Friday, July 31, 2009

Contributions by Angela Golla, Infogram Contributor

Hard to believe it, but Oracle Open World is fast approaching. Save $300 for early bird registration by signing up by August 14th. Here is a link for more information:
http://www.oracle.com/us/openworld/index.htm

Thursday, July 30, 2009

CPU, OpenWorld, APEX, Security, EBS, Hyperion


CPU - Important Notice

I'm usually strongly advocating applying the security patch sets (CPUs), but this time around we have a vulnerability that shows signs of being more virulent than usual.

Here are a few links about it:

Definitely a good idea to apply the July CPU, since it contains a fix for this vulnerability. As to the chief villain of the piece, the exploit author, being named Chris Gates, well, it's spelled differently than my name, and, I would point out, is spelled just like Bill Gates' last name, so kindly cast your aspersions that way.

OpenWorld

Priority Service customers get a limited number of Gold Passes if they are attending OpenWorld The Gold Pass gets you VIP seating and some other nice benefits. Please see your SDM for details. Don't have Priority Service? See your Support Sales rep to get hooked up!

While you're at OpenWorld, don't miss the two sessions from the Oracle Optimizer team.

APEX

Are you an APEX coder? Don't forget to join the Oracle Application Express Development Competition.

Security

The Talking Identity blog has a good real-world example of what happens when you have less than industrial strength identity management: The Twitter Break-In: Anything to learn here?

EBS

This week at the Oracle E-Business Suite blog:

My Oracle Support News

MetaLink 3 Upgrade to My Oracle Support
- MetaLink 3 Upgrade to My Oracle Support Information Page (DocID 789174.1)
- MetaLink 3 Upgrade to My Oracle Support FAQ (DocID 789879.1)


Classic MetaLink Retirement
- Classic MetaLink and My Oracle Support Transition Information Page (DocID 841061.1)
- Classic MetaLink and My Oracle Support Transition FAQ (DocID 841055.1)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Contributions by Angela Golla, Infogram Contributor

IDC analysts have written an interesting article on My Oracle Support and trends they see for technical support in general:
http://www.oracle.com/corporate/analyst/reports/services/support/idc-my-oracle-support.pdf

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Oracle VM Templates on Xen 3.2

Oracle VM Templates are a great way to test Oracle Software with little to no setup and install. You simply download the template and import it into your VM and you should be good to go.

However, importing an Oracle VM template into OVM and Xen are two different things (although they shouldn't be).

The first thing you will want to do is unarchive the template into the directory of your choice:

tar zxvf OVM_EL5U2_X86_64_PVM_10GB.tgz

This should give you the following directory structure:

OVM_EL5U2_X86_PVM_10GB/
README
System.img
vm.cfg

Next, copy the vm.cfg file into your xen directory with a new name:

cp vm.cfg /etc/xen/OEL5U2.cfg

Now, edit the OEL5U2.cfg and change the disk= line to point to your System.img file. Just change the directory to the place where you unarchived it. You will also want to change the
file: parameter to tap:aio:. On OVM, the file parameter has changes that make it very efficient. On Xen, tap:aio is far superior to file. Here is what my config looks like:

disk = [ 'tap:aio:/home/images/OVM_EL5U2_X86_64_PVM_10GB/System.img,xvda,w' ]

You will also want to verify that your bootloader line points to your pygrub binary. If it does not, change it. Mine looks like this:

bootloader="/usr/lib/xen-3.2-1/bin/pygrub"

Feel free to make other changes such as memory and vcpus based on your needs.

Here is where this gets fun.

You will need kpartx to mount partitions from the img file. If you do not have it installed, get it from your linux vendor.

First, set up the associations for the image file by running the following command:

kpartx -av /home/images/OVM_EL5U2_X86_64_PVM_10GB/System.img

Replace the location with your location of the System.img file.

Next, we need to let LVM know about these new partitions:

vgscan

You should get something like the following back:

Found volume group "VolGroup00" using metadata type lvm2

Now, activate the logical volumes with the following:

vgchange -ay VolGroup00

running 'lvs' should show the new partitions. Now you can mount the logical volume partitions like you would any other partition:

mount /dev/VolGroup/LogVol00 /mnt

Change into the directory and make the following change to your kernel line.
1) Remove the 'quiet' parameter
2) Add console=xvc0 to it.

My grub.conf:

default=0
timeout=5
splashimage=(hd0,0)/grub/splash.xpm.gz
hiddenmenu
title Enterprise Linux Enterprise Linux Server (2.6.18-92.1.17.0.2.el5xen)
root (hd0,0)
kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.18-92.1.17.0.2.el5xen ro root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 rhgb numa=off console=xvc0
initrd /initrd-2.6.18-92.1.17.0.2.el5xen.img

Save the file.

