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Usability, Product Management, and LinkedIn - a rant

Abhinav Agarwal - Fri, 2017-06-30 02:09
inkedIn began as a professional networking site, has evolved into a social media behemoth, and has yet managed to maintain and sharpen its focus on the professional space. That may, in part, explain why, in 2016, Microsoft chose to put down more than $26 billion Washingtons to buy LinkedIn.
While both LinkedIn's web site and mobile app have undergone substantial changes over the years, and is a far cry from the spartan look both sported just a few years ago, I wanted to call out one peculiarity - call it eccentricity - that the site has. I would call it a glaring UX and product management miss, if you will.
Let me elaborate.
email from LinkedIn in June 2014, announcing the launch of the publish feature.
Sometime in April 2014, LinkedIn introduced a feature that allowed users - by invitation at first, and everyone later - to publish their articles on LinkedIn. This feature is now a great source of user-generated content for LinkedIn, helping drive more traffic to its website. I have written a few over the last couple of years, and it's a great way to my thoughts on relevant topics in front of a relevant audience.
But Where Are My Articles?From the LinkedIn home page, try finding a way to navigate to your articles - published or in draft mode. Go ahead, I will wait while you wander on the home page.
You can't.
Let me show. See the screenshot below. That is the home page I see when I go to LinkedIn.
  1. The menu at the top contains no links to go to my articles.
  2. I can click the 'Write an article' button and it will take me to the LinkedIn Publishing page, and I can start penning pristine prose there.
  3. I can click the headline and view analytics on my articles or shares.

But I still cannot view a list of my articles. I can't.

  • If I go to the Publishing page, and if I click the 'More' dropdown, then voila, I can see that I have finally found what I was looking for. So will you too.
Why? Why make it so darn tough to find your own articles?
  • By design? Unlikely.
  • Oversight? Likely. A miss, from both product management and UX. Why is an important features such as this so difficult to find? It is not even available from the home page. Why is not anyone talking about discoverability? What about the scent of information? Nielsen, Cooper, Pirolli, anyone?
Solution? Fix it. Fast.

[this post first appeared in LinkedIn on June 29th, 2017]

© 2017, Abhinav Agarwal. All rights reserved.

Read Oracle Database 12.2 New Features Manual

Bobby Durrett's DBA Blog - Thu, 2017-06-29 16:53

I just finished reading the Oracle database 12.2 new features manual. I have postponed looking at 12.2 until now because for a long time 12.2 was not available for download even though it was available in Oracle’s cloud. Once the download became available I installed 12.2 in a test virtual machine but did not get any further than that. But, the first quarterly update of 12.2 is supposed to come out soon so I thought that I would at least read about the new features to start learning about it.

I wrote earlier about reading the Snowflake documentation. Reading the Oracle new features guide made me wonder about cases where both products are working on the same goals. Oracle 12.2 seems to have some new features for data analysis or analytics that relate to approximate results. Maybe these features are similar to Snowflake’s cardinality approximation routines? There are also a lot of new features related to JSON, which is a key Snowflake reality.

There are In-Memory database enhancements which is no surprise since this is a newer feature. Similarly, there are a ton of CDB and PDB database feature enhancements since multitenant was a major new feature in 12.1. Of course multitenant connects to Oracle’s cloud strategy so it is no surprise that Oracle included cloud enabling features in 12.2.

There are a ton of changes to Oracle features that I don’t use like Data Guard. I’ve seen some GGS but never used Data Guard. I recently saw a presentation at a user group meeting, I think it was at AZORA, where a presenter discussed the new 12c features of Data Guard. That user meeting plus the 12.2 new features manual together make me think that Oracle Data Guard has a massive amount of features that I am not aware of and not using.

I love the way Oracle keeps expanding their online operations. I think that 12.2 has a lot of features that would really help data warehouses. I’m also really excited about 12.2’s improvements in cross-platform migration. I have a couple of large databases that I need to migrate to Linux from HP-UX. 12.2 may have features that will help with these migrations. I’m really excited about the Data Pump parallel import of Metadata. It looks like our cross-platform database moves would need to load tens of thousands of objects. It would be awesome to do that metadata load in parallel. There are also a lot of enhancements related to Exadata. It would be nice to run a data warehouse on Exadata on 12.2.

