Monday Nov 15, 2010

Two New Options for Signing E-Business Suite JAR Files Now Available

We use Java Archive (JAR) files to deliver certain types of E-Business Suite content to end-user desktop clients.  JAR files can be digitally signed for increased security. 

Oracle E-Business Suite uses a self-signed certificate to sign the JAR files that are downloaded to the client PC when launching forms and other applets (such as Workflow Status Diagram or Account Hierarchy Manager).  By default, E-Business Suite JAR files are signed with 1024-bit self-signed digital certificates.  Self-signed digital certificates can trigger Windows security warnings like this:

Windows Warning dialog box triggered with self-signed Java content - the application's digital certificate cannot be verified - dig_sig_warning.png
Some E-Business Suite users have advanced requirements for signing JAR files, including the ability to:
  1. Sign E-Business Suite JAR files with 3072-bit certificates
  2. Sign E-Business Suite JAR files with digital certificates from third-party Certificate Authorities (CA) (e.g.Verisign, Comodo, etc.)
I'm pleased to announce that both of these advanced JAR file signing options are now certified for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12.

What are the benefits of these new signing options?

The first of these two new signing options meets the latest recommendations of the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST):
The second option allows you to prevent the potentially-alarming warning from being triggered when your users access certain E-Business Suite functions for the first time.

Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 Certified Platforms
  • Linux x86 (Oracle Linux 4, 5)
  • Linux x86 (RHEL 3, 4, 5)
  • Linux x86 (SLES 9, 10)
  • Linux x86-64 (Oracle Linux 4, 5)
  • Linux x86-64 (RHEL 4, 5)
  • Linux x86-64 (SLES 9, 10) 
  • Oracle Solaris on SPARC (64-bit) (8, 9, 10)
  • IBM AIX on Power Systems (64-bit) (5.3, 6.1)
  • IBM Linux on System z** (RHEL 5, SLES 9, SLES 10)
  • HP-UX Itanium (11.23, 11.31)
  • HP-UX PA-RISC (64-bit) (11.11, 11.23, 11.31)
  • Microsoft Windows Server (32-bit) (2003, 2008 for EBS 12.1 only)
Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i Certified Platforms
  • Linux x86 (Oracle Enterprise Linux 4, 5)
  • Linux x86 (RHEL 3, 4, 5)
  • Linux x86 (SLES 8, 9, 10)
  • Linux x86 (Asianux 1.0)
  • Oracle Solaris on SPARC (64-bit) (8, 9, 10)
  • IBM AIX on Power Systems (64-bit) (5.3, 6.1)
  • HP-UX PA-RISC (64-bit) (11.11, 11.23, 11.31)
  • HP Tru64 (5.1b)
  • Microsoft Windows Server (32-bit) (2000, 2003)
References
Related Articles

Wednesday Oct 13, 2010

Warning: E-Business Suite Issues with Sun JRE 1.6.0_22

I'm afraid that this blog article comes bearing continued bad news about our latest JRE release.

jceecolorlogo2.gif
My colleagues in the Java division shipped Java Runtime Environment 1.6.0_22 (a.k.a. JRE 6u22, internal version 1.6.0_22-b04) last week.  See the 1.6.0_22 Update Release Notes for details about what has changed in this release.  This release is available for download from the usual Sun channels and through the 'Java Automatic Update' mechanism.

Unfortunately, like other recent JRE releases, this latest release of JRE 6u22 (1.6.0_22-b04) still has the 'Mismanaged Session Cookie' issue that we reported in earlier articles.  This can cause a failure of the following E-Business Suite functions with certain desktop and browser combinations, notably for IE 6 and 7 users:
  • 'File -> Export' functionality
  • Opening attachments in forms
  • Opening an HTML form to a new window from forms.
  • Opening an Applet in a new window from forms
  • Trying to login again after forms session timeout fails

A JRE plug-in release with fixes for these issues is only available through patch 10189354.  Patch 10189354 contains JRE 1.6.0_22-b03.  This fixed version is not available as a download from Sun or through the Java Update Mechanism (which continues to offer only JRE 1.6.0_22-b04).  This fix will not be available through the normal Sun distribution channels until a future release of JRE 1.6.

Summary of options for EBS sysadmins

At this stage, your options are to:
  1. Remain on JRE 1.6.0_17; wait for JRE 1.6.0_23 or later
  2. Deploy any standard JRE release later than 1.6.0_17, with the understanding that some of your users may encounter issues related to "Mismanaged session cookies"
  3. Deploy JRE 1.6.0_22-b03 (released via patch 10189354)
  4. Disable next-generation Java through the 'Java Control Panel'
I understand that this is a frustrating state of affairs and I apologize for the continued delay in resolving this once and for all.  We're continuing to work with our colleagues in the Java division to get this set of fixes into the main JRE codelines.  I'll post updates here as soon as I have more information to share.

The preceding 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.

Friday Sep 10, 2010

Windows 7 64-bit Clients + 32-bit Browsers Certified with EBS 11i & 12

windos7_logo2.png

[July 21, 2011 Update:  Added new client-server component certifications]

[Update Sep 15, 2010:  Changed JRE 1.6.0_03 to JRE 1.6.0_10 for Firefox and EBS 12.1 sections]

There are three possible configurations for Windows 7 desktop clients:

  1. 32-bit Windows 7, 32-bit browsers, 32-bit JRE
  2. 64-bit Windows 7, 32-bit browsers, 32-bit JRE
  3. 64-bit Windows 7, 64-bit browsers, 64-bit JRE
We certified the first configuration in December 2009:  E-Business Suite with 32-bit Windows 7 desktop clients running 32-bit versions of Internet Explorer (IE) and Firefox with the 32-bit JRE.

I'm very pleased to announce that the second configuration is now certified.  You may now run 64-bit Windows 7 desktop clients with 32-bit IE and Firefox with the 32-bit JRE and Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12.

