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.

Wednesday Jan 16, 2008

Apps Technology 12.0.4 Update Now Available

In conjunction with this week's release of the Applications 12.0.4 Release Update  Pack, the fourth major update for the Apps Release 12 technology stack is now available for download from Metalink:
Apps Technology 12.0.4 Update screenshot: Screenshot of download page for Apps Technology 12.0.4 techstack patch 6272680 update

Family Pack Updates vs. Release Update Packs

New readers might have missed previous discussions about naming standards. To recap:  in Release 11i, we have these things called Rollup Patches, which inexplicably became known as "RUPs."  Release 11i Rollup Patches contain patches for a single product family (e.g. ATG Family Pack H Rollup 4).

In Release 12, we're now shipping these things called Release Update Packs.  Given the way that neologisms form, it's inevitable that these will be called "RUPs" too.  The difference is that the R12 Release Update Packs combine patches created across several E-Business Suite product families. 

The patch that we're announcing today only includes updates for the Applications Technology family of products, that is, the technology stack for the E-Business Suite Release 12.  This patch does not include updates to the functional applications like Financials or HRMS.  For information about the broader Apps 12.0.4 Release Update Pack, see:
This ATG rollup patch includes all fixes released on top of ATG Family Pack A, including those released in the following updates:
Since this is the fourth update to the Release 12 technology stack, its official (admittedly cryptic) name is: R12.ATG_PF.A.DELTA.4.

Prerequisites

This ATG Family Pack update can be applied on top of the following:
What's Been Fixed?

This update contains fixes for the following areas:
  • Oracle Application Object Library (AOL)
  • Oracle Applications Manager (OAM)
  • Oracle CRM Applications Foundation
  • Oracle Report Manager
  • Oracle Applications Technology Stack
  • Oracle Web Applications Desktop Integrator (WebADI)
  • Oracle Workflow
  • Oracle XML Publisher
  • Oracle e-Commerce Gateway
For a complete list of the contents of this update, see:
Related

Tuesday Jan 15, 2008

Apps Release 12.0.4 Release Update Pack Now Available

The fourth major update for Apps Release 12 is now available for download from Metalink:

E-Business Suite 12.0.4 Patch 6435000: Screenshot of download site for E-Business Suite Release 12.0.4 Release Update Pack Patch 6435000

A RUP by Any Other Name...

To revisit oft-confused terminology once again:  In Release 11i, we have these things called Rollup Patches, which inexplicably became known as "RUPs."  Release 11i Rollup Patches contain patches for a single product family (e.g. ATG Family Pack H Rollup 4).

In Release 12, we're now shipping these things called Release Update Packs.  Given the way that neologisms form, it's inevitable that these will be called "RUPs" too.  The difference is that the R12 Release Update Packs combine patches created across several E-Business Suite product families.

If you're paying attention, it should be dawning on you about now that "Release Update Packs" in Release 12 are the equivalent of "Consolidated Updates" in Release 11i.  These are big, important patches.

What's New in Release Update Pack 4?

Regardless of what it's called, the fourth Release Update Pack for Release 12 contains fixes for the following product families, with details in the corresponding Metalink Notes:
Includes January 2008 Critical Patch Updates

Just like the previous Apps 12.0.1 Release Update Pack, Apps 12.0.2 Release Update Pack, and Apps 12.0.3 Release Update Pack, there's a gem buried in all of this:  the Apps 12.0.4 Release Update Patch includes all of the security fixes released in the January 2008 Critical Update Patch (CPUJan2008).

Upgrading the Whole Thing or Just Specific Parts?

If you're looking for the latest new functionality, fixes, and updates for all Release 12 functional applications and the E-Business Suite's technology stack, apply the Apps 12.0.4 Release Update Pack.

You can also update specific Apps functional applications (such as Financials, Supply Chain Planning, or Human Resources).  See the Metalink Notes for each of the individual products listed above.

If you're just interested in getting the latest Apps technology stack updates and don't wish to update your functional applications, you can apply just the Oracle Applications Technology Software Update 12.0.4 (Patch 6272680), also known as R12.ATG_PF.A.DELTA.4.

I'll highlight details about new Applications Technology Stack features and updates in Apps 12.0.4 in an upcoming article tomorrow.

Related

Thursday Nov 29, 2007

Best Practices for Upgrading to Release 12

If you've been considering the best way to upgrade your E-Business Suite Release 11i environment to Release 12, I strongly recommend that you check out Eugene Weinstein and Nigel Cooper's excellent OpenWorld 2007 presentation:

Supported R12 Upgrade Paths: Supported upgrade paths from E-Business Suite (Applications) 11.0, 11.5.1 to 11.5.10 to Release 12

Eugene and Nigel cover the following topics:
  • Overview of the R12 Upgrade process
    • The R12 filesystem
    • Supported upgrade paths
    • Technology improvements
    • The R12 upgrade flow
    • Options for omitting the upgrade of historical data (Upgrade by Request)
  • Best practices for the upgrade
    • Staffing & planning
    • Pre-upgrade, upgrade, and post-upgrade tips
Perhaps most significantly, Eugene and Nigel discuss Oracle's own experiences in upgrading our 10 TB Global Single Instance from Apps 11i to 12.  Upgrading an Apps database with over 28.5 billion rows of data is a serious undertaking, and it's always instructive to see how the best Apps IT organization in the world does things. 

Highly recommended reading, even if you've already performed one or more test upgrades already.

Related

Tuesday Nov 27, 2007

Which Are Better: Family Packs or Consolidated Updates?

Boy, is my inbox going to get hammered because of this article.  But when have I shied from controversy?  (Always, a cynical voice mutters).  Nevertheless, into the breach I charge.

11.5.10.CU2 Download screenshot: Screenshot of Metalink download site for E-Business Suite Release 11i 11.5.10 Consolidated Update #2 download

A recurring question raised at OpenWorld came from customers debating between applying individual Family Packs or the much larger Consolidated Updates to their E-Business Suite environments.  Which is better?

If I Were An IT Manager

I understand your dilemma:  maintenance windows grow tighter by the day.  Staffing levels don't keep pace with rising workloads.  Risk-averse stakeholders pressure you to keep the system unchanged -- all the while clamoring for their own personally-reported bugs to be fixed immediately.  Given this climate, anything that looks like it makes your life more complex is going to be summarily rejected.

If I had the choice of applying a random and arbitrary combination of individual family packs (e.g. FWK.H + AD.I + XDO.H) or applying a single Consolidated Update (e.g. 11.5.10.CU2), I'd choose the latter without hesitation.  If I had had the choice, Consolidated Updates are unquestionably what I'd choose.

Pulling Back the Curtain

The recommendation to apply a much larger patchset with broader impact might seem irrational, especially given what I just acknowledged is the typical IT environment.  But bear with me:  this may make more sense if I give you a glimpse into our development and testing processes.

