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Spacewalk 2.0 provided to manage Oracle Linux systems

Wim Coekaerts - Mon, 2013-11-11 15:33
Oracle Linux customers have a few options to manage and provision their servers. We provide a license to use Oracle Enterprise Manager's Linux OS management, monitoring and provisioning features without additional cost for every server that has an Oracle Linux support subscription. So there is no additional pack to license and no additional per server cost, it's all included in our Basic, Premier and Systems support subscriptions. The nice thing with Oracle Enterprise Manager is that you end up with a single management product that can manage all aspects of your software stack. You have complete insight into the applications running, you have roles and responsibilities, you have third party connectors for storage or other products and it makes it very easy and convenient to correlate data and events when something happens. If you use Oracle VM as well, you end up with a complete cloud portal with selfservice, chargeback, etc...

Another, much simpler option, is just using yum. It is very easy to take a server and create directories and expose these through apache as repositories. You can have a simple yum config on each server pointing to a few specific repositories. It requires some manual effort in terms of creating directories, downloading packages and creating local repo files but it's easy to do and for many people a preferred solution.

There are also a good number of customers that just connect their servers directly to ULN or to our free update server public-yum. Just to re-iterate, our public-yum servers have all the errata and updates available for free.

Now we added another option. Many of our customers have switched from a competing Linux vendor and they had familiarity with their management tools. Switching to Oracle for support is very easy since we don't require changes to the installed servers but we also want to make sure there is a very easy and almost transparent switch for the management tools as well. While Oracle Enterprise Manager is our preferred way of managing systems, we now are offering Spacewalk 2.0 to our customers. The community project can be found here. We have made a few changes to ensure easy and complete support for Oracle Linux, tested it with public-yum, etc.. You can find the rpms in our public-yum repos at http://public-yum.oracle.com/repo/OracleLinux/OL6/. There are repositories for spacewalk server and then for each version (OL5,OL6) and architecture (x86 and x86-64) we have the client repositories as well. Spacewalk itself is only made available for OL6 x86-64.

Documentation can be found here.

I set it up myself and here are some quick steps on how you can get going in just a matter of minutes:

Spacewalk Server Installation :

1) Installing an Oracle Database

Use an existing Oracle Database or install a new Oracle Database (Standard or Enterprise Edition) [at this time use 11g, we will add support for 12c in the near future]. This database can be installed on the spacewalk server or on a separate remote server.

While Oracle XE might work to create a small sample POC, we do not support the use of Oracle XE, spacewalk repositories can become large and create a significant database workload.

Customers can use their existing database licenses, they can download the database with a trial licence from http://edelivery.oracle.com or Oracle Linux subscribers (customers) will be allowed to use the Oracle Database as a spacewalk repository as part of their Oracle Linux subscription at no additional cost.

|NOTE : spacewalk requires the database to be configured with the UTF8 characterset.
|Installation will fail if your database does not use UTF8.
|To verify if your database is configured correctly, run the following command in sqlplus:
|select value from nls_database_parameters where parameter='NLS_CHARACTERSET';
|This should return 'AL32UTF8'

2) Configure the database schema for spacewalk

Ideally, create a tablespace in the database to hold the spacewalk schema tables/data;

create tablespace spacewalk datafile '/u01/app/oracle/oradata/orcl/spacewalk.dbf'
 size 10G autoextend on;

Create the database user spacewalk (or use some other schema name) in sqlplus.

example :

 create user spacewalk identified by spacewalk;
 grant connect, resource to spacewalk;
 grant create table, create trigger, create synonym, create view, 
 alter session to spacewalk;
 grant unlimited tablespace to spacewalk;
 alter user spacewalk default tablespace spacewalk;

4) Spacewalk installation and configuration

Spacewalk server requires an Oracle Linux 6 x86-64 system. Clients can be Oracle Linux 5 or 6, both 32- and 64bit. The server is only supported on OL6/64bit.

The easiest way to get started is to do a 'Minimal' install of Oracle Linux on a server and configure the yum repository to include the spacewalk repo from public-yum.

Once you have a system with a minimal install, modify your yum repo to include the spacewalk repo.

