Monday Dec 02, 2013

Office 2010 64-bit Certified with EBS 12

Office 2010 logoMicrosoft Office 2010 64-bit is now certified with EBS 12.0.6, 12.1.3, and 12.2 with desktop clients using the following configurations:

The 32-bit equivalents are already certified; details are available here.

Are any patches required?

You must apply server-side patches to EBS 12.0.6 and 12.1.3 environments.  Additional server-side patches are not required for EBS 12.2.x.  All required interop patches are documented here:

What about EBS 11i?

There are no plans for this certification in E-Business Suite 11i.  This certification primarily affects Web Application Desktop Integrator (a.k.a. WebADI, BNE) and Report Manager (FRM) integration with a 64-bit desktop client configuration.  Architectural constraints in the EBS 11i versions of these components make these certifications infeasible.

What EBS products are covered by this certification?

The Oracle E-Business Suite is comprised of several product families such as Financials, Supply Chain Management, Human Resources, and so on.  These product families group together collections of individual products.  Some of these products may be optionally integrated with one or more Microsoft Office components such as Excel, Word, and Projects.

Individual E-Business Suite product teams have the option of building integrations between their products and one or more Microsoft Office components.  This is not mandatory.  Over forty E-Business Suite teams offer these kinds of Office integrations today.

Examples of available integrations include:

  • HRMS Payroll integrations with Microsoft Excel
  • Supply Chain Management Contracts Core integration with Microsoft Word
  • Financials General Ledger (GL) integration with Microsoft Excel
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Proposals integration with Microsoft Word

Which Office versions are certified?

We explicitly tested Microsoft Office 2010 64-bit Professional Edition with Oracle E-Business Suite.  We expect that our certification tests also apply to the 64-bit equivalents, if available, to the following editions:

  • Home and Student Edition
  • Home and Business Edition
  • Standard Edition
  • Professional Academic Edition
  • Professional Plus Edition
We have no plans to certify the following editions with Oracle E-Business Suite:
  • Office Web Apps
  • Starter Edition
  • Mac Edition
  • Office Mobile
I would not expect the results of our certification with Office 2010 Professional Edition to apply to the four editions above.

How are these integrations supported?

You can log Service Requests against the E-Business Suite product that you're trying to integrate with Microsoft Office. 

For example, you might be trying to take advantage of CRM Marketing (AMS) 12.1.2's integration with Excel 2010.  To get support, you can log an SR against CRM Marketing directly. 

The Support team for that product will help you diagnose and resolve the problem.  If the issue is isolated to a Microsoft product, then it may be necessary to log a corresponding support ticket with Microsoft, as well.

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Saturday Sep 28, 2013

E-Business Suite Support Timelines Updated at OpenWorld 2013

[Oct. 30, 2013 Update: Corrected typo -- US Form 1099 updates are provided to 2014]

Our release of E-Business Suite 12.2 is accompanied by changes to support timelines for previous releases.  These changes were announced at OpenWorld 2013.  They override changes announced at OpenWorld 2012.

Latest changes to EBS Support timelines 2013

EBS 11.5.10.2 covered by an Exception to Sustaining Support to December 31, 2015

This provides updates during the Sustaining Support period for:

  • New fixes for Severity 1 production issues
  • Critical Patch Updates (CPU) for security-related issues
  • Legislative updates
    • US Form 1099 2013 and 2014 year-end updates
    • Payroll regulatory updates for US, Canada, UK, and Australia for each country's fiscal years ending in 2014

Longer EBS 12.1 Premier and Extended Support timelines

  • Premier Support runs to December 31, 2016
    (Originally was to end May 2014; 31 extra months added)
  • Extended Support runs to December 31, 2019
    (Originally was to end December 2018; one extra year added)

These changes are officially documented here:

Table showing latest 2013 EBS Premier Extended Sustaining Support timelines windows

What about E-Business Suite technology stack components?

These support date extensions only cover internal EBS application tier technology stack components such as Oracle Forms and Reports, Oracle HTTP Server, Oracle JServ, Oracle Containers for Java (OC4J), and Java (JDK and JRE).

They do not extend support dates for the Oracle Database or optional externally-integrated application tier components such as Discoverer, Oracle Single Sign-On, Oracle Access Manager, Oracle Internet Directory, or other Fusion Middleware products.

To learn more about the interlocking EBS+techstack component support windows, see these two articles:

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Friday Jan 11, 2013

When will my Oracle bug fix or enhancement request be released?

As EBS customers using mission-critical software, you are naturally curious about when you will get fixes for bugs that you've reported.  It's also understandable that you'd like to know when certain enhancements will be delivered.

Oracle tracks all bugs and enhancement requests in a single massive database, which we use for released and unreleased products. This centralized database is an amazing accomplishment: it's a treasure trove of detailed technical analyses, debates, development decisions, and future plans.

Locked down by default

Oracle's Revenue Recognition policies place strict boundaries on the type of information that can be shared about unreleased products.  The centralized nature of the bug database makes for some conundrums around external disclosure, since it can sometimes be very tricky to determine whether something is a bug fix or an enhancement, and whether the codeline is already released or not.

For maximum safety, all Oracle staff are required to take the most-conservative stance by default:

  • We are not permitted to discuss release dates or release vehicles.

This is true regardless of whether you're speaking with someone in Oracle Support, Development, Sales, Consulting, or any other Oracle functions. This covers nearly all variants of the question, "When will ___ be { fixed | certified | released }?"

You shouldn't be surprised or disappointed if you get an answer that boils down to, "I'm sorry, but I'm afraid that I can't provide any information specific dates or release vehicles." 

Please be gentle with our messengers; they're just doing their job.

Escalated Severity 1 situations

There may be special circumstances for Severity 1 bugs that have severe negative impact on production environments. If you have an escalated Severity 1 Service Request that meets these criteria, an Oracle Escalation Manager can assist further.

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Monday Feb 20, 2012

Extended Support Fees Waived for E-Business Suite 11i and 12.0

[Mar. 13, 2012 update: The Oracle Software Technical Support Policies document is now updated to reflect these fee waivers]

Extended Support fees for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12.0 have been waived.  These fee waivers cover the entire three-year Extended Support periods for both of these releases:

  • EBS 11i Extended Support from November 1, 2010 to November 30, 2013
  • EBS 12.0 Extended Support from February 1, 2012 - January 31, 2015

Customers with an active Oracle Premier Support for Software contract will automatically be entitled to Extended Support coverage for EBS 11i and 12.0.  Also remember that Extended Support fees are waived for the first year of EBS 12.1 Extended Support.

Diagram showing EBS 11i 12.0 and 12.1 Premier and Extended Support dates

Where is this documented officially?

These Extended Support fee waivers are published here:

Support dates for Premier and Extended Support for the E-Business Suite are published here on the Oracle Lifetime Support -- Software Brochures site:

Minimum patching baselines required

These fee waivers do not change the minimum patching baselines for each of these EBS Releases.  For more details about those minimum baselines, see:

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Thursday Nov 03, 2011

ATG 12.1.3 Release Update Pack Required by Feb 2012 for Premier Support

If you're already running any of the E-Business Suite 12.1 releases -- 12.1.1, 12.1.2, or 12.1.3 -- you don't need to be concerned about yesterday's article about 12.0 minimum baselines. Even better, you should be reassured that EBS 12.1 Extended Support fees have been waived for the first year.

However, there is one important thing from yesterday's article that you may have missed.  We will certify all new EBS 12.1 patches on the following technology stack baseline after February 1, 2012:

Screenshot of download page for ATG 12.1.3 Release Update Pack

Staying current if you're on EBS 12.1.1 or 12.1.2

The simplest solution for all EBS 12.1.1 and 12.1.2 customers is to apply the suite-wide EBS 12.1.3 Release Update Pack. We recommend that all EBS 12.1.1 and 12.1.2 upgrade to 12.1.3.

If you need to stay on 12.1.1 or 12.1.2 for a while, you still must apply the ATG 12.1.3 Release Update Pack by February 1, 2012 to be eligible for Premier Support.  The ATG 12.1.3 RUP is cumulative and includes all important technology stack updates released individually for EBS 12.1.1 and 12.1.2.

Keeping on top of EBS support policies

All E-Business Suite sysadmins should regularly review the two interlocking support policy documents that affect your environments' support status:

  1. Oracle's Lifetime Support Policy
    Specifies support dates for major EBS release codelines (e.g. EBS 11.5.10.2, 12.0, 12.1) -- and by implication, the latest EBS patchset for a given codeline. The Lifetime Support Policy presents support definitions and dates for three different levels of support:  Premier, Extended, and Sustaining. 

  2. E-Business Suite Error Correction Support Policy (Note 1195034.1)
    Specifies support principles for EBS release update packs for a given EBS releases codeline covered by Premier Support.  Examples of EBS release update packs (RUPs) include EBS 12.0.2, 12.0.3, 12.0.4, 12.0.5, 12.0.6, 12.1.2, 12.1.3. 
What about E-Business Suite technology stack components?

