Feed aggregator

KSQL in Football: FIFA Women’s World Cup Data Analysis

Rittman Mead Consulting - Mon, 2019-07-22 02:53

One of the football (as per European terminology) highlights of the summer is the FIFA Women’s World Cup. France, Brazil, and the USA are the favourites, and this year Italy is present at the event for the first time in 20 years.

From a data perspective, the World Cup represents an interesting source of information. There's a lot of dedicated press coverage, as well as the standard social media excitement following any kind of big event.

The idea in this blog post is to mix information coming from two distinct channels: the RSS feeds of sport-related newspapers and Twitter feeds of the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The goal will be to understand how the sentiment of official news related to the two teams involved in the final compares to that of the tweets.

In order to achieve our targets, we'll use pre-built connectors available in Confluent Hub to source data from RSS and Twitter feeds, KSQL to apply the necessary transformations and analytics, Google’s Natural Language API for sentiment scoring, Google BigQuery for data storage, and Google Data Studio for visual analytics.

Data sources

The beginning of our journey starts with connecting to various data sources. Twitter represents the default source for most event streaming examples, and it's particularly useful in our case because it contains high-volume event streaming data with easily identifiable keywords that can be used to filter for relevant topics.

Ingesting Twitter data

Ingesting Twitter data is very easy with Kafka Connect, a framework for connecting Kafka with external systems. Within the pre-built connectors we can find the Kafka Connect Twitter, all we need to do is install it using the Confluent Hub client.

confluent-hub install jcustenborder/kafka-connect-twitter:latest

To start ingesting the Twitter data, we need to create a configuration file containing the following important bits:

  • filter.keywords: We need to list all the keywords we are interested in, separated by a comma. Since we want to check tweets from the FIFA Women’s World Cup, we’ll use FIFAWWC, representing both the World Cup Twitter handle and the most common related hashtag.
  • kafka.status.topic: This topic that will be used to store the tweets we selected. twitter_avro: This is because the connector output format is AVRO.
  • twitter.oauth: This represents Twitter credentials. More information can be found on the Twitter’s developer website.

After the changes, our configuration file looks like the following:

twitter.oauth.accessToken=<TWITTER ACCESS TOKEN>
twitter.oauth.accessTokenSecret=<TWITTER ACCESS TOKEN SECRET>
twitter.oauth.consumerKey=<TWITTER ACCESS CUSTOMER KEY>
twitter.oauth.consumerSecret=<TWITTER CUSTOMER SECRET>

It's time to start it up! We can use the Confluent CLI load command:

confluent load twitter -d $TWITTER_HOME/twitter.properties

$TWITTER_HOME is the folder containing the configuration file. We can check the Kafka Connect status by querying the REST APIs with the following:

curl -s "http://localhost:8083/connectors/twitter/status" | jq [.connector.state] 

We can also check if all the settings are correct by consuming the AVRO messages in the twitter_avro topic with a console consumer:

confluent consume twitter_avro --value-format avro

And the result is, as expected, an event stream of tweets.

RSS feeds as another data source

The second data source that we'll use for our FIFA Women’s World Cup sentiment analytics are RSS feeds from sports-related newspapers. RSS feeds are useful because they share official information about teams and players, like results, episodes, and injuries. RSS feeds should be considered neutral since they should only report facts. For this blog post, we’ll use RSS feeds as a way to measure the average sentiment of the news. As per the Twitter case above, a prebuilt Kafka Connect RSS Source exists, so all we need to do is to install it via the Confluent Hub client:

confluent-hub install kaliy/kafka-connect-rss:latest

Then, create a configuration file with the following important parameters:

  • rss.urls: This is a list of space-separated RSS feed URLs. For our Women’s World Cup example, we’ve chosen the following sources: La Gazzetta dello Sport, Transfermarkt, Eurosport, UEFA, The Guardian, Daily Mail, The Sun Daily, BBC
  • topic: The Kafka topic to write to, which is rss_avro in our case

The full configuration file looks like the following:

rss.urls=https://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/rss/news https://www.eurosport.fr/rss.xml https://www.uefa.com/rssfeed/news/rss.xml https://www.theguardian.com/football/rss https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/index.rss https://www.thesundaily.my/rss/sport http://feeds.bbci.co.uk/news/rss.xml https://www.gazzetta.it/rss/home.xml

And again, we can start the ingestion of RSS feeds with the Confluent CLI:

confluent load RssSourceConnector -d $RSS_HOME/RssSourceConnector.properties

We can test the status of Kafka Connectors using this simple procedure, and calling it like:

RssSourceConnector  |  RUNNING  |  RUNNING
twitter             |  RUNNING  |  RUNNING

We can see that the both the RssSourceConnector and the twitter Connect are up and running. We can then check the actual data with the console consumer.

confluent consume rss_avro --value-format avro

Below is the output as expected.

