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DBA offers tips for navigating murky Oracle EBS 12.2.5 upgrade waters

The amount of documentation required for a successful upgrade to Oracle EBS 12.2.5 is daunting. An experienced DBA offers pointers to ensure that the upgrade goes smoothly.

LAS VEGAS -- Oracle database administrators on the fence about whether to upgrade their EBS could stand to take a few lessons from one research firm.

Last November, Gallup Inc., a research-based management company headquartered in Washington, D.C., upgraded its Oracle E-Business Suite 12.1.3 to 12.2.5, but the process wasn't always smooth, beginning with the sheer amount of documentation needed.             

"Our implementation was broken down into several stages," said Abrar Syed, an Oracle database administrator at Gallup, during COLLABORATE 17 here this week. "First, our documentation was all over the place. There was an extensive list of MetaLink IDs and documents. It's very easy for a beginner to get confused, even DBAs may get confused."

The decision to upgrade to Oracle EBS 12.2.5 should not be taken lightly, Syed said.

"In addition to changes to the technology stack and file system, an upgrade initiates specific changes that affect the way your existing products work after the upgrade, and the look and feel of the UI [user interface]," Syed said.

To get started and, more importantly, to avoid confusion, Syed said admins should reference "Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.2: Technical Planning, Getting Started, and Go-Live Checklist" (Doc ID 1585857.1) to ease the installation process and have as a guide throughout the upgrade. Another helpful guide is "Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.2 Information Center - Upgrade" (Doc ID 1583158.1).

Once you've reviewed the documentation, the next step in the EBS installation process is to identify the prerequisites needed to upgrade to Oracle EBS 12.2.5. First, admins must recognize which version of database and applications they are running, and check for database prerequisite patches and underscore parameters. Once those patches have been applied, move on to checks.

An upgrade initiates specific changes that affect the way your existing products work after the upgrade.
Abrar SyedOracle database administrator, Gallup Inc.

"There were about six checks that we needed to complete," Syed said. "The first check to run is MD5 Checksums for R12.2 Rapid Install Media, which handles the 12.2 stage."

Next, the E-Business Suite Technology Codelevel Checker tool can be downloaded via Patch 17537119, which provides two scripts required on the database tier and application tier. After running those checks, admins must move on to a Remote Diagnostics Agent Validation Engine Guide, Maintenance Wizard, data collecting and finally a health check on the EBS installation parameters.

The upgrade process itself should filter through RapidWiz, a utility Oracle provides to help with the installation process. When upgrading through RapidWiz, admins must shut down all applications, and make sure the database is up and running. It's also critical to launch RapidWiz as a root user in order to properly lay out the file system or 12.2 software install.

Admins then need to run the Oracle EBS 12.2 upgrade driver, and run RapidWiz once more to configure the application tier.

Last, and perhaps the most difficult aspect to manage for Gallup, involved Application Database Online Patching (ADOP), which is considered by many to be the most important feature in Oracle EBS 12.2.

ADOP is an online patching cycle that replaced ADPatch and streamlines the patching process.

The five stages to ADOP are prepare, apply, finalize, cutover and cleanup, Syed said. Admins must prepare the instance for patch application, apply the patches to each edition, finalize the instance to run automatically, cutover to make the new patch edition run, and clean up by dropping obsolete objects and data from old editions.

"When you have issues with an ADOP patch, there are three MetaLink IDs to help," Syed said.

These IDs include Enabling Online Patching AD_ZD_PREP, Online Patch Enabling Patch is Failing on ADZDPREP.sql and R12.2 How to Resolve Invalid Object APPS.AD_ZD_Prep.

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