Thursday, January 29, 2009

Saving, EBS, Privacy, APEX, Recovery, Patching, New Year of EBS


It's a subject on everyone's mind these days. Chris Warticki has a great post this week on ROI from Oracle and Oracle Support, including a link to 16 examples on how to cut costs and save in this posting.


From the Oracle E-Business Suite Technology blog this week: 


Well, International Data Privacy Day has come and gone and I don't feel any more invulnerable. Maybe that's why it's celebrated (or marked? I don't think one can actually celebrate data privacy). In any case, the Talking Identity blog has a posting about it with some good links.


The David Peake on Oracle APEX blog has a nice techie posting on Preserving User Saved Interactive Reports.



You should never have a big gap in logs and need to recover, right? Well, no, but I've been there, as have most DBAs I know, and I've helped several clients in that boat over the years. Here's a posting with link to a document in Alejandro Vargas' Blog to help:


The actor David Niven once summarized his advancing age this way: "Once you hit fifty, it's just patch, patch, patch."

 The DataCenter Automation and Configuration Management blog has a very intriguing article this week on patching.  If there is one thing I hear consistently from clients, it is that complex, manual patches cause pain. The goal is to have fire and forget patching with an intelligent program that decides precisely what is needed and applies it. We've eliminated the old goal of humanity, getting roadmaps that fold up easily, not causing frustration, by buying GPSes. So all that is left is curing the common cold and the whole autopatching thing. Posting here: 

An EBS New Year

The In Depth Apps - Oracle eBusiness Suite starts the Year of the Ox with a summary of last year's EBS highpoints and some informed and prophetic glances into the future:

Contributions by Angela Golla

Data security is a top issue for DBAs to manage. Learn about the latest features for data encryption in this Oracle Magazine article.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Oracle E-Business Suite R12: Recent ATG patch releases

The following are recent EBS R12 ATG patch releases and the description of the known issues they address:

1. MOAC Related Issue - Patch 7649893
Customers using profile option "MO: Operating Unit" instead of "MO: Security Profile" to configure access control for a single operating unit may encounter the error "You don't have access privilege". This error occurs when accessing screens or running reports/programs in operating unit based applications like Payables and Receivables.

2. Flexfield Related Issue - Patch 7653364
Customers using Key Flexfield structures with the same value set assigned to multiple segments, e.g. a chart of accounts with company and intercompany segments sharing the same value set, may encounter the error "Value entered for the segment does not exist in the value set assigned to the segment". This error occurs during entry of Accounting Flexfields in transactions/setups even when the value being entered exists.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Business Book for the Times

Business Book for the Times

I read a lot of business books. Ok, I admit that I START a lot of business books and read them in parallel on my Kindle, plinking away as a I get time, and don't finish a lot of business books. But the one I've started reading this week is a winner, and I highly recommend it. It's called Billion-Dollar Lessons, and it's about business failures. Yes, that right, failures. Most business books look at successful business and how to emulate their triumph. This books looks at a series of disasters and talks about how to avoid them. The approach is useful, both because it explains the danger signs of a disaster in the making for an employee of a large company or an investor, and because all of us have a psychological tendency to be captivated by train wrecks. The books goes through one financial train wreck after another, what led up to it, how it played out, who got hurt. It's depressing to read how many financial train wrecks hurt the investors/passengers when the engineers/executives/salesman have long since jumped off for a soft cushy landing on bags of money.

Highly recommended. I may even read this one all the way to the end.

and the Kindle edition: 

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Top, Spinning, Hyperion, EBS, Dataguard, Security, Certification


If you're like I was in my DBA days, you just brought up top in Unix and fished for what you were looking for. Well, the Coskan's Approach to Oracle blog brings us a way to customize Top to get exactly what you want. So you can toss the fishing pole.

Spins and Latches

You'll find a lot of chapters in a lot of performance books about spinning and latching. To tell the truth, many of them get a bit carried away on what it often an area where there is little to be gained. The I'm Just a Simple DBA blog has a good article on exploring the fascinating world of Oracle latching and spinning and some good links to Oak Table authorities on all things optimization.


The Look Smarter Than You Are blog has some kind words to say about Hyperion 11 here.

Also in the realm of Hyperion is Tim Tow's announcement (confession?) that he is a CPA. In the article he introduces some very interesting links on the future of Hyperion, such as cloud computing and Essbase.


This week at the Oracle E-Business Suite Technology blog:


Over at Alejandro Vargas' Blog we have something to keep you busy for a while: Data Guard Fast Start Failover Implementation Step by Step Do it with data you love.


One of the better Oracle security blogs out there is Slavik's Musings on Database Security. He has a real must read article on the CPU this week. The article shows that you should be applying the CPU, applying as soon as feasible for your business, but also a very important lesson. It's not enough. Imagine you get a whole bunch of gold and put it in a house. You'd put a good lock on the door, but you'd also put in an alarm system, maybe even hire a guard to sit nearby. That's the kind of triple security you need for your company's gold, your data. Yes, change the combination lock on the door (passwords), repair the places around the edge where thieves tools can get an edge in (the CPUs), but also consider setting up automated scripts and keeping everyone in your IT organization up to date on their security responsibilities. Keep an eye out for strange activities and resist social engineering attacks (both part of that security guard in the metaphor).