How Consolidated Updates are Tested

Consolidated Updates (CU) are tested by the entire E-Business Suite development division in a central testing environment.  In fact, Consolidated Updates are repeatedly tested in multiple iterations of these centralized testing environments, some built for automated regression testing, others for cross-product integration flows (e.g. "Order to Cash"), and even others built for internationalization testing with NLS character sets and localizations. 

We also test multiple migration paths to a given Consolidated Update.  For example, the 11.5.10.CU2 Consolidated Update was tested on top of the 11.5.9 Rapid Install, 11.5.9.CU2, the 11.5.10 Rapid Install, and 11.5.10.CU1.

On top of all that, Consolidated Updates are tested in a variety of so-called "advanced architectural configurations" that include load-balancers, DMZs, Single Sign-On, Discoverer, SSL, RAC, different JInitiator versions, different native Sun Java (JRE) plug-ins, different desktop platforms (e.g. Windows and Mac OS X), and so on. 

And then, just because we have too much free time on our hands, the Consolidated Updates are tested on various operating system platforms, including Solaris, HP-UX, IBM AIX, and so on.

How Individual Family Packs are Tested

Individual Family Packs are tested by their respective product teams.  They receive product team manual testing and automated regression testing.  Depending on the product, they may receive some additional central testing by multiple product teams or in with advanced configurations, but this is relatively rare.

You can see that there are fundamental and profound differences in the depth and range of Consolidated Updates vs. Family Pack testing.  A Consolidated Update receives massive, intensive, coordinated testing across all E-Business Suite products.

A reasonable analogy might be:  Family Packs are to Consolidated Updates as emergency one-time patches are to Family Packs. 

The Sum of the Parts Does Not Equal the Whole

Here's something else to consider:  let's say that FIN_PF.G is in 11.5.10.CU2 (this is just an example -- I don't know if this is actually true).  Even if you install FIN_PF.G on top of 11.5.9, you aren't officially on 11.5.10.CU2 since you haven't applied the actual 11.5.10.CU2 patchset.  If you haven't explicitly applied 11.5.10.CU2 itself, Oracle Support does not consider you to be on that code level, regardless of the sum of the individual Family Packs that you might have applied.

So, when 11.5.9 is desupported, your calls to Oracle Support will prompt the usual  discussions about being on a desupported release, even though your individual family packs may be up-to-date to 11.5.10.CU2. 

Sometimes "More" is Better

Knowing all that, I always recommend applying the latest Consolidated Update instead of individual Family Packs.  This guarantees an end-run around the hassles of possible family pack incompatibilities and desupport issues.  In my view, the initial larger overhead of applying a bigger patch is far outweighed by the benefits.

I know that this will be a controversial position for some of you, so I welcome your comments. Let the debate begin...

Related

Wednesday Oct 17, 2007

Apps Technology 12.0.3 Update Now Available

In conjunction with yesterday's release of the Applications 12.0.3 Release Update  Pack, the third major update for the Apps Release 12 technology stack is now available for download from Metalink:

ATG Patch 6077669 screenshot: Screenshot of download screen for Oracle Applications Technology Software Update 12.0.3 patch 6077669

Family Pack Updates vs. Release Update Packs

New readers might have missed previous discussions about naming standards. To recap:  in Release 11i, we have these things called Rollup Patches, which
inexplicably became known as "RUPs."  Release 11i Rollup Patches contain patches for a single product family (e.g. ATG Family Pack H Rollup 4).

In Release 12, we're now shipping these things called Release Update Packs.  Given the way that neologisms form, it's inevitable that these will be called "RUPs" too.  The difference is that the R12 Release Update Packs combine patches created across several E-Business Suite product families. 

The patch that we're announcing today only includes updates for the Applications Technology family of products, that is, the technology stack for the E-Business Suite Release 12.  This patch does not include updates to the functional applications like Financials or HRMS.  For information about the broader Apps 12.0.3 Release Update Pack, see:
This ATG rollup patch includes all fixes released on top of ATG Family Pack A, including those released in the following updates:
Since this is the third update to the Release 12 technology stack, its official (admittedly cryptic) name is: R12.ATG_PF.A.DELTA.3.

Prerequisites

You must apply the R12.AD.A.DELTA.3 (patch 6272715) before applying this ATG rollup patch.  For more information about that prerequisite AD patch, see Oracle Applications DBA Software Updates, Release 12.0.3 (Metalink Note 454385.1).

This ATG Family
Pack update can be applied on top of the following:
What's New?

Regardless of what it's called, the third Applications technology stack update for Release 12 contains the following new features:
  • Oracle Application Framework


    HGrid 'Record Set Size' Property - For an HGrid (hierarchical grid), the Record Set Size property on nodeDefinition items can be personalized by administrators. When the Expand All feature of an HGrid is being used, setting the Record Set Size for child nodes limits the number of child records displayed for each parent record at that level of the HGrid. This improves the display performance for very large HGrids.


  • Oracle Applications Technology Stack


    Customizable Directory Information Trees (DIT) and configurable Relative Distinguished Names (RDN) - These features are now supported for use in
    Oracle E-Business Suite environments integrated with Single Sign-On 10g. Default values no longer have to be used. For further details, see the Oracle System Administrator's Guide - Security at Oracle E-Business Suite Online Documentation Library Release 12+.


  • Oracle Diagnostics


    Oracle Diagnostics has enhanced support for long-running tests as well as tests that generate large reports. See the Oracle Applications Supportability
    Guide at Oracle E-Business Suite Online Documentation Library Release 12+ for more details.


  • Oracle XML Gateway


    Notifying Transaction Owners for Errored Transactions - To manage transactions errors more efficiently, Oracle XML Gateway now lets you associate a transaction owner with a transaction type in the Define Transactions form. If an error occurs in a transaction of that type, Oracle XML Gateway sends a notification to the transaction owner in addition to the Oracle XML Gateway system administrator and trading partner contact. This notification allows the transaction owner and system administrator to act on the error if needed. See the Oracle XML Gateway User's Guide at
    Oracle E-Business Suite Online Documentation Library Release 12+ for more details.

    Automatic Reprocessing of Errored Transactions After Notification Timeout - Oracle XML Gateway uses two new profile options to manage
    notification timeouts proactively if no explicit action was taken on an error notification. The ECX: Notification Timeout profile option sets the timeout period, measured in minutes, for a notification. The ECX: Maximum Retries profile option sets the maximum number of times that Oracle XML Gateway will automatically reprocess the errored transaction after the notification timeout period.
    See the Oracle XML Gateway User's Guide at Oracle E-Business Suite Online Documentation Library Release 12+ for more details.
What's Been Fixed?

