In June 2017 Oracle announced a product roadmap for Oracle E-Business Suite which showed a further release beyond 12.2 with support available to customers through to 2030! For customers who are not already in the process of moving to a cloud ERP software, the decision on the future can be postponed for the time being.
Extending the life of an existing, on-premise ERP solution is not without its challenges. Many customers currently using Oracle E-Business Suite for data archiving, have done so for many years and the underlying database has grown continually since the original implementation. Over time the historical data being held alongside current data has an impact on user experience and everyday operational needs such as regular ERP backups.
Continuing to run Oracle E-Business Suite to 2020 and beyond will imply further application upgrades will have to take place to maintain full support from Oracle. Each upgrade can potentially become longer and more difficult to achieve as the data volumes continue grow.
There is another, and often more high profile, challenge faced in continuing to store all data within an ERP application software. Companies are subject to legal minimums for the retention of certain information and internal policies may exist, which define longer periods and/or cover additional types of data. However almost no data is required to be held indefinitely and it is therefore likely that most organisations are storing data that is not required for any business purpose. Often this is seen as having little more impact than additional disk storage, however in the event of a legal case, any information held needs to be disclosed. The additional time and effort expended can be costly.
In the event of data breach holding more data than required increases the size of the breach, and the resulting exposure to sanctions including fines and damage to the company’s brand.
Therefore it is not surprising that companies are looking for Archive & Purge solutions for Oracle E-Business Suite to manage their data better. In most ERP softwares,any routines provided as standard have limited functionality, risk creating data integrity issues, and are difficult to modify to cope with local customisations as well as not performance optimised.
As an alternative, Oracle E-Business Suite customers can buy additional Oracle Database Enterprise Edition options including Partitioning and Compression to reduce the impact of storing historical data. However, the additional license costs and the fact that the data continues to be stored in the production database schema make this a potentially expensive solution.
An alternative approach which has been successfully deployed by hundreds of ERP customers is Redwaire Data Archiving. Originally developed for use with JD Edwards, Redwaire Data Archiving is an Archive & Purge solution based on a rules & database engine independent of any individual application. Installed outside of the ERP software’s code base, it is not a customisation and does not require integration work and associated testing.
So how does Redwaire Data Archiving work?
Redwaire Data Archiving focuses on ensuring data is archived with integrity maintained. To do this, it requires an understanding both of the application function and also the underlying data model. Redwaire Data Archiving comes supplied with pre-built modules for core business functions such as Financials making implementation rapid and the benefits quick to achieve. Once the data to be archived has been identified, usually by age but can also include any other criteria such as company, document type etc., the modules are configured and ready to run. Scheduling takes place within Redwaire Data Archiving and each job that runs produces a comprehensive log of its actions, even down to the SQL that was issued to the underlying database.
Redwaire Data Archiving was built to interact natively with the application database to deliver performance and throughput, most other Archive & Purge products go via interfaces which slow down these time-critical processes.
With a common rules engine, Redwaire Data Archiving supports multiple ERP applications including Oracle E-Business Suite and JD Edwards out of the box. It has also been used to archive many other packaged applications including Demantra and bespoke applications running on Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server database.
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