Friday, June 15, 2007

For Whom The Bell Tolls

"...therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee." John Donne, Meditation XVII, Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions, 1624.

That's a line with deep meanings. It later formed the basis for Ernest Hemingway's 1940 novel "For Whom The Bell Tolls." The idea, without too much digression on my part, is that the ringing bell represents death or some type of end. As we're all intertwined in this existence, whenever the bell tolls, it represents some type of loss for each of us.

So, do you E-Business customers hear the bell ringing? It tolls to signify the end of Premier Support for E-Business Suite versions 11.5.7, 11.5.8, and 11.5.9 under Oracle's Lifetime Support program:
  • If you're on 11.5.6 or earlier, your Premier Support expired in July 2006.
  • Premier Support for 11.5.7 terminated in May 2007
  • 11.5.8 Premier Support will end in November 2007
  • Premier Support for 11.5.9 expires in June 2008
In considering what the loss of Premier Support means for those of us on these versions, it's important to keep in mind the current types of Oracle Support. In very simple terms, it lays out as follows:
  • Premier Support is the type of support we all get when we purchase Oracle apps products.
  • Extended Support comes into play after Premier Support expires. It preserves the service level of Premier Support for an additional period of time, but customers pay an increased cost for that service. Important note: Oracle is not offering Extended Support for any of the E-Business versions listed above.
  • Sustaining Support allows customers to contact Oracle Support and get help diagnosing issues. However it's very important to remember that Sustaining Support does not include new updates, fixes, security alerts or critical patch updates. If you uncover a new issue on a product in Sustaining Support mode, you will be advised to upgrade to a release still eligible for Premier Support. All the products listed above have or will transition into Sustaining Support immediately after their end dates for Premier Support.
So, the upshot here is:
  • If you're currently on 11.5.6 or 11.5.7, you're figuratively walking the circus high-wire without much of a net to catch you when you fall. Upgrading as soon as possible should be one of the top priorities in your shop.
  • If you're on 11.5.8, you should be planning to upgrade by November 2007 to avoid joining those 11.5.6 and 11.5.7 folks in their high-wire act.
  • If you're on 11.5.9, you should at least be considering a plan to upgrade before June 2008.
And to what version should you upgrade? Either or Release 12. Upgrading to 11.5.8 or 11.5.9 only means you'll repeat the process again within the next year. And, for those of you who care about longer range planning:
  • Premier Support for ends in November 2009; Extended Support will be offered through November 2012.
  • Premier Support for Release 12 ends in January 2012; Extended Support will be offered through January 2015.
You can read more about Oracle's Lifetime Support program here. Now, will you all please do something about that ringing bell so that we can all get some sleep?


Steven said...

>bong< >BONG<

Terrific article, Floyd. The bells are getting louder. This was my primary motivation for discussing patching myths, myself.

Steven Chan

fteter said...

Steven, thanks for the kudos. What goes around comes was your article on patching myths that caused me to think that it was time to "ring the bell" again on this subject.