This topic provides a conceptual overview of the integration between the Delphix Engine and Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS).
Why Use the Delphix Engine with E-Business Suite?
Oracle E-Business Suite offers a multitude of enterprise resource planning (ERP), supply chain management (SCM), and customer relationship management (CRM) applications useful for running a business. Typical EBS instances are consumed horizontally across an organization, but managed on-site by an IT organization. Most businesses hire consultants or in-house developers to customize these instances to fit business needs.
Production EBS instances are critical to many business processes; EBS is expected to be always available and functioning correctly. An IT organization's EBS team is responsible for maintaining this production instance: this team monitors the instance and manages how software modifications are integrated. Common EBS software modifications include patches provided by Oracle or new application logic provided by consultants or in-house developers.
However, before making a software modification to their production EBS instance, most EBS teams vet the modification. These teams typically maintain a series of non-production copies of their production EBS instance to use for the vetting process. To vet a modification, the EBS team will modify a non-production instance in an attempt to identify bugs in the modification that might lead to incorrect functionality, performance regressions, or downtime. Once a modification has been installed and tested successfully, it is considered vetted and the EBS team make the same modification to the production instance.
The problem with this process is that maintaining non-production copies of EBS is costly. EBS teams not only need to provision and maintain resources for each copy, they also must update each copy to match production every time production itself is modified. This process takes two hours at a minimum and can take up to a week or more.
The Delphix Engine can alleviate much of the pain around managing non-production copies of Oracle E-Business Suite. You can link a production EBS instance to the Delphix Engine and use the engine to provision virtual copies. These virtual copies lower storage costs associated with non-production. They also drastically reduce the amount of active attention required from the EBS team. When a change is made to the production EBS instance, the Delphix Engine can synchronize its copy; all virtual EBS instances can then be refreshed to match this new version of production. The process of refreshing a virtual EBS instance is fully automated, so an EBS team no longer needs to invest copious amounts of time refreshing non-production instances manually.
In addition, the Delphix Engine can take snapshots of virtual EBS instances in known healthy states so that you can easily roll back risky modifications while vetting them. This functionality provides modern version control semantics for a process which previously had none.
Overview of Linking and Provisioning EBS
Oracle E-Business Suite is primarily comprised of a database service and a plethora of application services. The Delphix Engine supports the linking and provisioning of all EBS datasets, including the database technology stack (dbTechStack), database, and application files (appsTier). Note that the Delphix Engine can also manage custom extensions and plug-ins.
The process of linking EBS data involves creating multiple dSources:
- a dSource for the dbTechStack
- a dSource for the Oracle database used by EBS
- a dSource for the appsTier
These dSources are collectively referred to as EBS dSources. They are also the source datasets from which you can provision virtual EBS instances.
The process of provisioning a virtual EBS instance involves provisioning from each of these dSource separately to the proper environments in sequence. You can add custom configuration logic to the Delphix Engine for each EBS instance such that the linking, provisioning, and refresh processes are fully automated.
The source dbTechStack is linked using the Delphix Engine's EBS support: the linking process automatically runs pre-clone logic to ensure EBS configuration is always appropriately staged at the time of data capture. When you provision EBS, the Delphix Engine automates post-clone configuration such that a copy of the dbTechStack is available for use on the target dbTier server with no additional effort. You can add this copy of the dbTechStack to the Delphix Engine as an Oracle installation home and use it to host an EBS virtual database (VDB).
The database dSource is linked using the Delphix Engine's support for Oracle databases. This dSource contains database data files that EBS is currently using. For more information about managing Oracle databases, see Managing Oracle, Oracle RAC, and Oracle PDB Data Sources. When you provision EBS, you will use the Delphix Engine to set up a copy of the EBS database on the target dbTier server. This copy of the database will be used to back virtual EBS instance’s appsTier.
The appsTier is linked using the Delphix Engine's EBS support: the linking process automatically runs pre-clone logic to ensure EBS configuration is always appropriately staged at the time of data capture. When you provision EBS, the Delphix Engine will automate post-clone configuration such that a copy of the appsTier is available for use on the target appsTier server. This virtual copy of the appsTier will connect to the provisioned EBS virtual database (VDB).
How Does It Work?
The Delphix Engine's linking and provisioning logic follows the Oracle-recommended cloning procedures outlined in the following Oracle Support documents found at http://docs.oracle.com:
Cloning Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.2 with Rapid Clone (Doc ID 1383621.1)
Cloning Oracle Applications Release 12 with Rapid Clone (Doc ID 406982.1)