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Oracle Data Mining Races with America's Cup

Marcos Campos - Thu, 2010-02-18 11:57
For those that have not heard the BMW Oracle Racing team won the America's Cup sailing an incredible new boat. What even those that have been following the news on the race do not know is that Oracle Data Mining helped the performance team tune the boat. I participated helping with that problem and it was a very hard one: Imagine standing under an avalanche of data - 2500 variables, 10 times Marcoshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/14756167848125664628noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: BI & Warehousing

New release of Lucene Domain Index based on Lucene 2.9.1

Marcelo Ochoa - Tue, 2010-02-16 06:39
We have released a new Lucene Domain Index (LDI) based on 2.9.1 core base.
Since Lucene 2.9.1 is on the road from several months ago why this new release of LDI came delayed?
The answer is because We added parallel processing support.
This new feature is enabled by a new LDI parameter ParallelDegree, by setting this parameter with a value greater than 1 LDI creates multiples Lucene directory storages to process insertions in parallel.
Let see a practical example:
create index source_big_lidx on test_source_big(text)
indextype is lucene.luceneindex parameters('BatchCount:250;ParallelDegree:2;SyncMode:OnLine;LogLevel:INFO;AutoTuneMemory:true;PerFieldAnalyzer:line(org.apache.lucene.analysis.KeywordAnalyzer),TEXT(org.apache.lucene.analysis.SimpleAnalyzer);FormatCols:line(0000);ExtraCols:line "line"');

Above example create a LDI with ParallelDegree equal to 2 and BatchCount equal to 250. Parallel degree is only used when SyncMode is OnLine, future LDI releases will includes parallel operations when SyncMode is Deferred.
Once this DML operation is executed LDI creates three OJVMDirectory Lucene stores, two for parallel index operations and the master store, then batches of 250 rows are enqueued for indexing in parallel mode.
Parallel insert implies a parallel operation (document creation and insertion in a secondary store) and serialized merge in the master store.
Machines with multi-core chips or RAC installations will speed up the LDI index creation/rebuild, obviously when an IO concurrence is the bottleneck there is no performance improvement when ParallelDegree>1. Look at this screenshot on my notebook
As you can see two background processes (AQ processes named ora_j*_test) are running consuming most of the CPU usage, these are LDI operations (insert|merge), also you can see two DB Writer process trying to write in parallel the information that LDI is generating.
A complete list of changes of this new release is at ChangeLog.txt file.
Downloads for 11g and 10g in binary format are SF.net project section download.
Source code, obviously, is available through CVS access.
On line documentation is available in PDF or as Google Document.

Snow Leopard upgrade

Tahiti Views - Mon, 2010-02-15 10:25
I finally upgraded the main iMac to Snow Leopard. For the first time ever, an upgrade actually resulted in more free space, an extra 6 GB worth. The main features that I notice are fairly minor -- the ability to view stacks on the dock using a normal icon instead of the smashed-together icons of the apps in the folder; the ability to have the time announced every 15, 30, or 60 minutes by the John Russellhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17089970732272081637noreply@blogger.com2

Customer satisfaction - the Xerox Effect

Nigel Thomas - Fri, 2010-02-12 04:42
Thanks to Martin Widlake for pointing to this gem of a paper from Dennis Adams (pdf), pointing out that an increase in customer satisfaction can lead to an increase in negative feedback, and vice versa. Anyone who has worked in customer support (whether on an internal help desk or for external customers) will have gone through a "why don't they love us, we're doing such a great job for them?" period. This might explain why.

MIT South Asian Alumni Association - MBA Panel Discussion

Arvind Jain - Tue, 2010-02-09 01:42
MIT South Asian Alumni Association had invited me to a panel discussion at the Stanford University campus to share my MBA experience and guide future business school applicants. It was a good debate and most importantly I belive the assosciation is doing a great service to public. More details can be found here


Oracle extends BTM and SOA Mgt through Amberpoint acquisition

Vikas Jain - Mon, 2010-02-08 13:06
Oracle's acquisition of Amberpoint extends it's capabilities around Business Transaction Monitoring (BTM), SOA Management and SOA Governance into it's SOA products offering.