Oracle’s sharding features make me think of Oracle trying to compete with other databases including cloud and open source systems. Oracle has everything but the kitchen sink all under one database. But, maybe less expensive databases with a subset of the features that Oracle has will work well in particular situations. It’s hard to know. I’ve been working with Oracle for 20 plus years so I think it helps to use a tool that I’m familiar with and there is no doubt that Oracle has many great features. But I wonder if Oracle is so expensive for some use cases that it makes sense to use less expensive and less capable software that fits specific needs.

I’m sorry if this post is kind of stream of consciousness writing. I reviewed the parts of the manual where I underlined something or made notes. I was pretty negative about Oracle 12.2 when Oracle announced that it would only be available in the cloud. I had a free cloud account that I could have used to mess with 12.2 but I knew that we were not going to use it until I could download it. The fact that 12.2 is available for download and that Oracle is starting to release quarterly patch updates motivated me to start looking at it. I have only just begun. I only read the new features manual. But, I am a lot more positive about 12.2 than before. It would be great if the cross-platform features were all that I hope that they are. That would help meet a real need. Anyway, I enjoyed reading about the new features in 12.2. It makes me want to get going with it to see if it can really help us.


Categories: DBA Blogs

Parameterizing Jmeter for testing APEX

Kris Rice - Thu, 2017-06-29 14:56
A while ago we needed to stress a system by using the APEX Brookstrut demo application.  The obvious choice for this was Jmeter.  How to setup Jmeter to record web traffic by becoming a web proxy is very known and well written process.  Anyone that hasn't seen it, check this PDF and you can see how easy it is. There were a couple issues to get around. First importing the application again and

Error while creating Materialized view : ORA-14071 : invalid option for an index used to enforce a constraint

Tom Kyte - Thu, 2017-06-29 13:46
Hi Tom, Please help me with the following. I'm trying to create a materialized view with following syntax : <code>CREATE MATERIALIZED VIEW TEST_ON_LOCAL_MV TABLESPACE "USERS" PCTFREE 10 PCTUSED 40 INITRANS 2 STORAGE ( INITIAL...
Categories: DBA Blogs

How can i grant execute to a procedure inside a package?

Tom Kyte - Thu, 2017-06-29 13:46
Hello everyone. I'm trying to do this. I have a package where are declared 2 procedure <code>CREATE OR REPLACE PACKAGE PACK_CT AS PROCEDURE A; PROCEDURE B; END PACK_CT; /</code> And I have two users, let's call it User1 and User2....
Categories: DBA Blogs

ORA-00020: maximum number of processes exceeded

Tom Kyte - Thu, 2017-06-29 13:46
Hi We have an APEX app running in Oracle 12c ( 64bit) Recently the system crashed with ORA-00020: maximum number of processes (300) exceeded. DBAs restarted the database setting the value to 600 On restart I logged onto th...
Categories: DBA Blogs

Background process of View?

Tom Kyte - Thu, 2017-06-29 13:46
While we retrieving data from either view or table? What will happend in the background? please explain
Categories: DBA Blogs

How to assign one ref cursor to another ref cursor and return the same to calling procedure

Tom Kyte - Thu, 2017-06-29 13:46
Hello Team, Firstly Thank You all for your efforts and quick responses. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- I have one procedure "abc" which return sys_refcursor fetching data from another database us...
Categories: DBA Blogs

variable pivot XML to readable text in a select

Tom Kyte - Thu, 2017-06-29 13:46
I have the following query SELECT * FROM (SELECT 1 Cnt, TO_NUMBER (TO_CHAR (A.Hiredate, 'YYYY')) Yr FROM Emp A) PIVOT xml (SUM (Cnt) FOR Yr IN (any)) However I want to convert the XML which can have a variable ...
Categories: DBA Blogs

daily refresh for a materialized view

Tom Kyte - Thu, 2017-06-29 13:46
Hi Tom, I,m really new in using Oracle and I apologize in advance for my trivial question. I just defined a materialized view that works fine on a basic table of about 800M rows. The refresh process (that at the moment I do manually) take about 2 h...
Categories: DBA Blogs

Database Links and LOBs

Tom Kyte - Thu, 2017-06-29 13:46
Tom: I have two dbs running 8.1.6. I created a DB link from one DB to other and when I tried to do a select on a table where I have CLOB data and it's giving me error. How do I remotely copy the lob data from one db to the other? ...
Categories: DBA Blogs

Benefit of Dashboard Reporting for Government Operations

Nilesh Jethwa - Thu, 2017-06-29 12:45

Dashboard reporting has never been more important to the government. Considering the humungous streams of data collected through government agencies and programs, the challenge is how to make sense of these data in a way that they will benefit the organization and perhaps save large amounts of money as a result. The use of this type of reporting has been exalted by the US.