Unmount the partition:

umount /mnt

Deactivate the Volume Group

vchange -an VolGrou00

Remove the img associations:

kpartx -dv /home/images/OVM_EL5U2_X86_64_PVM_10GB/System.img

Now, you should be able to boot the image without issues:

xm create OEL5U2.cfg


Good Luck!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Metalink, Forms, AIA, Open World, EBS, BI, PeopleSoft, General Computing


Metalink

Metalink is being retired, not without controversy, and we want our readers to have access too up to date information on this major event in Oracle Support history. Let's start with Chris Warticki's blog, where you can find an article on Why is Classic Metalink being retired?

Don't forget to make your voice heard by joining the discussion thread over at OTN and voting on the move though these links from from Chris' blog from last week.

Migrating Forms

Need to migrate from Oracle Forms? Lots of choices, and a sometimes complex programming and business choice to be made. There are some useful links to research at Grant's Blog this week.

AIA

Looking for good info sources on AIA? The official AIA blog gives us a batch.

Open World

Time to start planning for Open World. Have you started planning out your sessions? If you're like me at a conference you always wish you had a couple of clones available so you can attend all the sessions of interest at once. But, lacking cloning technology, at least you can plan early. The Structured Data blog, one of our favorites here at the Infogram, is announcing a set of sessions from the Real World Performance Group.

EBS

This week from Oracle E-Business Technology:




BI

A good overview of OBI EE over at the Eye on Oracle BI blog.

PeopleSoft

The PeopleSoft Tipster brings us a continutation of their earlier material on REN: A Progress Bar within the REN Window

This article starts from a PeopleSoft application, but is really handy for anyone building a kiosk application: Automating Forced Windows Logout for Kiosks

General Business Computing

Web Worker Daily has a review with links to some free tools for audio and video editing. If you're like me, you don't need this capacity often enough to invest in even a shareware application, so having a free utility available is handy.

Contributions by Angela Golla, Infogram Contributor

Learn how to achieve high performance and availability with Oracle RAC and PHP with this real life example of a mission critical implementation:
http://www.oracle.com/technology/pub/articles/lim-php-rac.html

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Upcoming Webcasts

Introduction to Oracle WebCenter Suite 11g
Learn about Oracle WebCenter Suite 11
g—a unified, standards-based enterprise portal platform that provides a full range of functionality to develop Web-based applications.
July 28
11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET

Classic MetaLink Set to Retire

Reference : Doc ID 860438.1

WHAT IS BEING ANNOUNCED?

In the coming months My Oracle Support will upgrade to a new support platform, and Classic MetaLink and the On Demand Customer Portal will retire. Please note the upcoming changes and action items that will help you prepare for the transition. WHAT SIGNIFICANT CHANGES ARE TAKING PLACE?
Users accessing
metalink.oracle.com and ondemand.oracle.com will no longer have a login option to choose between Classic MetaLink and My Oracle Support, but will be automatically be directed to My Oracle Support.
When Classic MetaLink and the On Demand Customer Portal retire, a data migration will take place and Oracle Support will move to a single platform. Additional changes include:
  • Customer’s Service Request (SR) history and SR numbers will change during the data migration
  • Service Request (SR) Profiles and email notifications for My Headlines will change
  • Authentication to My Oracle Support will be updated to use Oracle single-sign-on accounts Oracle will provide further details about the authentication changes as we get closer to the upgrade date

FOUR THINGS YOU SHOULD DO

1.
Visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and Information Page

You should read the ‘
Classic MetaLink, My Oracle Support and the Oracle On Demand Transition FAQs’ document, and thoroughly review the ‘Data Migration’ and ‘My Oracle Support Features’ sections for more details about the upgrade to My Oracle Support. The Classic MetaLink, On Demand Customer Portal and My Oracle Support Transition Information Page is also available for up-to-date details regarding My Oracle Support transition timelines, technical requirements and more.

2. Verify That You Have Adobe Flash Player
Adobe Flash Player Version 9.0.115 or later is required to use My Oracle Support. Check your browser to verify that Adobe Flash Player Version 9.0.115 or later is installed by visiting the Adobe Flash Player checker page.

3. Begin Using My Oracle Support Today
Users who currently access
metalink.oracle.com can immediately begin preparing for the retirement of Classic MetaLink and the Oracle On Demand Portal by using the current version of My Oracle Support. All products on Classic MetaLink are supported in My Oracle Support. To get started, select the "My Oracle Support" button when logging in.

