Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hyperion, JD Edwards, My Oracle Support, Collaborate09, Optimizer, EBS


Over at the In 2 Hyperion blog there is a brief but useful posting on the utility of dirty calcs

JD Edwards Webcasts

Since the JD Edwards Advisor blog was kind enough to relay info on two webcasts about upgrades, I thought I would extend the chain one link further and link to them here.

My Oracle Support

Ok, so we're renaming something, and you know that's unusual at Oracle. Right. And we're changing around our knowledge base/support portal entirely with the introduction of My Oracle Support.  We are going this because:

1. We like shiny new technical things.
2. We want to torment you.
3. We want to improve Oracle Support.

If you think the answer is mainly 3 and perhaps a little of 1, you are right. We don't really want to torment you by moving everything around to where you can't find it (though we may have succeeded in doing so, it was not intentional). As Chris Warticki points out in this brief posting on Projects, My Oracle Support will open up whole new ways to get support in an orderly, timely manner. Crisis management can be fun and adventurous at times, but so can a badly planned vacation. We'd rather have your support experience be well planned and perhaps even fun here and there. That's why we are introducing so many positive changes to the system.


Tom Kyte has some thoughts for us on his experiences at Collaborate09, as well as some links to other Oracle gurus' findings here.


You've set cursor sharing to shared. You've sat back with a cup of coffee to watch and...there are hundreds of child cursors being spawned. The Inside the Oracle Optimizer blog explains why this is normal, under certain circumstances, and does so in a way that is very instructive about how the cursor sharing feature works.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Contributions by Sherron Garnett, Infogram Contributor

Oracle OpenWorld 2009 Registration Now Open

Oracle OpenWorld 2009, Oct. 11 - 15, is the world's largest event dedicated to helping enterprises understand and harness the power of information. Connect with the people, products, and trends at the forefront of business and information technology in San Francisco. Customers can:
  • Experience the latest in Oracle applications, technologies and solutions
  • Meet and exchange insights with their peers and Oracle business partners
  • Gain inspiration from industry thought leaders and featured keynote speakers

In years past the field has been the most successful weapon in helping drive demand for the event. Your help is needed this year as well. Conference Details

Now Available: Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1

Oracle is announcing the general availability of Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1. With this latest release, Oracle delivers on its Applications Unlimited commitment to continue enhancing your existing investments in Oracle applications. Release 12.1 provides product enhancements across human resources, supply chain management, procurement, projects, master data management, customer relationship management and financials. It also delivers significant industry-specific advancements for wholesale distribution, public sector, high technology, engineering & construction, life sciences, retail, professional services, communications, consumer goods, and utilities. More...
Contributions By Angela Golla, Infogram Contributor

Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control Architecture for Very Large Sites Need to guarantee high scalability for Enterprise Manager Grid Control? This architecture, described by Oracle ACE Director Porus Homi Havewala based on real-world experiences, may be for you. Learn about the internals of Grid Control and how to maintain peak performance.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Pasta Printing

Pasta Printing

Okay, I got an SR today that made me smile. I love pasta, and have no idea how you use it to print from EBS. So I dug around, and found this really nice posting from Vikram Das at the Oracle Apps Technology blog on Pasta Printing.
Contributions By Angela Golla, Infogram Contributor

Simple, predictable, and the most comprehensive policy available, Lifetime Support helps drive your business success. Oracle's industry-leading Lifetime Support covers your entire technology stack, from database to middleware to applications. It puts you in control of your upgrade strategy so you can enjoy continued peace of mind, knowing that no matter which product release you're running, we'll be there to support your business. See this link for the latest updates:

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Developer Day, Tweeting, Hyperion, ADF, RAC

Developer Day

Grant's blog informs us that there is an Oracle Developer Day coming up on May 28th. You can join grant there to discuss JDeveloper, ADF and a host of other topics.

Oracle Tweets

No, not those free breakfasts you get at Oracle events and education, but Twitters and Tweeters, the latest thing. I have to admit to being a slow adapter on this one, but Chris Warticki is way ahead of me, and points to a list of Oracle-related tweeters.

Hyperion: Kaleidescope

The Look Smarter Than You Are Blog brings us news of a conference a lot of you will not want to miss: Kaleidescope 2009 . What's really exciting is that we'll have the Hyperion product managers there on Sunday's Developer Symposium talking about the roadmaps for their products over the next year or two. A lot of you have asked for a webinar on precisely that, and this is an opportunity to go several steps beyond that and speak directly with the managers, 'en masse'. 


