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Oracle Ace Associate

Oracle in Action - Thu, 2015-01-15 23:44

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It gives me immense pleasure to share with you the news that
I am an Oracle Ace Associate“.

Thanks to the “Oracle ACE Program” for accepting  me  to receive the Oracle ACE Associate award.

My heart is full of gratitude for Sir Murali Vallath who nominated me for this.

Thanks to AIOUG for giving me an opportunity to speak during SANGAM 14 and publishing my white paper on ‘Histograms – Pre-12c and now” in  Oracle Connect Issue Dec 2014.

I want to  thank  my husband  for encouraging me, and readers of my blog for their time, comments and suggestions.

Thank you so much!


Comments:  18 comments on this item
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Copyright © ORACLE IN ACTION [Oracle Ace Associate], All Right Reserved. 2015.

The post Oracle Ace Associate appeared first on ORACLE IN ACTION.

Categories: DBA Blogs

Log Buffer #406, A Carnival of the Vanities for DBAs

Pythian Group - Thu, 2015-01-15 20:32

This Log Buffer Edition covers blog posts from various bloggers of Oracle, SQL Server and MySQL.


Sync tables: generate MERGE using Unique constraint.

What Hardware and Software Do YOU Want Oracle to Build?

There were a number of new features introduced in Ops Center 12.2.2. One of the shiny ones is an expansion of the backup and recovery capabilities to include Proxy Controllers.

Want to Be a Better Leader? Answer One Question.

Managing a remote Oracle Database instance with “Geographic Edition”.

SQL Server:

Learn how you can use SQLCop to prevent your developers from writing stored procedures that are named sp_ something.

Data Cleaning in SQL 2012 with Data Quality Services.

Stairway to PowerPivot and DAX – Level 9: Function / Iterator Function Pairs: The DAX MAX() and MAXX() Functions.

Options to Improve SQL Server Bulk Load Performance.

Dynamically Create Tables Based on an Access Table


Stored Procedures: critiques and defences.

JSON UDF functions 0.3.3 have been released.

Business Scalability, Operational Efficiency and Competitive Edge with MariaDB MaxScale 1.0 GA.

MySQL 5.7 labs and the HTTP Plugin – inserting, updating and deleting records in MySQL via HTTP.

Hyper-threading – how does it double CPU throughput?

Categories: DBA Blogs

Jumpstart Patch Application and Installs with PeopleTools Templates

PeopleSoft Technology Blog - Thu, 2015-01-15 18:36

PeopleTools OVM templates provide a great way for customers running current levels of PeopleTools to keep up to date with their PeopleTools middle tiers.  The templates provide a simplified method of rolling out new patches, allowing Oracle to bundle, patch, test and deliver all the required middle tier components such as Java, WebLogic, Tuxedo and the Oracle Linux operating system. Using the pre-built templates eliminates the possibility of downloading the wrong version, and/or missing a critical patch of one of the required components. Templates also significantly reduce the amount of time needed to locate, download, patch and test the individual elements of a PeopleTools environment. For customers that need to customize, the PeopleTools templates are a great starting point to create baseline custom templates.

PeopleSoft has produced middle tier templates with PeopleTools patches since PT 8.53.03.  These templates have been found on MyOracleSupport (MOS) Patches and Updates under the PeopleSoft Enterprise PeopleTools product category.

Until now, all templates produced were available for download.  Older templates include components that may have become stale over time. To ensure that only current environments are available, we now plan to make each patch level template available for no more than six months. This will allow customers enough time to download and use a template before environment components become out-of-date. The use of the patched templates allows customers to adopt PeopleTools maintenance faster and reduce the risk of encountering known bugs and security issues.

Should older patches be required, they will still be available via the traditional patching methods, in accordance with our documented Patch Policy.

Secure Enterprise Search (SES) for PeopleSoft templates are also made available on MOS. SES templates are intended to be a ‘black box’ or ‘appliance’ installation. As such, only the most current level of an SES template is available. This appliance is compatible with all PeopleTools levels used with PeopleSoft 9.2 applications.

As new SES templates come out, they REPLACE the previous version found on MOS.

For information on the PeopleTools middle tier templates for Oracle Linux and Exalogic, SES templates and PeopleSoft update images, please see Oracle’s PeopleSoft Virtualization Products.

