Thursday, April 29, 2010

Contributions by Angela Golla, Infogram Contributor

The May / June issue of Oracle Magazine is now available. It has articles on Oracle's acquisition of Sun and what it means for our customers, cloud computing and more. Check it out at:

APEX, EBS, RDBMS, Security


The Apex Evangelists run an APEX aggregator that is definitely worth putting in your RSS list: APEX Blog Aggregator


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

E-Business Suite Technology Stack Roadmap (April 2010) Now Available

11gR2 DB Certified with E-Business Suite on Solaris 10 (x86-64)

Gareth Roberts has a very handy technique for EBS over at the In-Depth Apps blog: Environment Variables from database table - Oracle E-Business Suite.


Tom Kyte has a good in-depth posting estimated cardinalities over at his blog: Something new I learned about estimated cardinalities...


Olaf Heimburger brings us a valuable posting on Using Oracle Proxy Authentication with JPA (EclipseLink-Style) on his blog.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hyperion, JDEdwards, Book Reviews, PL/SQL


The new 11.1.2 release of EPM is all the buzz on the blogs.

The Look Smarter Than You Are blog discusses fome of the new standalong applications that come with EPM 11.1.2: Oracle EPM 11.1.2 - New Financial Close Applications.

Tim Tow has some valuable tips in this posting: New 11.1.2 Information.

And a couple of items from Essbase Labs:

Smart View 11.1.2 – Ribbons


Smart View 11.1.2 – Connections

JD Edwards

A few notes and rumors on the product roadmap from Collaborate, with a prediction of more solid into in the Fall at OpenWorld over at the JD Edwards Advisor blog: JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Roadmap

Book Reviews

The blog of the Amis Technology corner has a lot of good material of late, including two book reviews:

A detailed review of an intermediate advanced book: Oracle Fusion Developer Guide

and one on a very hands-on approach to SOA Suite:
Getting Started With Oracle SOA Suite 11g R1: A Hands-On Tutorial


We've mentioned the PL/SQL Challenge site here before, and it's worth mentioning again, as Eddie Awad does over at his blog: What Error

Thursday, April 22, 2010

OakTable, Piping, EBS, WLS, PeopleSoft, Siebel, Hyperion, Security

Oak Table Net New Website

There's a new website for the, a group of mysterious Oracle performance gurus who meet secretly at an oaken table in Denmark by the light of the moon (well, not secretly, really, also not usually soberly; and they don't actually wait for the moon to appear to pop open a beer, but they're still mysterious for all that). Go have a look. These folks are the best and brightest in Oracle performance.

Also in the realm of performance, and of Oak Table members, is this blog entry from Tanel Poder on cursor: pin S waits, sporadic CPU spikes and systematic troubleshooting. Some esoteric and extremely useful things for those working with Oracle on Unix systems. But some of the most valuable advice in this posting on specifics relates to the general approach to performance, for instance tailoring the time of activity you measure to the event, not just, for instance, taking a one hour chunk of AWR as the gold standard.

Piping Function

No, not for plumbers, for programmers. Tom Kyte speaks of the NO_DATA_NEEDED function in his blog here.


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

The Scoop: Oracle E-Business Suite Support on 64-bit Linux

10gR2 Transportable Tablespaces Certified for EBS 11i

10gR2 Certified with EBS 12 on Windows Itanium x64


Record and play your WebLogic Console Tasks Like a DVR over at James Bayer's Blog.


Need some samples on ADF TaskFlows? Raghu Yadav has a great list over at his blog: ADF TaskFlows Communications.

PeopleSoft Passwords

Over at the One PeopleSoft Road blog there is a good technical posting on the inner workings of passwords in PeopleSoft, with links to a series on PeopleSoft connectivity at the same blog.


There's a good discussion on the The Truth about PreCanInvokeMethod over at the Siebel Essentials blog.


There's a good series going on over at the In 2 Hyperion blog: Financial Reporting with Rolling Years and Periods (Step 3 of 4)


Over at the Oracle Forensics blog, Paul M. Wright has some cautionary notes on: Oracle Wallet AUTO LOGIN ~ common misconception corrected.

