Friday Apr 27, 2012

Sun JRE 1.6.0_32 Certified with Oracle E-Business Suite

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[Apr. 30, 2012 Update: Clarified certification information for JRE 7, added more details about Java 7 plans]

I'm pleased to let you know that the latest Java Runtime Environment 1.6.0_32 (a.k.a. JRE 6u32-b05) is now certified with Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12.  

What's new in Java 1.6.0_32?

See the 1.6.0_32 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.

32-bit and 64-bit versions certified

This certification includes both the 32-bit and 64-bit JRE versions.  64-bit JREs are certified only on 64-bit versions of Windows 7 and Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1).

Worried about the 'mismanaged session cookie' issue?

No need to worry -- it's fixed.  To recap: JRE releases 1.6.0_18 through 1.6.0_22 had issues with mismanaging session cookies that affected some users in some circumstances.

The fix for those issues was first included in JRE 1.6.0_23. These fixes will carry forward and continue to be fixed in all future JRE releases.  In other words, if you wish to avoid the mismanaged session cookie issue, you should apply any release after JRE 1.6.0_22.

All JRE releases are certified with EBS upon release

Our standard policy is that all E-Business Suite customers can apply all JRE updates to end-user desktops from JRE 1.6.0_03 and later updates on the 1.6 codeline.  We test all new JRE releases in parallel with the JRE development process, so all JRE releases are considered certified with the E-Business Suite on the same day that they're released by our Java team. 

You do not need to wait for a certification announcement before applying new JRE releases to your EBS users' desktops.  If you wish, your desktop administrators can enable the Java "Automatic updates" option on your end-users' desktops.

What about Java 7?

We're working on our Java 7 certification for the E-Business Suite right now.  Our first set of certifications will cover JRE 7 for Windows desktops.  This will be followed by JDK 7 certifications for server-based components.  

These certifications haven't been completed yet.  You should remain on Java 6 for both desktop-based and server-based components until we announce those certifications.

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

References

Related Articles

Wednesday Feb 15, 2012

Sun JRE 1.6.0_31 Certified with Oracle E-Business Suite

Java logoI'm pleased to let you know that the latest Java Runtime Environment 1.6.0_31 (a.k.a. JRE 6u31-b05) is now certified with Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12.  

What's new in Java 1.6.0_31?

See the 1.6.0_31 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.

Worried about the 'mismanaged session cookie' issue?

No need to worry -- it's fixed.  To recap: JRE releases 1.6.0_18 through 1.6.0_22 had issues with mismanaging session cookies that affected some users in some circumstances.

The fix for those issues was first included in JRE 1.6.0_23. These fixes will carry forward and continue to be fixed in all future JRE releases.  In other words, if you wish to avoid the mismanaged session cookie issue, you should apply any release after JRE 1.6.0_22.

All JRE releases are certified with EBS upon release

Our standard policy is that all E-Business Suite customers can apply all JRE updates to end-user desktops from JRE 1.6.0_03 and higher.  We test all new JRE releases in parallel with the JRE development process, so all JRE releases are considered certified with the E-Business Suite on the same day that they're released by our Java team. 

You do not need to wait for a certification announcement before applying new JRE releases to your EBS users' desktops.  If you wish, your desktop administrators can enable the Java "Automatic updates" option on your end-users' desktops.

References

Related Articles

Tuesday Dec 13, 2011

Sun JRE 1.6.0_30 Certified with Oracle E-Business Suite

Java logo

I'm pleased to let you know that the latest Java Runtime Environment 1.6.0_30 (a.k.a. JRE 6u30-b12) is now certified with Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12.  

What's new in Java 1.6.0_30?

See the 1.6.0_30 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.

Worried about the 'mismanaged session cookie' issue?

No need to worry -- it's fixed.  To recap: JRE releases 1.6.0_18 through 1.6.0_22 had issues with mismanaging session cookies that affected some users in some circumstances.

The fix for those issues was first included in JRE 1.6.0_23. These fixes will carry forward and continue to be fixed in all future JRE releases.  In other words, if you wish to avoid the mismanaged session cookie issue, you should apply any release after JRE 1.6.0_22:  for example, JRE 1.6.0_23, 1.6.0_24, 1.6.0_25, and 1.6.0_26, and higher.

All JRE releases are certified with EBS upon release

Our standard policy is that all E-Business Suite customers can apply all JRE updates to end-user desktops from JRE 1.6.0_03 and higher.  We test all new JRE releases in parallel with the JRE development process, so all JRE releases are considered certified with the E-Business Suite on the same day that they're released by our Java team. 

You do not need to wait for a certification announcement before applying new JRE releases to your EBS users' desktops.  If you wish, your desktop administrators can enable the Java "Automatic updates" option on your end-users' desktops.

References

Related Articles

Thursday Oct 20, 2011

Sun JRE 1.6.0_29 Certified with Oracle E-Business Suite

Java logoSome questions following our last few JRE certifications indicated that there's still lingering confusion about which JRE releases are safe to use with E-Business Suite environments.  To recap: JRE releases 1.6.0_18 through 1.6.0_22 had issues with mismanaging session cookies that affected some users in some circumstances.