Read the following resources for more info
From the FAQ,
The AmberPoint solution will provide several critical capabilities requested by customers.
• Application Discovery – Automatically discovers components and interactions and ensures visibility of the entire heterogeneous SOA environment
• Application Performance Management – Tracks end-to-end performance and availability
• Business Transaction Management – Ensures reliability of individual business transactions and tracks the progress in real time to pinpoint any issues
• SOA Governance – Provides closed-loop governance by reporting run-time results to design-time governance solutions

UKOUG - Northern Server Tech Day 2010

Lisa Dobson - Mon, 2010-02-08 10:42
The UKOUG is once again running the Northern Server Technology Day.This is the 5th year we have run the event and this year it is taking place on 29th April at the Hilton Hotel, Leeds.This annual event is aimed at DBA’s and Developers in the North of England and delivers a full day of server tech presentations.If anybody is interested in presenting at this event then please contact either myself Lisahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16434297444320005874noreply@blogger.com1

Integrating REST clients with STS for token exchange

Vikas Jain - Fri, 2010-02-05 17:37
Where REST services demand a particular type of token for access, REST clients can potentially integrate with an STS server to acquire the requisite token, and pass it to the service.

I haven't seen customers yet widely asking for such solutions, but need can arise where companies standardize across the applications on tokens such as SAML for access control which carries not only the username information but also attributes associated with user profile.

In such scenarios, following flow would be applicable
  1. REST client acquires token from the STS server preferably through REST binding of STS, but any other supported binding should also be okay.
  2. Once it receives the token, it adds it to the "Authorization" HTTP header of the REST request.
  3. REST service receives the request, and a security interceptor(agent) picks up the token to check for access validity. The interceptor can optionally assert the identity into the service for identity propagation needs.
I would be interested to know if you run into such scenarios, and looking for products to support it. You can leave blog comments.

Oracle aims to secure future of Sparc, Solaris and Sun hardware

Stephen Booth - Thu, 2010-02-04 11:09
Interesting article on ComputerWeekly.com about how Oracle are looking to secure the future of Sparc, Solaris and Sun Hardware. They don't mention it but I wouldn't be surprised if we see 'Database as an Appliance' coming soon with Oracle Database running on Sun Hardware with management taken out of the hands of the local DBA and automated or made accessible only to Oracle themselves. This Stephen Boothhttps://plus.google.com/107526053475064059763noreply@blogger.com1


Vikas Jain - Wed, 2010-02-03 14:52
Secure Token Service (STS) typically have a SOAP endpoint with WS-Trust standard profiling the interactions. How about taking the complexity of SOAP away, and adding simplicity of REST interface to the STS? At the end of the day, STS is a token service that applications use to acquire tokens and should be accessible through different types of bindings - SOAP, REST, etc.

What would be the interaction pattern for such RESTful STS?
  1. Clients access RESTful STS using HTTP GET/POST method sending RequestSecurityToken (RST) as part of HTTP message.
  2. RESTful STS sends back the requested token as RequestSecurityTokenResponse (RSTR) in the HTTP response message.
  3. The STS endpoint could be secured similar to any HTTP resource using web access management products such as Oracle Access Manager (OAM) with username/password or certificate credentials.

RESTful STS can lead to wider adoption
Many languages/frameworks (such as Adobe Flex and Silverlight) doesn't support full capabilities of a SOAP stack. But, they support the basic HTTP interactions. Such frameworks could easily plug into a RESTful STS for their token needs.

Applicability of RESTful STS in the cloud
As cloud remains the innovation vehicle for 2010, I try to find applicability of any new concept into the cloud as well.
Today, Google, Amazon, Salesforce of the world provide RESTful APIs for all it's services. If they decide to broker trust using some sort of STS, then it makes perfect sense for them to provide RESTful STS with API keys and OpenId/OAUTH models to access it.

OER 11g released

Vikas Jain - Mon, 2010-02-01 02:23
Oracle Enterprise Repository (OER) 11g is released and generally available for download now. OER alongwith OSR (UDDI registry), OWSM and EM SOA Mgt Pack Plus comprise Oracle's SOA Governance offering. Of all the new features added in this release of OER, there's one feature around closed loop governance that I would like to discuss in this blog.

