Michael Armstrong-Smith

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Updated: 13 hours 34 min ago

Are you worried about what to do now that Discoverer is almost out of support

Wed, 2016-04-13 04:52
Hello everyone
Like me, if you are a big user of Discoverer, you would have been alarmed at the news a few years ago that Oracle was dropping the tool.

Well, once I got over my alarm I started to think about how my clients could maximize their use of the at times millions of dollars of investment.

Oracle Corporation’s statement of direction implies that they will not force you off of Discoverer and on to another tool. It is important for you to understand, however that like all software Discoverer will one day be phased out in order to make way for more modern BI solutions.

You currently have three options: Protect / Extend / Evolve

  1. Protect your investment by staying with Discoverer, continuing to receive Oracle’s outstanding support until it runs out, after which you will be on your own
  2. Extend you your investment by continuing to use Discoverer while integrating to other Oracle BI tools such as Oracle BI Enterprise Edition (OBIEE)
  3. Evolve your investment by formulating a strategy to fully migrate to another tool, perhaps one of Oracle's other BI tools such as OBIEE, or to a third party tool such as SplashBI owned by Eis Technilogies
I will address more on option 3 in upcoming posts.

Are you having trouble starting Weblogic from a Windows service

Wed, 2016-04-13 04:26
Are you having trouble starting Weblogic on Windows and thus unable to start the WLS_DISCO service? If so, you can start Wenlogic from the command line.

To start Weblogic from the command line, follow these steps:
  1. Open a CMD window
  2. Navigate to the bin folder for Weblogic. Mine is located at C:\oracle\Middleware\user_projects\domains\ClassicDomain\bin
  3. Run startweblogic.cmd
  4. Provide a username - in my case weblogic
  5. Provide the password
  6. When started, leave the CMD window open

Next, I started the Node Manager manually as follows:
  1.  Open a second CMD window
  2. Navigate to the bin folder for Node Manager. Mine is located at C:\oracle\Middleware\wlserver_10.3\server\bin
  3. Run startnodemanager.cmd
  4. Provide a username - in my case weblogic
  5. Provide the password
  6. When started, leave the CMD window open



    Discoverer and Windows 10

    Thu, 2015-07-30 23:33
    Hi everyone
    Further to a earlier posting of mine it would appear that Windows 10 and Discoverer are incompatible.

    Michael

    Might need to use Tunneling with Discoverer 11g

    Thu, 2015-03-19 14:40
    I have noticed a few instances recently of Discoverer 11g Plus failing to open or taking an awful long time to open. In both of the cases where this has been reported to me by my clients, changing the plus communication protocol from Default to Tunneling did the trick.

    To enable tunneling for use with Discoverer Plus, use this workflow:

    1. Launch Enterprise Manager using something like: http://server.domain.com:7002/em
    2. Enter your Username and Password. Username is typically Weblogic
    3. Under Farm, on left-hand side, expand Discoverer and Discoverer(11.1.1.x.0)
    4. In the Components window, highlight Discoverer Plus then click the Configure button
    5. In the Communication Protocols window, click the Tunneling radio button (see below)
    6. Click the Apply button
    7. Shut Down the Discoverer service from the top link by clicking on Discoverer | Control | Shut Down - confirm the action
    8. Restart the Discoverer service from the top link by clicking on Discoverer | Control | Start Up - confirm the action (sometimes you have to do this twice)


     

    Still here

    Tue, 2014-07-22 08:50
    Hi everyone
    I am still here. Just wanted to let you know that I am still in the business of working with Discoverer even though Oracle recently announced that it would be de-supported. If you need help just get in touch.

    Also, you may not be aware but we have updated our Discoverer Handbook with the latest 11g version. You can find it on Amazon

    New OTN Interface

    Mon, 2013-06-10 17:32
    If you are a user of OTN (Oracle Technology Network) you should have noticed that there is a new interface. I think its pretty cool. What do you think?

    My Oracle Support Interface Change

    Wed, 2012-06-27 19:06
    If you are a use of My Oracle Support you should have received notification regarding a change to the user interface. As of July 13, 2012 Oracle will be retiring their Flash-based interface and replacing it with an improved HTML interface that has added functionality.

    There is a CALL TO ACTION regarding this change. If you follow the link you will be directed to a page that will describe the changes in detail and advise what you have to do in order to take advantage of the new user interface.