Internet Explorer 8 (32-bit)
ie8_logo_125.png
Oracle E-Business Suite 11i Prerequisites
  • Oracle Applications patch 10 (11.5.10) plus Maintenance Pack 11.5.10 CU2 or later
  • Oracle Applications Technology 11i.ATG_PF.H Rollup 6 (RUP 6) (patch 5903765) or later.
  • Oracle Developer 6i patchset 19 (6.0.8.28.x) (Note 125767.1).
  • MLR Patch 8888184
  • Java client plug-in JRE 1.6.0_03 (32-bit) or later
Oracle E-Business Suite R12.0 Prerequisites
  • Oracle Applications Technology R12.ATG_PF.A.DELTA.6 (patch 7237006) or later.
  • Oracle Forms Version 10.1.2.3 or later.
  • Java client plug-in JRE 1.6.0_03 (32-bit) or later
Oracle E-Business Suite 12.1 Prerequisites
  • Oracle E-Business Suite 12.1.1 or higher
  • Java client plug-in JRE 1.6.0_03 (32-bit) or later
Firefox 3.6 (32-bit)
firefox_logo4.jpg
Oracle E-Business Suite 11i Prerequisites
  • Oracle Applications patch 10 (11.5.10) plus Maintenance Pack 11.5.10 CU2 or later
  • Oracle Developer 6i patchset 19 (6.0.8.28.x) or later (note 125767.1)
  • Oracle Applications Technology 11i.ATG_PF.H Rollup 6 (RUP 6)(patch 5903765) or later
  • Applications Framework Patch 7651759
  • Java client plug-in JRE 1.6.0_10 (32-bit) or later
  • It is also strongly recommended to apply patch 7567782 which removes the use of the jpi-version parameter and switches Firefox to a non-static versioning model. This is particularly important if using client side next-generation JRE plugin (JRE 1.6.0_10 or later).
Oracle E-Business Suite R12.0 Prerequisites
  • Oracle Applications Technology R12.ATG_PF.A.delta.6 (patch 7237006) or later
  • Applications Framework Patch 7602616
  • Java client plug-in JRE 1.6.0_03 (32-bit) or later
  • It is also strongly recommended to apply patch 7567840 which removes the use of the jpi-version parameter and switches Firefox to a non-static versioning model. This is particularly important if using client side next-generation JRE plugin (JRE 1.6.0_10 or later).
Oracle E-Business Suite R12.1 Prerequisites
    • Oracle E-Business Suite 12.1.1 or higher
    • Java client plug-in JRE 1.6.0_10 (32-bit) or later
Exceptions to this certification

Microsoft Windows 7 (64-bit) is currently not certified as a desktop client operating system for any Oracle client-based products, including:
  • BI Publisher Desktop (a.k.a. XML Publisher)
  • Discoverer Administrator Desktop
  • Sales for Handhelds (Outlook desktop synchronization client)
  • Workflow Builder Client
  • XML Gateway Message Designer
  • (July 21, 2011 Update: The three struck-through components above are now certified on Windows 7) 

Oracle JInitiator Not Supported

Premier Support for Oracle JInitiator has expired for E-Business Suite customers.

Premier Support for Oracle JInitiator 1.1.8 ended in December 2008, and Premier Support for Oracle JInitiator 1.3 ended for EBS customers in July 2009.  For more information about JInitiator desupport and switching your EBS end-users from JInitiator to the Sun JRE, see:
Windows 7 desktop clients are certified only with the native Sun Java Runtime Engine (JRE) with Windows 7.  Oracle JInitiator was built on top of Java 1.3.  Java 1.3 is desupported by Sun Microsystems and and not compatible with either Windows Vista or Windows 7.  We have no plans to certify Oracle JInitiator with Windows 7.

On Hacking Up JInitiator -- Please Don't

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

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

What About Earlier Versions of IE?

Microsoft only supports IE 8 on Windows 7 desktops.  Microsoft does not support earlier versions of IE on Win7, so Oracle is only able to support IE8 on Windows 7 clients for the E-Business Suite.

Why are you interested in the third configuration?

As I mentioned in my previous update on this topic, now that we've certified the second configuration, we'll move on to the third.  You've asked for it, so we'll deliver.

That said, I am curious about your business need for the final certification (Win7 64-bit + 64-bit browsers and JREs).  Firefox 64-bit releases seem to lag in functionality and in the general release cycle.  Some reports suggest that 64-bit browsers do not necessarily provide improved performance across the board, and may have compatibility issues -- most notably with Flash, since Adobe is still working on their 64-bit Flash Player.

Even more telling, in fresh installs of Windows 7 64-bit, Microsoft configures the default browser to be IE 32-bit, not IE 64-bit.  In other words, end-users need to take an extra step to run the 64-bit version of IE. 

If you're planning to reconfigure your users' desktops to invoke a 64-bit browser by default, I'd be very interested in understanding your reasons.  Feel free to post a comment here or drop me an email.

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.

Friday Aug 13, 2010

Special JRE 6u21-b08 Build Now Available for EBS Customers

jceecolorlogo2.gif
The painful saga of our recent JRE releases' issues with the Oracle E-Business Suite is almost over.  It is expected that a future release of JRE 1.6 will contain a mainline fix for the "Mismanaged Session Cookie" issues that exist with JRE 1.6.0_18 to 1.6.0_21 build 6 (6u21-b06), inclusive. 

There is an interim workaround until that new release is available.  JRE 1.6.0_21 build 8 (6u21-b08) is now available and certified for Oracle E-Business Suite 11i and R12. This Build of the native plug-in fixes the 'Mismanaged Session Cookie' issue for the JRE 6u21 stream, which could cause a failure of the following functionalities on certain desktop/browser combinations, and particularly prevalent for IE6 and IE7 users:
  • 'File -> Export' functionality
  • Opening attachments in forms
  • Opening an HTML form to a new window from forms.
  • Opening an Applet in a new window from forms
  • Trying to login again after forms session timeout fails
Special release vehicle for this JRE build

This version of the plug-in is only available through patch 10021403 and is not available as a download through the usual channels or through the Java automatic update facility. The standard version of the plug-in remains at JRE 1.6.0_21 build 6 (6u21-b06). This fix will not be available through the usual channels until a future release of JRE 1.6.

This release also fixes the long standing z-ordering issue (HTML Window opens behind Forms Window) for Windows XP users running Internet Explorer. A permanent fix is not yet available for Firefox users or Windows Vista or Windows 7 users, therefore please continue to use one of the workaround options if required.

Summary of options for EBS sysadmins

At this stage, your options are to:
  1. Remain on JRE 1.6.0_17; wait for the upcoming JRE release that includes this fix
  2. Deploy any standard JRE release later than 1.6.0_17, with the understanding that some of your users may encounter issues related to "Mismanaged session cookies"
  3. Deploy JRE 1.6.0_20-b05 (released via patch 9915543)
  4. Deploy JRE 1.6.0_21-b08 (released via patch 10021403)
For further information and requirements please see:
Related Articles
The preceding 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‚Äôs products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle.

Tuesday Aug 10, 2010

Reminder: Use Java 6 for EBS on Sun, Windows, Linux Platforms

Several threads have crossed my inbox lately about Java 5 (a.k.a. JDK 1.5).  If you're running your E-Business Suite servers on on Linux, Windows, or Sun operating system platforms, you should be reminded that the End of Service Life for Java 5.0 was on October 30, 2009. 

SunJavaSEdownloadpagescreen2.jpg
That End of Service Life (EOSL) date for Java 5 applies to Java Standard Edition (Java SE) release families.  You have the option of migrating to Java Standard Edition for Business, which offers longer End of Service Life windows for different Java releases -- for example, up to June 2019 for Java 5.  I am not a Java licencing specialist, but my understanding is that Java Standard Edition for Business comes at an additional cost. For information about Java licencing, I would recommend contacting your Oracle account manager. 

