In October 2018, Oracle announced that it was releasing the latest version of its E-Business Suite platform for enterprise resource planning, Oracle EBS 12.2.8.
With this update, Oracle also confirmed that it was moving to a “Continuous Innovation” release model for future updates, and that it would offer Premier Support for Oracle EBS 12.2 until 2030. In this article, we’ll explore what exactly these two developments mean and what Oracle EBS customers can expect from them.
What is Continuous Innovation for Oracle EBS 12.2?
Traditionally, Oracle EBS has released new versions in the form of major release upgrades, which combine a new technology stack with a new applications code level. Oracle EBS customers used the Rapid Install tool to upgrade their EBS system with new patches and update packs.
However, upgrading an Oracle EBS deployment is no easy task. It involves a lot of planning and forethought—not to mention technical skill. EBS customers need to generate upgrade scripts that will migrate the data, EBS schema, and PL/SQL to the new version of the platform.
Oracle has now decided to make the EBS upgrade process faster and easier with the Continuous Innovation release model. This paradigm separates technology stack updates and applications code updates, so that customers can upgrade the two independently on an as-needed basis.
Going forward, the differences between these two forms of updates will be:
- Ongoing Applications Updates: These updates will upgrade the EBS 12.2 applications code, similar to the previous EBS 12.2.x minor versions that Oracle has previously released on an annual basis. They will include both new features and bug fixes, and use Online Patching so that you can update your EBS system without the need for downtime.
- Ongoing Technology Stack Updates: These updates will refresh the Oracle Fusion Middleware technologies that keep EBS running.
Prior to the announcement, Oracle was expected to include Continuous Innovation in the next major EBS 12.X release after 12.2. However, Oracle has been able to implement Continuous Innovation for the current 12.2 version. This also means that there will likely not be a new EBS 12.X release; rather, EBS 12.2 will stay in place and continue to receive new updates.
What is Premier Support for Oracle EBS 12.2?
Oracle’s Continuous Innovation announcement also revealed that the company will continue to offer Premier Support for Oracle EBS 12.2 until 2030.
As a refresher, Premier Support is a service offering from Oracle that provides enterprise-class technical support, as well as new updates and enhancements.
In addition to this guarantee, Oracle promises to perform an annual review of its Premier Support offering for EBS 12.2 and decide whether to extend it for an additional year past 2030.
With both Premier Support and Continuous Innovation available for EBS 12.2, Oracle is signaling that this release of the software will be a stable long-term version for at least the next decade.
What Else is New in Oracle EBS 12.2.8?
Continuous Innovation and Premier Support are two big announcements for EBS 12.2.8, but they’re hardly all the new update has to offer. EBS 12.2.8 includes new innovations and features as well as performance tweaks and security patches.
A few of the changes in EBS 12.2.8 are:
- Customers can vote and make requests in Oracle Support Communities.
- Enterprise Command Centers in the EBS dashboard to more easily identify your top business priorities and take action.
- Various improvements to the user experience, including more HTML user interfaces and more support for mobile devices.
In addition, 12.2.8 comes with the following benefits:
- Gain peace of mind with no surprises.
- New features without upgrades.
- No additional cost to be planned for 10 years.
- No forced migrations – you can stay at current application patch level with no additional cost to maintain.
- Ample time for future planning budgeting and allocating resources – fixed cost to deal with support needs.
- Tailor to your enterprise’s business and IT strategies – supporting cloud/on-prem/hybrid model – this won’t become a constraint while IT is choosing their strategy,
- Get more value from existing application enhancements – whatever is invested in enhancements doesn’t need a rewrite for a long time due to upgrades.
EBS 12.2.8 is an online patch, so it can be applied while the system is running. However, customers who have EBS 11 or EBS 12.0 will need to migrate to 12.2 before moving to the latest version of 12.2.8.
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