Shaping the event streams

After ingesting the Twitter and RSS event streams into topics, it’s time to shape them with KSQL. Shaping the topics accomplishes two purposes:

  1. It makes the topics queryable from KSQL
  2. It defines additional structures that can be reused in downstream applications

The Twitter stream lands in Avro format with the fields listed in the related GitHub repo. We can easily declare a TWITTER_STREAM KSQL stream on top of TWITTER_AVRO with:


There is no need to define the single fields in the event stream declaration because they are already in AVRO and thus will be sourced from the Confluent Schema Registry. Schema Registry is the component within Kafka, in charge of storing, versioning and serving the topics Avro Schemas. When a topic is in AVRO format, its schema is stored in the Schema Registry, where downstream applications (like KSQL in this case) can retrieve it and use it to “shape” the messages in the topic.

The important bits of the above KSQL for our definition are:

  • KAFKA_TOPIC='TWITTER_AVRO': the definition of the source topic
  • VALUE_FORMAT='AVRO': the definition of the source topic format
  • TIMESTAMP='CREATEDAT': the Tweet's creation date, which is used as the event timestamp

We can now check that the fields’ definition has correctly been retrieved by the Schema Registry with:


Or, we can use the REST API by:

curl -X "POST" "http://localhost:8088/ksql" \
-H "Content-Type: application/vnd.ksql.v1+json; charset=utf-8" \
-d $'{
"streamsProperties": {}

The resulting fields section will be:

"fields": [
"name": "ROWTIME",
"schema": {
"type": "BIGINT",
"fields": null,
"memberSchema": null
"name": "ROWKEY",
"schema": {
"type": "STRING",
"fields": null,
"memberSchema": null
"name": "CREATEDAT",
"schema": {
"type": "BIGINT",
"fields": null,
"memberSchema": null
"name": "ID",
"schema": {
"type": "BIGINT",
"fields": null,
"memberSchema": null

The same applies to the RSS feed contained in rss_avro with:

create stream RSS_STREAM

The result will be:

ksql> describe RSS_STREAM;
Name                 : RSS_STREAM
Field   | Type
ROWTIME | BIGINT           (system)

We can also use the URL manipulation functions added in KSQL 5.2 to extract useful information from the LINK column with:


The result will be:

www.dailymail.co.uk | /sport/football/article-6919585/Paul-Scholes-backs-Manchester-United-spring-surprise-Barcelona.html | https | ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490
www.dailymail.co.uk | /sport/formulaone/article-6916337/Chinese-Grand-Prix-F1-race-LIVE-Shanghai-International-Circuit.html | https | ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490
www.dailymail.co.uk | /sport/football/article-6919403/West-Brom-make-approach-Preston-manager-Alex-Neil.html | https | ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490
www.dailymail.co.uk | /sport/football/article-6919373/Danny-Murphy-Jermaine-Jenas-fascinating-mind-games-thrilling-title-race.html | https | ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490
www.dailymail.co.uk | /sport/football/article-6919215/Brazilian-legend-Pele-successfully-undergoes-surgery-remove-kidney-stone-Sao-Paulo-hospital.html | https | ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490
Limit Reached
Query terminated
Sentiment analytics and Google’s Natural Language APIs

Text processing is a part of machine learning and is continuously evolving with a huge variety of techniques and related implementations. Sentiment analysis represents a branch of text analytics and aims to identify and quantify affective states contained in a text corpus.

Natural Language APIs provide sentiment scoring as a service using two dimensions:

  1. Score: Positive (Score > 0) or Negative (Score < 0) Emotion
  2. Magnitude: Emotional Content Amount

For more information about sentiment score and magnitude interpretation, refer to the documentation.

Using Natural Language APIs presents various benefits:

  • Model training: Natural Language is a pre-trained model, ideal in situations where we don't have a set of already-scored corpuses.
  • Multi-language: RSS feeds and tweets can be written in multiple languages. Google Natural Language is capable of scoring several languages natively.
  • API call: Natural Language can be called via an API, making the integration easy with other tools.
Sentiment scoring in KSQL with user- defined functions (UDFs)

The Natural Language APIs are available via client libraries in various languages, including Python, C#, and Go. For the purposes of this blog post, we'll be looking at the Java implementation since it is currently the language used to implement KSQL user-defined functions (UDFs). For more details on how to build a UD(A)F function, please refer to How to Build a UDF and/or UDAF in KSQL 5.0 by Kai Waehner, which we'll use as base for the GSentiment class definition.