Additional Information:
Oracle VM Templates for PeopleSoft White Paper
PeopleSoft Virtual Machine Templates for Exalogic Red Paper

Master Detail - Detail in APEX with FOEX

Dimitri Gielis - Thu, 2015-01-15 17:30
In the previous post I talked about Master-Detail and that it wasn't that easy to do Master-Detail-Detail today declaratively in APEX 4.2 (and 5.0).
Below is a screenshot of FOEX (a framework build on top of APEX) and a Master-Detail-Detail in there.
You can see the live example at

Here's a screenshot of the page behind the scenes:

At first it might seem complex, but it isn't. In FOEX you can put regions in different places on the screen (center, east, west pane etc.), so many regions are to control those areas.
The most important regions are the "List of Customers", "List of Orders" and "Order Items", those are the regions that you see on the first screenshot. The other region "Manage Order Items" is a Modal Dialog that comes when you want to add an order item.

My goal is not to explain FOEX in great detail here, you can read about it on their website, but basically they extended APEX with a custom theme, many (many!) plugins and a builder add-on (you see in the screenshot the "Create FOEX Region", so it's really like you are working natively in APEX. Here's a screenshot when you hit the button to create a FOEX region:

So almost natively you can build your Master-Detail-Detail, through their wizards.

I thought to mention this solution here as well, as although my first choice is to make simple and clean web applications, if you do want a lot of information on your screen (like in a master-detail-detail), and you like ExtJs (which is used behind the scenes), FOEX is probably one of the best choices you have.

APEX R&D is a partner of FOEX, so if you need some more info, don't hesitate to contact us.

Categories: Development

Oracle Priority Support Infogram for 15-JAN-2015

Oracle Infogram - Thu, 2015-01-15 16:14

Oracle Support
Malware sites offering Oracle 'patches', from Proactive Support - Data Integration.
New MOS Notes on Database Upgrades for 12c with or without Oracle Multitenant, from Upgrade your Database – NOW!
And from the same source: Upcoming Upgrade Workshops Jan/Feb 2015
Data Modeling
From that JEFF SMITH: Drawing Foreign Keys & Relationships in SQL Developer Data Modeler
From the Oracle NoSQL Database blog: Big Data SQL for Oracle NoSQL Database (part 1)
From the Identity Management blog:  The Future of User Authentication
Enterprise Manager Ops Center - The Power of Groups, from Oracle Enterprise Manager blog.
From Joseph D. Darcy's Oracle Weblog: More concise try-with-resources statements in JDK 9
From SOA & BPM Partner Community Blog: 2 Minute Tech Tip: Industrial SOA
A Dirty Dozen Questions on Oracle SOA 12c You Need Answered, but Feared to Ask….
Repository Creation Utility, MDS and Schema Versions, from the Solving Business Challenges with Oracle's BPM Suite blog.
Release 9: The Activity Redesign, from the Fusion Applications Developer Relationsblog.  EBS
From Oracle E-Business Suite Technology:
Reminder: EBS 12.0 Extended Support Ends January 31, 2015
EBS 12.1.3 Certified with Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2
From Oracle E-Business Suite Support Blog:
Webcast: EAM/VCP Integration Features and Demonstration
Easy Assistance for Troubleshooting Issues
Webcast: Handling Coupon in Advanced Pricing
Webcast: Implement & Understand The Oracle Receivables Manage Accounting Exception (Sweeping) Program
Check out the New and Improved R12 Approval Analyzer Diagnostic Script!
Check out the New and Improved R12 Approval Analyzer Diagnostic Script!
…And Finally
The Best Tools for Finding Information When Google Isn't Enough, from LifeHacker.
Cool Hacks to Combat Winter, from DailyFinance.

OAUG BIP SIG ... we're getting the band back together

Tim Dexter - Thu, 2015-01-15 14:28

 Today's post comes to you from Brent at STR Software. If you could help out, it would be greatly appreciated, read on ...

First off, if you are not familiar with the term SIG, it stands for Special Interest Group. OAUG facilitates a number of SIGs to bring users together that share common or industries concerning certain Oracle products.

Unfortunately, the BI Publisher SIG has been offline for a number of years and has not been given the attention it needs to be a useful resource for members of OAUG. Well... I'm getting the band back together and I need your help!