Example :

edit /etc/yum.repos.d/public-yum-ol.repo and add the following lines at the end of the file :


Install the following pre-requisite packages on your spacewalk server :


rpm -ivh oracle-instantclient11.2-basic- 
rpm -ivh oracle-instantclient11.2-sqlplus-
The above RPMs can be found on the Oracle Technology Network website :

As the root user, configure the library path to include the Oracle Instant Client libraries :

cd /etc/ld.so.conf.d
echo /usr/lib/oracle/11.2/client64/lib > oracle-instantclient11.2.conf

Install spacewalk :

# yum install spacewalk-oracle
The above yum command should download and install all required packages to run spacewalk on your local server.

| NOTE : if you did a full, desktop or workstation installation, 
| you have to remove the JTA package
| BEFORE installing spacewalk-oracle (rpm -e --nodeps jta)

Once the installation completes, simply run the spacewalk configuration tool and you are all set. (make sure to run the command with the 2 arguments)

spacewalk-setup --disconnected --external-db

Answer the questions during the setup, ensure you provide the current database user (example : spacewalk) and password (example : spacewalk) and database server hostname (the standard hostname of the server on which you have deployed the Oracle database)

At the end of the setup script, your spacewalk server should be fully configured and you can log into the web portal. Use your favorite browser to connect to the website : http://[spacewalkserverhostname]

The very first action will be to create the main admin account.

OWB - Windows standalone client released

Antonio Romero - Wed, 2013-11-06 13:37

The release of OWB containing the 32 bit and 64 bit standalone Windows client is released today, I had previously blogged about the Linux standalone client here. Big thanks to Anil for spearheading that, another milestone on the Data Integration roadmap.

Below are the patch numbers;

  • 17743124- OWB STANDALONE CLIENT FOR Windows 64 BIT
  • 17743119 - OWB STANDALONE CLIENT FOR Windows 32 BIT

This is the terminal release of OWB and customer bugs will be resolved on top of this release. We are excited to share information on the Oracle Data Integration 12c release in our upcoming launch video webcast on November 12th.

OWB - Windows standalone client released

Antonio Romero - Wed, 2013-11-06 13:37

The release of OWB containing the 32 bit and 64 bit standalone Windows client is released today, I had previously blogged about the Linux standalone client here. Big thanks to Anil for spearheading that, another milestone on the Data Integration roadmap.

Below are the patch numbers;

  • 17743124 - OWB STANDALONE CLIENT FOR Windows 64 BIT
  • 17743119 - OWB STANDALONE CLIENT FOR Windows 32 BIT

This is the terminal release of OWB and customer bugs will be resolved on top of this release. We are excited to share information on the Oracle Data Integration 12c release in our upcoming launch video webcast on November 12th.

See APEX at the Bulgarian Oracle User Group Conference this November

Marc Sewtz - Wed, 2013-11-06 11:12

Are you interested in developing Mobile web applications with Oracle Application Express? Do you want to see some of the features that are going to be introduced with Oracle Application Express 5.0? Then join us at the Bulgarian Oracle User Group Conference, taking place in Plovdiv, Bulgaria from November 22nd to November 24th. Roel Hartman and I will be doing four sessions on Oracle Application Express, covering everything from what’s new in APEX 5.0, starting mobile development with APEX, taking a sneak peek at the new mobile development capabilities coming in 5.0 to building hybrid apps with APEX and PhoneGap / Cordova. Additionally I’ll also cover some SQL Developer tips and tricks and best practices:
  • 11/22 14:15 - Top 10 Oracle SQL Developer Tips and Tricks (Marc Sewtz)
  • 11/23 10:00 - Oracle Application Express 5.0 (Marc Sewtz)
  • 11/23 11:15 - My First Mobi : Starting Mobile Development with APEX (Roel Hartman)
  • 11/23 12:30 -  Mobile Development with Oracle Application Express 5.0 (Marc Sewtz)
  • 11/23 14:30 -  The best of both worlds : Going hybrid with Oracle Application Express (Roel Hartman)
You can register for the conference and review the full agenda here:


Fun with SQL - My Birthday

Chet Justice - Wed, 2013-11-06 10:26
This year is kind of fun, my birthday is on November 12th (next Tuesday, if you want to send gifts). That means it will fall on 11/12/13. Even better perhaps, katezilla's birthday is December 13th. 12/13/14. What does this have to do with SQL?

Someone mentioned to me last night that this wouldn't happen again for 990 years. I was thinking, "wow, I'm super special now (along with the other 1/365 * 6 billion people)!" Or am I? I had to do the math. Since date math is hard, and math is hard, and I'm good at neither, SQL to the rescue.

to_number( to_char( sysdate + ( rownum - 1 ), 'mm' ) ) month_of,
to_number( to_char( sysdate + ( rownum - 1 ), 'dd' ) ) day_of,
to_number( to_char( sysdate + ( rownum - 1 ), 'yy' ) ) year_of,
sysdate + ( rownum - 1 ) actual
from dual
connect by level <= 100000
(In case you were wondering, 100,000 days is just shy of 274 years. 273.972602739726027397260273972602739726 to be more precise.)

