Last week we held our webcast “Exclusive Insight on Oracle R12.2.4 from OpenWorld 2014″ and we had a very busy Q&A session. As we had more questions than we had time to tackle live, today we are bringing you the transcript and extra answers.
If I start an upgrade now, should I shoot for Oracle 12.2.3 or Oracle 12.2.4? Since Oracle R12.2.4 is brand new.
Well, we see many organizations asking: is it safer to go to Oracle E-Business Suite 12.2.3, since Oracle EBS 12.2.4 was only released a few months ago? Our recommendation is to go directly to Oracle 12.2.4. If you’re already doing an upgrade to Oracle 12.2.3, that is fine. Think of the upgrade in terms of patching. Quoting the blog entry at Steven Chan’s blog “Release 12.2.4 is cumulative and includes new updates as well as updates made available in one-off patches for prior 12.2 releases.”
Do we still need to do patch analysis and see what the impact will be? Is this good for non-production instances?
The patch analysis is necessary in order to check the impact on your existing customizations. There’s a point during the upgrade to Oracle 12.2 where the system will check that customizations are not in violation of the online patching standard – so you will need to have all the customizations fixed before that.
This means running the readiness report, assessing its results and making corrections according to the report’s suggestions. This is also good for non-production instances. What you can do to get your environment ready is run the readiness report now (in EBS 11i, 12.0, 12.1) and begin evaluating what needs to be done. Later on you can mitigate the suggestions of the readiness report in order to run the upgrade on your environment. This is what we recommend so that when all the customizations are standard compliant and you are ready to rake the leap to Oracle R12.2, the upgrade will go smoothly.
Is the OATS testing tool available in R12.1 and 12.2?
The good news is that OATS (Oracle Applications Testing Suite) flows run for both Oracle EBS 12.1 and Oracle EBS 12.2, so you can leverage your investment. If you’re on Oracle E-Business Suite 12.1 now you can build all your scripts – whether it’s for regression testing, stress testing, you name it – and use them in your E-Business Suite12.2 projects.
Is Oracle going continue to support OBIEE? If we want to move from OBIEE to ENDECA – does Oracle offer a path to do so?
Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) is a product which has been receiving a lot of investment. There’s a new version of OBIEE, 11g, with many new objects. For those running EBS, there’s a new release for Oracle Business Applications which is standardizing the entire stack – now you have Oracle Data Integrator, which allows you to simplify the configuration process for the BI Applications.
ENDECA for EBS, on the other hand, is a whole new suite, a new product, while OBIEE is a complement. OBIEE is a BI approach, with data warehouse, datamart, etc. ENDECA for EBS is pre-built, you can extend it, and it does have different licensing. ENDECA is a column-designed database, focused on discovering information that you can act upon within your transactional system, within your ERP solution. Both of them will continue to be supported by Oracle within its product lines.
Also, regarding ENDECA, another person was asking if you have a legacy system, whether you can connect it with ENDECA, and the answer is yes.
Do you know the roadmap for Oracle Fusion and Oracle R12? When will they merge?
We get this question very often, and we have to say that there will be no merge among those product lines. Oracle Fusion Applications, although it has an on-premise version currently, is progressively moving towards the Cloud, while the investment in Oracle E-Business Suite continues, with new features and new capabilities. So there will be no merge, but what we’ll see is that both user interfaces will become increasingly similar and you will be able to extend your Oracle E-Business Suite with functionality from Fusion Apps and have it integrated out of the box. We don’t see Fusion having the same capabilities as Oracle EBS in the short or midterm (like localizations, verticals, etc.), but there are many things in Oracle Fusion that can complement your Oracle EBS investment.
How many clients are you aware of who are running live on Oracle R12.2?
Based on comments made during OOW14, Oracle indicates that there are dozens of customers live in Oracle EBS Release 12.2. As far as IT Convergence’s work, we’ve been supporting as of now more than 10 companies on their upgrades to Oracle R12.2, most of which are upgrading from Oracle E-Business Suite 184.108.40.206.
You mentioned some benefits of the Applications Management Pack. Do I need to have Oracle?
The Application Management Pack (AMP) is a plug-in to Oracle Enterprise Manager which is a great tool with many features to improve the productivity of the Oracle EBS Administrators and DBAs. Features such as facilitating cloning processes, the patch manager, customization manager or the setup manager are excellent tools that will allow you to obtain a quick ROI.
Are globalizations ready for Oracle 12.2.4 – specifically for Brazil?
Yes, they are certified in Oracle EBS 12.2.4 but you have to validate with your 3rd party provider that their products are certified with E-Business Suite.
Can we migrate from Oracle R220.127.116.11 to Oracle R12.2.4 directly?
Yes, there’s a direct path from Oracle 18.104.22.168 to Oracle 12.2.4. It will be a two-step process: the first is getting your application to 12.2.0. For more information regarding the upgrade steps you can download the book called “Oracle E-Business Suite Upgrade Guide Release 11i to 12.2” .
Once you’re in Oracle 12.2.0, the second step is upgrading to Oracle 12.2.4. There’s a document in My Oracle Support with very good information: Scenarios for Getting Started With Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.2 (Doc ID 1587195.1)
Is Oracle R12.2 Online patching only functional patching or does it cover database patching as well?
