Patches are an inevitablity when managing an E-Business Suite environment; ranging from small one-off fixes for a particular issue to large consolidated and legislative patches. In all cases organisations should have a controlled approach for applying them. One of the biggest challenges is to understand the impact of patches to carry out any mitigations and target testing activites.
While any patch may include hundreds or even thousands of modified components which of those that get applied on an environment varies markedly based on the existing state of the environment. It is key when assessing the impact of patches to isolate which specific components were actually applied during the patching rather than what components were included with the patch.
Certain patch components are difficult to review to determine their effects. For example, files that affect database objects and seeded application data are not only in formats that are difficult to assess they give no indication about the specific change that has occurred only the final state of those objects.
It is difficult to determine whether a patch has unexpectedly modified any implementation setups. Only by thorough testing might these effects be identified – however, teams cannot be sure that they have not missed such an effect without checking all setups.
For larger patches that affect database objects consideration must be given to whether a full customisation impact analysis should be carried out. In addition, some customisations may be based on a standard component; if that standard component is modified by a patch the development team should assess the impact on the custom version of the component.
ConfigSnapshot provides extensive functionality to consider patch impact from multiple dimensions including:
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"ConfigSnapshot is no doubt a great tool for generating comparison reports to identify differences in different e-Business environments. However, the real power lies in the migration component. The migration engine is extremely accurate and the execution precision prevents errors during configuration migrations. The details window is very helpful for configuration visualizations. DevOps is about automation, ConfigSnapshot is the bridge between IT and development"
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