite Recommended Performance Patches (Note 244040.1)
  2. Database Patch Set Update Overlay Patches Required for Use with PSUs and Oracle E-Business Suite (Note 1147107.1)

Performance benchmark graph for EBS 12 1 2 cpu_load.png


What are E-Business Suite "recommended performance patches"?

Oracle E-Business Suite Recommended Performance Patches (Note 244040.1) is written and maintained by our Applications Performance team.  I've covered this team's responsibilities previously, but to recap: this team is dedicated to optimizing the performance of the E-Business Suite.  They perform all of our E-Business Suite benchmarks and high-volume scalability testing, and they work intensively with our largest E-Business Suite customers in fine-tuning E-Business Suite configurations. 

They've summarized all of their hard-won expertise about performance-related patches in a single document.  A major part of this document covers database patches, but that's not all.  It also covers performance-related patches for:
  • Client tools
  • Applications Technology products and components
  • Financials products
  • Manufacturing and Supply Chain products
  • Human Resources products
  • Sales & Marketing products
This should be your first stop after upgrading your database or if you're trying to nail down a troublesome database performance-related issue.  I consider this mandatory reading for all E-Business Suite DBAs.

Do you want to apply database Patch Set Updates?

Our Server Technologies division began releasing quarterly database Patch Set Updates (PSU) in July 2009.   Patch Set Updates include:
  • Field-tested fixes for critical technical issues that may affect a large number of customers
  • Critical Patch Update fixes
Database Patch Set Updates are optional for E-Business Suite users.  If you choose to use them, database Patch Set Updates may safely be applied to Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12 environments.  Patch Set Updates are fully compatible and supported for use with the E-Business Suite.  Depending upon the database version and Oracle E-Business Suite release, one or more overlay patches may be required to address conflicts with a specific Oracle Database Patch Set Update.

Database Patch Set Update Overlay Patches Required for Use with PSUs and Oracle E-Business Suite (Note 1147107.1) summarizes the latest overlay patches required when applying Database Patch Set Updates to Oracle E-Business Suite environments running on the 10gR2, 11gR1, and 11gR2 databases.  If you use PSUs with your EBS database, you should review this Note on a regular basis.

Related Articles

Running Oracle E-Business Suite on Exalogic Elastic Cloud

[Dec. 10, 2010 update:  Clarified EBS R12-only compatibility with Exalogic. Exalogic does not offer 32-bit OS support. Since Release 11i runs on 32-bit Linux only, it cannot be deployed on Exalogic.]

We unveiled the Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud at OpenWorld 2010.  Oracle Exalogic is an engineered system comprising both hardware and software components, providing an application tier server complement for the Oracle Exadata Database Machine.

exalogic architecture diagram with picture of Exalogic server tower exalogic_architecture.png
Since then, we've been receiving a steady series of questions about the feasibility of running Oracle E-Business Suite on Exalogic servers.  Our position on Exalogic application compatibility is straightforward and the same as for Exadata: Exalogic is 100% compatible with all standard Oracle Linux 5 and Solaris 11 applications. No special certification for Exalogic is required - all Oracle applications that are certified for the appropriate releases of Oracle Linux and Solaris are supported on Exalogic.

E-Business Suite runs on Exalogic

Oracle E-Business Suite releases that are certified on 64-bit Oracle Linux 5.x (which includes several versions of R12, 12.1) are supported on Exalogic.  Exalogic does not offer 32-bit OS support, and since Release 11i runs on 32-bit Linux only, it cannot be deployed on Exalogic.

We are finding that many customers are interested in consolidating existing Oracle software into an Exalogic environment.  For the E-Business Suite, keep in mind that existing versions of EBS would be installed as a full stack (including Oracle Application Server 10g), just as they are today on any other 64-bit Oracle Linux 5 (on x86-64) machine.  However, older Oracle Application Server releases are not optimized for the Exalogic environment and therefore will not be able to take advantage of some of the performance benefits of the system in the same manner as applications running on the Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g stack.

E-Business Suite environments running on Exalogic derive other benefits of the updated kernel, including bug fixes, enhanced security, and data integrity features.  For more information about the updated kernal, see:
Related Articles

Tuesday Nov 30, 2010

EBS 11i Extended Support Starts December 2010 with Minimum Patching Baselines

[Editor: This article was originally published in January 2010, and again in August 2010.  Reposting this article in its entirety with small modifications to emphasize the date.]

Premier Support for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i ends today, November 30, 2010. Extended Support for EBS 11i begins tomorrow, December 1st, 2010.

Extended Support comes at an additional cost, but these are waived for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i through November 2011. I'm in EBS Development and not sales, so you should contact your Oracle account manager with questions about Extended Support costs. 

Here is a comparison of the different support levels:

A new set of minimum technical requirements for Apps 11i goes into effect when Extended Support begins in December 2010.  These new minimum baseline patch requirements are listed in:
What are the impacts of this new baseline?

As always, Oracle Support will assist with diagnosis, triage, and debugging of any issues that you report for your E-Business Suite environment.  You will continue to have access to any existing online support tools, knowledge base documentation, and pre-existing fixes.

If you report a new issue that requires a new bug fix, you should be aware that new patches will be released only for the new baseline patches listed in the Minimum Baseline Patch Requirements Note.  You should plan to apply the baseline patches (at minimum) listed in Note 883202.1 by November 2010 in order to receive any new bug fixes.

Minimum Baseline Patch Requirements
  • Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11.5.10 Consolidated Update 2 plus additional patches listed in Note 883202.1
  • ATG Rollup Patchset 6 (11i.ATG_PF.H.delta.6, Patch 5903765)
  • 10.2.0.4 Database or 11.1.0.7 Database
  • Forms6i Patchset 19 (version 6.0.8.28, Patch 6194129)
  • Oracle HTTP Server MLR Patchset 4393827
  • Sun Java Runtime Engine (JRE) 1.6.0_03 or higher
The baseline versions listed here (and in the Note) are current as of the document's release date but may change in the future.  Any changes will be communicated via Note 883202.1.  If you've found this article as the result of a web search, I would strongly encourage you to check the latest version of the Note for the current information.

What EBS 11i products are affected by this new baseline?

In addition to the major technology stack components shown above, Note 883202.1 contains additional minimum baseline requirements for:
  • Applications Technology
    • Common Applications Calendar
  • Contracts
    • Core Contracts
    • Procurement Contracts
    • Project Contracts
    • Sales Contracts
    • Service Contracts
  • Customer Data Management
    • Customers Online
    • Trading Community
  • Financials
    • Assets
    • iAssets
    • Advanced Collections
    • Bill Presentment Architecture
    • Cash Management
    • E-Business Tax
    • Financials for the Americas
    • Financials for Asia/Pacific
    • Financials Common Country
    • Financials for EMEA
    • Financials for India
    • Internet Expenses
    • Lease Management
    • Loans
    • Payables
    • Payments
    • Property Manager
    • Public Sector Budgeting
    • Public Sector Financials
    • Public Sector Financials (International)
    • Receivables
    • iReceivables
    • Treasury
    • U.S. Federal Financials
  • Human Resources
    • Advanced Benefits
    • Approvals Management
    • HR Intelligence
    • Human Resources
    • Labor Distribution
    • Learning Management
    • Payroll (All Localizations)
    • Payroll (International/Custom)
    • iRecruitment
    • Self-Service Human Resources
    • Time and Labor
    • US Federal Human Resources
  • Intelligence
    • Balanced Scorecard
    • E-Business Intelligence
  • Interaction Center
    • Customer Interaction History
  • Logistics
    • Inventory Management
    • Warehouse Management
  • Manufacturing
    • Cost Management
    • Quality
    • Supply Chain Globalization
    • Work in Process
  • Marketing and Sales
    • Incentive Compensation
    • Marketing
    • Partner Management
    • Quoting
    • Sales
    • Sales for Handheld
    • Sales Offline
    • Territory Management
    • Trade Management
  • Order Management
    • Advanced Pricing
    • Configurator
    • Order Capture
    • Order Management
  • Procurement
    • iProcurement
    • Purchasing
    • Sourcing
    • iSupplier Portal
    • Supplier Scheduling
  • Product Lifecycle Management
    • Advanced Product Catalog
    • Bills of Material
    • Document Management and Collaboration
    • Engineering
    • Item Master
  • Projects
    • Grants Accounting
    • Project Billing
    • Project Collaboration
    • Project Costing
    • Project Portfolio Analysis
    • Project Foundation
    • Project Resource Management
    • Projects
  • Service
    • Advanced Scheduler
    • Complex Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul
    • Customer Care
    • Depot Repair
    • Field Service
    • iSupport
    • Teleservice
  • Supply Chain Planning
    • Demand Planning
    • Production Scheduling
    • Strategic Network Optimization
Related Articles

Monday Nov 01, 2010

Oracle AS 10g 10.1.3.5 Certified with EBS 12 on IBM Linux on System z

logo_ibm.jpg
We recently added Linux on IBM System z to our set of fully-certified platforms for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.  A fully-certified platform is a platform upon which you can deploy both application and database tier services for the E-Business Suite. 

OracleAS 10g Release 3 (10.1.3) Patch Set 5 (10.1.3.5) is now certified with Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 (12.1.2) on the IBM: Linux on System z platform.

E-Business Suite Release 12 on this platform originally shipped with OracleAS 10g Release 3 Patch Set 4 (10.1.3.4)'s Oracle Containers for J2EE (OC4J) .  Wth this certification, customers can now upgrade directly to OracleAS 10g 10.1.3.5 OC4J on this platform.
The operating systems certified on this platform with OracleAS 10g Release 3 Patch Set 5 (10.1.3.5) are:
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) version 5 (64-bit)
  • Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) version 9 (64-bit)
  • Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) version 10 (64-bit)
More certifications planned

Other external certifications (Discoverer, WebCache, BPEL) on this platform are planned or in progress - separate announcements for them will be made when available.

Oracle's Revenue Recognition rules prohibit us from discussing certification and release dates, but you're welcome to monitor or subscribe to this blog for updates, which I'll post as soon as soon as they're available.

References
Related Articles
The following 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.

Tuesday Aug 31, 2010

New Forms and Reports 10.1.2.3 Bundle Patch Certified with EBS 12

Our Oracle Forms team has consolidated a large number important fixes on top of Forms and Reports version 10.1.2.3.0 into a new bundle patch. This patch is available for download now under the ungainly title of:
This bundle patch is now certified with EBS Release 12 for all supported platforms except Linux on IBM System z.

Screenshot of download screen for Forms 10 1 2 3 1 bundle patch 9593176

This patch contains a total of 113 fixes. We strongly recommend that you apply this bundle patch on the Forms and Reports 10.1.2.3 Oracle Home following the instructions in:
EBS customers should ignore the README

An important note: this bundle patch's README is not applicable to EBS environments. EBS customers should ignore the patch's README and refer to the Note above.  This bundle patch contains some of the E-Business Suite interoperability patches that are already documented in Step 2.1.2 of the Note above, including interoperability patches needed to resolve Forms focus issues. 

Any conflicts reported by the opatch utility while applying this bundle to E-Business Suite environments can be safely ignored.

Doesn't change the Forms & Reports version


Application DBAs need to note that the Forms and Reports version after applying this patch remains at 10.1.2.3.0.  Hence, it is more like a CPU or MLR patch that is applied on this Oracle Home.

You can run the following command to check if this patch has been successfully applied:
> opatch lsinventory
Related Articles

Tuesday Aug 24, 2010

Reminder: Minimum Patching Baselines for E-Business Suite 11i Extended Support

[Editor: This article was originally published in January 2010.  Reposting this article in its entirety.]

