Oracle is continually innovating: each quarter, it rolls out new updates to its enterprise applications, enabling its customers to improve business processes through enhanced features and functionalities.
While these updates enable better business operations, organizations must continually perform maintenance and enhancement tasks to ensure their Oracle applications don’t experience downtime, which according to Gartner, costs businesses $50,000 per hour.
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Enhancements & maintenance tasks that every Oracle Cloud customer should follow.
- Quarterly Patching: Although applying quarterly updates can be a hassle, the updates are important as they deliver important features, bug fixes, and security enhancements. These updates significantly increase the functionality of your Oracle apps.
- Regression Testing: Oracle doesn’t test their updates on your specific environment. As such, you must perform regression testing to understand how the updates impact your existing business processes. Regression testing ensures that your Oracle apps will function correctly after the patch is applied.
- Auditing User Security Access: Executing a personnel security access audit is crucial for the security of your business and employee data. After each quarterly update, your QA team should perform security testing to ensure that employees are not privy to any sensitive information.
Bug Fixes & Security
Apart from new features and functionalities, Oracle’s quarterly updates include common bug fixes. The bug fixes resolve discovered and exploitable security vulnerabilities within the core Oracle Cloud system. If you’re not applying Oracle Cloud quarterly updates and patches, then it may expose your business to unwanted threats, who can steal and sell your data.
Why enterprises fail to apply Oracle Cloud quarterly updates and patches?
Enterprises operating on Oracle Cloud apps find it difficult to apply quarterly updates and patches because:
- It requires multiple rounds of regression testing. The updates are first applied across test environments and after two weeks, they are deployed into production environments. Thus, organizations must test 8 times a year—two times for each update. Simply put, both business and IT users have more important things to do than to do Oracle Cloud testing, so the testing tasks become draining.
- There is a possibility that security roles will change with every quarterly update, so enterprises need to perform Oracle security testing to validate user privileges. Since a single role contains about 500 Function and Data security privileges, it is next to impossible to manually validate these hundreds of roles together.
If you’re still relying on manual testing and finding it difficult to keep pace with Oracle Cloud quarterly updates and patches, then the below tips will not only help you keep pace with the frequency of Oracle Cloud updates, but also minimize the cost of maintenance and patching.
- Invest in Oracle Cloud Test Automation
Investing in Oracle test automation will not only accelerate your Oracle testing cycles but also protects your enterprise application downtime risk, that comes from inadequate test coverage. Test automation eliminates repetitive tasks that are part of regression testing, and enables your team to focus their time on value-add activities. With test automation tools like Opkey, you can be certain that you’re not over-testing—wasting precious resources—or under-testing—which leaves your business exposed to risk.
- Incorporate your Oracle releases into your DevOps pipeline
If you separate your Oracle delivery from other apps, then software testing costs will greatly increase. An increase of testing costs can delay the implementation of security patches. With Oracle test automation tools, you get the necessary functionality to plug into DevOps pipelines.
- Cross Application Validation
Oracle rarely operates as a standalone app across a business’s ecosystem. Often, enterprises integrate their Oracle Cloud Apps with third party systems as well as other productivity tools like Office 365. Since quarterly updates usually affect integrations, regression testing of cross-application workflows ensures that none of them break.