Friday, February 29, 2008

IT Opinion: Automation and Automatons

Automation, Trust but Verify

Herman Buitenhuis over at the AMIS Technology blog had some adventures with backups scheduled using Oracle OEM Grid. Oracle Support fixed him up with a script to run and get things caught up, and life goes on.

But there's an important lesson in the incident. We come to depend on automation too much at times. Yes, the combination of Grid and RMAN are really handy and save lots of time. But having automated systems that are neater than sliced bread does not mean that we can totally depend on them. Things break, and that's when the DBA needs to know what is supposed to be happening, what is not happening and, to a greater or lesser degree, how to fix them.

The DBA should understand what the RDBMS and related systems are doing. If, for instance, you set up an instance with four copies of the control files, all on the same mount point, you need to get some more fundamental training on how Oracle works.

Tom Kyte (and many other members of the Oak Table Network), read big chunks of the documentation when a new version of Oracle comes out (particularly the Concepts manual). That's because it's only when you have the core understanding of the technology that you can move on to the spiffy features and advanced topics.

A database is a field of study, and like any field of study, you can skip the fundamentals and just dive in, but you'll be left with dangerous weak points in your knowledge. There is some reason that courses in technical subjects cover a lot of boring ground work before getting to the 'building laser-toting robots covered with blinkenlights' course. If you don't have the basics down, at some point your robots are going to either not work, or work too well, resulting in years of litigation and prison food.

The DBA should able to fall back on at least one technology to use for every automated system in place. There are a lot of DBA's working today who have had their entire experience in GUIs, with only a glancing and uncomfortable acquaintance with the command line. They sometimes discover they really need the command line in the midst of a crisis when, for instance, they have to access a system remotely or the GUI for the UNIX box they are working on suddenly decides to die. You need to know how to get all your vital functions accomplished at the command line. I'm not saying everyone has to remember all the syntax or use the command line in preference to GUI. But it's a simpler and more dependable way to do things, and the lack of complexity means it has less ways to fail than a GUI-based tool.

As to memorizing syntax, which I could never do worth squat, I've always loved an incident attributed to Albert Einstein. Someone asked him his telephone number. He said he didn't know it. The questioner was shocked, of course. But Einstein told him, "I have a lot of things to keep in my head. You can find my number in the telephone book. That's what it's for."

The Internet is our telephone book. Even if you've forgotten how to mount disks on a balky system that requires some preliminary settings before obliging, the odds are extremely good that you'll be able to find the error shown and its solution in 10 minutes on Google rather than tracking down a person who knows how to do the task and speaking with them (or worse yet, flying them in) or keeping all the data in your head, but neglecting some other important matters. (Or you could just be one of those people with photographic memories for problems and syntax and just remember everything. But I hate them, so I'm not going to discuss it further).

In short, when using automated systems, look at their actual results from time to time, and don't just accept their 'Success' messages at face value. Trust, but verify.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

App Notes

App Notes

(Contributed to the Infogram by Anu Sachdeva)


Siebel 8.0 Applications Unlimited and Siebel 8.0 Play!(10 min.)

February 5, 2008 Scott Nash,Vice President, Product management updates listeners on the success of the Siebel 8.0 release, the customer momentum, how Oracle continues to invest in the Siebel product line and what's new for Siebel and CRM.

Oracle Forums

Have you checked the latest discussions in the Forum Home on Oracle Technology Network Community on the Oracle website. There are some interesting discussions going in all Oracle products, application areas like Siebel, PeopleSoft Enterprise and JD Edwards.

PeopleSoft EnterpriseTips and Tricks with a PeopleSoft slant

You can find some cool tips and tricks on these cool sites posted by PeopleSoft tipsters in the field, like coding tips in REN Server, SQL best practices in less than 20 minutes

Some more ideas, tips and tricks

PeopleSoft Technology Blog

The PeopleSoft Portal and Applications Unlimited

This blog is largely a method for the Oracle PeopleSoft PeopleTools strategy team to publish information for the PeopleSoft customer community, which will include discussions on emerging technology, better use of existing, delivered technology, and dispelling some myths.