Premier Support for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i ends in November 2010.  Extended Support begins when Premier Support ends.  Extended Support comes at an additional cost, but these are waived for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i through November 2011. I'm in EBS Development and not sales, so you should contact your Oracle account manager with questions about Extended Support costs. 

Here is a comparison of the different support levels:

A new set of minimum technical requirements for Apps 11i goes into effect when Extended Support begins in November 2010.  These new minimum baseline patch requirements are listed in:
What are the impacts of this new baseline?

As always, Oracle Support will assist with diagnosis, triage, and debugging of any issues that you report for your E-Business Suite environment.  You will continue to have access to any existing online support tools, knowledge base documentation, and pre-existing fixes.

If you report a new issue that requires a new bug fix, you should be aware that new patches will be released only for the new baseline patches listed in the Minimum Baseline Patch Requirements Note.  You should plan to apply the baseline patches (at minimum) listed in Note 883202.1 by November 2010 in order to receive any new bug fixes.

Minimum Baseline Patch Requirements
  • Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11.5.10 Consolidated Update 2 plus additional patches listed in Note 883202.1
  • ATG Rollup Patchset 6 (11i.ATG_PF.H.delta.6, Patch 5903765)
  • 10.2.0.4 Database or 11.1.0.7 Database
  • Forms6i Patchset 19 (version 6.0.8.28, Patch 6194129)
  • Oracle HTTP Server MLR Patchset 4393827
  • Sun Java Runtime Engine (JRE) 1.6.0_03 or higher
The baseline versions listed here (and in the Note) are current as of the document's release date but may change in the future.  Any changes will be communicated via Note 883202.1.  If you've found this article as the result of a web search, I would strongly encourage you to check the latest version of the Note for the current information.

What EBS 11i products are affected by this new baseline?

In addition to the major technology stack components shown above, Note 883202.1 contains additional minimum baseline requirements for:
  • Applications Technology
    • Common Applications Calendar
  • Contracts
    • Core Contracts
    • Procurement Contracts
    • Project Contracts
    • Sales Contracts
    • Service Contracts
  • Customer Data Management
    • Customers Online
    • Trading Community
  • Financials
    • Assets
    • iAssets
    • Advanced Collections
    • Bill Presentment Architecture
    • Cash Management
    • E-Business Tax
    • Financials for the Americas
    • Financials for Asia/Pacific
    • Financials Common Country
    • Financials for EMEA
    • Financials for India
    • Internet Expenses
    • Lease Management
    • Loans
    • Payables
    • Payments
    • Property Manager
    • Public Sector Budgeting
    • Public Sector Financials
    • Public Sector Financials (International)
    • Receivables
    • iReceivables
    • Treasury
    • U.S. Federal Financials
  • Human Resources
    • Advanced Benefits
    • Approvals Management
    • HR Intelligence
    • Human Resources
    • Labor Distribution
    • Learning Management
    • Payroll (All Localizations)
    • Payroll (International/Custom)
    • iRecruitment
    • Self-Service Human Resources
    • Time and Labor
    • US Federal Human Resources
  • Intelligence
    • Balanced Scorecard
    • E-Business Intelligence
  • Interaction Center
    • Customer Interaction History
  • Logistics
    • Inventory Management
    • Warehouse Management
  • Manufacturing
    • Cost Management
    • Quality
    • Supply Chain Globalization
    • Work in Process
  • Marketing and Sales
    • Incentive Compensation
    • Marketing
    • Partner Management
    • Quoting
    • Sales
    • Sales for Handheld
    • Sales Offline
    • Territory Management
    • Trade Management
  • Order Management
    • Advanced Pricing
    • Configurator
    • Order Capture
    • Order Management
  • Procurement
    • iProcurement
    • Purchasing
    • Sourcing
    • iSupplier Portal
    • Supplier Scheduling
  • Product Lifecycle Management
    • Advanced Product Catalog
    • Bills of Material
    • Document Management and Collaboration
    • Engineering
    • Item Master
  • Projects
    • Grants Accounting
    • Project Billing
    • Project Collaboration
    • Project Costing
    • Project Portfolio Analysis
    • Project Foundation
    • Project Resource Management
    • Projects
  • Service
    • Advanced Scheduler
    • Complex Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul
    • Customer Care
    • Depot Repair
    • Field Service
    • iSupport
    • Teleservice
  • Supply Chain Planning
    • Demand Planning
    • Production Scheduling
    • Strategic Network Optimization
Related Articles

Wednesday Aug 04, 2010

E-Business Suite 12 Now Available on Linux on IBM System z

logo_ibm.jpg
Every new E-Business Suite release, patch, roll-up patchset, Family Pack, Consolidated Update, or technology stack certification needs to be tested on every platform that we support for the E-Business Suite.  This is a lot of work.  My teams test on the base Oracle Enterprise Linux platform, and Terri Noyes' Applications Platforms Group tests everything on all of the other operating systems that we support.

As you can imagine, it is very big news when we expand our E-Business Suite operating system portfolio to include a new platform.  This always constitutes a major new commitment to that platform. 

This is why we are pleased to announce that the Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 is now available on a new fully certified EBS platform - Linux on IBM System z. This IBM platform (i.e. Linux running on an IBM mainframe) is also known as 'Linux on System z' and appears in our Oracle systems (My Oracle Support, aru, bug, etc.) as 'IBM: Linux on System z'.

The Linux on System z platform was previously a 'database tier only' platform (for EBS 11i and 12.0) and will continue to be supported as such on those releases. With this announcement for 12.1, we are supporting the platform as a fully certified EBS platform (i.e. for both application and database tiers).

The release is based on the 12.1.2 EBS codeline and includes a Rapid Install wizard to support new installations as well as 11i upgrades (from a certified EBS 11i platform) to Release 12 on Linux on System z. This first release includes the Oracle Database 10gR2 on the database tier, and Application Server versions 10gR2 and 10gR3.

Various technology certifications are planned as well for the currently available versions of technology products on the platform (such as 10.1.2.3 OID/SSO, 10.1.2.3 Discoverer, AS 10gR3 Patchset 5, etc.) or those expected at some point in the future (such as Oracle Database 11gR2). Separate announcements for these certifications will be sent out as they become available.

The operating systems certified with EBS on this platform are:
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) version 5 (64-bit)
  • Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) version 9 (64-bit)
  • Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) version 10 (64-bit)
Please review the documents below for all requirements and additional details on the use of EBS Release 12 on IBM: Linux on System z. All general documentation pertaining to EBS Release 12.1.1 (such as the Rapid Install Guide and the Upgrade Guide) are relevant as well to this release of 12.1.2 as the general functionality of EBS is the same on this platform.

The release is available now on our public edelivery web site for download.

References
Related Articles

Sunday Jul 18, 2010

New Apps 11i AutoConfig + Templates Rollup Patch U Now Available

AutoConfig is an Oracle E-Business Suite systems administration tool that supports the automated configuration of E-Business Suite technology stack components.  A new AutoConfig update has been released for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i.

Screenshot of download page for TXK AutoConfig Rollup Patch U 9535311
EBS 11i Technology Stack Rollup U (Patch 9535311) for AutoConfig is now available for download. This Rollup patchset includes fixes and enhancements to the AutoConfig Engine, tools, and EBS configuration templates.  The new template files included in this patchset have no effect on an Oracle E-Business Suite configuration until the AutoConfig utility is run.

This cumulative patch includes all previously released AutoConfig updates, including the previous AutoConfig Rollup RUP T (Patch 8217898). RUP U can be applied without applying previous AutoConfig Rollup patchsets.

This Rollup includes the following features and enhancements:
  1. Applications password validation while using adcmctl and in other various
    commands.
  2. Mini AutoConfig: it is possible now to run AutoConfig using a customized driver.
  3. AutoConfig performance improvements.
  4. adchkcfg enhancements to remove false diffs/false positives
  5. Database 11gR2 support.
  6. Oracle HTTP Server (OHS) related changes for security and refining of aliases, log names changed as per standards
  7. Addition of ANTISAMY run-time rehosted JAR files.
  8. OHS performance improvements by removing loading of unwanted modules.
  9. For DB tier on Solaris 64-bit platform, use of 64-bit JVM during CVM phase
    of AutoConfig.
  10. Support for DB listener name customization.
  11. Support of Forms and Reports in the Icelandic language.
  12. Addition of LOCAL_LISTENER parameter to init.ora template.
  13. Introduction of FORMS60_RECORD_GROUP_MAX to restrict the number of records fetched by a List of Values (LOV).
  14. New context variables: s_httpd_pls_pid_file, s_icx_language, s_forms60_record_group_max, s_db_listener.
References
Related Articles

Tuesday Jul 06, 2010

Latest DSTv14 Timezone Patches Available for E-Business Suite

Wooden_hourglass_small2.jpg
If your E-Business Suite Release 11i or 12 environment is configured to support Daylight Saving Time (DST) or international time zones, it's important to keep your timezone definition files up-to-date. They were last changed in January 2010 and released as DSTv13. DSTv14 is now available and certified with Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12.

Is Your Apps Environment Affected?

When a country or region changes DST rules or their time zone definitions, your Oracle E-Business Suite environment will require patching if:
  • Your Oracle E-Business Suite environment is located in the affected country or region OR
  • Your Oracle E-Business Suite environment is located outside the affected country or region but you conduct business or have customers or suppliers in the affected country or region
We last discussed the DSTv13 patches on this blog. The latest "DSTv14" timezone definition file is cumulative and includes all DST changes released in earlier time zone definition files. DSTv14 includes changes to the following timezones since the DSTv13 release:
  • Africa/Casablanca,
  • Africa/Tunis,
  • America/Argentina/San_Luis,
  • America/Argentina/San_Luis,
  • America/Tijuana, America/Santiago,
  • America/Asuncion,
  • Antarctica/Casey,
  • Antarctica/Davis,
  • Asia/Dacca,
  • Asia/Taipei,
  • Asia/Karachi,
  • Asia/Gaza,
  • Asia/Damascus,
  • Asia/Kamchatka,
  • Asia/Anadyr,
  • Europe/Samara,
  • Pacific/Easter,
  • Pacific/Fiji,
  • Pacific/Apia,
  • America/Ensenada,
  • Chile/Continental,
  • Asia/Dhaka,
  • ROC,
  • Chile/EasterIsland,
  • Mexico/BajaNorte
What Patches Are Required?

In case you haven't been following our previous time zone or Daylight Saving Time (DST)-related articles, international timezone definitions for E-Business Suite environments are captured in a series of patches for the database and application tier servers in your environment. The actual scope and number of patches that need to be applied depend on whether you've applied previous DST or timezone-related patches. Some sysadmins have remarked to me that it generally takes more time to read the various timezone documents than it takes to apply these patches, but your mileage may vary.

We've published the following Notes which identify the various components in your E-Business Suite environment that may need DST patches:
Related Articles

Friday Apr 16, 2010

The Scoop: Oracle E-Business Suite Support on 64-bit Linux

Linux tux-large.jpg
This article addresses frequently asked questions about Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) 64-bit Linux support.

Q:  Which 64-bit Linux OSs are supported for EBS?

A: Beginning with Release 12, we support the following 64-bit operating systems for both application and database tiers on x86-64 servers:

  • Oracle Enterprise Linux
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server
For EBS Release 11i (and again in Release 12), when the application tier is installed on a certified platform, additional platforms (including the above) may be used for a 64-bit database tier on x86-64 servers. This is an example of a mixed platform architecture (Release 12), or a Split Configuration (Release 11i).

Q:  I understand that the EBS application tier code is 32-bit, even for the 64-bit Linux OS -- is this the case?
A: It is true that the majority of executables provided as part of our release media on the application tier are 32-bit (as are the Fusion Middleware libraries and objects they depend on).  However, the 'Planning' products have large memory requirements and therefore are 64-bit compiled to take advantage of the larger memory space afforded by the 64-bit OS'es.

