Back in 2016, Oracle announced a big change to the way updates occur for their PLM flagship, Agile. This news carries some weight that will impact every licensee at some point, if it has not already. It will play to your advantage if you know exactly what is means and does not mean.
The end of Agile?
We have all observed Oracle's shift in focus and resources into the development of enterprise cloud applications. , so does this mean First off, no, this is not the beginning of the end. This news tells us a few things that every user should understand, particularly if you have been unsettled by Oracle's clear shift in focus and resources.
They are called Agile Release Update Packs (or RUPs) and the implications of this change carry some weight, both in the now, and well into the future.
The Agile Update Model
Until recently, Oracle software developers would plan to make one significant Agile release each year. These waterfall updates contained minor coding fixes, requested feature and functionality, and some generic compatibility extensions.
In April 2017, Oracle began releasing Agile Release Update Packs (RUPs) for users of versions 9.3.5 or 9.3.6, every two months.
What Does This Mean?
Let's suppose your organization wants to stay current on Agile versions, but your current environment operates on an earlier A9 version (9.3.4, or before).
You will need to upgrade to either version 9.3.5 or 9.3.6. Now you can choose to install the latest RUP or hold off until a release that includes more applicable bug fixes and enhancements. Instead of installing several patches or possibly volatile one-off patches, a single installation will include all previous RUPs as well.
Packs are also released on an as needed basis, as often as every 2 months. Each new RUP will accompany a full list of fixes and enhancements. Those can be viewed in the corresponding ’Read Me’ for that release.
Currently, this is Oracle's road map going forward.
If you are wondering if it is worth the trouble to apply the RUPs to your Agile environments, my answer is, absolutely- without a doubt.
RUPs can be installed and tested with less effort, when compared to upgrading and installing a full Agile release. Customers can plan to deploy in a test environment, test system functionality, and push to Production on a streamlined timeline without worrying about prerequisites or incompatibility with previous patching.
Although RUP installs will be lighter than the weight of former updates, I recommend enlisting a competant Agile services provider for extensive testing and guaranteed project success. It's been my experience that the headache can be quite severe with a botched upgrade implementation. Any one of a million things can go wrong.
Although bug fixes might be the impetus to apply a specific RUP, the enhancements alone will certainly make them worth considering.
For example, here is one of the functional enhancements from the 22.214.171.124 RUP:
Workflow notification enhancement
- Impact to Administrator
- A new property 'Allow User to Notify Reviewers on' is now added to each 'Review/Release' type workflow status.
- The property is a multiple list with 3 values: Comment, Approve/Reject, Acknowledge. Just as the property name states, when any of the value is selected, the 'Reviewers on Current Status/Previous Status' option will be visible on the certain pop-up window, and vice versa, when it is de-selected, the option will be invisible in the pop-up window.
- By default, all the 3 values are selected, which means the system will behave exactly the same as is.
- When Administrator wants to block the option on any status of a certain workflow, they can de-select one or multiple values from the new property and Save.
- See more details in Product Collaboration User Guide.
- Impact to Web Client
- When user open the corresponding pop-up window in Web Client, they will find the option is invisible.
- Impact to Workflow
- The new added property can be Export/Import as well as the other workflow properties through Workflow Export/Import functionality.
- Impact to ACP
- New property can be migrated as well as the other workflow properties through ACP script.
- Impact to Upgrade
- The new property is set to all values selected by default for upgraded customers.
- Impact to OOTB Report
- The new property is also added to Workflow Configuration Report.
- Not Supported Use Cases
- The behavior change is not applied into Java Client, which means user can still use the option to notify other reviewers if they are allowed to use Java Client to do business operations (though it is not recommended).
- Once Administrator tries to block the option on a certain workflow, he/she should manually guarantee all 'Review/Release' type status are set consistently. Otherwise, user may still have the chance to send out notifications to other reviewers.