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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Oracle e-Business Suite Release 12: Launch Date Announced

Posted By: Michael Siebert

For those who attended any e-Business Suite Release 12 sessions at Open World this past October, you will recall that one of the most frequently asked questions was “When is Release 12 going to be available?”.

Well, there is no need to ask any longer.  According to the Oracle Events Website, Oracle will be holding an “unprecedented event in the history of business software” where they will be launching five new releases of their business applications software products around the world.  The product launches include:

  • Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12: The Global Business Release Presented by Steve Miranda, Senior Vice President, Applications Development
  • PeopleSoft Enterprise Release 9.0: The Extended Value Release Presented by Doris Wong, Vice President and General Manager, PeopleSoft Enterprise
  • Siebel Release 8.0: Proactive CRM Presented by Ed Abbo, Senior Vice President, CRM Products
  • JD Edward s Enterp riseOne Release 8.12: The Continued Innovations Release Presented by Lenley Hensarling, Vice President and General Manager, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne
  • JD Edwards World Release A9.1: The World Renaissance Release Presented by John Schiff, Vice President and General Manager, JD Edwards World

The event will be hosted by Charles Phillips, Oracle President, and John Wookey, Oracle Senior Vice President, Applications Development, and will be held at the Hudson Theater in New York.  Personally, I don’t plan on attending, but will be following the event closely and will post any relevent information here on the blog.  Post a comment if you plan on attending the event.  It looks like 2007 will be an exciting year for those of us involved with Oracle business application software and related technologies.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Oracle e-Business Suite Release 12: New Features for Sys Admins

Fear not System Administrators: There are exciting new system administration features in the pipeline for managing e-Business Suite environments.

Well, I’ve made it back home to Charlotte and I’m getting caught up with my notes from Open World.  One of the sessions I attended last week was by Oracle Senior Project Manager Biju Mohan.  His session covered some of the improvements and new features system administrators can look forward to in the upcoming release of the e-Business Suite plug in for Oracle Enterprise Manager (OEM).

One seemingly never ending task that takes up a considerable amount of time for System Administrators is cloning.  It wasn’t long ago that cloning was done manually (maybe I’m dating myself), using home grown scripts and following documented (or not so documented) procedures.  I’m sure there are still a few of us out there who still follow manual processes, and although Oracle Applications Manager and the adclone utilities and scripts have helped sysadmins reduce the time and effort for cloning, there are still a few areas where things we being done manually behind the scenes.  I’m happy to report the product teams at Oracle have been hard at work, and will be releasing a number of new or improved features for e-Business Suite management in the future.  Here are a few of the improvements I learned about regarding cloning.

Cloning support through OAM will be decommissioned, and in the future cloning will be accomplished through the cloning dashboard in OEM - with the e-Business Suite add on (the “apps pack”) installed.  The process will be automated through a provisioning framework, where OEM will walk an administrator through an interview process to determine cloning parameters.  Sys admins will be able to create images, so the possible cloning combinations will be:

  • Source to Target (e.g. PROD to DEV);
  • Source to Image (e.g. PROD to an image to put on the shelf and use for future clones to DEV, UAT, etc.); and
  • Image to Target (e.g. refresh DEV from an earlier image of PROD or another imaged environment).

One feature I’m sure many have been waiting for is the ability to scramble or purge sensitive data.  I’ve been told this feature will work with 11i10 and Release 12.  This is great news for cloning production environments down to development and test instances where the apps password isn’t always policed as it is in production.  Although the instance might not be production, the data still originated in a production environment, and the ability to scramble or purge sensitive HR, payroll or other personal data (e.g. to meet HIPAA requirements) has been needed for a long time.  It was not made clear as to how extensive the process was, or what data elements for each of the modules would be covered, but it was my understanding that the scrambling will be implemented as an engine where additional input parameters can be input to the process.  Data obfuscation will occur during the cloning of either a Source -> Target or Source -> Image clone, and will not be reversible.

I’ll keep my ears posted on when we can expect the release of the apps pack for OEM.  Post a comment if you hear any news on the next release.  More details on additional Release 12 system management features to come in a future post.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

OOW06 Ten Things You Can Do To Prepare for Fusion Applications

Confused about Fusion?  You shouldn’t be.  Although Fusion Applications are years away, there are many components of Fusion Middleware that are available today to help get you one step closer to Fusion Applications.

I’ve sat through several sessions and keynotes regarding Release 12, Fusion Middleware, and Fusion Applications.  The message from John Wookey, Cliff Godwin, Nadia Bendjedou, and others has been consistent - You don’t need to wait for the release of Fusion Applications to start preparing for Fusion.  Moving to Fusion Applications will require new skills and experience to install, configure and support the new Applications Suite.  However, many of the tools and technologies for Fusion Applications are available today and can be leveraged with 11i10 and/or Release 12, allowing you to get a head start on preparing your environment and staff for Fusion Apps.

I must not have been the only one to complain, as they moved Dr. Nadia Bendjedou’s session “Oracle E-Business Suite Customers: 10 Things You Can Do Now to Prepare for Oracle Fusion Applications” to a larger room.  Despite the fact the room held almost 500 people, it was still standing room only for some.  There is obviously a lot of interest in Fusion, and the good news is you don’t have to wait years to start preparing today.  Nadia’s presentation focused on both best practices as well as product components, and listed 10 items e-Business Suite customers should start focusing on now:

Top 10 List

  1. Rethink your customization strategy
  2. Consider Master Data Management (MDM)
  3. Move to SOA-based integration
  4. Extend your business intelligence portfolio
  5. Adopt enterprise reporting and publishing
  6. Secure your global enterprise
  7. Consider grid computing
  8. Centralize your lifecycle management
  9. Upgrade to the e-Business Suite R12
  10. Prepare a Fusion project plan

Each of these items is a topic in and of itself.  My plan is to go into more detail on each one in future posts.  Items 1, 9 and 10 focus more on best practices, where the remaining items focus on the product technologies behind the EBS.  There have been numerous sessions on Release 12 and Fusion Applications, and the good news is I’ve been able to take some good notes in many of them.  Post a comment or start a thread in the forum to let me know which topics interest you most.