Q:  How do I install EBS on 64-bit Linux?
A:  For new installations of EBS Release 12 on supported 64-bit Linux operating systems, you can use Rapid Install as directed in "Oracle Applications Installation Guide: Using Rapid Install" to install the database and application tiers.

For Database Tier Only platforms in a mixed platform architecture, you can use Rapid Install as directed in "Oracle Applications Installation Guide: Using Rapid Install" to install the database and application tiers on supported platforms, and then migrate the database tier to a certified 64-bit operating system.

Q:  How do I migrate EBS Release 12 from 32-bit Linux to 64-bit Linux?

A:  Please refer to Migrating Oracle E-Business Suite R12 from Linux 32-bit to Linux 64-bit (Note 471566.1) for instructions on how to migrate EBS from 32-bit to 64-bit Linux.

Q:  How do I migrate an existing EBS database to 64-bit Linux?

A:  To migrate an EBS database to a certified 64-bit Linux operating system on x86-64, refer to one of the following documents:

For EBS Release 11i:

For EBS Release 12:
Q:  How do I migrate EBS Release 12 on a non-Linux platform to 64-bit Linux?
A:  There is no documentation that covers the direct migration from a Windows or UNIX application tier directly to 64-bit Linux.  However, the document Application Tier Platform Migration with Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 (Note 438086.1) contains instructions for migrating to 32-bit Linux, and Migrating Oracle E-Business Suite R12 from Linux 32-bit to Linux 64-bit (Note 471566.1) contains the additional steps to configure your environment for 64-bit Linux.  Pondering this question just now gave me the idea to write a new white paper, which will presumably eliminate several steps from either document and insure a smooth migration process.  Stay tuned to this space for more information on this upcoming paper.

Q:  How do I patch EBS on Linux 64-bit?

A: The EBS 32-bit Linux application tier patches are applicable for 64-bit Linux OSes as well.  From the Oracle support portal, you can do a search by patch number to bring up the 32-bit patch.  Note that if you click on the informational icon to the left of the Platform pulldown menu for this patch, it brings up a page stating:

For Oracle Applications Release 12 on Linux x86-64, queries will return a Linux x86 patch. This patch may be applied to both 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems.

Q:  What are the benefits of running EBS Release 12 on 64-bit Linux?

A: Theoretically, 64 bit architectures allow for "2 to the 64th power" bytes or 16 exabytes of RAM, and while individual operating systems and hardware architectures impose constraints (for instance, the maximum RAM is 1 terabyte on x86-64), you are unlikely to hit this memory limit with today's applications. 

For 32-bit compiled code, even though the process address space is limited to approximately 3 GB (even on the 64-bit OS), with overall addressable space up to 1 terabyte you'll be able to run many more processes.  This is an excellent model all around for larger customers wanting to consolidate their hardware or scale up.

Q:  Can we (or why can't we) run EBS Release 11i on 64-bit Linux?

A:   We support the use of 64-bit Linux OS'es in the EBS database tier in a 'split configuration' or 'database tier only' configuration for 11i, wherein the application tier can be on any certified EBS platform and the database tier can run additional database certified platforms (like 64-bit Linux).  Customers wanting headroom for the RAM-intensive DB processes can run their database tier on Linux 64-bit (in a split tier configuration), and if needed spread the application tiers (CM, Forms, Web) across multiple middle tier machines to distribute the load amongst the 32-bit OS'es.

As to why we do not support EBS Release 11i on 64-bit Linux, there are several reasons:  a)  it doesn't "just run";  b) there is no third party support; c) given the costs, we chose to chose to focus our resources on EBS Release 12 and beyond.  Let me explain.

Contrary to what you might think, you cannot necessarily run 32-bit code on 64-bit Linux without a bit of tweaking.  On the technical front, you would need to install the 32-bit OS libraries and deal with potential conflicts between 32-bit and 64-bit OS packages, including file overwrites.  Note that when we introduced 64-bit OS support in EBS Release 12 we made changes to all of the product makefiles, carefully analyzed and laid out both the 32-bit and 64-bit package dependencies, modified installation, configuration and cloning software for OS recognition and proper file locations, and conducted extensive testing.  Each new release requires this process to be repeated, and each new release package requires an independent packaging effort.

In addition, for 64-bit Linux support we've established a 64-bit infrastructure across Oracle teams (in support, engineering, release, QA and certification teams).  This infrastructure investment was made for EBS Release 12 and higher.

Also note that EBS Release 11i has an aging technology infrastructure, and neither Oracle nor third party tool versions used in EBS Release 11i are explicitly supported on the 64-bit operating system in 32-bit mode.

Call us old-fashioned if you will, but given these limitations, because of our support commitment to you and what's behind that commitment we will only support EBS Release 12 forward on 64-bit Linux.

References
Related Articles

Wednesday Mar 31, 2010

New EBS 12.0 AutoConfig Rollup 7 Now Available

AutoConfig manages the configuration of E-Business Suite environments.  The seventh and latest rollup patch for the AutoConfig engine and tools for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.0 is now available for download.  The official (and admittedly-cryptic) name for this EBS 12.0 patch is:
Screenshot of download page for AutoConfig TXK patch 9386653
Not for EBS 12.1 environments

This patch can only be applied to Apps 12.0.x environments.  If you're running Apps 12.1.1 or 12.1.2, you can safely ignore this announcement.  Remember that there's an easy way to check whether an R12 patch is intended for 12.0 or 12.1:
What's new?

Notable enhancements in this release include:
  • Editable parameters for selected JVM settings
  • Configuration changes needed to support the latest Oracle Application Server 10g 10.1.3 and 10.1.4 updates
  • Configuration changes needed to support 11gR2 database
  • Automatic redeployment of the formsapp.ear file when applying TXK interim patches.  Automation ensures that the formsapp.ear used by EBS 12.0 is kept synchronized with the latest patches and changes
  • Enhancements to the Techstack Inventory reports
This patch also contains contains the TXK AutoConfig template files needed to configure the Technology Stack for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 instances.  These template files have no effect on the E-Business Suite configuration until the AutoConfig utility is run.

Almost 30 bugs are fixed in this release, including:
  • Improved support for HP-Itanium
  • Improved support for Slovenian, Croatian/Serbian/Bosnian, and Vietnamese NLS translations in Forms 10g
  • Fixes for cloning-related issues
  • Improved cookie handling for Oracle Single Sign-On-enabled EBS environments
See the rollup's README for a complete list of fixes in this patchset.

This Rollup patch is cumulative:  it includes all E-Business Suite 12.0 technology stack configuration fixes that we've previously released either individually or in previous patch sets. 

References
Related Articles

Wednesday Mar 10, 2010

OCFS2 for Linux Certified for E-Business Suite Release 12 Application Tiers

Oracle E-Business Suite environments can be scaled up to handle large numbers of concurrent users by load-balancing across multiple application mid-tier servers.  At Oracle, we run Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 internally with a pool of approximately forty application tier servers.

The novelty of applying the same patch to every one of those servers individually wears off pretty quickly.  There's a easier way: you can share a single file system between all of your E-Business Suite application tier servers.  This allows you to apply patches once to the central filesystem, rather than maintaining each application tier server node individually.  This approach reduces maintenance overheads and shortens your patching downtimes. 
r12sharedfilesystem2.jpg
Starting with Release 12, you can even share the same file system between multiple E-Business Suite instances (although for obvious reasons, you should do this only for non-production instances).

Customers embarking upon this path inevitably ask, "Which shared filesystem do you recommend?"  The short answer is that we don't recommend any specific filesystem, but there's more to it than just that.  I've discussed the nuances of choosing a shared file system in this article.

That article explicitly stated that we do not certify specific file systems with the E-Business Suite.  That was true at the time that article was published, and is still generally true for most file systems.  However, your requests made it clear that we needed to take a closer look at Oracle Cluster File System (OCFS2) for Linux, so we did.

What's new?

Oracle Cluster File System (OCFS2) for Linux OCFS2 1.4 and higher is now certified and supported for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 application tier file systems. System administrators may deploy both the APPL_TOP and INST_TOP on Linux-based OCFS2 shared-disk cluster file systems.

Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 certification tests with OCFS2-based application tier shared file systems used the following configuration:
  • Oracle Enterprise Linux Version 5 Update 4 (OEL5U4 64-bit) running OCFS2 1.4.4
  • Separate volumes for APPL_TOP and INST_TOP storage (INST_TOP was also tested and is certified with local storage)
  • Oracle E-Business Suite application tier mount options used: rw, _netdev, nointr
  • Mount option datavolume was not used in the application tier mounts
For detailed instructions on configuring OCFS2, see OCFS2: A Cluster File System for Linux: User's Guide for Release 1.4 on the Project: OCFS2 website.

What about EBS database tiers?

The E-Business Suite's database tier is built on the Oracle Database.  The Oracle Database is certified with OCFS2.   Therefore, OCFS2 is supported for the E-Business Suite database tier, too.  This applies to both Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12.

What's not certified or supported?

Oracle Cluster File System (OCFS2) for Linux is not certified with Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i application tier file systems.

Oracle Cluster File System for Windows is not certified with application tier file systems for either Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i or Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.

How well does this work for you?

As with all new certifications, we're very interested in hearing about your experiences with this.  If you've experimented with OCFS2 for Linux for your Apps mid-tiers, please post a comment here or drop me a private email with your feedback.  I'll make sure that your comments get back to the OCFS2 team directly.

References
Related Articles

Monday Feb 01, 2010

Migrating E-Business Suite Application Tier Servers to Linux

If your E-Business Suite environment is hitting the ceiling for performance, you should first tune and optimize it to squeeze the most of your existing hardware.  At some point, you may decide to scale up your application tier with multiple nodes behind a load-balancer.  As part of that process, you might begin considering replacing large SMP servers on your application tier with a pool of servers running Linux on commodity hardware. 

Indeed, this is the architecture that we use to run Oracle's own global E-Business Suite Release 12 implementation.  We have four large Sun database servers fronted by almost 40 application tier servers running Oracle Enterprise Linux (OEL):

gsi_Architecture_Diagram_R12.png

If you're considering a move to Linux for your Apps middle tier servers, you will find the following two Notes invaluable:
You can use these Notes to migrate an Oracle application (middle) tier to any platform that is supported with the Rapid Installs for both Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12.

The processes described in those Notes provides a certified way to quickly and easily move an existing Oracle application tier system to a different platform, allowing you to utilize different hardware for the Oracle application tier. The migration utility retains the exact Oracle E-Business Suite patch level so that no APPL_TOP/Database synchronization is necessary; this also allows you to retain many customizations.

Related Articles

Friday Jan 22, 2010

Latest DSTv13 Timezone Patches Available for E-Business Suite

Wooden_hourglass_small2.jpg
If your E-Business Suite Release 11i or 12 environment is configured to support Daylight Saving Time (DST) or international time zones, it's important to keep your timezone definition files up-to-date.  They were last changed in July 2009 and released as DSTv11.  DSTv13 is now available and certified with Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12. 

Note that if you've prided yourself on keeping your environment up-to-date, you didn't miss DSTv12.  That version was not released externally.  DSTv13 is the next release after DSTv11.

Is Your Apps Environment Affected?