Contributions by Angela Golla, Infogram Contributor

Oracle Maximum Availability Architecture - MAA

Oracle Maximum Availability Architecture (MAA) is Oracle's best practices blueprint based on proven Oracle high availability technologies and recommendations. The goal of MAA is to achieve the optimal high availability architecture at the lowest cost and complexity:

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

New CPU, Updates, Long Running SRs, EBS


The new CPU is out. Here are some useful notes and links:

Oracle Products — Documentation & Special Handling Instructions
For information about supported platforms, changes, terminal CPU plans and other aspects of CPUApr2010, see My Oracle Support Note 1060989.1 “Critical Patch Update April 2010 Patch Availability Document for Oracle Products” and Note 1060981.1 “Critical Patch Update April 2010 Patch Availability Document for Oracle BEA Releases”

CPUApr2010 Documentation

Documents related to CPUApr2010 lead customers through all information they need related to their Oracle environment. To ensure that customers receive the necessary level of detail, always refer them to the appropriate document ID instead of providing the patch numbers.

Note 981278.1: Roadmap to the Oracle Critical Patch Update April 2010 documentation
OTN Critical Patch Update Advisory: Oracle Critical Patch Update April 2010 Advisory

Note 1060989.1: Oracle Critical Patch Update April 2010 Availability for Oracle Products

Note 985896.1: Oracle Critical Patch Update April 2010 E-Business Suite Critical Patch Update Note

Note 1060981.1: Critical Patch Update April 2010 Patch Availability Document for Oracle BEA Releases

Note 1060969.1: Oracle Critical Patch Update April 2010 Known Issues for Oracle Database

Note 1061002.1: Oracle Critical Patch Update April 2010 Known Issues for Oracle Fusion Middleware

Note 1061013.1: Oracle Critical Patch Update April 2010 Known Issues for Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control

Note 1061014.1: Oracle Critical Patch Update April 2010 Database Molecule Patch Security Vulnerability Mapping

Note 1063379.1: Oracle Critical Patch Update April 2010 Oracle Life Sciences GBU

Note 1077118.1: PeopleSoft, JD Edwards April 2010 Critical Patch Update Knowledge Document

Note 1078890.1: Critical Patch Update April 2010 Patch Availability Document for Oracle Retail Products (Doc ID 1078890.1)

Note 1076933.1:
Critical Patch Update April 2010 for Oracle Communications Products

Some Oracle Software Updates

Oracle Application Testing Suite 9.1.0

Oracle Database 11g Release 2 for Windows 32 and 64 bit

Over at Grant's blog:

Updated Support Dates for Forms 10.1.2

Long Running SRs

Chris Warticki has some useful suggestions on dealing with long-running SRs. The article is primarily for those who don't have Priority Support, but still has some good avenues to explore.


You don't have to have a big lab or get into some massive scandal about government funding just because you want to do cloning. Alejando Vargas shows you how to clone an Oracle database on the same server using RMAN duplicate from the active database.


Lots of updates this week from the Oracle E-Business Suite Technology blog:

Warning: E-Business Suite Issues with Sun JRE 1.6.0_20

Critical Patch Update for April 2010 Now Available

TDE Tablespace Encryption Certified with EBS 11i

EBS Techstack Sessions at OAUG/Collaborate 2010

Transportable Database 11gR2 Certified with E-Business Suite

Premier Support Date Changed for Oracle Application Server 10gR2

MS Visual Studio 2008 Certified with Oracle EBS 12 on MS Windows Server (32-bit)

How Does AutoPatch Handle Shared E-Business Suite Products?