JD Edwards EnterpriseOne / World

Baseline ESU Available for Sales and Manufacturing

Global Customer Care, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, JD Edwards World: JJ15798, a large 8.11 SP1 ESU for Sales, Manufacturing and Transportation has been baselined. For a list of all available baseline ESUs, please click here (requires Customer Connection log in) baselines.htm

Most Recent AppCasts:

JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 8.12 Future Plans Play!(7 min.)

February 21, 2008

Listen to the future release plans for the JD Edwards product line from Lenley Hensarling, Group Vice President and General Manager, JD Edwards

JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 8.12 Release Update Play!(12 min.)

February 19, 2008
Get the latest product information and customer uptake for JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 8.12 from Lenley Hensarling, Group Vice President and General Manager, Oracle JD Edwards.

New Support Tool DITO, Jinitiator 1.3 Desupport Date

Two new items of interest from the ATGNews team at Metalink


We just announced the availability of "DEMO IT TO ORACLE" (DITO) A third party desktop recording software by CamStudio that allows you to record your issue for support review just like you would on an Oracle Web Conference; however, you can do this offline at your convenience without having to arrange for the presence of a support engineer. When you have an issue, please record the issue (navigation, setup, and the issue that you are experiencing limiting to a few minutes of recording) then upload the file when you create the Service Request. This will greatly improve our understanding of your problem! For more information please see Note 11.1 on Metalink (the following URL )

Also to be aware of:

* JInitiator 1.3 To Be Desupported for Apps 11i:

Note 552692.1 - Obsolescence notice for JInitiator 1.3 for E-Business Suite 11i As of July 31, 2009 Error Correction Support for JInitiator 1.3 will end. In other words, the Oracle Forms group will no longer issue bug fixes via new versions of JInitiator 1.3.x as of July 31, 2009. You need to upgrade to the native Sun Java plug-in, as this extract from note 552692.1 describes. All E-Business Suite customers using Oracle Jinitiator 1.3.x need to upgrade to the Sun JRE (Native Plug-in). Oracle highly recommends that EBS customers upgrade to the latest certified version of the Sun plug-in by following Metalink document 290807.1 "Upgrading Sun JRE(Native Plug-in) with Oracle Applications 11i.

* See Note 554682.1 - Alerts Do Not Send Email If Address Ends With A Comma Or Contains A Null

* See Note 461713.1 - AIA 1.0 Diagnostics

* See Note 420704.1 - Workflow Status Diagram Failure

* See Note 433473.1 - Unable to Activate a User Responsibility Assignment that existed Before Upgrade

Latest ATG Newsletter: Note 405970.1 (on Metalink)

PeopleSoft Lobbying with Mix

Lobbying the Mix

This posting on Jim's Peoplesoft Journal is interesting. Jim is asking readers to set up a Mix account if they don't already have one, and vote for some of the ideas advocated by the PeopleSoft and PeopleTools groups.

Oracle Mix is an official Web 2.0 Oracle website run by our Web Apps group. So when people vote there for ideas (new features, software certifications, innovations, complaints), those votes are reaching Oracle very directly.

If you go through the membership on Mix you will find a lot of high-powered Oracle folks, including product directors and VPs (Saleem Haque, the VP for Advanced Customer Support Delivery, is in there, for instance).

Oracle is a company that constantly improves itself and its products. Oracle Mix is a great place if you want to lobby for what direction those improvements take and network with other people with shared interests in the growing family of Oracle products.

BI on JDE, Oracle Patching, Scripts, Optimizer


The JD Edwards blog has a link to a free seminar on setting up BI on JD Edwards.


The actor David Niven gave an interview once where he said: 'After you reach 50, it's just patch, patch, patch.' Software doesn't even have to wait that long.

Chris Warticki noticed that a very important document on Oracle patching policy has been updated. This is good one to print out and refer to (it also has a good glossary of the sometimes arcane terminology used in the patching process). It's on his Oracle Support blog here.


No matter how 'webby' you get, good old honest command line scripts are still key elements in the DBAs toolbox. Kevin Closson's blog reminds us this week of an excellent source of those scripts, Morgan's Library.