In the US

The US administration flaunted the advantages of using dashboards during the presidency of Barack Obama. They said that using a dashboard is an effective way of collating and filtering data so that these data become useful to decision makers. They credited the dashboard for being able to make them see better the implications of data and act on them appropriately.

One example cited by the government is how a dashboard helped them see the status of their investments, particular in pursuing the advance of technology.

The claim from the administration of Obama was that they were able to make better decisions using the data presented by the dashboard. According to them, this led to billions of dollars in savings and cutting delivery time for technological projects.

The US Congress has communicated a positive sentiment on the matter of using a government dashboard for federal decision-making and operations. It expressed interest in increasing the use of transparency tools, such as dashboards, across federal spending programs.

It is expected that more efforts will be exerted towards this goal and the use of dashboards may even be continued to be implemented after Obama relinquishes his office.

Other governments

Read more at http://www.infocaptor.com/dashboard/dashboard-reporting-for-government-and-how-it-can-benefit-government-operations

APEX applications that run without Javascript just got harder

Tony Andrews - Thu, 2017-06-29 06:46
Long ago in 2009 I wrote a blog post called Accessible APEX and in it there is a link to an application on apex.oracle.com that would work even when Javascript was disabled in the browser.  However, since APEX 5.1 changes the way page items are mapped, that old application no longer works when Javascript is disabled. Oh dear , never mind, who cares?  Why would anyone in 2017 want to disabled Tony Andrewshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16750945985361011515noreply@blogger.com0http://tonyandrews.blogspot.com/2017/06/apex-applications-that-run-without.html

Is It Possible to Link to Specific EBS Pages?

Steven Chan - Thu, 2017-06-29 02:00

This question comes up periodically:  Is it possible to bookmark a specific EBS OA Framework page and then successfully open that page even if the user is not logged in?

The answer is a qualified yes.  This is technically possible, but the page must be built to support that by an OA Framework developer.  It is not possible for EBS end-users to change an OAF page's definition.

Developers can make pages bookmarkable by following the instructions described in the OA Framework Developer's Guide, Chapter 6: Advanced OA Framework Development Topics > Security > Accelerated Validation > Bookmarkable Pages. Here's a link to the latest version:

The main requirement is that the page be self-secured with some associated supporting code.  The same requirement applies to EBS links included in Workflow email notifications, too.

Related Articles

Categories: APPS Blogs


Wim Coekaerts - Thu, 2017-06-29 02:00

As I am sure many of you have heard/read about CVE-2017-1000364.

If not, you can find some information here:




An issue was discovered in the size of the stack guard page on Linux, specifically a 4k stack guard page is not sufficiently large and can be "jumped" over (the stack guard page is bypassed), this affects Linux Kernel versions 4.11.5 and earlier (the stackguard page was introduced in 2010).

This CVE has a very high CVSS score of 9.8.

There are a number of packages release for Oracle Linux to deal with this CVE.

An updated glibc: https://linux.oracle.com/cve/CVE-2017-1000366.html

An updated kernel:  https://linux.oracle.com/cve/CVE-2017-1000364.html

A very important additional detail is that we also have an online fix available through Ksplice. So for Oracle Linux users/customers with a support subscription, you can simply run uptrack-upgrade on a running kernel. No reboot required.

# uptrack-upgrade
The following steps will be taken:
Install [8cpcuyra] CVE-2017-1000364: Increase stack guard size to 1 MiB.

