Blog | Sep 26, 2013

Finally the Wait is Over - New E-Business Suite Release – R12.2

Have you been wondering when the next release of the Oracle E-Business Suite will be released?  Well finally the long wait is over!  On September 20th, just few days before Oracle Open World 2013, Oracle has announced the release of R12.2.

With the release of a new version we all want to know what it includes, so what are some of the big highlights in this latest release?  Well, R12.2 comes with Fusion Middleware (WLS Basic and OHS) which replaces oc4j and iAS 10g Home.  For those of you who would be upgrading from a prior release, I am sure this raises the question about additional licensing, but rumor has it there might be no additional licensing required for WLS Basic for Upgrade from R12.1 or to R12.2, but your database must be 11gR2.0.3 at a minimum.

A fresh install of R12.2 also comes bundled with 11gR2.0.3 version of the database.  If you are on a Linux platform it will have to be Linux 64bit as R12.2 is not certified for Linux 32bit. (Check certification matrix for other platforms). Another highlight in R12.2 that we are really excited about is the OnLine Patching - Just to be clear Online Patching doesn't mean you have to be connected to the internet or have Internet connectivity for EBS Servers, it just means you can patch while users are Online in EBS performing transaction, reporting, etc.

What makes online patching in R12.2 possible is a feature called Edition-Based Redefinition which is introduced in Oracle Database 11g Release 2. Edition-based redefinition allows multiple versions of PL/SQL objects, views and synonyms in a single schema, which makes it possible to perform upgrades of database applications with zero down time. R12.2 Online patching takes advantage of Edition-based redefinition at the database tier.  To accommodate online patching at the application tier in R12.2, Oracle has introduced Dual File system which maintains both Run and patch copies.
Online patching also comes with a new patching tool called adop (ad Online Patching) which replaces adpatch (adpatch is no longer supported in R12.2 for direct use). The way it works is any patch application occurs on the Patch copy while users are accessing the Run Copy and performing routine transactions. At one of the many phases of the adop utility called cutover, the application gets restarted and it changes the File System Role for Patch. The Patch Copy becomes the run copy and the run copy becomes the patch copy (This is where you will require a few minutes of downtime, but is significantly less than the full downtime required to apply a patch or patches).

This is great news, especially for companies that have struggled with managing their patch application process due to the limited downtime availability because they run on a 24x7 basis.  This will allow better flexibility in getting the required patching migrated to their production environment while reducing the downtime needed.

We will be following up with more highlights on Oracle R12.2, so look for our future posts as we stay ahead of the curve to provide our customers the information they need!