When a country or region changes DST rules or their time zone definitions, your Oracle E-Business Suite environment will require patching if:
  • Your Oracle E-Business Suite environment is located in the affected country or region OR
  • Your Oracle E-Business Suite environment is located outside the affected country or region but you conduct business or have customers or suppliers in the affected country or region
We last discussed the DSTv11 patches on this blog.  The latest "DSTv13" timezone definition file is cumulative and includes all DST changes in Olson tzdata 2009s and earlier time zone definitions.  DSTv13 includes changes to the following timezones since the DSTv11 release:
  • Africa/Cairo
  • America/Argentina/San_Luis
  • America/Buenos_Aires
  • America/Cordoba, America/Catamarca
  • America/Argentina/Tucuman
  • Antarctica/Casey
  • Antarctica/Davis
  • Antarctica/Mawson
  • Asia/Hong_Kong
  • Asia/Karachi
  • Asia/Gaza
  • Asia/Damascus
  • Europe/Samara
  • Indian/Mauritius
  • Pacific/Fiji
  • Pacific/Apia
  • Egypt
  • America/Argentina/Buenos_Aires
  • America/Argentina/Cordoba
  • America/Argentina/Catamarca
  • Asia/Dhaka, Hongkong
  • NZ-CHAT
  • America/Rosario
  • America/Argentina/ComodRivadavia   
What Patches Are Required?

In case you haven't been following our previous time zone or Daylight Saving Time (DST)-related articles, international timezone definitions for E-Business Suite environments are captured in a series of patches for the database and application tier servers in your environment. The actual scope and number of patches that need to be applied depend on whether you've applied previous DST or timezone-related patches. Some sysadmins have remarked to me that it generally takes more time to read the various timezone documents than it takes to apply these patches, but your mileage may vary.

We've published the following Notes which identify the various components in your E-Business Suite environment that may need DST patches:
What Have Your Experiences Been?

DST patching was a hot topic a few years ago, so much so that we convened some emergency web-based seminars for customers to clarify out the requirements for E-Business Suite environments. Since then, it seems like time zone patching has become more predictable and better-documented, and I haven't heard about any recent customer escalations in this area. I'd be interested in hearing about your experiences lately in keeping your Apps environment up-to-date with time zone patches; feel free to drop me an email or post a comment here with your thoughts.

Thursday Jan 07, 2010

New Minimum Patching Baselines for E-Business Suite 11i Extended Support

Premier Support for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i ends in November 2010.  Extended Support begins when Premier Support ends.  Extended Support comes at an additional cost, but these are waived for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i through November 2011. I'm in EBS Development and not sales, so you should contact your Oracle account manager with questions about Extended Support costs. 

Here is a comparison of the different support levels:

Comparison table showing the different coverages for Premier Support vs Extended Support vs Sustaining Support
A new set of minimum technical requirements for Apps 11i goes into effect when Extended Support begins in November 2010.  These new minimum baseline patch requirements are listed in:
What are the impacts of this new baseline?

As always, Oracle Support will assist with diagnosis, triage, and debugging of any issues that you report for your E-Business Suite environment.  You will continue to have access to any existing online support tools, knowledge base documentation, and pre-existing fixes.

If you report a new issue that requires a new bug fix, you should be aware that new patches will be released only for the new baseline patches listed in the Minimum Baseline Patch Requirements Note.  You should plan to apply the baseline patches (at minimum) listed in Note 883202.1 by November 2010 in order to receive any new bug fixes.

Minimum Baseline Patch Requirements
  • Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11.5.10 Consolidated Update 2 plus additional patches listed in Note 883202.1
  • ATG Rollup Patchset 6 (11i.ATG_PF.H.delta.6, Patch 5903765)
  • 10.2.0.4 Database or 11.1.0.7 Database
  • Forms6i Patchset 19 (version 6.0.8.28, Patch 6194129)
  • Oracle HTTP Server MLR Patchset 4393827
  • Sun Java Runtime Engine (JRE) 1.6.0_03 or higher
The baseline versions listed here (and in the Note) are current as of the document's release date but may change in the future.  Any changes will be communicated via Note 883202.1.  If you've found this article as the result of a web search, I would strongly encourage you to check the latest version of the Note for the current information.

What EBS 11i products are affected by this new baseline?

In addition to the major technology stack components shown above, Note 883202.1 contains additional minimum baseline requirements for:
  • Applications Technology
    • Common Applications Calendar
  • Contracts
    • Core Contracts
    • Procurement Contracts
    • Project Contracts
    • Sales Contracts
    • Service Contracts
  • Customer Data Management
    • Customers Online
    • Trading Community
  • Financials
    • Assets
    • iAssets
    • Advanced Collections
    • Bill Presentment Architecture
    • Cash Management
    • E-Business Tax
    • Financials for the Americas
    • Financials for Asia/Pacific
    • Financials Common Country
    • Financials for EMEA
    • Financials for India
    • Internet Expenses
    • Lease Management
    • Loans
    • Payables
    • Payments
    • Property Manager
    • Public Sector Budgeting
    • Public Sector Financials
    • Public Sector Financials (International)
    • Receivables
    • iReceivables
    • Treasury
    • U.S. Federal Financials
  • Human Resources
    • Advanced Benefits
    • Approvals Management
    • HR Intelligence
    • Human Resources
    • Labor Distribution
    • Learning Management
    • Payroll (All Localizations)
    • Payroll (International/Custom)
    • iRecruitment
    • Self-Service Human Resources
    • Time and Labor
    • US Federal Human Resources
  • Intelligence
    • Balanced Scorecard
    • E-Business Intelligence
  • Interaction Center
    • Customer Interaction History
  • Logistics
    • Inventory Management
    • Warehouse Management
  • Manufacturing
    • Cost Management
    • Quality
    • Supply Chain Globalization
    • Work in Process
  • Marketing and Sales
    • Incentive Compensation
    • Marketing
    • Partner Management
    • Quoting
    • Sales
    • Sales for Handheld
    • Sales Offline
    • Territory Management
    • Trade Management
  • Order Management
    • Advanced Pricing
    • Configurator
    • Order Capture
    • Order Management
  • Procurement
    • iProcurement
    • Purchasing
    • Sourcing
    • iSupplier Portal
    • Supplier Scheduling
  • Product Lifecycle Management
    • Advanced Product Catalog
    • Bills of Material
    • Document Management and Collaboration
    • Engineering
    • Item Master
  • Projects
    • Grants Accounting
    • Project Billing
    • Project Collaboration
    • Project Costing
    • Project Portfolio Analysis
    • Project Foundation
    • Project Resource Management
    • Projects
  • Service
    • Advanced Scheduler
    • Complex Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul
    • Customer Care
    • Depot Repair
    • Field Service
    • iSupport
    • Teleservice
  • Supply Chain Planning
    • Demand Planning
    • Production Scheduling
    • Strategic Network Optimization
Related Articles

Tuesday Nov 24, 2009

Tuning the Oracle E-Business Suite Environment (OpenWorld 2009 Recap)

In addition to their benchmarking efforts, our Applications Performance Group works with some of our largest E-Business Suite customers in the world.  These customers have thousands of concurrent end-users, sprawling multi-terabyte databases, enormous clusters of application-tier servers, and massive RAC architectures.  The Applications Performance Group is called in whenever a customer experiences severe performance issues. 

Every year, our performance architects take all of their hard-won experience with these customers and distill it into a single OpenWorld presentation.  Wondering how many JVMs to use per CPU?  Curious about tuning the garbage collection parameters on your app tier?  Want some tips for optimizing your Concurrent manager setup?

Isam Alyousfi and Lester Gutierrez cover these topics, and much, much more, in their densely-packed presentation:

db_console_screenshot.png

It's difficult to convey the depth and range of the performance-tuning tips that they capture, but here's an outline of the topics that they cover:
  • Tuning the applications tier
    • Pointers to resources and performance-related patches
    • Tips for tuning and debugging Forms
    • OC4J and JVM sizing guidelines (e.g. number of JVMs per CPU, number of users per JVM)
    • Tools for tuning the application tier
    • Diagnostic framework for investigating response time / CPU issues
    • Garbage collection (GC) tuning tips
    • Common causes of OutOfMemoryError conditions
    • Symptoms of memory leaks
    • Using JDBC connection identification to map JDBC sessions to a JVM process
    • Performance implications of end-user training on web application resource consumption
    • Using the Pool Monitor to check Framework applications and JVM utilization
    • Using EM Monitoring and Application Diagnostics for Java (AD4J) to monitor JVMs on different hosts
    • Using JConsole to analyze heap dump issues
    • Performance-related patches to consider
  • Tuning the Concurrent Manager
    • General tips for maximizing job throughput
    • Tips for workload management, including the number of target processes per CPU
    • Tips for Transaction Managers (TMs)
    • Tips for tracing and speeding up Concurrent Reports
    • Using Parallel Concurrent Processing (PCP) in RAC deployments
  • Tuning the client tier and network
    • Pointers to a new whitepaper, and tips for optimizing desktop client configurations
    • Tips for reducing browser memory footprints
    • Guidance on network latency and co-locating database and application tier servers
    • Network profiling and packet analysis techniques
    • Use of caching tools to reduce network traffic between client and middle-tiers
  • Tuning the database tier
    • init.ora recommended settings
    • Consequences of undersized buffer caches or shared pools
    • I/O optimization techniques
    • Recommended performance features
    • Using Automatic Workload Repository (AWR) data and baselines
    • Linking AWR with ASH data
    • Tips for using DB Console
    • Techniques for gathering statistics
    • Recommendations for OATM Tablespace Model conversions
    • SQL issue triage notes, and common problems
    • Benefits of upgrading to 11g Database
    • Notable performance-related features in the 11g Database
    • Advanced Compression performance benchmarks
    • 11g Automatic SQL monitoring and tuning
    • SQL tracing enhancements in 11g DB
    • 11g Optimizer improvements
  • Tuning the applications
    • Pointers to application module tuning resources
    • Recommended performance-related patches and configuration guidance for specific products: Create Accounting XLA, Accounts Receivables AR, Accounts Payables AP, iPayment IBY, Incentive Compensation CN, Time & Labor, Workflow, Order Management OM, Payroll
    • Logging, purging, and archiving
    • Accessing the Purge Portal
  • Upgrade performance tips
This presentation is chock full of tips, pointers, and hard-won knowledge. It represents the distillation of countless performance-related Service Requests and customer escalations. If you're grappling with performance issues in your environment, or simply trying to squeeze more performance out of existing hardware, I'd strongly recommend downloading this presentation.

Listening to the Session

If you registered for OpenWorld, here's a link to the OpenWorld On Demand page where you can download the presentation or listen to the live recording of this session.

Related Articles

Thursday Oct 29, 2009

OracleAS 10.1.3.5 Certified with E-Business Suite Release 12

Java Compatible Enterprise Edition steaming coffee cup logo
Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.0 originally shipped with OracleAS 10.1.3 Oracle Containers for J2EE (OC4J) for running its Java-based content.  Regular readers of this blog know that we certified OracleAS 10.1.3.4 with Apps 12 at the end of 2008, with additional operating system platforms following shortly afterwards.

We've now certified Oracle Application Server 10g 10.1.3.5 OC4J with Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.  You can upgrade to OracleAS 10.1.3.5 OC4J directly from OracleAS 10.1.3, 10.1.3.3, or 10.1.3.4.  This certification allows you to upgrade the OC4J components in your R12 techstack to get take advantage of the latest performance and stability improvements in this incremental patchset.  To make sure that there's no misunderstanding about what can be upgraded, the full name of this patchset is:
It's important to note that either OracleAS 10.1.3.3, 10.1.3.4, or 10.1.3.5 are mandatory prerequisites if you plan to upgrade your Release 12 application tier to the latest certified version of Java 6.

