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Oracle e-Business Suite’s New SysAdmin Features

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Fear not System Administrators: There are exciting new system administration features in the pipeline for managing e-Business Suite environments.

Well, I’ve made it back home to Charlotte and I’m getting caught up with my notes from Open World. One of the sessions I attended last week was by Oracle Senior Project Manager Biju Mohan. His session covered some of the improvements and new features system administrators can look forward to in the upcoming release of the e-Business Suite plug in for Oracle Enterprise Manager (OEM).

One seemingly never ending task that takes up a considerable amount of time for System Administrators is cloning. It wasn’t long ago that cloning was done manually (maybe I’m dating myself), using home grown scripts and following documented (or not so documented) procedures. I’m sure there are still a few of us out there who still follow manual processes, and although Oracle Applications Manager and the adclone utilities and scripts have helped sysadmins reduce the time and effort for cloning, there are still a few areas where things we being done manually behind the scenes. I’m happy to report the product teams at Oracle have been hard at work, and will be releasing a number of new or improved features for e-Business Suite management in the future. Here are a few of the improvements I learned about regarding cloning.

Cloning support through OAM will be decommissioned, and in the future cloning will be accomplished through the cloning dashboard in OEM – with the e-Business Suite add on (the “apps pack”) installed. The process will be automated through a provisioning framework, where OEM will walk an administrator through an interview process to determine cloning parameters. Sys admins will be able to create images, so the possible cloning combinations will be:

  • Source to Target (e.g. PROD to DEV);
  • Source to Image (e.g. PROD to an image to put on the shelf and use for future clones to DEV, UAT, etc.); and
  • Image to Target (e.g. refresh DEV from an earlier image of PROD or another imaged environment).

One feature I’m sure many have been waiting for is the ability to scramble or purge sensitive data. I’ve been told this feature will work with 11i10 and Release 12. This is great news for cloning production environments down to development and test instances where the apps password isn’t always policed as it is in production. Although the instance might not be production, the data still originated in a production environment, and the ability to scramble or purge sensitive HR, payroll or other personal data (e.g. to meet HIPAA requirements) has been needed for a long time. It was not made clear as to how extensive the process was, or what data elements for each of the modules would be covered, but it was my understanding that the scrambling will be implemented as an engine where additional input parameters can be input to the process. Data obfuscation will occur during the cloning of either a Source -> Target or Source -> Image clone, and will not be reversible.

I’ll keep my ears posted on when we can expect the release of the apps pack for OEM. Post a comment if you hear any news on the next release. More details on additional Release 12 system management features to come in a future post.

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Richard Byrom is the founder and author of OracleAppsBlog, which documents the daily experiences and learnings of Oracle Applications Consultants and Implementors. He is also an Oracle Applications Consultant, Speaker and Author.

Oracle e-Business Suite’s New SysAdmin Features
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