Go ahead [y/N]? y
Installing [8cpcuyra] CVE-2017-1000364: Increase stack guard size to 1 MiB.
Your kernel is fully up to date.
Effective kernel version is 4.1.12-94.3.7.el7uek



How true is the DBMS_UTILITY.GET_TIME function

Tom Kyte - Wed, 2017-06-28 19:26
I was trying to verify how true would be the values returned by the function DBMS_UTILITY.GET_TIME using the below code. <code>DECLARE curr_time1 DATE := SYSDATE; curr_time2 NUMBER := dbms_utility.get_time; BEGIN LOOP EXIT WHEN SYSD...
Categories: DBA Blogs

Oracle GoldenGate Cloud Service

Pakistan's First Oracle Blog - Wed, 2017-06-28 18:37
Even on Amazon AWS, for the migration of Oracle databases from on-prem to Cloud, my tool of choice is GoldenGate. The general steps I took for this migration was to create extract on source in on-prem, which sent data to replicat running in AWS Cloud in EC2 server, which in turn applied data to cloud database in RDS.

I was intrigued to see this new product from Oracle which is Oracle GoldenGate Cloud Service (GGCS).

So in this GGCS, we have extract, extract trail, and data pump running in the on-prem, which sends data to a Replication VM node in Oracle Cloud. This Replication VM node has a process called as Collector which collects incoming data from the on-prem. Collector then writes this data to a trail file from which data is consumed by a Replicat process and then applied to the cloud database.

This product looks good as it leverages existing robust technologies and should become default way to migrate or replicate data between oracle databases between on-prem and cloud.
Categories: DBA Blogs

ODA X6 installation: re-image

Yann Neuhaus - Wed, 2017-06-28 15:44

The Oracle Database Appliance is shipped with a bare-metal installation which may not be the latest version. You may want to have it virtualized, or get the latest version to avoid further upgrade, or install an earlier version to be in the same configuration as another ODA already in production. The easiest for all cases is to start with a re-image as soon as the ODA is plugged. This post is not a documentation, just a quick cheat sheet.

I don’t want to spend hours in the data center, so the first step, once the ODA is racked, cabled and plugged, is to get it accessible from the management network. Then all tasks can be done from a laptop, accessing the ILOM interface through a browser (Java required, and preferably 32-bits) before the public network is setup.


Here is the back of the server where you find the management network port.
This was an X5-2 but very similar to X6-2. You can look at the 3D view of X6-2 to get a better view.
There is also VGA and USB to plug a monitor and keyboard just for the time to setup the management network.

You can also use the serial port which is just next to it but I usually don’t have a serial adapter for my laptop.

First checks

You can plug a keyboard and monitor and log on the server: root password is welcome1 (no need to change it for the moment as we will re-image the machine)

In ODA X6-HA you have two nodes, numbered 0 and 1 and called oak1 and oak2 … be careful. You may wonder which server is node 0 and which one is node 1, because the servers are the same. Yes, that’s true. The nodes are identified from the storage port they are connected to. The node 0 is the one connected to the blue mini-SAS and the red ones are for node 1.

  • Blue cable – Node 0 – oak1
  • Red cable – Node 0 – oak2

Here I’m on node 0 and check hardware version

[root@oak1 ~]# /opt/oracle/oak/bin/oakcli show env_hw

This means Bare Metal X6-2 HA, a virtualized one would show VM-ODA_BASE ODA X6-2, and ODA X6-2S would show BM ODA_Lite X6-2 Small.

From storage topology, we confirm that this node has been recognized as node 0:

[root@oak1 ~]# /opt/oracle/oak/bin/oakcli validate -c StorageTopology
It may take a while. Please wait...
INFO : ODA Topology Verification
INFO : Running on Node0
INFO : Check hardware type
SUCCESS : Type of hardware found : X5-2
INFO : Check for Environment (Bare Metal or Virtual Machine)

And finally check the version because you may be lucky to get the version you want and then don’t need to re-image (I switched to node 1 here):


Of course, you don’t need to re-image when you want an higher version. You can upgrade it, but re-image is simple.

BMC Network

The management network interface can get an address from DHCP. But who runs DHCP on the management network? There are two ways to assign a static IP to the management network.

You may use the IPMI Tool commands:
ipmitool -I open sunoem cli
cd SP
cd Network
set pendingipadress=
set pendingnetmask=
set pendingipgateway=
set commitpending=true

Here is an example:

Or you can go to BIOS. It goes fast but filming in slow motion shows that the key is F2:
Once you are in the BIOS interface, go to Advanced, then choose ‘BMC Network configuration’ to configure IPMI and enter the following BMC Lan information:
IPv4 IP Assignment [Static] IPv4 address
IPv4 Subnet Mask
IPv4 Default Gateway

Once you are in the BIOS you can choose to boot on the CD-ROM first because I sometimes have problems to set that from the ILOM Web interface.