In addition to those new features, this update contains fixes for the following areas:
  • Oracle Application Object Library (AOL)
  • Oracle Report Manager
  • Oracle Applications Technology Stack
  • Oracle Web Applications Desktop Integrator (WebADI)
  • Oracle Workflow
  • Oracle XML Publisher
For a complete list of the contents of this update, see:
Related

Tuesday Oct 16, 2007

Apps Release 12.0.3 Release Update Pack Now Available

 

The third major update for Apps Release 12 is now available for download from Metalink:

Patch 6141000 download screenshot: Screenshot of download screen for Applications 12.0.3 Release Update Pack 3 patch 6141000

A RUP by Any Other Name...

To revisit oft-confused terminology once again:  In Release 11i, we have these things called Rollup Patches, which inexplicably became known as "RUPs."  Release 11i Rollup Patches contain patches for a single product family (e.g. ATG Family Pack H Rollup 4).

In Release 12, we're now shipping these things called Release Update Packs.  Given the way that neologisms form, it's inevitable that these
will be called "RUPs" too.  The difference is that the R12 Release Update Packs combine patches created across several E-Business Suite product families. 

If you're paying attention, it should be dawning on you about now that "Release Update Packs" in Release 12 are the equivalent of
"Consolidated Updates" in Release 11i.  These are big, important patches.

What's New in Release Update Pack 3?

Regardless of what it's called, the third Release Update Pack for Release 12 contains fixes for the following areas, with details in the listed
Metalink Notes:
Includes October 2007 Critical Patch Updates

Just like the previous Apps 12.0.1 Release Update Pack and Apps 12.0.2 Release Update Pack, there's a gem buried in all of this:  the Apps 12.0.3 Release Update Patch includes all of the security fixes released in the October 2007 Critical Update Patch (CPUOct2007).

Upgrading the Whole Thing or Just Specific Parts?

If you're looking for the latest new functionality, fixes, and updates for all Release 12 functional applications and the E-Business Suite's technology stack, apply the Apps 12.0.3 Release Update Pack.

You can also update specific Apps functional applications (such as Financials, Supply Chain, or Human Resources).  See the Metalink Notes
for each of the individual products listed above.

If you're just interested in getting the latest Apps technology stack updates and don't wish to update your functional applications, you can apply just
the Oracle Applications Technology Software Update 12.0.3 (Patch 6077669), also known as R12.ATG_PF.A.DELTA.3. 

More details about new Applications Technology Stack features and updates can be found in this article.

Related

Friday Oct 12, 2007

Latest Apps 11i Techstack (ATG RUP 6) Now Available

Here's another big release this week:  the latest Family Pack H Rollup 6 for the E-Business Suite Release 11i technology stack is now available for download from Metalink.

ATG RUP 6 download page screenshot: Screenshot of download page for patch 5903765 (technology stack update) for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i

The official name for this patch is:
In other words, this is the sixth consolidated rollup of patches released on top of 11i.ATG_PF.H.  For the Oracryptoanalysts out there who like to track nomenclature variants of these things, this patch is also referred to as the Applications Technology Group (ATG) Family Pack H Rollup 6. 

This Rollup patch is a collection of technology-stack patches that can safely be applied on top of the ATG Family Pack H. This Rollup patch is cumulative:  all previous patches released for Family Pack H since the initial 11.5.10 release, including Rollup 5, are included in this latest patch.  Rollup 5 is superceded by this latest Rollup.

Why Is This Rollup Important?

As with the previous ATG Rollup 5, we've spent a huge amount of effort both within the Applications Technology Group and across the entire Applications Suite to test and certify this Rollup patch.

Our focus for this latest Rollup has been to consolidate all known safe defect fixes, performance improvements and security enhancements into one well integrated and fully certified update.  We also focused on eliminating as many "co-requisite" patches as possible (application product patches required to interoperate with new ATG Rollups), by working to restore backward compatibility with earlier application levels wherever possible.

Our standing recommendation is that all customers should make plans to move to Rollup 6 as quickly as possible, especially any customers who are not already at ATG Rollup 5.

Changes and Fixes in Rollup 6

Oracle Applications Technology 11i.ATG_PF.H.delta.6 (RUP6) contains Oracle Applications Technology (ATG) security fixes for core ATG products from the January 2005 Critical Patch Update (CPUJan2005) through the July 2007 Critical Patch Update (CPUJul2007).

The following core ATG products are included in 11i.ATG_PF.H.delta.6: FND, OAM, OWF, FWK, JTT, JTA, TXK, XDO, ECX, EC, AK, ALR, UMX, BNE, and FRM.

ATG Family Pack H Rollup 6 (11i.ATG_PF.H RUP 6, Patch 5903765) includes a range of new features and bug fixes for:
  • Oracle Applications Framework (OAF)
  • Oracle Application Object Library (AOL)
  • AutoConfig
  • Oracle Workflow
Prerequisites

Oracle Applications Technology ATG_PF.H RUP6 can be applied only to an existing Oracle Applications Release 11i system running Oracle Applications Technology Family Pack 11i.ATG_PF.H, which is included in Oracle Applications Release 11.5.10. If you don't already have a running Release 11.5.10 system, then you must first install the Oracle E-Business Suite 11.5.10 or patch up to Applications Technology Family Pack 11i.ATG_PF.H.

Special Advisory for Single Sign-On 10g Users

The SSO 10g Integration patch for Rollup 6 (Patch 6117031) has been released concurrently with this patch.  It is available immediately for download.  Details about upgrading your SSO-integrated environment to use this patch can be found in the latest version of Metalink Note 233436.1.

Related

Wednesday Sep 19, 2007

New Rapid Install StartCD (12.0.0.23) for Release 12 Now Available

[Oct 8, 2007 Update:  Some bug numbers got scrambled in translation.  Replaced references to bug 5956908 with 6202335; 6044912 with 956908; 6202335 with 6044912.]

How fast they grow up.  It seems like just yesterday that a new StartCD was released for E-Business Suite Release 12.  Here's another one.

Release 12 Rapid Install screenshot: Screenshot of E-Business Suite Release 12 Rapid Install Wizard

A new Rapid Install startCD for E-Business Suite Release 12 is now available for download from Metalink:

This new Rapid Install startCD (Version 12.0.0.23) fixes almost two dozen installation-related issues for Release 12.  It includes all of the fixes from previously released StartCD updates, too.

This patch can be uncompressed on top of any previous R12 startCD under the main staging area.  Following our standard support policies, this is
the only startCD version supported at this point.  If you report problems with prior R12 startCDs, it's likely that you'll be asked to apply this version before advanced debugging can proceed.

What's New?

This new startCD has five high-priority fixes:
  • 5731721 - EXTRA BACKSLASHES INSERTED INTO SYSTEM PATH DURING INSTALL

    This issue prevented the application of Oracle Universal Installer (OUI) patches to the ORACLE_HOMEs.  Installations performed with startCD 12.0.0.22 that already faced this problem can be fixed with emergency patch 6080584.

