A Simple Solution to Archiving Your Legacy Oracle Data

10 September 2020
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By Dermot Murray, VP of Ideation at Inoapps

As we all move into what many people refer to as “The New Normal”, one of the interesting outcomes is that many of our customers and prospects are finally looking to address the move to Oracle Cloud ERP from Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS).  Of course, there are lots of reasons why that makes sense: lower cost of ownership, improved collaboration and security for remote workers, automatic upgrades and patching, but it does raise one recurring challenge - what to do with your legacy EBS data? Last week the Inoapps Sales team won a new project for an Oracle EBS data archiving solution, a recurring theme that we are seeing across many of our customers and a topic I want to explore in more detail.

Organisations typically have a 7-year obligation to retain certain elements of legacy data, and for those organisations that have been using EBS for some years, that is likely to represent a sizeable amount of data.   Of course, it would be madness to migrate much more than opening balances into your new Oracle Cloud ERP system (although each organisation’s situation varies). So where can these customers store their legacy data at minimal cost, with low maintenance effort, whilst guaranteeing its availability for reporting? 

There are a few choices:

  • Keep the EBS instance running in Read-Only mode. 

That will allow very easy access to historic data but may come at a high price for ongoing infrastructure, hosting, licences and support.

  • Extract the data to a Data Warehouse solution, and decommission the EBS instance.

Many organisations have a corporate Data Warehouse solution, and it therefore makes sense to export the relevant data into that, ready for onward reporting.  This usually requires an ETL exercise to extract the data, which can be a complex, time-consuming and expensive process. However, if the organisation fails to anticipate the need for a specific piece of data, it will not be available for reporting later.

  • Migrate all legacy data into the new ERP instance.

Although this offers some benefits (all data in a single place, legacy system can be fully decommissioned) it is not normally practical or desirable due to changes in structures, non-consistent data, or simply modifications to business process in the new ERP system - and will come at a high cost.

Back to the new project we won at the end of last week.

The team at Inoapps has delivered an EBS Data Archiving solution very successfully to several of our customers. It is built on the following principles:

  • Oracle Autonomous Cloud Database
  • Export of the entire Oracle EBS database, and import into the Cloud instance
  • Oracle Application Express (APEX) as a query layer to allow data access
  • Decommissioning of the legacy EBS instance

But how can APEX be used to access all the myriad data elements in the Oracle EBS instance?  Easily.  Our team has developed a suite of pre-built APEX reports that meet the most common queries that our customers use.   As part of the project implementation we will build any additional reports that are deemed important for the particular customer’s use case.  Finally, to meet those requirements that arise over time and were not in the original scope, we can quickly deliver additional reports on top of the underlying database schema to meet those urgent needs. We migrate all the EBS data in the legacy system, so if the data exists in EBS, our customers can access and report on it through our archiving solution

The outcome is a guaranteed data archiving platform, delivered quickly and at low cost, providing the assurance to our customers and their compliance teams that they will be able to satisfy both their immediate regulatory and reporting needs, and any unanticipated requirements in the future.  They don’t need to clutter their new ERP deployment with corrupt legacy data – and can discontinue the infrastructure, licences and support for their legacy EBS instance, allowing their team to focus on delivering value through the new ERP deployment.

Our solution doesn’t look or act in exactly the same way as the EBS system would - but the Inoapps team of experts are there to answer any questions customers may have and to provide training to users if needed.

The new world we live in has forced many organisations to rethink their approach to their business applications, but the need for robust and secure data legacy hosting remains critical.  Using Oracle APEX as a low-cost platform to meet those needs makes perfect sense.

You can find more information about our solution here, or speak to the experts at info@inoapps.com

Foot note - one final consideration.  Not every Oracle EBS customer is going to migrate to Oracle Cloud ERP.  There are many other ERP platforms out there, and people will inevitably go elsewhere.  But the need for legacy reporting will remain even if you migrate off Oracle, and this solution will still apply.

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