By Steven Chan - EBS-Oracle on May 10, 2006
Cloning is the process of creating an identical copy of an already existing Oracle Applications system, including both the application-tier and database-tier.
Reasons for cloning E-Business Suite environments include:
- Creating a copy of the production system for testing updates
- Migrating an existing system to new hardware
- Creating a stage area to reduce patching downtime
The Easy Part
The E-Business Suite Release 11i was architected to support cloning. Experienced Apps DBAs know that the easiest way to create clones of their environments is to use the Rapid Clone utility introduced in 11.5.8. Creating a n E-Business Suite clone is as simple as copying your application-tier and database-tier files to the new target system and then running the perl-based Rapid Clone (adcfgclone.pl) utility.
The Not-So Easy Part
Oracle Application Server 10g was designed with different goals in mind. Consequently, there are no Oracle tools available today to clone an entire OracleAS 10g environment in a single step. In other words, OracleAS 10g does not have the equivalent of a Rapid Clone utility.
In the absence of a single turnkey tool like Rapid Clone, creating clones of new OracleAS 10g environments is a more involved process. Not impossible, mind you -- but definitely more involved.
Things get even more complicated when an E-Business Suite environment is integrated with Oracle Application Server 10g.
Nothing But Net
There are neither tools nor formal documents available from my group -- the Applications Technology Group -- or from Application Server Development, for cloning E-Business Suite environments that have been integrated with OracleAS 10g.
This hasn't exactly been a pleasant state of affairs, especially if you happen to be the person responsible for telling customers about the absence of this documentation and tools. No matter -- I'm tough; I can take it.
But seriously, aside from this post, which will attempt to lay out general strategies for how you can fill in the gaps yourself through some old-fashioned elbow grease, there are no tools available to meet your comprehensive cloning requirements for combined OracleAS 10g + E-Business Suite environments today. More on our future plans in a minute.
Warning: Trail Ahead Requires Exploration
If you're willing to experiment a bit, the following are general guidelines to point you in the right direction. Some customers and Oracle Consultants have used the following approaches to get the job done but have reported that there was some trial-and-error involved.
These are neither detailed nor comprehensive instructions. The following should be attempted only by system administrators who have a solid understanding of the principles outlined in Metalink Note 261914.1.
If you're going to experiment with these approaches, I strongly recommend that you take all sensible precautions, including backing up your environments at multiple stages, taking careful notes, and doing things in small, incremental steps to control your risk.
Assuming that you have an E-Business Suite environment that's been successfully integrated with OracleAS 10g, here are a few cloning scenarios that may apply to you:
- Create a clone of your Discoverer environment
- Create a clone of your Single Sign-On / Oracle Internet Directory environment
- Create a clone of your Portal environment
If you've integrated Discoverer 10g with your E-Business Suite environment but have not chosen the Single Sign-On option, then the cloning process is relatively painless:
- Use Rapid Clone to create a clone of your E-Business Suite, including the application-tier and database-tier. Remember that the E-Business Suite database already contains the Discoverer 10g End-User Layer.
- Create a fresh install of Discoverer 10g on your new server and point it to the End-User Layer in the cloned E-Business Suite instance.
If you've integrated Single Sign-On and Oracle Internet Directory 10g with your E-Business Suite environment, do the following:
- Use Rapid Clone to create a clone of your E-Business Suite, including the application-tier and database-tier.
- In your newly-cloned E-Business Suite instance, set the APPS_SSO_LDAP_SYNC profile option to "Disabled" at the site level (since there's no new Oracle Internet Directory instance to synchronize with yet).
- In your newly-cloned E-Business Suite instance, unlink all E-Business Suite users that were linked to the original Oracle Internet Directory 10g users (i.e. where FND_USER.USER_GUID is populated), since the those old links are no longer valid. Those E-Business Suite users will need to be linked to their corresponding accounts in the as-yet non-existent new Oracle Internet Directory instance.
- Create a fresh install of Single Sign-On and Oracle Internet Directory 10g on your new server.
- Assuming that you enabled bidirectional provisioning between the E-Business Suite and Oracle Internet Directory, do one of the following (but not all three):
a) Redo your bulkload from the E-Business Suite into Oracle Internet Directory, reregister your E-Business Suite environment using the Bidirectional Provisioning Profile, and enable the APPS_SSO_AUTO_LINK_USER profile option, and set the profile option APPS_SSO_LDAP_SYNC back to Enabled at site level.
b) Export your LDAP namespace from your original Oracle Internet Directory instance into an LDIF file, and then import the LDIF file into the new Oracle Internet Directory instance. Reregister your E-Business Suite environment using the Bidirectional Provisioning Profile, and (assuming that the Oracle Internet Directory accounts are identical to the E-Business Suite accounts) enable the APPS_SSO_AUTO_LINK_USER profile option, and set the profile option APPS_SSO_LDAP_SYNC back to Enabled at site level.
c) Connect the original Oracle Internet Directory instance to your new Oracle Internet Directory instance via a connector, synchronizing the namespaces. Reregister your E-Business Suite environment using the Bidirectional Provisioning Profile, and (assuming that the Oracle Internet Directory accounts are identical to the E-Business Suite accounts) enable the APPS_SSO_AUTO_LINK_USER profile option, and set the profile option APPS_SSO_LDAP_SYNC back to Enabled at site level.
- Portal requires a working Single Sign-On setup, so complete the previous section first.
- If you haven't already done so, create a fresh install of Portal 10g on your new server.
- Use the existing Portal 10g documentation to export your portal content and metadata from the original Portal instance. Import that content into the new Portal 10g instance.
- Reregister the OAF Web Provider from your new E-Business Suite instance in your new Portal instance.
If you found the previous sections alarming and confusing, there are a few options:
- Hire an experienced consultant. Check their references! You don't want to pay someone for the privilege of training them -- including staff from Oracle Consulting. There are some Oracle Consultants with experience in this area; email me if you'd like some contacts within Oracle.
- Wait for the formal documentation from the Applications Technology Group. Be prepared to wait for a while, however. A project proposal has been submitted for review but it has not been accepted or prioritized yet. I'm continuing to press for the priority of this to be raised. At present, there are no fixed schedules for this documentation yet.