  • 5747646 - RAPIDWIZ: DEPENDENCIES BETWEEN SERVICES FOR MULTI-NODE

    Added a dependency on the Service Activation screen.  In the past, users required Root privileges to activate web-related services.  In this release, users selected web-related services will automatically activate the Web Entry Point, Root, and Web Services.

  • 6202335 - ORAPARAM.INI FOR HP IA64 FROM IAS NEED TO BE INCLUDED ON STARTCD

    Additional Oracle Universal Installer files added for HP Itanium platforms.

  • 5956908 - R12 HARD CODED VALUES FOR APPS AND APPLSYS CREATED DURING UPGRADE

    Additional enhancements the upgrade scripts to accommodate customers who don't use the default APPS and APPLSYS user names.

  • 6044912 - RAPID INSTALL DOESN'T USE DB TIER DOMAIN INSTEAD USES APPS TIER'S

    In multi-domain environments (e.g. environments with both ".us.oracle.com" and ".ar.oracle.com"), the Apps node was incorrectly setting some context variables (e.g. "s_dbdomain") with the incorrect local domain.
This release also contains fixes for the following issues:
  • 5717282 - WORLD WRITABLE FILES LEFT BY RAPID INSTALL
  • 5754355 - ADD A NOTE FOR "DEVELOPER 10G 10.1.2" IN THE INITIAL SCREEN
  • 5852355 - 'S_ENV_LANGS' CONTAINS EXTRA '}'
  • 5895353 - R12 MIXED NODE INSTALL FAILS WITH WINDOWS AND LINUX
  • 5908343 - ADCROBJ.CMD FAILS WITH SP2-0640: NOT CONNECTED
  • 5978329 - RAPID INSTALL POST CHECKS FAIL IN WINDOWS WITH STARTCD 12.0.0.22
  • 5960709 - MULTI-TIER INSTALL FAILS WITH RW-00003 ON APPS NODE
  • 6042240 - ADCROBJ.CMD NEEDS TO BE INCLUDED ON THE STARTCD
  • 6039806 - ADRUNAT.SH NEEDS TO COPY ADXMLCTX.TMP AND ADCTXINF.TMP TO S_ADTOP/ADMIN/TEMPLATE
  • 6080584 - FIX FOR EXISTING ENVIRONMENTS THAT FACED EXTRA BACKSLASHES ON SYSTEM PATH
  • 6217217 - STARTCD 12.0.0.23 FAILS ON POST INSTALL CHECKS
  • 6164353 - RAPIDWIZ PICKS UP WRONG O/S PLATFORM IN HP-UX ITANIUM SERVER
  • 6080494 - RAPIDINSTALL FIXES FOR WINDOWS
  • 6039796 - COPY FILES TO APPL_TOP FROM STARTCD
  • 6204852 - COULD NOT FIND UNZIP ON HP-UX ITANIUM
  • 6325880 - UPGRADE: CONFIGURE UPGRADED INSTANCE SHOWS UNCLEAR CONTEXT FILE
  • 6325973 - RAPIDWIZ SHOWS INCORRECT ORACLE_HOMES ON THE DOINSTALLPANEL
  • 6377963 - RAPIDWIZ -TECHSTACK DOESN'T LAY DOWN THE TECHSTACK
Related

Tuesday Jul 31, 2007

Update to Release 12.0.2 RUP

If you downloaded the E-Business Suite Release 12.0.2 Release Update Pack (RUP2) as soon as it became available, you have already received a private email about a potential issue with that download. 

Patch 5484000 screenshot: Screenshot of download screen for E-Business Suite Release 12.0.2 Release Update Pack (RUP2) patch 5484000

I'm posting that notice here for readers whose spam filters might have intercepted that email:

On Wednesday July 18, an issue was identified related to the packaging of patch 5484000, Oracle E-Business Suite 12.0.2 Release Update Pack (RUP2). Users attempting to run the Patch Application Assistant by entering admsi.pl (Item 2 in the Instructions for Applying This Patch) received the following error:


ERROR:
/r12patches/5484000/per/patch/115/manualsteps/per_hrglobal.xml (No such file or
directory)


This issue was quickly identified and resolved, but it required us to pull back and re-issue the patch.  Therefore, any customer who downloaded
RUP2 on July 17th or 18th (18th/19th APAC) should re-download the current version of the RUP2 patch
. To confirm that you have the updated patch:


1. Generate the md5 checksum of the file you have previously downloaded.


Syntax example for Linux:



md5sum p5484000_R12_LINUX_1of2.zip
md5sum
p5484000_R12_LINUX_2of2.zip


2. Compare the values returned to the MD5 values reported for the files to the following values.  If the values match then you have the revised version of the patch.  If the values do not match then please obtain the updated version of patch 5484000 from Metalink Patch download page.


Linux x86 and Linux x86-64


  • p5484000_R12_LINUX_1of2.zip MD5 734A223FF79E91AA09EBF6DC98ABBC81
  • p5484000_R12_LINUX_2of2.zip MD5 F9053ED2878155E3883728831B7A7271

HP-UX PA-RISC (64 bit)


  • p5484000_R12_HPUX64_1of2.zip MD5 7899773B7DCD0A3AC52659C07EAD95ED
  • p5484000_R12_HPUX64_2of2.zip MD5 CC55220910FA3C2556F994C92249AFA9

Microsoft Windows (32 bit)


  • p5484000_R12_WINNT_1of2.zip MD5 A8B798E233E23F6931ACD9EE1B5E01FC
  • p5484000_R12_WINNT_2of2.zip MD5 FB7A304E6764D20A9DB42FBB7907485F

AIX5L Based Systems (64 bit)


  • p5484000_R12_AIX64-5L_1of2.zip MD5 3E83B901D1A4DDA1D3455431BB06C912
  • p5484000_R12_AIX64-5L_2of2.zip MD5 609219815D52E113827F9B0102CED6CC

Solaris Operating System (SPARC 64-bit)


  • p5484000_R12_SOLARIS64_1of2.zip MD5 864AA35F8DB679C41D35410B82895777
  • p5484000_R12_SOLARIS64_2of2.zip MD5 E1E4C13B11F72F5206EA61AA868B3ED1

HP-UX Itanium


  • p5484000_R12_HPUX-IA64_1of2.zip MD5 FB4D70D832C1D6A80840836CB0893886
  • p5484000_R12_HPUX-IA64_2of2.zip MD5 01922BDDC7FE7F2C473EC5A85D397A37

We apologize for any inconvenience this error may have caused.


Sincerely,
Oracle Applications Support

Related

Wednesday Jul 18, 2007

Apps 12.0.2 Release Update Pack Now Available

The second major update for Apps Release 12 is now available for download from Metalink:

A RUP by Any Other Name...