Not sure what you refer to when you say “functional patching,” but we’ll answer as broadly as possible. Online patching is a new patching process for Oracle E-Business Suite which might include changes in the application server as well the database objects. Keep in mind that it is related to Oracle E-Business Suite, so for instance if there’s a database patch that will need downtime of your database itself, this will affect your E-Business Suite environment.
Up to what point in time can we revert the process of applying the Oracle R12.2 Online patch in case we decide not to do so?
You can revert the process of applying patches with the new online patching cycle up to the cutover phase. Once you’re in the cutover phase then the roll back must be done with backup.
Can we still apply patches in the traditional way for Oracle R12.2 upgrades?
Once you performed the upgrade to Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.2 then the only way to apply patches is through the online patching cycle.
For Oracle R12.2 Online patching to be more effective, is it required to separate custom objects (tables/views) out of APPS schema (which are not standard to be created on APPS instance directly) i.e. keep it on custom schema & put a synonym on Apps?
The best practice if you have custom objects or custom schemas that need to be tightly integrated with Oracle E-Business Suite is:
– Create custom schema, following the naming standards
– Register the custom schema
– Determine and set install group number
– Create custom objects and grant access to APPS schema. Note: consider Multi-org
– Drop duplicate code objects
When will the Mobile App be available for non-iPhone devices?
Oracle has not provides dates yet, but based on comments from the Oracle Development team, seems like we’re only weeks away from seeing native mobile applications in Google Play.
How does Oracle EBS integrate with the mobile phone and tablet? What are the DMZ requirements?
Oracle has made major investments on native mobile applications, but as of today, they’re only certified for internal intranet deployments. This means that means that you’ll have to connect to the intranet via a VPN connection to access the applications. However, in the announcement of the new mobile apps, Oracle has mentioned that they will be addressing this issue in the short term by adding more options.
Is the Oracle SOA Suite optional or mandatory in Oracle 12.2? Does it require us to purchase a separate full use license, or is it an Application Specific license with zero incremental cost?
SOA Suite is part of E-Business Suite R12.2. It does not require any extra licenses and it is an application-specific license. Having said that, if you use the installation of SOA Suite with an external source, you will need to purchase a license.
What are the changes in the Advance Supply Chain Planning module? Are they competent with Kinaxis?
I’d strongly recommend starting with MOS Document 1302189.1 (R12.1 / R12.2 : Oracle E-Business Suite Releases 12.1 and 12.2 Release Content Documents (Doc ID 1302189.1)).
Just to mention a few, some of the new features are:
- Oracle Transportation Management Integration
- Integration between Primavera P6 and Advanced Supply Chain Planning
- Forecast Spreading Based on Shipping Calendar
- Forecast Explosion Enhancements
- New Order Types for Asset Intensive Planning
- New Material Plan
From a technical perspective, Oracle provides 3 comparison reports that are very useful when comparing what is and is not in Oracle E-Business Suite R12 and 11i:
- The Oracle EBS data model comparison report provides the database object definition changes between two EBS releases to help users to preview them before upgrading their instances. This way, users can understand the impact of the database object changes that may affect the customization or business flows.
- The Oracle EBS ATG Seed Data Comparison Report provides a static delta between different EBS releases by documenting the seed data changes delivered by the product data loader files (.ldt extension) based on EBS ATG loader control (.lct extension) files.
- The Oracle EBS File Comparison Report provides a comprehensive comparison of file system artifacts between different Oracle E-Business Suite releases for important file types. As part of the EBS upgrade planning, this report gives users a clear idea of “what is different in a new release” (additions, removals and modifications for Oracle E-Business Suite delivered files).
With OATS, Oracle provides a “pack” with pre-built test components and flows to automate the in-depth testing of Oracle E-Business Suite applications. The starter pack, which contains over 2000 components and 200 flows, provides broad coverage of commonly-used base functionality and is designed to jump-start the test automation effort.
No, ENDECA it does not replace Oracle Business Intelligence Applications. Oracle E-Business Suite extensions for ENDECA is an addition that allows users to discover the information and act upon that discovery process. I’d consider ENDECA more of a replacement of what use to be Daily Business Intelligence (DBI).
In the new version of Oracle Business Intelligence Applications 22.214.171.124.1, there are new features added to Oracle CRM such as the addition of the support in Service Analytics for Service Contracts. I’d recommend checking out the documentation of the new features of OBI Apps to see if the functionality you require is in the new version.Join Our Webcast on China’s VAT
IT Convergence has developed a solution designed to adapt Oracle E-business Suite to comply with China’s tricky tax requirements, and you can learn about it at our webcast: “How to Comply with China’s VAT Regulations and Golden Tax System” on Thursday October 30th. Register here today.Stay Connected for More on Oracle R12.2.4!
Those who missed the webcast but are still seeking more on Oracle R12.2.4 are in luck. First, we invite you to read our Oracle R12.2.4 release notes blog post. We also have an “Intro to Oracle R12.2.4” video you can watch here.
If you’re ready to make the leap to Oracle R12.2 then we invite you to please visit our website and learn about our R12 upgrade services..