The fix for those issues was first included in JRE 1.6.0_23. These fixes will carry forward and continue to be fixed in all future JRE releases.  In other words, if you wish to avoid the mismanaged session cookie issue, you should apply any release after JRE 1.6.0_22:  for example, JRE 1.6.0_23, 1.6.0_24, 1.6.0_25, and 1.6.0_26.

As of today, you can also apply Sun Java Runtime Environment 1.6.0_29 (a.k.a. JRE 6u29-b11).  JRE 1.6.0_29 is certified with E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12.

All JRE releases are certified with EBS upon release

Our standard policy is that all E-Business Suite customers can apply all JRE updates to end-user desktops from JRE 1.6.0_03 and higher.  We test all new JRE releases in parallel with the JRE development process, so all JRE releases are considered certified with the E-Business Suite on the same day that they're released by our Java team. 

You do not need to wait for a certification announcement before applying new JRE releases to your EBS users' desktops.  If you wish, your desktop administrators can enable the Java "Automatic updates" option on your end-users' desktops.

What happened to JRE 1.6.0_28?

JRE 1.6.0_28 (6u28) was not released externally.  JRE 1.6.0_29 is a CPU Security Java release.

References

Related Articles

Wednesday Aug 17, 2011

Sun JRE 1.6.0_27 Certified with Oracle E-Business Suite

Java logoSome questions following our last JRE certification indicated that there's still lingering confusion about which JRE releases are safe to use with E-Business Suite environments.  To recap: JRE releases 1.6.0_18 through 1.6.0_22 had issues with mismanaging session cookies that affected some users in some circumstances.

The fix for those issues was first included in JRE 1.6.0_23. These fixes will carry forward and continue to be fixed in all future JRE releases.  In other words, if you wish to avoid the mismanaged session cookie issue, you should apply any release after JRE 1.6.0_22:  for example, JRE 1.6.0_23, 1.6.0_24, 1.6.0_25, and 1.6.0_26.

As of today, you can also apply Sun Java Runtime Environment 1.6.0_27 (a.k.a. JRE 6u27-b07).  JRE 1.6.0_27 is certified with E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12.

All JRE releases are certified with EBS upon release

Our standard policy is that all E-Business Suite customers can apply all JRE updates to end-user desktops from JRE 1.6.0_03 and higher.  We test all new JRE releases in parallel with the JRE development process, so all JRE releases are considered certified with the E-Business Suite on the same day that they're released by our Java team. 

You do not need to wait for a certification announcement before applying new JRE releases to your EBS users' desktops.  If you wish, your desktop administrators can enable the Java "Automatic updates" option on your end-users' desktops.

What's new in Java 1.6.0_27?

See the 1.6.0_27 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.

JRE 1.6.0_27 provides the following fixes and functionality change that may affect Oracle E-Business Suite customers:

  • The browser window opening behind the Forms window issue is now fixed for Windows Vista and Windows 7 users running IE.
  • Selecting the "Close Window" Link through Internet Explorer will no longer display a modal window with the prompt, "The webpage you are viewing is trying to close the tab, Do you want to close this tab?".
  • Due to JRE6u27 now adhering more strictly to the IE browser settings,  "File Export" and certain "Form Attachments" will now fail through IE without the correct browser setting for IE6, IE7 & IE8 users.

This JRE release has been certified with both Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12.  We recommend this release for all E-Business Suite users.

References

Related Articles

Wednesday Jun 08, 2011

Sun JRE 1.6.0_26 Certified with Oracle E-Business Suite

Java compatible logoYou might get a sense of deja vu when reading this article, but I'll keep repeating myself until it seems safe to stop.  To recap: the mismanaged session cookie issue (now fixed) may have made you a little nervous about automatically applying new JRE updates.  To reassure you on that front:

  • Sun Java Runtime Environment 1.6.0_26 (a.k.a. JRE 6u26-b03) is certified with E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12.
  • JRE 1.6.0_26 contains the fixes for the mismanaged session cookie issue that were originally released as part of JRE 1.6.0_23, JRE 1.6.0_24, and JRE 1.6.0_25.
All JRE releases are certified with EBS upon release

Our standard policy is that all E-Business Suite customers can apply all JRE updates to end-user desktops from JRE 1.6.0_03 and higher.  We test all new JRE releases in parallel with the JRE development process, so all JRE releases are considered certified with the E-Business Suite on the same day that they're released by our Java team. 

In other words, you do not need to wait for a certification announcement before applying new JRE releases to your EBS users' desktops.  If you wish, your desktop administrators can enable the Java "Automatic updates" option on your end-users' desktops.

What's new in Java 1.6.0_26?

See the 1.6.0_26 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.

This JRE release has been certified with both Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12.  We recommend this release for all E-Business Suite users.