    Warning concerning Java 7 and E-Business Suite

    Thu, 2012-06-14 13:10

    This notification is being posted at the request of Oracle Corporation

    All E-Business Suite desktop administrators must disable the JRE Auto-Update for their end users immediately to stop it updating to Java 1.7.

    URGENT BULLETIN:  Disable JRE Auto-Update for All E-Business Suite End-Users.
    The following link from my fellow blogger Steve Chan explains more:

    So why is this required?
    If you have Auto-Update enabled, your JRE 1.6 version will be updated to JRE 7.  This may happen as early as July 3, 2012.  This will definitely happen after Sept. 7, 2012, after the release of 1.6.0_35 (6u35).

    Oracle Forms is not compatible with JRE 7 yet.  JRE 7 has not been certified with Oracle E-Business Suite yet.  Oracle E-Business Suite functionality based on Forms -- e.g. Financials -- will stop working if you upgrade to JRE 7.

    There is also a known issue with WebLogic 10.3.6 and JDK 1.7 and you must use JDK 1.6 for that. I will be posting shortly on this issue.

    Seems to me therefore that until further notice, even for Discoverer, but definitely for E-Business Suite that you must stay on Java 1.6 

    Been a while

    Thu, 2012-06-14 01:29
    Hello everyone, I know it has been a little while since my last posting but I am here, alive and kicking and gearing up to get back into blogging.
    In case you are not aware, I am in the process of updating my Discoverer Handbook to the latest 11g version of the product. Watch for more postings very soon.

    CP10 for Discoverer 10.1.2.3

    Mon, 2011-05-16 16:56
    Just wanted to let you know that on April 18, 2011, Oracle has released CP10 for 10.1.2.3. You will find it on MetaLink as patch number 11674847. When compared to CP9, 10 bugs have been fixed.


    Note: when you download the readme from MyOracle, from CP9 Oracle has placed the new bug fixes at the top of the list.

    So far this cumulative patch has been released for the following platforms:
    • IBM AIX on POWER systems (64-bit)
    • Linux x86
    • Microsoft Windows 32-bit
    • Oracle Solaris on SPARC (64-bit)
    If you are upgrading to CP10 from any patch level prior to CP4 then JDBC patch patch p4398431_10105_GENERIC.zip for bug 4398431(release 10.1.0.5) needs to be installed before you apply CP5.

    Note: please take a look at the comments posted below and if anyone has any experience of CP10, good or bad, please let me know.

    CP9 for Discoverer 10.1.2.3

    Thu, 2011-05-12 14:28
    Just wanted to let you know that on January 11, 2011, Oracle has released CP8 for 10.1.2.3. You will find it on MetaLink as patch number 10233659. When compared to CP8, 6 bugs have been fixed.


    Note: when you download the readme from MyOracle, from this release Oracle has started to place the new bug fixes at the top of the list.

    So far this cumulative patch has been released for the following platforms:
    • HP-UX Itanium
    • HP-UX PA-RISC (64-bit)
    • IBM AIX on Power Systems (64-bit)
    • Linux x86
    • Microsoft Windows 32-bit
    • Oracle Solaris on SPARC (64-bit)
    If you are upgrading to CP9 from any patch level prior to CP4 then JDBC patch patch p4398431_10105_GENERIC.zip for bug 4398431(release 10.1.0.5) needs to be installed before you apply CP5.
    This patch needs to be applied to all Oracle Homes, i.e. Infrastructure home as well as all related midtier homes.
    Bug 4398431 - HANG WHEN RETRIEVING A CONNECTION FROM THE IMPLICIT CONNECTION CACHE

    CP2 for Discoverer 11g released

    Thu, 2011-05-12 14:16
    Just wanted to let you know that on January 11, 2011, Oracle released CP2 for Discoverer 11.1.1.2.0. This is applicable for both Discoverer Plus and Viewer. You will find it on My Oracle Support (formerly MetaLink) as patch number 10409451. There are 5 bugs fixed in this cumulative patch.

    So far this cumulative patch has been released for the following 5 platforms:
    • Linus x86
    • Linux x86-64 bit
    • Microsoft Windows (32-bit)
    • Microsoft Windows x64 (64-bit)
    • Oracle Solaris on SPARC (64-bit)

    Configuring Discoverer Plus to pre-populate login credentials

    Thu, 2011-05-12 13:20
    Have you ever noticed how Discoverer does not remember your user name, database and EUL whenever you log out and wished there was a way to make it do so?