Prerequisites
  • Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.0.3 (Release Update Pack 3) or higher
Certified Platforms
  • Linux x86 (Oracle Enterprise Linux 4, 5)
  • Linux x86 (RHEL 4, 5)
  • Linux x86 (SLES 9, 10)
  • Linux x86-64 (Oracle Enterprise Linux 4, 5)
  • Linux x86-64 (RHEL 4, 5)
  • Linux x86-64 (SLES 9, 10)
  • HP-UX Itanium (11.23, 11.31)
  • HP-UX PA-RISC (64-bit) (11.11, 11.23, 11.31)
  • IBM AIX on Power Systems (64-bit) (5.3, 6.1)
  • Microsoft Windows Server (32-bit) 2003, and 2008 for Apps 12.1.1+ only
  • Sun Solaris SPARC (64-bit) (8, 9, 10)
References
Related Articles

Thursday Aug 27, 2009

Turbocharging Your EBS 12.0 Techstack Upgrade

[Oct 4, 2010 Update:  Since this article was published last year, there have been several updates to the patches list for the respective Oracle Homes (10.1.2, 10.1.3 and 11.1.0.7) based on customer issues and internal testing. The Rapid Install content for those Oracle Homes has not been updated with the same updates.  Hence, the patches delivered by the EBS 12.1.1 Rapid Install will not be the latest baselines available for those technology stack components.  If you use this Rapid Install method, you still will need to refer to the respective documents to apply the latest patches added after the EBS 12.1.1 Rapid Install was released.  For pointers to those documents, see the individual listings for the respective techstack components in this certification summary.]

All three of the major new technology stack components included in Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.1 are also certified with Release 12.0.  You could manually upgrade each of these R12.0 techstack components yourself.  But now that Release 12.1.1 is out, why bother with that time-consuming approach when there's an easier and faster way?

You can use the EBS 12.1.1 Rapid Install to upgrade just the application and database tier technology stack components in your existing EBS 12.0 instance. Your technology stack components are upgraded to the same versions delivered with EBS 12.1.1 while leaving your EBS 12.0 product code (e.g. Financials, Supply Chain) untouched.

rapidwiz-txk.png

Running the Rapid Install with the -techstack option

Using the rapidwiz -techstack option with the EBS 12.1.1 Rapid Install provides options to upgrade the applications and database tier components for the following ORACLE_HOMEs:
  1. Application Server 10g OC4J to 10.1.3.4 (Applications tier)
  2. Application Server10g Forms and Reports to 10.1.2.3 (Applications tier)
  3. Database Release 10gR2 to 11gR1 version 11.1.0.7 (software and configuration files only on the DB tier. DB upgrade and post install steps to be performed separately)
From the first screen below, you can select the respective tier and proceed with the upgrade.

rapidwiz-txk.png


1. Upgrading the Database Technology Stack

Before selecting the database tier technology stack upgrade, make sure that your environment meets the minimum operating system prerequisites for running the 11gR1 Database.

If you choose the database tier upgrade, the wizard takes inputs for the Database host, Oracle SID, ORACLE_HOME and OS user related inputs.

rapidwiztxk-DB.png


It creates the new ORACLE_HOME with the associated Release 12.1.1 patches for the 11gR1 11.1.0.7 Database.  The installation then proceeds with installing the 11gR1 database software and the required configuration files for the E-Business Suite.

DB11upg.png


After the installation and configuration is complete, you need to complete the remaining DB upgrade steps using Section 1 and Section 2 of Interoperability Notes for 11gR1 with EBS R12.

2. Upgrading the Applications tier Technology Stack


If you choose to upgrade your applications tier, the Rapid Install wizard requires the CONTEXT file for your existing configuration. Point the wizard to the Application tier context file for your applications tier, e.g. $INST_TOP/appl/admin/<context name>.xml.

rapidwiztxk-AT.png


The wizard identifies the respective ORACLE_HOMEs from the context file and proceeds to upgrade these components.

OracleHomes.png


After validating and confirming the information, the installer proceeds to upgrade the components in the two Oracle Application Server 10g 10.1.3 and 10.1.2 ORACLE_HOMEs.

ATUpg.png


After all of the new Oracle Application Server 10g files are laid down in your filesystem, the Rapid Install wizard validates the installation. A green tick on the Validation window means the installation passed the post-install checks.

ValidationAT.png


Once you've run this upgrade on all of the Application tier nodes in your EBS instance, you're done!  Automated, validated, and fast.

References
Related Articles

Monday Aug 24, 2009

OPatch Essentials for Apps Sysadmins

All EBS administrators must become very familiar with the OPatch utility.  OPatch is used to patch the ORACLE_HOMEs in EBS Application and Database tiers.  Security fixes delivered for these ORACLE_HOMEs through Critical Patch Updates are also applied using OPatch.  It updates the central and per-product inventories with the details of each patch applied.  Apart from the Oracle Universal Installer (which internally also uses OPatch), this is the only tool authorized to patch ORACLE_HOMEs. 

Although it once had a reputation for being somewhat arcane, OPatch has evolved over the years into a more user-friendly and better-documented tool.  I'll cover the essentials of using OPatch in this article.

opatch.png


Prerequisites for Running OPatch

OPatch is a set of perl scripts that allow the application and rollback of interim patches to the ORACLE_HOMEs. It requires the Perl language interpreter and requires, at minimum, Perl version 5.005_03 or higher.  Version 5.6 or higher is recommended.

OPatch expects jar, java, ar, cp, and make commands (depending on the platform) to be available in the current PATH. EBS users have these available as part of the current PATH once the respective tier environment file is sourced.

What Does OPatch Do?

In Oracle E-Business Suite releases where a Rapid Install option is available, the installation process installs and maintains the OUI inventory for each of the ORACLE_HOMEs using OPatch. A query of each of the ORACLE_HOMEs created by a Rapid Install lists the patches installed.

OPatch can be used to:
  • Apply an interim patch

  • Roll back the application of an interim patch

  • Detect a conflict when applying an interim patch after previous interim patches have been applied. It also suggests the best options to resolve a conflict.

  • Report on installed products and interim patches.
Key OPatch Concepts
Oracle Universal Installer
When an installation is performed using the Oracle Universal Installer, the OUI inventory records the ORACLE_HOME, SID, location, products and technology versions installed.  The E-Business Suite Rapid Install maintains a global inventory of all its Oracle products. The location on Linux is specified in the /etc/oraInst.loc file.

[Editor:  Also see: Oracle Universal Installer Inventory Essentials for Apps Sysadmins]

OraInst.loc

The file on Unix where the inventory location and the OS group of the install user.

patch_storage directory

This directory stores information about the patches applied.
Important OPatch Runtime Options and Arguments
OPatch is located in the <Path_to_Oracle_Home>/OPatch directory.  You can run it with various commands and options. The following string shows the syntax for the OPatch utility:
<Path_to_OPatch>/opatch [-help] [-r[eport]] [command] [-option]

opatchhelp.png

The most commonly-used commands running OPatch are:
1. opatch apply ...

This command applies a patch from the patch directory.  The OUI inventory is updated with the patch's information.

2. opatch rollback ....

This is the command to rollback or undo a patch installation. The respective patch information is removed from the inventory.

3. opatch lsinventory

lsinventory lists all the patches installed on the Oracle Home.

4. opatch lsinventory -detail

lsinventory -detail gives list of patches and products installed in the ORACLE_HOME.

5. opatch version

version option displays the version of OPatch installed.

6. opatch napply

napply applies the patches in a directory. This is used in EBS environments while applying a patch that is a bundle of individual patches. napply eliminates the overhead of running opatch multiple times by the administrator. The napply option skips subsets or duplicates if they are already installed.

7. opatch nrollback

nrollback rolls back the patches using the IDs specified.

8. opatch  apply -minimize_downtime

This is specific to Real Application Clusters (RAC) enabled instances (DB tier patches).  The -minimize_downtime option allows you to apply a patch by bringing down one database server instance at a time.  OPatch applies the patch to the quiesced server instance, the instance is brought back up, and then OPatch moves on to the next database server  in a Real Application Clusters pool.

9. opatch apply -force

-force overrides conflicts with an existing patch by removing the conflicting patch from the system.

Caution: This option should be only used when explicitly it is said safe to be used in the README of the patch.

10. opatch apply -invPtrLoc <...>

The option -invPtrLoc can be used to specify the oraInst.loc file in case it's not in the default location e.g., /etc/oraInst.loc in Linux.  The argument to this option is the location of this file.

11. opatch query

The query command can be used to find out useful information about the patch

Syntax to be used:

opatch query  [-all] [-jre <LOC> ] [-oh <LOC> ] \ 
[-get_component] [-get_os] [-get_date] [-get_base_bug] \
[-is_rolling_patch] [-is_online_patch] \
[-has_sql] [ <Patch Location> ]

all

Retrieves all information about a patch. This is equivalent to setting all available options.

get_base_bug

Retrieves bugs fixed by the patch.

get_component

Retrieves components the patch affects.

get_date

Retrieves the patch creation date and time.

is_online_patch

Indicates true if the patch is an online patch. Otherwise, the option is false.

is_rolling_patch

Indicates true if the patch is a rolling patch. Otherwise, the option is false.

oh

Specifies the Oracle home directory to use instead of the default directory. This takes precedence over the ORACLE_HOME environment variable.

Patch Location

Indicates the path to the patch location. If you do not specify the location, OPatch assumes the current directory is the patch location.

Where's the Official OPatch Documentation?

A well written User Guide and FAQ are shipped with every OPatch version and are available under the OPatch/doc directory of the ORACLE_HOME. These documents list all the arguments and options available with OPatch.

I strongly recommend the administrators who are in charge of applying the patches to carefully read the above documents as well as the ORACLE_HOME version-specific OPatch documentation on Metalink. Latest OPatch versions for 10.1, 10.2 and 11.1 are available for download via Patch 6880880

A New Option For Critical Patch Updates (CPU)

Oracle introduced the napply option in July 2007 with Critical Patch Updates for its DB tier patches on Unix platforms for 10gR2 version 10.2.0.3 and higher. This provides conflict resolution and the ability to merge patches for CPU fixes.  This eliminates the CPU merge patch.  It also reduces downtime by eliminating the need to rollback and reinstall patches that are already installed. Customers can continue to partial apply and get other security fixes in place while waiting for a merge conflict resolution from Oracle's Database Support team.

Common OPatch Issues
Conflicts Between Patches
Conflicts occur when you try to apply a patch whose fix already been applied through another patch.  DBAs are advised NOT to use the -force option with apply as this removes the conflicting fix from the system. All conflicts need to be resolved by contacting Customer Support.

Errors due to Java locations


Make sure that the Java JDK and JRE prerequisites are available in the PATH or provided in command line option. The -jre and -jdk options allow you to specify these explicitly instead of using the ones from ORACLE_HOME.  EBS customers generally do not need to specify -jre or -jdk options because sourcing the respective ORACLE_HOME .env file will include the correct jre/jdk locations in the PATH.
References
Related Articles

Friday Aug 21, 2009

Configuring SSL with a Configuration Wizard in EBS R12

E-Business Suite R12.1.1 provides Advanced Configuration wizards that make it easier to deploy features such as SSL and load-balancing.  Apps administrators can use these wizards to make configuration changes online through Oracle Applications Manager (OAM) and then run AutoConfig on the applications tier to make the changes effective.

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is one of the most commonly used configurations in EBS. I'll walk through the SSL Advanced Configuration Wizard in this article.

Accessing the Advanced Configuration Wizards

Launch the Oracle Applications Manager Site Map using the System Administrator responsibility, then select the AutoConfig link from the Administration tab.

Wizards_Welcome.png

Click on Launch Wizards. It brings up the launch pad for five wizards:

  1. Forms Socket Mode
  2. SSL
  3. SSL Accelerator
  4. HTTP Load Balancing
  5. OC4J Load Balancing

Wizards_Home.png

Start the SSL Configuration Wizard

The OAM General Collection Service must be activated before running any configuration wizards.  From the Administration tab of the Site Map, click on the 'Generic Services' link under the Application Services. Select 'OAM Generic Collect Services' and start it for the target instance. OAM submits a concurrent request for the same. Click on Verify to see if the service starts up fine. Once the service starts, you are ready to use the wizard.