It's important to remember that Fusion Middleware and database components in EBS instances are separate from the the ATG Release Update Packs and are governed by their own support policies and dates.  This applies to the technology stack components installed by the E-Business Suite Rapid Install (e.g. Oracle Forms, OC4J, database).  This also applies to external standalone components (e.g. Oracle Single Sign-On, Discoverer, SOA Suite) that you may have integrated with your E-Business Suite environment.

You must also plan to update those technology stack components on an ongoing basis.  If you're interested in learning more about the implications of Fusion Middleware and database support windows for E-Business Suite users, see these two articles:

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Wednesday Nov 02, 2011

EBS 12.0 Minimum Baseline Required by Feb 2012 for Extended Support

This is a reminder that Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.0 will transition from Premier Support to Extended Support on February 1, 2012.  After that date, new EBS 12.0 patches will be created and tested against the minimum patching baseline documented here:

Chart showing EBS support timelines

All EBS 12.0 customers must apply the minimum patches listed in that document to be eligible for Extended Support. Those patches include the  EBS 12.0.6 Release Update Pack, technology stack infrastructure updates, and updates for EBS products if they're shared or fully-installed.

Instead of applying the minimum baseline

If you haven't applied any of those updates yet, the simplest solution would be to apply the suite-wide EBS 12.1.3 Release Update Pack.  That way, you bypass the 12.0 minimum patching requirements and immediately comply with the EBS 12.1 minimum requirements simultaneously.

As an added benefit of applying the 12.1.3 Release Update Pack, you will be eligible for the waiver of the first year of Release 12.1 Extended Support.  For more details, about that fee waiver, see:

Don't Forget EBS Release 12.1 Support Milestones

If you're already on EBS 12.1, you don't need to worry about the 12.0 minimum baselines described above.  However, the same note describes the 12.1 minimum prerequisites:

  • By July 1, 2011:  You must apply the Applications Technology Release Update Pack (RUP) 12.1.2 (R12.ATG_PF.B.Delta.2, Note 845809.1) 
  • By Feb. 1, 2012:  You must apply the Applications Technology Release Update Pack (RUP) 12.1.3 (R12.ATG_PF.B.Delta.3, Note 1066312.1)
  • By Feb. 1, 2013:  You must apply the suite-wide E-Business Suite 12.1.3 Release Update Pack
If you're still on EBS 12.1.1 and haven't applied any of these updates, the simplest thing would be to apply the suite-wide E-Business Suite 12.1.3 Release Update Pack.

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Tuesday Jul 05, 2011

Reminder: Important Upcoming E-Business Suite Release 12 Support Milestones

This is a reminder that Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.0 will transition from Premier Support to Extended Support on February 1, 2012.  After that date, new EBS 12.0 patches will be created and tested against the minimum patching baseline documented here:

Diagram showing EBS 11i 12.0 and 12.1 premier and extended support timelines

All EBS 12.0 customers must apply the minimum patches listed in that document to be eligible for Extended Support. Those patches include the  EBS 12.0.6 Release Update Pack, technology stack infrastructure updates, and updates for EBS products if they're shared or fully-installed.

If you haven't applied any of those updates yet, the simplest solution would be to apply the suite-wide EBS 12.1.3 Release Update Pack.  That way, you bypass the 12.0 minimum patching requirements and immediately comply with the EBS 12.1 minimum requirements simultaneously.

Don't Forget EBS Release 12.1 Support Milestones

If you're already on EBS 12.1, you don't need to worry about the 12.0 minimum baselines described above.  However, the same note describes the 12.1 minimum prerequisites:

  • By July 1, 2011:  You must apply the Applications Technology Release Update Pack (RUP) 12.1.2 (R12.ATG_PF.B.Delta.2, Note 845809.1) 
  • By Feb. 1, 2012:  You must apply the Applications Technology Release Update Pack (RUP) 12.1.3 (R12.ATG_PF.B.Delta.3, Note 1066312.1)
  • By Feb. 1, 2013:  You must apply the suite-wide E-Business Suite 12.1.3 Release Update Pack
If you're still on EBS 12.1.1 and haven't applied any of these updates, the simplest thing would be to apply the suite-wide E-Business Suite 12.1.3 Release Update Pack.

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Friday Jun 03, 2011

E-Business Suite Technology Stack Roadmap (June 2011) Now Available

We certify over 150 new combinations and versions of Oracle products with the E-Business Suite a year -- and that's before you factor in our forty or so platform-based combinations.  We also update our certification plans and roadmap as new third-party products like Microsoft Office 2010 and Firefox are announced or released.  Complicating matters further, various Oracle products leave Premier Support or are superceded by more-recent versions.

This constant state of change means that any static representation of our roadmap is really a snapshot in time, and a snapshot that might begin to yellow and fade fairly quickly.  With that caveat in mind, here's this month's snapshot (which has some updates following my OAUG/Collaborate presentation in April 2011):

EBS release roadmap


What's in the latest roadmap?
  • Comparisons of support categories (Premier, Extended, Sustaining)
  • Summaries of the latest database, Fusion Middleware, and E-Business Suite Lifetime Support Policies
  • Desktop Client certifications (browsers, JREs, operating systems)
  • Database Tier certifications
  • Application Server Tier certifications
  • External Integrations certifications
  • Security-Related certifications
  • "Other Cool Stuff" -- virtualization, clouds
How should I use this roadmap?
  1. Check the support status of your currently deployed techstack component versions
  2. Plan your upgrades to the next certified level
  3. Build a business case for switching from older technology to the latest technology (e.g. switching from Discoverer to Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition+)
  4. Seek clarification on open questions
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Tuesday Feb 15, 2011

EBS 12.0 Minimum Requirements for Extended Support Finalized

Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.0 will transition from Premier Support to Extended Support on February 1, 2012.  New EBS 12.0 patches will be created and tested during Extended Support against the minimum patching baseline documented in our E-Business Suite Error Correction Support Policy (Note 1195034.1).

Timeline diagram showing E-Business Suite 11i 12 Premier and Extended Support windows ebs_11i_12_support_windows.pngThese new technical requirements have now been finalized.  To be eligible for Extended Support, all EBS 12.0 customers must apply the EBS 12.0.6 Release Update Pack, technology stack infrastructure updates, and updates for EBS products if they're shared or fully-installed.  The complete set of minimum EBS 12.0 baseline requirements are listed here:
What are the impacts of this new baseline?

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

If you report a new issue that requires a new bug fix, you should be aware that new patches will be released only for the new baseline patches listed in the EBS Error Correction Support Policy.  You should plan to apply the baseline updates (at minimum) listed in Note 1195034.1 by February 2011 in order to receive any new bug fixes.

What EBS 12.0 products are affected by this new baseline?

The Note lists minimum baseline update requirements for the following EBS 12.0 products (see the Note for specific patch numbers):
  • Financials (Payables, Receivables, Advanced Collections, Public Sector Financials, Financials for Asia/Pacific)
  • Human Resources (Payroll, US Federal HR)
  • Process Manufacturing (OPM Financials, OPM Process Execution, OPM Process Execution Mobile, Inventory Converge)
  • Service (Complex Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul)
  • Supply Chain Planning (Engine + UI, UI Source Side, Data Collections, Global Order Processing, Collaborative Planning, Demand Planning, Demantra)
What about E-Business Suite technology stack components?

Here are the highlights of the technology stack-related minimum baseline requirements from that Note:
  • E-Business Suite 12.0.6 Release Update Pack
  • Oracle Forms & Reports 10.1.2.3
  • Oracle Containers for Java (OC4J) 10.1.3.5
  • Oracle Database 10.2.0.5, 11.1.0.7, or 11.2.0.2
  • Java 6 for server-side Java
  • Sun JRE 1.6.0_03 for Windows desktops
Support dates for Oracle Forms & Reports, Oracle Containers for Java (OC4J), Oracle Database, and Java are set by their respective Lifetime Support Policies.  The minimum versions listed in Note 1195034.1 may be superseded by their respective support policies by February 1, 2012.

EBS 12.0 users must ensure that installed versions of the components above comply with the components' respective Lifetime Support Policies listed here:
This also applies to external standalone components (e.g. Oracle Single Sign-On, Discoverer, SOA Suite) that you may have integrated with your E-Business Suite environment.

You must also plan to update those technology stack components on an ongoing basis.  If you're interested in learning more about the implications of Fusion Middleware and database support windows for E-Business Suite users, see these two articles:
Ranking your upgrade options

If I were running EBS 12.0 today, I'd rank my options like this:
1. Upgrade to EBS 12.1.3

Upgrading to EBS 12.1.3 unquestionably provides the greatest return on your patching investment.  This allows you to completely avoid having to ask, "What EBS 12.0 patches do I need to apply to reach the minimum patching baseline?" 

This option may be relatively more work than simply patching EBS 12.0, but it's the most-efficient strategy in the long-run.  Moving to 12.1.3 means that you don't need to worry about new minimum patching baselines until June 1, 2014.

2. Apply the 12.0.6 minimum baseline

Applying the 12.0.6 Release Update Pack, the latest technology stack updates, and the product-specific patches is a straightforward process.  This option may require nominally less effort than upgrading to 12.1.3. 

