Tuesday Aug 31, 2010

New Forms and Reports 10.1.2.3 Bundle Patch Certified with EBS 12

Our Oracle Forms team has consolidated a large number important fixes on top of Forms and Reports version 10.1.2.3.0 into a new bundle patch. This patch is available for download now under the ungainly title of:
This bundle patch is now certified with EBS Release 12 for all supported platforms except Linux on IBM System z.

Screenshot of download screen for Forms 10 1 2 3 1 bundle patch 9593176

This patch contains a total of 113 fixes. We strongly recommend that you apply this bundle patch on the Forms and Reports 10.1.2.3 Oracle Home following the instructions in:
EBS customers should ignore the README

An important note: this bundle patch's README is not applicable to EBS environments. EBS customers should ignore the patch's README and refer to the Note above.  This bundle patch contains some of the E-Business Suite interoperability patches that are already documented in Step 2.1.2 of the Note above, including interoperability patches needed to resolve Forms focus issues. 

Any conflicts reported by the opatch utility while applying this bundle to E-Business Suite environments can be safely ignored.

Doesn't change the Forms & Reports version


Application DBAs need to note that the Forms and Reports version after applying this patch remains at 10.1.2.3.0.  Hence, it is more like a CPU or MLR patch that is applied on this Oracle Home.

You can run the following command to check if this patch has been successfully applied:
> opatch lsinventory
Related Articles

Tuesday Sep 15, 2009

Recommended Database Parameters Updated for EBS 12

Close on the heels of our recent updates to the recommended EBS 11i Database parameters, our database and applications performance architects have published updates for EBS Release 12. The updated note is now available here:

Our architects have refreshed a large number of recommended settings based upon customer feedback and their ongoing performance and scalability tests.

ShowParam.png

New updates

  • Removal of Application Upgrade Considerations section.
  • Addition of Advanced Queuing (AQ) note to common parameters.
  • Addition of note to the job_queue_processes
  • Addition of diagnostic_dest to 11gR1-specific parameters.
  • Addition of background_dump_dest, user_dump_dest, core_dump_dest to 11gR1 removal list.
  • Addition of plsql_native_library_dir, plsql_native_library_subdir_count, plsql_optimize_level to 11gR1 removal list.
  • Addition of #MP to _optimizer_autostats_job=false.
  • Updates to undo_retention section.
  • Addition of Timed_Statistics.
  • Addition of nls_language, nls_length_semantics, _sqlexec_progression_cost.
  • Removal of nls_length_semantics.
  • Removal of SGA_TARGET from Sections 2, 3, and 4, as this is in the common parameters.
  • Removal of db_block_buffers row from sizing table.
  • Updates to "Specific Notes on Table."
  • Updates to common parameters introduction.

As we've noted before, these changes are extremely important and can have profound impact on the performance of your Apps database.  All Apps DBAs should spend some quality time comparing your current database settings with the latest recommendations in this document.

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Saturday Sep 05, 2009

Interim Update: Certifying the 11gR2 Database with the E-Business Suite

New database updates from Oracle are the mostly closely-watched releases across our Oracle user community.  The 11gR2 version 11.2.0.1.0 is the next major release after 11gR1 version 11.1.0.6.0. This version -- for Linux x86 32-bit and 64-bit platforms only -- is now available for download on the Oracle Technology Network.

11gR2.png
New features in this release range from application development to security, details of which can be found in the New Features Guide.

Certification Underway for the Oracle E-Business Suite
The new 11gR2 database is not yet certified for use with the E-Business Suite.  We're actively working on EBS 11i and R12 certifications right now.  These certifications are going well, but for reasons well known to the readers on this blog, I can't share certification schedules or completion estimates. You're welcome to monitor or subscribe to this blog for updates, which I'll post as soon as soon as they're available. 

Smarter Installation Process
I personally found the UI to be more user-friendly with smart system checks. For example, as part of the checks on my node, it came up with a list of kernel parameters that need to be set for the installation to succeed. The installer then generated a customized script, runfixup.sh, that needs to be run as root to set the parameters. Once that script is run successfully, I was able to proceed with the installation in OUI. 