That query gives me this:
-------- ------ ------- ----------
11 06 13 2013/11/06
11 07 13 2013/11/07
11 08 13 2013/11/08
11 09 13 2013/11/09
11 10 13 2013/11/10
11 11 13 2013/11/11
So how can I figure out where DAY_OF is equal to MONTH_OF + 1 and YEAR_OF is equal to DAY_OF + 1? In my head, I thought it would be far more complicated, but it's not.
select *
to_number( to_char( sysdate + ( rownum - 1 ), 'mm' ) ) month_of,
to_number( to_char( sysdate + ( rownum - 1 ), 'dd' ) ) day_of,
to_number( to_char( sysdate + ( rownum - 1 ), 'yy' ) ) year_of,
sysdate + ( rownum - 1 ) actual
from dual
connect by level <= 100000
where month_of + 1 = day_of
and day_of + 1 = year_of

order by actual asc
Which gives me:
-------- ------ ------- ----------
11 12 13 2013/11/12
12 13 14 2014/12/13
01 02 03 2103/01/02
02 03 04 2104/02/03
03 04 05 2105/03/04
04 05 06 2106/04/05
05 06 07 2107/05/06
OK, so it looks closer to 100 years, not 990. Let's subtract. LAG to the rescue.
lag( actual, 1 ) over ( partition by 1 order by 2 ) previous_actual,
actual - ( lag( actual, 1 ) over ( partition by 1 order by 2 ) ) time_between
to_number( to_char( sysdate + ( rownum - 1 ), 'mm' ) ) month_of,
to_number( to_char( sysdate + ( rownum - 1 ), 'dd' ) ) day_of,
to_number( to_char( sysdate + ( rownum - 1 ), 'yy' ) ) year_of,
sysdate + ( rownum - 1 ) actual
from dual
connect by level <= 100000
where month_of + 1 = day_of
and day_of + 1 = year_of
order by actual asc
Which gives me:
---------- --------------- ------------
2014/12/13 396
2103/01/02 32161
2104/02/03 397
2105/03/04 395
2106/04/05 397
2107/05/06 396
2108/06/07 398
2109/07/08 396
2110/08/09 397
2111/09/10 397
2112/10/11 397
2113/11/12 397
2114/12/13 396
2203/01/02 32161
So, it looks like every 88 years it occurs and is followed by 11 consecutive years of matching numbers. The next time 11/12/13 and 12/13/14 will appear is in 2113 and 2114. Yay for SQL!
Categories: BI & Warehousing

Comb Over

Tim Dexter - Tue, 2013-11-05 17:14

Being some what follicly challenged, and to my wife's utter relief, the comb over is not something I have ever considered. The title is a tenuous reference to a formatting feature that Adobe offers in their PDF documents.

The comb provides the ability to equally space a string of characters on a pre-defined form layout so that it fits neatly in the area. See the numbers above are being spaced correctly. Its not a function of the font but a property of the form field.

For the first time, in a long time I had the chance to build a PDF template today to help out a colleague. I spotted the property and thought, hey, lets give it a whirl and see in Publisher supports it? Low and behold, Publisher handles the comb spacing in its PDF outputs. Exciting eh? OK, maybe not that exciting but I was very pleasantly surprise to see it working.

I am reliably informed, by Leslie, BIP Evangelist and Tech Writer that, this feature was introduced from version onwards.

Official docs and no mention of comb overs here.

Happy Combing!

Categories: BI & Warehousing

Oracle Secure Global Desktop (SGD) 5.1

Wim Coekaerts - Tue, 2013-11-05 10:16
Last week, we released the latest update of Oracle Secure Global Desktop.

Release 5.1 introduces a number of bug fixes and smaller changes but the most interesting one is definitely increased support for html5-based client access. In SGD 5.0 we added support for Apple iPads using Safari to connect to SGD and display your session right inside the browser. The traditional model for SGD is that you connect using a webbrowser to the webtop and applications that are displayed locally using a local client (tta). This client gets installed the first time you connect. So in the traditional model (which works very well...) you need a webbrowser, java and the tta client. With the addition of html5 support, there's no longer a need to install a local client, in fact, there is also no longer a need to have java installed. We currently support Chrome as a browser to enable html5 clients. This allows us to enable html5 on the android devices and also on desktops running Chrome (Windows, MacOS X, Linux).

Connections will work transparently across proxy servers as well. So now you can run any SGD published app or desktop right from your webbrowser inside a browser window. This is very convenient and cool.