The basic steps to implementing Natural Language API calls in a UDF are the following:

  1. Add the google.cloud.language JAR dependency in your project. If you are using Maven, you just need to add the following in your pom.xml

<dependency>: <groupId>com.google.cloud</groupId> <artifactId>google-cloud-language</artifactId> <version>1.25.0</version> </dependency>

  1. Create a new Java class called GSentiment.
  2. Import the required classes:

//KSQL UDF Classes import io.confluent.ksql.function.udf.Udf; import io.confluent.ksql.function.udf.UdfDescription; //Google NL Classes import com.google.cloud.language.v1.LanguageServiceClient; import com.google.cloud.language.v1.Sentiment; import com.google.cloud.language.v1.AnalyzeSentimentResponse; import com.google.cloud.language.v1.Document; import com.google.cloud.language.v1.Document.Type;

  1. Define the GSentimen class and add the Java annotations @UdfDescription(name = "gsentiment", description = "Sentiment scoring using Google NL API") public class Gsentiment { ... }.
  2. Within the class, declare gsentiment as the method accepting a String text as input. As of now, UDFs can't return two output values, so we are returning the sentiment score and magnitude as an array of double. @Udf(description = "return sentiment scoring") public List<Double> gsentiment( String text) { ... }.
  3. Within the gsentiment method, invoke the Natural Language API sentiment and cast the result as an array. Since a UDF can return only one parameter currently, we need to pipe the sentiment score and magnitude into an array of two elements.
Double[] arr = new Double[2];   
try (LanguageServiceClient languageServiceClient = LanguageServiceClient.create()) {
Document document = Document.newBuilder()
AnalyzeSentimentResponse response = languageServiceClient.analyzeSentiment(document);
Sentiment sentiment = response.getDocumentSentiment();

catch (Exception e) {
arr[0]=(double) 0.0;
arr[1]=(double) 0.0;
return Arrays.asList(arr);

  1. As mentioned in How to Build a UDF and/or UDAF in KSQL 5.0, build an uber JAR that includes the KSQL UDF and any dependencies, and copy it to the KSQL extension directory (defined in the ksql.extension.dir parameter in ksql-server.properties).
  2. Add an environment variable GOOGLE_APPLICATION_CREDENTIALS pointing to the service account key that will be used to authenticate to Google services.
  3. Restart KSQL.

At this point, we should be able to call the GSentiment UDF from KSQL:

[0.10000000149011612, -0.10000000149011612]
[0.20000000298023224, 0.20000000298023224]
[0.5                , 0.10000000149011612]
[0.10000000149011612, 0.10000000149011612]
[0.0                , 0.0]
Limit Reached
Query terminated

As expected, the UDF returns an ARRAY of numbers. In order to get the sentiment score and magnitude in separated columns, we simply need to extract the relevant values:

0.20000000298023224 | 0.10000000149011612
0.30000001192092896 | 0.10000000149011612
0.800000011920929   | 0.800000011920929
0.0                 | 0.0
0.30000001192092896 | 0.30000001192092896
Limit Reached
Query terminated

However, we should note that Natural Language APIs are priced per API call and, in the above SQL, we are calling the API two times—one for each GSENTIMENT call. Therefore, the above SQL will cost us two API calls per document. To optimise the cost, we can create a new event stream TWITTER_STREAM_WITH_SENTIMENT, which will physicalize in Kafka the array.


Next, parse the sentiment SCORE and MAGNITUDE from the TWITTER_STREAM_WITH_SENTIMENT event stream:


With this second method, we optimize the cost with a single Natural Language API call per tweet. We can do the same with the RSS feeds by declaring:

Sink to Google BigQuery

The following part of this blog post focuses on pushing the dataset into Google BigQuery and visual analysis in Google Data Studio.

Pushing the data into BigQuery is very easy—just install the BigQuery Sink Connector with:

confluent-hub install wepay/kafka-connect-bigquery:latest

Next, configure it while applying the following parameters (amongst others):

  • topics: defines the topic to read (in our case RSS_STREAM_WITH_SENTIMENT_DETAILS and TWITTER_STREAM_WITH_SENTIMENT_DETAILS)
  • project: the name of the Google project that we’ll use for billing
  • datasets=.*=wwc: defines the BigQuery dataset name
  • keyfile=$GOOGLE_CRED/myGoogleCredentials.json: points to the JSON file containing Google's credentials (which in our case is the same file used in the Google Natural Language scoring)

Before starting the connector, we need to ensure the BigQuery dataset named wwc (as per configuration file) exists, otherwise, the connector will fail. To do so, we can log into BigQuery, select the same project defined in the configuration file, and click on CREATE DATASET. Then, we’ll need to fill in all the details (more information about the dataset creation in the Google documentation).

After creating the dataset, it’s time to start the connector with the Confluent CLI:

confluent load bigquery-connector -d $RSS_HOME/connectorBQ.properties

If the Kafka sink works, we should see one table per topic defined in the configuration file, which are RSS_STREAM_WITH_SENTIMENT_DETAILS and TWITTER_STREAM_WITH_SENTIMENT_DETAILS in our case.

Of course, we can query the data from BigQuery itself.

Visual Analysis in Google Data Studio

To start analysing the data in Google Data Studio, simply connect to the related console and select “Blank Report.”

We’ll be asked which data source to use for the project. Thus, we need to set up a connection to the wwc dataset by clicking on CREATE NEW DATASOURCE and selecting BigQuery as the connection. Then, select the project, dataset, and table ( TWITTER_STREAM_WITH_SENTIMENT_DETAILS).

