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Literary icons like Mark Twain seldom inspire Oracle ERP blog posts, but in this case we can’t top the immortal words of Samuel Clemens, so we won’t dare to try:
In fact, “Greatly Exaggerated” doesn’t go far enough, because the rumors are flat out wrong.
However, Oracle’s announcement about its plans for future JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 9.2 releases makes it easier to understand why misconception has taken root. Although it might be a bit counter-intuitive, this announcement that no major releases of JDE1 are planned is actually good news for the long-term sustainability of JD Edwards EnterpriseOne as an Enterprise Resource Planning solution.
To explain why, we sat down with Syntax Consulting Manager Thomas Baertschi to discuss some of Oracle’s latest announcements on JD Edwards to explain what they mean to both current JDE1 customers and those companies considering implementing Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne.
Q: In the past, Oracle has made major releases of JD Edwards EnterpriseOne available at approximately 3-year intervals. Release 9.2 was made generally available in October of 2015. Is Oracle planning to release JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 9.3 at some point in 2018 or soon thereafter?
A: No. Oracle is not planning to do another major release of JD Edwards EnterpriseOne. That’s because Oracle has adopted a “Continuous Delivery” model which significantly improves both its software packaging and delivery processes. Oracle’s Continuous Delivery model obviates the need to deliver JDE1 enhancements via major releases.
This change in Oracle’s approach represents a major benefit for customers.
The Continuous Delivery model allows JD Edwards EnterpriseOne customers to incorporate enhancements when they meet specific business needs without the cost and disruption of a major upgrade. It is also important to note that Oracle plans to continue using this new model of delivering enhancement releases on the JDE1 9.2 code line.
Q: Does that mean that Oracle will never deliver another major EnterpriseOne release?
A: No, not necessarily. Oracle has told the JD Edwards user community that if it is needed,
a future major release is in their roadmap.
What does Oracle really mean by that? Well, let us say that a large functional or technology change arises that cannot be delivered effectively as an enhancement release. Oracle has said that this type of change would require them to consider a new code line split and a major release. Now what of course would qualify as a “large functional or technical change?” Well, let’s take Block Chain. There’s a good chance that an enhancement to JD Edwards to support Block Chain would require a new code line and if that were the case then Oracle would probably have to consider a major release.
However, for the time being, Oracle’s focus is on delivering future new enhancements releases on the JDE1 9.2 code line.
Q: So what can users expect, in terms of enhancements to JD Edwards EnterpriseOne?
A: Oracle’s plan is to continue delivering regular enhancements, along with maintenance, regulatory updates and technology improvements. This falls in line with Oracle’s enhancement delivery policy that JD Edwards customers who are on the EnterpriseOne 9.2 release are well acquainted with. In fact, Oracle has delivered five releases for the 9.2 code line since the general availability of EnterpriseOne 9.2 in October 2015.
Q: So what is Oracle’s roadmap for the future of JDE World?
A: What Oracle is telling us is that they’ll follow a similar model with JD Edwards World Release A9.4 in that they’ll deliver future enhancements, regulatory updates, and technology improvements on the A9.4 code line.
Q: So Oracle seems to have completely changed their approach relative to JD Edwards releases. What does “Continuous Delivery” really mean?
A: The key difference to “Continuous Delivery” lies in working with shorter software engineering cycles, which allows Oracle to release enhancements much more quickly and frequently. This of course hinges on designing, building, testing, and delivering software faster.
The “Continuous Delivery” approach helps cut the cost, time, and risk of installing changes as major releases. As far as JD Edwards users are concerned, these incremental updates benefit you by making your ERP solution more stable.
Q: Is it just me, or does this description of “Continuous Delivery” have a Cloudesque tinge to it?
A: [Chuckle and a smile.] No, it’s not “just you.” The truth is that user expectations have changed because of the Cloud. Today everyone, even people working in professions not remotely connected to the IT sector, have a very different relationship with technology than they did even just a few years ago. Application upgrades and updates are a part of our daily lives.
Just think of your own experience in getting software updates for everyday household items, like smartphones or tablets. You get a message saying an update is ready to be installed, and you click “Yes” to agree to install it, and in many cases the automatic update is finished in the time it takes to fix yourself a cup of coffee.
Continuous Delivery represents Oracle’s attempt to deliver timely JD Edwards product innovations that support their business needs while eliminating the cost and potential disruption of a major upgrade.
