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Oracle Field Service (OFS) Release Process
Answer ID 8509   |   Last Review Date 02/12/2020

What is the Oracle Field Service release process?

Environment:

All versions of Oracle Field Service (OFS)

Resolution:

The Oracle Field Service Release Process is designed to allow customers to take advantage of the latest product features, enhancements and fixes, and to facilitate high-level system performance, quality, stability and security. Oracle Field Service is automatically updated so that customers receive these benefits along with up-to-date product capabilities and guaranteed support.

There are two types of system releases:

  • Update - introduces new features and functionality
  • Service Update - contains problem fixes and are released as needed


The System Release Types section below provides an overview of each type of release.

System Release Types

Type

Scope

Frequency

Deliverable

Update

  • Introduces new features and functionality including, for example, API and GUI enhancements
  • Production focused release prioritizing system performance, quality, stability and security
  • Incorporates all previously available updates to existing functionality
  • Four (4) Updates per year: February, May, August and November

Service Update

  • Does not include any new system features or functionalities
  • Provides fixes to specific issues that impact system performance, quality, stability, and/or security
  • Routine updates that typically appear seamless to customers (e.g. no downtime)
  • Applied to the current GA Update release
  • Service Updates will only be applied to customers requiring a service update. These will be applied to non-production (TEST) instances followed by a production instance update two business days later.
  • One Off Service Updates may occur on an as-needed basis. They will contain urgent fixes and can be installed with the highest priority.
  • Latest GA Service Updates
  • Service Update release notes on Oracle Service Cloud Customer Portal
  • Updated non-production (TEST) instances
  • Updated PROD instance two business days after non-production update 

NOTE: The 19C TEST and Production Update (August 2019) dates may have a slightly different schedule.


Update Naming

We will use the last two digits of the calendar year, and A, B, C, or D to correspond with the four Updates. For example, we will refer to the first update in February 2019 as Oracle Field Service 19A (previously known as 19.2), May 2019 will be Oracle Field Service 19B, August will be Oracle Field Service 19C and November will be Oracle Field Service 19D.


Release Cycle Example

The following illustrates an example of the release cycle:

  1. February Update (e.g. 19A) introduces new features and functionality
  2. Service Updates (As needed) contain fixes for the February Update (e.g. 19A)
  3. May Update introduces new features and functionality and contains fixes from the previous releases
  4. Service Updates (As needed) contain fixes for the May Update (e.g. 19B)
    Note: Service Update release timing will vary by customer

Illustration of release cycle


Update Release Schedule

Oracle Field Service Update releases occur on a regular cadence designed to provide predictability for planning purposes.

The following schedule is provided for planning purposes and subject to change.

 Release

Type 

Update Release Date* 

End of Life Date 

Region* 

Test Preview Update* 

Production Update 

 19C

 Update

 Aug 2, 2019

 Mar9, 2020

 All Regions

 Schedule date will be provided in the email notification.

 Schedule date will be provided in the email notification.

 19D

 Update

 Nov 1, 2019

 Mar 9, 2020

 All Regions

 Nov 1, 2019

 Nov 22, 2019

 20A

 Update

 Feb 7, 2020

 June 1, 2020

 All Regions

 Feb 7, 2020

 Feb 21, 2020 - April 8, 2020***

 20B

 Update

 May 1, 2020

 Sept 7, 2020

 All Regions

 May 1, 2020

 May 15, 2020**

 20C

 Update

 Aug 7, 2020

Dec 7, 2020 

 All Regions

 Aug 7, 2020

 Aug 21, 2020**

 20D

 Update

 Nov 6, 2020

 Mar 8, 2021

 All Regions

 Nov 6, 2020

 Nov 20, 2020**

 21A

 Update

 Feb 5, 2021

 June 7, 2021

 All Regions

 Feb 5, 2021

 Feb 19, 2021**

 21B

 Update

 May 7, 2021

 Sept 6, 2021

 All Regions

 May 7, 2021

 May 21, 2021**

 21C

 Update

 Aug 6, 2021

 Dec 6, 2021

 All Regions

 Aug 6, 2021

 Aug 20, 2021**

 21D

 Update

 Nov 5, 2021

 Mar 7, 2022

 All Regions

 Nov 5, 2021

 Nov 18, 2021**


* Notes: 1) Designated Update releases and release dates are subject to change at Oracle's discretion. 2) Update timing may vary by region. 3) Does not include Service Updates which are applied as needed. 4.) APAC = Asia-Pacific; EMEA = Europe, Middle East and Africa; LATAM = Latin America and NA = North America.