 I wish more developers would think like Luc Bors over at the AMIS Technology blog who posts about ADF 11g - Invoke a Popup from a Popup. I hate to dialog with software that doesn't want to share status information with me, and Luc's article will help your popup interface be more helpful to users.


Here at the Infogram we are known for providing real information for real users, nothing dressed up or propagandized (well, not much, anyway). So I point you to H. Tonguç Yılmaz 's article on a RAC Aware Software Discussion. He raises many good points. I never specialized in working with RAC, but I've been 'messing around the edges' of the product since it was still called Oracle Parallel Server. The need to design hardware configurations and customize applications to take advantage of OPS used to be a major part of the design and implementation effort. It's less of a challenge now, but still has its moments, as you can read in Tonguç's posting. He also gives a nice list at the bottom of some of his favorite resources.

Oracle Extends Support Value for Customers

Contributions by Sherron Garnett, Infogram Contributor

Extended Support Fees Waived for Several Major Oracle Product Lines

Our customers spoke and we listened. Unprecedented economic pressure across the globe is making business as usual a thing of the past. As part of Oracle’s continued commitment to provide the industry’s leading support offering, we’ve waived Extended Support fees for a number of major Oracle product lines through 2010 and 2011. Now customers have more time to optimize their existing infrastructure and can choose when to upgrade to Oracle future releases when the time is right for their business.

What’s New

First Year Extended Support fees waived:

Oracle E-Business Suite 11i Release 10 through November 2011·
JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 8.11 through December 2010·
Siebel Customer Relationship Management (CRM) 7.8 through May 2011·
Oracle Database 10g Release 2 through July 2011

Extended Support fees waived:

PeopleSoft Enterprise 8.9 through June 2011

Extended Access to Fixes:

Oracle E-Business Suite 11i Release 9 through June 2010
Resolution of severity-one technical issues and US year-end 1099 support

Even More Time to Upgrade

Oracle’s Lifetime Support puts customers in control of their upgrade strategy. This flexible support policy makes it easier for customers to plan and budget for Oracle’s exclusive product upgrades allowing them to upgrade at the speed of their business. And with Oracle Lifetime Support, upgrades are always included at no additional charge beyond their annual support contract.

We’re Focused on Your Success

Oracle Customer Services Support is focused on one thing: customer success. This announcement further demonstrates Oracle’s commitment to protect and extend customer investments as part of its Applications Unlimited and Lifetime Support programs.

Begin Planning For Your Next Upgrade

For more information about the Extended Support Fee Waiver, review the Frequently Asked Questions. For more information and to learn about the benefits of upgrading to the latest releases click here.To discover the services available to help achieve a smooth transition and well defined upgrade strategy for minimal business disruption click here.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hyperion Essbase: Why Bother to Tune?


Recently a customer logged an SR. The issue was that a data load that in Production on 32-bit Essbase takes 20 minutes, and the same data load to the same outline using the same configuration parameters on a 64-bit version of Essbase takes nearly 5 hours to complete. “Holy batch windows Batman!”

Robin and I began our investigation by loading the data on our own 32 bit Essbase version - to see what we could see, as it were. The load completed in about ~4900 seconds.

As I monitored the database statistics using esscmd, I noticed fragmentation statistics. The data was not sorted. (Not sorted?!? Good grief! Robin and I hadn’t seen that in a decade). When we performed a load with sorted data it completed in ~900 seconds. Repeating the customer’s load procedures, we noticed that data loaded efficiently up to approximately ~70,000 blocks but bogged down considerably from that point until all ~350,000 blocks were created.

When I mentioned fragmentation/sorting to the customer it was clear from his initial response to me that he was not entirely aware of the relation between sorting data and loading data to a BSO cube. Rather, he stated that he did not really care whether the load was optimal because a 20‑minute data load time fits easily within his batch window. Given that my test results did not speak to the issue of 64-bit load times, we agreed to convene the next workday, online, to examine the issue together.

After we confirmed every setting between the two cubes environments were identical, we initiated a load on the 64-bit server. We killed the data load after it was clear that it had bogged down, and began to crawl. It would have been more eventful to sit and watch the grass grow. Since watching Windows performance monitor is even more fun than watching grass grow, we opened up a session there - to see what we could see.

CPU activity was down at that grass growing pace. When we investigated further we noticed there was a disk bottleneck by observing the average disk queue metric. After the initial (~70K)data blocks were created, the queue dramatically increased per the image below.

Compare the above chart to the queue that is created during the sorted data load:

Checking the commit level (default 3000) caused me to experience internally the sound of a fingernail scratching across a blackboard. The reason that this was bothering me is that the negative impact of unsorted data was being exacerbated by the commit level. Together for this customer, they caused some sort of code issue to rear an ugly head in the 64‑bit version.