References
Related Articles

Friday May 27, 2011

Sun JRE 1.6.0_25 Certified with Oracle E-Business Suite

Java compatible logoThe mismanaged session cookie issue (now fixed) may have made you a little nervous about automatically applying new JRE updates.  To reassure you on that front:

  • Sun Java Runtime Environment 1.6.0_25 (a.k.a. JRE 6u25, 1.6.0_25-b06) is certified with E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12.
  • JRE 1.6.0_25 contains the fixes for the mismanaged session cookie issue that were originally released as part of JRE 1.6.0_23 and JRE 1.6.0_24.
All JRE releases are certified with EBS upon release

Our standard policy is that all E-Business Suite customers can apply all JRE updates to end-user desktops from JRE 1.6.0_03 and higher.  We test all new JRE releases in parallel with the JRE development process, so all JRE releases are considered certified with the E-Business Suite on the same day that they're released by our Java team. 

In other words, you do not need to wait for a certification announcement before applying new JRE releases to your EBS users' desktops.  If you wish, your desktop administrators can enable the Java "Automatic updates" option on your end-users' desktops.

What's new in Java 1.6.0_25?

See the 1.6.0_25 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.

This JRE release has been certified with both Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12.  We recommend this release for all E-Business Suite users.

References
Related Articles

Tuesday Feb 15, 2011

Sun JRE 1.6.0_24 Certified with Oracle E-Business Suite

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The mismanaged session cookie issue (now fixed) may have made you a little nervous about automatically applying new JRE updates.  To reassure you on that front:
  • Sun Java Runtime Environment 1.6.0_24 (a.k.a. JRE 6u24, 1.6.0_24-b07) is certified with E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12.
  • JRE 1.6.0_24 contains the fixes for the mismanaged session cookie issue that were originally released as part of JRE 1.6.0_23.
All JRE releases are certified with EBS upon release

Our standard policy is that all E-Business Suite customers can apply all JRE updates to end-user desktops from JRE 1.6.0_03 and higher.  We test all new JRE releases in parallel with the JRE development process, so all JRE releases are considered certified with the E-Business Suite on the same day that they're released by our Java team. 

In other words, you do not need to wait for a certification announcement before applying new JRE releases to your EBS users' desktops.  If you wish, your desktop administrators can enable the Java "Automatic updates" option on your end-users' desktops.

What's new in Java 1.6.0_24?

See the 1.6.0_24 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.

This JRE release has been certified with both Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12.  We recommend this release for all E-Business Suite users.

References
Related Articles

Tuesday Dec 07, 2010

Mismanaged Session Cookie Issue Fixed for EBS in JRE 1.6.0_23

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At last:  some good news for those of you affected by the mismanaged session cookie issue in E-Business Suite environments.  This issue is resolved by the latest Sun Java Runtime Environment 1.6.0_23 (a.k.a. JRE 6u23, internal version 1.6.0_23-b05).

See the 1.6.0_23 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.

This JRE release has been certified with both Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12.  We recommend this release for all E-Business Suite users.

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.

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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 Aug 13, 2010

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

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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.

Monday Jul 19, 2010

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

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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.

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

Thursday Oct 22, 2009

Interim Update #2: Certifying Windows 7 with Oracle E-Business Suite

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[Dec 16, 2009 Update:  Windows 7 is now certified with the E-Business Suite; see this article]

This is the second of a series of regular updates on our Windows 7 certification projects for the E-Business Suite. 

Microsoft Windows 7 was officially released today.  Here's a recap of our plans for certifying the Oracle E-Business Suite with Microsoft's latest operating system. As always, the answers to these questions may change as we move through the certification cycle. You're welcome to monitor or subscribe to this blog for later updates. 

Our Progress on Windows 7

We're certifying Windows 7 with the E-Business Suite right now.  We've already tested several of the Win7 betas and release candidates, and those tests have gone very smoothly.  At this point, E-Business Suite product teams need to complete their certification tests with Windows 7 desktop clients.  Once those tests are completed, we'll release our certification.

For the usual reasons that regular readers could have predicted, I can't share any specific schedules or date estimates here. I can provide an interim update on the following Win7 questions:
  1. Which EBS releases will be certified with Windows 7?
  2. Which browsers will be certified?
  3. Will Oracle JInitiator be certified for EBS on Windows 7?
  4. Which Windows 7 editions will be certified?
  5. What about Windows 7E?
  6. What about Windows XP Mode?
1. Which EBS Releases Will Be Certified with Windows 7?

We plan on certifying the following Oracle E-Business Suite release with Windows 7:
  • EBS 11i version 11.5.10.2
  • EBS 12.0.4 and and higher
2. Which Browsers Will Be Certified?

We plan on certifying the following browsers with the E-Business Suite on Windows 7:
  • Internet Explorer 8
  • Firefox 3.5
3. Will Oracle JInitiator Be Certified for EBS on Windows 7?

No.  Oracle JInitiator is no longer supported for E-Business Suite customers.

