Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Oracle Waives E-Business Suite Extended Support Fees, again...


Yesterday, Steven Chan announced on his blog (if you don't read it, you should...) that Oracle was waiving Extended Support fees for E-Business Suite 11i and 12.0. According to the new announcement, the entire Extended Support period (for 11i and 12.0) is now free (if you've already paid for it, contact your salesperson). I haven't dug deeply enough into the history of this, but I don't think that Oracle has done anything to move the actual dates.

This means that customers who are on 11i and 12.0 (who have also met the minimum baseline patch requirements) have some extra time to get to the next release (which is currently 12.1.3).

What is Premier Support?

Premier Support is the “normal” support category that Oracle puts around “current” software. Under Premier Support, Oracle obligates themselves to actually fixing bugs and finding solutions to problems.

According to Oracle's website:

Premier Support – Delivers full system support for your Oracle hardware, operating systems and applications with an upfront, minimum five-year support commitment that helps you plan and budget.

What is Extended Support?

Extended Support is just like Premier Support, except that they charge you more for it. All of the features of Premier Support are there, and they will still produce new bugfixes when they're needed.

According to Oracle's website:

Extended Support – Offers an additional three years of support for select Oracle software and operating systems for an additional fee so you can effectively manage your upgrade strategy.

What comes after Extended Support?

Sustaining Support. Here, you still have access to the support site and analysts. However, no new bugfixes will be produced. If you encounter a previously unknown problem, your only choice may be to upgrade.

According to Oracle's website:

Sustaining Support – Provides investment protection by further extending support for Oracle software, operating systems and select hardware products. Features include access to online support tools, knowledgebases, pre-existing fixes, and assistance from Oracle's technical support experts.


What does this mean for me, by version?

For Release 11i, Premier Support ended November 30, 2010 and Extended Supprt will now end on November 30, 2013. You'll want to be on 11.5.10.2 with the minimum baseline patches applied (according to Note: 883202.1). Ideally, you should also be on RDBMS 11.2.0.3.

For Release 12.0, Premier Support ended on January 31, 2012 and Extended Support will now end on January 31, 2015. The document you'll need to follow is 1195034.1. For that you will need to be on 12.0.6 (12.0 RUP 6), with the mainimum baseline patches applied (according to the document). Ideally, you should also be on RDBMS 11.2.0.3.

For Release 12.1, Premier Support will end in June of 2014 (I'm not certain, but I believe that it is May 31, 2014) and Extended Support will end on the same date in 2017. Oracle has also (back in October) announced that they are waiving the first year of Extended Support fees for R12.1 (which means you are good until May of 2015). As far as baseline patching is concerned, keep an eye on 1195034.1. At this point, the only minimum baseline requirement for Extended Support is that you have applied at least the R12.1.3 Release Update Pack. As with the other releases, you should also be on RDBMS 11.2.0.3.

Why are they doing this?

Obviously, I have no real information on what's going on inside of Oracle. What I can say is that, based on customers I (and others) have spoken with, there are still a large number of customers on 11i and 12.0. Release 12.2 has been “coming soon” for quite some time, and, with R12.1.3 dates appearing on the horizon, many customers are waiting for R12.2 to be released. They don't want to finish one upgrade project only to immediately start another.

My advice? It is my understanding that you will not be able to upgrade directly from 11.5.10.2 to R12.2 (I could be wrong on this). If you're on 11i, you should be working on your upgrade to R12.1.3 now. If you're on R12.0, you may want to wait until R12.2 comes out and figure out if you can go straight to R12.2. If you're on R12.1, get to R12.1.3 and be ready to start planning your R12.2 upgrade shortly after it is released.

In all cases, get your databases upgraded to 11.2.0.3 as well. Many of the deadlines for 10gR2 have already passed.

James

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