Say what? Here is what I think is happening.

Cause Isolated?
As blocks are being created and handed over to the Windows OS to be written, new data is being read from the source files. That the data is not sorted means that Essbase may have to fetch data already sent to disk in order to update that block with new (unsorted) input data.

What happens when the block fetch request is in fact still in the next batch of 3000 blocks waiting to be committed? I think that Windows will need to commit the block to disk before it can respond to the fetch request. In the meantime, the data load has stopped, and the CPUs are sitting around, probably having a smoke.

I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to speculate that this situation creates a disk I/O nightmare that eventually impacts CPU utilization. The unacceptable disk queue is ultimately the result of not sorting the source data.

Notwithstanding the fact that something may be seriously wrong with the 64-bit Essbase data load routines, the disk I/O bottleneck really is occurring on the 32‑bit server, but only to a lesser extent.

On the customer’s test environment we were able to use 64‑bit Essbase to load the unsorted data in approximately 500 seconds. This was accomplished simply by setting the commit block parameter to 0 (zero) causing Essbase to delay commits until the load had successfully completed. Be aware that not all customer Essbase environments can accommodate this setting.

In any event, when we sorted the data, our data load was reduced to ~200 seconds!

You Tell Me...
You tell me why anybody would ever consider ensuring that their Essbase server is optimally tuned and configured? If it ain’t broked, don’t fix it! Right?

Yea. Right.

Essbase Timebombs?
How many customers out there have Essbase environments that are just waiting to self destruct because the next change to processing requirements happens?

I can count on none fingers the number of BSO applications that I have seen in the past two years that have been appropriately tuned and configured. And every BSO application log that I have reviewed on MetaLink has been filled with indicators of pathology.

Next month, I hope to do a web presentation to show what to look for in their Essbase application logs to determine whether they need to tweak tune, perform open heart surgery, or perhaps order a coffin. Interested?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Contributions By Angela Golla, Infogram Contributor

Read the transcripts of the one of the latest interviews with Larry Ellison on the acquisition of Sun.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

New Blog of Note, Identity, Storage, Interviews, PeopleSoft, Risk

New Blog on the Block

Over at Doug's Oracle Blog there's a link to a new blog with some nice material,
Kerry Osborne the 'Oracle Guy' blog. For example there's this on SQL plan baselines in 11G. And here I thought Doug was the Oracle Guy. In fact, I thought I was the Oracle Guy. Oh well. Also at Doug's blog, and also on baselines and related topics is this series: Adaptive Thresholds in 10g - Part 1 (Metric Baselines).


In another posting linking to a posting we have a link at the Talking Identity blog in its new home about Entitlement Management and Ian Yip's blog on Security and Identity.


Kevin Closson's blog is in full swing these days, with many items of interest on NUMA, Exadata, etc. Why not start from this installment on Oracle Database 11g Automatic Memory Management – Part V. More About PRE_PAGE_SGA and work your way out to the surface?


Want to get hired by Tom Kyte, Oracle uberguru? Read this article and you're good to go. Well, actually you'll at least have some insight into what he thinks about the interview process. You'll still probably have to be an industrious wunderkind for him to hire you.


Find yourself sitting up nights thinking: How can I encode Base64 in PeopleSoft? Just read this posting at Jim's PeopleSoft Blog.

also in the PeopleSoft realm this week is this posting at PeopleeSoft Corner which gives you access to the journal Software Testing and Development Newsletter - May 2009.


One of the best organizations in IT and associated fields is ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery. Did you know about their Risk Forum? This mailing list, most easily read in digest format, is a cornucopia of useful and frightening information and conjecture about everything from air crashes to bugs that cause damage to information warfare. 

Speaking of information warfare, I've been reading a very insightful book on unconventional warfare from the Chinese military called Unrestricted Warfare by Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui. The book, published by two Peoples Liberation Army officers in 1999, was quite prophetic. It discusses the weakness of a position of depending too much on technology and the viability of warfare by unconvential means. We're not talking about the standard issue guerilla techniques here, but things like economic warfare, attacking an electric grid from the Web, etc. There's a Wikipedia article here, and I was able to find a PDF of the full work by Gooogling around a little. One sobering citation there is that an ounce of an F-22 fighter is twice as expensive as an ounce of gold. Ouch. Gone are the good old days of warfare using great hulking fellows with boards with nails in them.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Contributions By Angela Golla, Infogram Contributor

Test for Success To compete, companies need to deploy their applications sooner, at lower cost, and without service interruption—and the way to do that is through rigorous testing in real-world conditions. Find out how Oracle can ensure bulletproof application quality and help organizations meet their mission-critical operational goals with new testing solutions.
Aberdeen Brief: Single-Vendor Integrated Systems Are Driving Succession Management Success
Today’s economic environment is forcing organizations to maximize what they’ve already got in terms of both people and technology. Aberdeen’s latest Research Brief shows how companies with an integrated software solution comprised of ERP, HRIS, and talent management suite software all from the same vendor are achieving impressive results.