All of these updates will require retesting of all affected products.  Testing is usually more time-consuming and resource-intensive than applying the patches themselves.  If I was in your shoes and had to go to the trouble of testing everything again, I'd choose Option 1 rather that 2.

3. Do nothing

This is always an option.  I wouldn't recommend it.  Leaving your EBS environment at the, say, 12.0.4 level with one or two other later product family Release Update Packs may create support problems downstream.  For example, you may report a problem that can be reproduced on 12.0.6 and the minimum baseline.  Oracle will provide a patch for that issue, but you will first need to apply the minimum baseline to your 12.0 environment before applying the patch.
Getting ahead of the curve

It might seem like February 1, 2012 is a long way off, but don't be fooled.  That's the temporal equivalent of an optical illusion.  It's only 12 months away.  I urge you to get started on your EBS 12.0 upgrade planning immediately.

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Tuesday Dec 14, 2010

Heads-Up: Preparing for E-Business Suite 12.0 Extended Support

Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.0 will transition from Premier Support to Extended Support on February 1, 2012.  New EBS 12.0 patches will be created and tested during Extended Support against the minimum patching baseline documented in our E-Business Suite Error Correction Support Policy (Note 1195034.1).

Timeline diagram showing E-Business Suite 11i 12 Premier and Extended Support windows ebs_11i_12_support_windows.png
That document currently reads:
To be eligible for Extended Support, [EBS 12.0] customers will need to have applied at minimum the 12.0.6 Release Update Pack (Note ID 743368.1) and the Financials CPC July 2009 (Note ID 557869.1).   Additional minimum requirements for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.0 have not been finalized yet.

Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.0 users are strongly encouraged to apply the latest suite-wide Release Update Packs, product family Release Update Packs, Critical Patch Updates, and applicable technology stack certifications to minimize future upgrade requirements.
Ranking your upgrade options

If I were running EBS 12.0 today, I'd rank my options like this:
1. Upgrade to EBS 12.1.3

Upgrading to EBS 12.1.3 unquestionably provides the greatest return on your patching investment.  This allows you to completely avoid having to ask, "What EBS 12.0 patches do I need to apply to reach the minimum patching baseline?" 

This option may be relatively more work than simply patching EBS 12.0, but it's the most-efficient strategy in the long-run.  Moving to 12.1.3 means that you don't need to worry about new minimum patching baselines until June 1, 2014.

2. Apply the suite-wide 12.0.6 Release Update Pack

Applying the 12.0.6 Release Update Pack is straightforward.  This option may require less effort than upgrading to 12.1.3.  However, there's a non-trivial chance that 12.0.6 may not be the only patch needed.  The Error Correction Support Policy document explicitly states, "Additional minimum requirements for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.0 have not been finalized yet." 

This means that it's possible that other patches on top of 12.0.6 may be added to the minimum patching baseline.  In other words, it's possible that other product family Release Update Packs, Critical Patch Updates, and technology stack certifications may be added to that list.

3. Do nothing

This is always an option.  I wouldn't recommend it.  Leaving your EBS environment at the, say, 12.0.4 level with one or two other later product family Release Update Packs may create support problems downstream.  For example, you may report a problem that can be reproduced on 12.0.6.  The subsequent patch will have 12.0.6 as a hard prerequisite.
Getting ahead of the curve

It might seem like February 1, 2012 is a long way off, but don't be fooled.  That's the temporal equivalent of an optical illusion.  It's only 13 months away.  I urge you to get started on your EBS 12.0 upgrade planning immediately.

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Thursday Dec 09, 2010

Understanding EBS Support Windows, Redux

Last month we discussed the two interlocking support policies that affect E-Business Suite users:
  1. Oracle's Lifetime Support Policy
    Specifies support dates for major EBS release codelines (e.g. EBS 11.5.10.2, 12.0, 12.1) -- and by implication, the latest EBS patchset for a given codeline. The Lifetime Support Policy presents support definitions and dates for three different levels of support:  Premier, Extended, and Sustaining. 

  2. E-Business Suite Error Correction Support Policy (Note 1195034.1)
    Specifies support principles for EBS release update packs for a given EBS releases codeline covered by Premier Support.  Examples of EBS release update packs (RUPs) include EBS 12.0.2, 12.0.3, 12.0.4, 12.0.5, 12.0.6, 12.1.2, 12.1.3. 
The first version of the Error Correction Support Policy introduced the concept of grace periods to allow you time to upgrade to the latest E-Business Suite Release Update Pack.  Generally speaking, this window was eighteen months.

Your feedback led us to review this policy.  In response to your comments, we've made a number of important changes to relax these support policies.  These changes are published in Version 2 of the E-Business Suite Error Correction Support Policy released earlier this month. 

The central theme of these changes is to simplify your maintenance planning by providing you with more detailed information about the dates by which specific Release Update Packs will become minimum baselines for new patches.  In most cases, the new policy allows for more than 18 months to apply the latest Release Update Pack. 

These changes have important operational implications for all E-Business Suite 12 users.  We strongly recommend that you review them carefully.

What's Changed in Version 2 of this policy?
1. Clarified the relationship between one-off patches and Release Update Packs

In particular, we've given more information about the conditions under which one-off patches are created, as well as the minimum release requirements for one-off patches.

2. Replaced the "18 month grace period for N-1 RUPs" concept for general EBS 12 products with simpler baselines
  • E-Business Suite Release Update Pack 12.0.4 for EBS 12.0 after January 2011.
  • E-Business Suite Release Update Pack 12.1.3 for EBS 12.1 after January 2013.
3. Clarified specific exceptions for minimum baselines for two EBS areas
  • EBS modules that are subject to annual legislative updates
  • Applications Technology Group Release Update Packs:
  • ATG Release Update Pack 12.0.6 will be the minimum baseline for EBS 12.0 on February 1, 2011
  • ATG Release Update Pack 12.1.2 will be the minimum baseline for EBS 12.1 on July 1, 2011
  • ATG Release Update Pack 12.1.3 will be the minimum baseline for EBS 12.1 on February 1, 2012
4. Described the process of transitioning from Premier Support to Extended Support

A minimum level of suite‐wide Release Update Packs, product family Release Update Packs, Critical Patch Updates, and applicable technology stack certifications will be set for each E‐Business Suite release prior to its transition from Premier Support to Extended Support.
Although the minimum requirements have not been finalized yet, we've listed some preliminary baselines for both E-Business Suite 12.0 and 12.1 to help you with your maintenance and upgrade planning.
What about E-Business Suite technology stack components?

It's important to remember that Fusion Middleware and database components in EBS instances are separate from the the ATG Release Update Packs and are governed by their own support policies and dates.  This applies to the technology stack components installed by the E-Business Suite Rapid Install (e.g. Oracle Forms, OC4J, database).  This also applies to external standalone components (e.g. Oracle Single Sign-On, Discoverer, SOA Suite) that you may have integrated with your E-Business Suite environment.

You must also plan to update those technology stack components on an ongoing basis.  If you're interested in learning more about the implications of Fusion Middleware and database support windows for E-Business Suite users, see these two articles:
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Tuesday Nov 30, 2010

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

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

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

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

Here is a comparison of the different support levels:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday Nov 22, 2010

Microsoft Office 2010 (32-Bit) Certified with E-Business Suite

ms_office_logo.png

[Editor Jan. 17, 2013 update: Removed outdated references to Open Office.  We have no plans to certify the E-Business Suite with Open Office.]

Microsoft Office 2010 (32-Bit) is certified for integration with Oracle E-Business Suite 11i and Release 12 with the following desktop client operating systems:

  • Windows XP
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows 7 32-bit
  • Windows 7 64-bit
The Oracle E-Business Suite is comprised of several product families such as Financials, Supply Chain Management, Human Resources, and so on.  These product families group together collections of individual products.  Some of these products may be optionally integrated with one or more Microsoft Office components such as Excel, Word, and Projects.

Individual E-Business Suite product teams have the option of building integrations between their products and one or more Microsoft Office components.  This is not mandatory.  Over forty E-Business Suite teams offer these kinds of Office integrations today.

Examples of available integrations include:
  • HRMS Payroll integrations with Microsoft Excel
  • Supply Chain Management Contracts Core integration with Microsoft Word
  • Financials General Ledger (GL) integration with Microsoft Excel
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Proposals integration with Microsoft Word
Which Office versions are certified?

We explicitly tested Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Edition with Oracle E-Business Suite.  We expect that our certification tests also apply to:
  • Home and Student Edition
  • Home and Business Edition
  • Standard Edition
  • Professional Academic Edition
  • Professional Plus Edition
We have no plans to certify the following editions with Oracle E-Business Suite:
  • Office Web Apps
  • Starter Edition
  • Mac Edition
  • Office Mobile
I would not expect the results of our certification with Office 2010 Professional Edition to apply to the above four editions.

How are these integrations supported?

You can log Service Requests against the E-Business Suite product that you're trying to integrate with Microsoft Office. 

For example, you might be trying to take advantage of CRM Marketing (AMS) 12.1.2's integration with Excel 2010.  To get support, you can log an SR against CRM Marketing directly. 

