Collaborate 08 – Day 3

3

I am supposed to be at a party tonight,
but I am too exhausted, to be honest to go out and my head is too
full with all kinds of new stuff… (poor me!;-)

Today was another day of very
interesting stuff, even though a couple of presentations covered
things already covered in earlier presentations. For example, AIA is
all over the place here. You cannot attend almost any presentation
about E-Business Suite or SOA that doesn’t have at least a number of
slides dealing with the subject. That doesn’t make things less
interesting though, because AIA is the future for any company dealing
with multiple Oracel Applications; not necessarily being Oracle
E-Business Suite, that is. That brings me to something that I find
confusing sometimes, especially at a conference like this. Oracle
E-Business Suite is often referred to as Oracle Applications, but
Oracle Applications are also referred to as
the complete suite of Oracle applications, like Oracle E-Business
Suite, PeopleSoft, Siebel, JDEdwards and so on. These are all Oracle
“Applications”. Therefore, I mostly prefer Oracle E-Business
Suite rather than Oracle Applications. But that aside.

The presentations that I saw today:

  • E-Business Suite Release 12
    Upgrade: Quick, Good and Inexpensive…No kidding! – by Michael
    Barone and Bill Dunham, OATC
  • Taking AIA to the next level using
    Fusion Middleware – Markus Zirn, Oracle
  • The OAUG Annual Meeting Of The
    Members – Jan Wagner, NATO a.o.
  • Get Ready For E-Business Suite
    Release 12 – Sandra Vucinic, VLAD Group
  • Fusion Council Panel – John
    Stouffer a.o.

 

E-Business Suite Release 12 Upgrade: Quick, Good
and Inexpensive…No kidding!

Michael Barone and Bill Dunham, OATC

This presentation discussed the way anyone can uprade to Release
12 as easily as possible (if that is ever possible?). In general,
this was something that any project manager can come up with,
however:

  • Use a Methodology. No Method, No Success!
    That is the
    basic message. Get Organized, document, document and document.
  • Keep in mind when coming from older versions
    that there is a lot of baggage you are taking with you that is not
    necessarily needed, however, don’t just throw it all away:
  • Preserve and reuse or upgrade testing
    material.
    This can save a significant amount of time and cost to
    your project.
  • Establish a team
    Project
    Manager
    DBA
    Technical Lead
    Test Teams
  • Don’t be afraid when you have done earlier
    upgrades. It is like riding a bicycle: once you have learned it, you
    will never forget how it works. This also applies to Release 12. You
    will survive.
  • The four C’s in pilot terminology (quote from
    Michael Barone, a pilot instructor) apply:
    Climb to whatever is
    possible, but when in trouble:
    Call someone that can help
    you
    Confess you are in trouble and you need help
    Conform to
    what he/she is telling you.

To the question from the audience about whether it
would be a good idea to upgrade now, both of the speakers told us
that they would advise that without a business need, it would be
better to hold it off for a while, because Release 12 it is still in
the .0 version numbers. A remark that I have heard a lot more during
the week.

Another essential element for a smooth transition to
Release 12 is a committed user community. One of the things to do to
get commitment from the users is to make estimations of testing
efforts and times. It is heard a lot of times: “Hey, can you test
something for me?” to which the reply in general is: “How much
time is this going to cost me? When am I supposed to be doing this?”
and similar questions like these. It can make your life a lot easier
if you were able to ask “Hey, can I have 30 minutes of your time?
We need to test this functionality.” Usually this will cause a lot
less questions, because the main question for the user has been
answered already with the question that is asked. This will create a
lot more commitment. Be as concrete in your planning as possible,
eliminating the need to answer questions and taking away as many
uncertainties as possible.

A very important thing to do before starting your
upgrade to Release 12 is reviewing the technical details. Especially
on an architecture level:

  • New hardware / new architecture
  • new OS?
  • New Storage
  • New Network components

Again, these are pretty obvious things, when you are
quite familiar with installations/upgrades of any kind of software,
so basically nothing new in this presentation, however, still proven
to be applicable (and maybe especially applicable) to Release 12
upgrades.