Warning: E-Business Suite Issues with Sun JRE 1.6.0_19

Monday, April 12, 2010

Contributions by Angela Golla, Infogram Contributor

Are you moving to or using Oracle E-Business Suite 12.1? Check out the Transfer of Information (TOI) online training sessions indexed in Note:807319.1.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hyperion, Performance, Siebel, Network, New Blog of Note, EBS


By way of the 'in 2 Hyperion' blog there is a new release out: Oracle EPM 11.1.2 Talleyrand Release (I was personally hoping for an equestrian release named 'Tallyho!', but my hopes have been crushed).


Alberto Dell'Era's blog only updates once a week or so, but the contents of those updates tend to really be gold. For instance his latest entry of today on: Xtrace: an Oracle session trace browser (introduction)


Announcing Siebel CRM 8.2 for Public Sector

Oracle's new social services solution provides a comprehensive view of clients across programs and integrates with financial management systems to streamline the entire social services lifecycle.

RDBMS Network Tier

We often forget about the stream of faithful TCP/IP packets that make our use of RDBMS possible beyond the confines of the server room, and, unless someone sets something wrong in a config file or changes a firewall that causes numerous phones to ring in the deep of night, it doesn't get a lot of attention. But it's good to know abut TCP/IP, and as Gwen Shapira points out over at her I'm Just a Simple DBA blog, there are some useful things you can manipulate to make use of that unseen horde of packets: Fetch as Much as You Can


It's been a while since we've linked to Richard Foote (the indexing guru), and in the interim he has put an excellent two part posting up on bitmap indexing, the cause of frequent confusion and more than a few IT urban legends:

Unique Bitmap Indexes Part I (Unnatural Selection)

Unique Bitmap Indexes Part II (You Can’t Do That)

New Blog of Note

Kevin Closson points to a new blog Gavin Soorma he noticed in his blog here.

Lots of nice stuff in it, including this item on GoldenGate, which is the most exciting product I've seen for HA and data transfer in recent memory: Oracle GoldenGate Veridata Installation and Configuration.


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

MS Visual Studio 2008 Certified with Oracle EBS 12 on MS Windows Server (32-bit)

How Does AutoPatch Handle Shared E-Business Suite Products?

Warning: E-Business Suite Issues with Sun JRE 1.6.0_19

Contributions by Angela Golla, Infogram Contributor

Did you know that Oracle maintains an archive of recorded Advisor Webcasts covering many topics for PeopleSoft, Oracle E-Business Suite, JD Edwards and Oracle Server Technology? Over a hundred webcasts are currently available on My Oracle Support Note:740964.1. Check it out. You are guaranteed to find a topic you are interested in.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Hyperion, Identity, EBS, SOA, Performance, APEX, Demo Site


Ranzal & Associates continues their very handy series on Life Cycle Management with this posting on Special uses for Life Cycle Management (LCM)

A very original (and only little twisted) Quiz on Essbase this week from Glenn Schwarzberg's Essbase blog in the form of a song, along with a pointer to a new LinkedIn group on Essbase.


Over at the Talking Identity blog there's a rundown of several conferences of interest coming up in May: It’s gonna be a jam-packed May for Identity.


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

New EBS 12.0 AutoConfig Rollup 7 Now Available

Using Microsoft Office 2007 with E-Business Suite Release 12

Business Continuity for EBS Using Oracle 11g Physical Standby DB

Oracle Access Manager 10gR3 Certified with E-Business Suite


Over at the Inside scoop on Oracle SOA Suite, BPM and EDA blog we have a good rundown on: 11gR1 Patchset 2 ~ (SOA) features.


A valuable posting on a potential performance pitfall involving materialized views from Alberto Dell'Era . Please note that he recommends the use of an underscore parameter. You will want to open an SR and confirm the use of such a parameter before implementing on any production system. There are some underscore parameters that have become standards (some of the ones set as a standard part of an EBS installation come to mind), but you should always err on the side of caution on these settings. I have seen customers in a backup and recovery situation use an underscore parameter that forced the DB open. It also put the database in an unsupported state and took a great deal of time and money to recover. Unless very specifically called for in Oracle documentation or recommended by Oracle Support, underscore parameters should be kept in the world of sandboxes and throwaway instances. What Alberto is describing, however, is something that is a valid use of the parameter once you confirm the situation with Support in an SR.

