Since 2019, Oracle announced that it will no longer offer Premier Support for Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) instances below release 12.2; as such, clients who remain below R12.2.X will enter into Sustaining Support in January 1, 2022 and the delivery of ongoing updates, fixes, and security patches will cease.
If you also consider the fact that upgrading to R12.2.X will add many innovations to your system, an optimized UI, and Online Pathing, there are more than enough reasons to say that the Oracle EBS upgrade to R12.2.X is not a matter of if but when.
Whether you’re currently in the process of upgrading or you’re just starting, the fact that you’re taking action to boost the modernization of your systems sets you forward on the path to digital transformation.
Still, from experience we’ve seen that some clients are still hesitant about making the upgrade thanks to the school of thought of “why break something that’s currently working?” And to that we say that failing to upgrade will expose your EBS to added, substantial costs, and unwanted security vulnerabilities.
Unsupported systems are inherently more prone to cyber attacks, poor performance, and let’s not forget the headache of working with old, legacy code that requires patches on top of patches to work.
Now that we’ve made our case to stress how important it is that you upgrade your Oracle EBS to R12.2.X as soon as possible, we’re, most importantly, here to help you.
We’ve identified three pillars of a good Oracle EBS upgrade project plan which, if leveraged, will set you up for success and get your upgrade done quickly and efficiently. Let’s flesh each one out.
Three Pillars of Oracle EBS Upgrade Project Plan
1. Assess & Plan
Before beginning the actual upgrade, it’s important to carefully assess the new release, the new innovations, the upgrade strain, and any other relevant elements to have a greater understanding of the resources needed to achieve it. Oracle EBS 12.2 upgrade is a significant one, packed with new capabilities and enhancements that will inherently change the way you interact with your Oracle EBS. You can leverage Oracle documentation to understand what exactly will change for you in a newly upgraded version of EBS.
Once you have a thorough understanding of this last major release you’ll ever have to make, you can start to create the Oracle EBS upgrade project plan and strategize your upgrade so that it serves your unique needs. You can start defining the scope of the project and craft a detailed plan with realistic goals and timeframes. For example, you can decide if it makes sense to you to perform upgrade tasks in tandem with other tasks or follow a more progressive approach.
As part of the preparation effort, you can execute an initial test upgrade to validate standard functionality works as you expect it to; you can also leverage this exercise to discover and document issues during the upgrade process while in pilot testing.
All in all, strategic planning can help you reduce operational costs, consolidate business units into a unified instance, and enhance productivity by leveraging new features like Online Patching.
2. Account for Incompatibilities
As stated earlier, having a strategic plan in place is essential to make your Oracle EBS 12.2 upgrade smoother and easier to navigate. From defining scope of work, timeline, resources, and efforts needed, you’ll also want to look at the customizations you can drop so they don’t slow the process down and remove historical data from the production environment.
With that being said, there may be incompatibilities that can rise to the surface when performing the upgrade, so it’s a good measure to leverage Oracle’s preparation utilities that are mainly classified in three buckets: Online Patching Readiness Reports, Database and FIle System Standards Checker, and the Online Patching Standard Compliance Report. Each of these utilities help you identify the customizations that are in compliance with the development standards of Oracle Online Patching.
3. Understand the Technical and Functional Effort Involved
Industry experts consider the Oracle EBS 12.2 upgrade project the most technically complex release given that it includes an important amount of new development standards that need to be met, several code changes that help ensure compliance with R12.2 standards, and lots of new features and improvements.
To help you understand the technical and functional effort involved, we recommend that you review and assess your existing operating systems and database versions to avoid any certification issues as Oracle EBS 12.2 only works with certified versions.
Also, it’ll bode well to have a comprehensive strategy to remove historical data out of your production environment as it will help speed up the upgrade process. Purge and Archive goes a long way in helping streamline the upgrade to R12.2, as depicted in the infographic: 4 Ways to Speed Up the Oracle EBS R12.2.X Upgrade.
CEMLI Remediation is also a huge part of the upgrade and requires intensive effort as you need to carefully assess which customizations will be impacted as a result of the upgrade. This type of assessment is strenuous, so it’s best practice to engage with a functional consultant who is experienced in identifying the customizations you need to replace with standard functionalities available in R12.2.
As a best practice, you can download and perform a non-production environment to help you define any impact on CEMLIs. For example, you can start or carry on with custom code remediation as identified in online patching readiness reports.