The SIG itself was formed to specifically focus on BI Publisher embedded in Oracle EBS, Peoplesoft and JD Edwards. I have put together a survey that is being emailed out to previous members of the SIG to get thoughts on how the SIG can be of service. That list is pretty old and YOU may not be on it, so if you are interested in participating in the SIG (or even if you are not), have a look at the link below and let me know your thoughts. Our first official meeting will be at Collaborate 15 in Las Vegas, hope to see you there!

Take the survey -> here!

Categories: BI & Warehousing

Webcast: Delivering Next-Gen Digital Experiences

WebCenter Team - Thu, 2015-01-15 12:06
Oracle Corporation Digital Strategies For Customer Engagement Growth Automating Marketing & Customer Engagement

Becoming a digital business is imperative for organizations to deliver the next wave of revenue growth, service excellence and business efficiency. And the stakes are high -- 94% of customers discontinue communications because of irrelevant messages and experiences.

Join this webcast for an in-depth look at technologies that enable IT leaders to connect digital customer experiences to business outcomes. Learn how to:
  • Deliver omni-channel experiences that are seamless, tailored and innovative across Paid, Owned and Earned media
  • Convert unknown audiences to known and involved customers
  • Extend reach and orchestrate engagement across all channels and devices
  • Move Marketing from silo’d technologies to a single Digital Experience Platform that also connects Marketing to the entire organization
Register now for this webcast.

Red Button Top Register Now Red Button Bottom Live Webcast Calendar February 12, 2015
10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET Featured Speaker:

Chris Preston Chris Preston,
Sr. Director
Customer Strategies
Oracle Hardware and Software Engineered to Work Together Copyright © 2015, Oracle Corporation and/or its affiliates.
All rights reserved.
Contact Us | Legal Notices | Privacy

Master Detail (-Detail) in APEX

Dimitri Gielis - Thu, 2015-01-15 09:17
In the last posts we used following tables to show (Report) and edit (Form) the data:

Another way to work with this data is using a Master-Detail report/form.
In the master we have our customer info and in the detail the products he's interested in.

Oracle APEX provides a wizard to create a Master-Detail Form
You just follow the wizard to set it up:

By default the wizard will only show related tables, which is most logical - if you don't see your table, you probably don't have the FK relation on the tables.

You've some options for the layout - edit the records directly on the detail screen or as a separate form. Which one to pick? It depends... for small detail tables I would go for a Tabular Form, but for larger or more complex ones I would go with another Form. Tabular Forms are not the most flexible in APEX, but for now that is the only declarative option you have to edit multiple records at the same time. Alternatives are to use Modal dialogs, code your own custom solution or use a solution of somebody else. FOEX for example has a nice solution which I'll cover in the next post.

Tabular forms got improved only a little bit in APEX 5.0, but Modal Dialogs come native in APEX 5.0.  Tabular Forms will be more enhanced in APEX 5.1 which can then do master - detail - detail and it will also come with another solution - a new "Multi-Row Edit" region type - which could work well in this case.

You find the Master Detail result online at

What if our tables were a bit more complex and we need Master-Detail-Detail today?
We would need to create our own custom "tabular forms", basically a report where we use the apex_item api... but that is for another post.
Categories: Development

Security Big Data - Part 7 - a summary

Steve Jones - Thu, 2015-01-15 09:00
Over six parts I've gone through a bit of a journey on what Big Data Security is all about. Securing Big Data is about layers Use the power of Big Data to secure Big Data How maths and machine learning helps Why its how you alert that matters Why Information Security is part of Information Governance Classifying Risk and the importance of Meta-Data The fundamental point here is that
Categories: Fusion Middleware

Why and How to use Oracle Metadata Management 12c. Part 1: Getting Started

Rittman Mead Consulting - Thu, 2015-01-15 07:34

At OOW 2014, Oracle announced the new Oracle Metadata Management solution and later in the middle of October released its first version – OMM

At the end of November of 2014, the second version was released -OMM with new features and some bugs fixed.

But first things first, what is Oracle Metadata Management? And why we want to use it?

One of the biggest problems that we face today, is the proliferation of different systems, data sources, solutions for BI, for ETL, etc in the same company. So not only for final users but also for technical people (from SysAdmin, Data Scientist, Data Steward to Developers) is quite difficult to track which data is used by which applications. In some cases is almost impossible to perform an impact analysis if someone wants to change a table or if the way that a sales measure is calculated needs to change. With more systems involved, the problem is bigger.