Oracle JInitiator 1.1.8 was desupported in December 2008, and Oracle JInitiator 1.3 was desupported 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:
We plan to certify only the native Sun Java Runtime Engine (JRE) with Windows 7.  We have no plans to certify Oracle JInitiator with Windows 7. 

4. Which Windows 7 Editions Will Be Certified?


We plan to test E-Business Suite compatibility against Windows 7 Professional Edition with the E-Business Suite.  We fully expect that other Win7 editions will work, but we have no current plans to explicitly test the Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Ultimate, or Enterprise Editions with the E-Business Suite.

5. What About Windows 7E?

Microsoft has changed its plans for Windows 7E since I published our first interim update on this certification.  At present, it appears that Microsoft has no plans to release a special version of Windows 7 for Europe.  Debate around default browser selection screens for Europe continues, so we'll continue to monitor this.

If Microsoft's plans change, and a European variant is released, our current plans are to certify the generic edition of Windows 7 with the E-Business Suite and the browsers listed above. 

6. What About Windows XP Mode?

Microsoft indicates that end-users will be able to run Windows XP in a virtualized environment running via Windows Virtual PC on a Win7 desktop client.  This will presumably be 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.

What Are Your Organization's Plans for Windows 7?

Anecdotal reports from some EBS customers seem to suggest that your plans for Windows 7 will parallel that of Windows Vista:  namely, that new PCs that arrive with Windows 7 will either stay that way or will be downgraded to WinXP for the short term.  I have heard of a few customers with plans to deploy widespread Win7 upgrades across the enterprise, but these customers seem to be in the minority so far.

I'd be very interested in hearing your plans for rolling out Windows 7 in your organization.  Feel free to post a comment here or drop me an email with more details about your deployment plans.

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.

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.

Related Articles

Wednesday Jul 01, 2009

Interim Update #1: Certifying Windows 7 with Oracle E-Business Suite

[Dec 16, 2009: Windows 7 is now certified with the E-Business Suite; see this article] [Oct 22, 2009: A more-recent update on our Windows 7 certification is published here.] Microsoft windows 7 logo

Microsoft Windows 7 has been getting a lot of headlines recently.  This seems to have triggered an small but noticeable increase in questions about our plans for certifying this operating system for E-Business Suite desktop clients. 

We're working with pre-release versions of Windows 7 right now.  For the usual reasons that regular readers could have predicted, I can't share any certification schedules or date estimates here. I can provide an interim update on the following Win7 questions:

  1. Which EBS releases will be certified with Windows 7?
  2. Which browsers will be certified?
  3. Will Oracle JInitiator Be certified for EBS on Windows 7?
  4. Which Windows 7 editions will be certified?
  5. What about Windows 7E?
  6. What about Windows XP Mode?

This is the first of what I expect will be multiple updates on our Windows 7 certification process.  You're welcome to monitor or subscribe to this blog for later updates.  As always, the answers to these questions may change as we move through the certification cycle. 

Which EBS Releases Will Be Certified with Windows 7?

We plan on certifying the following Oracle E-Business Suite release with Windows 7:

  • EBS 11i version 11.5.10.2
  • EBS 12.0.4 and and higher

Which Browsers Will Be Certified?

We plan on certifying the following browsers with the E-Business Suite on Windows 7:

  • Internet Explorer 8
  • Firefox 3.5

Will Oracle JInitiator Be Certified for EBS on Windows 7?

No.  We plan to certify only the native Sun Java Runtime Engine (JRE) with Windows 7.  We have no plans to certify Oracle JInitiator with Windows 7.  

Oracle JInitiator 1.1.8 was desupported in December 2008, and Oracle JInitiator 1.3 will be desupported for EBS customers at the end of July 2009.  For more information about JInitiator desupport and switching your EBS end-users from JInitiator to the Sun JRE, see:

Which Windows 7 Editions Will Be Certified?

We plan to test E-Business Suite compatibility against Windows 7 Professional Edition with the E-Business Suite.  We fully expect that other Win7 editions will work, but we have no current plans to explicitly test the Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Ultimate, or Enterprise Editions with the E-Business Suite.

What About Windows 7E?

I've been following the latest developments on the awkwardly-named "E editions of Windows 7" with some interest.  Microsoft's current documentation on these E editions of Windows 7 is notably scant, but confirms that certain versions of Windows 7 released in the European Economic Area, Croatia, and Switzerland will not include Internet Explorer.

Our current plans are to certify the "non E" edition of Windows 7 with the E-Business Suite with the browsers listed above.  We're currently assuming that that will be functionally-equivalent to doing a custom (clean) installation of the E editions of Windows 7 and then subsequently installing IE or Firefox. 

If this turns out not to be true, we'll revise our certification plans accordingly.  In this scenario, it would be reasonable to expect that the certification of E editions of Windows 7 will lag behind the certification of the standard Windows 7 release.

What About Windows XP Mode?

Microsoft indicates that end-users will be able to run Windows XP in a virtualized environment running via Windows Virtual PC on a Win7 desktop client.  This will presumably be 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. 

