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This blog in a cloud

Oracle Apex Notebook - Mon, 2008-09-08 11:11
After reading this post by Jake Kuramoto, I was curious to see how Apex Notebook blog looks like in a word cloud. Here is the result: Wordle is a service for generating word clouds from text sources like blog feeds. The words that appear more frequently in the source text are bigger in the final image.
Categories: Development

Get server URL in Apex

Oracle Apex Notebook - Mon, 2008-09-08 11:11
Some time ago, I had this requirement to send to the application end users, links to specific pages passing some parameters. The problem was obtaining the full URL including the server's name and port where APEX was running. The OWA_UTIL package contains utility subprograms for getting the value of environment variables. Specifically the OWA_UTIL.GET_CGI_ENV function returns the value of CGI
Categories: Development

Where to Download Oracle VM Templates

Sergio's Blog - Mon, 2008-09-08 03:28

Wim recently blogged about Oracle VM Templates, announced a few weeks ago. If you're interested in them, you can download them from edelivery.oracle.com/oraclevm.


Categories: DBA Blogs

Oracle enhanced adapter presentation at RejectConf in Berlin

Raimonds Simanovskis - Fri, 2008-09-05 16:00

I just returned from RailsConf Europe in Berlin and attended a lot of good Ruby and Rails related sessions.

I also tried to submit there my session proposal about using Rails with Oracle but as there were too many good proposals and as my topic was with too narrow topic then it was not accepted. Therefore I used opportunity to give 5 minutes presentation about Oracle enhanced adapter in RejectConf where anybody could present anything.

Here are my slides that I used in this presentation. And at least one participant was interested in this topics as he uses Rails and Oracle and did not know about my adapter.

My next public appearance is planned at Oracle OpenWorld unconference where I have recerved time slot on Thursday, September 25th at 10am. Please come there if you are attending Oracle OpenWorld and are interested in how to use Ruby on Rails with your legacy Oracle databases.

Categories: Development

Back to the future - or is that forward to the past

Nigel Thomas - Thu, 2008-09-04 13:30
I'm starting a new contract this coming Monday. I'd better keep the client confidential until I've found out how they feel about blogs, but the job revolves around data matching and data quality, using Oracle and SSA.

At the interview, I found myself less than 100m from the site of my first ever "proper" job (the old Scicon offices are now an upmarket West End hotel). So just 28 years and 1 month later, I will be sauntering along Oxford Street once again.

I'll be commuting daily at first, but I will try to stay down during the week at least some of the time if I can find somewhere cheap, clean and convenient. Any old colleagues around central London - sometime between now and Christmas we should meet up ...

New Browsers and Oracle EPM

Oracle EPM Smart Space - Thu, 2008-09-04 12:08

Whenever there are new browser technologies I am interested to see how our existing EPM products will do in them.  Right now there are 2 large browser betas first IE8 and second Google Chrome.  Both are nice browsers with rich application support but they are both betas so there are plenty of bugs.  I tried IE8 first because IE is the most popular browser and it usually does a nice job with our EPM products.

imageI was able to open Oracle EPM workspace in IE8 and logged in just fine.  The explorer screen showed up and I was able to select and open a report.  Opening the report caused a Java script error that messed up my navigation from that point on.  The script errors caused frustration but it was useable.


clip_image002[5]I tried the same thing with Chrome and got nowhere fast.  I got a gray screen when trying to load the logon page and it just kept trying to load...  I tried 9.3.1 to see if the older stuff was any better and it let me login and get to the explorer screen but I could not navigate.


So the only conclusion I can come to is that for EPM products stick to supported browsers and use the betas to play with other web sites. 

Categories: Development

Indian Megavendors

Krishanu Bose - Wed, 2008-09-03 14:02

The other day i was reading an article in http://specials.rediff.com/money/2008/aug/13slide1.htm on India's top three IT companies. As per this article, Gartner has come out with a report in which they predict that, Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys Technologies, and Wipro Technologies, collectively referred as 'India-3,' will emerge as the next generation of IT service megavendors. These vendors are increasingly being considered for strategic service deals, and will augment or, in some cases, replace today's acknowledged megavendors by revenue -- IBM Global Services, Accenture and EDS -- in this space by 2011, says Gartner.