For more details about the support-related differences between Java SE and Java for Business, see:
Does this affect your environments?

If all of the following apply to your environment:
  1. Your servers are running on Linux, Sun, or Windows operating systems
  2. Your servers are running either Java Standard Edition 4 (1.4) or 5 (1.5)
Then you must do one of the following:
  1. Migrate to the Java Standard Edition for Business release of your choice
  2. Upgrade to Java Standard Edition 6 (1.6)
For details about upgrading E-Business Suite environments to Java 6, see:
What about other server operating systems?

If you're running either HP-UX or IBM AIX, your Java release on those operating system platforms is supported by Hewlett-Packard and IBM, respectively.  You should check with those vendors for their End of Service Life dates for Java.

What are the support implications if I don't upgrade?

Here's a hypothetical situation: let's say that you haven't migrated to Java SE for Business or upgraded to Java SE 6.  You report an E-Business Suite issue that turns out to be related to either Java 1.5 or 1.5.  What are the support implications?

EBS Support will attempt to reproduce the issue on an Oracle Support environment.  Chances are high that that environment will already be upgraded to Java 6. 

If the issue cannot be reproduced on an environment running Java 6, it is likely that Oracle Support will recommend that you upgrade your environment to Java 6 before proceeding with further diagnostics or analysis.

Generally speaking, EBS Development will provide Java-related patches for Sun, Linux, and Windows-based issues that can be reproduced on Java 6.

Related Articles

Monday Jul 19, 2010

Warning: E-Business Suite Issues with Sun JRE 1.6.0_21

jceecolorlogo2.gif
My colleagues in the Java division shipped Java Runtime Environment 1.6.0_21 (a.k.a. JRE 6u21, internal version 1.6.0_21-b06) last week.  See the 1.6.0_21 Update Release Notes for details about what has changed in this release.

Unfortunately, this release of JRE 6u21 (1.6.0_21-b06) still has the 'Mismanaged Session Cookie' issue that we reported in earlier articles.  This can cause a failure of the following E-Business Suite functions with certain desktop and browser combinations, notably for IE 6 and 7 users:
  • 'File -> Export' functionality
  • Opening attachments in forms
  • Opening an HTML form to a new window from forms.
  • Opening an Applet in a new window from forms
  • Trying to login again after forms session timeout fails
A JRE plug-in release with fixes for these issues is only available through patch 9915543.  Patch 9915543 contains JRE 1.6.0_20-b05.  This fixed version is not available as a download from Sun or through the Java Update Mechanism (which continues to offer only JRE 1.6.0_20-b02).  This fix will not be available through the normal Sun distribution channels until a future release of JRE 1.6.

A fixed version of the JRE 1.6.0_21 (6u21) plug-in is expected to be made available through a special patch download in the near future.

Summary of options for EBS sysadmins

At this stage, your options are to:
  1. Remain on JRE 1.6.0_17; wait for JRE 1.6.0_22 or later
  2. Deploy any standard JRE release later than 1.6.0_17, with the understanding that some of your users may encounter issues related to "Mismanaged session cookies"
  3. Deploy JRE 1.6.0_20-b05 (released via patch 9915543)
I understand that this is a frustrating state of affairs and I apologize for the continued delay in resolving this once and for all.  We're continuing to work with our colleagues in the Java division to get this set of fixes into the main JRE codelines.  I'll post updates here as soon as I have more information to share.

The preceding 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 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 May 28, 2010

JRE 1.6.0_20 Build 5 Fixes E-Business Suite Compatibility Issues

Good news, worth sneaking under the publication wire prior to my vacation:  Sun Java Runtime Engine (JRE) 1.6.0_20 Build 5 (6u20-b05) fixes the mismanaged cookie session issue which could affect JRE 1.6.0_18 (6u18) to 1.6.0_20 (6u20-b02) users. This JRE release is only available through Patch 9553040. The Sun download version remains at 1.6.0_20 build 2 (6u20-b02), therefore you cannot uptake this fix through the Java automatic update facility. It is expected that this fix will be available through the usual delivery mechanism from Sun once JRE 1.6.0_21 (6u21) is released.  Until then, you can download it here:

patch-9553040.png

Patch 9553040 contains both a JRE (jrefb-6u20-rev-b05-windows-i586.exe) and a JDK (jdkfb-6u20-rev-b05-windows-i586.exe) executable. You only need to extract and install the JRE version from this patch to fix this issue.

Patch Installation Instructions
  1. Download patch 9553040
  2. Extract the jrefb-6u20-rev-b05-windows-i586.exe
  3. Run the executable to install on the desktop
If you wish to distribute this release as a download through Oracle E-Business Suite and users do not already have an earlier release of JRE 6u20 installed on their desktop, follow the installation instructions in the appropriate note:
If your users already have jre6u20 installed on their desktop, please uninstall the earlier release or over write it by installing this later version over it.

Related Articles

The preceding 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.

Thursday Apr 15, 2010

Warning: E-Business Suite Issues with Sun JRE 1.6.0_20

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My colleagues in the Java division have just released Java Runtime Engine (JRE) 1.6.0_20 today.  See the 1.6.0_20 Update Release Notes for details about what has been changed in this release.

The issues reported in the following articles still also apply to JRE 1.6.0_20:
Depending upon your security and Java deployment policies for your end-user desktops, you may need to update your users to this JRE release.  Unfortunately, you will have to balance your need for the fixes in JRE 1.6.0_20 against the impact of the open EBS compatibility issues reported with 6u18, 6u19, 6u20.

We're working closely with the Sun JRE team to get the open EBS compatibility issues resolved as quickly as possible.  This is being worked at the top priority.  Please monitor this blog for updates.


Monday Apr 05, 2010

Warning: E-Business Suite Issues with Sun JRE 1.6.0_19

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Sadly, the issues reported in the following article also apply to JRE 1.6.0_19:
Once again, if you haven't already upgraded your end-users to JRE 1.6.0_18 or 1.6.0_19, we recommend that you to keep them on a prior JRE release such as 1.6.0_17 (6u17).

We're working closely with the Sun JRE team to get this issue resolved as quickly as possible.  Please monitor this blog for updates.


Monday Mar 22, 2010

Warning: E-Business Suite Issues with Sun JRE 1.6.0_18

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Users need a Java client to run the Forms-based content in Oracle E-Business Suite.  With Oracle JInitiator 1.3 out of Premier Support as of July 2009, Apps users must run the native Sun Java Runtime Engine (JRE) to access this content.