To revisit oft-confused terminology once again:  In Release 11i, we have these things called Rollup Patches, which inexplicably became known as "RUPs."  Release 11i Rollup Patches contain patches for a single product family (e.g. ATG Family Pack H Rollup 4).

In Release 12, we're now shipping these things called Release Update Packs.  Given the way that neologisms form, it's inevitable that these will be called "RUPs" too.  The difference is that the R12 Release Update Packs combine patches created across several E-Business Suite product families. 

If you're paying attention, it should be dawning on you about now that "Release Update Packs" in Release 12 are the equivalent of "Consolidated Updates" in Release 11i.  These are big, important patches.

What's New in Release Update Pack 2?

Regardless of what it's called, the second Release Update Pack for Release 12 contains fixes for the following areas, with details in the listed Metalink Notes:
For a more in-depth look at the changes in the Applications Technology area, see yesterday's article:
Includes July 2007 Critical Patch Updates

Just like the previous Apps 12.0.1 Release Update Pack, there's a little gem buried in all of this:  this Apps 12.0.2 Release Update Patch includes all of the security fixes released in the July 2007 Critical Update Patch (CPUJul2007).

Upgrading the Whole Thing or Just Specific Parts?

If you're looking for the latest new functionality, fixes, and updates for all Release 12 functional applications and the E-Business Suite's technology stack, apply the Apps 12.0.2 Release Update Pack.

You can also update specific Apps functional applications (such as Financials, Supply Chain, or Human Resources).  See the Metalink Notes for each of the individual products listed above.

If you're just interested in getting the latest Apps technology stack updates and don't wish to update your functional applications, you can apply just the Oracle Applications Technology Software Update 12.0.2 (Patch 5917344), also known as R12.ATG_PF.A.DELTA.2. 

Related

Friday May 25, 2007

Release 12 Upgrade Forum Now Open

A group of users at the recent OAUG Collaborate conference in Las Vegas pooled business cards after a Release 12-related session.  Their goal:  "to share their thoughts, upgrade feedback, and driving forces for moving to R12." 


We'd like to help that group -- and you, of course -- collaborate and share experiences on this upgrade.  You're not alone.  As of early April, over 225 customers were actively working with Release 12, and almost a thousand downloads had been logged (at 41 GB, not a task for the only-mildly-curious).  Those numbers have certainly increased since then.


We've created a new discussion forum on the Oracle Technology Network:
I'm not an upgrade specialist, but I've (rather nervously) volunteered to monitor that forum and jump in where I can.  I suspect I'll be acting like a human router between forum participants and Oracle development.  This is in addition to my regular responsibilities (like this blog), so I'm bracing myself...

Monday May 07, 2007

OracleAS 10g Upgrade Paths

[May 9, 2007 Update:  Corrected legend typo from OCSM to OCMS.  "OCMS" represents Oracle Communication & Mobility Server.  Elaborated on certification stance to remind readers that although OracleAS 10g 10.1.3 is part of Release 12's techstack, it can't be upgraded in place right now.]


There are a lot of Oracle Application Server 10g releases.  I find it challenging to keep them straight myself, so I can only imagine how hard it must be for you to sort out upgrade paths between the various releases.  In response to popular demand at this year's Collaborate conference, here are my personal cheatsheet diagrams that I use to find upgrade paths between the various OracleAS 10g releases. 



A Hand-Drawn Map Through the Woods

A word of caution:  I've reviewed this information with our Oracle Application Server Release Managers, but these charts don't represent official documentation from Oracle Application Server Development.  In fact, I'm not sure that any single piece of official documentation captures this kind of information.  So, if there are any conflicts between what I show here and the official documentation, the latter prevails (and let me know, so I can fix my own diagrams).

Distinguishing Between the Two Major OracleAS 10g Releases

There are a couple of things you should bear in mind before reading these:


  1. The OracleAS 10g components used by the E-Business Suite -- Single Sign-On, Oracle Internet Directory, Discoverer, Business Intelligence, Portal, Web Cache, and Oracle Integration (including BPEL 10g) -- are released in the 10.1.2/10.1.4 codeline. 


  2. The OracleAS 10g 10.1.3.x codeline is the J2EE-only subset of OracleAS 10g.  These products are released on their own codeline and have a completely separate upgrade roadmap.  We don't certify any integrations between the E-Business Suite Release 11i and these products, although Release 12 includes 10.1.3 as its Java ORACLE_HOME.   I'm including my diagrams for this group, too, so you can see how the releases relate to each other.
How to Read the Diagrams

Here's a legend for reading the following diagrams:


Updated Legend:


If you haven't installed any OracleAS 10g releases before, you can start with any of the fresh install versions (marked with solid borders).  You can only apply incremental patchsets (marked with dashed borders) to an existing environment previously built with a fresh install version.

Releases Useful for E-Business Suite Integrations

The following chart shows upgrade paths between releases that are relevant to E-Business Suite sysadmins interested in using Oracle Application Server 10g components.  These components include Single Sign-On, Oracle Internet Directory, Discoverer, Business Intelligence, Portal, Web Cache, and Oracle Integration (including BPEL 10g and Business Activity Monitoring 10g).


Oracle Application Server 10g Upgrade Paths:

(click on the diagram for a larger version)

Reading the chart, you can see that it's possible to upgrade from Oracle Application Server 10g 10.1.2.0.0 to the 10.1.2.2.0 Patchset.   Once you've done that, it's possible to install Portal 10.1.4.0.0 on top of that upgraded environment.

A different path shows that it's possible to upgrade your OracleAS 10g 10.1.2.0.2 environment to the 10.1.2.2.0 Patchset. 

Likewise, if you've installed OracleAS 10g 10.1.2.0.2 and upgraded that environment to use the latest Oracle Identity Management 10.1.4.0.1 release (marked as "IM"), you can upgrade that environment, in turn, to the 10.1.2.2.0 Patchset.

The "Other" OracleAS 10g Release

The diagram below is relevant for customers who are building their own J2EE applications using OracleAS 10g development tools, including Business Process Execution Language (BPEL), Business Activity Monitoring (BAM), Oracle Web Services Manager (OWSM), and Enterprise Service Bus (ESB).  With the exception of BPEL and BAM, E-Business Suite Release 11i users don't generally use any of the following releases, but I'm including this chart for the sake of completeness.  Release 12 includes OracleAS 10g 10.1.3 in its techstack but it can't be upgraded in place to a later version right now.


J2EE Upgrade Paths:

(click on the diagram for a larger version)

A Final Word about Version Numbers

For reasons too tortuous to go into here (and because I don't really understand them myself), Oracle Application Server version numbers don't necessarily correspond to the order in which a particular patchset was released.  They also don't mean that you can apply a higher version on top of an older version. 

