Oracle R12 Security and Patching Project

Oracle R12 Security and Patching Project

 

What is happening?

Upgrades are being released for the operating system, database and Oracle R12 itself.The project will be taking the Oracle system down as part of planned outage on Thursday evening on the 17th until Tuesday 22nd May. During this time, the system will be unavailable to process any Oracle related activity.

What do I need to do?

  1. Please ensure you have processed required transactions before 5pm on Thursday 17th May.
  2. Any reports still running at 5.30pm on Thursday 17th May will be terminated to ensure we can process the required upgrades within the planned timescales.

What is the timetable?

The timetable for the upgrade is set out below

  • The plan of record will result in a planned outage of 2 business days.
  • In case of unforeseen circumstances, this outage may increase to 3 business days; we will communicate with users on the morning of Tuesday May 22nd if this is the case together with instructions on completion of manual orders.
  • In the worst case scenario, the system will be reverted to the current version of R12 by the start of business on Friday, May 25th in order to ensure that transactions can be processed before the bank holiday weekend.

  

 

Plan


Outage Impact on me How will I be informed?
Plan of record 2 business days

No payment run on 18th May

No ordering on Oracle between 18th and 22nd May

Upgraded Oracle released to users Tuesday May 22nd start of business

 Regular communications
Plan B  3 business days  

Manual order process triggered from Tuesday start of business.

Upgraded Oracle released to users Wednesday May 23rd start of business

 Email from Lindsay Pearson Tuesday 22nd
Contingency  5 business days  

Manual order process triggered from Tuesday start of business

Original Oracle version released to users Friday May 25th start of business

 Email from Lindsay Pearson Wednesday 23rd

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

           

 

Question

Answer

FAQ.1

Can I have read-only access to Oracle to run reports?

Standing up a read-only version of Oracle R12 is uneconomic for two days’ outage as it would require management of several thousand user access rights.

Instead, we would ask that you run required reports to complete before the Thursday deadline.

FAQ.2

Key Travel can only confirm bookings with receipt of a PO. What if I need to book travel on those days of outage?

For the two days of outage only, urgent travel can be booked by telephone with Key Travel using a departmental Barclaycard  or personal credit/ debit card

FAQ.3

What contingency plans are there for placing orders if the upgrade takes longer than planned?

Contingency plans will be triggered on Tuesday if needed with all the necessary process detail communicated from this mailbox on the day. 

FAQ.4

What functional changes will we see?

There is one minor change to General Ledger: it is no longer possible to add an attachment to a journal once it has been submitted for approval.

All other changes are cosmetic only

FAQ.5

Do we need extra training?

No.  New users will see the cosmetic changes reflected in existing training materials.

 

A reminder on why this change is necessary

This project will update the Oracle R12 system and significant underlying infrastructure to ensure it remains fully in supported by Oracle. The operating system and database will be upgraded, application and security patches and bug fixes will be applied. These updates will bring the system security up to date.

Oracle R12 has not had any patches applied to the since 2014 and is not running the full suite of security patches and bug fixes.  This means when issues are found, a lot of time is spent diagnosing the issue and picking out a single fix to cover a specific issue. 

Over the last three years, hundreds of patches have been released that we need to apply.  There are current issues logged that require fixes, and we know some of these fixes lie within the latest support pack.

This will result in a more robust system, strengthened controls and reduced system downtime: there will be a reduced need to deploy emergency fixes when issues are found.

 

Where can I find out more?

 For a daily update over the R12 outage period, please visit the Finance System Support Center webpage.

 https://www1.admin.ox.ac.uk/finance/support/

For further information please contact

 mariam.ahmed@admin.ox.ac.uk - Project Manager

lindsay.pearson@admin.ox.ac.uk – Project Sponsor and Deputy Finance Director