FEATURES Summer 2018

Joseph Imbimbo, PPG Industries

For companies that manage ­product inventories and have ­large-scale manufacturing ­operations requiring a steady and dependable ­supply chain, ­Oracle’s Value Chain Planning (VCP) Suite provides the means to ­ensure product availability to their ­customers as well as the ­components necessary for their manufacture.

As with any Oracle software product, it’s extremely important to be aware of the certifications and support dates that are critical to ensuring technical support and software updates.

The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the ­important certifications and dates for two components of VCP: Advanced Supply Chain Planning (ASCP) and Demantra. ASCP is a licensed product inside of E-Business Suite (EBS). Demantra is a separately installed component that handles demand forecasting and utilizes an analytical forecast engine to generate those forecasts.

Depending on the versions of ASCP and Demantra, the VCP can be installed in the environment where the financial, order management, Oracle process manufacturing, purchasing and inventory products live or can be separated in their own ­Oracle EBS environment. In this case, the former is known as the source and the VCP products in the separate environment are referred to as the destination.

Supported Configurations

The split configuration previously mentioned allows a degree of flexibility for those who require additional processing power for VCP operations via running those products in a separate EBS environment. Customers utilizing EBS 12.1.3, Demantra 7.3.1.5 and VCP 12.1.3.9.1 have the option of running all of these products in the same environment as the primary operational products or can have a second environment for just the VCP products. Similarly, those utilizing EBS 12.2, Demantra 12.2 and VCP 12.2 have this same option.

Customers who want to upgrade Demantra to version 12.2 cannot do so in a EBS 12.1.3 container. This would require the split configuration. A separate EBS 12.2/VCP 12.2 ­environment would have to be created in order to use a higher version of Demantra than 7.3.1.5. As of this ­writing, ­Demantra 12.2.7 and VCP 12.2.7 are the latest versions. It should be noted that in a split configuration, there are requirements for keeping the product groups in sync. For ­example, recommended patch collections need to be applied to both in order for the correct pulling of data from the source to the destination instance.

Support Dates and Certifications

Java Applet Support

All versions of Demantra prior to 12.2.6.2 utilize Java applets. Java applets are no longer supported in Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge. Firefox extended support release 32-bit is the only version of Firefox supporting applets. Demantra 12.2.6.2 converted to a Java desktop application. Only Microsoft Internet Explorer and Apple Safari support applets. There is no guarantee that higher versions of these two browsers will continue to support applets. Browser support is an additional factor to be reviewed when deciding on VCP products and versions.

Conclusion

Oracle recommends that customers upgrade to the latest version of Demantra (12.2.7), which will have premier support through September 2023 and will not be affected by changes to applet support in the browser space. However, customers who are running EBS 12.1.3 will either have to upgrade the environment to 12.2.7 or create an entirely separate VCP 12.2.7 environment to run the ASCP components in a split ­configuration.

Joseph Imbimbo is an Oracle Applications DBA at PPG Industries. He serves on the OAUG Board of Directors and OAUG ­Customer Support Council.