In early 2008 we relaxed our certification and support policy for the use of the native Sun JRE clients with the E-Business Suite. The policy reflected a switch from certifying specific JRE versions for the E-Business Suite to specifying minimum versions, instead. This permits E-Business Suite users to run any JRE release above following minimum certified levels, even later ones that Oracle hasn't explicitly tested with the E-Business Suite:
  • JRE 1.5.0_13 and higher
  • JRE 1.6.0_03 and higher
Under our current policy, Oracle E-Business Suite end-users can upgrade their JRE clients whenever Sun releases a new JRE release on either the 1.5 or 1.6 versions. EBS users do not need to wait for Oracle to certify new JRE 1.5 or 1.6 plug-in updates with the E-Business Suite.

Known E-Business Suite Issues with JRE 1.6.0_18

We test every new JRE release with both E-Business Suite 11i and 12.  We have identified a number of issues with JRE 1.6.0_18.  If you haven't already upgraded your end-users to JRE 1.6.0_18, we recommend that you to keep them on a prior JRE release such as 1.6.0_17 (6u17).

Due to a regression in JRE 1.6.0_18 (6u18), the following Oracle Forms-based features may fail when running Oracle E-Business Suite through Internet Explorer;
  • 'File -> Export' functionality
  • Opening attachments in forms
  • Opening an HTML form in a new window from forms.
  • Opening an Applet in a new window from Oracle Forms (i.e. AHM)
The bug can cause the session cookie to be mismanaged causing a new iexplore.exe session to open on the desktop client. This affects the Oracle E-Business Suite releases in different ways:
  • If this problem occurs running Oracle E-Business Suite 11i a new login page is rendered rather than the correct window or functionality
  • If this problem occurs running Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 the window opens with the following error:
fndgfm.jsp error : The current session is invalid. Unable to proceed without a valid session.
This issue is particularly prevalent for users running Internet Explorer 6 or 7.  These issues do not reproduce on all desktop client/Oracle E-Business Suite environment combinations, even from the same desktop client. 

Temporary Workaround for JRE 1.6.0_18 Issues

Users may still upgrade to JRE 1.6.0_18 (6u18) or later if required, for example if needing a critical fix from this or a later release of the plug-in.

The only workaround for affected users is to turn off Next-Generation Java from the 'Java Control Panel':
  1. Navigate to: Start > Control Panel > Java > Advanced > Java Plug-in 
  2. De-select the option "Enable the next-generation Java Plug-in (requires browser restart)" 
This issue is being investigated through Sun bug 6927268 - 'ShowDocument calls results in new iexplorer process'.

References
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.

Wednesday Jan 13, 2010

AppsDataSource and Java Authentication and Authorization Service for Oracle E-Business Suite

simplified architecture diagram showing client - app tier - database tier

[March 1, 2010: Patch 8571001 also includes extended error logging routines for use with external Java EE programs.  Patch  8571001 hasn't changed, but Note 974949.1 has just been updated to include documentation for error logging, as well as some improvements based on feedback I've been getting.  Keep that feedback coming!]

Oracle Application Object Library recently added new standard Java datasource and Java Authentication and Authorization Service (JAAS) features to Oracle E-Business Suite in Patch 8571001. These features are meant for use with Java EE programs deployed in application servers on external nodes; that is, nodes other than those where Oracle E-Business Suite middle tier is installed. These are lightweight implementations that can be used on an external application server without needing to install an entire Oracle E-Business Suite instance on the application server machine.

These features can be used with either Release 11i or Release 12.  For details, see:

AppsDataSource

The AppsDataSource standard data source enables access to the Oracle E-Business Suite APPS database schema from external Java EE environments without sharing the APPS schema password. Since the APPS database password is typically changed frequently, using these data sources insulates such programs from having to change their authentication information. Using these data sources also helps prevent wide exposure of the APPS password.

Using these standard data sources lets you control access to Oracle E-Business Suite data at the APPS schema level. For example, you can use AppsDataSource with BPEL processes and Oracle Service Bus services in Oracle Fusion Middleware. Within Oracle E-Business Suite, the AppsDataSource is used to control APPS database access as part of the integration of Oracle E-Business Suite with Oracle Access Manager using Oracle E-Business Suite AccessGate.

When using the AppsDataSource feature, access to the APPS database is controlled using a dedicated Oracle E-Business Suite user name and password ("applications user", also known as an "FND user") instead of the APPS password. This allows centralized maintenance of the APPS password and provides additional controls on who can access the APPS account.

Java Authentication and Authorization Service (JAAS)

Oracle E-Business Suite contains a repository of application users (FND users) and their associated roles (authorization for access to certain functional areas of the product). If you are developing a custom or third-party Java EE application to integrate with Oracle E-Business Suite, and you want to use that existing repository of users and roles for authentication and authorization for your Java EE application, you can use the Oracle E-Business Suite implementation of Java Authentication and Authorization Service (JAAS). This feature is intended to secure an HTTP resource or piece of application functionality at the Oracle E-Business Suite user level.

Authenticating a Java application via JAAS

For example, suppose you want to build a Java EE application using Oracle Fusion Middleware to integrate with Oracle E-Business Suite data. You would use both AppsDataSource and JAAS so you can secure who has access to your application functionality based on usernames and roles already in Oracle E-Business Suite.

The following diagram shows the relationship between the AppsDataSource and JAAS features and how users and roles are used in the JAAS and AppsDataSource setups:

Relationship between AppsDataSource and JAAS features and how users and roles are used in their setups

  • There are two different users, A (with Specialist role) and B (with Manager role), accessing a protected custom application (through a URL) on an external application server.
  • The custom application has a web.xml file that allows access for the Manager role as part of the JAAS setup.
  • User A does not have the Manager role, so is not allowed access to the custom application.
  • The external application server has an AppsDataSource set up to allow access to the Oracle E-Business Suite database using the dedicated AppsDataSource user that has the special UMX|APPS_SCHEMA_CONNECT role assigned to the dedicated user.
  • A repository of users and roles resides inside the Oracle E-Business Suite database.

Knowledge Document Topics

The Knowledge" Document 974949.1: "AppsDataSource, Java Authentication and Authorization Service, and Utilities for Oracle E-Business Suite" includes the following topics:

  • Applying Patch 8571001
  • Using Oracle E-Business Suite Data Sources
    • Configuring AppsDataSource on an OC4J Instance and on an Oracle WebLogic Server (WLS) Instance
    • Using AppsDataSource Directly from Java Programs
  • Oracle E-Business Suite Implementation of Java Authentication and Authorization Service (JAAS)
    • JAAS configuration for OC4J and Oracle WebLogic Server
    • Global Access for All Authenticated Oracle E-Business Suite Users
  • Utilities

Lightweight Tools for Java EE Applications

The lightweight implementations of AppsDataSource and JAAS are useful tools for easier integration of custom Java EE applications with Oracle E-Business Suite.

We'll be adding more information to the document about additional Oracle Application Object Library Java features in the coming several months, so check Knowledge" Document 974949.1 every so often. Happy coding!