4. Update Your Contact Information
Please ensure your email address is up to date in your Classic MetaLink / My Oracle Support profile.

My Oracle Support
1) Click the "Settings" link in upper right hand corner
2) Select "Account & Privileges"
3) Click the pencil icon next to Username/email

Classic MetaLink
1) Click the "Profile" link in the upper right hand corner
2) Click the "Change Username/email Address" button

By updating your email address, your username for My Oracle Support / Classic MetaLink will change to your new email address. Your password remains the same. You will need to use this new email address when you access My Oracle Support / Classic MetaLink in the future.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

July CPU, Siebel, Hyperion, AIA, My Oracle Support, EBS, Coding Standards


July CPU

The July CPU is out. Looking for a good place to start the testing process? This is it.


Siebel

Alberto Dell'Era's blog has some experience to share on tuning Oracle for large Siebel systems. Have a look and see what you think.

Hyperion

Testing Hyperion 11? There are a lot of good features to make the move worthwhile. Part two of the series on Hyperion Release 11 Architecture and Installation at the 'in 2 Hyperion' blog.

AIA


My Oracle Support

How do you feel about it? Love it? Hate it? Think it would taste better on toast? Voice your opinion and/or vote on it at the links provided over at Chris Warticki's blog.

EBS

A treasure trove of updates this week over at the E-Business Suite Technology blog:

Tablespace Encryption 11.1.0.7 Certified with EBS 12



Coding Standards

Another voice is added to the chorus of objection to the notorious 'when others then' error handling, that of Chen Shapira at the I'm Just a Simple DBA blog. And yes, it's confession time and back in my developer days (it was a while ago, we used mastodon parts in the servers back then) I did indeed use this horrible shortcut. There, it's out, and I feel much better for having confessed. But any code I left behind is still out in the wild, puzzling users about just what exactly DID go wrong in the batch job last night.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Contributions by Angela Golla, Infogram Contributor

Oracle Advanced Security helps customers address regulatory compliance requirements by protecting sensitive data on the network, on backup media and within the database from unauthorized disclosure. Oracle Advanced Security Transparent Data Encryption provides the industries most advanced encryption capabilities for protecting sensitive information without requiring any changes to the existing application. Learn more at:
http://www.oracle.com/database/advanced-security.html

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Oracle Procurement News

New Oracle Sourcing On Demand Enables Rapid Cost Cutting
Oracle’s widely used Oracle Sourcing application is now available in an Oracle-hosted version, offering an alternative for companies that want to jump-start sourcing programs while avoiding up-front capital expenses.
More...

Oracle Set to Release New Tool for More Accurate Spend Analyses
Oracle is planning a summer release for a new product to help organizations more accurately analyze their procurement activities to find opportunities for reducing costs and negotiating favorable contracts with suppliers.
More...

Top 5 New Features in Oracle Procurement 12.1.1
With the new release of Oracle Procurement 12.1.1 and new analytical capabilities in Oracle Business Intelligence Applications, procurement managers now have a wider variety of tools for improving sourcing, contracting, and compliance.
More...

OpenWorld Preview: New Supply Management Tools Offer Dramatic Cost Reductions
Sourcing and procurement professionals are currently grappling with unprecedented economic pressures—and opportunities. This year’s Oracle OpenWorld will explore the wide range of new technologies that can help them cut risk and maximize value.
More...

Hyperion, PeopleSoft, Parallel Procesing, SQL*Net


Hyperion

Essbase

Want to put a timestamp on zipped up versions of all of the Essbase objects in an app subdirectory? The Cubegeek blog has a simple Perl script to let you do that.

Virtual Machines in Hyperion

in 2 Hyperion has a posting on managing virtual machines. Make sure you speak with your Support rep on this if you are implementing VMWare or some other virtual machine system. There can be some complications if you encounter bugs, and you'll need to demonstrate that the bugs reproduce in a non-VMWare environment. While you are at it, you should really add the RSS feed for in 2 Hyperion, because there is always something interesting over there for Hyperion customers, such as this posting on Comparing Current Periods to Prior Periods.

PeopleSoft (and the editor on his soapbox)

There's a nice review of the basics of using PeopleSoft Performance Monitor over at the Grey Sparling Solutions blog.

And over at the PeopleSoft DBA blog we have a nice use of the features of 10gR2 to solve a bottleneck: Dynamically Switching PeopleSoft Temporary Records between Global Temporary and Normal Tables during Application Engine Programs. Naturally, you're going to want to test this to make sure it works as well on your system as on the author's, but I definitely like to see our customers using advanced Oracle features.