Abstract Sumission Advice

Scott Spendolini - Tue, 2013-11-05 06:29

Yesterday, I was part of the KScope 14 APEX Abstract Review call.  This call is used to discuss the rankings that the Abstract Review Committee has previously given each session.  Naturally, we use APEX to help with this process - specifically WebSheets.  The call allows us to ensure that the selections are as fair as possible.  We make sure that no single presenter has too many slots, ensure that there are enough first-timers vs. veteran presenters and keep the topics of the accepted abstracts balanced.  This process has been extremely useful in the past, and really makes for a much better conference.

In reviewing the abstracts, I could not help but keep mentally creating a do's and don't list when it comes time to submit an abstract.  While most of them were fairly decent, there were a few that were sub-par in relation to the others, and there were a couple that stood out.

Based on this, I've come up with an ad-hoc list of things to consider when submitting an abstract for any conference.  It's in no particular order and by no means complete, but I figured that I'd blog this out while it's still fresh on my mind.  Here goes:

Catchy Titles

Catchy titles can definitely draw attention to your session.  While the title "Intro to APEX & jQuery" clearly spells out what is covered, it's a bit bland.  A more creative version would be something like “jQuery & APEX: 10 Must-Know Commands in an Hour”.  Be careful not to use too long of a catchy title, as that's one of the sure-fire ways to not get accepted.  If you can't spell it out in just a few words, then perhaps the topic needs to be re-thought.

If you're going to use a catchy title, then keep this in mind: you immediately raise the expectations of the reviewers.  Nothing is more disappointing than a catchy title followed by a sub-par summary & abstract.  So make sure that you spend at least as much time on the abstract as the title itself!

Less is More

Being succinct is key.  We had well over 100 abstracts to review, and if your abstract doesn't stand out in the first sentence or two, then chances are the rest of it may get ignored.  You’re not writing a book or even a chapter of a book here, so there is no time to build up what you want to say.  Simply just say it!

KScope gives you two places to sell your session:  Summary & Abstract.  A sure-fire way to sink your session is to copy & paste the same text in both of these.  They are different, and if you can’t take the time to fill them out correctly, don’t expect much in return.  The Summary should be a paragraph or so that sells the session.  This is what most reviewers read first.  If it’s good & compelling, we’ll read the abstract.  If not, then perhaps not.

Consider this example of a presentation summary:

Starting with APEX 4.0, Oracle began to include jQuery bundled with APEX itself.  jQuery is an open-source JavaScript library that makes developing easier and faster. This session will cover the basics of jQuery and how it is integrated with APEX.  It will also cover some best practices to use when utilizing jQuery from APEX.

Now, consider this one:

Want to learn how to enhance your application’s visual impact without learning any new commands or languages?  Then this session is for you!  We’ll show you 10 quick & easy ways to utilize jQuery to add some sizzle to your APEX application - all without more than a line of code each!

Clearly the second one just feels more exciting.  It asks a question - which acts as a hook for the reviewer.  It then spells out pretty clearly what it will cover, and throws in the added benefit of “one line of code each”.  It doesn’t waste any time defining jQuery, but rather almost leaves that to the reviewer.  If they know what jQuery is, then there is no issue.  If they do not, they can either look it up or come to the session to learn more about it.

One note of caution about being succinct: there is such a thing as too succinct.  Have a peer or two read your summary and then ask them to describe what they think will be presented.  If they are too far off the mark, you may need to add some more content to it.

The abstract is where you’re going to spell out what you highlighted in the summary.  Here’s where you can and should get somewhat technical.  In the example above, spell out the 10 things that you’re going to cover.  This is the only chance that we’ll get to see the outline of your presentation.  If you fail to do this, then you’re less likely to get accepted.

Buzzword Bingo

Google it.  Now print it out, and read your abstract.  Did you get bingo, or even come close?  If yes, then you have too many buzzwords.  Nothing aggravates me more then reading a sentence, pausing, and wondering just what the heck the point of that sentence was.

Know Your Audience...

There are less than 50 available slots at KScope in the APEX track.  While that’s a relatively large number, it’s actually not, especially based on the large number of submissions that we had this year.  Throw in things like the Intro track and some of the deep dives, and this number gets even smaller.

Therefore, one of the key criteria that we consider is how wide of an audience will your session appeal to.  There’s probably no such thing as too wide (as long as it has to do with APEX), but there is definitely such a thing as too narrow.  A topic that covers IRs or Charts or jQuery will have a wide appeal, because we all use those components.  Something like mobile will have a narrower, but still wide enough appeal, because many of us use it.  However, once you venture into the more obscure corners of APEX, the audience starts to get dangerously narrow, and the likelihood of acceptance goes down as well.