    Well, there is a way but you need to add some parameters to your URL to make it do so.

    Let's assume the following:
    • User Name is michael
    • Database is prod
    • EUL is eul5_us
    All you need to do is to add switches to your URL and then save it in your favorites. The switches you need are:
    • For User Name  use us=
    • For Database use database=
    • For EUL use eul=
    Putting this altogether I can use: http://myserver.com:7779/discoverer/plus?us=michael&database=prod&eul=eul5_us

    If you are using E-Business Suite you can also pre-populate this setting too by adding: lm=applications, like this:

    http://myserver.com:7779/discoverer/plus?lm=applications&us=michael&database=prod&eul=eul5_us

    Running Plus in IE8

    Thu, 2011-05-12 13:15
    If you are experiencing issues running Discoverer Plus inside Microsoft IE8 the following comments may help.

    So far, I have noticed that under no circumstances with Discoverer run in IE8 when it is configured to use JInitiator. If your company has enabled Discoverer to run primarily using JInitiator try adding the following parameter to your URL:  _jvm_name =sun

    Your URL should look something like this: http://myserver.com:7778/discoverer/plus?_jvm_name=sun

    Now all this assumes that your Discoverer administrator has enabled a more recent Sun Java than Discoverer comes installed with, namely 1.4.0_06

    Should you find that you have this version installed please upgrade the server Java and try again.

    CP8 for 10.1.2.3 released

    Tue, 2010-10-26 03:35
    Just wanted to let you know that on October 5, 2010, Oracle has released CP8 for 10.1.2.3. You will find it on MetaLink as patch number 9694503. When compared to CP7, 10 bugs have been fixed.

    So far this cumulative patch has been released for the following platforms:
    • IBM AIX on Power Systems (64-bit)
    • Microsoft Windows 32-bit
    • Linux x86 (works for both 32 bit and 64 bit)
    • Oracle Solaris on SPARC (64-bit)
    • Oracle Solaris on x86 (32-bit)
    If you are upgrading to CP8 from any patch level prior to CP4 then JDBC patch patch p4398431_10105_GENERIC.zip for bug 4398431(release 10.1.0.5) needs to be installed before you apply CP5.

    This patch needs to be applied to all Oracle Homes, i.e. Infrastructure home as well as all related midtier homes.

    Bug 4398431 - HANG WHEN RETRIEVING A CONNECTION FROM THE IMPLICIT CONNECTION CACHE

    The following posting has been updated:

    CP7 for 10.1.2.3 released

    Mon, 2010-07-26 00:34
    Just wanted to let you know that on June 4, 2010, Oracle has released CP7 for 10.1.2.3. You will find it on MetaLink as patch number 9112482. When compared to CP6, 9 bugs have been fixed.

    So far this cumulative patch has been released for the following platforms:
    • HP-UX PA-RISC (64-bit)
    • Microsoft Windows 32-bit
    • Linux x86 (works for both 32 bit and 64 bit)
    • Oracle Solaris on SPARC (64-bit)
    If you are upgrading to CP6 from any patch level prior to CP4 then JDBC patch patch p4398431_10105_GENERIC.zip for bug 4398431(release 10.1.0.5) needs to be installed before you apply CP5.

    This patch needs to be applied to all Oracle Homes, i.e. Infrastructure home as well as all related midtier homes.

    Bug 4398431 - HANG WHEN RETRIEVING A CONNECTION FROM THE IMPLICIT CONNECTION CACHE

    The following posting has been updated:

    CP6 for 10.1.2.3 released

    Mon, 2010-07-26 00:31
    Just wanted to let you know that on November 18, 2009, Oracle has released CP6 for 10.1.2.3. You will find it on MetaLink as patch number 8746296:. When compared to CP5, 19 enhancements or bugs have been fixed.

    So far this cumulative patch has been released for the following platforms:
    • HP-UX Itanium
    • HP-UX PA-RISC (64-bit)
    • IBM AIX on POWER Systems (64-bit)
    • Microsoft Windows 32-bit
    • Linux x86 (works for both 32 bit and 64 bit)
    • Sun Solaris SPARC (32-bit)
    If you are upgrading to CP6 from any patch level prior to CP4 then JDBC patch patch p4398431_10105_GENERIC.zip for bug 4398431(release 10.1.0.5) needs to be installed before you apply CP5.