What Are Your Organization's Plans for Windows 7?

Anecdotal reports from some EBS customers seem to suggest that your plans for Windows 7 will parallel that of Windows Vista:  namely, that new PCs that arrive with Windows 7 will either stay that way or will be downgraded to WinXP for the short term.  I haven't yet heard of any customers with plans to deploy widespread upgrades across the enterprise.

I'd be very interested in hearing your plans for rolling out Windows 7 in your organization.  Feel free to post a comment here or drop me an email with more details about your deployment plans.

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.

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.

Related Articles

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]

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



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:
Related Articles

Tuesday Dec 25, 2007

Running Multiple Java Plug-Ins on the Same Windows PC

Judging from your blog comments and emails, many of you are in the difficult situation of having to support end-users with multiple Java plug-ins on the same Windows PC.  This is a little more complicated than the days when Oracle JInitiator was the only thing we had to worry about.  Let's review what's possible today and discuss the implications for your rollouts.

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

Supporting Multiple Java-Based Applications

A substantial number of Oracle E-Business Suite modules are based on Oracle Forms.  Different E-Business Suite releases are certified with different Java clients:
  • Release 11i:  Oracle JInitiator and native Sun Java plug-in
  • Release 12:  Native Sun Java plug-in only
Many large organizations run other Java-based applications in addition to Oracle Applications.  These third-party applications may require different Java desktop client versions, often older releases like Java 1.3 or Java 1.4. 

The problem arises when those software vendors don't upgrade their certifications to the latest Java release.  You may end up with a situation where your E-Business Suite environment may require 1.5.0_13 but other applications require 1.4.2_08.

What's Possible With JInitiator

Oracle JInitiator supports multiple installations of different JInitiator versions on the same Windows PC.  Each specific JInitiator version can be separately invoked by the calling Forms-based application.  This is called static versioning.

This allows one Oracle Forms-based application to use a particular Oracle JInitiator version, while another application can invoke a different JInitiator version.

Static Versioning Not Directly Supported With Native Sun Plug-In

Sun's native Java plug-in from version 1.5.0_06 and later does not support static versioning by default when using Microsoft Internet Explorer.  If you have multiple versions of the JRE plug-in installed on your desktop, the latest version installed will run.

For example:
  • If Oracle E-Business Suite is set up to run JRE 1.5.0_12 on the server and both JRE 1.5.0_12 and JRE 1.5.0_13 are installed on the desktop, the environment will incorrectly launch using JRE 1.5.0_13 rather than JRE 1.5.0_12.
  • If Oracle E-Business Suite is set to run on JRE 1.5.0_13 on the server and both JRE 1.5.0_13 and JRE 1.6.0 are installed on the desktop, the environment will incorrectly launch using JRE 1.6.0 rather than JRE 1.5.0_13.
Another Potential Problem:  Automatic Upgrades

The native Sun JRE plug-in's configuration will usually be set to download the latest Java release automatically.  If your users have installed version 1.5.0_12 with automatic updates enabled, then those desktops will upgrade themselves automatically to the latest release, say, 1.5.0_13 or even 1.5.0_14. 

It's probably a good idea to disable automatic updates if you're uncomfortable with this, for the following reasons:
  • These automatic updates may outstrip your software vendors' certifications, including Oracle.
  • Desktop administrators hate it when their users' desktops change unpredictably. 
The Bottom Line

If you're faced with the difficult situation where you're struggling with different Java versions required by different vendors, I'm afraid that you don't have many palatable options.  These include:

Option 1.  Run MS IE with a registry modification

If your end-users are running Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE), there's a possible workaround.  The catch?  You've got to make a manual change to the Windows Registry for each of your end-users' desktops.  If you have the stomach for that kind of thing, you can find the details in the respective Release 11i or 12 documentation listed in the References section below.

Option 2.  Give the later versions a try

Now that we've certified the E-Business Suite with Java 1.5.0_13 with both Release 11i and 12, it's reasonably assured that later versions will work equally well with Oracle Apps.  Our certification cycles for these native Java plug-ins are getting faster, and we're working on later 1.5.x versions as well as 1.6 now.

Our standing recommendation is to wait for Oracle's certification with Apps before rolling out later Java releases.  However, if you really don't have the luxury of waiting for our certifications to complete, you can always upgrade a test PC to the target JRE version of your choice and give it a try.  Thorough system testing is a good idea before rolling out an uncertified JRE version to your Apps users.

From a support perspective, remember that Oracle Support will do their best to answer your questions about the use of uncertified Java plug-in versions with the E-Business Suite.  Bear in mind that if you encounter problems that can't be reproduced with the certified Java plug-in versions, Oracle Support will likely recommend that you revert to a certified configuration.

Option 3.  Share your pain

The pain from this situation can arguably be lessened if all software vendors -- including Oracle, naturally -- keep their certifications current with the latest Java plug-ins available. 