Mysteries of the Optimizer Unveiled

The Inside the Oracle Optimizer blog has a pointer to a new whitepaper on OTN about what to expect from the optimizer when moving from 9i to 10g. I've seen a lot of clients over the years go through this changeover, and I wish I'd had this paper to give them to work with up front. If you're about to move, or you already moved and wonder why some peculiar things are going on with some of your query plans, please give this paper a read.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Stellant, Chinese Business: Offshoring

Stellant/Oracle Content Management

The product formerly known as Stellant is now Oracle Content Management (aren't you glad we didn't change the product name to a symbol like Prince? Otherwise we'd have to call it 'The Product Formerly Known as Stellant').

The Collaborate 08 conference (formerly known as the Collaborate 08 conference), is coming very soon. You can still get early bird pricing before March 13. The registration form is here.

April 13–17
Denver Convention Center, Denver, Colorado

Business News: Offshoring the Offshoring

Nothing to do with Oracle, but interesting news on the Managing the Dragon blog. China, home of many of the 'off-shored' business that are the favored fodder of American politicians of all flavors, is now off-shoring. Chinese labor and energy prices are way up from what they were even a few years ago, and they are now moving some production outside of China. As the world market continues to flatten out, we may be evolving a very flexible system for producing goods, with production becoming a combination of season, labor force availability and several other factors. Perhaps this will even help manufacturers get around the Chinese Spring Festival hole. Every year, at the Lunar New Year, millions of workers take vacation and go home for several weeks. The resulting hole in production makes for a major scramble to keep the supply lines running. But if there was a reserve labor force that took up some of the load during such slack periods the supply line could be much more efficient.

Monday, February 25, 2008

JD Edwards Miscellany, EBS News, Higgins

JDE Links of Interest

The JD Edwards Advisor blog has a set of links to several items of interest to both JDE users and general Oracle enthusiasts (you know who you are): here.

EBS News

Stephen Chan announced the release of Apps Management Pack 2.01 for EBS 11.5.10 and 12.0. Also of note at Stephen's blog (everything is of note at his blog, it's a great blog and you should just subscribe to it): Optimizing R12 Performance via OC4J Load-Balancing, by Prasad Akkiraju.


No, it's not the name of the butler who did it in an English detective novel, it's a "software framework that enables developers to integrate user-centric identity technologies and protocols into their applications." Clearly a traditional British butler would never try to do that, since it smacks of an egalitarian attitude toward data. You can read all about it at Nishant Kaushik's Talking Identity blog.

Friday, February 22, 2008


Serious Humor

Eddie Awad has found another very amusing (and useful) video over on Oracle Community (you did sign up for Oracle Community, right?): a very British intro to How To Behave On An Internet Forum.

IT Opinion: Tangents Starting from In-Memory DBs

IT Opinion: Memory is Fast. What 'Ya Gonna Do About It, and a Few General Performance Thoughts

Another round in the battle between those who look at the whole system (including the existing code) and come up with a performance solution vs. the 'gosh, memory is just so, so fast, let's put the whole DB in memory' school over at Kevin Closson's blog here. Dr Stonebraker, a respected figure in database theory, seems to be on a commercial tangent, promoting a specific approach to the RDBMS, as Kevin notes, somewhat sarcastically (ok, yes, completely sarcastically) in his posting.

Focusing on the real problem when scaling up or dealing with a performance problem is often difficult. It is tempting to fix the parts that are easy to fix and/or are in your control, rather then looking at the whole picture. It is far more difficult to plan logically rather than to fix reactively. Profit is the key, ultimately. If your technology investments don't make more money for you than they cost, then you're better off going back to writing things down on index cards and mailing them to clients. So it is our job to convince others in our organization to 'do the right thing' and work on enterprise-wide solutions rather than constantly run around corking leaks and duct-taping blowouts.

Performance problems tend to be the place where the great political divides show up in a company. Two common points of misunderstanding are storage and CPU. There is a common misconception that throwing faster CPU at a problem will always help. If the problem is in fact the speed, quantity, or arrangement of your storage, throwing CPU at the problem will add to your I/O delays by getting requests for I/O processed faster and queuing up at the already overtaxed storage array.