Obviously this means there will be a lot of consolidation that is bound to happen in the IT space in India, as there are a lot of tier-2 firms who cannot match the pace of growth of the top 3 firms in India. This means some of these small IT companies will be forced to sell out as the war on margins and cornering a portion of the relatively fixed marketshare will become more acute. However, for the top-3 to actually reach the levels of present generation megavendors, apart from the cost advantage, they have to position on other parameters as well. The article talks of four critical competencies on which the emerging Indian megavendors are positioning themselves.

The competencies are: process excellence; world-class HR practices; providing high quality services at a low cost; the achievement of significant and disproportionate 'mind share' compared to their actual size.

However, the catch is to continue providing high quality services at a low cost and yet try and increase the mind-share further. With wage bills increasing and worries over global slowdown, maintaining low cost is definitely a big challenge. However, i feel where Indian top-3 companies are critically lacking is in thought-leadership. The culture of innovation and path-breaking developments is still not visible. The present day megavendors have primarily reached this position due to a large investment in innovation and thought-leadership. Anyways, interesting times ahead for all in tough situations, and obviously only the toughest will survive and prosper.

ORA-23375 when adding new master site in multi-master environment

Mihajlo Tekic - Sun, 2008-08-31 17:58
If your database global name contains a word that belongs to the list of Oracle Database Reserved Words and you are planning to add this database as a new master site in multi-master environment, you may want to consider changing the database global name so you can avoid ORA-23375 when executing DBMS_REPCAT.ADD_MASTER_DATABASE procedure.

This is especially important for those databases that have their global name containing country internet code of any of the following countries: Austria (AT), Belarus (BY), India (IN), Iceland (IS), etc. AT, BY, IN, IS are among the database reserved words.

You may experience problems even before you try to add the new master site. The creation of the database link to the new master site may fail with:
ORA-02084: database name is missing a component
However, you may not get this error in some cases, for instance when AT keyword is used; or if you put the database link name in double-quotes.

(the environment used in the examples below is DB1.MYDOMAIN.COM(master definition site, release and DB11G.MYDOMAIN.IN (master site, release

SQL> create database link DB11G.MYDOMAIN.IN
2 connect to rep_admin
3 identified by “rep_password”
4 using 'DB11G';
create database link DB11G.MYDOMAIN.IN
ERROR at line 1:
ORA-02084: database name is missing a component

SQL> create database link "DB11G.MYDOMAIN.IN"
2 connect to rep_admin
3 identified by "rep_password"
4 using 'db11g';

Database link created.

SQL> create database link DB11G.MYDOMAIN.AT
2 connect to rep_admin
3 identified by "rep_password"
4 using 'DB11G';

Database link created.

But, even if the database link creation succeeds, the attempt to add the new master site would definitely fail with:
ORA-23375: feature is incompatible with database version at global database name

SQL> begin
2 dbms_repcat.add_master_database(
3 gname=>'TEST_GROUP',
4 master=>'"DB11G.MYDOMAIN.IN"',
5 use_existing_objects =>true,
6 copy_rows =>false,
7 propagation_mode=>'ASYNCHRONOUS');
8 end;
9 /
ERROR at line 1:
ORA-23375: feature is incompatible with database version at DB11G.MYDOMAIN.IN
ORA-06512: at "SYS.DBMS_SYS_ERROR", line 86
ORA-06512: at "SYS.DBMS_REPCAT_MAS", line 2159
ORA-06512: at "SYS.DBMS_REPCAT", line 146
ORA-06512: at line 2


SQL> begin
2 dbms_repcat.add_master_database(
3 gname=>'TEST_GROUP',
4 master=>'DB11G.MYDOMAIN.AT',
5 use_existing_objects =>true,
6 copy_rows =>false,
7 propagation_mode=>'ASYNCHRONOUS');
8 end;
9 /

ERROR at line 1:
ORA-23375: feature is incompatible with database version at DB11G.MYDOMAIN.AT
ORA-06512: at "SYS.DBMS_SYS_ERROR", line 86
ORA-06512: at "SYS.DBMS_REPCAT_MAS", line 2159
ORA-06512: at "SYS.DBMS_REPCAT", line 146
ORA-06512: at line 2

If you turn 10046 trace event you can notice that the error occurs when DBMS_REPCAT_RPC.REPLICATION_VERSION_RC and DBMS_REPCAT_UTL2.REPLICATION_VERSION procedures are invoked against the new master database.