Oracle Metadata Management (OMM) comes to provide a solution to this problem. It is a complete metadata management platform that can reverse engineer (harvest) and catalog metadata from any source: relational, Big data, ETL, BI, data modelling, etc.

OMM allows us to perform interactive searching, data lineage, impact analysis, semantic definition and semantic usage analysis within the catalog. And the really important thing is the metadata from different providers (Oracle or/and third-party) can be related (stitched) so you will have the complete path of data from source to report or vice versa. In addition, it manages versioning and comparison of metadata models.

The Oracle Metadata Management solution offers two products: OEMM (Oracle Enterprise Metadata Management) and OMM for OBI (Oracle Metadata Management for Oracle Business Intelligence). With the first one we can use metadata providers from Oracle and third-party technologies. Using OMM for OBI allows us to use metadata for databases, OBIEE, ODI and DAC.

We will see in this series of posts how to use each of these options, the difference between them and which will be the best option depending of your environment.

In this first post we will focus on the installation process and the requirements for it.

Minimum Requirements for a small test environment 

It is important to note and it is also well explained in the Readme document, that the following are the minimum requirements for a tutorial or a small business case, not for a larger system.


Any of these browsers or newer versions of them with at least Adobe Flash v8 plugging can be used: Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) v10, Mozilla Firefox v30 or newer, Google Chrome v30, Apple Safari v6.


2 GHZ or higher quad core processor

4 GB RAM (8 GB if 64bit OS using 64bits Web Application Server)

10 GB of disk space (all storage is primarily in the database server)

Operating System

Microsoft Windows 2008 Server, Windows 2012 Server, Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1. Be sure that the you have full Administrator privilege when run the installer and that the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 or higher is installed.

Other operating systems require manual install/setup, so are not supported by this version.

Web Application Server

The installer comes with the Apache Tomcat  as Web Application Server and Oracle JRE 6 as Java Run Environment. Others web application servers (including Oracle WebLogic) require manual install/setup, and are not supported by this version.

Database Server

For the Database Server you can only use an Oracle Database from 10gR2 to 12 64-bit as a repository for OMM. You can create a new instance or reuse your existing Oracle database server but we need to have admin privileges in the database.

A very important observation is that the character set MUST be AL32UTF8 (UTF8). This is because the Oracle Intermedia Search can only index columns of type VARCHAR or CLOB (not the national variants NVARCHAR and NCLOB respectively). Otherwise you will receive this error message when you run the OMM for the first time:


To solve this, you can create a new instance of the database, or if your database has data already, there a couple of notes in My Oracle Support  260192.1 and 788156.1 to change any character set to AL32UTF8.

In addition, the CTXSYS user must be exist in the database. In case it doesn’t exist, the creation and granting privileges script can be found in <ORACLE_HOME>/ctx/admin/catctx.sql.

Preparing to install

Step 1 - Download the software. You can download the software from the  OTN site or using instead.

Step 2 – Create a Database Schema as Repository. Before start the installation, a database schema needs to be created as a repository for OMM to keep all its objects like models, configurations, etc (we will see all of these objects in next posts)

For that reason create a user in the database:

create user MIR identified by <password> quota unlimited on users

And give to it the following grants:

     “grant create session to MIR;

      grant create procedure to MIR;

     grant create sequence to MIR;

     grant create table to MIR;

     grant create trigger to MIR;

     grant create type to MIR;

     grant create view to MIR”

We also need to give grants to the new to user to execute a package from CTXSYS and another one from SYS.

    “grant execute on CTXSYS.CTX_DDL to MIR;

     grant execute on SYS.DBMS_LOCK TO MIR;”

If you prefer (and also could be a more accurate solution) you can create specific tablespaces (user tablespace and temp tablespace)  for that user. I asked to David Allan, who is always very generous with his time and knowledge, if this schema will be part of the RCU in future releases but there is no plan to incorporate the MIR schema to it.

Installation and Post-Install tasks

Step 3 – Install the software. We can start now to run the installation. The downloaded zip file contains an exe file, double-click on it to start the installation.

In the first screen, select the type of product that you want to install: OEMM or OMM for OBI. We choose the Oracle Enterprise Metadata Management and press Next.