The Support team for that product will help you diagnose and resolve the problem.  If the issue is isolated to a Microsoft product, then it may be necessary to log a corresponding support ticket with Microsoft, as well.

What about 64-bit Office?

Microsoft Office 2010 is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit editions. The 64-bit version is available for a subset of Microsoft's supported operating systems. 

Due to a number of technology issues Oracle E-Business Suite is currently certified against the Microsoft Office 2010 32-bit edition only.  We intend to certify Office 64-bit components with the E-Business Suite; stay tuned for more details on this front.

Thursday Oct 14, 2010

Understanding Support Windows for E-Business Suite Releases

[December 9, 2010 Update:  Your feedback led us to review this policy.  In response to your comments, we've made a number of important changes to relax these support policies.  These changes are published in Version 2 of the E-Business Suite Error Correction Support Policy released earlier this month.  For a summary of these changes, see this blog article.]

E-Business Suite support is governed by two interlocking support policies:   
  1. Oracle's Lifetime Support Policy
    Specifies support dates for major EBS release codelines (e.g. EBS 11.5.10.2, 12.0, 12.1) -- and by implication, the latest EBS patchset for a given codeline. The Lifetime Support Policy presents support definitions and dates for three different levels of support:  Premier, Extended, and Sustaining. 

  2. E-Business Suite Error Correction Support Policy (Note 1195034.1)
    Specifies support dates for EBS release update packs for a given EBS releases codeline covered by Premier Support.  Examples of EBS release update packs (RUPs) include EBS 12.0.2, 12.0.3, 12.0.4, 12.0.5, 12.0.6, 12.1.2, 12.1.3.  
Together, these two documents present actual support dates or formulas by which you can derive support dates.  The second document is new and introduces a new policy:  
Oracle Development provides bug fixes for the current EBS release update pack for 18 months after the next release update pack is released.  
This is called the grace period.  The grace period is designed to give you adequate time to upgrade to the latest EBS release update pack.

A RUP is supported for the duration of its 18 month grace period even if multiple new RUPs come out during that period.  The 18 month grace period will always be honoured for its full duration.
Translating support policies to support windows for specific EBS releases

If you read both documents and parse things out carefully, you can derive the following snapshot of current support dates for the following releases:
  • EBS 11.5.10.2
    This is the latest patchset on this EBS codeline, so the Lifetime Support Policy applies.
    Premier Support runs to November 30, 2010; Extended Support to November 30, 2013.
    Also remember that your EBS 11.5.10.2 environment must have a certain minimum level of patches to be eligible for Extended Support.

  • EBS 12.0.6
    This is the latest release update pack on the EBS 12.0 codeline, so the Lifetime Support Policy applies.
    Premier Support runs to January 30, 2012; Extended Support to January 30, 2015.

  • EBS 12.1.1
    This isn't the latest release update pack on the EBS 12.1 codeline, so the Error Correction Support Policy applies.  The grace period runs 18 months after the release date of EBS 12.1.2 in December 2009.  The grace period for EBS 12.1.1 is January 2010 to June 2011.  New bug fixes for EBS 12.1.1 are provided until June 2011.

  • EBS 12.1.2
    This isn't the latest release update pack on EBS 12.1 codeline, so the Error Correction Support Policy applies.  The grace period runs 18 months after the release date of EBS 12.1.3 in August 2010.  The grace period for EBS 12.1.2 is September 2010 to February 2012.  New bug fixes for EBS 12.1.2 are provided until February 2012.

  • EBS 12.1.3
    This is the latest release update pack on the EBS 12.1 codeline, so the Lifetime Support Policy applies.
    Premier Support runs to May 30, 2014; Extended Support to May 30, 2017.
Note that EBS 12.0.4 isn't listed above.  EBS 12.0.4 was supported for 18 months after EBS 12.0.6 was released in November 2008.  The grace period for 12.0.4 ran from December 2008 to May 2010 and is now concluded.  No new bug fixes for 12.0.4 are available now.

What about E-Business Suite technology stack components?

Things get more complicated when one considers individual techstack components such as Oracle Forms or the Oracle Database.  If you're interested in learning more about the interlocking EBS+techstack component support windows, see these two articles:
Related Articles

Monday Sep 27, 2010

E-Business Suite Technology Stack Roadmap (Sept 2010) Now Available

We certify over 120 new combinations and versions of Oracle products with the E-Business Suite a year -- and that's before you factor in our forty or so platform-based combinations.  We also update our certification plans and roadmap as new third-party products like Microsoft Office 2010 and Firefox are announced or released.  Complicating matters further, various Oracle products leave Premier Support or are superceded by more-recent versions.

This constant state of change means that any static representation of our roadmap is really a snapshot in time, and a snapshot that might begin to yellow and fade fairly quickly.  With that caveat in mind, here's this month's snapshot that I presented at the Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco last week:

ebs_release_roadmap_sep2010.png

What's in the latest roadmap?
  • Comparisons of support categories (Premier, Extended, Sustaining)
  • Summaries of the latest database, Fusion Middleware, and E-Business Suite Lifetime Support Policies
  • Desktop Client certifications (browsers, JREs, operating systems)
  • Database Tier certifications
  • Application Server Tier certifications
  • External Integrations certifications
  • Security-Related certifications
  • "Other Cool Stuff" -- virtualization, clouds
How should I use this roadmap?
  1. Check the support status of your currently deployed techstack component versions
  2. Plan your upgrades to the next certified level
  3. Build a business case for switching from older technology to the latest technology (e.g. switching from Discoverer to Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition+)
  4. Seek clarification on open questions
Related Articles

The following is intended to outline our general product direction.  It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract.   It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decision.  The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle's products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle.


Tuesday Aug 24, 2010

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

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

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

Here is a comparison of the different support levels:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday May 25, 2010

Reminder: Premier Support for EBS 11i ends November 2010

Apps sysadmins are going to have a busy year.  If you're still running your E-Business Suite environment on the 10gR2 database, I hope that you're aware that Premier Support for 10.2 ends in July 2010.  But if you're still on Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i version 11.5.10, the impending end of Premier Support this year on November 30, 2010 is even more important. 

Support windows for Oracle E-Business Suite are listed here:
Premier Support runs for five years from a product's first release.  In the case of Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11.5.10, that window was increased to six years in recognition of the challenges that some of you face in justifying major upgrades in today's economy.

Here's a graphical summary of the EBS 11.5.10's support stages:

Graphical summary of E-Business Suite 11i support stages Premier Extended Sustaining
First year of Extended Support fees for EBS 11.5.10 waived

Regular readers may recall that fees for the first year of Extended Support for EBS 11.5.10 are waived.  There is nothing that customers need to do to remain fully supported other than keep your support contracts current.  Higher fees for Extended Support will start December 1, 2011 for most platforms.  This is formally documented here:
What are the differences between Premier, Extended, and Sustaining Support?

The differences between Premier and Extended Support coverage are summarized here (see the Lifetime Support Policy document for the product of your choice for a more detailed discussion of these coverages):


This table shows that when a product goes into Extended Support, Oracle no longer has the obligation to certify it with "most new third-party products/versions." 

From an E-Business Suite perspective, third-party products include:

  • Microsoft Windows operating systems for end-user desktops
  • Mac OS X operating systems for end-user desktops
  • Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari browsers for end-user desktops
  • Microsoft Office releases for end-user desktops
  • Server-based operating systems for application-tier and database-tier servers, including Microsoft Windows Server, IBM AIX, HP-UX, RedHat Linux, Novell SUSE, and others
What are the Extended Support implications for third-party certifications?

An illustrative example may be useful:  As a strictly fictitious example, let's consider a case where Microsoft releases a new version of Internet Explorer in, say, February 2011.  I need to emphasize that this is strictly a hypothetical example; I am not privy to IE release dates and would not be permitted to speculate about them here.

Extended Support for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i began on December 1, 2010.  Therefore, Oracle has no formal obligation to certify Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i with this February 2011 version of IE.  For the sake of this hypothetical example, let's assume that we have not made any plans for certifying this new IE version with Apps 11i.

Taking this example one step further, let's assume that you choose to deploy this latest IE version to your end-user desktops, disregarding the risk that it hasn't been formally certified with Apps 11i.  Your early tests look promising, so you roll it out.

You then encounter a critical issue with EBS, that new IE release and, say, the latest JRE release.  If you report that issue, we will (in all likelihood) attempt to investigate and resolve the issue.  However, if it turns out that the fix would require broad or deep changes to EBS 11i, Oracle has the option of suggesting that you roll back to a previously-certified browser such as IE 8.

Let me stress that this is an hypothetical example only, one designed to illustrate the possible risks associated with Extended Support.  We haven't made any concrete plans for certifying -- or not certifying -- EBS 11i with new browser versions yet.  But this example serves to underline that Oracle has no formal obligations to release new third-party certifications once EBS 11i moves into Extended Support status.

What should EBS 11i users do?