Tanel Poder has links to an excellent article on latch contention (and some other goodies) at his blog here.


Sad news for the APEX world, Scott Spadafore, long time Oracle employee and a major player in the world of APEX development, has died. You can find links to the memorials here at Yet Another Blog About Oracle Express.

Demo Site

Miladin Modrakovic's Blog: Oraclue has a good link: Oracle Online Demos and Online Tutorials. It can be a real time-saver when you are evaluating solutions.
Contributions by Angela Golla, Infogram Contributor

A wealth of information is available at the Oracle Premier Support Resource Library. It contains links to analyst reports, Oracle's Lifetime Support policy, Advanced Customer Services information, customer success stories, data sheets, podcasts and more. Check it out at:

Infrastructure Sizing for Essbase (part 3)

This entry concludes our discussion of estimating Essbase infrastructure specifications.

Understanding Essbase Processes

Batch Processing
There are two components to Essbase batch refresh processes. Meta data and data are updated and then data is pre-processed before being made available to users. Pre-processing (i.e. aggregation creation) is where the Administrator designs how Essbase computes and stores cube values in the effort to enhance query responsiveness. Computing and persisting data is demanding of processor, network and disk resources: During aggregation creation, Essbase systematically reads data in, calculates/aggregates, and writes data out, sometimes for extended (hours) periods of time.

Resource demands and best practices require that batch processing be carried out in isolation from end-user query activity. Batch routines are usually run this way so that the Admin can be sure that required server resources are able to be allocated to specific Essbase processes.

Running Batch in Isolation
When the batch processes are being run isolated, end user activities are temporarily suspended. Isolating events in time is the easiest way to ensure that the resources that are required to perform the batch processes are available without restriction. From an infrastructure perspective what is required is that the server be configured with sufficient resources to process the batch routines efficiently. From the user perspective, however, it means that there is potentially a significant period of time when the application is not available. Whereas this involves a minimal requirement for hardware, end user downtime is becoming less and less tolerable for enterprise analytic applications.

Running Batch in Parallel
Running in parallel means batch processes are run coincident with end-user activities. The architecture is configured with sufficient resources to enable efficient batch processing without any significant degradation in performance of end user activities. This minimizes the impact on the end user, but it maximizes infrastructure requirements. In this scenario there are possibly great periods of time when the infrastructure is under‑utilized.

Underestimating resources here has two unfortunate characteristics; most of the time the system appears under‑utilized. During times of peak use, however, the whole system becomes a bottleneck for batch as well as user processes.

Peak usage always coincides with the delivery of critical functionality. Failure during peak periods will undermine user confidence in the entire application.

Query Processing
The quality of the end-user experience of Essbase is defined by query performance characteristics. Query performance depends upon three factors:

· CPU availability - a query is a single threaded event and thus requires one CPU
· Query Size - the amount of data that Essbase is required to retrieve from disk
· Dynamic Processing - the number and degree of dynamic computations

The objective of developing an efficient Essbase computing environment is to create one where the resource requirements to support batch processes are not simultaneously competing for resources required for end-use querying. Large queries that take minutes to complete have a much greater chance of being concurrent with other processing requests. Tuning the cube to have more efficient response times mitigates this. However, at some point, the query response time bottom line is reached, and hardware appears as the only way to increase performance. This is achieved different ways. Bigger and faster hardware is augmented by scaling the environment horizontally across multiple different servers, or by scaling the environment vertically on servers, or both.

Storage Requirements
Oracle will recommend customers use dedicated storage whenever possible for Essbase. Many times performance limitations on Essbase will be Disk as well as CPU related. Applications calculating and reporting data which will drive high I/O utilization on a storage system. For SAN devices, dedicated fiber connections will be very beneficial. This configuration will be helpful specifically when calculating multiple applications simultaneously. While not necessary, additional throughput performance gains are achieved by splitting Block Storage Option applications to calculate and store the index and data files on different physical drives and controllers.