In the next screen, you have access to the Readme document and release notes pressing the View Readme button. After the installation you can find them in the OMM_Home/Documentation folder.



The next screen show you the destination location that you can change if you want. Keep the ports number suggested on the next screen.


The last screen of the installation ask you to restart the computer in order to use the product.


Step 4 – Start OMM Server as a service. After you restart the computer, you need to configure the OMM Server as a Service and start it. You can do this through the option that is showed in the start menu and press the Start button or going directly to the windows services screen and press the right button on the OMM service and start it.

oemm_config_service oemm_service1

Step 5 – Initialize OEMM. Run the OEMM for the first time. We have everything ready to start using Oracle Metadata Management. Go to the URL: http://localhost:11580/MM or execute the shortcut that was created on your desktop after the installation or use the Windows Start Menu.

We need to enter the connection details using the schema that we created in the database. Enter MIR as the Database User Id, its password and the database URL, and then press the Test Connection button. After you receive the Successful message, press the Save button to run the initialization process where OEMM create the objects in the database schema to manage the repository.


This process takes some minutes until you get the confirmation that the initialization process is also successful.


Step 6 – Start OEMM. Close the browser tab and open again the OEMM URL (http://localhost:11580/MM).  A login page appears. User and password to login is  Administrator/Administrator


This is the main page of the OEMM where we are going to harvest (reverse-engineer) the metadata from different providers in the next posts.


In case you want to change the password of the Administrator user go to Tools > Administration on the top right of the page. Select the Administrator user and the user will be appear below.


If you prefer to create another user with Administration privileges, just press the Add User button (plus icon) in the Administration page and enter the details for the new user:


We are using the Native LDAP authentication approach for this demo, but OEMM can also use an External LDAP for authentication.

About the product documentation you can access it through the Help option which is on the top right of the page. In the Contents tab you have all the topics (Harvesting, Administration, etc) separated by folder and in each of them all the details about the specific topic

Installation of OMM for OBI

There are no differences in the installation process for OEMM and OMM for OBI. Just be sure to select the one that you want in the first screen of the installation. This is the page to login to the OMM for OBI.



In the next post, we will see how is the harvest (importing metadata) process using different metadata providers like OBIEE, ODI and others.

Categories: BI & Warehousing

Brief introduction to ASM mirroring

The Oracle Instructor - Thu, 2015-01-15 05:44

Automatic Storage Management (ASM) is becoming the standard for good reasons. Still, the way it mirrors remains a mystery for many customers I encounter, so I decided to cover it briefly here.

ASM Basics: What does normal redundancy mean at all?

ASM normal redundancy

It means that every stripe is mirrored once. There is a primary on one disk and a mirror on another disk. All stripes are spread across all disks. High redundancy would mean that every primary stripe has two mirrors, each on another disk. Obviously, the mirroring reduces the usable capacity: It’s one half of the raw capacity for normal redundancy and one third for high redundancy. The normal redundancy as on the picture safeguards against the loss of any one disk.

ASM Basics: Spare capacity

ASM spare capacity usage

When disks are lost, ASM tries to re-establish redundancy again. Instead of using spare disks, it uses spare capacity. If enough free space in the diskgroup is left (worth the capacity of one disk) that works as on the picture above.


What if the disk from the picture above is only temporarily offline and comes back online after a short while? These transient failures have been an issue in 10g, because the disk got immediately dropped, followed by a rebalancing to re-establish redundancy. Afterwards an administrator needed to add the disk back to the diskgroup which causes again a rebalancing. To address these transient failures, Fast Mirror Resync was introduced:


No administrator action required if the disk comes back before DISK_REPAIR_TIME (default is 3.6 hours) is over. If you don’t like that, setting DISK_REPAIR_TIME=0 brings back the 10g behavior.


If you do not specify failure groups explicitly, each ASM disk is its own failgroup. Failgroups are the entities across which mirroring is done. In other words: A mirror must always be in another failgroup. So if you create proper failgroups, ASM can mirror according to your storage layout. Say your storage consists of four disk arrays (each with two disks) like on the picture below:

ASM failure groups

That is not yet the new thing, failgroups have been possible in 10g already. New is that you can now use the Fast Mirror Resync feature also on the failgroup layer with the 12c diskgroup attribute FAILGROUP_REPAIR_TIME. It defaults to 24 hours.