From the Configuration Wizards launch pad, click on the 'Enable' button for SSL.

Select Nodes to be SSL-Enabled

Select the nodes on which you would like to enable SSL and click 'Next.'

SSL1.PNG

2. Set Context variables for SSL

Notice the tip at the bottom of the Parameters screen:  you should make sure that your digital certificates are properly imported into the Wallet of your EBS instance. For details about importing SSL certificates, see:

SSLParam.png

The wizard sets the following context variables to 'https':

  • URL protocol
  • Local URL protocol

It also sets values for the 'Web SSL directory' and the 'Active HTTP SSL port.' The subsequent screen gives the current and new values for these variables.

3. Validation

The wizard validates all settings when you click 'Next' after the user comparison of context values screen.  It checks that the Wallet and the required directory structures exist.

SSLValidation.png

Make sure that the Status is 'Success.' Check the log file in the 'View' link for any errors.

4. Confirmation Page

Clicking 'Next' will take you to the Confirmation Page in the train cart. Click on the link below to check the confirmation page.

View image


5. Submit the changes and run AutoConfig

Clicking the 'Submit' button on the Confirmation page displays the next action to be taken. You can review the context file on the applications tier for the changes that have been made.

The next step is to run AutoConfig to propagate the changes. You need to restart all application services to make the changes effective.

Once the service have been restarted, the EBS instance is ready to be used in SSL mode.

References

Related Articles

Wednesday Aug 12, 2009

Confused About E-Business Server vs. Desktop Operating System Certifications?

The E-Business Suite is designed to support a three-tier architecture, with functions running on a client tier, an application server tier (also called a middle tier), and a database tier.  I handled a customer question on an internal Oracle mailing list today that suggested that there was confusion about our certification policies for these tiers.  I then realized that I've answered variants of this question many times lately, so it's clearly of broader interest. 

These two questions are mirror images of each other:
  • Can I install the E-Business Suite on a desktop operating system like Windows Vista?
  • Can I run end-user E-Business Suite functions on a server operating system like Oracle Enterprise Linux?
EBS-R12-architecture-diagram2.png
Certifying End-User Functions on Desktop Operating Systems

The first guiding principle is that we certify E-Business Suite end-user client functions on end-user desktop operating systems.  Examples of EBS end-user client functions include:
  • Accessing web-based Self-Service applications from browsers
  • Running Forms-based applications under the native Sun JRE plug-in.
The certified end-user desktop operating systems are:
  • Windows XP
  • Windows Vista
  • Mac OS X
We intend to certify Microsoft Windows 7 and Apple Mac OS X Snow Leopard (10.6) desktop operating systems to run EBS end-user client functions in the future.  I can't discuss schedules for these certifications, but you're welcome to monitor or subscribe to this blog for updates.  

We have no current plans to certify Linux desktop operating systems (e.g. Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, CentOS, etc) to run E-Business Suite end-user client functions.

Certifying Server-Based Components on Server Operating Systems
 
The second guiding principle is that we certify E-Business Suite's server-based components on server-based operating systems.  Server-based components are designed to run on application tier servers and database tier servers.  Server-based components include the Oracle Database, Oracle Forms, JServ, OC4J, and so on.

Server-based operating systems include:
  • Microsoft Windows Server
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux
  • Oracle Enterprise Linux
  • Sun Solaris
  • IBM AIX
  • IBM Linux on System z
  • IBM Linux on POWER
  • HP-UX
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES)
Mixing and Matching Server vs. Desktop Certifications

We have no plans to certify E-Business Suite end-user client-based functions on server operating systems. 
 
Likewise, we also have no plans to certify E-Business Suite database or application-tier server components on end-user desktop operating systems. 

Security Implications of Running Something on the Wrong Platform
 
The security implications of running the wrong thing on the wrong platform must be considered.  Today's question from a customer asked whether it's possible to run the E-Business Suite's end-user functions from geographically-distributed machines running Windows Server. 

Now, I'm assuming that those distributed machines are acting as real servers running mission-critical multi-user applications.  If I were a security administrator, I wouldn't want an end-user to use that server to do email, surf the web, or run other end-user applications.  Given the propensity of end-users to click on suspicious email attachments, hit questionable websites, and install dodgy P2P apps, that's a good way of contaminating the server and breaching security.  I can't think of any scenario where this would be a good idea.

Support Implications of Running Something on the Wrong Platform

We can't prevent customers from doing dangerous things with machines connecting to the E-Business Suite.  I'm reminded of Robin Williams' piece on unarmed bobbies in the UK: "Stop, or I'll yell, 'Stop' again!"  [No, no, I'm not making any statements about gun control either way, I'm just underlining Oracle's lack of omnipotence.]

What we can do is ensure that you get fixes for issues that occur on the tiers on which EBS components were designed to run. 

From a support perspective, we can produce E-Business Suite patches only for end-user client issues that can be reproduced on a certified desktop operating system configuration.

Likewise, we can produce E-Business Suite patches only for server-based component issues that can be reproduced on a certified server operating system.

Related Articles

Friday Aug 07, 2009

Oracle Universal Installer Inventory Essentials for Apps Sysadmins

We see quite a few Service Requests (SRs) where E-Business Suite customers have gotten into difficulty with the Oracle Universal Installer (OUI) Inventory.  It's important to note the Oracle Universal Installer Inventory has nothing to do with the Oracle E-Business Suite Inventory product (product code INV).

Screenshot of generic Oracle Universal Installer dialog box

The Oracle Universal Installer Inventory is a component of the OUI and creates a record of the Oracle homes, products and patches you have installed on a node. Whilst it's not part of the E-Business Suite, as an Applications DBA it's inevitable that sooner or later you will have to look after the Inventory. This article will focus on issues relating to the OUI Inventory specifically within the context of Oracle Applications.

An Overview of the OUI Inventory

The Oracle Universal Installer Inventory comprises three main components:

  • The Pointer File
  • The Central (Global) Inventory
  • The Home (Local) Inventory

Central Inventory and Home Inventory are the official names, however, almost everybody talks about the Global and Local Inventory so it's useful to mention this now as the terms are often used interchangeably.

The Pointer File, created or referenced when running the OUI or rapidwiz, is called oraInst.loc and is used to either locate an existing Central Inventory or tell OUI where to create a new Central Inventory. It's a simple text file, stored, by default, in a system directory. In the Microsoft Windows environment it is stored in the registry key \\HKLM\Software\Oracle\INST_LOC.

The Central Inventory records details of Oracle homes installed on a node. A single node might contain one Central Inventory with details of all Oracle homes on that node, or a single node might contain multiple Central Inventories each one containing details of a single Oracle home.

The Home Inventory is specific to, and contained within each Oracle home, and contains details of patches or updates applied to that specific Oracle home.

This article will concentrate on the Central Inventory as, generally speaking, the Home Inventory looks after itself.

Central Inventory Differences Between Apps 11i and R12

In Apps 11i, the default action was to use a single Central Inventory -- that is, one Central Inventory per node -- which recorded all Oracle homes installed on that node. The Central Inventory Pointer File was stored in a system directory to which you had to have write access. This was why during an EBS 11i installation, or when cloning to a new node, you would be prompted to run scripts as the root user before you could complete your installation or clone. If you had multiple 11i installations on a node, these would generally all be recorded in the same Central Inventory.

In Apps R12, things have changed. If rapidwiz is not able to automatically create a Pointer File in the default system directory, it will create multiple Central Inventories and multiple Pointer Files. Instead of prompting to run a script as the root user, a separate Central Inventory and Pointer File will be created in each Oracle home created on the node.

Things have the potential to get complicated when you have multiple Oracle Applications installations on a single node, or where 11i and R12 installations are both installed on the same node. Start cloning to and from this same node and soon you may be forced to pay attention to the Inventory.

How EBS Creates and Updates the OUI Inventory

Here are a couple of typical examples of how the OUI Inventory is configured during an Oracle Applications installation.

Scenario 1: Upgrading Apps 11i to 12 creates multiple Pointer Files and Central Inventories

A typical scenario might be that you have an 11i test environment installed on your node. You plan to upgrade sometime soon and wish to install a simple R12 test environment on the same node.

By default, the operating system user installing R12 will probably not have permission to update the Central Inventory created by the previous 11i installation. In this case, multiple additional Pointer Files and Central Inventories are created within the new R12 Oracle homes. This in itself is not a problem but it is important that you understand that this may be what is happening.

Scenario 2: Upgrading Apps 11i to 12 updates the Global Inventory

Using the same starting scenario as above, if your R12 operating system user has write access to the Global Inventory created by 11i, then rapidwiz will update that Global Inventory with details of the new Oracle homes installed. Again, this is not a problem, but it is important that you are aware of what is happening.

When multiple Central Inventories exist, you must to be aware of this, as the correct Pointer File will need to be specified when maintaining the Oracle homes to maintain the correct Central Inventory.

Updating the Inventory When Removing an 11i or R12 environment

With the potential for single or multiple Global Inventories being created or updated, it’s important that when you delete an Oracle Applications environment from a machine, you make sure its corresponding Global Inventory entry is also updated correctly.

If your node is using a single Global Inventory and you wish to delete an Oracle Applications environment, it is not enough to just shut down the database and all the services and delete the software. This will leave a record of the installation in the Global Inventory.

To completely remove an installation, you must run OUI and use the graphical interface or the OUI command line to update the Global Inventory to record that the installation has been removed. If this is not done, then the Global Inventory retains a record of an environment that no longer exists on the node.

If you were to then perform a new installation or clone to that node at the same location as the previously removed installation, there would be a failure to correctly register the new installation. This could easily create an Oracle Applications installation which does not work correctly, or has links to non-existent locations. You might also have problems upgrading the technology stack or applying patches to this environment at a later date.

Tools for Managing the Inventory

Fortunately, there are various tools that allow you to check the condition of the Global Inventory on a node:

  • The Opatch utility has some useful command line parameters which allow you to interrogate and report on the condition of the inventory.
     
  • OUI and OPatch also support the “invPtrLoc” parameter which allows you to specify the inventory Pointer File you wish to use when you install or patch a product.

If you encounter a situation where your Oracle home is not correctly recorded in a Global Inventory, it is also possible to create or update the Central Inventory. There are several notes (see links in the Reference section below), which explain how to create or update the Central Inventory. There is also a note on how to consolidate multiple Central Inventories on a node into a single Central Inventory.

There is sometimes the temptation to manually edit the XML files that make up the Central or Home Inventory. Don't give in to temptation. The OUI Inventory should only be updated via Oracle tools such as the Oracle Universal Installer itself, the Rapid Install (rapidwiz), Opatch, and RapidClone.

Checking the OUI Inventory Log Files

During an installation or clone of Oracle Applications, the inventory creation or updating process is recorded in the log file called ohclone.log. The ohclone.log file will tell you if any aspect of the registration process has failed. You should always check this (and other log files) as part of your installation or cloning process.

Four Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Inventory

If you spend a lot of time installing and removing Oracle Applications environments and and have not really thought about the inventory in the past, you should keep the following in mind:

  1. Always deinstall the Oracle Applications technology stack using the OUI before deleting the software.
  2. Always check the ohclone.log after an installation or clone.
  3. If you know how your OUI Inventory is currently arranged, you should be fine. If you don’t, you should take a little time to familiarise yourself with the setup.
  4. Do not try to manually edit files that make up the Global or Local Inventory.