If you would like to have a preview of the installation process, here are some screenshots of the 11gR2 Oracle Universal Installer tasks:

11gR2OUI1.png

 

11gR2OUI2.png

 

11gR2OUI3.png

 

11gR2OUI4.png

 

11gR2OUI5.png

 

11gR2OUI6.png

 

11gR2OUI7.png

 

11gR2OUI8.png

 

11gR2OUI9.png
Download and Documentation

Thursday Aug 27, 2009

Turbocharging Your EBS 12.0 Techstack Upgrade

[Oct 4, 2010 Update:  Since this article was published last year, there have been several updates to the patches list for the respective Oracle Homes (10.1.2, 10.1.3 and 11.1.0.7) based on customer issues and internal testing. The Rapid Install content for those Oracle Homes has not been updated with the same updates.  Hence, the patches delivered by the EBS 12.1.1 Rapid Install will not be the latest baselines available for those technology stack components.  If you use this Rapid Install method, you still will need to refer to the respective documents to apply the latest patches added after the EBS 12.1.1 Rapid Install was released.  For pointers to those documents, see the individual listings for the respective techstack components in this certification summary.]

All three of the major new technology stack components included in Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.1 are also certified with Release 12.0.  You could manually upgrade each of these R12.0 techstack components yourself.  But now that Release 12.1.1 is out, why bother with that time-consuming approach when there's an easier and faster way?

You can use the EBS 12.1.1 Rapid Install to upgrade just the application and database tier technology stack components in your existing EBS 12.0 instance. Your technology stack components are upgraded to the same versions delivered with EBS 12.1.1 while leaving your EBS 12.0 product code (e.g. Financials, Supply Chain) untouched.

rapidwiz-txk.png

Running the Rapid Install with the -techstack option

Using the rapidwiz -techstack option with the EBS 12.1.1 Rapid Install provides options to upgrade the applications and database tier components for the following ORACLE_HOMEs:
  1. Application Server 10g OC4J to 10.1.3.4 (Applications tier)
  2. Application Server10g Forms and Reports to 10.1.2.3 (Applications tier)
  3. Database Release 10gR2 to 11gR1 version 11.1.0.7 (software and configuration files only on the DB tier. DB upgrade and post install steps to be performed separately)
From the first screen below, you can select the respective tier and proceed with the upgrade.

rapidwiz-txk.png


1. Upgrading the Database Technology Stack

Before selecting the database tier technology stack upgrade, make sure that your environment meets the minimum operating system prerequisites for running the 11gR1 Database.

If you choose the database tier upgrade, the wizard takes inputs for the Database host, Oracle SID, ORACLE_HOME and OS user related inputs.

rapidwiztxk-DB.png


It creates the new ORACLE_HOME with the associated Release 12.1.1 patches for the 11gR1 11.1.0.7 Database.  The installation then proceeds with installing the 11gR1 database software and the required configuration files for the E-Business Suite.

DB11upg.png


After the installation and configuration is complete, you need to complete the remaining DB upgrade steps using Section 1 and Section 2 of Interoperability Notes for 11gR1 with EBS R12.

2. Upgrading the Applications tier Technology Stack


If you choose to upgrade your applications tier, the Rapid Install wizard requires the CONTEXT file for your existing configuration. Point the wizard to the Application tier context file for your applications tier, e.g. $INST_TOP/appl/admin/<context name>.xml.

rapidwiztxk-AT.png


The wizard identifies the respective ORACLE_HOMEs from the context file and proceeds to upgrade these components.

OracleHomes.png


After validating and confirming the information, the installer proceeds to upgrade the components in the two Oracle Application Server 10g 10.1.3 and 10.1.2 ORACLE_HOMEs.

ATUpg.png


After all of the new Oracle Application Server 10g files are laid down in your filesystem, the Rapid Install wizard validates the installation. A green tick on the Validation window means the installation passed the post-install checks.

ValidationAT.png


Once you've run this upgrade on all of the Application tier nodes in your EBS instance, you're done!  Automated, validated, and fast.