So if maintenance needs to be done with the disk array from the example, this can take up to 24 hours before the failgroup gets dropped.

I hope you found the explanation helpful, many more details are here :-)

Tagged: ASM, Brief Introduction
Categories: DBA Blogs

Execution Plans

Jonathan Lewis - Thu, 2015-01-15 05:00

This is the index to a series of articles I’ve been writing for redgate, published on their AllThingsOracle site, about generating and interpreting execution plans.

When I started I didn’t really know how many parts it was going to end up as, I had thought maybe 5 or 6 but that was a wildly inaccurate estimate. I am now fairly confident that it’s going to stop at 14 – but the last two articles are still under construction so there’s still a little room for error.

Chapter 12 has just been published, so I’ve popped this catalogue to the top of the stack.



Junk Viz - When More is Less

Abhinav Agarwal - Thu, 2015-01-15 04:41
There are examples of junk visualizations, and then there are examples of junk charts that just take your breath away.

The Indian news portal,, which describes itself as a "trusted guide to the crush of news and ideas around you", published a story titled Shivraj set for massive victory in Madhya Pradesh: Survey | Firstpost, which has this chart (link to the image) - take a minute to study it. Then study it again. It is no optical illusion or card-trick being played here.

The estimated voteshare of the INC (Indian National Congress) party goes up from 37.6 to 44%, and yet the bar goes DOWN! Ditto for the BJP, whose vote share goes up from 32.4% in 2008 to an estimated 33%, and yet the bar goes DOWN!
If you started to think that the bars had somehow been switched, the third group - BSP - is drawn correctly.
And then you have the "OTHERS" - which plots an estimated vote share of 16% at where the 14% mark would fall.

The maker of this chart should be congratulated for getting so many things wrong in one simple bar chart.

(Thanks to Kumar for first sharing this chart with me.)

BI Mobile HD Universal App Released

Abhinav Agarwal - Thu, 2015-01-15 04:41
A new version ( of the Oracle BI Mobile HD App was released to the Apple iTunes App Store on Wednesday. This release has several new features of note. This updated version also fixes some issues that were reported in the update that went out late last week on the 28th of June.

  • All users are recommended to upgrade to this version of the BI Mobile HD app. There were login issues with the iPad version of the earlier app and orientation issues with the iPhone app. Both issues were noticed almost immediately after the app went live on the App Store and development traced these to a problem with the configuration of the app uploaded to the App Store. 
  • Users will notice that this is app now supports the iPhone (and iPod) device also. Therefore users will see this app on their iPhone when they search for it on the App Store. 
  • There is now a demo server available for use with the BI Mobile HD app. This is available on both the smartphone and tablet versions of the app. This server is available on the Internet, so customers do not need to use any proxy or VPN settings to access this server. A connection to the demo server is pre-configured on the BI Mobile HD app, so you can access the server immediately after installing the app on your device. 
  • This version of the app is supported and certified for use with Oracle BI versions (released in July 2012) or higher, including (April 2013) and 
  • If you are using Oracle BI version (or any of the bundle patches for, you must continue to use the existing Oracle BI Mobile app (the latest version if on your iPhone and iPod devices. We do not expect to support Oracle BI versions prior to on the new BI Mobile HD app. 
  • There is a redesigned home page experience on the iPad version of the BI Mobile HD app. 
  • Users can now set their default starting configuration on the iPad version of the app – whether they want to begin with the “Favorites” or "Most Recent" or "Dashboards – from the Settings panel. 
  • A "first-time help" overlay screen is displayed when you launch the app for the first time after installing it. If you need to get back to this screen subsequently, you can do so by selecting the "Show First Time Help" option from the Catalog page. 
  • The iPad version of the app contains a Settings "backstage", an area for you to customize the app and to manage server connection settings. 
  • The minimum iOS version supported on the BI Mobile HD app is iOS 6 and above.