References

Tuesday Aug 04, 2009

Is It Safe to Use SANs for EBS R12 Instance Tops?

Our documentation about sharing filesystems between multiple Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 application servers recommends that you install the Instance Top (INST_TOP) on a local filesystem. This has prompted an interesting discussion about whether this is really mandatory, or whether it's technically feasible to put the Instance Top on, say, a dedicated fibre-attached SAN. 

Release 12 shared filesystem:

Our guidance on the INST_TOP being installed on a local file system is based on three major considerations:

  1. Separation of duties and security implications
  2. Impact of SAN performance on Apache
  3. Additional troubleshooting complexity

1. Separation of Duties & Security Implications

Our recommended configuration allows for different file system privileges and ownership between the Instance Top (INST_TOP) and the Code Top (ORACLE_HOMEs & APPL_TOP). This allows for the segregation of duties between administrators for the respective servers. Patching can be done on the Code Top by central system administrators who own the central shared portion of the file system. Instance Tops can be owned by instance sysadmins, who usually already own the CPU box with local storage.

Some instance-specific, run-time-generated files (e.g. reports, temp files) can include unencrypted data. Contrast those with database files (DBFs), which can be self-encrypted or contain encrypted data. Even with encrypted file system solution in place, there is less depth in defenses around some of the INST_TOP files.

2. Impact of SAN Performance on Apache

Apache performance is highly sensitive to mutex file access latency, and at higher loads is also sensitive to I/Os per second.  We tried using a central SAN for INST_TOPs in our internal EBS development environments but found the performance to be unacceptable.  However, not all SANs are created equal, and depending on the SAN, it might be good for even production use.

A very good article on this point is available from the SQLTeam web site:

3. Additional Troubleshooting Complexity

A network storage access problem can have a spectrum of symptoms, including performance slow downs and even as intermittent end-user session failures. Some of the affected code paths were made more resilient over the years, but we still prefer to err on the side of prudence and not potentially cause these (hard to diagnose) problems.

Your Mileage May Vary

All that said, you might decide that your testing of SAN performance demonstrates that its latency and I/O transaction throughput are good enough for your requirements. 

Our Support and Development teams will attempt to reproduce any reported issues in a multinode environment where the INST_TOPs are stored on a local filesystem.  If the issues are isolated to the external placement of the Instance Tops, our recommendations would be to either revert back to local storage, or to work with your SAN vendor to optimize the SAN's performance.

References

Related Articles

Tuesday Jul 28, 2009

Latest Apps 11i Techstack (ATG RUP 7) Now Available

I'm very pleased to announce that the latest ATG Family Pack H Rollup 7 for the E-Business Suite Release 11i technology stack is now available for download from Metalink.

Screenshot of download page for patch 6241631

The official name for this patch is:

In other words, this is the seventh consolidated rollup of patches released on top of 11i.ATG_PF.H. For the Oracryptoanalysts out there who like to track nomenclature variants of these things, this patch is also referred to as the Applications Technology Group (ATG) Family Pack H Rollup 7.

This Rollup patch is a collection of technology-stack patches that can safely be applied on top of the ATG Family Pack H. This Rollup patch is cumulative: all previous patches released for Family Pack H since the initial 11.5.10 release are included in this latest patch, including:

Why Is This Rollup Important?

As with the previous ATG Rollup 6, we've spent a huge amount of effort both within the Applications Technology Group and across the entire Applications Suite to test and certify this Rollup patch.

Our focus for this latest Rollup has been to consolidate all known safe defect fixes, performance improvements and security enhancements into one well integrated and fully certified update. We also focused on eliminating as many "co-requisite" patches as possible (application product patches required to interoperate with new ATG Rollups), by working to restore backward compatibility with earlier application levels wherever possible.

Our standing recommendation is that all customers should make plans to move to Rollup 7 as quickly as possible, especially any customers who are not already at ATG Rollup 6.

Changes and Fixes in Rollup 7

Oracle Applications Technology 11i.ATG_PF.H.delta.7 (RUP7) contains Oracle Applications Technology (ATG) security fixes for core ATG products from the January 2005 Critical Patch Update (CPUJan2005) through the July 2009  Critical Patch Update (CPUJul2009).

The following core ATG products are included in 11i.ATG_PF.H.delta.7: FND, OAM, OWF, FWK, JTT, JTA, TXK, XDO, ECX, EC, AK, ALR, UMX, BNE, and FRM.

ATG Family Pack H Rollup 7 (11i.ATG_PF.H RUP 7, Patch 6241631) includes a range of new features and bug fixes for:

Full details about what's new in RUP7 are listed here:

Prerequisites

Oracle Applications Technology ATG_PF.H RUP7 can be applied only to an existing Oracle Applications Release 11.5.10.2 system.  If you don't already have a running Release 11.5.10.2 (11.5.10 CU2) system, then you must first install the Oracle E-Business Suite 11.5.10.2.

Special Advisory for Single Sign-On 10g Users

The SSO 10g Integration patch for Rollup 7 (Patch 6936696) has been released concurrently with this patch. It is available immediately for download. Details about upgrading your SSO-integrated environment to use this patch can be found in the latest version of Note 233436.1.

Supporting the Current and Previous ATG RUPs

Way back in 2006, in this blog's salad days, I posted this article:

Remember that our support baseline for the E-Business Suite is comprised of the current (N) and immediately preceding (N-1) ATG RUPs.  New EBS patches are tested and released on top of these two technology stack baseline configurations. 

What Does This Have to do with ATG RUP 7?

Apps 11i ATG RUP 7 is supported along with ATG RUP 6.  In other words, if you encounter any issues with ATG RUP 6 or 7, we'll be able to release new E-Business Suite patches for those configurations as necessary.

If your Apps 11i environment is still running ATG RUP 5 or older, you will no longer be able to request new patches for those technology stack levels.  You can still get access to existing patches, of course.

A Short Aside About Related Support Policies

This is similar but not identical to the support policy for our Server Technologies and Fusion Middleware products, which I've discussed in more detail in these important articles:

Remember that our Server Technologies and Fusion Middleware support policies are subtly different and from EBS policies:  they support the current (N), as well as the immediately preceding (N-1) release for 12 months after the N release.

Related Articles

Wednesday Jul 22, 2009

New Apps 11i Autoconfig Rollup Patch T Now Available

A new AutoConfig update has been released for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i. EBS 11i Technology Stack Rollup T (Patch 8217898) for Autoconfig is now available for download. This Rollup includes fixes and enhancements to Autoconfig and its configuration templates. Screenshot of download page for TXK AutoConfig Rollup 8217898 This cumulative patch includes all previously released AutoConfig updates, including the previous Autoconfig Rollup - RUP-S 6372396. RUP T can be applied standalone. The release of this rollup patch is a bit of a sneak preview of things to come, as it will be included in the next EBS Applications Technology Family Pack - ATG PF-H RUP 7. This Rollup includes the following features and enhancements:
  • Vietnamese translation with Forms/Reports 6i for EBS R11i
  • Enable/disable MWA services via a new configuration variable
  • Turn on/off OXTA PROXY configuration
  • Set the SSL Loglevel via autoconifg variable
  • Templates changes required to support Secure Enterprise Search (SES) in 11i
  • Enhancements to context variables definitions in the inf file
References Related Articles

Friday Jul 10, 2009

Latest DSTv11 Timezone Patches Available for E-Business Suite

Wooden_hourglass_small.jpg

For reasons mysterious to me, world governments apparently like to change their timezones on a regular basis.  If your E-Business Suite Release 11i or 12 environment has been configured to support Daylight Saving Time (DST) or international time zones, it's important that you keep your timezone definition files up-to-date.  They were last changed in February 2009, and they've been updated once again:  DSTv11 is now available and certified with the E-Business Suite.

Is Your Environment Affected?

 When a country or region changes DST rules or their time zone definitions, your Oracle E-Business Suite environment will require patching if:

  • Your Oracle E-Business Suite environment is located in the affected country or region OR
  • Your Oracle E-Business Suite environment is located outside the affected country or region but you conduct business or have customers or suppliers in the affected country or region.

We last discussed the DSTv10 patches on this blog.  The latest "DSTv11" timezone definition file is cumulative and includes all DST changes released in earlier time zone definitions.  DSTv11 includes changes to the following timezones since the DSTv10 release:

  • Africa/Cairo
    Africa/Casablanca
    Africa/Tunis
    America/Adak
    America/Anchorage
    America/Argentina/Cordoba
    America/Argentina/Jujuy
    America/Argentina/Mendoza
    America/Argentina/Salta
    America/Argentina/San_Luis
    America/Atka
    America/Bogota
    America/Cordoba
    America/Eirunepe
    America/Havana
    America/Jujuy
    America/Juneau
    America/Lima
    America/Managua
    America/Mendoza
    America/Miquelon
    America/Nome
    America/Noronha
    America/Porto_Acre
    America/Resolute
    America/Rio_Branco
    America/Rosario
    America/Santiago
    America/Thule
    America/Yakutat
    Antarctica/Palmer
    Asia/Amman
    Asia/Baghdad
    Asia/Baku
    Asia/Choibalsan
    Asia/Damascus
    Asia/Gaza
    Asia/Hovd
    Asia/Istanbul
    Asia/Karachi
    Asia/Novosibirsk
    Asia/Samarkand
    Asia/Tashkent
    Asia/Ulaanbaatar
    Asia/Ulan_Bator
    Brazil/Acre
    Brazil/DeNoronha
    Chile/Continental
    Chile/EasterIsland
    Cuba
    Egypt
    Europe/Chisinau
    Europe/Istanbul
    Europe/Kaliningrad
    Europe/Kiev
    Europe/Samara
    Europe/Simferopol
    Europe/Tiraspol
    Europe/Vienna
    Europe/Warsaw
    Indian/Mauritius
    Pacific/Easter
    Poland
    Turkey
    US/Alaska
    US/Aleutian

What Patches Are Required?

In case you haven't been following our previous time zone or Daylight Saving Time (DST)-related articles, international timezone definitions for E-Business Suite environments are captured in a series of patches for the database and application tier servers in your environment. The actual scope and number of patches that need to be applied depend on whether you've applied previous DST or timezone-related patches. Some sysadmins have remarked to me that it generally takes more time to read the various timezone documents than it takes to apply these patches, but your mileage may vary.

We've published the following Notes which identify the various components in your E-Business Suite environment that may need DST patches:

What Have Your Experiences Been?

DST patching was a hot topic a few years ago, so much so that we convened some emergency web-based seminars for customers to clarify out the requirements for E-Business Suite environments. Since then, it seems like time zone patching has become more predictable and better-documented, and I haven't heard about any recent customer escalations in this area. I'd be interested in hearing about your experiences lately in keeping your Apps environment up-to-date with time zone patches; feel free to drop me an email or post a comment here with your thoughts.

Wednesday Jul 08, 2009

Choosing a Shared File System for Oracle E-Business Suite

[March 18, 2013 Update: Added ACFS information captured in the comments to the article body]

[March 10, 2010 Update:  OCFS2 for Linux is now certified for EBS 12 application tier servers; see this article for details.]

It's possible to scale up your E-Business Suite environment with multiple application tier servers to improve fault tolerance and performance.  It's also possible to share a single filesystem between them: all application tier files are installed on a single shared disk resource that's mounted from each application tier node.  In Release 12, that would look like this:

Release 12 shared filesystem:

This allows you to apply patches once to the central filesystem, rather than maintaining each application tier server node individually.  We recommend this approach; it reduces maintenance overheads for those multiple servers and shortens your patching downtimes. 

Beginning with Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12, we also allow you to share an applications tier file system between multiple E-Business Suite database instances, too. For more details about this advanced option, see this article.