We now have three major EBS codelines:  Release 11.5.10, Release 12.0, and Release 12.1.  Here's a graphical summary of the support windows for these three releases (drawn from the Lifetime Support Policy above):

Graphical 
summary of Premier and Extended support stages for E-Business Suite 
release 11i 12-0 and 12-1
Remember that the Extended Support window is intended to give you some breathing room to upgrade to the next release covered by Premier Support.  So, you should consider your entire E-Business Suite 11.5.10 environment to be frozen after December 1, 2010, the start of Extended Support. 

Planning for the worst-case scenario where we don't release any new third-party certifications for Apps 11.5.10 at all, "frozen" means that you shouldn't expect to be able to upgrade anything on your EBS 11.5.10 desktop clients, application tier servers, or database tier servers. 

There's no justifiable business case for EBS 11i users to upgrade to EBS 12.0 at this point.  All E-Business Suite 11.5.10 users should plan on upgrading to the EBS 12.1 codeline. 

What about the minimum baseline for EBS 11.5.10 Extended Support?

A new set of minimum technical requirements for Apps 11i goes into effect when Extended Support begins in November 2010.  These new minimum baseline patch requirements are listed here:
As always, Oracle Support will assist with diagnosis, triage, and debugging of any issues that you report for your E-Business Suite environment.  You will continue to have access to any existing online support tools, knowledge base documentation, and pre-existing fixes.

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

For a more detailed discussion about the new 11.5.10 patching baseline, see this article
Spotlight on Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 upgrades at OpenWorld 2010

This is the year when upgrade fever begins to glow red-hot.  OAUG/Collaborate 2010 sessions last month that covered EBS 12 upgrades were filled to ballroom capacities.  Naturally, Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 upgrades will be heavily covered at OpenWorld 2010 this year, too.  I expect that this year's conference will have a large number of customer case studies about R12 upgrades and reimplementations, R12 upgrade panels, and lots of sessions with practical tips for upgrading.

One more critical resource:  R12 Upgrade Forum


There are many resources to support your upgrade to R12 (see the Related Articles section below), but don't forget that we have an Oracle-sponsored R12 upgrade forum on the Oracle Technology Network:
This forum has thousands of practical tips and advice from Apps DBAs who have gone before you in implementing Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12. 

The discussions in this forum run around the clock, notably led by Hussein Sawwan, one of the EBS community's most-prolific Oracle ACEs.  Apparently, Hussein never sleeps.  But Hussein's not alone:  a core team of Oracle engineers and some of the most-experienced Apps DBAs in our EBS community hang out there.  They collectively provide amazing advice about R12 to novices and veterans alike.  Some questions are answered in minutes, much faster than most Service Requests logged via Oracle Support.

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.

Monday May 24, 2010

Reminder: Premier Support for 10gR2 10.2.0.4 Database ends July 2010

[May 24, 2010 update: added additional information to the Extended Support section, and corrected the implications for patch requests for 10.2.0.4]

Regular readers know that Premier Support for the Oracle 10gR2 Database ends in July 2010, a scant few months from now.  What does that mean for E-Business Suite environments running on this database?

The Oracle E-Business Suite is comprised of products like Financials, Supply Chain, Procurement, and so on.  Support windows for the E-Business Suite and these associated applications products are listed here:
The Oracle E-Business Suite can run on a variety of database releases, including 10gR2, 11gR1, and 11gR2.  Support windows for database releases are listed here:
Looking at those two documents together, you'll see that:
  • Premier Support for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i ends on November 30, 2010
  • Premier Support for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 ends on January 31, 2012
  • Premier Support for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1 ends on May 31, 2014
  • Premier Support for Oracle Database 10.2 (a.k.a. 10gR2) ends on July 31, 2010
[Note: These are the Premier Support dates as of today.  If you've arrived at this article in the future via a search engine, you must check the latest dates in the Lifetime Support Policy documents above; these dates are subject to change.]

It's a bit hard to read, thanks to the layout restrictions of this blog, but the following diagram shows the Premier and Extended Support windows for the last four major database releases certified with Apps 11i:

database-support-windows.png
Do the EBS Premier Support dates trump the 10gR2 DB date?

No.  Each of the support policies apply individually to your combined EBS + DB configuration.  The support dates for a given EBS release don't override the Database support policy.

It might be useful for me to break an example down in more detail: your E-Business Suite Release 11i environment will be eligible for Premier Support up to November 30, 2010, but your 10gR2 database will be eligible for Premier Support only up to July 31, 2010. 

Therefore, let's assume that you're still running Apps 11i on 10.2.0.4 DB on August 1st, 2010.  On that date, your Apps 11i code will be covered by Premier Support.  Your 10.2.0.4 DB will be covered by Extended Support.

The differences between Premier and Extended Support coverage are summarized here (see the Lifetime Support Policy document for the product of your choice for a more detailed discussion of these coverages):



First year of Extended Support fees for 10gR2 waived

Regular readers may recall that fees for the first year of Extended Support for the 10gR2 database are waived.  There is nothing that customers need to do to remain fully supported other than keep your support contracts current.  Higher fees for Extended Support will start August 1, 2011 for most platforms.  This is formally documented in two different places, for those of you who appreciate convergent validation:
There is an effort underway to lobby the Server Technologies group to update their Lifetime Support Policy document with that information, too.

What should EBS customers running 10gR2 do?

Given that the clock for Premier Support is running out on both EBS 11i and the 10gR2 database this year, I'd recommend that EBS 11i customers start planning upgrades to Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 immediately.  If you're in that boat, as part of that upgrade, you should also consider whether you wish to upgrade your database to either 11gR1 or 11gR2. 

If your Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 environment is running on the 10gR2 database, you should start planning to upgrade your database either to 11gR1 or 11gR2 immediately.

11gR2 will give you the longest support window, but has relatively fewer EBS customers on it than 11gR1.  If you opt for 11gR1, plan to use 11.1.0.7, since 11.1.0.6 is no longer eligible for Premier Support under the Server Technologies Group's support policies for previous patchsets.

Here's a summary of our EBS database certification roadmap from my EBS Certifications snapshot from April 2010 (which you should review, if you haven't already done so):

E-Business Suite database 
certification roadmap as of April 2010
Where can I find EBS database upgrade information?
DB 10.2.0.5 certification for EBS underway

As you can see in the roadmap diagram above, the terminal release for the 10gR2 database line is expected to be the 10.2.0.5 patchset.  It's expected that you will need to be on this patchset level to request 10gR2 fixes during the Extended Support support window.

Customers running 10.2.0.4 will be able to request patches for that patchset for one year from the April 30, 2010 release of the 10.2.0.5 patchset.  Customers running 10.2.0.4 can continue to do so without any disruption until May 1, 2011.

Our certification of 10.2.0.5 with the E-Business Suite is underway now.  Oracle's Revenue Recognition rules prohibit us from discussing certification and release dates, but you're welcome to monitor or subscribe to this blog for updates, which I'll post as soon as soon as they're available.   

DB 11.2.0.2 certification for EBS underway

To head off the inevitable follow-up questions:  the latest 11gR2 database release certified with the E-Business Suite is 11.2.0.1 today.  We're working on our certification with 11.2.0.2 right now. 

As for dates, the same disclaimer above applies here; I can't share any projected certification dates for 11.2.0.2, either.  Stay tuned to this blog for updates.

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 May 13, 2010

Interim Update #1: Microsoft Office 2010 and E-Business Suite

ms_office_logo.png
[Nov. 22, 2010 Update:  Office 2010 (32-Bit) is now certified with the E-Business Suite; see this article for details]

Congratulations to my colleagues at Microsoft on their launch of Microsoft Office 2010 yesterday.  Questions about our certification plans for Office 2010 are filling my inbox, so here's an interim update on our plans. 

If you've reached this article via a search engine, it's possible that a later update on our status is available.  For our latest status, please check the Desktop Client Certifications section of our one-page Certifications summary.

Our current plans for Office 2010

We plan to certify Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12 with Microsoft Office 2010.

When will Office 2010 be certified with EBS?

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

How does the E-Business Suite work with Microsoft Office?

The Oracle E-Business Suite is comprised of several product families such as Financials, Supply Chain Management, Human Resources, and so on.  These product families group together collections of individual products.  Some of these products may be optionally integrated with one or more Microsoft Office components such as Excel, Word, and Projects.

Individual E-Business Suite product teams have the option of building integrations between their products and one or more Microsoft Office components.  This is not mandatory.  Over forty E-Business Suite teams offer these kinds of Office integrations today.

Examples of these integrations include:
  • HRMS Payroll integrations with Microsoft Excel
  • Supply Chain Management Contracts Core integration with Microsoft Word
  • Financials General Ledger (GL) integration with Microsoft Excel
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Proposals integration with Microsoft Word
Which Office versions will be certified?

Our actual certification plans are under review, but as of today, I expect that we will explicitly test the Office 2010 Professional edition with Oracle E-Business Suite.  We expect that the results of these certification tests will apply equally to the following editions:
  • Home and Student Edition
  • Home and Business Edition
  • Standard Edition
  • Professional Academic Edition
  • Professional Plus Edition
We do not currently plan to certify the following editions with Oracle E-Business Suite:
  • Office Web Apps
  • Starter Edition
  • Mac Edition
  • Office Mobile
I would not expect the results of our certification with Office 2010 Professional Edition to apply to the above four editions.