We can then review the list of columns, types, and aggregations,  adding the data source to the report.

Finally, we can start creating visualisations like tiles to show record counts, line charts for the sentiment trend, and bar charts defining the most used languages.

A more advanced visualisation like a scatterplot shows the most common hashtags and the associated average sentiment value.

Below is a map visualising the average sentiment by country.

Analysing and comparing sentiment scores

Now that we have the two streams of data coming from Twitter and RSS feeds, we can do the analysis in KSQL and, in parallel, visually in Google Data Studio. We can, for example, examine the average sentiment over a timeframe and check how one source sentiment score compares to the other.

On the 27th of June, the quarterfinal match between Norway and England was played, with the result being that England beat Norway 3–0. Let’s check if we can somehow find significant similarities in the sentiment scoring of our dataset.

Starting with the Twitter feed, we can check all the tweets including ENGLAND and NORWAY by filtering the related hashtag #NORENG. To obtain the team related overall score, I’m then assigning to each team all the tweets containing the country full name and aggregating the  SENTIMENTSCORE with the following SQL:


We can check the overall sentiment score associated with the two teams using:


The GROUP BY 1 is necessary since KSQL currently requires a GROUP BY clause when using aggregation functions like SUM. Since we don’t aggregate for any columns other than the window time, we can use the number 1 as fix aggregator for the total. The result of the above query is in line with the final score, with the winner (England) having an average sentiment score of 0.212, and the loser (Norway) having a score of 0.0979.

We can also look at the behaviour per hour with the TUMBLING KSQL windowing function:


The query yields the following result:

Thu 27 Jun 16 | 0.18409091 | 0.16075758
Thu 27 Jun 17 | 0.14481481 | 0.13887096
Thu 27 Jun 18 | 0.14714406 | 0.12107647
Thu 27 Jun 19 | 0.07926398 | 0.34757579
Thu 27 Jun 20 | 0.10077705 | 0.13762544
Thu 27 Jun 21 | 0.08387538 | 0.17832865

We can clearly see that towards match time (19:00 BST), the ENGLAND average score has a spike, in coincidence with England’s first goal in the third minute. We can see the same on the Line Chart in Google Data Studio.

We can do a similar exercise on top of the RSS feeds stream, but first, we need to somehow filter it to get only FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 data, since the predefined connector is ingesting all the news from the RSS sources without a topic filter. To do so, we create a new stream filtering only contents containing WOMEN and CUP:


We can now analyse the overall RSS sentiment with:


As before, the SUM(SENTIMENTSCORE)/COUNT(SENTIMENTSCORE) is calculating the average. We can then calculate the sentiment average for the selected team. Taking the same example of ENGLAND and NORWAY used previously, we just declare a stream filtering the sentiment for the two nations. For example:


Then, we can analyse the separate scoring with:

WHERE ROWTIME > STRINGTODATE('2019-06-27', 'yyyy-MM-dd')

The result is an average sentiment of 0.0575 for Norway and 0.111 for England, again in line with the match result where England won 3–0.

We can also understand the variation of the sentiment over time by using KSQL windowing functions like TUMBLING:

WHERE ROWTIME >= STRINGTODATE('2019-06-27', 'yyyy-MM-dd')

This yields the following results:

Thu 27 Jun 17 | 0.12876364 | 0.12876364
Thu 27 Jun 18 | 0.24957054 | 0.24957054
Thu 27 Jun 19 | 0.15606978 | 0.15606978
Thu 27 Jun 20 | 0.09970317 | 0.09970317
Thu 27 Jun 21 | 0.00809077 | 0.00809077
Thu 27 Jun 23 | 0.41298701 | 0.12389610

As expected from this source, most of the scoring of the two countries are the same since the number of articles is limited and almost all articles mention both ENGLAND and NORWAY.

Strangely, as we can see in the graph above, the NORWAY sentiment score on the 27th of June at 11:00 pm GMT (so after the match ended) is much higher than the ENGLAND one.

We can look at the data closely with:

https://www.theguardian.com/...      | 0.375974032  | 0.375974032
https://www.bbc.co.uk/.../48794550   | null         | -0.45428572
https://www.bbc.co.uk/.../48795487   | 0.449999988  | 0.449999988

We can see that  NORWAY is being associated with two articles: one from The Guardian with a positive 0.375 score and one from BBC with a positive 0.449 score. ENGLAND, on the other hand, is associated with another BBC article, having a negative -0.454 score.
We can also compare the hourly Twitter and RSS sentiment scores by creating two tables:

WHERE ROWTIME >= STRINGTODATE('2019-06-27', 'yyyy-MM-dd')

The key of both the tables is the window start date, as we can see from:

ksql> select rowkey from RSS_NORWAY_ENGLAND_TABLE limit 1;
1 : Window{start=1561557600000 end=-}

We can then join the results together with the following statement:


This yields the following result:

Thu 27 Jun 17 | 0.14481481 | 0.13887096 | 0.12876364 | 0.12876364
Thu 27 Jun 18 | 0.14714406 | 0.12107647 | 0.24957054 | 0.24957054
Thu 27 Jun 19 | 0.07926398 | 0.34757579 | 0.15606978 | 0.15606978
Thu 27 Jun 20 | 0.10077705 | 0.13762544 | 0.09970317 | 0.09970317
Thu 27 Jun 21 | 0.08387538 | 0.17832865 | 0.00809077 | 0.00809077

And the end result similarly in a Data Studio Line Chart

Interested in more?