Customers embarking upon this path inevitably ask, "Which shared filesystem do you recommend?"  The short answer is that we don't recommend any specific filesystem, but there's more to it than just that.

Does Oracle Certify Storage Systems?

Not any more.  Our Server Technologies division used to run an Oracle Storage Compatibility Program (OSCP) to validate specialized storage products.  At one time, Oracle and its partners worked together to validate specialized storage technology including NFS file servers, remote mirroring, and snapshot products.  The storage industry matured over time, and this program was ended in January, 2007. 

The successor to this program is the Oracle Certification Environment (OCE) group.  This group provides resources for third-party vendors to certify their own products with Oracle technology.  The OCE team works with Oracle Partner Management and third party vendors for approving support statements published by third party vendors with respect to certification projects with Oracle.

It's important to note that these certifications are performed by the third-party vendors themselves and not the E-Business Suite Development division.  Certification statements made by third-party vendors partnering with the Oracle Certification Environment group are not reviewed or endorsed by the E-Business Suite division.  

Does the E-Business Suite Division Certify Storage Systems?

No, I'm afraid not.  EBS Development doesn't have the resources to certify or compare even a subset of the leading filesystems.  Since we don't have hands-on experience with different filesystems in a controlled test environment, we can't make any informed recommendations for a given product.  We generally suggest that customers either perform their own product testing or consult a trusted consultancy that compares the relative merits of each product against a consistent set of criteria.

What are the EBS Requirements for a Shared Filesystem?

Shared filesystems must be transparent to the calling application, in this case, the E-Business Suite.  In other words, no modifications to the E-Business Suite should be necessary to ensure compatibility with the shared filesystem.

Our Frequently Asked Questions: Sharing the Application Tier File System in Oracle Applications 11i (Note 243880.1) states:

... your shared application tier file system can reside on any type of shared disk resource. Examples of shared disk resources include an NFS mounted disk or a disk array. The shared disk resource does not have to be local to the machine, and it can also be a standalone disk array. Usual tuning considerations apply.

The same thing applies to Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12, too.

What About OCFS2 or GFS?

There are many different shared filesystems out there, too many to list here.  The general statements about EBS requirements for a shared filesystem above apply to all third-party file system products.

However, we get a lot of questions about three specific products due to their close relationship and packaging with Oracle's own operating system releases:

Here's the E-Business Suite position on these three shared file systems:

Oracle Clustered File System (OCFS2)

The E-Business Suite's database tier is built on the Oracle Database.  The Oracle Database is certified with OCFS2.   Therefore, OCFS2 is supported for the E-Business Suite database tier, too. 

The E-Business Suite's application tier is built on Oracle Application Server.  Oracle Application Server is not yet certified to run on OCFS2. 

If our Fusion Middleware group ever certifies Oracle9i Application Server 1.0.2.2.2 (used by Apps 11i) or Oracle Application Server 10g (used by Apps 12) to run on OCFS2, then the E-Business Suite's application tier will be certified on that file system. 

Red Hat Global File System (GFS)

Specific versions of the Oracle Database are certified with GFS running on specific Red Hat and Oracle Enterprise Linux releases.   Therefore, those GFS combinations are supported for the E-Business Suite database tier, too.

Sadly, I haven't been able to locate any externally-published statements about Oracle Application Server compatibility with GFS.  This usually means that these two products haven't been tested together.  If you want an explicit statement of support for GFS for Fusion Middleware products, your best bet would be to log a Service Request against the Oracle Application Server product in question.

Back to the database and GFS:  there are some special support provisions for this database configuration.  See the "Support Process for GFS 6.0 and 6.1" section of Using Redhat Global File System (GFS) as shared storage for RAC (Note 329530.1), which states:

Oracle's product support teams will not take support calls on Red Hat GFS. All issues known to be related to Red Hat GFS must be opened with Red Hat directly. When an Oracle SR is opened for an Oracle product or a Red Hat Enterprise Linux issue in a configuration that includes GFS, Oracle Support will do their best effort to determine if the issue is GFS software related. In that case, Oracle will hand-off the GFS related issue to Red Hat Support.

It's important to note that the E-Business Suite division does not test the E-Business Suite with GFS. We haven't performed any certification or compatibility tests with that filesystem and don't have any empirical data about how well this particular combination will work.

Oracle ASM Clustered File System (ACFS)

  1. The E-Business Suite database tier is certified on ACFS.
  2. The E-Business Suite application tier is not certified on ACFS.

Most Oracle Database releases are certified to run on ACFS.  You can refer to the Certify database on My Oracle Support for the latest supported certifications. You can run EBS database servers for those certified combinations on ACFS.  

Amongst other things, EBS 11i uses Forms 6i, Oracle9i Application Server 1.0.2.2.2, and JServ on the application tier.  EBS 12.0, and 12.1 use Forms 10g, Oracle Application Server 10g, and OC4J on the application tier. on ACFS.  These Fusion Middleware product versions are not certified on ACFS.  There are no plans for those certifications.  Since the E-Business Suite depends on those products, EBS 11i, 12.0, and 12.1 application tiers cannot run on ACFS.

What Does EBS Development Use Internally?

We're in Development, not marketing, and we're expressly not able to endorse third-party products.  What we can do is give you a glimpse of what we use internally within Oracle for the E-Business Suite Development division.

At any given time we have hundreds of E-Business Suite environments running simultaneously within the EBS Development division.  These are centrally managed by our terrific EBS/Fusion Operations group.  This internal Oracle group has has created some really interesting infrastructure over the years.  One of the most useful custom solutions allows developers to get a new EBS environment on demand.  Shortly after their request, an automated process instantiates a new Apps environment and the developer is off to the races.

The underpinnings of this are Network File System (NFS) mounted filesystems running on NetApp.  Our Operations group has tested ZFS-based filers, which are also NFS-mounted filesystems.

In practical terms, this means that nearly all of our development, testing, and certification environments for the E-Business Suite are all running on NFS mounts.  We explicitly assume that our use of NFS generalizes to all shared file systems. 

What Does Oracle Use Internally for its Production Global Single Instance?

Our EBS development use of NFS is paralleled by Oracle's own global single instance deployment of Apps 12.  Our production EBS instance connects via Gigabit Ethernet to a shared NFS (NAS) NetApp FAS960 clustered storage system running NetApp 7.2.4. 

Our four production Sun F25K database servers are equipped with 44 dual core CPUs and over 176 GB RAM, Sun Solaris 9, Sun Cluster 3.1, and Veritas VxVM/VxFS 4.0* mp02.  Each of these database nodes has three GigE cards connecting them to the backend database storage, an EMC Symmetrix DMX3000 storage system.

Architecture diagram of Oracle's own global single instance EBS 12 deployment

Remember, this isn't an endorsement or a recommendation; it's merely a peek into what we use here internally at Oracle.

References

Related Articles

Friday Jul 03, 2009

Comparisons of E-Business Suite Release 12 Rapid Install Techstacks

[Jul 6, 2009 Update: Database version for 12.0.4 Rapid install was 10.2.0.3, not 10.2.0.4. Table corrected now.

A reader recently asked where she could find a summary of the E-Business Suite Release 12 technology stack components for different R12 releases.  As it turns out, there's a long answer to this deceptively-simple question.  This level of information is spread in a variety of release-specific Notes, making it tricky to compare which components were delivered as part of each Apps 12 Rapid Install. 

Here's a high-level architectural diagram showing an overview of the major techstack components in R12:

Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 architecture diagram showing three tier database application server client and major techstack components

It's possible to add on additional database options not shown above, including 11g Advanced Compression, 11g Advanced Security, and others. 

Here's a summary of the versions for the important major techstack components that were included in the Rapid Install footprints for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12:

EBS Release 12 Rapid Install Version
12.0.0 12.0.4 12.1.1
Database 10.2.0.2 10.2.0.3 11.1.0.7
OracleAS 10.1.2 Forms & Reports 10.1.2.0.2 10.1.2.2 10.1.2.3
OracleAS 10.1.3 OC4J 10.1.3.0.0 10.1.3.0.0 10.1.3.4
App Tier Java (JDK) 1.5.0_10 1.5.0_13 1.6.0_10
Desktop Client Java (JRE) 1.5.0_10-erdist 1.5.0_13 1.6.0_u10

The Case Against Finer-Grained Listings for Internal Components

The table above shows only the major internal components that Apps DBAs can upgrade themselves.  Individual upgrades for finer-grained components aren't required or recommended unless you're experiencing a particularly severe bug.  There are approximately 120 technology stack components in the E-Business Suite.  The fine-grained listings of these components are important to us in EBS Development, since we build the E-Business Suite on them, but they're mostly irrelevant to EBS sysadmins whose goal is maintaining their systems. 

For example, we track the versioning of individual application tier components like OJSP, Servlet, and SOAP separately from the overall Oracle Containers for Java (OC4J) component.  That doesn't affect your configuration management and operational plans, though.  An Apps sysadmin would simply install the latest certified Oracle Application Server 10g 10.1.3 update to get all of the latest 10.1.3 components bundled with that release.

Integrating EBS with External Oracle Products

Naturally, it's possible to integrate your EBS environment with a variety of other Oracle products.  These products can be running on external -- i.e. physically standalone -- servers or in a separate ORACLE_HOME on the same server where the E-Business Suite instance is installed. 

Commonly used external integrations are Single Sign-On and Oracle Internet Directory, used respectively for integrating with existing corporate authentication systems like Windows Kerberos, and with existing LDAP directories like Microsoft Active Directory.  External certified product integrations for the E-Business Suite are summarized here.

Updating Individual EBS Components After a Rapid Install

Using Rapid Install to create your initial E-Business Suite environment is convenient, but new Apps DBAs should understand that this is a starting point.  Your journey doesn't end here -- it begins.  If you haven't already seen these two articles, they're mandatory reading for Apps DBAs:

We regularly release new certifications for EBS technology stack components.  Our certification announcements archive tells the tale.  Including incremental announcements for specific operating system platforms and special architectures, we released almost 40 new certifications for Apps 12 in 2008.  We're already up to 20 new certifications for 2009. 

You can keep up with the news about the latest certifications by monitoring or subscribing to this blog.  If you're looking for a one-page summary of all of the latest technology stack components certified with the E-Business Suite, bookmark this Certification Summary.

Related Articles

Wednesday Jun 24, 2009

Understanding J2SE 1.5 End-of-Life Implications for Oracle E-Business Suite

Java logo

As with my previous post about the desupport of Sun's Java 1.4 release, you should be aware that the equivalent end-of-life (EOL) for Sun's J2SE 1.5 is coming up in October 2009.

Implications for E-Business Suite Users

Here are the implications if your Apps 11i or 12 environments are running on servers with J2SE 1.5:

  • If you log a Service Request for your environment, Oracle will continue to perform its usual diagnosis, triage, and search through our knowledge base for existing patches and workarounds.   This assistance may be constrained by limited access to a small number of remaining environments running J2SE 1.5.  It is extremely unlikely that we will issue new Apps patches for new compatibility issues identified with the E-Business Suite and J2SE 1.5.
  • Issues isolated to J2SE 1.5 itself will be referred to your operating system vendor for more assistance.  Depending on your vendor, you may be able to purchase extended support for J2SE 1.5 directly from them.
  • Issues that can't be reproduced in E-Business Suite environments running on J2SE 1.6 (6.0) will likely result in a recommendation to upgrade to those later releases.

Upgrading to Java 1.6

Given that Java 1.4 is already desupported and Java 1.5 is soon to be desupported later this year, we strongly recommend that you upgrade your EBS environments to Java 1.6, a.k.a Java 6.  For more information, see:

References

Related Articles

About

Search

Categories
Archives
« April 2014
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
  
1
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
   
       
Today