* Starting with 19D, customers can use the Cloud Portal – Service Console to schedule Prod and non-Test Preview, Test instance Updates.

** Unless changed using the Cloud Portal.

*** Check your email for notification and/or Cloud Portal.

End-of-Life Policy

Oracle will host and support only the designated GA Update version of Oracle Field Service.  Customers are required to upgrade to the latest Oracle Field Service GA Update.  

For more information see the Oracle Cloud Hosting and Delivery Policy associated with your contract.


Update Process 

Overview

Updates require proper preparation to help facilitate a smooth process.  In addition to the release documentation provided by Oracle, it is important to understand how the Oracle Field Service instance is configured and how it is used in daily operation.  For a successful update, it is important that you plan ahead of time, ensure that the appropriate resources are available, read the release documentation, and communicate the updates to your business users ahead of time. The analysis should begin on day one of the Update process so any questions can be addressed early.  

If you encounter technical issues (e.g. instance is not available, login issues) during the update process, please submit a Service Request to the Oracle Service Cloud Customer Portal and the support team will process your request.

If you require training, guidance on how to take advantage of functionality, configuration assistance and/or integration assistance, please contact your Sales Account Manager to learn more about options for a consulting engagement. Oracle Consulting Service professionals are knowledgeable and skilled with Oracle Field Service and can provide relevant and informed recommendations.  If you have Oracle priority services, please reach out to your Technical Account Manager (TAM).

Update Scope

Oracle follows a documented update policy that is designed to help minimize service interruption and aid compliance with applicable policies and procedures, including information security policies.   

Customer support is available to assist with critical post-update issues.

In Scope Services

  • Customer communication and notification around the Update timing
  • Guidance on where to locate documentation for the Update Release
  • "Like-for-Like"* system migration
  • Non-production (TEST) instance update
  • PROD instance update

*"Like-for-Like" does not mean exact. Instead, it means functionality is available in a similar way unless the functionality was deprecated or removed. 

Out of Scope Services

  • New feature deployment (recommendation, when applicable, is to add this functionality after the PROD update is complete)
  • Training, guidance, coaching or new configuration**
  • Integration support for API migration and deprecation handling** 
  • Update of Customer/Partner or Integrator written customizations
  • Updates and management of non-update related issues
  • Formal project plan, plan review and requirements sign-off process

**Please contact your Sales Account Manager to learn more about options for a consulting engagement.


Process Flow

This section outlines the general update process for each type of release.

Update:

The Test Preview instance is updated on the Update release date.  Updates will be performed on the first Friday of the Quarter (February, May, August and November).  These releases consist of a "Like-for-Like" update, meaning the previous functionality is available, unless deprecated, but it may not be exactly the same. These updates are applied automatically during the pre-defined, scheduled update period.

The following outlines the high-level steps involved in the Update process:

  • Initial notifications are delivered approximately two (2) weeks prior to non-production (TEST) being updated
  • Release Readiness documentation is available one to two (2) weeks prior to the GA release date
  • Update release is GA
  • Test Preview instance is updated on the Update release date
    •     Note: It is recommended that new Production Configurations do not occur during the update period
  • The standard Update review period is two (2) weeks. Customers can use the Cloud Portal – Service Console to define a customer schedule for Prod and TEST instance (not the TEST Preview) updates.
  • PROD is updated on the scheduled date defined in the Cloud Portal  - Service Console
  • Update Completion Notification is delivered
Update Best Practices:

These best practices will help facilitate a successful and smooth update.

  • Plan ahead of time using the targeted dates in the 'Update release schedule'' section of this process
  • Communicate the updates to your business users ahead of time so that to the organization is aware of the upcoming update
  • Read the release documentation prior to your Non-production (TEST) instances being updated
  • Ensure that appropriate resources are available for the update review including IT and business users
  • Prepare your backoffice systems used for review purposes to ensure they are available and contain data in order to avoid delays with the review
  • Provide your users with review plans that are aligned with your current business processes – this speeds up the overall process and avoids any missed items during your review
  • Use the release documentation to begin updating any internal documentation that you provide to your users
  • Avoid making any major configuration changes or business process changes during the update period
  • When applicable, we recommend that you make business and/or configuration changes after your Production instance is updated. This approach aligns with providing a “like-for-like” update.
  • Analysis should begin on day one of the update so any questions can be addressed early in the process


Service Update Release:

Oracle Field Service Service Updates will be applied to customer instances that require a service update.