If you’re interested in what KSQL can do, you can download the Confluent Platform to get started with the event streaming SQL engine for Apache Kafka. To help you get started, Rittman Mead provides a 30 day Kafka quick start package

This article was originally posted on the Confluent blog.

Categories: BI & Warehousing

Documentum – D2+Pack Plugins not installed correctly

Yann Neuhaus - Sun, 2019-07-21 08:43

In a previous blog, I explained how D2 can be installed in silent. In this blog, I will talk about a possible issue that might happen when doing so with the D2+Pack Plugins that aren’t being installed, even if you ask D2 to install them and while there is no message or no errors related to this issue. The first time I had this issue, it was several years ago but I never blogged about it. I faced it again recently so I thought I would this time.

So first, let’s prepare the D2 and D2+Pack packages for the silent installation. I will take the D2_template.xml file from my previous blog as a starting point for the silent parameter file:

[dmadmin@cs_01 ~]$ cd $DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/
[dmadmin@cs_01 D2-Install]$ ls *.zip *.tar.gz
-rw-r-----. 1 dmadmin dmadmin 491128907 Jun 16 08:12 D2_4.7.0_P25.zip
-rw-r-----. 1 dmadmin dmadmin  61035679 Jun 16 08:12 D2_pluspack_4.7.0.P25.zip
-rw-r-----. 1 dmadmin dmadmin 122461951 Jun 16 08:12 emc-dfs-sdk-7.3.tar.gz
[dmadmin@cs_01 D2-Install]$
[dmadmin@cs_01 D2-Install]$ unzip $DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/D2_4.7.0_P25.zip -d $DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/
[dmadmin@cs_01 D2-Install]$ unzip $DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/D2_pluspack_4.7.0.P25.zip -d $DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/
[dmadmin@cs_01 D2-Install]$ unzip $DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/D2_pluspack_4.7.0.P25/Plugins/C2-Dar-Install.zip -d $DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/D2_pluspack_4.7.0.P25/Plugins/
[dmadmin@cs_01 D2-Install]$ unzip $DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/D2_pluspack_4.7.0.P25/Plugins/D2-Bin-Dar-Install.zip -d $DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/D2_pluspack_4.7.0.P25/Plugins/
[dmadmin@cs_01 D2-Install]$ unzip $DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/D2_pluspack_4.7.0.P25/Plugins/O2-Dar-Install.zip -d $DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/D2_pluspack_4.7.0.P25/Plugins/
[dmadmin@cs_01 D2-Install]$ tar -xzvf $DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/emc-dfs-sdk-7.3.tar.gz -C $DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/
[dmadmin@cs_01 D2-Install]$
[dmadmin@cs_01 D2-Install]$ #See the previous blog for the content of the "/tmp/dctm_install/D2_template.xml" file
[dmadmin@cs_01 D2-Install]$ export d2_install_file=$DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/D2.xml
[dmadmin@cs_01 D2-Install]$ cp /tmp/dctm_install/D2_template.xml ${d2_install_file}
[dmadmin@cs_01 D2-Install]$
[dmadmin@cs_01 D2-Install]$ sed -i "s,###WAR_REQUIRED###,true," ${d2_install_file}
[dmadmin@cs_01 D2-Install]$ sed -i "s,###BPM_REQUIRED###,true," ${d2_install_file}
[dmadmin@cs_01 D2-Install]$ sed -i "s,###DAR_REQUIRED###,true," ${d2_install_file}
[dmadmin@cs_01 D2-Install]$
[dmadmin@cs_01 D2-Install]$ sed -i "s,###DOCUMENTUM###,$DOCUMENTUM," ${d2_install_file}
[dmadmin@cs_01 D2-Install]$
[dmadmin@cs_01 D2-Install]$ sed -i "s,###PLUGIN_LIST###,$DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/D2_pluspack_4.7.0.P25/Plugins/C2-Install-4.7.0.jar;$DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/D2_pluspack_4.7.0.P25/Plugins/D2-Bin-Install-4.7.0.jar;$DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/D2_pluspack_4.7.0.P25/Plugins/O2-Install-4.7.0.jar;," ${d2_install_file}
[dmadmin@cs_01 D2-Install]$
[dmadmin@cs_01 D2-Install]$ sed -i "s,###JMS_HOME###,$DOCUMENTUM_SHARED/wildfly9.0.1," ${d2_install_file}
[dmadmin@cs_01 D2-Install]$
[dmadmin@cs_01 D2-Install]$ sed -i "s,###DFS_SDK_PACKAGE###,emc-dfs-sdk-7.3," ${d2_install_file}
[dmadmin@cs_01 D2-Install]$
[dmadmin@cs_01 D2-Install]$ read -s -p "  ----> Please enter the Install Owner's password: " dm_pw; echo; echo
  ----> Please enter the Install Owner's password: <TYPE HERE THE PASSWORD>
[dmadmin@cs_01 D2-Install]$ sed -i "s,###INSTALL_OWNER###,dmadmin," ${d2_install_file}
[dmadmin@cs_01 D2-Install]$ sed -i "s,###INSTALL_OWNER_PASSWD###,${dm_pw}," ${d2_install_file}
[dmadmin@cs_01 D2-Install]$
[dmadmin@cs_01 D2-Install]$ sed -i "s/###DOCBASE_LIST###/Docbase1/" ${d2_install_file}
[dmadmin@cs_01 D2-Install]$


