Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Collaborate 2012: On Upgrading to Fusion Applications

So I attended the OAUG E-Business Suite SIG session today at Collaborate 2012 in Las Vegas, NV. One of the guest speakers was Cliff Godwin, Oracle's Sr. VP of Applications Development. During this session, he was answering a lot of questions about E-Business Suite to Fusion Applications upgrade.

One of the more interesting things that he indicated was that upgrading from E-Business Suite R12.1 to Fusion Applications will be more along the lines of what you do during an implementation from a Legacy system into E-Business Suite (than a traditional "upgrade").

What this means is that you will have to ETL data from E-Business Suite into a fresh Fusion Applications install. So, for all intents and purposes, you will be performing many of the same tasks that you performed when you first IMPLEMENTED E-Business Suite. Or, if you were going from E-Business Suite to SAP (for example).

If you think about it, this makes plenty of sense. Fusion Applications is NOT an upgrade of E-Business Suite. It is an entirely different product. Perhaps part of the problem that I've been having with the whole "E-Business Suite to Fusion Applications" discussion has been semantics? Maybe they (Oracle) should stop referring to the process as an "upgrade" and instead a "migration"?

Unlike moving from a legacy system, Oracle is developing templates to aid the ETL process so that you can convert your legacy data. This is a big difference. When you're converting data from a legacy system into E-Business Suite (or any other application), a significant part of the effort revolves around the need to "roll your own" data conversion scripts. In this case, Oracle will be providing this logic for you.

One of the selling points about moving to Fusion Applications has always been that you could migrate one module at a time. That would be particularly difficult if the process was similar to an E-Business Suite upgrade. But it makes perfect sense if you're doing a migration more akin to moving off a legacy system.

According to Cliff, initial focus is on the HCM modules and initial release of the upgrade templates is currently planned for some time "later this year".


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Vegas, Baby!

On Saturday night, I head to Las Vegas for Collaborate 2012 (http://collaborate.oaug.org). For the Oracle E-Business Suite community, this is one of the biggest events of the year.

For the uninitiated, Collaborate is the annual conference hosted by the Oracle Applications User's Group (http://www.oaug.org). Unlike Oracle OpenWorld, which is largely an Oracle Corporation marketing event, Collaborate is a community-oriented conference. While there are Oracle Corporation presentations focusing on the latest and greatest products and features, the vast majority of the papers and presentations at Collaborate are from actual users of the Oracle products.

Many of these are actual war stories. Walk-throughs of actual implementations and upgrades. Solutions that that others in the E-Business Suite community have put together for their sites to solve real-world problems that they've encountered. Very often, these are things that are not covered (or are covered poorly) in Oracle-provided documentation.

And it's not just E-Business Suite DBA topics, either! There are plenty of presentations on module-specific issues given by others who have already "been there, done that".

In addition to the standard white-paper presentations, there are also panel discussions and Special Interest Groups (SIGs). The panel discussions and SIGs are usually very lively Q&A sessions with recognized industry experts on a wide range of topics.

Planning an upgrade? There's the two-part OAUG Upgrade SIG (Sessions #10522 and #10722)

Having troubles with cloning E-Business Suite? There's an E-Business Suite Cloning Panel. (Session #9360)

Thinking of moving to Linux? There's a panel for that too! (Session #9361)

I will be giving my presentation, "#9554 - Anatomy of an Upgrade to 12.1.3 (Including Platform Migration)" on Wednesday, April 25th from 11:00am to 12:00pm i(South Seas E) and I will also be on the Migrations to Linux Panel (#9361), also Wednesday, from 1:00pm to 2:00pm (South Seas F).

And, while you're at it, stop by the RedRiver Solutions booth (Booth #1226). I will be hanging out there and helping to pass out updated versions of John Stouffer's books Oracle E-Business Suite Patching 101 and Oracle E-Business Suite Apps DBA 101.

I hope to see you there!


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

E-Business Suite R12.1.1 is Certified on Oracle Linux 6!

Back in February, I blogged about the pending certification of Oracle E-Business Suite on Oracle Enterprise Linux 6 and RedHat Enterprise Linux 6. In that blog post, I noted that the certification announcement was "planned" but, of course, Oracle doesn't provide dates.

Well, guess what? The waiting is finally over. As these things go, the announcements come out in parts.

First, on March 22, 2012, Oracle announced that Oracle Database 11gR2 and Fusion Middleware 11gR1 were certified. (The press release can be found here.)

And today (April 4, 2012), through the Oracle E-Business Suite Technology blog (known to many of us as "Steven Chan's blog"), we have the E-Business Suite announcement (available here)!

While this is fantastic news, read the announcements carefully!

These certifications are ONLY for Oracle Enterprise Linux 6 on the x86-64 with the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) version 1.

This means that if you're on the x86-32 platform, or if you're on RedHat Enterprise Linux 6, you'll have to wait a bit longer. The sames is true for customers on Oracle Enterprise Linux 6 who have NOT upgraded to the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) version 1 at ALL, or have already upgraded to the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) version 2 which was released on March 13, 2012 (press release here).

According to the database announcement, certification on RedHat Enterprise Linux 6 (and Oracle Enterprise Linux 6 [without UEK]) should be available within 90 days. I would expect the E-Business Suite R12 announcement to follow shortly behind.

What about other E-Business Suite releases? At this point, I have no actual information. But, I can speculate (with a good degree of certainty) that you won't see any certifications against OEL/RHEL 6. E-Business Suite is currently in Extended Support. Even though the support fees have been waived (through the end of Extended Support, November 30, 2012), Oracle doesn't typically certify new platforms once a product goes into Extended Support. (A more detailed discussion of Oracle's recent support announcements can be found here.)

The other question mark out there is OEL/RHEL 6.0 on x86-32. Personally, if you're implementing R12 or upgrading to R12 on Linux, you should be using an x86-64 distribution on x86-64 hardware. However, certification on x86-32 is also forthcoming.

As always, be sure to read/follow the relevant notes through the Certify Tab on My Oracle Support before you start any project to make sure that the combination of components you intend to use are, in fact, certified. These certifications will also detail the various always steps, operating system parameters, packages, and even patches specific to your combination that you will need to follow.

All of this is excellent news, as the OEL and RHEL 5.x line is getting pretty long in the tooth and is approaching it's end of life.

Now... when will we get that R12.2 announcement? Collaborate, maybe? OpenWorld? … the waiting continues.


UPDATE 6/27/2012:  Oracle has just announced certification for Oracle Enterprise Linux 6.0 (x86-32), Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0 (x86-32 and x86-64), and  Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) version 11 (64-bit).  See Steven Chan's blog for more details:  https://blogs.oracle.com/stevenChan/entry/oracle_e_business_suite_release3