Taking AIA to the next level using Fusion
Middleware

Markus Zirn, Oracle

 

This was a most interesting
presentation, however quite difficult to capture in a weblog report.
Markus took us through 3 examples of business cases using multiple
Oracle Applications (e.g. E-Business Suite and Siebel) that were
integrated using AIA, combined with SOA components to offer a single
software solution.

One of the examples was an online
store, using the CRM and catalog data from Siebel, ADF to build the
interface for the web, AJAX to put some really nice features in the
GUI (like animations), SLATES as defined in Web2.0 (SLATES: Search,
Linking, Authoring, Tagging, Extensions and Signals: all features
that a modern website should be able to provide). E-Business Suite
was used to handle the billing and financial administration.

I can describe other examples, but the
idea is clear, I guess: AIA only just integrates the multiple ERP
systems using a single layer between Industry Reference Standards and
the service repository and application component services. SOA
Components can be used to make it a single point of entry to whatever
need.

 

The OAUG Annual Meeting Of The Members

Hosted by Jan Wagner, NATO, presented by many OAUG board members

An event mainly to award people that have done outstanding jobs
for the OAUG, and a lot of clapping…

One interesting announcement though: the Knowledge
Factory
, provided by OAUG. A new initiative that brings together
knowledge from all OAUG users. It comprises of

  • a weblog/discussion forum to which OAUG members can publish
    articles, ask questions, etc.
  • A profile directory, to which OAUG members can upload their
    experiences and profiles, in order to extend their network, and to
    search for specific experience
  • OAUG WhitePaper repository, where all the previously
    published papers, presentations etc. have been brought together.

Get Ready For E-Business Suite Release 12 –
Tasks to complete now to ease Release 12 upgrade process

Sandra Vucinic, VLADgroup, Inc.

This presentation was a nice complimentary to the presentation at
the start of this day (see above).

Sandra took us through a couple of measures to take before
migrating/upgrading to Release 12. All of these measures assume we
are on Release 11i, by the way.

First of all, and heard earlier this week: Do not just upgrade to
Release 12, because it is the latest release available. You should
have a business requirement before doing so. To determine you have a
business case

  • Evaluate Business Benefit and Cost
    Assess Release 12
    functionalities and features
    You should perform a ROI analysis to
    understand architectural and deployment capabilities of Release 12
    and benefits from performance, security, availability, scalability
    and manageability.
  • Evaluate upgrade time and cost, resources and impact on other
    projects
  • Review 11i customizations, extensions, 3rd party
    integrations to assess the impact on Release 12.
    Keep in mind
    that the terminal release of E-Business Suite 11i is 11.5.10.2, so
    Oracle Development’s priority will currently be on Release
    12.
    Another very true remark by Sandra: Don’t go on the bleeding
    edge, you will not want to bleed!
    You are using HR/Payroll? then
    you need to upgrade, because of quarterly and year-end patches that
    are required.

Tasks to ease your upgrade process (a couple of which we have seen
earlier throughout the conference):