There is an old argument in IT that one should seek to be 'database agnostic', keeping to a lowest common denominator of features to make things easier if you ever want to switch to a different RDBMS. The trouble with that thinking (apart from the horrible concept of switching from Oracle, even potentially), is that you pay heavily every day to save money once in a possible future. Any accountant can tell you that it isn't the one time expenditures that are dangerous (except a really huge one, of course), it's the monthly expenditures and entitlements that drag you down. Even more so the daily ones. By all means, use the advanced features you've paid for. You always want to be selective and cautious, thus avoiding the inevitable bugs of a first release, but using advanced features will help your bottom line. Advanced features and options will allow you to do more with the resources you've paid for, as long as you don't get carried away with novelties and overcomplicated designs. By this I mean a design that gives more consideration to the 'Wow!' factor of the technology than to the actual requirments of the business (you remember the business, it's that thing that pays IT's bills and is the actual reason we do all this computer stuff).

Generally speaking (and I do a lot of that, speaking generally), there is a tradeoff between novelty and risk. But business is all about risk, and a business that is totally without risk is simply not profitable, usually settling into a quagmire of niche markets then washing out when the next major innovation wave rolls in. The realm of the real risk jockeys is not something I'll discuss. If you're one of them, you don't want or need advice anyway.

Ok, enough time on the soapbox for this week.

Parallel Processing

Over at the Oracle Database Performance And Scalability Blog there is a highly technical and useful examination on Interconnect Myths And Misunderstandings

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Contributions By Angela Golla, Infogram Contributor

Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g Unveiled; See Replay of Launch, Debut in Innovation Showcase

Delivering a foundation for innovation to customers and partners, Oracle announced on July 1 the availability of Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g, the next generation of the industry’s leading middleware product suite. The new release also kicks off the new Oracle Innovation Showcase, which during the 100-day countdown to Oracle OpenWorld San Francisco 2009, is highlighting how Oracle is a technology innovator, transforming the way business is conducted.

“Oracle is #1 in middleware,” said Thomas Kurian, SVP, Oracle Server Technologies. “With the release of Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g, more than 90,000 current customers gain a foundation for innovation to further differentiate their organizations from competitors and efficiently identify and respond to changes in their business. Offering further integrations within and across the product line and major technical innovations in every product category, Oracle is helping customers realize the promise of modern IT efficiency.”

The first event—part of the
global launch tour—took place in Washington DC on July 1 with a keynote presentation by Thomas and Oracle President Charles Phillips. A new Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g online launch center also went live on July 1. Visit the center to watch the replay of the July 1 keynote Webcast, as well as access new product resources.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

BI, APEX, EBS, My Oracle Support, Internals


BI

Does bursting support translation (huh? ok, it's a BI thing I guess, I've personally never seen bursting and translation in the same sentence). Well, it does, according to this article at A BI Publisher developer's diary blog.

APEX

David Peake points out a good item at Chris Muir's blog on Stress and Load Testing Web Applications using apache jMeter.

EBS

Moving to R12? Already there? Have questions? Don't miss


Note: 824414.1 R12.1: Frequently Asked Questions related to the R12.1
Release(Financials)


And from Chris Warticki's blog we have a link to
FREE R12.1 Advisor Webcast



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




Support

Another item from Chris Warticki's blog reminds us that the time is at hand to get ready for My Oracle Support.

Internals

I debated whether this falls more into internals (where Tanel Poder is an expert) or performance (where Tanel Poder is an expert). In either case this links page of his is something you should put in your favorites. Lots of goodies on both those topics to be found.

Official, Youbetcha Legalese

This blog is provided for information purposes only and the contents hereof are subject to change without notice. This blog contains links to articles, sites, blogs, that are created by entities other than Oracle. These links may contain advice, information, and opinion that is incorrect or untested. This blog, links, and other materials contained or referenced in this blog are not warranted to be error-free, nor are they subject to any other warranties or conditions, whether expressed orally or implied in law, including implied warranties and conditions of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. We specifically disclaim any liability with respect to this blog, links and other materials contained or referenced in this blog, and no contractual obligations are formed either directly or indirectly by this blog, link or other materials. This blog may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, for any purpose, without our prior written permission. The opinions and recommendations contained in this blog(including links) do not represent the position of Oracle Corporation.

Oracle, JD Edwards, PeopleSoft, and Siebel are registered trademarks of Oracle Corporation and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.