One Off Service Updates may occur on an as-needed basis. These releases are routine updates that do not contain new functionality.

The following outlines the high-level steps involved in the Service Update process:  

  • Service Update is available
  • Service Update documentation is available on or shortly after the release
  • Service Update are applied to all non-production (TEST) instances first followed by PROD instances two business days later
  • Service Update Notification is delivered for the Start and End of the update


Update and Service Update Maintenance Window:


Updates and Service Updates will occur during a standard 3-hour update window

  • Customers can specify an update window which will be applied to all instances in a subscription using the Cloud Portal – Service Console
  • If an update window is not specified then default update window is applied depending on the geographical region of hosting
  • North America (NA) and Latin American (LATAM) - AMER: Friday, 21:00 CDT/CST
  • Europe and Africa  - EMEA: Friday, 21:00 BST/GMT8


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Q : Why is it necessary to update and what are the associated benefits?

A: Running the latest Oracle Field Service version means that you have access to the latest product capabilities in terms of system performance, quality, stability, and security.  Oracle's delivery of the service as described in the Oracle Cloud Hosting and Delivery Policy is contingent on you being on the latest release.


Q: Why does Oracle Field Service provide a predefined schedule for Updates? 

A: Updates are scheduled to provide customers with an opportunity to plan for the changes and review the latest updates in a non-production (TEST) instance prior to the update being applied to Production (PROD). This affords customers with the opportunity to make any updates prior to an update in PROD in addition to preparing the organization for the update.


Q: Can I refuse/cancel an Update?

A: Oracle Field Service is a multi-tenant solution so it is not possible to refuse or cancel an Update. Please refer to the Oracle Field Service / OFS Release process above to find the planned release schedule.


Q: Can I reschedule an Update?

A: The Update of the TEST Preview instance cannot be changed but you can change the Production and other TEST instance update dates. Those dates can be adjusted using the Cloud Portal – Service Console.  Please see the Cloud Portal documentation for more information. 


Q: How do I request and schedule my update?

A: There is no need for you to request your update. Oracle Field Service customers are updated using a predefined schedule determined by Oracle's Cloud Operations Release Team. For planning purposes you can refer to the Oracle Field Service / OFS Release process above to find the planned release schedule.


Q: How do I report a possible defect during the Update period? 

A: Any possible defects found during update need to be reported via CX Customer Portal (https://cx.rightnow.com).  The Oracle Field Service Support Team will process issues according to their severity and area (Manage, Mobility, Routing, etc). 

  

Q: Is there any additional or special support available after the Update?

A: All issues found during and after an update are addressed following the standard Oracle Field Service process using the CX Customer Portal (https://cx.rightnow.com).  

If you require training, guidance on how to take advantage of functionality, configuration assistance and/or integration assistance, please contact your Sales Account Manager to learn more about options for a consulting engagement. 


Q: How quickly can I expect responses to update related Service Requests?

A: Responses will be based on severity and in accordance with Oracle’s Cloud Support Policy.


Q: Who can help me evaluate the possible impacts of upgrading from one Oracle Field Service version to another?

A: Release documentation is published regularly. The Whats New documentation describes the new features, changes, and altered functionality introduced in Oracle Field Service version. Release Notes provide an overview of minor changes and updates. For a detailed description of the features and changes introduced in this document, please refer to all the corresponding separate documents.

After reviewing the above mentioned documentation, if you still need assistance and support, please contact your Sales Account Manager to learn more about a consulting engagement.


Q: Who do I contact for questions about new features?

A: We advise you to check the Whats New documentation. Release documentation describes the new features, changes, and altered functionality introduced in Oracle Field Service versions. It also provides an overview of minor changes and updates.

After reviewing the above mentioned documentation, if you still need assistance and support, please contact your Sales Account Manager.


Q: Will new features/enhancements be enabled during the Update or Service Update?

A: Review What’s New documentation to learn about new features that will be activated with the update. Oracle does not perform configuration changes to customers instances. New features are not turned on by default unless noted in the Whats New document; you will need to enable the features after the update.  Service Updates do not contain new features or enhancements.


Q: Will the Update or Service Update break my customizations?

