Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Why is mod_plsql not supported with the Oracle eBusiness Suite Release 12? Fusion Crossroads #1

Update: As posted on Steven Chan's blog, the answers to my queries in this post are now well described in Metalink Note Note:726711.1

One of the well publicized and contentious considerations at the crossroads of Fusion relates to the "official" lack of support for the mod_plsql component in the Oracle eBusiness Suite Release 12.

I'm a keen battler on items of contention and I've been tracking this one for while. A high percentage of customers I've dealt with have invested in mod_plsql (mod PL/SQL) based solutions. With its reappearance on the forums recently and interest in R12 I thought it would be nice to take a step back to this.

First of all let's neglect the question a bit longer and look at a different statement, for reference, from here:

Although mod_plsql is no longer hosted as part of the standard Release 12 technology stack infrastructure, it's still possible to use it, in albeit a configuration that requires more diskspace. You can have a separate Oracle Application Server 10g installation, either in a separate ORACLE_HOME on an existing server, or on a physically separate machine.  You can use mod_plsql and other mod_plsql-based tools (such as Application Express) on that instance to access the E-Business Suite Release 12.

Hmm, so we know that we can use mod_plsql with Release 12. Just need to spin those propellors a bit and hey presto - there you go, working again. Or even just plug that Apache module back in.

If thats the case, then how does this all relate to support? Surely if the product can be used in a supported configuration, then it should be supported!? Using Apache (Oracle HTTP Server) and mod_plsql is one supported configuration of Oracle Application Express so I don't see the problem being with mod_plsql itself. If it was an inherent problem with mod_plsql then where would that leave Metalink?

Also, the quoted statement above conveniently fails to mention that inevitable L word - licenses. I'm no expert in the L word, so I venture no further and leave that to your own due diligence!

My current understanding - and I may be wrong so correct me if I am - is that:

  1. the use of mod_plsql in combination with the APPS schema inherently raises security problems
  2. mod_plsql is not on the roadmap to Fusion

With respect to 1, security problems generally can be fixed, for example, as they were for those issues in Security Alert #28.

With respect to 2, this is a technology decision in direction made by Oracle so my feeling is that it shouldn't affect support.

So where does that leave us?

Well, I leave you to form your own opinion, but I'd love Oracle to clarify further their position on the support of mod_plsql with Release 12.

PS. For more details on using mod_plsql with Release 12 open a Support Request (SR) on Metalink and ask for Note 435544.1.

3 comments:

Mike Shaw said...

If you want it straight from the horses mouth.... the official Oracle position is described in Steven Chan's Blog Article "Mod_plsql Not Supported in Release 12"

Gareth said...

Hi Mike,

With respect, Steven's post was the first link in my post. I'm more interested in the "why" given the level of investment in it by customers and partners, and mod_plsql's continuing use in APEX.

It's fine dropping it from the R12 techstack, but if it's part of an independent supported product and customers want to plug it back in, then why not? Isn't that part of the idea behind Fusion?

Regards,
Gareth

Democracy Lover said...

I think it's being intentionally disabled to avoid embarrassment. We all know that mod_plsql pages outperform OA Framework and ADF Faces by a significant margin, are easier to code and maintain, and can easily adapt to the newest web technologies (Ajax for example). It would be a problem for Oracle customers to have old custom pages that are quick and crisp and new R12 pages that are clunky and slow.