References
Related Articles

Monday Aug 24, 2009

OPatch Essentials for Apps Sysadmins

All EBS administrators must become very familiar with the OPatch utility.  OPatch is used to patch the ORACLE_HOMEs in EBS Application and Database tiers.  Security fixes delivered for these ORACLE_HOMEs through Critical Patch Updates are also applied using OPatch.  It updates the central and per-product inventories with the details of each patch applied.  Apart from the Oracle Universal Installer (which internally also uses OPatch), this is the only tool authorized to patch ORACLE_HOMEs. 

Although it once had a reputation for being somewhat arcane, OPatch has evolved over the years into a more user-friendly and better-documented tool.  I'll cover the essentials of using OPatch in this article.

opatch.png


Prerequisites for Running OPatch

OPatch is a set of perl scripts that allow the application and rollback of interim patches to the ORACLE_HOMEs. It requires the Perl language interpreter and requires, at minimum, Perl version 5.005_03 or higher.  Version 5.6 or higher is recommended.

OPatch expects jar, java, ar, cp, and make commands (depending on the platform) to be available in the current PATH. EBS users have these available as part of the current PATH once the respective tier environment file is sourced.

What Does OPatch Do?

In Oracle E-Business Suite releases where a Rapid Install option is available, the installation process installs and maintains the OUI inventory for each of the ORACLE_HOMEs using OPatch. A query of each of the ORACLE_HOMEs created by a Rapid Install lists the patches installed.

OPatch can be used to:
  • Apply an interim patch

  • Roll back the application of an interim patch

  • Detect a conflict when applying an interim patch after previous interim patches have been applied. It also suggests the best options to resolve a conflict.

  • Report on installed products and interim patches.
Key OPatch Concepts
Oracle Universal Installer
When an installation is performed using the Oracle Universal Installer, the OUI inventory records the ORACLE_HOME, SID, location, products and technology versions installed.  The E-Business Suite Rapid Install maintains a global inventory of all its Oracle products. The location on Linux is specified in the /etc/oraInst.loc file.

[Editor:  Also see: Oracle Universal Installer Inventory Essentials for Apps Sysadmins]

OraInst.loc

The file on Unix where the inventory location and the OS group of the install user.

patch_storage directory

This directory stores information about the patches applied.
Important OPatch Runtime Options and Arguments
OPatch is located in the <Path_to_Oracle_Home>/OPatch directory.  You can run it with various commands and options. The following string shows the syntax for the OPatch utility:
<Path_to_OPatch>/opatch [-help] [-r[eport]] [command] [-option]

opatchhelp.png

The most commonly-used commands running OPatch are:
1. opatch apply ...

This command applies a patch from the patch directory.  The OUI inventory is updated with the patch's information.

2. opatch rollback ....

This is the command to rollback or undo a patch installation. The respective patch information is removed from the inventory.

3. opatch lsinventory

lsinventory lists all the patches installed on the Oracle Home.

4. opatch lsinventory -detail

lsinventory -detail gives list of patches and products installed in the ORACLE_HOME.

5. opatch version

version option displays the version of OPatch installed.

6. opatch napply

napply applies the patches in a directory. This is used in EBS environments while applying a patch that is a bundle of individual patches. napply eliminates the overhead of running opatch multiple times by the administrator. The napply option skips subsets or duplicates if they are already installed.

7. opatch nrollback

nrollback rolls back the patches using the IDs specified.

8. opatch  apply -minimize_downtime

This is specific to Real Application Clusters (RAC) enabled instances (DB tier patches).  The -minimize_downtime option allows you to apply a patch by bringing down one database server instance at a time.  OPatch applies the patch to the quiesced server instance, the instance is brought back up, and then OPatch moves on to the next database server  in a Real Application Clusters pool.

9. opatch apply -force

-force overrides conflicts with an existing patch by removing the conflicting patch from the system.

Caution: This option should be only used when explicitly it is said safe to be used in the README of the patch.

10. opatch apply -invPtrLoc <...>

The option -invPtrLoc can be used to specify the oraInst.loc file in case it's not in the default location e.g., /etc/oraInst.loc in Linux.  The argument to this option is the location of this file.

