Friday Feb 01, 2013

Grace Period Increased for Applying (some) Database Patchsets

It's crucial to maintain the database in your E-Business Suite environments by applying the latest database patchsets.  Database patchsets contain important security, performance, and stability updates. As of today, the latest database patchset certified with EBS is 11.2.0.3. We strongly recommend that all EBS customers should be running this patchset now.

Oracle Database release roadmap

Until now, whenever a new database patchset was released, you had up to 12 months to apply it.  This is called the grace period.  No new patches for the previous patchset would be released after that 12 month grace period.

Oracle's Server Technologies group has just increased the grace period for the second and later patchsets to two years.

This is easier to understand with an example:

  • 11.2.0.1 was the major release for the 11gR2 codeline.
  • 11.2.0.2 was the first patchset.  You had 12 months to apply that patchset once it was released.
  • 11.2.0.3 was the second patchset.  You now have 24 months to apply that patchset after its release.

For more information about these database support policies, see:

Related Articles

Thursday Feb 26, 2009

On Apps Tier Patching and Support: A Primer for E-Business Suite Users

The Oracle Server Technologies division issued some important updates to their support policies in the following document:

I discussed the implications of the database-related policy updates for E-Business Suite users in this recently-published article.  It's time to discuss the implications of these policy updates for E-Business Suite application tier servers and externally-integrated Oracle Application Server instances.  This article also discusses the E-Business Suite application tier certification process and the safety of applying interim Fusion Middleware patches to your Apps environments. 

If you've read the previous article about database patching implications, parts of this new article will sound very familiar.  But stick with us; the implications for E-Business Suite application tier servers are subtly different and it's important that EBS sysadmins get the whole picture for both tiers.

[Read More]

Friday Feb 20, 2009

On Database Patching and Support: A Primer for E-Business Suite Users

The Oracle Server Technologies division has issued some important updates to their support policies in the following document:

These changes affect support policies for the database, Oracle Enterprise Manager, Fusion Middleware, and Collaboration Suite.  These changes are important enough to warrant an in-depth discussion about the implications of the database-related updates for E-Business Suite customers.  This article also discusses the E-Business Suite database certification process and the safety of applying interim patches to your Apps environments.  I'll cover the Apps-specific implications for the other technology products in a future article.

[Read More]

Tuesday Feb 17, 2009

Database 11gR1 Version 11.1.0.7 Certified with EBS 11i for Windows Server (32-bit)

When it rains, it pours.  It's been a busy week for new certifications.  In addition to their work on our newly-announced Apps R12 certification with the 11.1.0.7 Database, our Applications Platforms Group has just released their certification for EBS 11i on 11.1.0.7 on Microsoft Windows-based server platforms.

Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i (11.5.10.2) is now certified with Oracle Database Server 11gR1 version 11.1.0.7 on Microsoft Windows Server (32-bit) versions 2000 and 2003.  11.1.0.7 is the first database patchset available for the 11g Release 1 Database version 11.1.0.6.

11107PS.PNG

[Read More]

Tuesday Dec 23, 2008

Database 11gR1 Version 11.1.0.7 Certified with EBS 11i

Here's a great way to end the year 2008 for Certifications with EBS: Oracle Database 11gR1 version 11.1.0.7 is now certified with E-Business Suite Release 11i. 11.1.0.7 is the first database patchset available for the 11gR1 Release 11.1.0.6. Customers can upgrade to this version following the Notes listed in the Documentation section. 11107PS.PNG[Read More]

Tuesday Nov 18, 2008

Advanced Deployment Architectures for Oracle E-Business Suite (OpenWorld 2008 Recap)

I'm (still) highlighting OpenWorld 2008 presentations that cover some of the most popular E-Business Suite technology stack topics. A catalog of all of the Applications Technology track sessions with links to the presentations is available here:

E-Business Suite sysadmins know that there are a lot of different ways to deploy their system in production.  You can split EBS services across multiple application tier and database tier server nodes, you can scale up with load-balancers and Real Application Clusters, you can integrate your E-Business Suite instance with optional external services like Oracle Single Sign-On and the Oracle SOA Suite, and much, much more.

Sample physical architecture diagram showing E-Business Suite integrated with Single Sign-On and Oracle Internet Directory with firewalls separating DMZs

The number of architectural options can be pretty bewildering, and it can be difficult to get a high-level overview of the relative benefits of each option.  We have lots of detailed documentation and introductory blog articles on, say, implementing RAC, but it's very difficult to get a sense of whether you can combine a reverse proxy in front of a load-balanced cluster with a RAC-enabled database tier (this is feasible, by the way).

[Read More]

Friday Oct 31, 2008

Tuning All Layers of the Oracle E-Business Suite (OpenWorld 2008 Recap)

I'm highlighting OpenWorld 2008 presentations that cover some of the most popular E-Business Suite technology stack topics. A catalog of all of the Applications Technology track sessions with links to the presentations is available here:

We have an Applications Performance Group whose raison-d'etre is to ensure that the E-Business Suite runs at peak performance in all circumstances.  This team has helped tune the world's largest companies and their E-Business Suite environments to handle staggering amounts of transactional volume in enormous databases.  This is the same group that publishes all of the official Oracle Apps benchmarks, white papers, and performance metrics.