A: As with any change, be sure to review your customizations early during the update period.  After the update is complete in Production, it is recommended that you validate all customizations and integrations.


Q: Is there anything I should do before an Update?

A: Here are some recommendations:

  • Review the Whats New documentation 
  • Notify the end users and other relevant parties in your organizations about the scheduled update.
  • From the moment you receive a notification about TEST being updated, we highly recommend that you freeze Production Configuration during the update period.
  • Move off deprecated Product Extensions, frameworks and APIs on-time.
  • Take relevant measures to ensure backward compatibility of Customer/Partner written customizations. Please note Oracle does not support customization written by the customer or partner.
  • Following best practices, plan and allocate Resources for planning and reviewing the update.


Q: Which non-production (TEST) instance will be updated during an Update?

A: The Preview TEST instance (second TEST instance by default) is identified in Service Console (see The Update Process Rules)


Q: Is it possible to change the TEST instance that will be used for the Update?

A: It is not possible to change the TEST instance that will be used.


Q: How much downtime is expected during TEST installation?

A: We strive for no downtime but some downtime may be needed on occasion.  If downtime is needed, the period depends on several technical factors. 


Q: How long will the update take?

A: The update is done in the defined maintenance window. Information on the maintenance window is published in the update notifications.


Q: Will my non-production (TEST) instance be refreshed before the update? If so, will I lose my data?

A: For an Update and Service Update, your non-production (TEST) instance will not be refreshed with your Production configuration and your data will not be removed.

If you wish to refresh your non-production (TEST) instance with a copy of your Production configuration and data before an Update, please follow Recreate From Another Instance Option in Service Console.


Q: How will my non-production (TEST) instances be impacted if I am a newer customer and we are not in Production?

A: This is a great opportunity to take advantage of the new enhancements prior to rolling the solution out to your organization.  This will be coordinated prior to the update period to reduce the chances of your configuration work in non-production (TEST) being impacted. Both of your non-production (TEST) instances will be updated during the update period so you can continue with your implementation work.


Q: What is the maintenance window for non-production (TEST) installation?

A: The maintenance window for non-production (TEST) installations is standard for all the customers per Support procedure. This means that the instance might not be available at any time during the maintenance hours as downtime is required for non-production (TEST) update. Information on the maintenance window is available in Service Console (see Configure the Update Window)


Q: When will my other non-production (TEST) instances be updated?

A: Your remaining non-production (TEST) instances will be updated within approximately ten (10) days after the Production update. These instances will not be refreshed with your Production configuration and your data will not be removed.


Q: How much time do I have to review my instance?

A: Please refer to the Generally Available (GA) Releases section above for more information on the timing allocated for your review.


Q: Should I perform any validations for non-production (TEST) and PROD during maintenance window?

A: The maintenance window is reserved by Oracle for technical operation.  We recommend that you perform validations after the end of maintenance window.


Q: Is it possible to perform a rollback if necessary during the maintenance window? If so, how much time is necessary for this to be done?

A: Note that Oracle does provide a rollback-on-demand option for Oracle Field Service Updates or Service Updates. Based on the situation, Oracle will make the decision to provide a fix or revert your environment back to a previously working state for any several impacting issues as deemed necessary.


Q: How far in advance will an update Notice be sent in order to line up the resources / internal projects for the update review?

A: Oracle Field Service customers are updated per the predefined schedule.  Additional notifications are sent before updates based on the Release Type. We recommend you review the Update Process section above or contact your Sales Account Manager if you have questions.


Q: Are Service Updates part of the release process?

A: Yes. Service Updates are part of the process. Service Updates will be applied to customers reporting issues when the fix is available.  It is also possible that Service Updates will be applied to all customers during a given week if we identify the need.


Q: Production is updated, so why were the configuration changes I made in non-production (TEST) not moved?

A: Configuration changes that you made in non-production (TEST) during the update period are not copied over to PROD to facilitate a “like-for-like” update based on the Production configuration. If you made changes in non-production (TEST) that you would like in PROD, then you must plan to also apply those configuration changes in PROD after the update is complete.  This approach avoids the introduction of new changes that could hinder experiencing a smooth update.


Q: What browsers are supported for Oracle Field Service?

A: Oracle Field Service’s browser support policy align with Oracle's Software Web Browser Support Policy. Oracle Field Service specifics can be found in Answer ID 8415: Oracle Field Service (OFS) Browser Support Policy.


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