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Session Coverage: Best Practices for Maintaining Oracle Fusion Middleware

This is part of a series covering sessions at Oracle OpenWorld and JavaOne, 2015

This was a good session for new or intermediate users of Oracle’s Fusion middleware. One of the first things Ramirez stressed during his presentation is the importance of a maintenance strategy. This can help you stay within Oracle’s support guidelines, maintain security and proactively fix any already known issues. Ramirez also cautioned app managers to pay attention to lifetime support policy dates and to closely examine their error correction policy.

Another focus of Ramirez’s session was Oracle’s release of “patch sets,” planned releases to maintain a product through a product’s lifecycle. Usually these are intended for bug fixes, but patch sets will also introduce new features, improved documentation and functionality.

Ramirez introduced five key tasks for installing patch set releases. First, review and make note of your operating system capabilities (32-bit or 64-bit). Second, review certification, system requirements and interoperability info. Third, understand the types of Oracle Fusion Middleware installers contained in a release. Fourth, select an Oracle Fusion middleware software download site. Finally, carefully review all your documentation.

Ramirez examined a number of other tools including the repository creation utility (RCU), patch set assistant (PSA), the OPatch utility that installs interim patches and the remote diagnostic agent (RDA).

Ramirez also had some advice specifically for Java users when it comes to updating and maintenance, including the following:

  • For updating the Java development kit (JDK) Java updates are always recommended.
  • There can be more than one JDK on system.
  • When maintaining Java with FMW or WebLogic Server (WLS) install a separate (generic) Java directory for FMW in which to plan specific testing activities

Finally, Ramirez stressed the importance of leveraging “My Oracle Support,” a support account that enables customers to search Oracle’s knowledge base, manage service requests, download patches, interact in support communities and discover proactive capabilities for managing systems. He touted this service as the “source of truth” and a “must use for planning maintainable Oracle ecosystems.”

“There are more things at my disposal than what I was aware of,” said Gopi Yarlagadda, technology manager at Wells Fargo and attendee of Ramirez’s session. “For example, I learned about the [remote diagnostic agent], and I also learned about resources on the support side that I can look at and share with the rest of my folks.”

“In my experience I’ve actually found that the documentation was poor,” said Yarlagadda. “So that’s where the support side really helps. It actually seems like [Fusion] has pretty good documentation, including documenting when others have been in a similar situation and what was actually done to fix it, whether it was a patch, etc.”