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Understanding the Benefits of Oracle Upgrade 12.1 to 12.2

September 9, 2022
 / 
by 
Sohaib Zaidi

Table of contents

Premier support for Oracle EBS 12.1 ended in December 2021. Enterprises must now decide whether or not to upgrade their EBS to version 12.2. Staying with version 12.1 means you will no longer receive updates, including security updates, critical patch updates, and legal and regulatory updates.

In this blog, we’ll discuss the benefits of the ‍Oracle EBS R12 upgrade, steps for upgrade testing, and how Opkey’s automation platform makes EBS upgrades less expensive, and less time-consuming.

Get the E-book: Testing Strategy Guide for Upgrading to Oracle EBS 12.2

The benefits of an Oracle EBS R12 upgrade

Oracle understands that EBS applications are critical to your day-to-day business success. That’s why after announcing the end of premium support for Oracle EBS 12.1, the company is encouraging customers to upgrade to EBS 12.2. If you undergo an Oracle R12 upgrade, you will continue to receive premier support through 2031. Additionally, the R12.2 version will continue getting new enhancements and features from Oracle.

Although the benefits of an Oracle EBS 12.1 to 12.2 upgrade include online patching, a WebLogic Server, enterprise command centers (ECC), enhanced compliance features, and performance and usability improvements, there may be some challenges when it comes to testing the upgrade.

Read next: What You Need to Know About Upgrading to Oracle EBS 12.2

How to set up an efficient test strategy for Oracle EBS R12.2 upgrade

Often, customers develop issues with their EBS upgrade process because they neglect to set up the right testing foundation. The most prominent issues include:

  • Existing customizations: The most important technical work involved in an R12.2 upgrade is meeting the minimum requirements to make existing customizations work correctly in Oracle EBS 12.2. Due to architecture changes, there’s a possibility that your existing customizations won’t work like they do on 12.1. You need to identify and decide which customizations are impacted and can be replaced with standard functionalities available in R12.2.
  • Configuration issues: Configuration issues can affect app tiers due to missing RDBMS and Kernel parameter changes.
  • Existing integrations: Third-party products and integrations must be validated with an R12.2 upgrade. If this isn't properly done, then complex end-to-end business processes can break during the upgrade.

The best way to decrease risk during an upgrade is through a robust testing strategy. With that in mind, here are six Oracle EBS 12.2 upgrade steps to ensure upgrade is completed efficiently.

  • Functional evaluation: An EBS 12.2 upgrade involves significant changes in data models and functionality. It’s  important to perform a functional evaluation of your existing Oracle e-business suite EBS R12.1 and analyze existing gaps across your Oracle EBS applications. You need to conduct an assessment of current application usage to identify key processes, workflows,  and application issues. After that’s complete, you should analyze manual process steps, third party components, and review existing customizations, modifications and enhancements to make sure nothing has changed.
  • Configurations/customizations, extensions, modifications, localizations and internationalizations (CEMLI) evaluation: An initial evaluation of existing CEMLIs will highlight areas that may need additional focus during upgrade testing. There can be minor changes affecting your customizations or local system settings after an upgrade. These changes may impact an end-to-end business process outside of your EBS application.
  • Technical upgrade & regression testing: Prior to executing an upgrade, you should fully understand the impact it will have on your critical business processes. It’s  recommended that you perform a practice upgrade of a clone (or shadow) instance of your production environment and execute the first round of regression testing to gain experience with your upgrade and environments, as well as expose any potential issues. Document the practice upgrade in detail, including any issues and their resolutions.
  • CEMLI retro-fit: Any customization to your system should be treated as a custom application and tested in the same way. All customizations registered as custom applications should be protected from being overwritten during the upgrade process. For this, extensive testing for all interfaces, form customizations, descriptive flexfields, and customized reports needs to be done to ensure that they have not been affected by changes to tables or APIs in the upgraded software.
  • Modify test scripts: Once you upgrade to Oracle EBS 12.2, you’ll likely need to modify your old test scripts. After an upgrade, you might find objects that have become obsolete in a process or an additional field has been added to a form. These changes should be incorporated into your test scripts, which won’t function correctly without being retrofitted. Document all changes that impacted your business processes and modify your test scripts accordingly.
  • User acceptance testing (UAT): The final step in the upgrade’s quality assurance process is to conduct User Acceptance Testing. UAT is the final validation of an Oracle application’s functionality, business processes and data. This is vitally important because it serves as the final check to ensure that everything in the upgrade works as intended.

Streamline your EBS 12.2 upgrade with test automation‍

Test automation is the best way to ensure your Oracle EBS R12.2 upgrade is complete on time, and without major issues.

Too much time & money is wasted if your employees manually execute multiple cycles of testing for an EBS upgrade. This labor-intensive activity can expose your business to unnecessary risks, due to human errors. No-code automated testing eliminates the need of exhaustive, manual user involvement in Oracle EBS testing cycles, but still allows business process experts to participate in your testing cycles, helping ensure a risk-free upgrade.

Opkey’s automated testing platform is the perfect solution to ensure your Oracle EBS 12.2 upgrade doesn’t go over budget or timeline. Here’s how:

  • No-code automation to easily create tests: To ensure adequate risk coverage, business users, who have the most knowledge of their day-to-day business processes, should be involved with test creation. No-code platforms like Opkey enable these users to efficiently create and execute tests without the need for IT resources.
  • Pre-built accelerators: To further accelerate EBS testing, Opkey offers pre-built, automated test scripts for testing key EBS application transactions. This significantly reduces the timeline of your testing cycles. Oracle modules can be tested easily with Opkey’s pre-built library of over 2,000 EBS test components, covering a variety of industries and use cases. Additionally, Opkey provides tests that can work on both your legacy 12.1 EBS environment and your new 12.2 environment.
  • End-to-end testing: Most EBS environments run hundreds of business processes and touch multiple applications both within Oracle and span other third-party applications. With Opkey, all integrated applications and APIs can be tested to ensure your end-to-end business workflows don’t break when you upgrade to 12.2. Additionally, Opkey’s tests support multiple technologies (Web, Oracle Forms, JVMs) and users are alerted if middleware, custom, or third-party applications are at risk.
  • Test Case Retrofitment: Since you need to perform a CEMLI retrofitment to complete regression testing after an upgrade, Opkey’s drag-and-drop approach allows business users and manual testers to retrofit the test cases with minimal effort. By leveraging pre-built objects, this can be done easily and without requiring any programming knowledge.
  • Test Data Management: Test data is crucial for successful EBS 12.1 to 12.2 testing. With Opkey, test data is automatically seeded  based on your unique configurations so that QA teams don’t waste time and effort creating them.

Conclusion

The end of Premier Support for Oracle EBS 12.1 has forced many businesses to contemplate upgrading to EBS 12.2. When done correctly, an upgrade to Oracle EBS 12.2 can provide many benefits. To ensure a smooth upgrade, you need to pair a proper testing strategy with a test automation tool that is built for Oracle EBS and one that is simple enough for any employee to use.

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