Oracle ESU; friend, not foe

by Lee Balsom

For those who’ve been around JDE E1 longer than we may care to remember, a recurring theme was (and sometimes still is!) a general unwillingness to apply Oracle ESUs.

Reasons given vary…

“We’re too heavily modified!”

“That ESU affects too many BSFNs!”

And my personal favorite… “Too much testing will be required!”

JDE customers with a large modified footprint not only have to retrofit their customizations, they must also identify (manually) where the ESU changes impact important functionality in the standard product. These need to be validated, modified or not, so that testing can confirm nothing has broken!

Testing effort itself could be considerable, often accounting for half the overall project effort, and impacts all JDE E1 customers. As a result, the ESU was often filed in the “too difficult” pile. Or, worse still, users would cherry-pick code from the ESU.

Though this may have seemed like a good idea at the time, in hindsight it was simply a way of delaying the pain; pushing it out to the point of upgrade.

These were valid arguments, but the emergence of new software and services (like the DWS Dimension suite) have made it easier for JDE E1 customers to identify which objects will be affected by an ESU. Similarly, test planning and automation tools (such as DWS’ Dimension SwifTest) can significantly ease the burden of testing.

What are your options?

Organizations running a pre-9.2 E1 release can proactively take ESUs on a regular basis and stay code-current annually; before upgrading to 9.2 when the time is right for them. Alternatively, they can remain reactive; only installing an ESU when necessary to solve a mission-critical challenge.

Organizations on E9.2, under the continuous-delivery model, have a similar choice. Technically speaking. However, they are also acutely aware that to remain ESU-less under E9.2 risks stagnation. At the time of writing, Oracle has no plans for 9.3 release, so playing the waiting game whilst on base E9.2 may hand an advantage to the competition.

In either case, taking a proactive approach to the application of ESUs is the wiser choice. Learning to treat ESUs as friends, not foes, will pay dividends to the business; enabling users to benefit from all the latest functionality and bug fixes. Importantly, it also makes future maintenance or uplift projects smaller, faster and smarter.

Discover more about test planning and automation and our upgrade services. Or contact us now to discuss your requirements.

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