11. opatch query

The query command can be used to find out useful information about the patch

Syntax to be used:

opatch query  [-all] [-jre <LOC> ] [-oh <LOC> ] \ 
[-get_component] [-get_os] [-get_date] [-get_base_bug] \
[-is_rolling_patch] [-is_online_patch] \
[-has_sql] [ <Patch Location> ]

all

Retrieves all information about a patch. This is equivalent to setting all available options.

get_base_bug

Retrieves bugs fixed by the patch.

get_component

Retrieves components the patch affects.

get_date

Retrieves the patch creation date and time.

is_online_patch

Indicates true if the patch is an online patch. Otherwise, the option is false.

is_rolling_patch

Indicates true if the patch is a rolling patch. Otherwise, the option is false.

oh

Specifies the Oracle home directory to use instead of the default directory. This takes precedence over the ORACLE_HOME environment variable.

Patch Location

Indicates the path to the patch location. If you do not specify the location, OPatch assumes the current directory is the patch location.

Where's the Official OPatch Documentation?

A well written User Guide and FAQ are shipped with every OPatch version and are available under the OPatch/doc directory of the ORACLE_HOME. These documents list all the arguments and options available with OPatch.

I strongly recommend the administrators who are in charge of applying the patches to carefully read the above documents as well as the ORACLE_HOME version-specific OPatch documentation on Metalink. Latest OPatch versions for 10.1, 10.2 and 11.1 are available for download via Patch 6880880

A New Option For Critical Patch Updates (CPU)

Oracle introduced the napply option in July 2007 with Critical Patch Updates for its DB tier patches on Unix platforms for 10gR2 version 10.2.0.3 and higher. This provides conflict resolution and the ability to merge patches for CPU fixes.  This eliminates the CPU merge patch.  It also reduces downtime by eliminating the need to rollback and reinstall patches that are already installed. Customers can continue to partial apply and get other security fixes in place while waiting for a merge conflict resolution from Oracle's Database Support team.

Common OPatch Issues
Conflicts Between Patches
Conflicts occur when you try to apply a patch whose fix already been applied through another patch.  DBAs are advised NOT to use the -force option with apply as this removes the conflicting fix from the system. All conflicts need to be resolved by contacting Customer Support.

Errors due to Java locations


Make sure that the Java JDK and JRE prerequisites are available in the PATH or provided in command line option. The -jre and -jdk options allow you to specify these explicitly instead of using the ones from ORACLE_HOME.  EBS customers generally do not need to specify -jre or -jdk options because sourcing the respective ORACLE_HOME .env file will include the correct jre/jdk locations in the PATH.
References
Related Articles

Friday Aug 21, 2009

Configuring SSL with a Configuration Wizard in EBS R12

E-Business Suite R12.1.1 provides Advanced Configuration wizards that make it easier to deploy features such as SSL and load-balancing.  Apps administrators can use these wizards to make configuration changes online through Oracle Applications Manager (OAM) and then run AutoConfig on the applications tier to make the changes effective.

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is one of the most commonly used configurations in EBS. I'll walk through the SSL Advanced Configuration Wizard in this article.

Accessing the Advanced Configuration Wizards

Launch the Oracle Applications Manager Site Map using the System Administrator responsibility, then select the AutoConfig link from the Administration tab.

Wizards_Welcome.png

Click on Launch Wizards. It brings up the launch pad for five wizards:

  1. Forms Socket Mode
  2. SSL
  3. SSL Accelerator
  4. HTTP Load Balancing
  5. OC4J Load Balancing

Wizards_Home.png

Start the SSL Configuration Wizard

The OAM General Collection Service must be activated before running any configuration wizards.  From the Administration tab of the Site Map, click on the 'Generic Services' link under the Application Services. Select 'OAM Generic Collect Services' and start it for the target instance. OAM submits a concurrent request for the same. Click on Verify to see if the service starts up fine. Once the service starts, you are ready to use the wizard.

From the Configuration Wizards launch pad, click on the 'Enable' button for SSL.

Select Nodes to be SSL-Enabled

Select the nodes on which you would like to enable SSL and click 'Next.'