Things often get dicey when it is the DBA calling for the changes (since the database is inevitably pointed to as the culprit in any performance problem, even if it's the performance of the CFO's car). The DBAs, even the DBA group, often lacks the authority to influence major decisions on storage and network systems, and are often outvoted when deciding on the operating system, one of the most fundamental factors for a new system. The database is a large factor in many decisions, but the mixture of in-house networking and storage needs, religious affiliation for certain operating systems, etc. all combine. Sometimes this combination can place convenience and perception ahead of profitability, and that's dangerous.

Now throw into the mix younger members of the team who consider the term 'Open Source' to be a Good Computer Housekeeping Seal of Approval. This approach is generally based on the idea of coding everything (including security) into the application and using an open source 'data store', such as MySQL to hold the application's coat for it while it is out there conquering the world. The approach doesn't make use of any of the features specific to the RDBMS, preaching the ideology of being 'database neutral', and thus able to be converted to any RDBMS available with great ease. This just means that you can save money once when you change RDBMS, but every single minute you run your system wastes huge amounts of money as your team recodes all those RDBMS features you deliberately don't use. You could call this the 'save once, waste daily' school of RDBMS philosophy.

Add to all this several departments with little technical knowledge but a lot at stake (HR and budgeting for instance), and you have the whole confusing picture.

People who read this blog tend to be the people figuring out how to actually get the best value for their company's dollar when making software decisions and doing their best to make sure the right hardware decisions get made. So in all I've mentioned above I'm basically preaching to the choir, summarizing a few things that everyone deals with in performance optimization, and indeed enterprise computing as a whole, every day.

I guess my ultimate message would be that contention for resources leads to conflict, conflict can lead to litigation (or at least internal corporate warfare), and ultimately it just wastes money. Next time you are looking at a problem that damages your section of the technology, why not try to look at the motivation of everyone at the table and come up with a compromise that produces maximum profit for the company (rather than, say, a really cool new piece of equipment with lots of blinkenlights.)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Applications News and Events


Oracle Fusion Middleware and Siebel Best Practice Center

Come here to start creating SOA (Service-Oriented Architecture) with your Siebel applications today. "Best Practices" are offered for how to service-enabling Siebel CRM Business Services, Workflows, and Business Components and then build integrations, business processes and composite applications using Fusion Middleware technology such as BPEL, ESB, BAM, ADF, and WebCenter. Experts from Siebel Development, Consulting, Product Management as well as leading System Integrators and customers will show you how.


G-Log, Demantra, and Agile - New Release Update

Have you seen the latest AppsCast series? Check out the AppsCast homepage with recent podcasts such as the latest product information and customer uptake for G-Log, Demantra and Agile, along with plans for future releases for the product line from Rick Jewell, Senior Vice President, Applications Development at Oracle.


Demantra Sales and Operations Planning Executive Briefing with Deloitte- Chicago, March 6

Hear an industry update on Sales and Operations / Demand and Supply Planning from AMR Research. Lora Cecere, Research Director at AMR Research’s Value Chain Strategies Service, brings her expertise in logistics, engineering project management, procurement, new product launch, and manufacturing operations for Procter & Gamble, Kraft General Foods, Clorox, and Dreyer’s Ice Cream.

LogiCon 2008, 25-28 March JW Marriott, Las Vegas, Nevada

Hear from 30+ senior level manufacturers and retailers at LogiCon 2008, discussing the tools that they use to drive sales and improve value chain relationships. Oracle Demantra & Glog teams will be there with a tabletop and Oracle Customer, Vtech, will be presenting.

New SQL Developer Release

SQL Developer

The SQL Developer team has released Oracle SQL Developer Early Adopters Release 2 (EA2) onto OTN. Get your freshly baked copy here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Obfuscate, New ApEx Tool, BI

Obfuscated SQL Contest

Chen Shapira has had an inspiration for the Oracle Community, an obfuscated SQL contest. Join the fun! Many of you can think up some really obscure and horrid code that conceals totally what it is doing and what resources it is using. An unfortunate few of you will be able to simply extract your entry for the contest from the production instance. The contest is running (very appropriately) until April 1st.


Patrick Wolf over at the Inside Oracle APEX blog has an announcement of a new open source tool for integrating ApEx into Firefox the Oracle APEX Builder Plugin v1.9

BI, Standalone vs Embedded in EBS

BI embedded in EBS or standalone, Tim Dexter at the Oracle Bi Publisher Blog has a good summation. (Along with a well deserved complaint on MS Word).

