Upgrading Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) from 11i to 12.2 introduces numerous changes steered towards modern user experience, functionality advancements, streamlined installation, operational efficiency, and increased performance. In this post, we discuss the new features and benefits of upgrading to Oracle EBS 12.2, R12 offerings, Time, Cost, and Resources savings on the transition, and to upgrade EBS 11i instances to a single global instance of R12.By: Lavanya M.
The transition from 11i to R12 is a high-stakes major initiative for any E-Business Suite (EBS) customer. Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) R12 is a significant new version with valuable new features and capabilities. Currently, most believe that some clients are forced to reimplement to take advantage of R12, but others may be lucky enough to reap the new release benefits via Oracle’s upgrade process. EBS customers with brand new implementations are not impacted by the transition complexities.
Most EBS customers upgrade if given a choice because it is the path of least resistance. Compared to reimplementation, it is simpler, requires less resources, will likely cost less, and the time-to-value is shorter. ISV's tend to make upgrades easier than starting from scratch, if they know how and can do so at an acceptable cost. If not, individual customers must shoulder the reimplementation burden.
New Features in EBS R12.2
Oracle EBS 12.2 offers a modern user experience with a new look and feel. It now has icon-based page navigation where users can select an icon to view a summarized list of recent notifications, and new user interactions that allow the end user to scroll through, detach a table, and work with a wider width. It also has new widgets that improve user productivity.
Online patching allows the application of patches to an EBS 12.2 system while it is still up and running, which greatly reduces patching downtime. This functionality leverages Oracle 11gR2 Edition-Based Redefinition features to support online patching, therefore allowing patching to be applied while the production system is fully operational.
WebLogic Server is the replacement for the Oracle Containers for Java (OC4J) application server used in EBS 12.0 and 12.1. WebLogic obtains data from the database making use of the context from the metadata dictionary (constructs HTML page) and then makes the HTML page available to the end user with the help of Apache (Listener). WebLogic is integrated with this tier planning to create hybrid applications using OAF-ADF and optimizing clustering performances.
Apps Password Change Routine
There are some slight modifications to the apps password change routine in the E-Business Suite Release 12.2. These changes include extra options to change your password, along with some manual steps using FNDCPASS. A new utility called AFPASSWD has also been introduced. Unlike FNDCPASS, it requires no apps or system user passwords, which permits the separation of duties between the database administrator and the application administrator. Often, both these roles are performed by the same DBA, but in large organizations there may be different teams managing the Database and Application.
Streamlined Installation Process
Users now have an option of installing the new EBS 12.2 on their existing database servers with the ability to carry out the installation into existing Real Application Clusters (RAC) environments. The use of native installation tools has also been streamlined for Oracle Fusion Middleware and Oracle Database technology stack components.
Reduced Patch Downtime & High Availability
Online patching enabled by edition-based redefinition of Oracle Database 11g has dramatically reduced patch downtime for Oracle E-business Suite. Users can remain online while patches are applied. The user downtime in EBS 12.2 is minimized to a shorter cutover period with an anticipated maintenance window, enabling critical business operations and revenue-generating activities to continue during patching.
During the patching process, users can remain online and user downtime is limited to system restart time, which provides higher availability. A predictable maintenance window in EBS R12.2 ensures that critical business operations and revenue generating activities continue uninterrupted.
Support of Fusion Middleware by Oracle Apps 12.2 cloning
With the new support of Fusion Middleware by Oracle Apps 12.2 cloning, the upgrade can be made to Oracle Fusion Middleware Release 12c (12.2.1) from previous versions of Oracle Fusion Middleware.
Microsoft Office 32 bit and 64 bit certified for Oracle web application
The following versions of Microsoft Office 32 bit and 64 bit are now certified with Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.2: Office 2007 (till October 2017), Office 2010 (till October 2020), Office 2013 (till April 2023), and Office 2016.
Direct upgrade to EBS 12.2 from earlier EBS 11i releases
A direct upgrade path is available from EBS 188.8.131.52 to EBS 12.2. EBS 184.108.40.206 users can also upgrade directly to EBS 12.2 with no EBS 12 intermediate release required. All EBS 220.127.116.11 users are required to apply the minimum baseline patch for Extended Support as per the description in Patch Requirements for Extended Support of Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11.5.10 (Document 883202.1). Users of the earlier EBS 11i releases (such as 11.5.7) need to be at the 18.104.22.168 level (plus follow the minimum baseline patch requirements for Extended Support) before they can upgrade to EBS 12.2.
Oracle E-Business Suite Release R12 facilitates operations and affords numerous business benefits. The upgraded software has been designed to assist organizations in making smarter decisions, and to stay competitive by increasing performance. Companies manage more effectively on a global scale by reducing costs in many different processes. The following main product categories are included in Oracle E-Business Suite Release R12:
|Oracle CRM||Oracle Financials||Oracle HRMS||Oracle Logistics|
|Oracle Mobile Supply Chain Applications||Oracle Order Management||Oracle Transportation Management (OTM)||Oracle Warehouse Management Systems (WMS)|
Each application is comprised of various modules. This post will focus on three primary applications – Oracle Financials, Oracle Supply Chain Management (SCM), and Oracle Human Resource Management System (HRMS).
Key Advantages - Oracle Financials R12
The essential new features and new functions provided in the Financial Release 12 supports business growth by offering the most extensive and adjustable global platforms that allow an organization to have more control and flexibility. Some of the new features include the ability to recognize partial revenue for a period, optimize funds with cash pooling and zero balancing, and disabled accounts replacement.