Best wishes!
Bangalore, July 4, 2013

Lying with Charts - Global Warming Graph

Abhinav Agarwal - Thu, 2015-01-15 04:41
Global warming is a serious yet controversial enough topic without bringing in bad data visualizations practices into it. The Wonkblog on the Washington Post has an article titled, "You can’t deny global warming after seeing this graph". The post reproduces a chart prepared by the World Meteorological Association that plots global temperatures by decade. While the data shows that the last decade, 2001-2010, was the hottest on record, the graph uses a broken Y-axis that begins at 13.4°C instead of starting at zero. The chart does not hide this fact, and you can see that the chart's Y-axis starts at 13.4°C, but the most visually prominent piece in the graph is, well, the graph! And it screams the message that global temperatures are going off the charts - it's time to panic. There is no denying that we as a world need to get serious about investing in alternative and renewable sources of energy like solar, wind, and even nuclear, but this graph is just plain bad.

The data: (from the web page):
Decade    Global temperate in °C
1881-1890 13.68  1891-1900 13.67
1901-1910 13.59
1911-1920 13.64
1921-1930 13.76
1931-1940 13.89
1941-1950 13.95
1951-1960 13.92
1961-1970 13.93
1971-1980 13.95
1981-1990 14.12
1991-2000 14.26
2001-2010 14.47
How the data appears in a bar graph if plotted with the Y-axis starting at 13.4:

How the data appears in a bar graph if plotted with the Y-axis starting at 0.

For time-series data I think the line graph is much better suited as a data visualization. The same data if plotted as a line graph:First, with the Y-axis starting at 13.4:
And now with a normal, unbroken Y axis that starts at zero:

When you resort to such gimmickry to buttress your point, it not only hurts your credibility but also harms the cause.
Update: what if we decide to plot the inter-decade differences in temperatures as a percentage difference? Would that make a difference? Perhaps, but here again, the choice of scale you use makes a huge difference in perception.
Using a scale to maximize differences.
Using a scale that ranges from -10% to +10%

Using a scale that ranges from -100% to +100%:

Update: in response to my tweet, Kaiser Fung kindly critiqued my post here.

OBIEE Bundle Patch Now Available

Abhinav Agarwal - Thu, 2015-01-15 04:41
A new bundle patch for Oracle Business Intelligence became available last week. This is OBIEE Bundle Patch, and is available on the following platforms:
  • HP-UX  Itanium
  • IBM AIX on POWER Systems (64-bit)
  • Linux x86
  • Linux x86-64
  • Microsoft Windows (32-bit)
  • Microsoft Windows (64-bit)
  • Oracle Solaris on x86-64 (64-bit)
It is applicable to all customers running OBIEE versions and

Patch 17530796 - OBIEE BUNDLE PATCH (Patch) is comprised of the following patches, which are not available separately:
  1. Patch 16913445 - Patch (1 of 8) Oracle Business Intelligence Installer (BIINST)
  2. Patch 17463314 - Patch (2 of 8) Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher (BIP)
  3. Patch 17300417 - Patch (3 of 8) Enterprise Performance Management Components Installed from BI Installer (BIFNDNEPM))
  4. Patch 17463395 - Patch (4 of 8) Oracle Business Intelligence Server (BIS)
  5. Patch 17463376 - Patch (5 of 8) Oracle Business Intelligence Presentation Services (BIPS)
  6. Patch 17300045 - Patch (6 of 8) Oracle Business Intelligence Presentation Services (BIPS)
  7. Patch 16997936 - Patch (7 of 8) Oracle Business Intelligence Presentation Services (BIPS)
  8. Patch 17463403 - Patch (8 of 8) Oracle Business Intelligence Platform Client Installers and MapViewer

You will also notice that the bundle patch is now named in a "YYMMDD" format; i.e. the fifth place now tells you when the patch was released. This calendar date numbering scheme has been initiated with the bundle patch.
As usual, please go through the Readme and other instructions before deciding upon an installation schedule and decision.
Monday moods.Abhinav,Bangalore, Oct 28, 2013

Using R to Unlock the Value of Big Data, by Mark Hornick

Abhinav Agarwal - Thu, 2015-01-15 04:41

Using R to Unlock the Value of Big Data, by Tom Plunkett, Mark HornickThis is a brief (approximately 80 pages) introduction targeted at users with an intermediate-level exposure of R and who want to get a quick look at working with R with Oracle's products. Strictly speaking, this is not an introduction to R, nor is this an R tutorial. It is, very specifically, an introduction to R as it integrates with and relates to the Oracle Database, the Oracle R Distribution, and the Oracle R Connector for Hadoop. The main chapters are "Using Oracle R Enterprise" and "Oracle R Connector for Hadoop", which have sixteen and seventeen examples, respectively, to help you get started.