For example, the 10.1.3.2.0 Patchset was released after the 10.1.4.0.1 Identity Management (IM) release.  Since they're on separate codelines, you can't apply the 10.1.4.0.1 Identity Management release on top of the 10.1.3.2.0 Patchset.  That's not a meaningful combination since they're different products entirely. 

When in Doubt, Contact Oracle Support

It is not without some misgivings that I post this information here.  As is usually the case when wading into this area, these charts and their accompanying examples might have helped some of you but confused others. 

Remember, I'm part of E-Business Suite Development, not Oracle Application Server Development.  In some ways, I'm a passerby in these parts, just like you.  So, if you do need more help in assessing the viability of a particular upgrade for your environment, it's advisable to go directly to the source:  Oracle Support is always your best option for getting a definitive answer to your questions.

Related


Thursday Apr 26, 2007

Apps 12.0.1 Release Update Pack Now Available

The first major update for Apps Release 12 is now available for download from Metalink:

A RUP by Any Other Name...

A short word about terminology is needed before I go much further.  In Release 11i, we have these things called Rollup Patches, which inexplicably became known as "RUPs."  Release 11i Rollup Patches contain patches for a single product family (e.g. ATG Family Pack H Rollup 4).

In Release 12, we're now shipping these things called Release Update Packs.  Given the way that neologisms form, it's inevitable that these will be called "RUPs" too.  The difference is that the R12 Release Update Packs combine patches created across several E-Business Suite product families. 

If you're paying attention, it should be dawning on you about now that "Release Update Packs" in Release 12 are the equivalent of "Consolidated Updates" in Release 11i.  These are big, important patches.

What's New in Release Update Pack 1?

Regardless of what it's called, the first Release Update Pack for Release 12 contains fixes for the following areas, with details in the listed Metalink Notes:
Drilling down into the areas updated for Applications Technology, you'll find updates for the following techstack components:
  • Oracle Alert - R12.ALR.A.Delta.1  
  • Oracle Application Object Library, which includes:
    • Oracle Applications Manager
    • Oracle Application Framework
    • Oracle CRM Technology Foundation
    • Oracle Workflow
  • Oracle Applications Technology Stack
  • Oracle e-Commerce Gateway
  • Oracle Common Application Components
  • Oracle Common Modules
  • Oracle iSetup
  • Oracle Report Manager
  • Oracle User Management
  • Oracle Web Applications Desktop Integrator
  • Oracle XML Publisher
Includes April 2007 Critical Patch Updates

There's a little gem buried in all of this:  This Release Update Patch includes all of the security fixes released in the April 2007 Critical Update Patch (CPUApr2007). 

Related

Thursday Apr 12, 2007

New Rapid Install StartCD (12.0.0.22) for Release 12

A new Rapid Install startCD, patch 5885627, for E-Business Suite Release 12 is now available for download from Metalink.  This new Rapid Install startCD (Version 12.0.0.22) fixes a dozen installation-related issues for Release 12.

Release 12 Rapid Install screenshot: Screenshot of E-Business Suite Release 12 Rapid Install Wizard

This patch can be uncompressed on top of any previous R12 startCD under the main staging area.  Following our standard support policies, this is the only startCD version supported at this point.  If you report problems with prior R12 startCDs, it's likely that you'll be asked to apply this version before advanced debugging can proceed.

What's New?

This new startCD has two high-priority fixes:
  • 5939781 : INVALID ORACLE HOME NAME FORMAT (HYPHEN)
  • 5947071 : CONVERT
    CHARACTER SET (ADDCCNV.SQL) FAILS WITH ORA-600
The first fix resolves a problem where the registration of the ORACLE_HOME fails if the machine name has a hyphen (e.g.
atg-sun.us.oracle.com).  The second fix resolves a problem where the database conversion fails with ORA-600 on Windows platforms.

In addition, the new startCD also fixes the following bugs:
  • 5757402 : EDIT PATHS FORM NOT RETAINING PATHS IF YOU NAVIGATE
    BACKWARDS
  • 5769619 : ADAUTOSTG.PL MENU ENHANCEMENT
  • 5735127 : CURRENT
    INSTALL MECHANISM DOES NOT SUPPORT FOR NEW OS VERSIONS
  • 5754396 : RI.RIW:
    RAPIDWIZ DOES NOT PRESERVE VALUES ON TRAVERSING
  • 5860525 : UNINSTANTIATED
    VARIABLES TEST FAILS
  • 5916075 : SILENT INSTALL IS FAILING ON
    WINDOWS
  • 5893147 : POST CHECKS FAIL AFTER USING RAPID INSTALL TO UPDATE
    CONFIGURATION
  • 5922016 : JDBC CONNECTION TEXT SHOULD BE GENERIC
  • 5893659 :
    SILENT INSTALL IS FAILING WITH JAVA EXCEPTION
  • 5934198 : AT RAPIDWIZ SESSION, ADDBCCNV.SQL
    : ORA-01012: NOT LOGGED ON
Related

Friday Mar 16, 2007

Upgrading Oracle HTTP Server for Release 11i

The Oracle HTTP Server (OHS) 1.0.2.2 is based on Apache with Oracle mods, and serves as the web listener for the E-Business Suite Release 11i.  I suspect that one our best kept techstack secrets is that Oracle HTTP Server used in Apps 11i can -- and should -- be upgraded to the latest version available. 


11i Architecture:

We periodically release new versions of OHS to address performance, stability, and security issues.  These new versions are released in "rollup" patches and are certified with a minimum level of the ATG Family pack.  These rollup patches also include fixes for the Database Client, Mod_Plsql, and WebCache.

The latest patch available is Rollup 5, which can be downloaded via patch 4393827.  This patch can be used with TXK (FND) AUTOCONFIG TEMPLATE ROLLUP PATCH K (July 2005) Patch 4104924 and higher.  This rollup contains a large number of important fixes, too many fixes to list here comprehensively.  Here's an excerpt from the README:
  • 4393898 - SECURITY BUGS FIXED IN
    CPUJUL2005
  • 4199473 - SECURITY BUGS FIXED IN CPUAPR2005
  • 4049349 - SECURITY BUGS FIXED IN CPUJAN2005
  • 3811838 - SECURITY BUGS FIXED IN ALERT 68

  • 2169002 - HTTP 1.1 SUPPORT IN MOD_PROXY
  • 3267065 - SSL FAILS WITH SSLPROTOCOL WHEN ROLLUP4 APPLIED
  • 3351007 - ENABLING ROTATE LOGS INTERMITANTLY DELAYS SHUTDOWN
  • 3501964 - ALLOW EVENT.OCCURRED() TO NOT BE CALLED FROM SESSION.GETVALUE() IN
    APACHEJSERV
  • 3698788 - PROXY_HTTP.C CHANGES FOR SITEMINDER REVERSE PROXY SOLUTION
  • 3840903 - APPS:URL'S REWRITTEN WITH REWRITE NOT WORKING  ON NT (SAME RULES
    WORK ON UNIX)
  • 3477543 - SCRIPT_NAME AND PATH_INFO CANNOT HANDLE 0X5C IN THE URL