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Wednesday Dec 16, 2009

Microsoft Windows 7 Certified with Oracle E-Business Suite

[Dec 18, 2009 Update: corrected formatting error in "EBS 12.0 Prerequisites" section; added more information about 64-bit clients]

Microsoft Windows 7 Win7 logo
I'm very pleased to announce that Microsoft Windows 7 desktop clients are certified for the Oracle E-Business Suite.  Both Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 and Mozilla Firefox 3.5 are certified and supported on Windows 7 desktop clients. 

The prerequisites and minimum patchset levels vary depending upon the version of the E-Business Suite that you're running.  The supported Apps releases and configurations include Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i, 12.0, and 12.1:
Internet Explorer 8
Oracle E-Business Suite 11i Prerequisites
  • Oracle Applications patch 10 (11.5.10) plus Maintenance Pack 11.5.10 CU2 or later
  • Oracle Applications Technology 11i.ATG_PF.H Rollup 6 (RUP 6) (patch 5903765) or later.
  • Oracle Developer 6i patchset 19 (6.0.8.28.x) (Note 125767.1).
  • MLR Patch 8888184
  • Java client plug-in JRE 1.6.0_03 or later
Oracle E-Business Suite R12.0 Prerequisites
  • Oracle Applications Technology R12.ATG_PF.A.DELTA.6 (patch 7237006) or later.
  • Oracle Forms Version 10.1.2.3 or later.
  • Java client plug-in JRE 1.6.0_03 or later
Oracle E-Business Suite 12.1 Prerequisites
  • Oracle E-Business Suite 12.1.1 or higher
  • Java client plug-in JRE 1.6.0_03 or later
Firefox 3.5
Oracle E-Business Suite 11i Prerequisites
  • Oracle Applications patch 10 (11.5.10) plus Maintenance Pack 11.5.10 CU2 or later
  • Oracle Developer 6i patchset 19 (6.0.8.28.x) or later (note 125767.1)
  • Oracle Applications Technology 11i.ATG_PF.H Rollup 6 (RUP 6)(patch 5903765) or later
  • Applications Framework Patch 7651759
  • Java client plug-in JRE 1.6.0_03 or later
  • It is also strongly recommended to apply patch 7567782 which removes the use of the jpi-version parameter and switches Firefox to a non-static versioning model. This is particularly important if using client side next-generation JRE plugin (JRE 1.6.0_10 or later).
Oracle E-Business Suite R12.0 Prerequisites
  • Oracle Applications Technology R12.ATG_PF.A.delta.6 (patch 7237006) or later
  • Applications Framework Patch 7602616
  • Java client plug-in JRE 1.6.0_03 or later
  • It is also strongly recommended to apply patch 7567840 which removes the use of the jpi-version parameter and switches Firefox to a non-static versioning model. This is particularly important if using client side next-generation JRE plugin (JRE 1.6.0_10 or later).
Oracle E-Business Suite R12.1 Prerequisites
  • Oracle E-Business Suite 12.1.1 or higher
  • Java client plug-in JRE 1.6.0_03 or later
Oracle JInitiator Not Supported

Premier Support for Oracle JInitiator has expired for E-Business Suite customers.

Premier Support for Oracle JInitiator 1.1.8 ended in December 2008, and Premier Support for Oracle JInitiator 1.3 ended for EBS customers in July 2009.  For more information about JInitiator desupport and switching your EBS end-users from JInitiator to the Sun JRE, see:
Windows 7 desktop clients are certified only with the native Sun Java Runtime Engine (JRE) with Windows 7.  Oracle JInitiator was built on top of Java 1.3.  Java 1.3 is desupported by Sun Microsystems and and not compatible with either Windows Vista or Windows 7.  We have no plans to certify Oracle JInitiator with Windows 7.

What About Windows XP Mode?

End-users are able to run Windows XP in a virtualized environment running via Windows Virtual PC on a Win7 desktop client.  Microsoft states that this is functionally-equivalent to running Windows XP natively.

We have no plans to conduct separate EBS certification efforts for WinXP+Virtual PC images running on Win7 clients.  Oracle Support will attempt to reproduce reported issues using native WinXP desktop clients.  Microsoft Support would need to be engaged for any issues that can only be reproduced only in WinXP+Virtual PC images on Windows 7 desktops.

What About Earlier Versions of IE?

Microsoft only supports IE 8 on Windows 7 desktops.  Microsoft does not support earlier versions of IE on Win7, so Oracle is only able to support IE8 on Windows 7 clients for the E-Business Suite.

Are You Interested in 64-bit Clients?

This certification is for 32-bit Windows clients.  We don't have any immediate plans for 64-bit client certifications yet, due to complications around 64-bit JRE plugins and browsers.

I would be interested in hearing about your plans for 64-bit client rollouts (number of desktops, timing, and target EBS releases).  Please drop me a line if you have plans for 64-bit Windows clients in your future.

References
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Tuesday Jul 21, 2009

Updated Tips for Debugging Sun JRE + Forms Focus Issues for EBS 11i and 12

Oracle Jinitiator 1.3 will be desupported for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i users at the end of this month, July 31, 2009.  If you haven't already begun your conversion from JInitiator to the native Sun Java Runtime Engine (JRE) plug-in, now is the time to start. 

The end of this month marks the end of the JInitiator era for Apps 11i.  After this point, we will only support the Sun JRE for Forms users connecting to the E-Business Suite.  I've summarized everything you need to know about the EBS switch from JInit to the Sun JRE in this roundup article.

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

Clusters of Common Focus-Related Issues

As more of you make the cutover, we've seen that your reported issues are clustering around some common themes.  Based on your feedback and reported issues, we've updated our internal training for all Support engineers who cover Applications Technology topics.  Our latest diagnostic and debugging techniques for EBS Forms focus-related issues have been refreshed. 

Our Support and Development teams published notes for diagnosing Forms focus-related issues with Apps 11i earlier this year.  That troubleshooting guide's scope has been broadened to include additional guidance and tips for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 environments, too:

The latest topics covered in this Note include:

  • What is a focus issue?
  • Why are Focus Issues Experienced?
  • Symptoms Indicating a Loss in Focus
  • Strategy for Investigating and Resolving Focus Issues
  • The Right Checks to Ensure it's a Focus Issue
  • Fixing Known Focus Issues
  • Determining the Current Forms Version and MLR Patch (Release 11i)
  • Determining the Current Forms Version and MLR Patch (Release 12)
  • Gathering the Right Information
  • Debugging Steps for Focus Issues
  • Reporting a Focus Loss to Oracle Support Services

Getting Support from Oracle for Your Conversion

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

Given my position in Oracle Development and the visibility of this blog, I sometimes think that my perspective on customer deployments might be a little skewed.  I'd appreciate your help in getting an accurate view of how these conversions are going for you. I'd be very interested in hearing about your experiences, good or bad. What went well? What went sideways? Please feel free to sound off in the comments or drop me a private email with more details about your migration.

