Oracle: Java 7 auto-update could kill E-Business Suite functionality

Java Runtime Environment 7 isn't yet compatible with Oracle's flagship ERP application, so the company is advising E-Business Suite users to turn off auto-updating

Oracle has issued an urgent bulletin asking desktop administrators to immediately turn off the Java Runtime Environment auto-update option "for all Windows end user desktops connecting to Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i, 12.0, and 12.1" due to a critical incompatibility.

The auto-update process to JRE 7 will happen as soon as July 3, but right now, Oracle's Forms development toolkit isn't compatible with Java 7, Oracle said in an official blog post. In addition, it said, the E-Business Suite itself has not been certified for Java 7.

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Therefore, "Oracle E-Business Suite functionality based on Forms -- e.g. Financials -- will stop working if you upgrade to JRE 7," the post states.

Administrators should uninstall JRE 7 if the auto-update has already occurred and remain on Java 6 for now, it adds. The first phase of Java 7 certification for E-Business Suite is underway now, according to the post, but no release date was provided.

One commenter on the blog post asked whether E-Business Suite customers using other application tools, such as Oracle Application Framework, would be affected by the auto-update.

In response, an Oracle official said the issue was confined to Forms, but that it would still be wise to hold off updating Java until release 7 is certified with E-Business Suite.

Java 7 was released nearly a year ago, in July 2011.

Oracle's bulletin likely affects many customers, as E-Business Suite is its flagship ERP (enterprise resource planning) software product.

In addition, Forms has a long history at Oracle, even as the vendor releases newer application development frameworks. Still, as of March Oracle had made a public commitment (PDF) to support Forms for the long term, including a new version as part of the upcoming release of Fusion Middleware 12c.

The vendor also sells the JD Edwards and PeopleSoft ERP lines, as well as its next-generation Fusion Applications, which comprise a superset of functionality from all three suites and are also being oriented more heavily toward cloud deployment models.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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