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The benefits of upgrading from Oracle EBS 12.1 to 12.2

September 9, 2022
   /   
by 
Sohaib Zaidi

Since Premier Support for Oracle EBS 12.1 ended in December 2021, enterprises must decide whether or not to upgrade their EBS to version 12.2. Staying with version 12.1 means that you no longer receive updates, security updates, data fixes, critical patch updates, and legal and regulatory updates. In this blog, we’ll discuss the benefits of upgrading to Oracle EBS version 12.2, steps for upgrade testing, and how Opkey’s automation platform makes EBS upgrades less expensive, time-consuming, and resource-intensive. 

The benefits of an Oracle EBS 12.2 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, they are encouraging customers with previous versions of Oracle EBS to upgrade to EBS 12.2. If you make this upgrade, you will receive Premier Support through 2031. Additionally, the 12.2 release will continue to receive new enhancements and features from Oracle. 

Although the benefits of an Oracle EBS 12.1 to 12.2 upgrade are abundant and 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 our blog, What you need to know about upgrading to Oracle EBS 12.2.

How to set up an efficient test strategy when upgrading to Oracle EBS 12.2

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 to meet 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. 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 rpms and Kernel parameter changes.
  • Existing integrations: Third party products and integrations must be validated with an R12.2 upgrade. If this isn't done, there's a possibility of changing existing objects or removing objects, which can disrupt workflows.

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 best practices to ensure your upgrade is completed efficiently. 

  • Functional evaluation: An EBS 12.2 upgrade involves significant changes in data models and functionality. It is important for your organization to perform a functional evaluation of your existing Oracle e-business suite 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 and application issues. After that is 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.
  • CEMLI retrofit: Any customization to your system should be treated as a custom application and tested in the same way. Custom apps should have extensive testing for all interfaces, form customizations, descriptive flexfields, and customized reports to ensure that they have not been affected by changes to tables or APIs in the upgraded software.  
  • Technical upgrade & regression testing: Prior to executing an upgrade, you need to understand the impact it will have on your critical business processes. It is recommended to 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. 
  • Modify test scripts: Once you upgrade to Oracle EBS 12.2,  you might need to modify your existing test scripts from before the upgrade. 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 need to be incorporated into your test scripts, which will not 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 you have full and complete test coverage.
Streamline your EBS 12.2 upgrade with test automation

To ensure a successful Oracle EBS 12.2 upgrade, multiple rounds of testing is required. Automated testing is the most cost-effective and robust way to ensure you avoid critical app downtime. 

Too much time & money is wasted if your business users manually execute multiple cycles of regression 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, ensuring 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.

Using an intelligent test automation platform like Opkey can help ensure a successful Oracle EBS 12.2 upgrade. Opkey’s AI-driven end-to-end test automation platform reduces business continuity risk by 90%, increases EBS upgrade speed by up to 10x, and is half the cost of other test automation platforms. Opkey eliminates the guesswork associated with an EBS upgrade and provides out-of-the-box EBS features built specifically to ensure a smooth upgrade: 

  • No-code automation to easily create tests: To ensure adequate risk coverage, business users need to create test cases to accommodate changes in functionality after an upgrade. Once test cases are ready, they need to be automated without technical expertise, which has traditionally been impossible for most organizations. Opkey’s no-code test automation solution is the answer to this common problem. It transforms manual test cases into automated test scripts with one click—eliminating repetitive, time-consuming tasks. Non-technical users can create tests using Opkey’s Screen Recorder feature, or they can opt for Opkey’s easy to use drag-and-drop test builder.
  • Pre-built accelerators: To further accelerate EBS testing, Opkey offers pre-built, automated test scripts for testing key EBS application transactions. This significantly reduces your testing cycle. How is that possible? 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: A typical EBS environment runs hundreds of business processes, which touch multiple applications within Oracle EBS and span across dozens of custom and third-party applications. With Opkey, all integrated applications and middleware use cases can be tested to ensure your end-to-end business workflows don’t break when you have a configuration or field change within EBS. Additionally, Opkey’s tests support multiple technologies (Web, Oracle Forms, JVMs) and users are alerted if middleware, custom, or 3rd 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. Leveraging pre-built objects this can be done easily, without requiring any programming knowledge.
  • Test Data Management: Test data is crucial for successful EBS 12.1 to 12.2 testing. With Opkey, you’ll get relevant test data sets based on your unique configurations so that QA teams don’t waste time and effort creating them. 

Conclusion

Although the end of Premier Support for Oracle EBS 12.1 may have caused stress for businesses and forced them to contemplate upgrading to EBS 12.2, when done correctly, an upgrade to Oracle EBS 12.2 can provide many benefits. However, to ensure a smooth upgrade, you will need to pair a proper testing strategy with a test automation tool that is built for Oracle EBS ,and simple enough that any business user can use it. Look no further than Opkey’s AI-driven automated testing platform, which is the best solution for ensuring a quick and risk-free Oracle EBS upgrade. 

Oracle 12.2 upgrade

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