There's a new certification over at the Oracle Certification blog, as of 21-JAN-2009, the Oracle EBS R12: Install, Patch and Maintain Applications (1Z0-238) certification.

Grid Computing: Recent White Papers

Grid Computing White Paper: Oracle Grid Solutions for the Next-Generation Data Center
This Oracle white paper describes how businesses of all sizes worldwide are using Grid best practices to modernize their IT operations and increase performance, availability, energy efficiency, and operational agility.

Data Grids and Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA): Oracle Coherence Whitepaper
Successful SOA strategy must ensure data availability, reliability, performance, and scalability. A data grid infrastructure with clustered caching creates a competitive edge, improves financial performance, and sustains customer loyalty.

Grid Computing with Oracle Database 11g: An IDC White Paper
This IDC white paper discusses the evolution of the data center toward grid computing and the role of Oracle Database 11g for businesses adopting grid computing.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Contributions by Angela Golla

Tech Article: Oracle Transparent Data Encryption - Experience from the Trenches
One user's experience implementing Oracle TDE reveals some helpful advice about the best approach to encrypting existing data.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Hyperion, EBS, MAA, Optimizer, APEX, PeopleSoft, BI Publisher, Resource Manager


Tim Tow has found another really neat tool in our Oracle Hyperion site, a place you can look up your Hyperion errors. He also has a nice two part series on how the Essbase Excel Add-On works, starting here.


This week at the Oracle E-Business Suite Technology blog:


Kevin Closson has been working with the Oracle’s Maximum Availability Architecture (MAA) team for a year now, and has a very good opinion of them, one shared by many others, some of them not even family members or paid admirers. You can read about it here, and also find a link to a very useful paper on moving to Exadata.


Changes in SQL optimizer plans have made for their share Mondays (and not a few rought middles of the night). The Inside the Oracle Optimizer blog has the start of a great series on avoiding the pitfalls in Plan regressions got you down? SQL Plan Management to the rescue!  


David Peake has a good rundown on some of the books on APEX you can read on the long, cold nights of this winter (a winter that will see more global warming conferences called off due to ice and record low temperatures than any previous year) in a posting here.


Jim's PeopleSoft Journal has some good reading on using JavaScript in PeopleSoft in a manner that is both safe and sound, here.


Eddie Awad found some cool BI Publisher demos. Pass it on.

Database Resource Manager

The Oracle Applications DBA blog has some nice undocumented parameters and other goodies for the Oracle 11g Database Resource Manager.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Contributions by Angela Golla

Oracle's January Critical Patch Update (CPU) has been released. Check out the details at:

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Statistic

I just read that 94% of the S&P global 100 use Oracle Advanced Customer Services. That's pretty impressive, and I thought I'd do a bit of bragging here on the blog.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Integration of BEA Support organization into Oracle Customer Support

Oracle Support Sends Awareness Communication to Customers and Partners about Migration to My Oracle Support on the Last Weekend of January 6 January 2009

Oracle Customer Support is pleased to announce the upcoming integration of the two BEA support organizations into Oracle Customer Support. The transition plan includes moving the BEA customers and partners who are current on support to 1) Oracle’s support portal, My Oracle Support, and 2) to the Oracle Premier Support contract.

This week, BEA customers and partners received an initial “awareness/preview” email signaling this important transition (weekend of January 30 - February 1, 2009.) Until then, BEA customers and partners will continue to use their current portals.

Throughout January, customers and partners will receive a weekly, detailed email communication inviting them to pre-register on My Oracle Support and take training to use the My Oracle Support portal. A link to the training schedule will be included. They will also receive one or more Support Identifiers for their BEA product(s) to access the new portal.

A Transition web page has been created on the BEA eSupport and BID Support portals storing important email communications for ready reference. Please refer regularly to that page and to the BEA Support Acquisition page for latest details. On the final weekend of January, we will be adding a BEA micro site to the BEA Support Acquisition page, explaining the benefits of Lifetime Support and Premier Support coverage.

Transition Weekend
Beginning Friday, January 30 customers and partners may begin using the My Oracle Support portal to log issues. They may also log issues by telephone, using either BEA or Oracle Support numbers. During this transition weekend, please log only critical issues while we move their data from one system to another. If you need to work on an existing issue, we may need to require a new service request (SR) to be logged. On February 2, 2009, all entitled customers and partners will be able to access support from My Oracle Support.

Training sessions will be available in many languages and time zones during January. The 30 minute training sessions will explain 1) how to register, 2) the role of the company User Administrator, 3) new terminology, including severity level definitions, 4) the transfer of all open BEA support cases and how to access closed support case history, 5) the BEA Knowledge and defect database information, and 6) the processes to contact Oracle Customer Support, create service requests, and use the portal efficiently. Customers and partners are invited to take the training as many times as they wish.

