‘No Downtime’ Oracle EBS Deployments are Very Easy – Aren’t They?

Many teams have been running to Oracle EBS R12.2 to achieve seamless deployments. The new 12.2 online patch architecture makes it simple to implement patches with no downtime – eliminating the business impact of having to temporarily take systems down and highly simplifying scheduling even in large organizations.

But there is a catch.

You need to make sure all your customizations are fully compatible with the R12.2 design guidelines, especially when the customizations reference Oracle Standard tables. All such references need to use the APPS prefix synonym or a designated editioned view.

There are automated tools to help validate your solutions, but be aware that Oracle Readiness scripts only cover about 40% of your customizations. They examine changes within the database, like packages, functions and views, while most of your code is deployed outside the database, in forms, reports, framework pages, host scripts and more.

There are other market tools available with better coverage capabilities, which can spare you hours of manual code analysis and shorten the projected project timeline.

We are also hearing about a growing practice of implementing custom code changes in 12.2 without suffering any downtime. This can be accomplished by using the same loader file formats that Oracle uses for its own patch deployments.

But be aware of a big “gotcha” if you’re intending to use Oracle loader-based deployment tools. All your custom code will need to be adapted to the new 12.2 online patching compliant standards, with dozens of new coding rules to abide by. Every single line of custom code that interacts with the database is going to be affected. Sure, you will be able to take advantage of on-line deployment, but your custom code references to customized tables will also need to be 12.2 online patch compatible. Oracle’s Readiness scripts are simply not designed to handle this use case very well and the more customized your EBS implementation is, the longer it will take to implement such changes.

Never fear, however, there are market-ready tools available that handle these scenarios, enabling no-down-time deployment for all your custom code changes, too. I am sure one such solution, in particular, comes immediately to mind.

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