SSL1.PNG

2. Set Context variables for SSL

Notice the tip at the bottom of the Parameters screen:  you should make sure that your digital certificates are properly imported into the Wallet of your EBS instance. For details about importing SSL certificates, see:

SSLParam.png

The wizard sets the following context variables to 'https':

  • URL protocol
  • Local URL protocol

It also sets values for the 'Web SSL directory' and the 'Active HTTP SSL port.' The subsequent screen gives the current and new values for these variables.

3. Validation

The wizard validates all settings when you click 'Next' after the user comparison of context values screen.  It checks that the Wallet and the required directory structures exist.

SSLValidation.png

Make sure that the Status is 'Success.' Check the log file in the 'View' link for any errors.

4. Confirmation Page

Clicking 'Next' will take you to the Confirmation Page in the train cart. Click on the link below to check the confirmation page.

View image


5. Submit the changes and run AutoConfig

Clicking the 'Submit' button on the Confirmation page displays the next action to be taken. You can review the context file on the applications tier for the changes that have been made.

The next step is to run AutoConfig to propagate the changes. You need to restart all application services to make the changes effective.

Once the service have been restarted, the EBS instance is ready to be used in SSL mode.

References

Related Articles

Wednesday Aug 19, 2009

Creating an EBS R12 Instance Using the Express Install Option

The Oracle E-Business Suite Rapid Install provides an easy-to-use Express Install option. This option sets default values for several of the customizable inputs that the Apps DBA must enter in subsequent screens. Express Install is convenient for test instance setup as well as for training purposes. Note that this option is valid only for new installations and cannot be used for upgrades.

 

WelcomeRI.png

How to Use Express Install?

Assuming that you have met all the prerequisites to perform a Rapid Install on your machine based on the platform specific installation guides, Express Install can be performed using rapidwiz. The inputs required to use Express install are:

1. Oracle Configuration Manager

    • Email ID and the My Oracle Support password
    • Check box indicating if you would like to receive Security Updates via My Oracle Support.

OCM.PNG

2. Configuration choice

Here you specify whether you would like to create a new configuration or use an existing configuration file that has been saved from a previous run of rapidwiz.

RIConfig.png


3. Node information (if you have chosen to create new configuration above)

Specify the following parameters:

  • Database Type (Fresh database or Vision)
  • Database SID
  • Domain name
  • Base directory for the installation (by default, entire install including APPL_TOP and DB is placed in this directory)
  • Instance directory (default value is <base directory>/inst )
  • Port pool

Express1.png

That's it!  After making sure that the System Checks all pass in the Preinstall Checks window that follows, you are ready to perform an Express Install.  After this, the installation proceeds requiring no human intervention.  Upon completion of the install, you are ready to use the EBS instance.

Can it get any easier?

References

Related Articles

Wednesday Jul 22, 2009

New Apps 11i Autoconfig Rollup Patch T Now Available

A new AutoConfig update has been released for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i. EBS 11i Technology Stack Rollup T (Patch 8217898) for Autoconfig is now available for download. This Rollup includes fixes and enhancements to Autoconfig and its configuration templates. Screenshot of download page for TXK AutoConfig Rollup 8217898 This cumulative patch includes all previously released AutoConfig updates, including the previous Autoconfig Rollup - RUP-S 6372396. RUP T can be applied standalone. The release of this rollup patch is a bit of a sneak preview of things to come, as it will be included in the next EBS Applications Technology Family Pack - ATG PF-H RUP 7. This Rollup includes the following features and enhancements:
  • Vietnamese translation with Forms/Reports 6i for EBS R11i
  • Enable/disable MWA services via a new configuration variable
  • Turn on/off OXTA PROXY configuration
  • Set the SSL Loglevel via autoconifg variable
  • Templates changes required to support Secure Enterprise Search (SES) in 11i
  • Enhancements to context variables definitions in the inf file
References Related Articles

Thursday Jul 16, 2009

Database Vault 11.1.0.7 Certified with Oracle E-Business Suite

Oracle DB Vault allows security administrators to protect a database from privileged account access to application data.  Database objects can be placed in protected realms, which can be accessed only if a specific set of conditions are met.  