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

JD Edwards, Backup and Recovery, Data Vault Meets EBS, Business in China

JD Edwards

Well, I went over to the JD Edwards Advisor blog, one of my favorite resources on JDE, and they recommend a couple of blogs, Server Manager for JD Edwards , and another blog, that is one of my personal favorites, the Oracle Infogram! Like the old wine commercial used to say: Thank you for your support!

Backup and RECOVERY

If a DBA gets no other job done, creating backups that can actually be recovered is THE JOB. If you lose the data, what are you administering? Another couple of recovery horror stories today (with lessons learned) over at Alejandro Vargas' blog.

Data Vault and EBS

According to Stephen Chan's consistently outstanding blog (I can't remember a posting of his I didn't link to from him), Oracle Data Vault is now certified with EBS.

It's a painful truth, but sometimes curiosity crosses the line into intrusiveness, ambition becomes aggression and greed wins out over morality. For myriad years this has been the human lot. That's what Data Vault is about. Data Vault allows you to defend your data from outside threats. But more importantly it allows you to strictly segregate data so that only people with a 'need to know' can read the data. Yes, that means that even the DBA isn't permitted to look at certain data if the business has defined that data as off limits. I know that all my readers are beyond reproach, but this application will allow you to defend against all those nasty, hypothetical DBAs who are out there chuckling about how they make more money than their friends by reading tables in the database.

Opinion: Doing Business in China

The China Law blog, one of the best blogs for those interested in doing business in China, has a very good (and opinionated) article on setting up a joint venture in China vs. just using a contract. They stress, I think correctly, that there are risks and difficulties involved in a joint venture that may outweigh any advantages. Read about it here.

Another good blog on the realities of business in China is the Silk Road International blog, which has a good article today on precisely that, some of the realities of doing business in China vs. the theory described in neat business books and courses.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Humor, SQL Developer, Inertia

Humor (Laugh and Cry Department)

The author of the Bex Huff blog had a friend who worked for Oracle and left, in the process filling out an online exit interview form. I know a lot of people in Oracle, and I've noticed our retention rate is quite good. I'd always thought it was our excellent benefits (my optometrist always seems to go: 'Wow! This is a great plan!', and pulls out the list of exotic lense coatings and the platinum eyeglass frames list, for instance). It turns out people just don't want to tangle with the exit interview form. You can see it here.

SQL Developer

Eddie Awad has a good tip on how to prevent the sometimes annoying pauses in working with SQL Developer when it is trying to helpfully fill in code for you. Like many helpful things that computers do for us, this often produces frustration, rage, cursing and the flinging around of small office supplies. So Eddie tells us how to turn it off.

Inertia, or 'We've Always Done It Like that'

I remember reading an anecdote about a woman who was making dinner for her mother who was visiting from out of town. She took out a steak, cut off about a third of it, and fried up the rest. Her mom asked her, 'Honey, why did you cut off that piece of steak?'. The daughter explained that it was because that's the way mom herself always did it at home. The mother shook her head and said, 'Darlin', I did it because I had a small frying pan. Why are you doing it?'

Processes get set up, break down, get repaired, and at some point seem to get set in stone. The people who establish them move on to other jobs and the processes live on, sacrosanct remnants of ancestral IT standards. Well that can hurt your bottom line, so you should think twice about using old procedures when setting up something new.

Chen Shapira's 'I'm Just a Simple DBA...' blog has a good example (with some nice grotty storage and networking techie details to boot).

Friday, February 15, 2008


R12 HRMS New Features

The Global Oracle Contractors Network brings us a few new features that R12 has to offer for HRMS users in an article here.

IT Opinion: Dark Cloud

Cloud Computing

A few postings ago I told you about IBM's new cloud computing center in China. Today's news brings us the other side of the picture, the 'too many eggs in one dropped basket' phenomenon. Amazon's Web Services had an outage this morning, which had a major ripple effect on many small businesses using it's computing cloud. You can read about the details here. Of course this is just a short-term outage in a new and experimental technology, but it does point out one key element of cloud computing: If you are going to host the vital interests of many business users you have have to maintain mainframe-quality uptime.