Once you have validated that the ILOM IP address can be reached from your office, you can remove the keyboard and monitor and leave the datacenter. the hardware is ok. Now the software can be deployed from the ILOM Web interface. The password to connect to ILOM from the Web browser is ‘changeme’ and you should change it.


The latest ISO image for Bare Metal or Virtualized ODA can be found from Note 88888.1
You can also find the oldest versions:

From the ILOM you you get to the console of node 0:


From there, you can attach the ISO image: ILOM Remote Control / Devices / CD-ROM Images

and then reboot on the CD-ROM:

Reboot (Host Control / Next Boot Device / CD-ROM )


Do that for both nodes (you can run them at the same time) and prepare the information for the deployment and download the ‘End-User RDBMS Clone files’ for the database version you want.

You can download the Oracle Appliance Manager Configurator and take your time to setup and verify the configuration.

configure firstnet

Here is part of the information to prepare. First, you will configure the network to be able to scp the software (Grid Infrastructure and Database):

[root@oak1 ~]# /opt/oracle/oak/bin/oakcli configure firstnet
Configure the network for node(s) (local,global) [global]:
The network configuration for both nodes:
hostname: Hostname lookup failure
Domain Name: pachot.net
DNS Servers: Primary DNS Server:
Node Name Host Name
0 myserver1
1 myserver2
Choose the network interface to configure (net1,net2) [net1]:
Enter the IP address for net1 on Node 0:
Enter the IP address for net1 on Node 1:
Netmask for net1:
Gateway address for net1 []:

Note that this is a funny example. I hope you don’t use the 192.168.16/24 as you public network because this is used for the private interconnect where IP addresses and are hardcoded. But thanks to that the configure-network can be run fron one node only.


Now that you have access through the public network, you can copy (scp) the Oracle Home clones and the configuration file to /tmp, unpack the .zip (for i in *.zip ; do /opt/oracle/oak/bin/oakcli unpack -package $i ; done) and run deploy (ssh -X /opt/oracle/oak/bin/oakcli deploy), loading the configuration from your file or entering all information from there. Crossing the fingers, this should go to the end without any problem. On the opposite, My Oracle Support notes may help. The nice thing with ODA is that most of the configurations are similar so there a good chances that a problem was already encountered and documented.


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Two New Articles on API Management and Microservices

OTN TechBlog - Wed, 2017-06-28 12:38

Oracle ACE Director Luis Weir and ACE Associate Phil Wilkins, both from Capgemini, already teamed up to present API Management and Microservices: A Match Made in Heaven at the recent Oracle Code event in London, captured in the video above. Now the dynamic duo has collaborated again on a pair of articles now available on OTN.

Luis's contribution, 3rd-Generation API Management: From Proxies to Micro-Gateways, examines the confluence of cloud adoption, ntegration platform as a service, and microservices.

Phil's contribution, Registries: Use Cases for API Management and Microservices, explores the role of registries in a microservices environment and their relationship to API Management.

Taken together the articles offer a detailed view of what's happening in the confluence of two very hot topics. So read them already!

Additional Resources





DOAG Red Stack Magazin Artikelreihe "Oracle Database Cloud Performance" (German)

Randolf Geist - Wed, 2017-06-28 11:03
In der aktuellen Ausgabe des für Mitglieder der DOAG, SOUG und AOUG kostenlosen DOAG Red Stack Magazins wurde der erste Teil meiner zweiteiligen Artikelserie "Oracle Database Cloud Performance" veröffentlicht.

Die Artikelserie basiert auf den hier bereits publizierten Erkenntnissen in diesem Bereich und führt diese weiter fort.

Der erste Teil geht auf die verschiedenen Aspekte der maximal erreichbare Performance ein (CPU, Storage etc.), der zweite Teil wird in der nächsten Ausgabe zu lesen sein und legt den Schwerpunkt auf die Konsistenz der Performance, also wie konsistent sich die Datenbanken in der Cloud in Bezug auf Performance während der Tests verhalten haben.


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