Database Vault 10gR2 was certified last year with Oracle E-Business Suite.  We're pleased to announce that the latest Database Vault 11gR1 Version 11.1.0.7 is now certified with E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12.

You can now enable Database Vault 11gR1 on your existing E-Business Suite 11.1.0.7 Database instance.  If you already have DB Vault 10gR2 enabled in your E-Business Suite environment, you can now upgrade to the 11gR1 Database.  We also support EBS patching with Database Vault 11.1.0.7 enabled. Our DB Vault realm creation and grants-related scripts have been revised to reduce patching downtimes.

Screenshot of database vault web page page showing Database Vault Feature Administration menu of security options

Prerequisites

  • Oracle Database 11gR1 version 11.1.0.7
  • Oracle Database Vault 11gR1 version 11.1.0.7
  • Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i version 11.5.10.2 or higher
  • Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 version 12.0.4 or higher
  • Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 version 12.1

Certified Platforms

  • Linux x86
  • Linux x86-64 (64-bit)
  • Sun Solaris SPARC
  • IBM AIX
  • HP-UX PA-RISC
  • HP-UX Itanium

Certifications for Microsoft Windows Server (32-bit) and Windows x64 (64-bit) are still underway.  I don't have firm schedules for these certifications yet, but you're welcome to monitor or subscribe to this blog for updates.  

References

Related Articles

Wednesday Apr 23, 2008

Preparing for Apps 11i AutoConfig Updates

E-Business Suite Release 11i uses the Oracle9i Application Server 1.0.2.2.2-based components in its Applications tier. This includes an 8.0.6 ORACLE_HOME for the Developer 6i Forms and Reports run-time and an 8.1.7 ORACLE_HOME for the Apache and JServ-based run-time components. AutoConfig and its associated templates provide the configuration data for these ORACLE_HOMEs.

The latest version of AutoConfig is always included with the latest ATG Technology Stack rollup patches.  It's also possible to update the AutoConfig Engine and its associated templates separately if certain prerequisites are met.  You can download the latest version of AutoConfig via the TXK Rollup for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i:

In preparation for your AutoConfig upgrade, you can run the Technology Stack Rollup Validation Utility to get a report of the current component versions on your Release 11i Applications tier. The report also advises on the components on each tier that need to be upgraded before upgrading AutoConfig itself.

TXKRUPR:

Running the Technology Stack Rollup Validation Utility

The Technology Stack Rollup Validation Utility is a perl script that is run using the perl infrastructure delivered in the APPL_TOP by the TXK team.

Where to run

  • In a single-node install, run the utility on the Applications Tier Node.
  • In a multi-node install, run the utility on every Web/Forms, Admin/CP Node
  • The latest version of the Validation Utility is shipped with the TXK Rollup. Hence the script needs to be run from the location where the patch is unzipped.

Steps to run

  1. Source the Applications environment file as the owner of the application tier file system
  2. From the location where TXK Rollup patch was unzipped, change directory to fnd/patch/115/bin
  3. Run the Validation script as described in the table below
Unix
./txkprepatchcheck.pl -script=ValidateRollup -outfile=$APPLTMP/txkValidateRollup.html 
-appspass=<apps database password>
Windows
%ADPERLPRG% txkprepatchcheck.pl -script=ValidateRollup

-outfile=%APPLTMP%txkValidateRollup.html

-appspass=<apps database password>

Note: The arguments for the perl script txkprepatchcheck.pl can be entered manually at the prompt also.

Interpreting the Report

The report generated in the location specified by the outfile argument contains:
  1. Overall PASS/FAIL status of the Utility.
  2. Report header table with information about the host, node type and configuration file, versions.
  3. Validation table for each of the HTTP Server, Forms Server, Concurrent Processing Server, and Administration Server Node types.
  4. For each of the node types, the dependent and relevant Technology Component is displayed with its version number and PASS/FAIL status.
Sample Reports

Report Header

TXKHeader1:

TXKHeader2:

Validation for HTTP Server Node

TXKHTTPServer:

Validation for Other Nodes

TXKOtherNodes:

Before Applying the TXP RUP

The AutoConfig upgrade, as delivered by TXK Rollup patches, can be be applied only when the report displays PASS for all entries in each table and an ALLPASS at the top. All WARNING/FAIL rows should be corrected with respective actions recommended in the report row before applying the patch.