Now that the silent file is ready and that all source packages are available, we can start the D2 Installation with the command below. Please note the usage of the tracing/debugging options as well as the usage of the “-Djava.io.tmpdir” Java option to ask D2 to put all tmp files in a specific directory, with this, D2 is supposed to trace/debug everything and use my specific temporary folder:

[dmadmin@cs_01 D2-Install]$ java -DTRACE=true -DDEBUG=true -Djava.io.tmpdir=$DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/tmp -jar $DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/D2_4.7.0_P25/D2-Installer-4.7.0.jar ${d2_install_file}


The D2 Installer printed the following extract:

Installing plugin: $DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/D2_pluspack_4.7.0.P25/Plugins/C2-Install-4.7.0.jar
Plugin install command: [java, -jar, $DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/D2_pluspack_4.7.0.P25/Plugins/C2-Install-4.7.0.jar, $DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/tmp/D2_4.7.0/scripts/C6-Plugins-Install_new.xml]
Line read: [ Starting automated installation ]
Installing plugin: $DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/D2_pluspack_4.7.0.P25/Plugins/D2-Bin-Install-4.7.0.jar
Plugin install command: [java, -jar, $DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/D2_pluspack_4.7.0.P25/Plugins/D2-Bin-Install-4.7.0.jar, $DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/tmp/D2_4.7.0/scripts/C6-Plugins-Install_new.xml]
Line read: [ Starting automated installation ]
Installing plugin: $DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/D2_pluspack_4.7.0.P25/Plugins/O2-Install-4.7.0.jar
Plugin install command: [java, -jar, $DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/D2_pluspack_4.7.0.P25/Plugins/O2-Install-4.7.0.jar, $DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/tmp/D2_4.7.0/scripts/C6-Plugins-Install_new.xml]
Line read: [ Starting automated installation ]
Installing plugin: $DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/tmp/D2_4.7.0/plugin/D2-Widget-Install.jar
Current line: #################################
Current line: #           Plugins               #
Current line: #################################
Current line: #plugin_1=../C2/C2-Plugin.jar
Updating line with 'plugin_'.
Updating plugin 1 with plugin name: D2-Widget-Plugin.jar and config exclude value of: false
Updating plugin 2 with plugin name: D2-Specifications-Plugin.jar and config exclude value of: false
Current line: #plugin_2=../O2/O2-Plugin.jar
Current line: #plugin_3=../P2/P2-Plugin.jar


As you can see, there are no errors so if you aren’t paying attention, you might think that the D2+Pack is properly installed. It’s not. At the end of the extract I put above, you can see that the D2 Installer is updating the plugins list with some elements (D2-Widget-Plugin.jar & D2-Specifications-Plugin.jar). If there were no issue, the D2+Pack Plugins would have been added in this section as well, which isn’t the case.

You can check all temporary files, all log files, it will not be printed anywhere that there were an issue while installing the D2+Pack Plugins. In fact, there are 3 things missing:

  • The DARs of the D2+Pack Plugins weren’t installed
  • The libraries of the D2+Pack Plugins weren’t deployed into the JMS
  • The libraries of the D2+Pack Plugins weren’t packaged in the WAR files

There is a way to quickly check if the D2+Pack Plugins DARs have been installed, just look inside the docbase config folder, there should be one log file for the D2 Core DARs as well as one log file for each of the D2+Pack Plugins. So that’s what you should get:

[dmadmin@cs_01 D2-Install]$ cd $DOCUMENTUM/dba/config/Docbase1/
[dmadmin@cs_01 Docbase1]$ ls -ltr *.log
-rw-r-----. 1 dmadmin dmadmin  62787 Jun 16 08:18 D2_CORE_DAR.log
-rw-r-----. 1 dmadmin dmadmin   4794 Jun 16 08:20 D2-C2_dar.log
-rw-r-----. 1 dmadmin dmadmin   3105 Jun 16 08:22 D2-Bin_dar.log
-rw-r-----. 1 dmadmin dmadmin   2262 Jun 16 08:24 D2-O2_DAR.log
[dmadmin@cs_01 Docbase1]$