…And Your Audience Should Know You

Speaking at a large conference such as OpenWorld or KScope is something that is earned.  Thus, getting accepted may also take a little bit of work.  If you did submit an abstract and not get accepted, don’t give up.  Rather, try to start establishing a name for yourself.  You can do this a number of different names: blogging, Twitter, and presenting at smaller, local conferences, just to name a few.  Nothing delights the reviewers more than seeing a name of a popular blogger show up in the KScope APEX track.  

The best part about blogging & social media is that everyone starts on the same level.  If you start a new blog, your content and content alone will determine how others perceive your understanding of the topics that you blog on.  If your posts are very detailed and contain a lot of good information, it’s more likely that people will share them, thus increasing your exposure.  If they are not well written and technically incorrect, people will remember that, too.


While this post is clearly too late to matter for KScope '14, I hope that it can be helpful for any other conference whose submission deadline has yet to pass.  Feel free to add your own advice in the comments.

Hyperion Update - Kscope14 Street Team Meetup in Seattle - November 8th

Tim Tow - Fri, 2013-11-01 20:54
If you are in or near Seattle on Friday, November 8th, don't miss the opportunity to see the new features of the Hyperion release.  Oracle representatives are teaming together with the Kscope14 Street Team to bring you this 2-hour mini-session at the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center.  The session starts at 3 pm sharp and concludes with networking and a happy hour.  For details and to RSVP, visit http://kscope14.com/events/seattle-street-team.

I won't be able to make it to this event, but I wish I *could* be there.  I can't think of a better way to kick off a weekend!

Categories: BI & Warehousing

ROWID equivalent in Microsoft SQL*Server

Stephen Booth - Thu, 2013-10-31 07:07
The last few months I've been having to work with Microsoft SQL*Server 2008 R2 for a project I'm on.  I'm not finding it fun for a variety of reasons, including that it doesn't seem as capable as I recall Oracle being and that the source data I'm having to work with is very, very dirty. One of the complicating factors is often there will be exactly, or almost exactly, duplicate rows when each Stephen Boothhttps://plus.google.com/107526053475064059763noreply@blogger.com0

Oracle Linux and Oracle VM pricing guide

Wim Coekaerts - Wed, 2013-10-30 22:41
A few days ago someone showed me a pricing guide from a Linux vendor and I was a bit surprised at the complexity of it. Especially when you look at larger servers (4 or 8 sockets) and when adding virtual machine use into the mix.
I think we have a very compelling and simple pricing model for both Oracle Linux and Oracle VM. Let me see if I can explain it in 1 page, not 10 pages.

This pricing information is publicly available on the Oracle store, I am using the current public list prices. Also keep in mind that this is for customers using non-oracle x86 servers. When a customer purchases an Oracle x86 server, the annual systems support includes full use (all you can eat) of Oracle Linux, Oracle VM and Oracle Solaris (no matter how many VMs you run on that server, in case you deploy guests on a hypervisor). This support level is the equivalent of premier support in the list below.

Let's start with Oracle VM (x86) :
Oracle VM support subscriptions are per physical server on which you deploy the Oracle VM Server product.

  • (1) Oracle VM Premier Limited -> 1- or 2 socket server : $599 per server per year
  • (2) Oracle VM Premier -> more than 2 socket server (4, or 8 or whatever more) : $1199 per server per year

  • The above includes the use of Oracle VM Manager and Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control's Virtualization management pack (including self service cloud portal, etc..)

    24x7 support, access to bugfixes, updates and new releases. It also includes all options, live migrate, dynamic resource scheduling, high availability, dynamic power management, etc

    If you want to play with the product, or even use the product without access to support services, the product is freely downloadable from edelivery.

    Next, Oracle Linux :
    Oracle Linux support subscriptions are per physical server.
    If you plan to run Oracle Linux as a guest on Oracle VM, VMWare or Hyper-v, you only have to pay for a single subscription per system, we do not charge per guest or per number of guests. In other words, you can run any number of Oracle Linux guests per physical server and count it as just a single subscription.

  • (1) Oracle Linux Network Support -> any number of sockets per server : $119 per server per year
  • Network support does not offer support services. It provides access to the Unbreakable Linux Network and also offers full indemnification for Oracle Linux.