It's the slower vendors still stuck on, say, Java 1.4.2_08 that are creating the real pain for you.  If I were in your shoes, I wouldn't be shy about making sure that those vendors feel your pain, too.  Log service tickets with them and escalate your concerns with your vendor account managers.

References
Related Articles

Friday Dec 21, 2007

JInitiator 1.1.8 To Be Desupported for Apps 11i

Buried deep within the bowels of our often-inscrutable certification database is a newly-published Obsolescence notice for JInitiator 1.1.8 (Metalink Note 472154.1). 

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

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.  As of December 31, 2008, Error Correction Support for JInitiator 1.1.8 will end.  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.

What Do You Do Now?

There are two options.  Option 1 is strongly recommended over Option 2.

Option 1.  Upgrade to the native Sun Java plug-in

The E-Business Suite Release 11i is now certified with the native Sun Java (JRE) plug-in.  See this article for details about the latest certified JRE version. This is the preferred upgrade path for existing JInitiator 1.1.8 users.

Option 2.  Upgrade to JInitiator 1.3

You can choose to upgrade your end-users to the latest certified version of JInitiator 1.3.x.  See this article for details about the latest certified JInitiator version.  This is not the recommended option, though.

Why Choose the native Sun JRE over 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.  You will see a similar desupport notice for JInitiator 1.3 coming soon; watch this space for updates on that front.

Therefore, upgrading your end-users to the native Sun JRE directly will be less time-consuming and disruptive than upgrading them first from JInitiator 1.1.8 to 1.3, and then upgrading them later to the native Sun Java client. 

Related

Friday Dec 07, 2007

Replacing JInitiator with Sun Java Plug-in 1.5.0_13

[Oct 24, 2008 Update:  In case you missed it, you may now use any version of the native Sun Java plug-in with the E-Business Suite as long as it meets or exceeds the minimum versions that we've certified.  Also note that we've done an explicit certification with JRE 1.6.0_10 with the E-Business Suite, given that Sun's new Java architecture introduced with that JRE release.]

The native Sun Java Runtime Engine (JRE) 1.5.0_13 is now certified and Generally Available for Windows-based desktop clients accessing E-Business Suite Releases 11i and 12.

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

With this certification:
  • E-Business Suite Release 11i users can use Sun's JRE 1.5.0_13 in place of Oracle Jinitator.
  • E-Business Suite Release 12 users can use the same JRE 1.5.0_13 on their desktops

  • Users running the previously-certified JRE 1.5.0_12 to access the E-Business Suite can upgrade their desktop clients to 1.5.0_13
For an overview of why you might be interested in switching your users to the Sun Java plug-in, supported architectures, prerequisites, and other deployment considerations, see:
References

Monday Sep 10, 2007

JInitiator 1.3.1.29 Certified with E-Business Suite Release 11i

The E-Business Suite Release 11i has two interfaces:  a web-based model for modules like Self-Service web applications like iRecruitment and and Expenses, and an Oracle Forms-based model for our professional services modules like Financials.  Oracle Forms are Java-based and require a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) to be installed on end-user desktop clients.  Oracle JInitiator is Oracle's licenced version of Sun's JVM.  E-Business Suite Forms-based modules are certified to run with specific versions of Oracle JInitiator.

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

Latest JInitiator Version Certified

Our hard-working certification team has just announced the certification of JInitiator 1.3.1.29 with E-Business Suite Release 11i.  This is supported for Microsoft Windows 2000 and Windows XP SP2.  The latest certified configuration requires Developer 6i Patch 12 (Forms version 6.0.8.21.x) or higher. 

For more details, see:
Replacing Oracle JInitiator with Sun's Native Plug-In

In case you missed it, you now have the option of replacing Jinitiator with the native Sun Java plug-in on your Windows-based desktop clients.  Oracle E-Business Suite system administrators can now configure their environments to support access to Forms-based applications with either Oracle JInitiator, the native Sun JRE plug-in, or a mix of the two desktop client technologies.  For more details about this configuration, see:
Related

Tuesday Jun 26, 2007

Replacing Jinitiator: Java Plug-In 1.5.0_12 Certified with Apps 11i & 12

[Dec 7, 2007 Update:  Sun JRE 1.5.0_13 is now certified with the E-Business Suite; see this article for details about the latest certification]

I'm very pleased to announce that the native Sun JRE plug-in version 1.5.0_12 is now certified and Generally Available for use with Release
11i and 12. 

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

This is a major step forward.  Up until now, the E-Business Suite Release 11i has required the use of Oracle Jinitiator to access its Forms-based applications.  Release 12 already supported the use of a special version of the native Sun Java Runtime Engine (JRE) plug-in instead of Oracle Jinitiator.

With this certification:
  • E-Business Suite Release 11i users can use Sun's JRE 1.5.0_12 in place of Oracle Jinitator. 
  • E-Business Suite Release 12 users can use the same JRE 1.5.0_12, instead of being restricted to the special version originally shipped with Release 12.
Coexistence with JInitiator Clients

Oracle E-Business Suite system administrators can now configure their environments to support access to Forms-based applications with either Oracle JInitiator, the native Sun JRE plug-in, or a mix of the two desktop client technologies.