If you only have “D2_CORE_DAR.log”, then you are potentially facing this issue. You could also check the “csDir” folder that you put in the D2 silent parameter file: if this folder doesn’t contain “O2-API.jar” or “C2-API.jar” or “D2-Bin-API.jar”, then you have the issue as well. Obviously, you could also check the list of installed DARs in the repository…

So what’s the issue? Well, you remember above when I mentioned the “-Djava.io.tmpdir” Java option to specifically ask D2 to put all temporary files under a certain location? The D2 Installer, for the D2 part, is using this option without issue… But for the D2+Pack installation, there is actually a hardcoded path for the temporary files which is /tmp. Therefore, it will ignore this Java option and will try instead to execute the installation under /tmp.

This is the issue I faced a few times already and it’s the one I wanted to talk about in this blog. For security reasons, you might have to deal from time to time with specific mount options on file systems. In this case, the “noexec” option was set on the /tmp mount point and therefore D2 wasn’t able to execute commands under /tmp and instead of printing an error, it just bypassed silently the installation. I had a SR opened with the Documentum Support (when it was still EMC) to see if it was possible to use the Java option and not /tmp but it looks like it’s still not solved since I had the exact same issue with the D2 4.7 P25 which was released very recently.

Since there is apparently no way to specify which temporary folder should be used for the D2+Pack Plugins, you should either perform the installation manually (DAR installation + libraries in JMS & WAR files) or remove the “noexec” option on the file system for the time of the installation:

[dmadmin@cs_01 Docbase1]$ mount | grep " /tmp"
/dev/mapper/VolGroup00-LogVol06 on /tmp type ext4 (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
[dmadmin@cs_01 Docbase1]$
[dmadmin@cs_01 Docbase1]$ sudo mount -o remount,exec /tmp
[dmadmin@cs_01 Docbase1]$ mount | grep " /tmp"
/dev/mapper/VolGroup00-LogVol06 on /tmp type ext4 (rw,nosuid,nodev)
[dmadmin@cs_01 Docbase1]$
[dmadmin@cs_01 Docbase1]$ #Execute the D2 Installer here
[dmadmin@cs_01 Docbase1]$
[dmadmin@cs_01 Docbase1]$ sudo mount -o remount /tmp
[dmadmin@cs_01 Docbase1]$ mount | grep " /tmp"
/dev/mapper/VolGroup00-LogVol06 on /tmp type ext4 (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)


With the workaround in place, the D2 Installer should now print the following (same extract as above):

Installing plugin: $DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/D2_pluspack_4.7.0.P25/Plugins/C2-Install-4.7.0.jar
Plugin install command: [java, -jar, $DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/D2_pluspack_4.7.0.P25/Plugins/C2-Install-4.7.0.jar, $DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/tmp/D2_4.7.0/scripts/C6-Plugins-Install_new.xml]
Line read: [ Starting automated installation ]
Line read: Current MAC address : [ Starting to unpack ]
Line read: [ Processing package: core (1/2) ]
Line read: [ Processing package: DAR (2/2) ]
Line read: [ Unpacking finished ]
Line read: [ Writing the uninstaller data ... ]
Line read: [ Automated installation done ]
Installing plugin: $DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/D2_pluspack_4.7.0.P25/Plugins/D2-Bin-Install-4.7.0.jar
Plugin install command: [java, -jar, $DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/D2_pluspack_4.7.0.P25/Plugins/D2-Bin-Install-4.7.0.jar, $DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/tmp/D2_4.7.0/scripts/C6-Plugins-Install_new.xml]
Line read: [ Starting automated installation ]
Line read: Current MAC address : [ Starting to unpack ]
Line read: [ Processing package: core (1/2) ]
Line read: [ Processing package: DAR (2/2) ]
Line read: [ Unpacking finished ]
Line read: [ Writing the uninstaller data ... ]
Line read: [ Automated installation done ]
Installing plugin: $DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/D2_pluspack_4.7.0.P25/Plugins/O2-Install-4.7.0.jar
Plugin install command: [java, -jar, $DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/D2_pluspack_4.7.0.P25/Plugins/O2-Install-4.7.0.jar, $DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/tmp/D2_4.7.0/scripts/C6-Plugins-Install_new.xml]
Line read: [ Starting automated installation ]
Line read: Current MAC address : [ Starting to unpack ]
Line read: [ Processing package: core (1/2) ]
Line read: [ Processing package: DAR (2/2) ]
Line read: [ Unpacking finished ]
Line read: [ Writing the uninstaller data ... ]
Line read: [ Automated installation done ]
Installing plugin: $DOCUMENTUM/D2-Install/tmp/D2_4.7.0/plugin/D2-Widget-Install.jar
Current line: #################################
Current line: #           Plugins               #
Current line: #################################
Current line: #plugin_1=../C2/C2-Plugin.jar
Updating line with 'plugin_'.
Updating plugin 1 with plugin name: D2-Widget-Plugin.jar and config exclude value of: false
Updating plugin 2 with plugin name: C2-Plugin.jar and config exclude value of: false
Updating plugin 3 with plugin name: O2-Plugin.jar and config exclude value of: false
Updating plugin 4 with plugin name: D2-Specifications-Plugin.jar and config exclude value of: false
Updating plugin 5 with plugin name: D2-Bin-Plugin.jar and config exclude value of: false
Current line: #plugin_2=../O2/O2-Plugin.jar
Current line: #plugin_3=../P2/P2-Plugin.jar


As you can see above, the output is quite different: it means that the D2+Pack Plugins have been installed.