PARSE ERROR #39:len=73 dep=1 uid=61 oct=47 lid=61 tim=1191209094695404 err=6550
BEGIN sys.dbms_repcat_rpc.replication_version_rc@DB11G.MYDOMAIN.IN (:rv);END;
PARSE ERROR #39:len=72 dep=1 uid=61 oct=47 lid=61 tim=1191209094702737 err=6550
BEGIN sys.dbms_repcat_utl2.replication_version@DB11G.MYDOMAIN.IN (:rv);END;

To solve this problem the global name of the new master database should be changed. Once the global name is changed to value that does not contain any reserved word, you should be able to add the database to the replication environment.

In the example below, I will try to add a new master site which global name was changed to DB11G.FOO.BAR

SQL>conn sys/***@DB11G as sysdba
SQL> alter database rename global_name to DB11G.FOO.BAR;

Database altered.

SQL> conn rep_admin/rep_password@DB1
SQL> create database link DB11G.FOO.BAR
2 connect to rep_admin
3 identified by "rep_password"
4 using 'DB11G';

Database link created.

SQL> begin
2 dbms_repcat.add_master_database(
3 gname=>'TEST_GROUP',
4 master=>'DB11G.FOO.BAR',
5 use_existing_objects =>true,
6 copy_rows =>false,
7 propagation_mode=>'ASYNCHRONOUS');
8 end;
9 /

PL/SQL procedure successfully completed.

SQL> column dblink format a30
2 from dba_repsites;

------------------------------ - -

There are few ways to find Oracle PL/SQL reserved words:

  2. Oracle documentation (PL/SQL Reserved Words and Keywords). Check your version specific documentation available on http://tahiti.oracle.com

  3. Issue HELP RESERVED WORDS (PL/SQL) from Sql*Plus (if Sql*Plus help is installed).

Importing Payments and Paid Invoices into Oracle - Oracle needs to provide an API

Krishanu Bose - Sun, 2008-08-31 11:35
How many of us had a requirement of importing paid invoices and their corressponding payment details to Oracle? I would say many. But strangely till date there in no straight forward method to import payments into Oracle. I feel its time that Oracle comes up with a standard process like an API to handle this business need.
There are a few workarounds to this scenario. A direct update of Oracle base table is one but this comes with the risk of losing support from Oracle.
The other, more robust way would be to use the manual payment feature of Oracle to record such payments that have been already done in the earlier system. However, automating this process using a batch program is a challenge.
Do put in your comments in case you have a soultion to this problem which would help a lot of people out there.


Sergio's Blog - Fri, 2008-08-29 05:51

Here's another post from the old blog, harvested from archive.org

The other day I was playing with some Python and cx_Oracle, a Python module for connecting to Oracle databases. While cx_Oracle seems to work great, I found the documentation light on examples. Because I follow Tom Kyte's advice closely, I was trying to instrument my code with some calls to DBMS_APPLICATION_INFO. As it turns out, the cx_Oracle connection object has write only attributes to set module, action, and clientinfo.

Here's a quick example of that in action (warning: newbie Python ahead)

-bash-3.00$ python
Python 2.3.4 (#1, Feb  2 2005, 11:44:49) 
[GCC 3.4.3 20041212 (Red Hat 3.4.3-9.EL4)] on linux2
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> import cx_Oracle
>>> con=cx_Oracle.connect ("hr/hr")
>>> cur=con.cursor()
>>> con.module="python module"
>>> con.action="some big query"

>>> cur.execute ("select 1 from dual")
[<cx_Oracle.NUMBER with value None>]
>>> con.action=""
>>> con.module=""
>>> con.close()

Before closing the connection with con.close(), this is what was observed in the database:

SQL> select sid, module, action from v$session where module is not null 
  2  /
       SID MODULE                                           ACTION
---------- ------------------------------------------------ --------------------------------
        22 sqlplus@captain.us.oracle.com (TNS V1-V3)
        26 python module                                    some big query

Categories: DBA Blogs

Out Now!! Application Express 3.1.2

Anthony Rayner - Fri, 2008-08-29 02:21
APEX 3.1.2 is now available for download and fixes the following bugs. You can get hold of it by either:
  • Downloading the full version from OTN.

  • Download the patchset 7313609 from METALINK.
If your unsure about which download you need, please read Joel's blog. As Joel says, if your upgrading from any APEX version pre-3.1, then you'll need to use the full OTN release (which includes the version that comes pre-installed with 11gR1).

