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Patching and Upgrade Planning for Oracle Financials Cloud

Instance Patching and Upgrade is a way of life in Cloud world!

Customers using Oracle Financials cloud are well accustomed to the frequent patching and instance upgrades.

While the patches and upgrades overall improve features, performance and usability of application with enhanced functionalities; it can also create panic amongst financials users if not planned, tested and communicated on time.

Here are some tasks to be performed before and after patching /upgrade for a seamless transition to new release.

Pre-Activities: Before the patch is applied to instance or it is upgraded, following pre-activities should be completed:

  • Review the patch/upgrade Oracle notes and mark the ones impacting your current processes-- awaited bug resolution or new functionality.
  • Connect with Oracle by raising SR in case further explanation is require for any of the above notes. This will ensure no surprises when upgraded instance is handed over to users.
  • Compare the new FBDI templates with previous version and make a note of any changes. These changes need to be incorporated to the FBDI based Inbound interfaces.
  • Prepare and add the test cases for above points
  • Get the overall test cases reviewed by the functional team
  •  Inform the outage timings to users. Outage should include time taken to complete Post activities as well.
  •  Stop all the Inbound and Outbound interfaces to/from Oracle.
  •  As a best practice, patch/upgrade needs to be applied to the non-production environment first and tested/maintained with pre-post activities. Any issue faced during testing of Non-Production instances should be resolved before its applied to PROD. Some examples of such issues are:

o    Access issues in case of custom security

o    Formatting changes (e.g. page break ) to seeded reports

o    Any other known Oracle bug

These issues can be resolved with the help of Oracle team by raising Service Requests. The resolutions should be noted to be applied to Production as a post-task.

  • In case of any changes to FBDI templates, the inbound interfaces should be updated and tested in Non-Prod instance.

Post-Activities: After receiving patching/upgrade completion notification from Oracle and before the instance is handed over to testing team or users, below listed tasks should be completed by Oracle Support team:

  • Run following processes:

o    Import User and Role Application Security Data 

o    LDAP Requests

o    Update Person Search Keywords

o    Synchronize Person Records

o    Refresh Manager Hierarchy

  • Verify if the email notification is working (Notification on the Bell Icon) by either running a BIP report or changing a test person record. If its not working then an SR needs to be raised with Oracle to set the Notification Mode to ALL on SOA server and bounce the server afterwards.
  • Release the inbound and outbound interfaces to

1.       Catch up on the data since it was stopped

2.       Process as per regular schedule

  • Publish the active hierarchies to Essbase
  • Recreate the Essbase Cubes for active chart of accounts
  • Verify that Essbase is returning all Rules sets and Allocations in EPM
  • Activate the journal entry rule set assignments
  • Depending on the requirement, update the formatting of seeded report/s. E.g. Default Format, Page Break
  • Check for and Fix any subject area related error for OTBI reports.
  • Apply the fix for issues encountered during Non-Prod testing.

While patches are applied to the instance either monthly or quarterly (as opted by the customer); upgrade frequency is lesser. The scale and impact of instance upgrade is higher; since functionality changes are major. Hence upgrade planning should start well in advance. The impact analysis of upgrade should be performed meticulously and elaborate test cases should be built.

The Infosys Oracle Cloud team works with customers as trusted Support Partner and helps planning patching & upgrade transition; along with the regular production support activities like Period Close. The team tracks new features, presents to business and helps identify lag between new features & its adoption.

The objective during patching or upgrade is to minimize the spike of support tickets from Financials users. The above mentioned pre and post activities help ensure the same and maintain a stable Production System. 

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