  • (2) Oracle Linux Basic Limited Support -> 1- or 2 socket servers : $499 per server per year
  • This subscription provides 24x7 support services, access to the Unbreakable Linux Network and the Oracle Support portal, indemnification, use of Oracle Clusterware for Linux HA and use of Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud control for Linux OS management. It includes ocfs2 as a clustered filesystem.

  • (3) Oracle Linux Basic Support -> more than 2 socket server (4, or 8 or more) : $1199 per server per year
  • This subscription provides 24x7 support services, access to the Unbreakable Linux Network and the Oracle Support portal, indemnification, use of Oracle Clusterware for Linux HA and use of Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud control for Linux OS management. It includes ocfs2 as a clustered filesystem

  • (4) Oracle Linux Premier Limited Support -> 1- or 2 socket servers : $1399 per server per year
  • This subscription provides 24x7 support services, access to the Unbreakable Linux Network and the Oracle Support portal, indemnification, use of Oracle Clusterware for Linux HA and use of Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud control for Linux OS management, XFS filesystem support. It also offers Oracle Lifetime support, backporting of patches for critical customers in previous versions of package and ksplice zero-downtime updates.

  • (5) Oracle Linux Premier Support -> more than 2 socket servers : $2299 per server per year
  • This subscription provides 24x7 support services, access to the Unbreakable Linux Network and the Oracle Support portal, indemnification, use of Oracle Clusterware for Linux HA and use of Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud control for Linux OS management, XFS filesystem support. It also offers Oracle Lifetime support, backporting of patches for critical customers in previous versions of package and ksplice zero-downtime updates.

  • (6) Freely available Oracle Linux -> any number of sockets
  • You can freely download Oracle Linux, install it on any number of servers and use it for any reason, without support, without right to use of these extra features like Oracle Clusterware or ksplice, without indemnification. However, you do have full access to all errata as well. Need support? then use options (1)..(5)

    So that's it. Count number of 2 socket boxes, more than 2 socket boxes, decide on basic or premier support level and you are done. You don't have to worry about different levels based on how many virtual instances you deploy or want to deploy. A very simple menu of choices. We offer, inclusive, Linux OS clusterware, Linux OS Management, provisioning and monitoring, cluster filesystem (ocfs), high performance filesystem (xfs), dtrace, ksplice, ofed (infiniband stack for high performance networking). No separate add-on menus.

    NOTE : socket/cpu can have any number of cores. So whether you have a 4,6,8,10 or 12 core CPU doesn't matter, we count the number of physical CPUs.

    Competitors, Welcome to Our Webcasts

    Look Smarter Than You Are - Wed, 2013-10-30 13:35
    I was happy to be a part of Oracle's EPM Showcase yesterday in New York City.  It was a half-day event (plus a happy hour) that had Oracle giving a keynote followed by two 90-minute breakout session timeslots (with two sessions happening concurrently).  I was speaking during the first timeslot on Hyperion DRM (Data Relationship Management) along with Nikki from Verizon and Erin Lineberry from interRel.  In my talk, I described how companies need a single system of record for hierarchies and explained how DRM was a really good fit particularly with the new data governance module in
    There were partners in my session, and I had no problem at all with it.  After all, this was a conference open to anyone and I am a firm believer that when people learn more, the whole community benefits.  This is what motivates me to write all of my books, cause believe me, it's not for the money (Google "Starving Authors" before you ever think to make money writing).  I also speak at way too many events around the world each year from tiny user groups to massive conferences like Kscope, Collaborate, and OpenWorld with no concerns that my sessions are primarily filled with Oracle partners looking to improve.

    After my session was over, there was one more timeslot for the day and since I didn't want to sit in the hall for 90 minutes, I went to Huron Consulting Group's (they're the company that bought Blue Stone) session on the future of Planning.  It sounded more interesting than Hackett's session which was my other possibility and I saw that one of the speakers was Mike Nader who is a great presenter.  If nothing else, I would get to hear Mike's engaging take on the world since he joined Blue Stone.  I sat in the room in the back row (there were plenty of extra seats, but I wanted to leave the good seats for potential customers).

    Right as the session was about to start, Rick Schmitt from Huron (Blue Stone) came over to me and asked me to leave.  I was curious why since I was an official attendee at the event and he said that they were going to be talking over "some proprietary stuff."  I assumed he meant his slides at the beginning on the Blue Stone acquisition or "why Blue Stone is the best at XYZ," so I offered to leave for the first few slides.  I don't need nor want competitive info and I certainly didn't want to make him nervous during his sales pitch.  He said that no, they were going to share lots of proprietary info throughout the session and he didn't want competitors in the room during their session at all.