Oracle provides "Oracle R Enterprise" (ORE), that "overloads R functions that normally operate on data.frames and pushes down their execution to Oracle Database, where transformations and statistical computations are performed on database tables. ORE introduces ore.frame objects that serve as proxies for database tables and views."

Connected with ORE is ROracle, which is "an open source R package now maintained by Oracle." "Oracle R Enterprise uses ROracle for connectivity between R and Oracle Database. ROracle has been re-engineered using the Oracle Call Interface (OCI)"

And finally there is the "Oracle R Connector for Hadoop", which "provides an R interface to a Hadoop cluster, allowing R users to access and manipulate data in Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS), Oracle Database, and the file system."

So, if you are new to R or need to dive deeper into R, then this is not the book for you. If, however, you need to work with R for big data and enterprise applications, or integrate R with the Oracle Database and/or its Data Mining capabilities, then you should take a look at this book.

Disclosure: I am an Oracle employee and work with its business intelligence product management group. I have reviewed this book in my personal capacity, and this review does not represent Oracle in any way.
ISBN-10: 0071824383
Print ISBN-13: 9780071824385
E-Book ISBN-13: 9780071826273

Buying information:
Amazon: US | UK | CA | IN, Kindle e-book: US | UK | CA | IN, Indie Books, Powell's, Flipkart

Kindle Excerpt:

KindleReader.LoadSample({containerID: 'roraclebook', asin: 'B00DPG5LLO', width: '500', height: '600', assoctag: 'abhinav-20'});

OBIEE Bundle Patch Now Available

Abhinav Agarwal - Thu, 2015-01-15 04:40
Over the weekend, and this does happen to be a long weekend in the US, on account of Labor Day in the US, Bundle Patch for Oracle Business Intelligence was released, and is now available for download from the My Oracle Support portal.

This bundle patch is available for "all customers who are using Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition,,, BP1,,,,,,, and" (OBIEE 11g is Available for Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition and Oracle Exalytics (Doc ID 1580502.1))
The constituent patches of this patch set (bundle patch) are:
  • Patch 16986663 - (1 of 7) Oracle Business Intelligence Installer (BIINST) 
  • Patch 16986677 - (2 of 7) Oracle Real Time Decisions (RTD) 
  • Patch 16986644 - (3 of 7) Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher (BIP) 
  • Patch 16986692 - (4 of 7) Oracle Business Intelligence ADF Components (BIADFCOMPS) 
  • Patch 16986703 - (5 of 7) Enterprise Performance Management Components Installed from BI Installer (BIFNDNEPM) 
  • Patch 16986558 - (6 of 7) Oracle Business Intelligence: (OBIEE) 
  • Patch 16986723 - (7 of 7) Oracle Business Intelligence Platform Client Installers and MapViewer

White spaces and Map Views

Abhinav Agarwal - Thu, 2015-01-15 04:40
When working with Map Views, you can choose to collapse the map formats panel on the left.

When you do that, the panel is hidden, but white space is displayed on either side of the map view, where the panel used to be.

Currently there is no option to remove this white space through a UI setting.

However, if you are brave enough, you can remove this white space by editing the analysis XML, which is available under the "Advanced" tab of your analysis.
For the Map View in question, search for the "" property, and set the "width" value to zero. In this case below, you will see the width is set at 220 pixels. The "display" attribute has a value of "false", which is expected, since we have chosen to hide the formats panel.

So, after you set the value to zero (the number 0), click the "Apply XML" button, and return to you "Results" tab. You should see that the formats panel continues to be hidden, but now the white space is no longer there, and the entire space is being utilized by the map in the Map View.

A word of caution. First, if you edit the Map View and choose to display your map formats panel, the panel will pop back, and if you hide the panel, the white space will return. So this  hack is more of a final adjustment to apply to your analysis, when you are done with all the changes you want to make to your map view or map views.

That's it.

As far as hacks go, this is an easy one. It is also, as hacks go, unsupported, so you know the drill - not supported, not guaranteed to work, and you're on your own if you do decide to try it out. So, please, exercise your caution and discretion when applying this hack.

I trust you're enjoying the Oracle OpenWorld conference, currently underway in the beautiful city of San Francisco.

Bangalore, Sep 25, 2013