For details on future plans, please take a look at our Statement of Direction, which was updated just under 3 weeks ago with details of the 'Forms Converter' of APEX 3.2 and 'Websheets', 'Updateable Interactive Reports', 'Extensible Item Framework' and much more of APEX 4.0.

Happy patching!

Categories: Development

travelling trace file

Claudia Zeiler - Thu, 2008-08-28 15:23
I just noticed a detail that I don't like.

We had an error logged in the alert log. It informed me that details were in
db_ckpt_1234.log. Fine, but there was no such log in the bdump directory.

The dba who was here before me wrote a nice script to run every Sunday to clean up old trace files. What he didn't think of is that the trace files seem to be written per session, and that the checkpoint 'session' continues from instance start up.
His script came along and happily moved the trace file to a backup_bdump directory. Oracle couldn't find it and didn't write the details.

One more fix to make.

oracle-validated RPMs now available outside of ULN

Sergio's Blog - Thu, 2008-08-28 09:10

For those of you who'd like to use the oracle-validated RPM, but don't have access to ULN, here they are:

Categories: DBA Blogs

My Current Development Environment

Mark A. Williams - Wed, 2008-08-27 20:54

Whilst I am primarily a DBA during the day, one of the things that I really enjoy about my current engagement is that it has given me the opportunity to dip my toes back in the development pool a bit. I was describing my current development environment to a friend recently and this person was shocked by the details. I realize that in this day and age of code spitters (term coined by Jeff Richter?) and "click through the wizard for instant coding success" sorts of activities that this environment is something of an anachronism.

Without further ado, the o/s:

$ uname -a
HP-UX zzz B.11.31 U ia64 4131905082 unlimited-user license

My "IDE":

$ which vi

And the compiler:

$ gcc -v
Using built-in specs.
Target: ia64-hp-hpux11.31
Configured with: ../gcc/configure
Thread model: posix
gcc version 4.2.1

Yes, I actually have to do things like create a Makefile in such an environment!

Joking aside though, one of the things that I firmly believe is that instrumented code is better code. One of the characteristics of this kind of development environment, I feel, is that it really encourages strongly instrumenting the code. Yes, in some circumstances I could use the gdb debugger, but building proper instrumentation into the code and offering a simple switch to enable it (yes, it is in the release build) works very nicely.

Another thing that some people might find "weird" about this application is that it is a database application (Oracle of course) that contains absolutely no SQL statements. Really. It is a "thick database" application (Toon Koppelaars term?). That is, there are many statements like "begin package.procedure...; end;" in the code. All the real work is done using PL/SQL packages (and bodies) in the database.

As a .NET developer it is often easy to lean heavily on Visual Studio for debugging, but I think Microsoft also agrees with the "instrumented code is better code" philosophy - check out the System.Diagnostics.Trace class in the Visual Studio Combined Help Collection for more information.

Lastly, if I've misappropriated any of the terms above, apologies!

Batch Invoice Uploads into Oracle Payables

Richard Byrom - Sat, 2008-08-23 20:09

MS Excel to load invoice batches to Oracle Payables! Even Oracle ADI doesn’t do that, in fact few 3rd-party products do. What to do? Do as Kevin Ellis has done, develop your own in-house invoice batch interface. And if that isn’t enough to pique your interest, how about an interface for keeping your chart of accounts current between production legacy and Oracle systems? He has done that too and he has shared all in this comprehensive ORAtips cover story, discussing custom concurrent program and UNIX shell script development, Oracle Applications set-up and end-user considerations.

Download White Paper on Invoice Uploads into Oracle Payables

This article was originally published by Klee Associates, Inc., publishers of JDEtips and SAPtips. For training, consulting, and articles on JD Edwards or SAP, please visit their websites: www.JDEtips.com and www.SAPtips.com.

Oracle OpenWorld 2008 - Just Say Hi!

Mark A. Williams - Fri, 2008-08-22 20:35

Just a quick note... if you happen to be coming to Oracle OpenWorld 2008 in San Francisco, I will be helping out in the .NET Hands-On Labs Monday (22 Sep) afternoon. I'll also be at the "OTN ACE Office Hours" on Monday (22 Sep) as well as Thursday (25 Sep). See the link for schedules as well as the great folks who will be available. I've also been known to be around the demo grounds booth as well. Please say "hi" if you get the chance!


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