Closed loop governance allows architects to review at a high-level how the system and services they designed are behaving in production, and with this knowledge further enhance the services in their subsequent versions. It provides confidence and production assurance to business people that the investments they have put in SOA is actually being put to use.

In this release of OER 11g, high-level performance metrics from Enterprise Manager (EM) and 3rd party products such as Amberpoint are rolled up into OER.

Through the same pattern, do you see a need for rolling up policy attachment info from OWSM into OER?

See more of "What's New in OER 11g" here.

Oracle + Sun: Identity Management Strategy webcast

Vikas Jain - Fri, 2010-01-29 15:47
Watch Oracle + Sun identity management strategy webcast by Oracle executive Hasan Rizvi, Sr. VP

Oracle + Sun Strategy Webcast

Vikas Jain - Wed, 2010-01-27 18:57
Oracle + Sun Strategy Webcast was done by Oracle/Sun executives today.
Hope you got a chance to attend it live. If you missed it, check back the link in couple of days when the recording would be available for on demand viewing.

HowTo - OWSM 11g: Creating custom policy assertions

Vikas Jain - Wed, 2010-01-27 18:53
Similar to OWSM 10gR3, you can extend OWSM in 11g using custom policy implementations.
From terminology perspective, OWSM 10g custom policy is similar to OWSM 11g custom policy assertion.
Here are some quick links that may help if you plan to implement custom policies.
  1. Refer to Creating Custom Assertions section of OWSM product documentation
  2. Refer to Java API reference for available APIs
  3. Step by step How-To guide on building a sample custom assertion, deploy, and test it

One last entry

Siva Doe - Tue, 2010-01-26 19:32

Don't know if there will be another chance to blog as a Sun employee. So, here it is.
Even though I joined Sun in 1997, I have been using Sun products since 1991. Will miss you 'Sun'.

Some very interesting Web 2.0 Links that can help in Smart Marketing & positioning

Arvind Jain - Sun, 2010-01-24 17:53

This page contains links to some very interesting websites that I use as part of my Product Marketing SEO tasks, they help you gain strategic edge using IT (information technology). Anyone interested in Search Engine Marketing (SEM) must pay attention to these tools:

  • Google Trends - find temporal trends in search word usage on the internet
  • Google Insights for Search - estimate relative importance of search terms with trends by geographical regions

  • Google Analytics - web analytics solution that gives insight into your website traffic and marketing effectiveness

  • Quantcast - monitor website traffic and effectiveness of marketing communications to customers. This give Demographics info of Visitors. You can also use Microsoft AdCenterLabs to analyze demographics.
  • Hitwise - ISP data, can be used to analyze how people get to, spend time in and depart from websites, large sample size

  • Alexa - web traffic metrics based on voluntary anonymous tracking of people who have signed up for free, large sample size
  • Comscore - web traffic metrics based on voluntary tracking of people who have signed up for a fee, gives much more detailed information but sample size is small

  • CrazyEgg - Click density analysis, find out where people are clicking on your webpage (is your design driving people to the right place?)  
When you use Google AdWords be sure to use Ad Preview Tool at

Your ScrumMaster is a project manager in disguise

Peter O'Brien - Thu, 2010-01-21 02:34
In 6 attributes of a good ScrumMaster Mike Cohn repeats the common line that the ScrumMaster role does not always require a full-time, eight-hour-a-day commitment. Often the 'orchestra conductor' role of ScrumMaster is an unofficial one within your organisation even though it clearly has well defined functions and responsibilities. So many people do ask the question Is a ScrumMaster a full time position? As Boris points out, it is, and he explains why it is a 100% fulltime job.

The ScrumMaster has internal and external responsibilities. Even if the team is well disciplined with following the process, and they address most of their own impediments there is still the challenge of being a gatekeeper between the management and the team. This is being recognised in many organisations now and you can even see ScrumMaster as a recruitment position. It's interesting to note that many of these positions have Project Manager / ScrumMaster as the title.