    Rather embarrassed but more bemused, I smiled, gathered my things, and walked out of the room.  I sat in the hall for a while wondering what cool things I was missing and feeling jealous of the 50 clients that got to hear from Blue Stone.  (There's nothing like being excluded from something to make you want it more.)  As I sat there, I pondered my own stance on information sharing.  Personally, I believe that if the community as a whole gets better - if the community learns more - the quality of Hyperion implementations will rise.  Satisfaction with Oracle EPM will rise, and as the reputation of Hyperion gets better, the Hyperion market will grow which benefits the entire community: customers, Oracle, and partners.

    And it made me ask what I could be doing better.

    So starting effective immediately, all of the public webcasts interRel does (and we did over 100 webcasts last year) will be open to everyone.  That's right: competitors, please come join our webcasts and we'll share all the information that we spend months putting together with you.  You've always had access to our books, our sessions at user groups, our presentations at conferences, and now you have access to our webcasts too.  I hope that this starts a trend: I strongly encourage our competition to open up their sessions and webcasts to anyone who wants to attend.  Don't be afraid: if you're good at what you do, you shouldn't be afraid to help the competition get better too.  Information is meant to be free and to point out the obvious, if the Hyperion market gets bigger from happier clients telling everyone they know to buy Hyperion, your potential customer base gets bigger too.

    Our next webcast is Thursday, October 31.  It's on how Smart View is finally an awesome replacement for the Essbase Excel Add-In and I hope to see a ton of our competition on the webcast.  Visit http://bit.ly/iRWebcasts to register.
    Categories: BI & Warehousing

    Identity Management 11G Rel 2: RCU

    Frank van Bortel - Wed, 2013-10-30 10:05
    Repository Creation Utility Running the Repository Creation Utility (RCU) for Linux is troublesome for some reasons. One of the reasons is it is 32-bits software, whereas the Linux platforms now are predominantly 64 bits. The other is java... Running it off my Ubuntu LTS host, using linux32 ./bin/rcu" resulted in the following error: frank@ubuntu64:~/Downloads/rcuHome$ linux32 ./bin/rcu ./Frankhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/07830428804236732019noreply@blogger.com0

    Oracle 11g XE installed on Windows 8.1

    Gary Myers - Wed, 2013-10-30 06:25
    I count myself lucky if a post here gets a few hundred views. I have two posts that have hit 4000+ views, and a third edging towards 3000.

    In third place is a reference to foreign keys referencing unique constraints rather than a primary key.

    In second place, and heading towards its second birthday, was my desire for SQL Developer to have a "keep awake" function that stops sessions being killed. It still doesn't but will restore connections. 

    In first place, was an almost throwaway article from when I migrated my netbook from XP to Windows 8. I installed Oracle 11g XE on it, and apparently a lot of people are (or were) interested in that. I guess people get Windows 8 on a machine and wonder if it is worth trying an XE install. The XE install on Windows is trivially simple:

    1. Download
    2. Unzip
    3. Run the setup program
    4. Choose a directory
    5. Enjoy a cup of coffee while it churns through. You have time for a biscuit too.

    That article is nearing its first anniversary. In honour of that occasion, I upgraded to Windows 8.1. Oracle XE broke. Specifically I couldn't find the services that ran the listener or the database or anything Oracle related. A repair install of XE didn't fix things. Disclaimer: I don't use Oracle a lot on that machine, and it possible that something other than the 8.1 upgrade broke it.

    I uninstalled it (that would have been the 'repaired' install), blew away all the database files as I had nothing I wanted to keep, and re-installed (instructions above - my biscuit was a Tim Tam, but people in the UK may substitute a p-p-p-penguin). It seems to work fine now.

    So Oracle 11g XE works on Windows 8.1, as far as I can see. Bear in mind that XE doesn't have any real support anyway, so the difference between a 'supported' and 'unsupported' configuration is purely imaginary. I don't do anything like RMAN backups and restores, let alone between OS upgrades. I can't see why they wouldn't work, but I'm not a DBA.

    Why I'm voting for Danny Bryant and You Should Too

    Chet Justice - Tue, 2013-10-29 13:36
    I'm talking about the ODTUG Board of Directors.


    That's really all you need isn't it?


    Today wraps up the voting period for the ODTUG Board of Directors. If you're asking me what ODTUG is, stop reading now. If you are a member of ODTUG, then please give me a few minutes to pontificate (that's a word I heard Jeff Smith use once, hopefully it makes sense here).