Internet Seminar: PeopleSoft Workforce Communications: How to Lower Costs and Engage Your Workforce
Peoplesoft Workforce Communications (WFC) is a comprehensive solution for planning and deploying HR programs and and the delivery of surveys to the workforce for the purpose of workforce alignment to organizational goals, as well as reduction of risk and reduction or containment of workforce costs.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

EBS, Linux, Fundamentals, Indexes, Hyperion


Big news from the Oracle E-Business Suite Technology blog this week:

Gareth Roberts over at the InDepth Apps - Oracle eBusiness Suite blog goes over the top eight new ATG features in the EBS 12.1 release.


A couple of videos availabe over at the OTNTechCast blog:



Jonathan Lewis, one of the most respected voices in Oracle technology has started what will hopefully be a series of postings on Philosophy (at least this one is lebeled Philosophy 1, so hopefully that means it's to be a series). You can find it at his blog here.

We haven't linked to Jonathan's blog in a while, and you will want to mine back in it a bit to find some other good material, such as this excellent posting on the fine points of how you collect statistics and its impact on the CBO.


Richard Foote continues his series on small table indexing  in Indexes And Small Tables Part IV (Treefingers). Love that term, Treefingers. Who knew that there were Ents in the data dictionary?

Hyperion: New Blog

There's a new Hyperion blog out there, In 2 Hyperion, with a few overviews on products so far, such as Hyperion Financial Reporting (OBIEE) Product Overview.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Oracle News and Articles

Go Green, Save Green with Oracle VM
As the volume of information in data centers continues to grow exponentially, IT professionals are faced with a number of challenges: increased hardware, energy, and cooling costs; real estate, facility, and space expansion costs; resource underutilization; and scalability, reliability, and availability issues. At the same time budgets are shrinking and IT has to do much more with much less. Oracle helps customers' address these challenges with Oracle VM, a free, next generation server virtualization solution that makes enterprise applications easier to deploy and manage, and enables customers to lower their overall data center costs.

Latest Release of Oracle E-Business Suite Helps Reduce Costs, Improve Controls
Expanded support for shared services was introduced in Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 and continues with the latest release. Release 12.1 offers additional capabilities for supporting shared service centers, improving transaction-processing efficiency, and addressing higher levels of regulatory scrutiny. More...

Risk Management Takes on New Importance in Volatile Times
In today's tumultuous economic times successful firms will be those that manage risk effectively, while those that avoid risk or mismanage it could stagnate or find themselves fighting for survival. More...

Hyperion Strategic Finance on OTN
Oracle Hyperion Strategic Finance is a financial modeling application that lets executives identify and understand the full financial impact of alternative corporate strategies. Explore the Hyperion pages on OTN to find documentation, utilities and code, and discussion forums. More...

Monday, May 4, 2009

Contributions By Angela Golla, Infogram Contributor

The Industry's Best Support Policy Just Got Even Better. You spoke. We listened. Unprecedented economic pressure across the globe is making business as usual a thing of the past. As part of Oracle's continued commitment to provide the industry's leading support offering, we've waived Extended Support fees for a number of major Oracle product lines through 2010 and 2011. Now you have more time to optimize your existing infrastructure and can choose when to upgrade to Oracle future releases when the time is right for your business. Learn more at this link:
Contributions by Sherron Garnett, Infogram Contributor

A No-Travel Training Option: Live Virtual Classes

Oracle University Live Virtual Class is online learning with live delivery of lectures and labs. The trainer is an Oracle University expert instructor using state-of-the-art interactive Web conferencing tools. You receive an educational experience that is comparable to our traditional in-class training—without the need for expensive travel. Get details about Live Virtual Classes, including an illustrative video, course availability, and registration.

On Demand Webcast: Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g Release 5 Reduces Management Costs

Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g Release 5 can help you reduce IT operational costs while improving service levels. The release includes Siebel 8.1.1 support, monitoring accelerators for Oracle applications, new grid and virtualization management capabilities, and much more.

Official, Youbetcha Legalese

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