What does a Project Manager do that a ScrumMaster does not (or vice versa)? A project manager is the person who has the overall responsibility for the successful planning and execution of a project. This title is used in the construction industry, architecture, information technology and many different occupations that are based on production of a product or service. While strictly speaking, the team, rather than the ScrumMaster has responsibility for the success of the project, a ScrumMaster does assume responsibility for the team’s adoption of Scrum and practice of it. A ScrumMaster takes on this responsibility without assuming any of the power that might be useful in achieving in it.

To boil it all down to it's essence, a ScrumMaster is a Project Manager who has realised that they don't really have the power to successfully deliver a project, and has adopted a framework to take advantage of that humbling position.

Interview questions

Oracle WTF - Thu, 2010-01-21 01:26

A friend recently had a telephone interview for an Oracle technical contract role. Here are the questions he was asked:

  1. What is the command to edit a crontab?
  2. What are the first and fourth parameters on the crontab?
  3. What is the command to email the list of files that are too big and need to be deleted to prevent a tablespace getting too big?
  4. Have you used the OLAP command? and who invented it?
  5. When do you set PCTFREE?
  6. When is the PGA in the SGA?
  7. Where is the Java pool?
  8. How do I stop a checkpoint when I commit?

APEX 4.0 - Learn more about Dynamic Actions

Anthony Rayner - Thu, 2010-01-14 20:33
Update: Please note, I have now updated my dynamic action sample application, the links in this post no longer work. Please see this blog post for details.

As many of you may know, APEX 4.0 Early Adopter's was released before Christmas. In this release, we introduce a new feature called 'Dynamic Actions' that provides a declarative way of defining client-side behaviour, without needing to know JavaScript. There is a simple wizard to create new dynamic actions, whereby you just specify 'When' the dynamic action will fire, the 'Action' itself and 'What' will be affected. As I said, you don't have to know JavaScript to do a fair amount with this feature, but there are also some hooks for JavaScript developers to extend the dynamic action framework to do a whole load more!!

To help you understand this feature, I have put together a sample application containing lots of different uses of dynamic actions such as drag and drop, styling page items and interactive reports, retrieving data from the server via AJAX, responding to plug-in item events such as the 'Slider' sliding and more. You can either view the application running on the EA instance here or download it from here, so you can install it in your own EA workspace and have a deeper look. If you haven't yet signed up for the APEX 4.0 Early Adopters, take a look at David Peake's related blog post where he explains how to get started.

Note: If you are installing this application, there is one supporting object defined containing a simple PL/SQL function 'getCommission' used by a couple of the examples. During the install, please install this supporting object to get the full functionality. Also, the application requires that you have a copy of the standard 'EMP' table in the parsing schema for the application.

The application makes use of a number of native dynamic actions (that will be built-in to APEX), but also contains 5 dynamic action plug-in examples which you can look at, install and play around with. The plug-ins are:
  • Draggable - Define page elements as draggable, with various options such as restricting by vertical or horizontal axis, transparency during drag, containment and more.
  • Droppable - Define page elements as droppable, with various options such as restricting which draggables can be dropped, styling to guide the user where they can drop the element and more.
  • Execute PL/SQL Code - Define a PL/SQL snippet right from within the dynamic action that will be executed on the server, via AJAX. This is currently only coded for Theme 1.
  • Highlight - Patrick Wolf's plug-in that provides the ability to highlight elements on the page.
  • Stripe Report - Used for striping interactive report regions with alternate row colours.
I have ensured all the plug-in code is thoroughly commented to try and help you understand exactly what's going on and hopefully get you started in building your own dynamic action plug-ins!!

Plug-ins are 1 of the major components of APEX 4.0 and if you're interested to learn more I can thoroughly recommend taking a look at Patrick Wolf's 'How to create a plug-in' blog post and accompanying downloads.

I hope you like the application and let me know how you get on!!!


PS: Many thanks to Patrick Wolf for his invaluable help in reviewing these plug-ins.
Categories: Development

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Tahiti Views - Wed, 2010-01-13 00:51
I'm Max Webster there.John Russellhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17089970732272081637noreply@blogger.com0


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