    Your favorite Oracle conference, KScope, is largely successful based on the efforts of the Board, along with the expert advice of the YCC group. In addition, if you think ODTUG should "do more with Essbase" or "charge more for memberships" these decisions are made and carried out by the board.

    So if you like being in ODTUG, and you want to help it get better and grow, and be as awesome as possible, you only need to do one thing today. Go vote. Midnight tonight (10/29) is the deadline. Do it.

    You get to vote for several people. I suggest you read their bios. I'll save you the time for at least one vote, and that's for Danny Bryant.

    Besides that awesome photo (#kscope12 in San Antonio) up above, here are several more reasons.

    1. He's into everything. OBIEE. EBS. Essbase. SQL Developer. Database. Not very many people have their hands in everything, he does. He will be able to represent the entire spectrum of ODTUG members.
    2. He's a fantastic human being. It's not just because he takes pictures of himself wearing ORACLENERD gear everywhere (doesn't hurt though), he's just, awesome.
    3. This (Part II)
    4. He also always answers the phone, tweets, and emails I send him. He might be sick, or he might just be that responsive. The ODTUG Board member responsibilities will fit nicely on his shoulders I believe.

    So go vote. Now.
    Categories: BI & Warehousing

    Exadata - a new learning cuvrve

    Syed Jaffar - Mon, 2013-10-28 08:42
    Perhaps I might be touch late on adopting/exploring/reacting/coping up with the exadata, but, it was always my dream and passion to work with the technologies since the announcement. As we knew Exadata is not something we can download and configure that easily on PC like those of traditional database or RAC software. Luckily and with the immense help from one of my friends, I managed to simulate Exadata setup (faked) on my new Macpro Book, 2 cell servers and 2 Oracle 12c RAC db nodes. Believe me, they are running incredibly fast and I am already on my way to explore/test the capabilities of Exadata.

    I have also set some goals so that I will not become lazy or go slow on what I am doing. Planning to appear Exadata Admin and Implementation Specialist certification this December and January. If you are one of me and on the same boat as I am, feel free to contact me to discuss about Exadata stuff.

    Have a good day

    Smart View Version to use with OBIEE

    Abhinav Agarwal - Mon, 2013-10-28 00:49
    Users who have downloaded the latest version of Oracle Business Intelligence 11g -, and wish to use the Oracle Hyperion Smart View for Office add-in to connect to Oracle BI, need to use the latest version of Smart View - - that is available for download on OTN here.
    After downloading this version of Smart View, if you want this version of Smart View to be available as a link from the Home Page of Oracle BI EE (the "Download BI Desktop Tools" dropdown under the "Get Started..." section), you need to follow the instructions (also see Installing and Deinstalling Oracle Business Intelligence Client Tools)
    You can find more information in the BI documentation library (Business Intelligence Documentation for Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g ( or in the Oracle Essbase Documentation Library, Release

    Happy Monday!
    Bangalore, July 08, 2013

    OBIEE Bundle Patch Now Available

    Abhinav Agarwal - Mon, 2013-10-28 00:48
    Oracle Business Intelligence Suite Bundle Patch is now available for download. The bundle patch id is 16556157 and can be downloaded from the My Oracle Support portal for Microsoft Windows x64 and Linux x86-64 platforms.

    The ReadMe states "This Suite Bundle Patch is available for all customers who are using Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition"

    Windows 8: create system image fails with 0x80070001

    Dietrich Schroff - Sat, 2013-10-26 03:06
    Last week i tried to create a system image with the built-in backup-tool from Windows 8. It sounds very easy:
    • connect an usb storage to your computer
    • start system image creation (look here)
      But then i got this error: 0x80070001

    After googling around i found the following solution:
    But there you get something with junctions and FAT-filesystems... This did not solve the problem...
    The solution was very easy: I had truecrypt running and this created an additional mount point. After stopping truecrypt the system image was created without any error...

    Welcome Carl's family, friends,

    Carl Backstrom - Fri, 2013-10-25 17:15
    Welcome Carl's family, friends, colleagues and anyone else that visits this site. It's been five years but seems like yesterday that Carl was laughing, joking, providing opinions, being a genius, debating, participating in shenanigans and overall just living life to the fullest. We all share great memories and good times and we wish everyone and their families the best.

     Thank you for being a part of his life. A few updates for everyone. Carl's daughter, Destany, is attending college in Sacramento and doing very well. She is exceptional young lady and makes us proud everyday. A special thanks to those who contributed to Carl's memorial fund as it is going to good use for her college education.

     For your viewing pleasure here are some of our favorite pictures of Carl. Have a great day...keep smiling and have a drink for Carl.

     -Best wishes from his family.


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