References
  1. Using AutoConfig to Manage System Configurations withOracle Applications 11i (OracleMetalink Note 165195.1).
  2. Frequently Asked Questions About Using AutoConfig With Oracle Applications Release 11i (OracleMetalink Note 218089.1)
Related Articles

Friday Mar 28, 2008

Downtime and Apache Restricted Mode in E-Business Suite Release 11i

As I started writing down the steps for my recent post Downtime and Apache Restricted Mode in Release 12,  Steven and I exchanged some conversations which made me realize that there would be questions about the availability of the same feature Release 11i. And, it turns out to be fairly accurate realization. So, this one is for those enthusiastic pals of mine on this community. I will try to do this differently, hence making it relatively shorter in content.

Is this feature available in 11i?

Yes. Check out the documentation in the References section.

Is the procedure to configure the same?

Yes. As you might have understood already, there are two pieces in this puzzle.
  1. Creation of downtime
  2. Managing Apache in Restricted Mode
Answering the question based on these two tasks,
  • Step '1' is pretty much the same in 11i and Release 12. Hence, I am not recreating the screen shots for you here. Check out the steps in the table below.
  • Step '2' is automated in Release using the perl script where as in Release 11i, the administrator has to go through some manual steps and run Autoconfig.

What are the exact steps in Release 11i?.

Thanks to our OAM team, these are well documented. And, they work like charm. Below are the sequence of steps for my DBA friends.

Note: Navigation in 11i for the downtime page creation is slightly different than Release 12.

S.No
Task
How to?
1.
Schedule System Downtime and warn your end users of an impending downtime Use OAM to schedule downtime:
  • ( Navigation: Sitemap=>Maintenance=>Patching and utilities=>Schedule Downtime)
2.
Complete the required one-time setups to monitor patch in progress
  • Use OAM Autoconfig editor to edit the variable < s_trusted_admin_client_nodes > to include the list of hosts that can access OAM in restricted mode. Run autoconfig to ensure that the new settings take effect.
  • Ensure that you have enabled the the monitoring user account by unlocking the ad_monitor user account and setting the password by using the following commands:
    • alter user ad_monitor account unlock;
    • Login to SQL*Plus as user ad_monitor. Default password is lizard. Reset the password.
3.
Shutdown all Applications services
Use the standard ad script from $COMMON_TOP/admin/scripts/<context_name> directory:
  • adstpall.sh <apps user>/<password>
4.
Enable maintenance mode for your Applications system
Run adadmin, and:

  1. Select option 5 'Change Maintenance Mode'
  2. Select option 1 'Enable Maintenance Mode'
5.
Start OAM in restricted mode to monitor patching in progress
From the $COMMON_TOP/admin/scripts/<context_name> directory, run:

  • adaprstctl.sh start
6.
Begin applying patch
Run adpatch (hotpatch=n)
7.
Monitor patching in progress
  1. Access OAM in restricted mode from the following URL : http://host:port/servlets/weboamLocal/oam/oamLogin
  2. Login into OAM using the ad_monitor user
  3. Navigation: Sitemap=>Maintenance=>Patching and utilities=>Timing Reports
8.
Confirm the end of scheduled downtime upon patch completion
From within OAM in restricted mode:
  • Navigation: Sitemap=>Maintenance=>Patching and utilities=>Manage Downtime Schedules=>Select "Complete" button.
9.
Bring your Applications System to normal mode.
Run adadmin, and:
  1. Select option 5 'Change Maintenance Mode'
  2. Select option 2 'Disable Maintenance Mode'
10.
Shutdown Apache in restricted mode and Restart all services
From the $COMMON_TOP/admin/scripts/<context_name> directory, run:
  • adaprstctl.sh stop
  • adstrtall.sh <apps user>/<password>