Support Program Migration
As of February 2, 2009, all former BEA Production and Development Support customers will be migrated to Oracle Premier Support. BID Gold customers will continue to receive their currently agreed upon services until their contract renewal date, at which time they will migrate to Oracle Premier Support with the option to purchase Advanced Customer Services. BEA Mission Critical Support customers will continue to receive their current services until their contract renewal date, at which time they will be presented with options for similar services through Advanced Customer Services. For specific information, please refer to
Oracle's Technical Support Policies.

Lifetime Support Policy Brochures - December Updates 6 January 2009

The December Lifetime Support Policy brochures are now available with key changes noted below. These documents provide product retirement dates and information across all Oracle product lines. The Lifetime Support Policy brochures are available for customers on

Oracle's 5+3 Lifetime Support policy delivers industry-leading investment protection that makes it easier for customers to plan and budget for product upgrades. Typically, customers are provided with 3 stages of support: 5 years of Premier Support, 3 years of Extended Support and indefinite Sustaining Support.

I. Technology Brochure
No changes this month

II. Applications Brochure

New Acquisitions:
No changes this month

Oracle Product Releases:
Oracle Communications (Formerly MetaSolv) Releases - New listings

-IP Service Activator 5.2
-Policy Services 6.1
-Order and Service Management 6.3
-Service Creation Environment 3.0

III. Retail Brochure
No changes this month (under the Support section). The next update will be available January 30.

Indexes, Security, Internals, EBS, PUP, Workflow


Yes, more answers on the mysteries of the inner workings of Oracle indexes from Richard Foote, doctor emeritus of indexology (some would call it indexomancy).


It's a new year, and a good time to do a quick security audit. Pete Finnigan's blog is always a place to find some good tools to hammer your own system before someone else does. And Slavik's Musings on Database Security has a Fuzzer utility to play with. As he notes ONLY TO PLAY WITH ON A TEST SYSTEM YOU DON'T CARE ABOUT LOSING.


When you want to get inside Oracle and shine a flashlight around (torch for our UK readers), Tanel Poder is the man to lead the way. In this posting he gives us a quick intro to a very powerful analysis tool used by Oracle Support: Heapdump analysis, including a script to parse the heapdumps. Ok, you're still going to need Oracle Support to confirm your diagnosis and Oracle Development to fix bugs in the code, but if you can find details yourself going into an SR that gives you a major tactical advantage; not to mention the bragging rights. It's like someone who pops open the hood of the car and speaks directly with the on-board electronics. Sure the car still doesn't run, but everyone around you is deeply impressed.


From the Oracle E-Business Suite Technology blog this week:

Ready for Internet Explorer 8? Well man the bastions, because it's likely to break even more stuff than IE 7: Block Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 for EBS Users

In other EBS news:


PUP, the Product User Profile table is an interesting 10g feature I'd not heard of. This posting at the Global Oracle Contractors Blog goes through it in some detail. If you need to grant some heavy duty privileges but still need to sleep well at night it might be something to look into. You can restrict drop table, for instance.


Workflow, the process that leads to profit, is a vital Oracle product for your business. The AMIS Technology Blog has a series going on learning Workflow. Part two is out there now, and you can find part one right here

Monday, January 5, 2009

Contributions By Angela Golla

Mark Sunday, senior vice president and CIO at Oracle, talks about next-generation data centers, green computing, and the Oracle Utah Compute Facility. Interview

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Regular Column, OTN's Best of the Year, PeopleSoft, Hyperion, Oracle Support, OBIEE, Performance

Blogs of Distinction: Best blog of 2008

You've seen many posts from Steven Chen and his cohorts at the Oracle E-Business Suite Technology blog. Well, I've decided to make that blog a regular fixture here on the Infogram blog, both in blog form and the weekly email format that goes to our customers.

Here's the latest from Steven, a series of three articles on the top 2008 techstack items for 11i:


Technet's Best


The Tahiti views blog tells us that the PeopleBooks docs are now available here.

Another nice recent PeopleSoft blog entry comes to us from the PeopleSoft DBA Blog, and gives us a blow by blow of tracking down a performance problem.


There's no doubt who ran the best Hyperion blog in 2008. It was Tim Tow. Here's a recent post of his on a diagnostic utility he found.


Chris Warticki has a presentation available in Oracle Web Conferencing (use IE to view). You can find it linked from his blog here.  He goes through a lot of valuable tools, and shares some of his experience and wisdom on getting the most for you money from Oracle Support.


Yes, another acronym, and it's one that can add a lot of value and stability to your enterprise. Rittman Mead Consulting has a good intro at their blog here.


Want a really nice performance tool to mess around with? Tanel Poder has a beauty: PerfSheet. You can find his article on it right here.

Happy New Year everyone! (Well except for about 1/4 of the world, for whom it will be New Year, Year of the Ox, on January 26).

Official, Youbetcha Legalese

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