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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.

Friday Jun 26, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Benefits of Switching to the Sun Java Client

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

Minimizing Risks of Switching from JInitiator to Sun Java Clients

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

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

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

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

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

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

Minimum JRE Versions Required for E-Business Suite

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

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

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

EBS Compatibility and Support for Future JRE Releases

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

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

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

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

Support Implications for JInitiator Users

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4.  JInitiator cannot be run on Vista Desktops

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

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

On Hacking Up JInitiator

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

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

What Happens When Something Goes Wrong?

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

What Does Oracle Recommend for Vista?

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

Getting Support from Oracle for Your Conversion

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

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

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

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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

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Tuesday Jun 09, 2009

Updating the Default JDK Installed in OracleAS 10g

[June 12, 2009 Update: Added link to JDK 1.6 Note 444462.1]

Java logo

If you run Java-based applications in your organization, you're aware that you may wish to optionally update the Java Development Kit (JDK) libraries periodically to get the latest fixes for security, stability, and performance.  This applies to the E-Business Suite, naturally, so we regularly release new certifications for the latest Java releases for EBS.

Perhaps lesser-known is that this also applies to external servers running Oracle Fusion Middleware -- also known as Oracle Application Server 10g.  You may have deployed Oracle Application Server 10g on one or more application tier servers to use Discoverer, Single Sign-On, Oracle Internet Directory, Portal, or other Fusion Middleware services with the E-Business Suite.

How Do You Update Java for other Oracle Products?

Oracle Security has published the following advisory:

That note is important reading for all Oracle administrators.  It contains links to three additional documents:

If you're looking for the latest JDK 1.4 release to update an Oracle Application Server 10g instance, you can find it here:

Special thanks to those readers (you know who you are) whose persistence helped us make this JDK patch available for all of our customers.

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Sunday Mar 29, 2009

Premier Support for OC4J 10.1.3.3 ends in July 2009

Java logo

Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 includes OracleAS 10.1.3 Oracle Containers for J2EE (OC4J) for running its Java-based content.  We certified Apps 12 with OracleAS 10.1.3.3 in January 2008 and with OracleAS 10.1.3.4 in December 2008. 

You should be aware that the OracleAS 10.1.3.3 grace period will end in July 2009.  After July 2009, you will still be able to download existing OracleAS 10.1.3.3 patches, but new patches will be issued only for the latest 10.1.3.4 release.

If you're running your E-Business Suite environment on OracleAS 10.1.3.3, I would strongly recommend planning an upgrade to the most-current certified OC4J release. As of today, that's OracleAS 10.1.3.4.  Future readers coming across this article should refer to this blog's one-page Certifications summary for the latest certified configurations.

Want To Know More About Support Policies?

The Server Technologies support policies have recently changed in some important ways.  I've discussed the E-Business Suite implications of those changes in these articles: 

Your Thoughts?

I don't represent Server Technologies organization (I'm in E-Business Suite Development), but I'm happy to pass on your thoughts and feedback about Oracle's support policies to management teams in those groups.  Feel free to post a comment below or send me a private email.

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Tuesday Mar 24, 2009

Running JInitiator on Vista Desktops

Somewhere in this now-sprawling blog is an article about using JInitiator on Vista.   Sadly, I can't find it.  I've been seeing a few troubling things popping up on the web about various JInitiator hacks, so it's time to reprise that content.

Diagram showing Forms JRE JInitiator desktop client architecture layers

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

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

On Hacking Up JInitiator

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

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

What Happens When Something Goes Wrong?

If you do choose to customize Oracle JInitiator 1.3, you should consider the support implications for your users.  Oracle Support and Forms Development can provide patches only for issues that can be reproduced with an unmodified version of Oracle JInitiator. 

If you encounter any issues specific to your customized version of JInitiator, Oracle's default recommendation will be to roll back to an unmodified version.

What Does Oracle Recommend for Vista?

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

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

Why Choose the Native Sun JRE over JInitiator 1.3?

Two reasons:

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

Which JRE Versions Are Certified With Which Browsers?

Apps 11i is certified with the native Sun Java (JRE) plug-in. You can use any JRE release from 1.5.0_13 and higher, or 1.6.0_03 and higher. Your end-users can upgrade their JRE clients whenever Sun releases a new JRE release on either codeline -- without waiting for Oracle to certify these new JRE plug-ins with EBS 11i.

Apps 12 is certified with the native Sun Java (JRE) plug-in.  You can use any JRE relese from 1.6.0_03 and higher.  Your end-users can upgrade their JRE clients whenever Sun releases a new JRE release on either codeline -- without waiting for Oracle to certify these new JRE plug-ins with EBS 12.

The upgrade process is documented here:

Related Articles

Thursday Jul 24, 2008

Windows Vista Service Pack 1 Certified with Apps 11i and 12

Microsoft Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) is now certified with E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12.

Microsoft Vista Logo: [Read More]

Monday Apr 07, 2008

Firefox 2 Certified on Vista for Oracle E-Business Suite

Firefox 2 has been certified with the E-Business Suite for some time now on Windows XP.  For those of you planning your Microsoft Vista rollouts, you'll be pleased to hear that Firefox 2 is now certified as a client browser on Vista for the E-Business Suite.

Firefox 2 logo:

Vista Requires the Native Sun Java Plug-In

Remember that all browsers certified with the E-Business Suite on Vista (both IE and Firefox) must run Forms-based content via the native Sun Java Runtime Engine (JRE) plug-in.  Oracle JInitiator is not certified for Windows Vista due to fundamental incompatibilities with Sun's underlying JDK 1.3 libraries on the Vista codeline. 

Firefox on Vista is certified as a desktop client for Oracle E-Business Suite with the following Sun Java plug-ins:
  • E-Business Suite Release 11i: 
    • JRE 1.5.0_12 and higher
    • JRE 1.6.0_03 and higher
  • E-Business Suite Release 12: 
    • JRE 1.5.0_12 and higher
    • JRE 1.6.0_03 and higher
Prerequisites

E-Business Suite Release 11i

  • Oracle Applications patch 10 (11.5.10) plus Maintenance Pack 11.5.10 CU2 or later 
    • Oracle Developer 6i patchset 18 (6.0.8.27.x) or later (Metalink Note 125767.1)
    • Oracle Applications Technology 11i.ATG_PF.H Rollup 4 (RUP 4) (patch 4676589) or later
    • Oracle Applications patch 9 (11.5.9) plus Maintenance Pack 11.5.9 CU2 or later
    • Oracle Developer 6i patchset 18 (6.0.8.27.x) or later (Metalink Note 125767.1)
    • Oracle Applications Technology 11i.ATG_PF.H Rollup 4 (RUP 4) (patch 4676589) or later
E-Business Suite Release 12
  • Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12, with R12.ATG_PF.A.DELTA.3 (patch 6077669) or later
Compatibility and Coexistence with Other Desktop Clients

A mix of the latest certified Windows and Mac OS X desktop combinations is supported.  The actual mix depends on the specific Applications release that you're running; check the Notes in the Reference section for your release.