Let’s face it. Who wants to wait several years to get a new set of features? Or perhaps, more to the point, what CIO or Enterprise Applications Manager wants to explain to the CFO why he’ll both have to wait and pay for a time and money-saving upgrade?
The intent behind Oracle’s incremental enhancement approach should shorten time-to-value cycles, something which both IT and business users will be pleased to hear.
Q: OK. So that’s what Oracle says, which is to be expected. Syntax supports hundredsof JD Edwards EnterpriseOne and JD Edwards World customers in the Syntax Enterprise Cloud: What are they telling us about Continuous Delivery thus far?
A: Good question. The truth is that the feedback we’re getting from customers is very positive.
As Bill Sandblom of IGI explains, “Continuous Delivery” has the potential to greatly benefit JDE customers. We have just completed upgrading to Version 9.2, this is our first upgrade in about 10 years. There are many new features which will be very beneficial to IGI. So with “Continuous Delivery” we will be able to benefit from new technology as Oracle develops it in a much more timely fashion.”
That makes a lot of sense, I mean, when was the last time you talked with an IT manager who liked having to go through a complete applications release upgrade to take advantage of only a handful of new features of interest to him or her? How many ERP Managers miss building a business case to justify six-figure budget for a JD Edwards upgrade?
Q: Switching gears a bit, how does all of this impact Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 9.2 support timelines?
A: That’s a great question and something that is always on the mind of JDE1 users. Here is the story: First, Oracle is extending its Premier Support period for the latest releases of both JD Edwards EnterpriseOne and JD Edwards World. That’s welcome news, of course…
For JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 9.2, Premier Support is effective through at least October 2025 and Oracle has said that Extended Support will remain effective through at least October 2028. So that’s a decade of support for E1, at a minimum.
The JD Edwards World A9.4 support timeline is more compact. For JDE World A9.4, Premier Support is effective through at least April 2022 and Extended Support through at least April 2025.
Editor’s note: Here is a link to Oracle’s Lifetime Applications Support Policy, as of March 2018.
Q: Yes, Oracle is known for its “updates” to support policies. Do you have any insight into why Oracle made these latest changes to the JDE support timelines?
A: Yes, I think it is straightforward in this case. Oracle found that, because of their previous Premier Support dates for JD Edwards, customers were putting off upgrading to either EnterpriseOne 9.2 or World A9.4 releases because they would have had to manage a relatively short Premier Support window. This was not convenient for anyone.
Users need a JD Edwards solution that translates into tangible upgrade ROI, and that means your latest release must offer a significantly longer Premier Support horizon.
So, Oracle’s goal is to reassure JD Edwards customers that they can continue to run the current release of JD Edwards applications with ongoing support and enhancements through at least October 2028 for Release 9.2 and through at least April 2025 for World Release A9.4.
Q: Finally, in practical terms, does this mean that customers simply upgrade to EnterpriseOne 9.2 and forget about it for the next 5 – 8 years because they’ll enjoy Premier Support until at least 2025?
A: The best practice is always for customers to maintain their current JDE environment and stay current on the 9.2 code line by taking regular enhancement releases. Doing so helps make ERP updates predictable and routine just as annual tools release upgrades have ensured your JDE Technology stacks remain current, safe and secure.
This way you’ll be in a stronger position to support an upgrade to your database or a new browser, for example. With that said, the Continuous Delivery model will require a shift in how you maintain your JD Edwards environments, and Syntax of course will be here to guide our customers through that process, every step of the way.
If you’ve got more questions about how Oracle’s roadmap for JD Edwards EnterpriseOne and World impact you then you’re in luck because we’ve got answers.
First, if you’re planning on going to Collaborate 18 in Las Vegas, Nevada, make sure to stop by and visit with Syntax at Booth 525,where Thomas, as well as our other experts will be on hand to handle your questions directly. We’ll also be presenting “Deployment options for your JD Edwards Applications – Demystify the fog around Cloud” and “E1 Performance Optimization for Large Data.”
For more information about Syntax’s plans for Collaborate 18, check out our Collaborate page, scroll to the bottom, and fill out a form to request a one-on-one with a Syntax JD Edwards expert.
We’ve got you covered. Click here to learn more about our JD Edwards consulting and upgrade solutions and/or click here to learn more about migrating your JD Edwards solution to the Syntax Enterprise Cloud.