Oracle offers a wide range of enterprise applications – on-premise and cloud-based. These applications help in efficient management of critical business processes: human resource, supply chain, financials, customer service, and inventory management. As part of its commitment towards continuous improvement and innovation, Oracle rolls out frequent updates that improve security and help customers manage their processes better. These updates are known as Oracle Critical Patch Updates.
In this blog, we’ll highlight what Oracle Critical Patch Updates are, why they are important and how you can easily manage them.
What are Oracle Critical Patch Updates
Oracle Critical Patch Update (CPU) is a comprehensive security patch that addresses security vulnerabilities across various Oracle product lines. Whether you’re using on-premise applications – Oracle EBS or Oracle Cloud Applications – Oracle ERP Cloud, Oracle HCM Cloud, or Oracle CX Cloud, you cannot avoid Oracle CPU. It is critical as it:
- resolves an outstanding issue
- includes a new feature or function
- upgrades the maintenance level
- implements product upgrades
- supports interoperability of technological stacks
Oracle Critical Patch Update Release Cycle
Oracle rolls out its critical patch updates 4X a year. These updates are scheduled to be rolled out every year in the months of January, April, July, and October. First, the update is rolled out in the test year. After two weeks, it is automatically applied to the production environment. So, organizations get two weeks to test the update and report any uneven events to Oracle.
Why Oracle CPUs Are Critical to Implement
- Security: Oracle CPUs eliminate security vulnerabilities. By implementing Oracle CPUs, organizations can mitigate security risks – unauthorized access, data breaches, or disruption of services.
- Compliance requirements: The tax and regulatory requirements change at a much faster pace. To make its customers stay compliant, Oracle rolls out new tax and compliance requirements through CPUs. If an organization fails to implement these CPUs, it may lead to a compliance breach and can result in hefty penalties.
- Reputation management: Incidents like data breaches or data loss can lead to irreparable damage to the reputation of an organization. By staying up-to-date organizations can avoid these incidents.
Why Testing Oracle CPU Is a Must
- Oracle CPUs have the potential to negatively impact your customized configurations, integrations, and enhancements. Therefore, it is recommended that you should test Oracle CPUs before implementing them in production environments.
- Organizations can customize their Oracle enterprise applications as per their unique business requirements. However, Oracle CPUs can break your custom workflows, leading to business disruption. Thus, it is recommended to test CPUs before deployment.
- Oracle enterprise applications hardly operate as standalone applications. Often, they are used along with productivity applications like Office 365, Workday, etc. CPUs have the potential to impact your critical integrations. Thus, testing is mandatory.
- Organizations often use custom reports to track their critical business processes. These custom reports need to be tested before applying Oracle CPUs.
- Oracle enterprise applications support role-based access. Sometimes, Oracle CPUs also impact the roles and privileges of users. This needs to be tested to avoid compliance breach.
Challenges in Oracle Critical Patch Update Testing
- Oracle’s critical patch units are rolled out quarterly. And every time an update is rolled out, it requires regression testing in the test and production environments. Testing critical patches 8X a year can be very time-consuming.
- What to test is still a billion dollar question. At times, QA teams end up testing redundant tests that don’t contribute towards coverage. Sometimes, QA teams end up testing so little that bugs rolled out in production, causing business disruption.
Address Oracle CPU Testing Challenges With Test Automation
Test automation is the logical way to address these challenges. It automates repetitive tasks and speeds up the testing process. No code test automation platforms like Opkey automate regression testing of Oracle enterprise apps – Oracle EBS and Oracle Cloud, while ensuring adequate risk coverage. With risk based coverage, QA teams don’t need to make guesses while selecting the regression suite.