For example, the currently supported desktops for Release 11i include:
  • Win2K / WinXP + IE6 / Firefox 2.x
  • WinXP + IE7 / Firefox 2.x
  • Mac OS X v10.3.9 + Safari 1.3 and higher
  • Mac OS X v10.4.7 + Safari 2.0 and higher
  • Vista desktop clients running the native JRE plug-in on IE 7
On the Horizon:  Firefox 3

Firefox 3 is just cresting the horizon now, with the Mozilla Foundation suggesting that Beta 5 will be the last one prior to Firefox 3's release this summer.  We've been working with Firefox 3 betas in our E-Business Suite certification labs for a while now. 

While I don't have any firm schedules for our Firefox 3 certification, 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

Saturday Mar 15, 2008

New Sun Java JRE Plug-In Certification Policy for Apps 11i & 12

Our Oracle E-Business Suite Technology Integration team has just announced a significant change in its certification and support policy for the use of the native Sun Java Runtime Engine (JRE) with the E-Business Suite.  Effective earlier this month, this new policy reflects a switch from certifying specific JRE versions for the E-Business Suite to specifying minimum versions, instead.  This permits E-Business Suite users to run any JRE release above the minimum certified level, even later ones that Oracle hasn't explicitly tested with the E-Business Suite.

mzFormsArch:


This policy change applies to the use of Sun's Java plug-in to run Oracle Forms-based content in both E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12.  This change to Oracle's certification and support policy reflects our confidence in Sun's continued ability to preserve compatibility with Oracle Forms in future JRE releases in both the 1.5 and 1.6 codelines. 

This significant policy change should make life easier for Apps DBAs and end-users, as it widens the scope of JRE plug-in versions that can be used on your desktops.  This should help minimize the risk of experiencing conflicts between multiple JRE plug-ins, as described in this previous article.


Which JRE Versions Are Certified With Which Browsers?

This depends on your Windows operating version and the browser that your firm has deployed.  Various combinations of Windows XP, Windows Vista, Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) 6 and 7, and Firefox are now certified with JRE 1.5 and 1.6. To review the new minimum certification levels, see:



Compatibility With Later Sun JRE Releases

You should review the documentation above and check Certify to confirm the current situation on a regular basis, as there may be specific warnings or exclusions in the future.  Both documents state:-



Oracle will continue to test and certify the Oracle E-Business Suite with selected future versions of Sun JRE releases in advance of their general availability to the public. Oracle will update this documentation with known compatibility issues or workarounds as needed.


Why Switch From JInitiator to the Sun Java Plug-In?

Remember that Oracle has started the obsolescence process for JInitiator!  For an overview of why you might be interested in switching your users to the Sun Java plug-in, and discussions about supported architectures, prerequisites, and other deployment considerations, see:


Wednesday Feb 27, 2008

JInitiator 1.3 To Be Desupported for Apps 11i in July 2009

With the onward march of progress, I would like to draw your attention to the newly-published Obsolescence notice for JInitiator 1.3 for E-Business Suite 11i (Metalink Note 552692.1).


mzFormsArch:


As of July 31, 2009 Error Correction Support for JInitiator 1.3 will end.  In other words, the Oracle Forms group will no longer issue bug fixes via new versions of JInitiator 1.3.x as of July 31, 2009.


What Do You Do Now?


You need to start the upgrade process for your end-users' desktops to the native Sun Java plug-in as soon as possible.  This extract from note 552692.1 sums it up well by stating :-



All E-Business Suite customers using Oracle Jinitiator 1.3.x need to upgrade to the Sun JRE (Native Plug-in). Oracle highly recommends that EBS customers upgrade to the latest certified version of the Sun plug-in by following Metalink document 290807.1, "Upgrading Sun JRE(Native Plug-in) with Oracle Applications 11i"


Why Choose the Native Sun JRE Over JInitiator?

Nearly every business desktop has multiple Java clients installed.  These Java clients often clash; see this article for a more in-depth discussion about JRE conflicts.  The main benefit of switching from JInitiator to the native Sun Java plug-in lies in reducing  conflicts between these clients on your desktop.

In addition, Steven's previous blog article elegantly describes the reasons why Oracle is moving to using the native Sun Java plug-in in favour of JInitiator:




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


Sun has since incorporated all of the enhancements needed to support Oracle Forms into their native Sun Java plug-in.  As a result, the Oracle JInitiator team is pleased that they can get out of the business of maintaining and repackaging Sun's Java client code. 


Oracle's emphasis from this point forward will be to certify future versions of the Sun Java client with the E-Business Suite.


Related



Friday Feb 01, 2008

Diagnosing Sun Java Plug-in Issues with Oracle Apps

 

As discussed in previous articles, the native Sun Java Runtime Engine (JRE) is certified for Windows-based desktop clients accessing E-Business Suite Releases 11i and 12.   The native Sun JRE is used to run Forms-based content in the E-Business Suite.  It is the only plug-in certified for Release 12, and can be used in place of the older Oracle JInitiator 1.3 plug-in certified with Release 11i.


mzFormsArch:


This article spotlights Metalink notes which guide you through the tracing options and some gotchas when using the native Sun JRE with the Oracle E-Business Suite.

Enabling JRE Tracing and Logging

There are several notes available which explain how to enable these options for the JRE:-



I like this note the best as it just describes the simplest way to enable logging, tracing and java console (OK, yes I admit I wrote it...)



Both of these notes have a "JRE Tracing options" section describing the steps, however the method described to enable the logging is the more long-winded method (in my view).



This note describes all the different methods to enable logging, tracing and the Java Console and has lots of pictures. The slight drawback is that it doesn't recommend a particular method.

Potential "Gotchas"

  • Rnning Multiple JRE Versions on the Same Desktop Client

This issue is fully described in the "Upgrading Sun J2SE" notes referenced above as well as in this article, but is worth spotlighting here.  If your organisation uses runs Java-based applications that depend on different JRE releases, you will need to consider static versioning issues when deploying the native JRE required by the E-Business Suite.