For an Aggregate Storage Option cube, data is stored in both the Temp and Default directories during data load and aggregation processing. Using separate physical drives and I/O channels for the location of these files, you can reduce I/O contention and there by improve overall performance. Breaking up the Aggregate .DAT files by storing large databases on different physical drives with different I/O channels can also improve query performance.

Network Speed and Bandwidth
Using a full duplex 1GB Network connection between any servers in the same zone that have EPM components that communicate is optimal. If all the EPM components are on one physical server then use a corresponding server network connection up to the maximum speed of the network throughput of routers to the network.

Other Performance Related Considerations

Multi-Threading Technologies
Multi-Threading processor technologies spawn two threads per physical CPU to emulate multiple processing cores. This way, the OS perceives twice as many logical CPUs as there are physical ones. The result can be, for some applications, to improve throughput by as much as ~30%.

Not all software applications are enhanced by the use of these technologies. In general it has been found that Essbase performance is not enhanced, and often demonstrates degraded performance.

Essbase performance is, however, application and cube dependent. A small number of customers anecdotally report increased responsiveness using multi-processor simulations. Considering that there are platform implementation differences, and that it is not possible to predict accurately how any given cube will respond to this technology, it is best to test to determine what is appropriate for your Essbase environment.

Multiple Cores and Floating Point Units (FPU)
This is perhaps an outdated topic because of recent trends in processor technologies. Essbase performs floating point arithmetic, so single FPU processors represent a bottleneck for Essbase. To take advantage of the performance gains from multiple-core technologies, ensure that each core is configured with its own FPU.

LPAR/VM Definitions
Virtual machine and some LPAR definitions of Essbase servers are being used to share resources. Whereas these configurations are supported by Oracle for Essbase, the nature of a shared environment is such that it is technically challenging to control server resources to ensure especially what processor resources are being allocated to Essbase. The result is that Essbase performance characteristics cannot be controlled to deliver a consistent level of performance. Where it is not possible to be sure that the server will be able to meet the end-user service level agreements, we recommend that you decide against using Essbase in a shared environment.

Estimating Core and RAM Requirements
If the requirement persists to estimate infrastructure specifications without processing requirement details being known, here are two methods that can be used. Both make assumptions about how to gauge concurrency. The second includes adding cores to support batch processing requirements and factors in a desired response time for end user querying.

Processor Cores per Application based on Active Users
This method is easy, but potentially expensive. When use-case scenarios are not well known, estimate processor and memory requirements the following way: Allocate six cores per Essbase application. Memory is allocated by adding 2GB of RAM to the server for each core.

The use-case scenario that this rule was devised for is an Essbase and Relational reporting environment with 2000 named users where 500 users are active. In large computing environments, this can easily lead to very pessimistic (i.e. expensive) estimates for core and RAM requirements.

Users per Core
Another option is to base the number of cores on the number of users, using batch concurrency and query response time assumptions. RAM estimation allocates between 2 and 4 GB of RAM per application rather than per core.

The examples assume that batch routines are run in parallel with end-user processes. For an application that batch routines are run in isolation, core estimates should be reduced accordingly.
The examples that follow are experienced estimates that can only be validated with realistic load testing. Adding to the overall complexity of using this method is to keep in mind how important report design is for performance, RAM and core requirements.

50 Users Per Core.
The method assumes a desired 15 second response time for queries/reports with the longest query taking no longer than 30 seconds. To this base number of cores, you add cores for required for parallel batch processing.

25 Users Per Core
This method assumes a desired 15 second response time for queries/reports where minimal increases in response times are required. Add an additional core for each report that runs for 60 seconds or more. To this base number, add the number of cores required for parallel batch processing to compute the total number of estimated cores.

John French

Principal Service Delivery Engineer
Oracle Advanced Customer Services - GLOBAL
Jensen Beach, FL

Richard (Rick) Sawa
Principal Service Delivery
Oracle Advanced Customer Services - GLOBAL
Columbus, OH

Official, Youbetcha Legalese

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