  • 3197147   - JVM CRASHES ON AN E-BIZ 11.5.9 ENVIRONMENT CONFIGURED TO
    USE SSL

  • 3889519   - UPLOAD IN SSL DOES NOT WORK WITH IE AFTER SECALERT 68 OR
    DB PATCH 9015
  • 2363247   - UNNECESSARY BITMAP PATH GENERATION AND BITMAP MEM
    ALLOCATION
  • 2379325   - WRONG COST CALCULATED AT KPRCDT
  • 2410612   - CONVENTIONAL EXPORT HAS WRONG DATA ON IMPORT
  • 2528524   - CLEAR TEXT PASSWORDS IN TRACE FILE
This patch is highly recommended for all E-Business Suite Release 11i customers.  Judging from the download statistics for this patch, it's likely that you don't have the latest release in your environment.  Given the inclusion of security-related fixes in this patch, I'd urge you to schedule an upgrade to this version at your earliest convenience.

For more details about Oracle HTTP Server rollup certifications with the E-Business Suite, see:
Related

Thursday Feb 15, 2007

Choosing Between Release 12 or 11i

One of the most frequently asked questions at OpenWorld was, "Should I upgrade to 11.5.10 or Release 12?"  Release 12 wasn't available at that time, and we couldn't even discuss possible release dates, so the answer was further complicated by the uncertainty of when an upgrade could actually be started.  Now that Release 12 is available, the answer is a bit simpler. 

Release 12 website screenshot:

Not About the Technology Stack

First, I should emphasize that even though you're reading a website dedicated to technology stack topics, the answer to this question is not about the relative merits about the technology stack for the respective E-Business Suite releases.  At the heart of the choice between Release 11i and 12 is a hierarchy of business decisions, decisions that require broad and deep input from the stakeholders in your end-user community.

Assessing the Business Benefits

Back in the days when I was a management consultant, a system selection project could run for months (if not years).  As with all business decisions in large organizations, your costs and benefits will likely be weighted by qualitative and political considerations, too.  With that in mind, I should emphasize that a comprehensive system selection framework is far beyond the scope of this article. At minimum, if you're deliberating between a Release 11i (11.5.10) or 12 upgrade, I would recommend checking that your existing system selection framework includes variants of the following questions:
  1. What's the prioritized list of applications that your business users use today?  What are the differences in Release 11i and Release 12 functionality for those applications?

  2. What business advantages, process improvements, and new organizational capabilities will be possible with the new Release 12 features?

  3. What are the new architectural or deployment capabilities in Release 12?  How will these new capabilities improve system performance, scalability, availability, manageability, and security?

  4. What investments have you made in adapting your organization to Release 11i, and vice versa?  This might include:
    • Employee, partner, vendor, and supplier training
    • Customizations and personalizations, including custom Forms, OA Framework screens, workflows, concurrent programs, and reports
    • Integrations with third-party systems

  5. Which of your customizations, extensions, and personalizations can be replaced with new Release 12 features?  What savings will these represent?  How much of those investments will carry over to Release 12? 

  6. How will Release 12 help reduce your operational costs?  What are the incremental costs of Release 12 infrastructure, relative to your current Release 11i infrastructure costs?  These costs might include server, storage, and networking hardware and licencing
Getting Help from Oracle

This might seem like a daunting task, but you're not on your own.  Remember that Oracle has field specialists who can help you work through these questions.  If you haven't already done so, you shouldn't hesitate to contact your Oracle account manager for help.  He or she can bring in specialists to describe the new features for your key applications, and even engage Development in those discussions, if  necessary.

References

Thursday Jan 25, 2007

E-Business Suite Release 12 is Generally Available

The waiting is over, and that sound you hear is cheering from Oracle Apps Development teams around the world. 

R12 Launch Event:

I am very pleased to announce that Oracle Applications E-Business Suite Release 12 -- the Global Business Release -- is now available for new and upgrading customers on all supported languages.  It's available from the Oracle Store and for download from  Oracle Electronic Product Delivery.

Enhanced Documentation in Release 12

Significant strides have been made to improve the amount of Release 12 information via MetaLink. The About Documents that accompanied releases in the past have been replaced with a single comprehensive roadmap document:
The Documentation Roadmap provides a landing pad to help you navigate through the wealth of material available, and highlights individual documentation roadmaps at the product and product family level too.

What's New in Release 12?


There are over 1,500 new features in Release 12, with significant new functionality in the Financials area.  Release 12 includes the latest in Oracle technology, including the 10gR2 Database and Oracle Application Server 10g.

For links to the published Release Content Documents for Oracle Applications, E-Business Suite Release 12, see the following document:
Release Content Documents (RCD) highlight new or changed functionality only.  Existing functionality from prior point releases is not described.  You can use the Release Content Note as a central launchpad for individual Release Content Documents for all of the E-Business Suite product families, including:
  • E-Business Suite (General)
  • Applications Technology Stack
  • Intelligence Family
  • Customer Relationship Management Family
  • Marketing & Sales Family
  • Logistics    
  • Supply Chain Management Family
  • Advanced Planning
  • Procurement Family
  • Process Manufacturing
  • Discrete Manufacturing
  • Maintenance Management
  • Customer Service Family
  • Service Execution
  • Projects Family
  • HRMS Family
  • Financials Family
  • Customer Data Management    
  • Property Manager
  • Product Lifecycle Management    
  • Order Management    
  • Student Systems
Regular readers of this website will likely be most interested in the Applications Technology Stack RCD, which covers new features for the following areas:
  • Technology Components
  • New Look and Feel - "Swan" User Interface
  • Identity Management Integration
  • Security
  • Oracle User Management
  • Functional Administration
  • Concurrent Processing
  • Oracle Applications Tablespace Model (OATM)
  • Oracle Application Framework (OAF)
  • Workflow, Messaging, and Integration
  • Oracle Applications Manager and Grid Control Plug-in for the E-Business Suite
  • Applications Installation and Configuration Management 
  • Oracle XML Publisher
  • Oracle Web Applications Desktop Integrator
  • Oracle Report Manager
  • Oracle iSetup
  • Oracle Tutor
Platform Availability

You can check the Oracle Electronic Product Delivery site for media packs for available operating system platforms.  If your specific platform isn't available yet, keep checking the site for updates.  If you plan to download this yourself, be prepared to put aside some time for the task -- there are over 70 disk images in the media pack!

Tune Into Our Launch Event

Don't forget that our launch event is still lined up for January" 31st.  If you can't join us in New York, you can still reserve a virtual seat for the online event now.

Now, you'll have to excuse me.  I need to brush the confetti out of my hair...