For those who have been following along, today is the last day of the conference.  Several good sessions remain, and then it’s off to the airport to catch an overnight flight back home to Charlotte.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Oracle Open World: Day One Summary

I’ve made it to San Francisco, and can report the conference is in full swing.

First Impressions

The attendance this year is significantly higher than it was when I last attended in 2004.  This is not new news to anyone following the conference, but I’ve noted the impact in a few areas:

  1. We’re now eating lunch outside (well, sort of).  Granted, serving lunch for 40,000 plus people is an accomplishment in and of itself, where to seat them all during the lunch hours can also prove to be a logistical nightmare.  Fortunately, Oracle has some obvious influence with the city of San Francisco as the solution was to block off an entire street in between Moscone North and South and construct a giant lunch tent, complete with stage for live lunch entertainment.
  2. The free wireless access works some of the time.  There are numerous hot spots in the convention halls, but at times they were luke warm at best.  It was difficult or impossible to authenticate during peak break times.
  3. The weather in San Francisco on Monday was fantastic!  Although I needed a coat in the morning, I was sweating in it by the afternoon.
  4. Congestion around some of the lecture halls was so severe, they stopped scanning badges for entry as it was delaying the start of the presentation.  This didn’t happen everywhere.  Mostly it occurred in areas where they had messaging centers and other kiosks (coffee, snacks, etc.) set up.  Queues of session “hopefulls” who couldn’t register for a session form outside the door while those who are registered try to get in.  I’ll be one of these people myself as I’m still trying to get into Nadia’s session on preparing for Fusion Applications.

The Road to Release 12

Speaking of new releases of the e-Business Suite, I sat in on Cliff Godwin’s presentation regarding technology directions for the EBS on Monday.  His presentation centered around both R12 and the future Fusion Applications.  In hopes of gaining more information regarding Fusion later today, I’ll comment on a few key takeaways regarding release 12:

R12 will focus on providing a superior ownership experience, additional Business Intelligence capabilities, and service enablement.  The user interface will get an overhaul under the current “SWAN” initiative, and will use the native sun client doing away with JInitiator.  Changes in the technology stack include using 10g R3 with OC4J at the application server tier, and 10gR2 for the database.

XML Publisher will be further integrated into the EBS and will include over 800 templates, many of which will also be translated into over 30 languages.  Additional improvements include a bursting engine, and the ability to consolidate XML reports from multiple sources into a single publishable document.

From a system management perspective, additional packs will become available for Oracle Enterprise Manager, replacing the older grid control for 11i.  Management packs will also be available for PeopleSoft and Siebel, as well as the EBS.

All things considered, Monday was a long but productive day.  I’m looking forward to Tuesday’s sessions, and meeting up with other Oracle Bloggers tonight at the Annual Blogger’s Meetup, organized by Mark Rittman.  Stay tuned - more Oracle Open World 2006 news to follow.

 

Monday, August 01, 2005

Oracle 11i Installation, Architecture, Administration and Maintenance

Recently I was asked by a reader whether I could provide them with a diagram of the architecture of 11i10. Here’s some excellent presentations you can download and take a look at if you want to understand more about the architecture of Oracle Applications E-Business Suite (EBS) R11i.

I’ve always been impressed by the quality and content of information produced in presentations delivered by SolutionBeacon. One of the first presentations I came across that provided a very good look under the hood of 11i was one entitled “Care and Feeding of 11i” by John Stouffer.

The most recent versions of these presentations that I could find were delivered by Randy Giefer at the NorCal OAUG 2005 Training Day. I’ve linked to the presentations and also quoted their abstracts below. You should also check out the NorCalOAUG Presentations Archive where there are many other useful presentations you can download.

Introduction to Release 11i Part 1 of 2: Installation & Architecture

Abstract

In the 1st of a 2 part presentation, get a “real world” perspective as well as tips and techniques to install and understand the architecture of the complex Oracle Applications environment delivered with Release 11i, including Release 11.5.10. Release 11i is the biggest and most complex applications release ever! There have been ten 11i releases with major changes to tools and technology stack. Each release addresses bug fixes and has added new module functionality along with three specific Oracle environments that must be installed for Release 11i – database, applications and web. All environments require differing levels of support but each has to be maintained to fully utilize and make the most of the Release 11i Applications. We will discuss the underlying architectures and approaches to architecture and installation that make ongoing support more manageable for the Apps DBA.

Introduction to Release 11i Part 2 of 2: Administration & Maintenance

Abstract

In the 2nd of a 2 part presentation, get a “real world” perspective as well as tips and techniques to administer and maintain the complex Oracle Applications environment delivered with Release 11i, including Release 11.5.10. Release 11i is the biggest and most complex applications release ever! There have been ten 11i releases with major changes to tools and technology stack. Each release addresses bug fixes and has added new module functionality along with three specific Oracle environments that must be supported for Release 11i – database, applications and web. Administering and maintaining these environments has become a full time job for the Applications DBA. All environments require differing levels of support but each has to be maintained to fully utilize and make the most of the Release 11i applications. We will discuss all of these administration and maintenance processes for the Apps DBA and will share “real world” recommendations for each.

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