Many new standardized business functions in R12.2 allow greater efficiency and compliance in an increasingly stringent financial regulatory environment. The new application simplifies organizations' financial foundations. Some of the key business functions that drive efficiency include the following:
- Oracle Payments allows organizations to centrally credit and debit payments.
- New ledger system allows organizations to store financial transactions easily and have easier user access.
- Subledger Accounting allows organizations to operate under accounting policies and rules throughout the enterprise.
- Single point of access enables efficient management of Bank accounts and numerous banks.
- E-Business Tax enables organizations to consistently process and regulate numerous taxes.
Comprehensive Business Intelligence
Oracle Business Intelligence Applications (OBIA) are intact solutions, that come prebuilt and help to inform key stakeholders about the performance of the organization by providing an integrated view of the organization's information and statistics. Stakeholders obtain better visibility into the factors that contribute to revenue, costs, and efficiency, get a global or complete view of the enterprise, and expand or adjust operations using Oracle BI.
One of the most essential updates in Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 is the aspect of centralized accounting. Release 12 provides greater efficiency by centralizing bank functions and accounting. Oracle introduced Subledger Accounting (SLA), which allows organizations to control and monitor each accounting entry at a detailed level. Subledger Accounting enables users to apply all accounting rules and organizations the ability to allow universal transaction accounting.
Reporting is an essential component to nearly all organizations and has become critical for maintaining a competitive advantage. Whether reporting includes charts, various forms, images, or government required forms, Release 12 relinquishes much of the hassle involved with standard reporting by transitioning to templates to increase efficiency and simplify form preparation and maintenance.
Benefits of Oracle Supply Chain Management (SCM)
Upgrading to R12.2 helps companies become more responsive in global manufacturing environments, improve manufacturing execution, and increase productivity. Release 12 evolves performance by enabling companies to run with reduced downtime. This is accomplished by enhancing manufacturing execution for greater shop floor visibility and reducing production delays.
Global Management facilitates the process of viewing the effectiveness of the quality of products and services, as companies can now assess their effectiveness against the standard quality objectives. Oracle introduced templates that allow companies to receive immediate feedback from customers related to compliance procedures and program results. Companies can also generate receipts for their products, and view products in a single view that allows for exclusive serials and quality results.
Manufacturing Execution System (MES)
Oracle MES for Discrete Manufacturing is a new product included in the Oracle Supply Chain Management Suite. In MES R12, companies to operate more efficiently due to improvements in floor visibility and reduction of the total cost of ownership through integrated manufacturing management and production execution. This product offers paperless record keeping which reduces operation costs for organizations. Additional benefits include enhanced reporting for transactions, and Clock In/Clock Out for actual time capture.
Organizations can optimize cost by going "green" and substantially reducing unnecessary paper. R12.2 now provides users access to the Flow Execution Workstation to document during production of assemblies and components. This simplifies access to documents and reduces paper waste. Another key offering is self-service capabilities. The application integrates self-service so that users can complete tasks in absence of work orders and access plans at any point of an operation. Users can also take a customer’s request and access a plan and include the request.
Oracle has combined Process (OPM) and Discrete Manufacturing so there is one single template that services both. The capability to access broad supply chain capabilities allows modern integration that was not offered in previous Oracle releases. Key benefits include attributes of all item types to increased accuracy, and co-signed inventory to reduce carrying and order management costs.
Benefits of Oracle Human Resources Management System (HRMS)
Reduce Human Resource Materials
Organizations can now provide to employees the necessary common forms and documents that help reduce distribution costs and materials Human Resource employees are required to maintain. Documentation is simplified, as organizations can replace hard copies of forms with soft copies.
Reduce Frequency and Cost of Errors
Every organization strives to maximize consistency, as it reduces and eventually eliminates costly errors like data entries. Oracle users only need to enter data once before it automatically updates across all applications and eliminates potential data errors. Each process that the organization operates on is updated, which reduces the cost incurred by error of incorrect data entry. Three of the applications offered in Oracle HRMS include:
- Compensation – eliminate compensation planning guesswork with different modeling scenarios.
- Payroll – creation of one operation for accounting entries instead of multiple entries for updates.
- Workforce Deployment – employee’s final Process Data can be changed.
Reduce Recruiting Costs
Organizations have the ability to reduce recruiting costs by leveraging automated recruiting strategies, and reducing fees paid to services for job offer letters and other process (i.e. resume processing). Traditionally, organizations have utilized newspapers and other paper resources to advertise, but have transitioned to online resources for job postings and sending job offer letters, which reduces the costs allocated to hard copy advertising and recruiting.
Focus on the components that depend on specific transition methods when planning the transition to R12.2. Cost/benefit and resource expenditure analyses will assist with your transition planning, specifically helping you identify and select the optimal method for your organization’s adoption of R12 and the new features that come along with it.
Every organization that chooses to upgrade to EBS R12.2 will benefit from numerous improvements and operational efficiencies, and assist in facing the challenges of operating in the modern global economy. The new Financial modules will help organizations comply with new accounting regulations and compete with new competitors, and Supply Chain Management applications will help companies operate more efficiently with greater consolidation of operations and enhanced manufacturing execution, while HRMS modules will enable organizations to increase employee retention and maintain a higher competitive advantage in the global economy.