    This patch needs to be applied to all Oracle Homes, i.e. Infrastructure home as well as all related midtier homes.

    Bug 4398431 - HANG WHEN RETRIEVING A CONNECTION FROM THE IMPLICIT CONNECTION CACHE

    The following posting has been updated:

    Be inspired today

    Mon, 2010-06-21 00:11
    This truly inspirational clip makes me proud to hail from Liverpool. I hope you enjoy it and if you do please pass it on and make someones's day.

    Be inspired and go on and inspire someone else.

    Support for Discoverer

    Fri, 2010-06-18 11:59
    As you probably know, if you are using Discoverer 3 or Discoverer 4 Oracle no longer provides support for these. I've seen a lot of folks recently who are still on these older versions and who are now out of support.

    I wanted to let you know that I am able to offer remote support using gotomeeting for troubleshooting issues. I can connect to your system and help diagnose problems. In most cases we can get issues resolved within an hour.

    Obviously there is a fee for this service but if you are really stuck and need help who you going to turn to?

    Sending me an email is probably the simplest method of getting started. Click here to send an email.

    Corporate Dashboards

    Fri, 2010-05-28 12:43
    During a recent consulting engagement I was asked about dashboards and where one should begin when the boss comes in and says I want a dashboard. I decided what I needed to do was step back and look at the dashboard concept, then explain my understanding in simple terms. I share those thoughts here and invite your comments.


    Dashboards are unique to an organization and what works in one place will not be suitable in another. But of course, it all depends on your definition of a dashboard. The one that I like and the one that keeps me out of mischief is this one:

    A dashboard or dash board is a panel located under the windscreen containing indicators and dials such as the tachometer / speedometer and odometer. I bet you never thought it was so easy.

    Seriously, look again at this definition and you will see the foundations of business dashboards. It is not the dials such as the tachometer, odometer and fuel gauge that are important. It is not the numbers either.

    What is really important is the meaning or significance (aka the KPI) that is applied to the numbers. Thus, depending upon the situation, a speed of 100 mph might be considered excessive, particularly if being chased by an irate police officer down a busy city street. Do the same thing on a race track and you might be considered a menace for going too slow. But do 100 mph on an autobahn in Germany and no-one will bat an eyelid because it is perfectly acceptable. You can see that the gauge, in this case the speedometer and the 100 mph reading, is by itself meaningless as a KPI. It is only when you apply the criteria which states that 100 mph must be highlighted in red because it is excessive that a real KPI is born.

    The concepts of dashboards in automobiles and in business are the same - they give us a snapshot of critical information at a moment in time. If you happen to be running out of fuel the dashboard will bring this fact to your attention. It does this by turning on a light or sounding a bell when a certain low point in the fuel tank is reached.

    The vehicle dashboard needs to provide enough pertinent information so that informed decisions can be made as to how the vehicle is functioning.

    Business dashboards need to provide enough pertinent information to the manager or executive so that they can make informed decisions as to how the department or company is functioning. Just like with a vehicle, a corporate dashboard needs to provide all of the critical information that is needed to run the organization's daily operations.

    Most corporate dashboards are a snapshot in time, typically midnight, that tell an organization if it is spending cash too fast; or whether the percentage of patients who needed a repeat visit is higher than 5%; or whether the number of requests for service this week exceeded the number from last week by more than 10%. The common factor here is that a rule is being applied to the data to indicate that something needs to be brought to someone's attention.

    In a business, you can imagine that every employee has a steering wheel and an accelerator pedal. However, it is not necessary that everyone gets the same dashboard. Since the user roles are different not everyone needs the same level and kind of information. The worker bees need to work, the managers need to manage, and the executives need to improve their golf handicap. Typically, higher executives want to manage by exception and will only become really interested when something out of the ordinary happens.

    If an organization is truly managing by exception then it should have a goal to move routine work from the manager to the employee, thus leaving the manager more time to manage. By creating a dashboard that displays the KPIs that the manager is interested in, a quick glance to see that all is green is all that is needed. Good KPIs, and thus good dashboards, reduce micromanagement which is good for everyone involved.

    Now that reminds me, golf anyone!

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