Wednesday Jan 10, 2007

The Software Vendor's Dilemma

Last year was another big one for us in terms of releases, and there are more new certifications and patches in the pipeline for the E-Business Suite.  This bounty creates challenges for IT managers.  In the last month or so, I've been involved in a number of customer dialogues where I've had to discuss The Software Vendor's Dilemma and its concomitant implications for IT management policies. 


The Software Vendor's Dilemma

For the limited purposes of this discussion, let's make the following assertions:
  • All software has bugs of some kind
  • A given bug will impact some customers more than others
  • Some bugs will be hidden until other bugs are fixed
  • Some bug fixes will introduce new bugs
  • Customers incur direct and indirect costs when applying bug fixes
This gives rise to The Software Vendor's Dilemma:
  • If you don't issue bug fixes quickly, some users will complain
  • If you do issue bug fixes quickly, other users will complain
The IT Manager's Dilemma

Assuming that your software vendors provide patches, that leads naturally and inevitably to the IT Manager's Dilemma:
  • If you don't apply patches, your end-users will complain
  • If you do apply patches, your end-users will complain... about maintenance downtimes and new rounds of User Acceptance Tests
Getting Concrete

So far, I've been speaking in generalities.  Let's get concrete and talk about what we do here in the Oracle Applications Technology Group.  When we fix E-Business Suite technology stack bugs, there are several major ways of getting those fixes into your hands:
  1. A small patch that fixes a single problem for a specific technology stack component
  2. A collection of patches for that particular technology stack component
    (e.g. for AutoConfig)
  3. A collection of patches for a set of interdependent technology stack components
    (e.g. Oracle Applications Framework)
  4. A collection of all patches released for all components in the Applications Technology Group product family
The further up the spectrum you go, the greater the patch's impact.  Accordingly, we subject patches in Category 4 to greater scrutiny than patches in Category 1.

Drawing the Line


Within the limited context of this discussion, one of our responsibilities here in the Applications Technology Group is to ensure that we get fixes to you as quickly as possible.  A given fix may appear in any one -- or all -- of the categories above. 

It's up to you to assess which categories of patches you should apply.  We don't have the right to dictate what patches you must install.  This is why we flag a given patch as recommended, or highly recommended, but never mandatory.

Likewise, we don't specify when you should apply them, how to test them, how to mitigate your operational risks, nor how to convince your management and business stakeholders to agree to the resulting maintenance downtimes and upgrades.  These important business questions are outside of Oracle Development's scope to answer, since their answers depend upon your own operational norms, business priorities, practices, processes, and beliefs.  That's the meat-and-potatoes of an IT manager's core responsibilities.

Some Considerations for Managing Applications Patches

I'm assuming that you already have a business framework for assessing and managing a patch's costs, benefits, and risks.  Here are some additional things from our own Oracle patching processes that you might wish to consider for E-Business Suite technology stack patches:
  • Here in Oracle, all Apps patches go through multiple staging environments, each with their own tests and exit criteria, before being deployed into production.  This may seem blindingly obvious, but I'm repeatedly surprised to hear that some of our large customers don't follow this kind of process to minimize risk.

  • DBAs, system administrators, and IT managers will have differing perspectives on the value and priority of a given patch, and input from all levels is often required to make a good operational decision.  And don't forget your end-users:  ignore their input at your own peril. 

  • All of the quarterly Critical Patch Updates are highly recommended, and we apply all of these -- without fail -- to all of our own Oracle environments

  • Individual "one-of-a-kind" emergency patches receive less testing than ATG Family Pack Rollup patches, so we only apply these to Oracle production environments when absolutely necessary, i.e. when the business benefits clearly outweigh the risks
  • We apply all ATG Family Pack Rollup patches to all critical environments as soon as they're released.  No questions, no exceptions.  These Rollup patches are cumulative and are subjected to the highest level of testing that we can bring to bear on a patch.
  • We use AutoConfig to minimize the overhead and hassle of managing a given patch's impact on configuration files.  And yes, even though we tell you not do so so, sometimes we have to customize those configuration files.  If you must customize a configuration file, follow our guidelines so that AutoConfig preserves your customizations.
  • Not all READMEs are created equal.  Our internal Oracle IT staff are not shy about telling us when a patch's README is ambiguous, misleading, or incomplete.  Their feedback can be rather pointed sometimes.  Likewise, if a patch's README leaves you baffled, log a Service Request via Metalink and get a definitive answer before applying a particular patch.
Planning For It

I don't know much, but I know these things to be true:  nobody likes going to the dentist, or mowing the lawn, or cleaning the toilet, but it's still something that you need to do regularly.  The longer you put it off, the worse it will be.

The same goes for patching your E-Business Suite environments.  Having a clearly-defined patch prioritization and management process and scheduling a few maintenance windows a year to apply Critical Patch Updates and E-Business Suite Family Packs is a lot less painful than having a Severity 1 patching crisis on the night before Thanksgiving. 

If you have tips on navigating the Scylla and Charybdis of E-Business Suite patching, I'd be delighted if you hit the Comment link and shared them with our readers.

Related

Friday Dec 15, 2006

Patch-Related Enhancements in Release 12

Patching is an integral part of an Apps DBA's operational duties, and I've previously written about some of the things we're working on to improve the whole Lifecycle Management experience. 

R12 Apps Dashboard File History Screenshot:

In his OpenWorld 2006 session, Kenneth Baxter took the wraps off some of the new patching and maintenance features coming in Release 12.  His crisp presentation is full of interesting details about the changes to the maintenance capabilities in R12's Oracle Applications Manager, notably:
  • New Patch Wizard functionality, improving the process of identifying, downloading, and analyzing recommended patches
  • Registering flagged files to understand a patch's impact on customizations
  • Improvements in determining whether given patches have been applied
  • Manual Steps Infrastructure (MSI) functionality, reducing the number and complexity of manual steps
  • Support for checking codelevels and baselines, reducing the risk of a patch "breaking" other functionality
  • Patch filters to tailor patch searches to your specific environment
  • Central access point for all patch details, including applied patch reports, timing reports, and log files
As an added bonus, his presentation is packed with R12 screenshots; you can download it here:
Related
The above 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 Jun 13, 2006

Upgrading to E-Business Suite Release 12

Editor Oct 9 Update:  See this article for a small update on upgrade paths.

There's a lot of certification work underway to ensure that it will be straightforward to upgrade to E-Business Suite Release 12.


We plan to support upgrades from any Release 11i version to Release 12.  If your environment is at any level between 11.5.1 to 11.5.10, you should be able to upgrade to Release 12.

Current things that we don't have sufficient information to comment on publicly yet:  the steps and time required to do this upgrade, and the upgrade paths from earlier Oracle Applications releases (e.g. 11.0.3, 10.7). 

The above 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.

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