No Downtime’ Oracle EBS Deployments are Very Easy – Right?

Let’s talk about EBS deployment

Many teams have been running to Oracle EBS R12.2 to achieve seamless deployments. The 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 simplify 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.

But first – EBS deployment environments

Oracle E-Business Suite typically operates in multiple environments, each serving a specific purpose in the application lifecycle. These environments include:

  1. Development Environment: This is where developers can develop the new application version, modify existing ones, and make customizations. Developers use this environment to write and test code before it’s moved to other environments.
  2. Test Environment: After development, you move changes to the test environment. You use this environment for system testing, integration testing, and user acceptance testing (UAT). The goal is to identify and fix bugs before the applications go into production.
  3. Quality Assurance (QA) Environment: Similar to the test environment but often more rigorously controlled. QA environments are used for testing and validating software to ensure it meets quality standards and business needs.
  4. Staging Environment: This is a close replica of the production environment and is used for final testing before deployment. It’s a last step to validate that the system will perform as expected when it goes live.
  5. Production Environment: This is the live environment where end-users interact with the application. It’s the fully functional EBS deployment used in daily business operations.
  6. Disaster Recovery Environment: This is a backup environment that is a copy of the main production environment. It is used when there is a system failure, disaster, or other disruptions to the main production environment.
  7. Training Environment: This environment is often a replica of the production system but is used exclusively for training purposes. New users or employees are trained here to avoid any disruption to the actual production environment.

These environments are important for EBS applications. They help in developing, testing, and deploying the new version of applications efficiently and effectively, while reducing risks to the production environment.


So, what are the different EBS deployment methods?

Enterprise Business Suite can be deployed using several methods, each with its own advantages and use cases. The main application deployment options are:

On-Premises Deployment

This traditional method involves installing EBS on the company’s own hardware and servers. Organizations with strict data security needs or those requiring extensive customization favor it because it provides complete control over the surroundings.

Cloud Deployment

EBS can be deployed in the cloud, either in a public cloud environment like Oracle Cloud, AWS, or Azure, or in a private cloud. Cloud deployment offers scalability, reduced upfront costs, and the advantage of the provider’s security and maintenance.

Hybrid Deployment

This approach combines on-premises and cloud environments. Some components of EBS run in the cloud, while others remain on-premises. This method helps organizations move to the cloud or keep some systems on-premises for compliance or security.

Hosted Deployment

In this model, a third-party provider hosts the EBS system. This is similar to cloud deployment but may offer more customization and control, depending on the hosting provider’s services.

Mobile Deployment

EBS can be used on mobile devices for business purposes, allowing users to access certain features on their smartphones or tablets.

Each deployment process has its own set of considerations regarding cost, control, security, scalability, and maintenance. The choice depends on the specific needs and resources of the organization.

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.

Let’s talk about common causes of failed deployment

Deployment fails in Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) can be caused by a variety of factors, and understanding these can help in taking preventive measures. Here are some common causes of deployment fails and ways to avoid them:

  1. Inadequate Testing: Insufficient testing can lead to unexpected issues in the production environment. This includes not only functional testing but also load and performance testing. One example is if an organization fails to conduct stress testing or neglects to include everyday use cases and activities in their testing plan. This could lead to unexpected issues in the production environment, resulting in system crashes, or glitches during actual use.
  2. Configuration Errors: Incorrect or incomplete configuration settings are a common cause of deployment fails. This can happen due to miscommunication or misunderstandings about the production environment.
  3. Code Issues: Bugs or problems in the code that were not found during development and testing can cause failures. This can occur when the patch context file is missed in the database during the cloning process. This mistake can lead to an error while running the ADOP database context files validation, as the patch file system context files are not available in the database.
  4. Data Migration Problems: Issues with data migration, like data corruption or loss during transfer, can cause deployment fails. This might occur if the data is not properly backed up or if the migration strategy is not carefully planned and executed. For instance, if the data format in the source system differs significantly from the target system and the necessary conversions are not correctly implemented, it could lead to inconsistencies and errors in the migrated data. This in turn could cause system crashes, incorrect data processing, or failure in critical business operations within the Oracle EBS environment after the migration.
  5. Environment Differences: Discrepancies between development, test, and production environments can lead to unexpected behavior in the production environment. With a mismatch in configuration settings across environments,the software could work flawlessly in the development and test environments, but once deployed in the production environment, the system could exhibit unexpected behavior. These environment differences can lead to a failure in the deployment, as the application that worked well in a controlled test environment fails to operate correctly in the actual production environment.
  6. Lack of Rollback Plan: There is no plan to fix mistakes. If something goes wrong, not having a clear and tested plan to undo it can make things worse.
  7. Resource Limitations: Not enough hardware resources like CPU, memory, or disk space can cause failures, especially when there is a lot of work.
  8. Dependency Issues: Problems can happen if outside things like other services or connections aren’t handled well or if there are compatibility problems.
  9. Security Issues: Overlooking security aspects can not only cause deployment fails but also expose the system to vulnerabilities.

Ways to Avoid Deployment Fails

  1. Comprehensive Testing: Ensure thorough testing in environments that closely mirror the production setup. Include functional, load, performance, and security testing.
  2. Configuration Management: Use configuration management tools and maintain documentation to ensure consistency across environments.
  3. Code Reviews and Static Analysis: Use code reviews and static analysis tools to find problems early in the development process.
  4. Robust Data Migration Strategy: Plan and test data migration carefully. Use tools to ensure data integrity and consistency.
  5. Environment Parity: Strive for parity between development, testing, and production environments to minimize surprises after deployment.
  6. Rollback Plan: Always have a tested rollback plan in place in case of deployment fails. This plan should be capable of restoring the system to its previous stable state.
  7. Resource Monitoring and Scaling: Monitor resource usage and ensure the infrastructure can scale to meet demands.
  8. Manage Dependencies: Keep track of and test all external dependencies. Ensure compatibility and plan for contingency if external services are unavailable.
  9. Security Best Practices: Adhere to security best practices and conduct regular security audits.
  10. Change Management: Use a structured change management process to track and manage changes.

By addressing these areas, your organization can significantly reduce the likelihood of deployment fails and ensure smoother transitions when updating or deploying new EBS modules.

One final thought…

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 successful deployments for all your custom code changes, too. I am sure one such solution, in particular, comes immediately to mind.

Panaya’s Change Intelligence platform provides the assurance you need to manage any transformation. Whether it’s EBS upgrades, patching, transitioning to the Cloud, or fostering business innovation, Panaya offers a clear view of the potential effects on your system prior to implementation. We offer a comprehensive guide through every phase, from initial planning and scoping to the final go-live stage.

What advantages do we offer?

  • Enhance your release frequency and compliance using real data rather than guesses.
  • Anticipate the consequences of any patch or custom development.
  • Understand which business processes and integration points may be affected, and utilize targeted, risk-based testing to guarantee a smooth and secure launch.

To hear more about how to make any Oracle EBS change before you actually make it, talk to us today.

Start changing with confidence

Book a demo
Skip to content