DevOps in the Enterprise – Oracle Financials

This post is more of an introduction to a journey of sorts to get thinking about DevOps in an Oracle eBusiness (Financials/CRM) type infrastructure and I plan on developing these posts over time with more details; incorporating feedback on the goal, designs, components and concerns and just as importantly, I hope to collaborate on these ideas to incorporate non Oracle tools.  It’s extremely important (at least to me!) to leverage the existing tools whenever and however possible so that Oracle doesn’t remain a perpetual silo no one else wants to touch!

Back story about me: I started out supporting Oracle eBusiness Suite in the late 90s, running 10.7 NCA, 11.0.3, every release of 11.5.x and currently supporting a 12.1 environment while trying to plan ahead to R12.2.  I’ve supported Oracle eBusiness on AIX, HPUX, Linux, Windows and Solaris environments over the years – through custom processes, oracle best practices to integrating with ITIL tools (Mercury Interactive at the time). I even spent a while working for Oracle themselves supporting implementations for higher education & healthcare verticals. I’ve seen it, I’ve done it, I’ve broken it, I’ve fixed it, and I have a lot of stories to share about it 🙂

Lets get the wheels spinning!

Goal:

Achieve a process of continuous integration (or more aptly “continuous validation”) within the eBusiness suite platform to achieve DevOps value objectives.

Concerns: (a few of many..)

Just how do you do DevOps with eBusiness suite (and similar COTS systems)?

  • How do you unit test?
  • How do you load test?
  • Do you push code to production?
  • How do you provide developers access?
  • What does the process look and feel like?
  • What about Business Analysts?
  • Audits?
  • Performance?
  • Availability?
  • feedback loops!

Components:

The components I use to build my “Enterprise Devops Pattern” for eBusiness Suite.

  • Oracle eBusiness Suite
  • Oracle RDBMS
  • Oracle iAS/Weblogic
  • Oracle Application Testing Suite
  • Oracle Cloud Control
  • Oracle Linux
  • Puppet, PuppetDB & Foreman
  • VMware

Processes:

What are the common processes we can leverage, optimize and built trust upon to greatly reduce  systems complexity?

  • Patching
  • Project work
  • Customizations
  • Cloning
  • Automation
  • Interfaces
  • Integrations
  • ….

Putting it together

How do we build a system that embraces trust, is reliable and performant? How do we test and prove our value stream?

  • Measuring
  • Experimenting
  • Audit defense
  • Monitoring.. testing..
  • Feedback loops
  • Reporting..

As you can see, just by starting to list out bullet points, the complexity of the eBusiness suite starts to rear its ugly head.  One quickly realizes that while the eBusiness suite is comprised of hundreds of connected “Applications” (AR, AP, GL, CRM, and FA so on and so forth) it really is its own “system” that Oracle has built and bolted on to over the years.  By thinking of it in terms of systems, we can start to see how we can apply DevOps values into the system to solve issues that plague the system by and large – Complexity, Mean times to do anything,  long project cycles, operational silos, skill silos, deep reliance on vendor support and so much more.

I hope to see people join me on this journey, share their ideas & experiences and challenge my assumptions.  The end goal is absolutely a “cookbook” of ideas to bridge the Oracle Financials “monstrosity” (for lack of better word) into a DevOps value stream.

In opening the proverbial flood gates, I want to speak to you – the people implementing, supporting, planning, patching eBusiness suite and see what you are doing. I want to hear from Vendors working on solutions, from groups developing custom solutions to open source projects that can be used to help provide the tools for change and help consolidate some of this data to report back and share.

So please, contact me through my Blog,  LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Plus, e-mail or phone.  Let’s talk! BTW, This work will be shared here and on the DevOps Enterprise Patterns group I’ve volunteered to assist Gene Kim with as well. Please join us there!

Links:

DevOps Enterprise Patterns

Devops Audit Defense Toolkit

Contact Me!

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2 thoughts on “DevOps in the Enterprise – Oracle Financials

  1. Interesting blog post and pretty ambitious effort to explore DevOps in a COTS environment. Is Oracle also involved in this effort to build a DevOps infrastructure since their participation and support from all the core Oracle modules will be crucial right? Or that is something that is abstracted?

  2. ABHAY DROLIA says:

    Interesting thought. Have you had any luck so far in this adventure? Any success stories to share? I am also proposing similar concept to my client, and they need references. There are no reference with Oracle ERP and DevOps. Curious to know how and what you have achieved so far.

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