References

  1. About Oracle Applications Manager Mini-pack 11i.OAM.H
  2. Chapter 6, Section 'Managing Downtime in Restricted Mode' of Oracle Applications System Administrator's Guide - Maintenance - Release 11i (Part No B13924-04)

Thursday Mar 27, 2008

Oracle Single Sign-On and Oracle Internet Directory 10g 10.1.4.2 Certified with Release 11i

Looks like another good week for certification announcements. Close on the heels of announcing Database 11gR1 certification,  we are announcing the certification of Oracle Single Sign-On and Oracle Internet Directory 10g 10.1.4.2 with Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i. Existing 11i environments using earlier version of SSO & OID can be upgraded to the 10.1.4.2 Patch Set. Customers on 10.1.2.0.2 version of SSO & OID must first upgrade to 10.1.4.0.1 and then apply the 10.1.4.2 Patch Set.

10142Patchset:

Certified Operating System Platforms

  • Linux x86-32
  • Sun Sparc Solaris
  • HP-UX PARisc
  • IBM AIX
  • Microsoft Windows 2003

The latest certified configuration is documented in:

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Tuesday Jan 29, 2008

Sharing Apps R12 File Systems Across Multiple Databases

One of the challenges an IT manager faces today is managing complex application configurations from development to production. This becomes a monster challenge with the proliferation of environments with multiple application and database tier nodes.

Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12 provide flexibility in laying out file systems via a Shared File System option. A Shared File System stores application tier files on a shared disk storage that can be accessed by multiple application tier nodes. Shared File Systems have the potential to lower your Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) by reducing your maintenance and hardware requirements.

Note: Shared File System is  not supported on MS Windows platform

New Features in E-Business Suite R12

Release 12 Shared File System configurations allow several deployment options. Some of the key features include:
  • The ability to have multiple nodes running each of the following service types:
    • Forms
    • Web - in a load balancing configured option
    • Concurrent Processing (Batch) - in a Parallel Concurrent Processing configured option
  • Read-only node implementation for Forms, Web, Concurrent processing
In addition, a new configuration option introduced in Release 12 has the potential to save significant time and resources for an Applications DBA:  the ability to share applications tier file systems across multiple database instances.

Sharing Applications Tier File Systems Across Multiple Database Instances

Release 12 customers can now install and configure the application tier file system on a central machine that is used by two or more database instances. This configuration option is useful in cases where you would like your test and development environments to share the same applications tier file system. 

Shared File System across DB:

Minimum Requirements
  1. This option is only valid for the Applications tier file system and not for the database tier file system

  2. All the database instances are patched up to the same level
References

For a walkthrough and other details required for this configuration and deployment option,  see: [Editor: Sharing application tier file systems between multiple environments has the potential to reduce your overhead but is the IT equivalent of placing all of your eggs in a single basket.  If the shared file system goes down, multiple Apps environments are impacted.  Accordingly, prudent system administrators should put backup and recovery procedures in place for shared servers.]

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Saturday Jan 19, 2008

New AutoConfig Patchset Available for Apps 12

The fourth update to the Release 12 Autoconfig Templates and Engine is now available for download now via:
AutoConfig Update 4 screenshot: Screenshot of download page for E-Business Suite Release 12's AutoConfig R12 TXK.A.Delta.4 Patchset (Patch 6329757)

This patchset is cumulative and includes all previous R12 AutoConfig updates such as TXK.A.Delta.3 (patch number 6077487) released with the Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.0.3 Release Update Pack.

TXK.A.Delta.4 can be applied standalone on top of base R12.0 or any of the later R12 Release Updates (12.0.1, 12.0.2, 12.0.3). This patchset is also included in:
If you have already applied either of the two 12.0.4 updates listed above, you don't need to apply this AutoConfig patch separately.  On the other hand, if you're looking for the latest AutoConfig templates and don't wish to apply the larger 12.0.4-related updates, this is a smaller and more granular alternative.

This Patchset contains fixes required for support of some of the upcoming Application Server and Database patchset certifications with E-Business Suite R12.  For more details, refer to the README of the Patchset.

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