What about 64-bit Office?

Office 2010 offers a 64-bit version for the first time.  The 64-bit version is available for a subset of Microsoft's supported operating systems. 

We're currently evaluating our plans for certifying both the 32-bit and 64-bit Office versions with EBS.  Stay tuned for more details on this front.

Any Early Adopter Programs planned?

No, we don't currently have any plans to offer an Early Adopter Program for Office 2010 with Oracle E-Business Suite.  If that changes, I'll post an article on this blog with a call for participants. 

What about OpenOffice and StarOffice?

Things are a bit different on this front now that Sun is part of our Oracle family.  I can't share specifics at this point, but I can confirm that we have teams looking into getting E-Business Suite working with OpenOffice.  Stay tuned; more details will be coming about this, too.

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.

Wednesday Apr 28, 2010

E-Business Suite Technology Stack Roadmap (April 2010) Now Available

Keeping up with our E-Business Suite technology stack roadmap can be challenging.  Regular readers of this blog know that we certify new combinations and versions of Oracle products with the E-Business Suite every few weeks.  We also update our certification plans and roadmap as new third-party products like Microsoft Office 2010 and Firefox are announced or released.  Complicating matters further, various Oracle products leave Premier Support or are superceded by more-recent versions.

This constant state of change means that any static representation of our roadmap is really a snapshot in time, and a snapshot that might begin to yellow and fade fairly quickly.  With that caveat in mind, here's this month's snapshot that I presented at the OAUG/Collaborate 2010 conference in Las Vegas last week:

Snapshot of E-Business Suite release roadmap including 11i and 12 as of April 2010

What's in the latest roadmap?
  • Comparisons of support categories (Premier, Extended, Sustaining)
  • Summaries of the latest database, Fusion Middleware, and E-Business Suite Lifetime Support Policies
  • Desktop Client certifications (browsers, JREs, operating systems)
  • Database Tier certifications
  • Application Server Tier certifications
  • External Integrations certifications
  • Security-Related certifications
  • "Other Cool Stuff" -- virtualization, clouds
How should I use this roadmap?
  1. Check the support status of your currently deployed techstack component versions
  2. Plan your upgrades to the next certified level
  3. Build a business case for switching from older technology to the latest technology (e.g. switching from Discoverer to Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition+)
  4. Seek clarification on open questions
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 08, 2010

Premier Support Date Changed for Oracle Application Server 10gR2

Our Fusion Middleware team has changed the Premier Support dates for Oracle Application Server 10gR2 (10.1.2.x).  The new dates are published here:
Premier Support for Oracle Application Server 10gR2 was originally slated to end in December 2010.  We discussed the implications for E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12 environments in this article:



Naturally, you're welcome to post comments about these updates here, but my ability to discuss these changes will be extremely constrained.  Any comments that you post here will be forwarded verbatim to the Fusion Middleware group.

If you have any questions about the new Premier Support dates for Oracle Application Server 10gR2 (10.1.2.x), your best bet would be to log a formal Service Request via My Oracle Support (formerly Metalink) to get one of our Fusion Middleware Support specialists engaged. 

Related Articles

Wednesday Mar 10, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

What's new?

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

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

What about EBS database tiers?

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

What's not certified or supported?

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

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

How well does this work for you?

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

References
Related Articles

Monday Feb 08, 2010

Premier Support for Oracle Application Server 10g ends December 2010

[April 8, 2010 Update:  The Oracle Application Server 10gR2 10.1.2 dates have changed.  The dates in this article are no longer accurate but are preserved here for archival purposes.  See the current Lifetime Support Policy for Fusion Middleware document for more details.]

All E-Business Suite systems administrators should review the Oracle Lifetime Support brochures on the Oracle Lifetime Support website regularly.  In particular, EBS sysadmins should monitor changes to the following documents:
  1. Lifetime Support Policy: Oracle Technology Products (PDF, 389 K)
  2. Lifetime Support Policy: Oracle Fusion Middleware Products (PDF, 315 K)
  3. Lifetime Support Policy: Oracle Applications (PDF, 709 K)
As you can see from the second document, Premier Support for Oracle Application Server 10g versions 10gR2 10.1.2 and 10gR3 versions 10.1.3 ends in December 2010.  It's important to understand how this will affect support for your E-Business Suite environments.

Implications for E-Business Suite Release 11i environments

You may have integrated your EBS 11i environment with a number of external Oracle Application Server 10g components, including:
  • Oracle Single Sign-On and Oracle Internet Directory 10g
  • Oracle Discoverer 10g
  • Oracle Web Cache 10g
  • Oracle Portal 10g
Premier Support for these externally-integrated Oracle Application Server 10g components will end in December 2010.  You should plan on upgrading these components to their Fusion Middleware 11g equivalents before December 2010. 

Implications for E-Business Suite Release 12 environments

There are two different types of considerations for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 environments:
  1. Support implications for internal EBS 12 technology stack components
  2. Support implications for externally-integrated OracleAS 10g components
1. Support implications for internal EBS 12 technology stack components
The Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 technology stack includes Oracle Application Server 10gR2 10.1.2 components for Forms and Oracle Application Server 10gR3 10.1.3 components for OC4J.  These components are part of the internal E-Business Suite technology stack, i.e., they are installed by the E-Business Suite Rapid Install.  Updates to these internal technology stack components are also delivered by the E-Business Suite division through our regular updates such as E-Business Suite 12.1.1.

Your internal E-Business Suite Release 12 technology stack components built on Oracle Fusion Middleware 10gR2 and 10gR3 will remain supported for the duration of the support lifetime for Oracle E-Business Suite 12.  The December 2010 Premier Support end date for Oracle Application Server 10g does not apply to the internal Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 technology stack components

In other words, you will receive Premier Support for these internal Apps 12 technology stack components as long as the Apps 12 release is covered by Premier Support.

2. Support implications for externally-integrated OracleAS 10g components

You may have integrated your EBS 12 environment with a number of external Oracle Application Server 10g components, including:
  • Oracle Single Sign-On and Oracle Internet Directory 10g
  • Oracle Discoverer 10g
  • Oracle Web Cache 10g
  • Oracle Portal 10g
  • Oracle Web Center 10g
Premier Support for these externally-integrated Oracle Application Server 10g components will end in December 2010.  You should plan on upgrading these components to their Fusion Middleware 11g equivalents before December 2010.
Which Fusion Middleware 11g components are certified?

You can upgrade your external integrations to the following Fusion Middleware 11 components immediately:
  • Oracle Internet Directory 11g
  • Oracle SOA Suite 11g
We're still working on the following Fusion Middleware 11g external certifications:
  • Oracle Discoverer 11g
  • Oracle Web Cache 11g
  • Oracle Portal 11g
  • Oracle Web Center 11g
  • Prepackaged Oracle integrations for Oracle BPEL 11g
Oracle's Revenue Recognition rules prohibit us from discussing certification and release dates, but you're welcome to monitor or subscribe to this blog for updates, which I'll post as soon as soon as they're available.   

Remember, also, that you can find a handy one-page summary of all of our current certifications here.  This is extracted from our CERTIFY database on My Oracle Support, which should be consulted for platform-specific certifications.

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 Jan 29, 2010

Using Mobile Devices with Oracle E-Business Suite

apple_ipad.png
It's been a wild and crazy week here in EBS Development; my workload seems to have tripled overnight.  In a desperate attempt to protect my inbox, here's a quick article that answers some common questions around the use of smartphones and other mobile devices with the E-Business Suite. 

Before I go into the details, though, it's very important to note that this particular area is evolving extremely rapidly.  If a search engine has brought you to this article long after its initial publication, you should check this blog and other Oracle sources carefully to confirm our latest position on mobile device support for the E-Business Suite.

Support for iPhones and iPads

Apple's seems to have had a good week with their iPad launch.  Even before that, interest in using iPhones with the E-Business Suite seems to be extremely high.  Oracle offers several official iPhone apps that are related to the E-Business Suite, including:
Apple has indicated that all existing iPhone apps will work transparently on the iPad as well.  I'm sure that the Oracle teams who currently produce iPhone apps will be only too-pleased to justify their purchase of iPads to do these certifications.

Using smartphones and mobile devices with EBS self-service apps

Some E-Business Suite products offer web-based screens that can be accessed by standards-compliant browsers.  These products have HTML-screens, are built using OA Framework, and are sometimes referred to as "Self-Service Web Applications" (SSWA).

We officially certify and support these web-based products in Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12 with:
  • Various Windows desktop clients running Microsoft Internet Explorer 6, 7, and 8
  • Various Windows desktop clients running Firefox 3
  • Mac OS X desktop clients running Safari 3
We do not conduct any formal certification tests of the latest smartphone or mobile device browsers with the E-Business Suite.  To be explicit about this, we do not currently test the E-Business Suite with:
  • Mobile Safari running on iPhones
  • Internet Explorer Mobile (formerly Pocket Internet Explorer)
  • Opera Mobile
  • Firefox Mobile
  • BlackBerry Browser
  • Other mobile device browsers
If a mobile browser is standards-compliant (e.g. passes the latest Acid test), it might work with the E-Business Suite's self-service HTML screens.  However, if you experience any issues with a mobile browser that cannot be reproduced on a certified desktop browser, our recommendation would be to use a desktop browser instead.