In other words, one set of end-users may continue to use JInitiator to access an E-Business Suite environment.  A different set of end-users may use the native Sun JRE plug-in to access the same E-Business Suite environment.  For example:

Tim has JRE 1.5.0_12 installed exclusively on his PC; Tim doesn't use JInitiator.  While Roya is logged in to Release 11i via Oracle JInitiator 1.3.1.25, Tim may log into the same Release 11i environment using JRE 1.5.0_12.

This support for coexistence of the two desktop clients allows you to roll out the native Sun JRE to your users in phases.  You don't need to convert all end-users from JInitiator to the native Sun JRE plug-in at the same time.

Note that your E-Business Suite environment must be set to use either Oracle JInitiator or the native JRE plug-in by default.  Apps sysadmins can
designate specific named end-users to use the "other" (i.e. the non-default) Java client.  There are some restrictions around this, notably for
Discoverer and Workflow users, so this type of mixed-client configuration is designed to smooth your deployment transition rather than as a long-term solution.  If you're interested in this approach, a careful review of the documented restrictions is worthwhile.

Running JInitiator and the Native Sun JRE Simultaneously


It's technically possible to run multiple JInitiator and native Sun JRE plug-in  sessions simultaneously on the same PC.  There are two requirements for this:
  • Internet Explorer is being used
  • Each JRE/Jinitiator instance is started in a separate Internet Explorer session
It isn't possible to run multiple JRE/JInitiator versions simultaneously from the same desktop if Netscape, Firefox, or Mozilla browsers are being used.  These browsers share a single cookie session per desktop, which restricts usage to a single Java version at a time.

What's Wrong with JInitiator?

Nothing!  JInitiator works fine and will continue to be certified with the E-Business Suite Release 11i (we have no plans to certify JInitiator with Release 12).  However, there are two major reasons for switching your end-users to the native Sun JRE plug-in:
  1. Elimination of conflicts between Oracle JInitiator and other Java virtual machines

    Oracle JInitiator is an authorized version of Sun Microsystems' Java2 Standard Edition, with extensions required to support Oracle Forms.  Some versions of Oracle JInitiator have known conflicts with other Java virtual machines, including Sun Microsystems' own plug-in. Using the native Sun Microsystems' JRE plug-in instead of Oracle JInitiator eliminates those conflicts.
  2. Reduction of desktop client complexity

    Managing multiple Java Virtual Machines on Windows-based desktop clients can be potentially complex. Some Windows-based desktop clients may have three or more Java Virtual Machines installed, including versions from Microsoft, Sun, and Oracle. For example, Microsoft's Internet Explorer was dependent upon Microsoft's own Java Virtual Machine at one point in its lifecycle.  Downloading, installing, and maintaining separate Java Virtual Machines can be technically complex and costly for enterprise desktop administrators.
Prerequisites for Release 11i
  • Customers using Oracle Applications 11.5.9 or later
  • Oracle Developer 6i Patchset 18 (6.0.8.27.x) or later
  • Microsoft Windows XP or Microsoft Windows 2000
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 and higher
  • Mozilla Firefox 1.0.4 and higher
Windows desktops running the native Sun JRE plug-in can coexist with other Windows desktops running the following Oracle JInitiator releases:
  • JInitiator 1.1.8.x (JDK 1.1 based)
  • JInitiator 1.3.1.x (JDK 1.3 based)
Prerequisites for Release 12
  • Customers using Oracle Applications 12.0 or later
  • Microsoft Windows XP or Microsoft Windows 2000
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 and higher
  • Mozilla Firefox 1.5 and higher
Oracle JInitiator isn't certified or supported for Release 12.

Special Note for Early Adopter Program Participants

We've been running an Early Adopter Program for this configuration with a select number of customers since 2004.  The release of this configuration into General Availability marks the end of this Early Adopter Program.

If you're a participant in our Early Adopter Program, you're running your Apps 11i environment on either our latest Build 5.1 or an earlier Build, and your end-users are running JRE 1.5.0_07 or earlier.  Now that our Early Adopter Program has concluded, you will need to:
  1. Upgrade your environment to the latest interoperability patch listed in the June 25, 2007 version of Metalink Note 290807.1
  2. Upgrade your end-users' desktops to JRE 1.5.0_12
Note that JRE 1.5.0_12 resolves the focus-related issue that has existed in all prior JRE releases.  This is a very important upgrade for users running earlier JRE versions.

You're free to stay on an earlier Build and earlier JRE releases, of course.  However, if you report any problems with an earlier configuration that can't be reproduced in the Generally Available configuration, you'll likely be advised to upgrade to the latest configuration.  Likewise, if you report any issues with older configurations that can be reproduced on the Generally Available configuration, you'll need to upgrade to the Generally Available configuration before you can apply any fixes for these new issues.