Resilient grid computing is the solution. The same type of multiply interconnected network of resources as the Internet itself. If one server drops you switch to another, if the whole area is out you move to a different part of the globe (which may slow things down, but not totally drop). The real key of it all is trust, the kind that happens between businesses, and that means the kind that is maintained between people. Companies have to be willing to join in a cloud that will benefit them when they are at peak need and offer them maximum value for their investment. But by the very nature of the cloud there is an element of joint risk. There has to be a minimal level of trust between participants so that everyone is confident that one of their partners is not going to allow resources to be squandered, or does not practice due diligence on security, for instance, leading to vulnerabilities. Cloud computing is the next big thing, but there are a great many particulars still to be worked out.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

RAC on Linux, Security

RAC and Linux

Putting together the power of RAC and the savings and efficiency of Linux? Ardent Performance Computing blog has a good posting on some of the tricks of getting Clusterware to behave on RedHat here.

Web Application Security

Ok, you've applied the Oracle security CPU we keep harping about, you've locked up all the silverware and turned on the alarm system. What about your web application? The aut disce, aut discede blog has a favorable review of a new book, The Web Application Hacker's Handbook.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Indexing, IT Opinion, Streams


Two more great performance related postings from Richard Foote, the indexing guru:

The Cardinality of leading columns


Index Create and Rebuild Locking Improvements in 11g

IT Opinion: Data Modeling

Andrew Clarke over at the Radio Free Tooting blog opines at some length about data modeling, is it a dying art (if not a dead one)? I have to admit that I did a lot more data modeling in the course of my career taking courses about data modeling than I did in the actual work. Perhaps it is partly a result of the increasing specialization of our field. Many DBAs do nothing but maintain systems that have been handed to them, all design work completed (albeit sometimes with tragicomic results). The number of instances is also a sobering fact of life. In the past it would be unusual to find a DBA responsible for more than five instances. Now a mere five instances managed would be rare indeed in a large enterprise environment. With the availability of advanced monitoring and control system there are many DBA managing dozens of instances without breaking a sweat (ok, ok, without breaking a sweat often).

In the realm of speculation I would add that I see a future where DBA work is translated more and more into intelligent agents (no, not those, REALLY intelligent agents). Small, artificial intelligence program will be able to take a lot of the drudgery out of the tasks involved, calling in humans over a grid of responsibilities distributed through Workflow as needed. When the program detects that it is in a fuzzy area it will call in a human to make a sensible decision.

This kind of approach is not far in the future. There are already interesting experiments using the so-called mechanical Turk approach. This divides tasks into numerous mini-tasks that are shared among a group of volunteer or low-paid humans over the Net. They accomplish tasks, such as sophisticated pattern recognition, where the technology still lags behind our brain's abilities, and a computer handles reassembling the tiny tasks into a consistent result.


There's an outstanding article for those using or studying Oracle Streams at Chen Shapira's I'm Just a Simple DBA blog here. Streams sometimes seems a rather arcane subject, but can be an absolutely revolutionary feature of the Oracle RDBMS when used wisely.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Hyperion, JD Edwards, Performance


Learning about Hyperion? This Essbase discussion group is a good place to explore.

JD Edwards

Major JD Edwards additions to Oracle Accelerate program, as described at the JD Edwards Advisor blog.


Ever want to impress your friends at a party? Just read this article from the Oracle Optimizer Team and you'll be able to read SQL execution plans and make clever comments like: 'Oh, to taste all the appetizers in the buffet you're going to have to do a full table scan. You'd be better off taking one of each and indexing'. Don't be concerned if people move to the other side of the room. It's a sign of respect.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Open Source, Performance, NFS

Open Source

Open Source, while not necessarily free (a lot of programs offer paid support, for instance), is definitely a viable alternative for many businesses and individuals. The most glaring example for me is Photoshop, an application often victimized by pirating because it is just plain expensive. I use The Gimp for what little graphic editing I do. I make a tiny scrape in the top surface of the layer upon layer of Gimp features. This link has a list of 50 open source alternatives to commercial software and OS.


H.Tonguç YILMAZ has a brief but very content-rich second installment of his series on the Performance Tuning Protocol.

New Blog from Cary Millsap

Cary Millsap, one of the pillars of Oracle performance optimization, now has a blog.