Using smartphones and mobile devices with EBS Forms-based apps

Some E-Business Suite products run in Oracle Forms.  These Forms-based products require the use of Sun's Java Runtime Engine (JRE) to run.  We test the Sun JRE with Windows-based desktop clients.  We do not test any mobile Java clients with E-Business Suite Forms-based products, and I would be rather nonplussed if I received any reports of this configuration actually working.

If you encounter any issues with mobile-based Java clients that cannot be reproduced on a Windows-based desktop client, our recommendation would be to use the latter client, instead.

Using standards-compliant mail clients to approve Workflow notifications

Oracle Workflow is a key part of the E-Business Suite's technology stack.  It can be configured to send emails (via SMTP) that notify E-Business Suite users that certain EBS transactions are awaiting their approval.  E-Business Suite end-users can respond to those notification emails by clicking on a link in those emails, or responding with an email containing certain keywords in the body of a reply.

We test Workflow and E-Business Suite notifications using Windows desktop based email clients such as Microsoft Outlook.  We do not currently perform any tests of Workflow notification emails with mobile devices such as iPhone Mail app or BlackBerry Email.

We would expect standards-compliant email clients to be able to handle Workflow notification emails properly, including email clients on mobile devices.  Some mobile email clients are unable to handle standards-based emails, and other email clients may truncate long Workflow notification emails.  These issues may prevent certain email clients on mobile devices from handling Workflow notifications properly.

If you encounter issues with Workflow email notifications on smartphones or mobile devices that can't be reproduced on a conventional Windows desktop-based email client, our recommendation would be to process Workflow notifications on the latter.

On a side note: technically-inclined readers might be interested to hear that we're aware of at least one web-based email client that does not comply with RFC 2368 in its handling of new line characters in mailto URL encoding.  Web-based email clients with issues like that will be unable to handle Workflow notifications properly.  If you encounter issues with web-based email clients that cannot be reproduced on a conventional Windows desktop-based email client, our recommendation would be to process Workflow notifications on the latter.

Your feedback is welcome


As I mentioned above, it's very important to note that this particular area is evolving extremely rapidly.  This article represents a snapshot of our current certification and support position, but this position reflects the relatively small demand for mobile device support today (at least when compared to desktop-based users). 

We're always monitoring demand for new requirements, so your feedback has the potential to influence our priorities for mobile device support.  You would be amazed at how important decisions about product strategy can be influenced by a small amount of direct customer feedback. 

If your organization plans to support the use of smartphones or other mobile devices with the E-Business Suite, we'd be very interested in hearing from you.  Post a comment here, or drop me a private email with details about:
  1. E-Business Suite release and products in production (e.g. "Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.1, running iExpenses, HRMS, and Financials")
  2. Who will be using mobile devices with EBS, and in what scenarios? (e.g. web-based EBS products, Workflow email notifications)
  3. Numbers and types of mobile devices to be deployed
  4. Deployment schedule
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.

Full disclosure:  I own shares in Oracle and Apple.  This article is intended to describe our current certification and and support position and is not an endorsement of Apple products.

Wednesday Jan 20, 2010

Microsoft Office 2003 and 2007 Certified with Oracle E-Business Suite

ms_office_logo.png
[Nov. 22, 2010 Update:  Office 2010 (32-Bit) is now certified with the E-Business Suite; see this article for details]

Microsoft Office 2003 and 2007 are certified with Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12.  While this isn't a new announcement, per se, a recent surge of Office-related questions suggests that it's worth covering this topic here.

How does the E-Business Suite work with Microsoft Office?

The Oracle E-Business Suite is comprised of several product families such as Financials, Supply Chain Management, Human Resources, and so on.  These product families group together collections of individual products.  Some of these products may be optionally integrated with one or more Microsoft Office components such as Excel, Word, and Projects.
Individual E-Business Suite product teams have the option of building integrations between their products and one or more Microsoft Office components.  This is not mandatory.  Over forty E-Business Suite teams offer these kinds of Office integrations today.

Examples of these integrations include:
  • HRMS Payroll integrations with Microsoft Excel
  • Supply Chain Management Contracts Core integration with Microsoft Word
  • Financials General Ledger (GL) integration with Microsoft Excel
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Proposals integration with Microsoft Word
What Does "Certified" Mean?

It's easy enough to state that Oracle E-Business Suite is certified with Microsoft Office.  But the E-Business Suite is a collection of multiple products, just like Microsoft Office.  So what does the generalized statement of "certified" really mean?

If an E-Business Suite team integrates their product with Microsoft Office, they are responsible for ensuring that these integrations continue to work with all of their new releases and patches.  They are also responsible for testing their products with new versions of Microsoft Office, including major Office patches and Service Packs. 

When a specific product team completes their testing of their product with a given version of, say, Microsoft Excel 2007, they are permitted to state that their product is certified with that Office version and component. 

When all product teams with Office dependencies complete their tests of, say, E-Business Suite 12 with Office 2007, then we consider that E-Business Suite release to be certified with that version of Microsoft Office.

Where are these integrations documented?

Individual product teams are responsible for ensuring that their product documentation describes their integration points and procedures for using Microsoft Office.  This documentation is decentralized and distributed today, and I would expect things to continue along those lines.  

We understand that it would be helpful to have a central document that acts like a Table of Contents or integration roadmap with pointers to the product-specific Office documentation.  We've scheduled this documentation project; watch this blog for more details when that supplemental documentation is released.

How are these integrations supported?

You can log Service Requests against the E-Business Suite product that you're trying to integrate with Microsoft Office. 

For example, you might be trying to take advantage of CRM Marketing (AMS) 12.1.2's integration with Excel 2007.  To get support, you can log an SR against CRM Marketing directly. 

The Support team for that product will help you diagnose and resolve the problem.  If the issue is isolated to a Microsoft product, then it may be necessary to log a corresponding support ticket with Microsoft, as well.

What about Microsoft Office 2010?

Microsoft has recently released a beta of Office 2010.  Our EBS product teams are evaluating this release now.  I'll post more details about our plans for certifying Office 2010 with the E-Business Suite as soon as they're available.

What about StarOffice and OpenOffice variants?

Our existing E-Business Suite integrations with Microsoft are built on a variety of published Microsoft technologies, including Microsoft's Visual Basic (VBA) macro functions and Microsoft document filetypes. 

StarOffice, OpenOffice and its many open source variants offer a lot of functionality that is very similar or equivalent to Microsoft Office.  However, these open source applications are not drop-in replacements for their Microsoft Office equivalents, given that they do not offer VBA macro compatibility. 

If your organisation currently uses Microsoft Office with the E-Business Suite and is considering a large-scale cutover from Microsoft Office to OpenOffice or another open source equivalent, please drop me an email with the following details:
  1. Name of your organisation
  2. EBS Release (e.g. 11.5.10.2, 12.1.2)
  3. EBS+Office integrations that you're using today
  4. Microsoft Office version that you're using today
  5. Number of end-user desktops affected
  6. Windows versions used by those EBS+Office end-users
  7. OpenOffice distribution and versions to be deployed
  8. Will there be a mix of Microsoft Office and OpenOffice deployments? 
  9. Migration schedule to OpenOffice or open source equivalent
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.

Sunday Jan 17, 2010

Deploying E-Business Suite on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud

[Editor: This is the fourth of a five-part series on virtualization and cloud topics from Ivo Dujmovic, an architect in our Applications Technology Integration group.]

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is the quintessential public cloud.  Oracle has partnered extensively with Amazon Web Services (AWS), and in this article I hope to clarify were we currently stand with using E-Business Suite on Amazon EC2.

Public Clouds can introduce uncertified stack additions in the virtualization layer (hypervisor, provisioning tools). They also introduce a lack of control over physical hardware: neither the end-customer nor Oracle has control of the hardware or the virtualization stack below the OS.  This is a new factor in the relationship between Oracle and its customers.


amazon_cloud.png

Amazon EC2 for non-production EBS environments 

For the time being, the novelty of public clouds and the currently-low number of proof points means that we must initially take a prudent and cautious strategy for using Amazon EC2 to host E-Business Suite instances.

Since Amazon EC2 uses a virtualization engine that is not supported by Oracle and has not been certified with E-Business Suite, this environment is not supported for production usage of E-Business Suite.  Using Amazon EC2 for hosting E-Business Suite instances may be suitable for non-production instances such as demonstration instances, test environments, and development environments.

For non-production instances, Oracle will provide support for issues that reproduce on standard certified configurations.  Users will be directed to Amazon for any virtualization-related issues.