References

Tuesday May 22, 2007

Demantra, OracleAS 10.1.3 and the E-Business Suite

There's been a recent surge of questions asking whether the E-Business Suite can be used with Oracle Application Server 10g 10.1.3 and Demantra, one of our new product family members. 

Demantra Demand Management screenshot:

I'm not a Demantra specialist, but from an Apps architectural perspective, the short answer is:  yes.  There are a few things to remember about this integration:
  1. The E-Business Suite Release 11i's application-tier runs on Oracle9i Application Server 1.0.2.2.2 only.  It must stay at this level.  It may not be upgraded to either Oracle Application Server 10g 10.1.2.x or 10.1.3.x.
  2. The E-Business Suite Release 11i can be integrated with an external server running Oracle Application Server 10g 10.1.3.x.  There are no restrictions on integrating Apps 11i with OracleAS 10.1.3.x.  We have not certified this configuration but it's supported.  Remember that there's an important distinction between certification and support.
  3. Alternately, if you have sufficient capacity on your existing E-Business Suite application server, you can install Oracle Application Server 10g 10.1.3.x in a separate ORACLE_HOME on an existing E-Business Suite server.
  4. You then install Demantra on top of the external Oracle Application Server 10g 10.1.3.x environment.  The standalone Demantra environment then connects to the E-Business Suite environment.
  5. Demantra is an Oracle SSO-enabled partner application, too.  If your E-Business Suite environment has been integrated with Single Sign-On 10g and Oracle Internet Directory 10g, you can integrate that combined environment with Demantra, too, to provide Single Sign-On capabilities across Apps and Demantra.
Possible Java Runtime Engine Conflicts

Demantra runs on the latest Sun Java Runtime Engine (JRE) plug-in on the desktop.  Oracle E-Business Suite's Forms-based products run on Oracle Jinitiator on the desktop.  Depending on how your end-users run Demantra, there may be conflicts between these two Java plug-ins, notably if the same users wish to access the E-Business Suite's Forms-based content at the same time that they're running Demantra. 

If so, there's light on the horizon:  we're still in the process of certifying the native Sun JRE plug-in with the E-Business Suite.  Once that certification is complete, E-Business Suite users can use the native Sun JRE plug-in instead of Jinitiator, eliminating any conflicts.

If your organization wishes to deploy Demantra now, before the E-Business Suite's certification of the native Sun JRE plug-in is complete, you may wish to register in our E-Business Suite Early Adopter Program.  I'm still accepting customer nominations for this Early Adopter Program; for details, see:
References

Thursday May 03, 2007

Will the Real JRE Please Stand Up?

Unlike Release 11i, E-Business Suite Release 12 no longer requires Oracle Jinitiator for its Forms-based content.  In theory, it will be possible to use any version of the native Sun J2SE Runtime Engine (JRE) plug-in to access Forms-based content in this Applications release.

Java Console Screenshot:

The present reality is that you need to use a specific version of the Sun JRE with Release 12.  I know some of you have been interested in going deep on this, so strap on your helmets; we're goin' in.

A Problem of Focus

When you have multiple windows for different programs open in WinXP (say, Outlook and Firefox), the one you're working in actively has the focus.  So, if you're working in Outlook and then click on the Firefox window, the focus changes to Firefox.

Here's the complicating factor:  current releases of the native Sun JRE plug-in may lose focus from Forms-based content in a few situations.  This behavior occurs in all Sun JRE versions released publicly to date, including 1.5.0_11.

We've been working closely with Sun on this issue.  Sun has committed to including the fix for this issue in an upcoming JRE release.  In the meantime, Sun has provided Oracle with a specially-patched version of 1.5.0_10 that includes the fix for this bug.  This version is informally called 1.5.0_10-erdist and is included as part of the Release 12 Rapid Install.

Checking Your JRE Version

To check which version you have installed:
  1. Enable the Java Console on your PC through the 'Java Control Panel' by clicking on the 'Java' icon within your desktop's 'Control Panel'.

  2. Select the 'Advanced' Tab and expand the 'Java Console' field, then ensure the 'Show Console' option is selected.
  3. Select the 'General' Tab and click the 'About' button.
If the version displayed is:
  • Version 1.5.0 (build 1.5.0_10-erdist-b20061221)

    You have the special version that includes the focus fix required for use with Release 12.
  • Version 1.5.0 (build 1.5.0_10-b03)

    You have the standard version of 1.5.0_10 that does not include the focus fix.  If you wish to use Forms-based content in Release 12, you need to uninstall this version and install the special 1.5.0_10-erdist version included with Release 12.
A Word About Upgrading Your JRE

It's important to remember that JRE 1.5.0_10-erdist is the only version available today that includes this focus fix.  If you or your end-users use (or upgrade to) 1.5.0_11, they may encounter issues with accessing Forms-based content in E-Business Suite Release 12.

Later JRE versions that include the focus fix will be certified with Release 12, of course. At present, I don't have any information that I can share about either their release dates or their certification schedules with the E-Business Suite.  I'll post updates here as soon as they're available.

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