Their OpenWorld sessions are a perennial favourite with hardcore Apps DBAs looking to squeeze out the last ounce of performance out of their existing hardware.  Isam Alyousfi and Lester Gutierrez from our Applications Performance Group share their hard-won performance tuning tips in this in-depth session:

Table showing sample AWR report of top 5 timed events used for tuning EBS database tier performance

[Read More]

Wednesday Oct 22, 2008

Sun Java Plug-in 1.6.0_10 Certified with the E-Business Suite

Regular readers know that you're now free to use whatever version of the native Sun Java plug-in with the E-Business Suite as long as you meet certain minimum requirements.  Nonetheless, the latest Sun JRE is a bit of a new animal, so my team performed an explicit set of certification tests to ensure that it's as compatible as previous releases.

Based on those latest test, we've confirmed that the latest Sun Java Runtime Engine (JRE) native plug-in release 6u10 (JRE 1.6.0_10) is compatible with both Oracle Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12 on Windows-based desktop clients.

mzFormsArch:

[Read More]

Monday Aug 18, 2008

Application Management Pack for Oracle E-Business Suite 2.0.2 Now Available

Oracle E-Business Suite Application Technology Group (ATG) is pleased to announce the availability of the Application Management Pack for Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) version 2.0.2 Rollup update. This pack is available through Oracle Metalink, as patch 6809246.[Read More]

Monday Nov 26, 2007

Analyzing Memory vs Performance of Apps 11i and 12 Clients

I've recently published a new Oracle whitepaper that compares combinations of browsers with JInitiator and the native Sun Java plug-in (JRE) to determine which is best for low-specification clients.  It provides specific scenarios and examples showing where there is little difference between low and high specification clients in terms of end-user performance.

This white paper takes a completely different approach from the usual emphasis on tuning Windows clients. Instead, this paper focuses on analyzing the memory requirements for a range of Oracle E-Business Suite Forms and OA Framework (OAF) web-based HTML screens.  I touch on Windows tuning in an appendix.

There are two main concepts in the paper:

Establish your minimum desktop configurations

While the latest and fastest machines will help provide the best performance, the latest technology tends to command a price premium. Budgetary constraints and asset life dictate that the price/performance goal is to balance the return on investment while providing reasonable longevity. The information will help you establish the minimum requirements for a specific price-performance point, and identify a specific configuration that will achieve the throughput necessary to support your business

Extend the life of existing PCs

The second concept concentrated on how to extend the useful life of slow or low-memory PC clients and where upgrading to faster clients would make very little difference meaning that you may have to look elsewhere, such as the network, for a solution.

I Have Fast Clients - Why Do I Care?

If you have what would normally be considered a high-specification machine, you may still encounter memory problems when running several applications simultaneously, so the ideas and concepts will still help.

Do I Need CPU, Memory Or Both?

Microsoft states that adding memory makes a significant difference to Windows performance. This is also true for some Oracle E-Business Suite components. Note that this statement does not mention CPU speed, and therefore it appears that they consider this less significant. In order to answer this question the charts show the difference in performance across a range of clients. The answer is very clear.

Browser Add-ons and plugins

Add-ons and plugins can make a huge difference to the amount of memory needed just by the browser. The following chart from the paper compares the memory profiles of the certified browsers with and without browser add-ons (Adobe Acrobat, Google Toolbar, and Skype). As you can see, even this limited number of additional components can almost double the amount of memory required by the browser. In reality, you will probably have many many more add-ons and plugins that are not necessary for a business environment, and so the paper includes a comprehensive list of components and their relative affect on the browser profile, including for example, browser themes, toolbars, extensions, plug-ins, and helper applications.

Browser Memory Use Comparisons: Bar chart comparing browser add-on memory profiles, including Adobe Acrobat, Google Toolbar, Skype.  Browsers reviewed include Firefox 2, IE 7, IE 6.

After investigating a range of OAF/HTML screens and Oracle Forms, and accepting that there may be some exceptions, the products can be grouped by type as shown in the following chart. Clearly, the amount of data will affect the amount of memory and an example is displaying thousands of tasks on screen simultaneously as in some of the largest Gantt charts.

Memory Consumption All Tests: Comparing Memory Averages by Group for Menus, OAF / HTML, Forms, Gantt Charts for Firefox 2, IE 7, IE 6

Although the memory used by a combination of forms and OAF/HTML screens used in a business flow does not scale linearly, the generalizations shown in this chart can be useful if you can broadly categorize your Oracle E-Business Suite usage by product type for a particular part of your organization..

It is very unlikely that this paper could match the exact combination of forms and screens, client specification, and the specific combination of other software that you use. Instead, general guidelines have been provided that can be applied to your own environment as needed.

What Else Can You Do?