  1. Upgrade your database to 10gR2
    Release 12 is shipped with
    10gR2. Not having to upgrade your database while upgrading to
    Release 12 can save significant amount of time
  2. Convert to OATM
    Oracle Applications Tablespace Model was
    introduced in 11i.9 and changes the tablespace model of Oracle
    E-Business Suite significantly. Though not mandatory for upgrading
    to Release 12, it is highly recommended, because it will ease the
    administration of the database. Pre 11i.9 there were 2 tablespaces
    per module, easily adding up to 400+ tablespaces for a complete
    E-Business Suite implementation. OATM decreases the amount of
    tablespaces to 12, including system, undo and temp tablespaces. The
    tablespaces in OATM are also locally managed. The minimum database
    version for OATM is 9.2.0.4.
  3. Evaluate impact of R12 on customizations and
    extensions
    Catalog all customizations. Some of the technologies
    in Release 11i have been disabled in Release 12:
    “mod_plsql”
    Oracle
    Reports Server reports
    Oracle Graphics
    integration with Oracle Forms
    OAF pages in AK
    repository
    Metalink note 374398.1 is a useful resource for
    preparing custom development for EBS Release 12.
  4. Start using BI publisher and Jdeveloper
    Release 12 HTML
    reports should be converted to BI Publisher format
    Reports Server
    is only accessible from the Concurrent Manager
    Reports with
    integrated Oracle Graphics need to be reimplemented with BI
    Publisher
    Need for Jdeveloper 10.1.3 for OAF personalizations.
  5. Integrate Discoverer Server 10G in 11i
    Discoverer Server
    10G is certified with both 11i and Release 12. Version 4i was
    desupported since end of October 2006.
    Install Discoverer Server
    on a separate server, preventing conflicts between the 4i and 10G
    Visibroker.
    Metalink Note 313418.1 is a valuable resource for
    implementing Discoverer 10.1.2 with E-Business Suite 11i.
  6. Start using iAS 10G for external applications
    SSO, OID and
    Portal are components that can be used with E-Business Suite.
    For
    SSO and OID use iAS 10.1.2.0.2 – See Metalink Note 233436.1
    For
    Portal use version 10.1.4.1 – See Metalink Note 305918.1
  7. Position for High Availability and Scalability
    Scalability:
    Use shared Application Technology File System (shared technology
    stack and APPL_TOP) – See Metalink Note 233428.1
    Availability:
    consider Real Applications Cluster technology – See Metalink Note
    362135.1
  8. Evaluate Platform Change based on ROI analysis
    An upgrade
    might require new hardware
    Evaluate existing hardware and perform
    capacity planning for Release 12 ahead of time
    Consider Linux (a
    remark that I heard a lot of times during this week!)

This should give you a rough idea about the steps to take when
considering upgrading to Release 12.

Fusion Council Panel

Hosted by John Stouffer, Triora

This was supposed to be a forum discussion/QA session to discuss
any questions from the audience to the OAUG Fusion Council.
Personally I found it a bit disappointing that due to the fact that a
guy from Oracle was in the panel (somehow I can’t remember his name,
shame!) all of the audience’s questions were targeted at him,
resulting in a more or less sales kind of talk from Oracle, and no
real user community based discussion.

One important remark on Fusion Applications: Oracle Forms will no longer exist in Fusion Applications

To itinerate, a very valuable day, once more. Tomorrow will be the
final day of the conference. Sofar it has been great to be here, I
have learned a great deal and met some very interesting people.

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3 Comments

  1. The “Oracle Guy” was Steve Miranda, the Oracle Sr. VP in charge of building the Fusion Applications. I should have given the panel members some time to introduce themselves and their backgrounds but Steve was on a very tight schedule and we were lucky to get him to answer any questions about Fusion. As Fusion Apps become available, hopefully their will be more user involvement but, at this point, that’s a ways away.

    thx,
    John

  2. Just to clarify one point (I’ve been asked by someone who read this) “One important remark on Fusion Applications: Oracle Forms will no longer exist in Fusion Applications”

    This is correct but I hoping is not a surprise to anyone!. Oracle is taking the Ebiz, PeopleSoft. Seibel etc etc Applications and launching “Fusion Applications” which will be a best of breed business suite based on standards. So yes. In time, Oracle Forms will not be part of that. Forms is still part of the Ebiz Suite 12 and using the latest version of Forms (10.1.2) I think (don’t quote me) the desupport of Apps 12 is about 2017 – so we are not talking soon.
    Oracle Forms still remains a supported and developed product and is delivered as part of the Oracle Application Server (sometimes called Fusion Middleware).

    Hope that clears things.

    Regards
    Grant