Kevin Closson gets positively passionate about the subject of Oracle and NFS support, dropping dozens of useful links along the way for folks interested in Oracle, RAC, NFS, etc. in this article.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


For various reasons, nearly everyone enjoys conferences. Here are a few upcoming conferences of interest:


Ahmed Alomari, long time guru on Apps performance within Oracle, has founded his own company and is having a conference called APPSPERF, on
Oracle Applications performance tuning and best practices. It's coming up in Denver in April. Details here.


There is now a Hyperion track at ODTUG Kaleidoscopre 2008.
as well as the Collaborate 08 conference.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

YAW2.0A, 11g, RSS for Oracle Podcasts

YAW2.oA (Yet Another Web 2.0 Application)

Get all settled in Oracle Mix? Good! Now it's time to join Oracle Community, another place to network about Oracle. I was going to title this entry Yet Another Web Networking 2.0 Application, but I don't think anyone wants to follow a link labelled YAWN 2.0A.


Speaking of Web 2.0, this page has an RSS feed available for Oracle podcasts.


Many of our customers are testing 11g. You can find a list of articles on 11g here, and several of them have been updated recently, such as the one on SecureFiles.

And at the Systems Engineering and RDBMS blog we have a nice succinct article on Encrypted Tablespaces in 11g.

Also in the widening realm of 11 is this article at the Oracle Blog on pl/sql function result cache in 11g.

Monday, February 4, 2008

New IM and SQLDev, JRE, Performance, NUMA, Business

Identity Manager and SQL Developer new releases

There's a new version of Identity Manager out there. Get 'acquainted' here.

and a new version of SQL Developer on OTN here.

Eddie Awad has some nice screen shots and new features descriptions here.


More excellent postings on Steven Chan's blog. Today it's Diagnosing Sun Java Plug-in Issues with Oracle Apps on working with the sometimes tricky Java Runtime Engine.


Vivek Sharma encounters a common practise, frequent index rebuilds designed to prevent trouble which, instead, cause trouble in his Database / SQL Experiences blog. The short message, oft repeated by Oak Table members and other guruistic types, is don't rebuild indexes unless you have to. Simple DBA has an article on the very same subject.

And the long silent Ardent Peformance Computing blog has snapped back to life with a nice concise article on Oracle I/O and Operating System Caching.

The start of an excellent series by Tanel Poder on 'Oracle Hidden Costs'. A really good under the hood article that digs in to the network traffic and the trace files.

Richard Foote (Dr. Index) shares some wisdom on the oft-misunderstood bitmap index and a good article on coalescing indexes in 10g.


Kevin Closson has an article on NUMA, with a reference to an even greater depth article (I'm talking ocean-depth) material on CSI (common system interface, not the TV show).


This post at the Zen Habits blog is a nice list of ways to organize a busy, relentless day to be more forgiving and livable. The emphasis seems to be on getting a good start by getting up early and doing relaxing things, or staying up late to work when things are quiet. I can't help but feel that at some point in the IT schedule those two are going to meet, with a night spent working in the quiet stillness of your office melding smoothly into a morning routine of hot baths and quiet cups of coffee..followed by nervous collapse. But hey, I'm an optimist.

Friday, February 1, 2008

IT Opinion: Cloud Computing

IT Opinion: Clouds on the Horizon

There is a new buzz word, cloud computing, and it's very similar in concept to our very own buzz word - grid computing. The concepts are closely related and highly timely. As the world grows and its resources remain more or less static, waste becomes ever more harmful. Servers are designed to work reliably, day in and day out, year by year. But most companies use them heavily in the day, run a few batch jobs and a backup in the PM, and leave a large amount of the resource unused. Wasted power, wasted computing capacity....waste.

By using grid computing an enterprise can use its Asian server farms when it is night in the East and vice versa for the West. This concept is now moving to the next level, cloud computing, in which a large group of enterprises can share the same 'cloud' of computing resources.

IBM just announced opening a cloud computing center in China. I predict that this type of enterprise is going to grow massively in China and India. Cloud computing centers require only reliable communications and good infrasctructure to operate, and both countries are building a formidable computing infrastructure.

Official, Youbetcha Legalese

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