The paper includes some working practices that have been extensively deployed by certain customers that has extended the life of their existing clients. It makes very specific recommendations about the best technology combinations for low specification clients, and clients that run low on resources. It clearly identifies scenarios where a very low specification machine can be deployed usefully and shows others where it is unlikely that the throughput would be sufficient to support the business.

For full details, download the whitepaper here:
Related

Tuesday Sep 05, 2006

XML Publisher and The E-Business Suite

This is a long-overdue pointer to one of the hottest new technologies for the E-Business Suite:  XML Publisher (XMLP), which has been instrumental in changing the way we think about how Apps data can be used by end-users for reports and other business documents.

XML Publisher Workflow:

Into the Hands of End-Users

XML Publisher is interesting in that it allows end-users -- using tools such as Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat -- to create richly-formatted templates for reports and business documents containing Apps data.

XML data extracts from E-Business Suite concurrent programs are merged with those templates at runtime, generating output in PDF, HTML, RTF, EXCEL (HTML), or even text for use with EFT and EDI transmissions.

Advanced Tools for the Data Center

In addition to the potential of this tool to allow your end-users to create simple reports for themselves, there are advanced options for integration with email systems, faxes, WebDAV, FTP, HTTP, barcodes, and more. 

Those topics are discussed in the excellent XML Publisher Blog, which features technical articles directly from the XML Development team.  Note also that there will be several XMLP-related sessions at OpenWorld this year, which are linked to in this article.

Related

Monday Aug 21, 2006

Performance and Tuning Improvements in 11.5.10

This is a little belated, but better late than never.  In case you haven't noticed, the Applications Technology Group jumped on the podcasting bandwagon last year.  A number of Apps-related podcasts have been recorded, and some of them touch on techstack topics. 


Apps Podcast Screenshot:



Admittedly, many of these are introductory rather than in-depth discussions of technical topics, but that may be useful if you're looking for a quick bite on a particular topic.  Look for podcasts with Cliff Godwin, the Sr. Vice President of the Applications Technology Group  -- these are generally more technical (rather than marketing-oriented) and complement this blog.

Ahmed Alomari, the head of our Applications Performance Group, has recorded an interesting Performance & Tuning podcast on performance improvements in our E-Business Suite.  Ahmed also touches on how Oracle Applications Tablespace Model (OATM) can ease some of the tablespace management requirements and improve runtime performance.  Also, if you're interested in performance monitoring, he quickly discusses tools Java 5 (1.5) monitoring tools, which we've touched on in earlier articles.

He also touches on the benefits of reducing latency by using WebCache compression rules for remote users, our latest purging and archive tools, performance benefits up upgrading to the 10g Database, and the top three tuning tips for optimizing Workflow performance.

Wednesday May 31, 2006

Benchmarking Applications Performance

It's not highly visible, but we have a team within the Applications Technology Group that's dedicated to optimizing the performance of the E-Business Suite.


Benchmark Graph:

This group covers it all:  runtime performance analysis for the database, application and client tiers, as well as performance analysis of our own internal development environments.  At any given time, they can be found analyzing JVM garbage collection parameters, JDBC connection pool logs, network roundtrips and latency, process address space allocations, and other related esoterica.

Interesting trivia: they maintain a comprehensive SQL repository with over 500,000 SQL statements used in a given E-Business Suite release, extracted directly from the source code, and the execution plans of these SQL statements based on volume-testing databases.  E-Business Suite developers use this database to identify potential performance issues with their specific apps products.

Our performance team also works with selected vendors to create standardized (and independently audited) Applications Benchmarks.  As of today, benchmarks are available for 11.5.9 and 11.5.10.  Interesting reading.

Note:  The graph shown above is for the Oracle e-Business Suite eBS Benchmark 11.5.10 using Oracle10g on HP ProLiant and Blade servers.

Tuesday May 16, 2006

Integration Repository for the E-Business Suite

There are many ways of getting information into and out of the E-Business Suite.  Until recently, however, these have been documented in a wild assortment of different places, including product-specific Apps manuals, the Electronic Technical Reference Manual (eTRM), and other unlikely sources.  If you've been subjected to the dubious pleasure of sifting through
our documentation in search of APIs and web services, this article should come as welcome news.


Integration Repository 11i Screenshot:

The new Oracle Integration Repository for the E-Business Suite pulls all of those sources into a single place... at last.  Initially intended to catalog service endpoints available via our service-oriented architecture, this repository has since grown into a comprehensive reference for all of the E-Business Suite's business service interfaces. 

You can browse the repository by product family, drilling down into specific modules:

Integration Repository 11i Menu:

Once you drill into a specific API, there's a concise list of the details you'd expect, including function names, parameters, rules, and so on:

Integration Repository 11i API Screenshot:

Looking Ahead to Release 12

The Release 11i version of the repository is available online only.  In Release 12, it's expected that the Integration Repository will be part of your Rapid Install.  As your instance is patched, the repository will automatically be updated with content appropriate for the precise revisions of interfaces in your environment.

July 13 Update:  We will also host an online version of the Integration Repository for Release 12, as well.

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