  • Potential Character Set Issues

 


There are different dependencies with Native JRE compared to Jinitiator, as the following note highlights.  In this case one Client PC using Japanese language did not have the necessary Language code pages installed.   This Note could apply to other languages also:

  • Potential Issues When Connecting via VPN

This issue applies equally to JInitator, but thought I would mention the following Note as it seems to be becoming more popular for customers to run
the E-Business Suite over a secure VPN connection:


Related Articles

Monday Jan 28, 2008

Java 6 Certified for Apps 11i on IBM AIX and HP-UX PA-RISC

There's been lots of progress on the Java 6 certification front for Apps lately.  Java 6 was certified for E-Business Suite Release 11i application tier servers on Solaris, Linux, and Windows in September 2007.  Adding to that list of certified platforms, IBM AIX and HP-UX PA-RISC are now certified for Java 6 for Apps 11i.

HP-UX Java 6 screenshot: Screenshot of HP's download website for HP-UX JDK, JRE, and Plug-in downloads for Java 6 for HP-UX PA-RISC platforms

Upgrade Documentation

Full details for upgrading your E-Business Suite Release 11i environment to JDK 6 can be found here:
Related Articles

Friday Jan 25, 2008

Java 6 Certified with E-Business Suite Release 12

I'm pleased to announce that Java 6.0 Update 2 has been certified with Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.

Sun Java SE Download page screenshot: Screenshot of Sun Java SE download page

A Rose by Any Other Name

Before getting into the details about this new certification, it's unavoidable that I spend some time on terminology.  Apparently, the latest iteration of the full name of this product family delivered by Sun Microsystems is:
  • Sun Java Platform, Standard Edition 6
  • Short form:  Java SE 6
The full name of the specific product within this family that we require for E-Business Suite application tier servers is:
  • Java Standard Edition Development Kit 6
  • Short form:  JDK 6
This release version is called JDK 6, 1.6, or 1.6.0.  All three version numbers are equivalent to each other.  When the base release is updated, the version number looks like one of the following (which are all equivalent): 
  • JDK 6 Update 2
  • JDK 6u2
  • 1.6.0_2
The previous release was Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition 5.0, with the short form being J2SE 5.0Other related terms equated over the years with this product family are Java SE Development Kit (JDK), and Java 2 Enterprise Edition Software Development Kit (J2SDK). 

For simplicity, for the remainder of this article (and in our official certification documentation), we'll use the term JDK 6.

What's New?

E-Business Suite Release 12.0.0 to 12.0.4 are delivered with:
  • Java SE Development Kit (JDK) Version 5.0 Update 8 for the application tier
  • Java SE Runtime Environment (JRE) Version 1.5 Update 8 for AutoConfig running on the database tier 
With this latest certification, all Release 12 environments may be upgraded to Java 6, formally known as:
  • Java SE Development Kit (JDK) Version 6.0 Update 2
Why Bother Upgrading?

Along with Oracle Forms, Java lies at the heart of the Oracle E-Business Suite.  Small improvements in Java can have significant effects on the performance and stability of the E-Business Suite.  As a notable side-benefit, later versions of Java have improved built-in and third-party tools for JVM performance monitoring and tuning.

Our standing recommendation is that you always stay current with the latest available Java update provided by your operating system vendor. 

Due to issues found with earlier updates of JDK 6.0, we recommend against using any Java 6 releases prior to JDK 1.6.0_02 with the E-Business Suite Release 12.

Prerequisites
It's important to note that OracleAS 10.1.3.3.0 is a mandatory prerequisite if you plan to upgrade your Release 12 application tier to the latest certified version of Java 6.

Documentation
Related Articles

Friday Dec 28, 2007

Essential Debugging Tools For Apps 12

E-Business Suite Release 12 includes Oracle Application Server 10g components for Forms and Java, each hosted in their own ORACLE_HOMEs.  A couple of colleagues in my team have published a pair of complementary Metalink Notes about debugging, diagnostic, and tracing tools in E-Business Suite Release 12.  It's high time that I got around to profiling those notes here.

Release 12 Techstack Overview: Overview of three-tier logical architecture for E-Business Suite Release 12, including the database, application server, and desktop tiers. 

Debugging Java Components in Release 12

The first Note highlights a series of Java-related problem scenarios that you might encounter with Release 12:
This useful document highlights possible symptoms, log files, useful scripts and other tools that can be used to change logging levels to track down issues with:
  • Oracle Process Manager and Notification Server (OPMN)
  • Oracle HTTP Server (Apache)
  • Oracle Containers for J2EE (OC4J)
  • Configured Application Modules, including:
    • OACORE - Core Application Modules
    • OAFM - Oracle Transport Agent, MapViewer
    • FORMS - Forms (using Servlet Mode)
Some common problem scenarios highlighted:
  • OPMN errors at startup
  • HTTP Server fails at startup
  • OC4J Applications Modules (e.g. oacore, forms, oafm) fail at startup
  • HTML requests complete but Java requests fail
  • HTML and Java requests complete but Applications Login page fails
  • Applications Login page is displayed but login fails
It also provides pointers to ways of monitoring or debugging the following components:
  • OPMN
  • Java Object Cache Monitor
  • Applications Server Forms Servlets
  • Class Loaders
The Note wraps up with useful summaries of all of the relevant log files used by OPMN, Oracle HTTP Server (OHS), and the various J2EE Applications modules.

Debugging Forms Components in Release 12

The second Note covers the Forms part of that territory:
This document highlights techniques for using Forms Trace as part of your diagnostic toolkit.  Forms Trace offers detailed data collection and other features to help drill down into Forms runtime problems.  The Note covers:
  • Activating Forms Trace via Application profiles
  • Defining Trace Groups to isolate problems more efficiently
  • Tips on interpreting Trace Files
  • Tips on using the legacy Forms Runtime Diagnostics (FRD) utility
Both of these documents are useful additions to any R12 sysadmin's toolkit.  If you have feedback or questions about these documents, feel free to post your thoughts here.  If we're lucky, you might get a chance to interact directly with the Notes' authors.

Related Articles

Thursday Dec 27, 2007

JInitiator 1.1.8.27 Certified For Apps 11i

Ah, Christmas week, when I have a fighting chance of getting ahead of the game while everyone else is decking the halls and such.  Time to catch up on some long-overdue articles.

If your end-users are still running JInitiator 1.1.8.x on your desktop, it's time to start planning to migrate them to the native Sun Java plug-in.  In the interim until they're migrated, you'll want to ensure that you keep up with the latest updates for this release.  As of today, the latest JInitiator release is 1.1.8.27.

Forms Apps architecture: Logical architecture showing desktop clients running Sun JRE or Oracle JInitiator, connecting via HTTP or HTTPS to Oracle Forms running on the Application Server tier

My hardworking team has just completed its certification of JInitiator 1.1.8.27 with E-Business Suite Release 11i.  Oracle JInitiator 1.1.8.27 is available for download now, and Oracle strongly recommends that all users of earlier versions of JInitiator 1.1.8.x be upgraded to this latest release.

Oracle JInitiator 1.1.8.27 is released via Patch 6612584. It requires Apps Interoperability Patch 6615232.

For a list of full prerequisites and installation steps, see:
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