Four Reasons to use Amazon EC2 Features for E-Business Suite environments

  1. Virtual private cloud: VPN-based extension to the customer's intranet
  2. Elastic IPs: allow sticky IP addresses for persistent references between nodes
  3. Large file import service: for DBFs larger than 5 TB, it is better to ship them on 2TB disks to Amazon -- you could have your instance up in 4-5 days
  4. High-memory instance types: EBS needs higher memory-to-CPU ratios, and higher I/O bandwidth
We expect the future to bring more great functionality and even tighter integration between E-Business Suite and Amazon's web services. Stay tuned...

References
Related Articles

Thursday Jan 07, 2010

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

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

Here is a comparison of the different support levels:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday Oct 11, 2009

OpenWorld 2009: E-Business Suite Technology Stack Certification Roadmap

OpenWorld 2009 has kicked off with a bang.  As in previous years, I was invited to share our latest E-Business Suite technology stack certification roadmap with the OAUG EBS Technology Stack Special Interest Group (SIG) members.

Openworld_2009_logo.png
Most of what I covered in this SIG discussion will be familiar to regular readers of this blog.  Even if you've been keeping up with this blog's announcements, the convenient thing about this Roadmap presentation is that it summarizes our latest techstack certifications, desupport notices, support policy updates, and other important topics from the last year in a single, cohesive presentation.

Topics from this presentation include:
  • E-Business Release 12.1.1 technology stack components
  • Important Oracle Support policy updates for the E-Business Suite, Server Technologies, and Fusion Middleware products
  • Summary of the latest desupport notices relevant to EBS environments, covering desktop clients, browsers, database releases, and internal and external application tier servers
  • Listing of the current and recommended EBS certifications
  • Glimpse of upcoming certifications
This presentation is available here:
Related Articles

Tuesday Sep 22, 2009

Six Options for Getting Help for E-Business Suite Issues

[Sept 24, 2009 Update: Removed references to the Oracle Critical Accounts program.]

Some E-Business Suite implementations go smoothly.  Some don't.  Even battle-scarred veteran Apps sysadmins have to call upon Oracle for help at some point.  One of the most-surprising things I hear from customers is that many of you don't know what options exist for you to get help when you need it.  Depending on your circumstances, there's a wide range of alternatives that may work for your needs.

Taking the wrong approach can waste a lot of time and efforts on all sides.  If you need help, here's a list of the best options for ensuring that you get the help that you need:
  1. Do your homework
  2. Log a Service Request (SR)
  3. Escalate your Service Request with Support
  4. Escalate with your Oracle account manager
  5. Get a Service Delivery Manager assigned
  6. Register with the Applications Development Customer Program
Oracle Advanced Customer Services.png

Option 1: Do Your Homework

A good way of wasting time is to log a Service Request before you've searched for the answer yourself.  Google is your friend, of course, so running searches should always be your first step.

As an aside: I am repeatedly bemused by the emails I receive from people who haven't done even the most-rudimentary web searches.  Interestingly, this includes questions from Oracle staff who should (presumably) know better. 

Oracle resources that you should search before logging an EBS Service Request:
The Knowledge tab on My Oracle Support is your entry-point into the collective published body of knowledge from Oracle Development, Support, and Consulting.  It almost goes without saying that you should search for your issue here.  The only caveat is that the Knowledge repository is extremely wide-ranging and deep, and can potentially be intimidating to explore for new users.  Stick with it, though; this is the definitive resource for all Oracle product issues.

It's important to remember that all Oracle bloggers are doing this in their spare time.  If they're brave enough to reach out to customers, you should remember that Oracle bloggers have varying amounts of bandwidth available to answer your questions.  My fellow bloggers on my E-Business Suite Technology Stack blog are always happy to help with your Apps techstack questions, but we hope that you've searched our site for answers before you post your question.

Forums are a different matter.  Remember that these public forums are monitored by your customer peers and occasionally someone from Oracle.  These forums yield answers that may vary in quality.  Some of these -- like the impressive Apps R12 Upgrade and OA Framework forums -- have a dedicated and superb group of volunteers who provide crisp and accurate answers to all questions posted.  Others, not so much.

If these sources solve your problem, great.  If not, then your next step is to get an answer from an authoritative source:  Oracle Support.  If you have a time-sensitive issue for which you need a guaranteed and authoritative response, your best bet is to log a formal Service Request with Oracle Support.

Option 2: Log a Service Request

Logging Service Requests (formerly Technical Assistance Requests or TARs) is a necessary first step for any conversation with anyone within Oracle about a particular technical issue.  You log Service Requests via My Oracle Support.  Service Requests are always the starting point for all technical issues. 

Many of you post conceptual or architectural questions here.  This blog's panel of authors are always happy to answer those questions.  However, this blog isn't really set up to handle diagnostics and investigate technical issues; that's Oracle Support's job. 

If you email us directly or post a question about a specific technical issue that you're encountering, our first follow-up question will inevitably be, "What's your Service Request number?"  If necessary, we can help the Oracle Support engineer get to the bottom of your issue -- but only if you've logged a Service Request first. 

The key thing to remember about Service Requests is that the quality of Oracle's assistance depends upon the quality of information that you provide.  Garbage in, garbage out.  Make sure that you provide a good description of the problem, detailed error messages, logs, information about your environment, screen captures, results of your own investigations and tests, and reproducible test cases. 

Option 3: Escalate Your Service Request with Support

If your Service Request is getting bogged down for some reason, or is going off in a direction that doesn't seem quite right, it may be time to escalate your case.

Chris Warticki, a fellow Oracle blogger from Support, has written an excellent article on the Support Escalation process.  I strongly recommend that you check out his article; he makes many insightful comments about how to escalate your issue effectively.  To summarize his key points:
  • Speak with the Oracle Support Escalation Manager (formerly the Duty Manager).
  • Review your concerns.
  • Work up an action plan.
  • Follow up on the agreed-upon actions.
  • Ask the Escalation Manager to follow up with Development on associated bugs.
Option 4: Escalate with Your Oracle Account Manager

Escalating through the regular Support channel doesn't always work as well as it might.  If you still find yourself struggling after doing that, then there are other options.

Some customers may think of Oracle account teams as being useful only when negotiating licencing contracts.  From my vantage in Apps Development, I see Oracle account teams quite differently.  I consider your Oracle account manager to be your advocate and your ombudsman within Oracle.  If you're having difficulty getting any issues resolved through the official channels (e.g. via escalating Service Requests), then your Oracle account manager is your next call.  Your Oracle account manager can escalate a Service Request with management teams in Oracle Support and Development.
 
That's the theory, at least.  The reality is that some Oracle account managers may be relatively new to their jobs, so you may need to encourage them to seek help via internal Oracle channels on this.  Oracle account managers should be motivated to help you resolve issues, since happy customers tend to be more willing to do repeat business than unhappy ones.

Option 5: Get a Service Delivery Manager Assigned

This option isn't for everyone, but you should at least know that it exists.  It is possible for you to work with your Oracle account manager and Oracle Advanced Customer Services to get a Service Delivery Manager assigned to your organization.  A Service Delivery Manager can act as your primary contact within Oracle Support, and can help escalate Service Requests, engage Development teams, and coordinate responses from multiple groups for complex issues.

My experience is that this option is very useful for large, complex organizations who have equally large, complex, and time-sensitive E-Business Suite projects underway.  In situations where you're logging a large number of interrelated or overlapping Service Requests against many different Oracle products, having a Service Delivery Manager can be useful in keeping track of everything.  Service Delivery Managers can also hold regular status calls to review your open issues, and can escalate open Service Requests directly to Oracle Development teams.

It's also important to note that Oracle Advanced Customer Services offers the option of technical teams that can be engaged proactively to provide guidance and hands-on services that may help avoid Service Requests entirely. 

Option 6: Register with the Applications Development Customer Program

Another customer support program within the E-Business Suite division exists:  the Applications Development Customer Program. 

The Applications Development Customer Program is primarily responsible for managing the Applications development portion of key customer projects and customer escalations. This involves engaging development resources across the Applications Suite Development Division, coordinating with Oracle Support and Oracle Consulting, and keeping Oracle executive management up to date on the most strategic customer projects and most critical escalations.

Your Oracle account manager can help get your organization registered with this program.  If your Oracle account manager is unfamiliar with this program, he or she can find out more at this internal Oracle Applications Development Customer Program website (also no external customer access).

Be Proactive, Be Assertive, Be Persistent

My experience is that large, complex organizations benefit from registering with both the Critical Accounts Program and the Applications Development Customer Program before embarking upon major upgrades.  For example, if you're planning on upgrading from Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i to 12, it would be worth considering getting registered before you start your project.

The advantages of being proactive are legion:  you get a predetermined escalation path, Development organizations become familiar with your requirements and environment before you start logging Service Requests, and you effectively prime the pump in case you run into issues.

And lastly: be assertive, and don't give up.  I see Service Requests where customers have only just begun to investigate an issue with Support and/or Development... only to have the customer disappear.  Some customers just stop responding to requests for more information in their Service Requests. 

I find this a bit mystifying.  As you can see, if you're not getting what you need to resolve your issues, there are many options for getting help.  Be persistent and escalate up the channels as needed.

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