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Firefox on Linux: password field flickering / curser blinks...

Dietrich Schroff - Sat, 2019-07-20 07:53
After upgrading to firefox 68 i was not able to enter the password (and configuration password) field in online registrations.
The cursor in the password fields kept flickering/blinking and on some pages firefox completely freezes.
With other browsers this does not happen, but i wanted to stay with firefox.

The solution was starting firefox with an additional environment variable:

GTK_IM_MODULE=xim firefox

Report Google Map Plugin v1.0 Released

Jeff Kemp - Fri, 2019-07-19 11:25

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been working on an overhaul of my Google Maps region for Oracle Application Express. This free, open-source plugin allows you to integrate fully-featured Google Maps into your application, with a wide range of built-in declarative features including dynamic actions, as well as more advanced API routines for running custom JavaScript with the plugin.

The plugin has been updated to Oracle APEX 18.2 (as that is the version my current system is using). Unfortunately this means that people still on older versions will miss out, unless someone is willing to give me a few hours on their APEX 5.0 or 5.1 instance so I can backport the plugin.

EDIT: Release 1.0.1 includes some bugfixes and a backport for APEX 5.0, 5.1 and 18.1.

The plugin is easy to install and use. You provide a SQL Query that returns latitude, longitude, and information for the pins, and the plugin does all the work to show them on the map.

The plugin has been rewritten to use the JQuery UI Widgets interface, at the suggestion of Martin D’Souza. This makes for a cleaner integration on any APEX page, and reduces the JavaScript footprint of each instance on the page if you need two or more map regions at the same time. This represented a rather steep learning curve for me personally, but I learned a lot and I’m pleased with the result. Of course, I’m sure I’ve probably missed a few tricks that the average JavaScript coder would say was obvious.

The beta releases of the plugin (0.1 to 0.10) kept adding more and more plugin attributes until it hit the APEX limit of 25 region-level attributes. This was obviously not very scaleable for future enhancements, so in Release 1.0 I ran the scythe through all the attributes and consolidated, replaced, or removed more than half of them – while preserving almost every single feature. This means v1.0 is not backwards compatible with the beta versions; although many attributes are preserved, others (including the SQL Query itself, which is rather important) would be lost in the conversion if the plugin was merely replaced. For this reason I’ve changed the Internal ID of the plugin. This is so that customers who are currently using a beta version can safely install Release 1.0 alongside it, without affecting all the pages where they are using the plugin. They can then follow the instructions to gradually upgrade each page that uses the plugin.

All of the plugin attributes relating to integrating the plugin with page items have been removed. Instead, it is relatively straightforward to use Dynamic Actions to respond to events on the map, and an API of JavaScript functions can be called to change its behaviour. All of this is fully documented and sample code can be found in the wiki.

New features include, but are not limited to:

  • Marker Clustering
  • Geo Heatmap visualisation (this replaces the functionality previous provided in a separate plugin)
  • Draggable pins
  • Lazy Load (data is now loaded in a separate Ajax call after the page is loaded)

The plugin attributes that have been added, changed or removed are listed here.

If you haven’t used this plugin before, I encourage you to give it a go. It’s a lot of fun and the possibilities presented by the Google Maps JavaScript API are extensive. You do need a Google Maps API Key which requires a Google billing account, but it is worth the trouble. It is recommended to put a HTTP Referer restriction on your API Key so that people can’t just copy your public key and use it on their own sites. For more information refer to the Installation Instructions.

If you are already using a beta version of the plugin in your application, please review the Upgrading steps before starting. Don’t panic! It’s not quite as simple as just importing the plugin into your application, but it’s not overly complicated. If you were using any of the Page Item integration attributes, you will need to implement Dynamic Actions to achieve the same behaviour. If you had any JavaScript integrations with the plugin, you will need to update them to use the new JQuery UI Widget API calls. I am keen for everyone to update to Release 1.0 as soon as possible, so I will provide free support (via email) for anyone needing help with this.

I am very keen to hear from everyone who is using the plugin, and how it is being used – please let me know in the comments below. If you notice a bug or have a great idea to enhance the plugin, please raise an issue on GitHub.


Explaining Oracle’s Success in Cloud Applications

Oracle Press Releases - Wed, 2019-07-17 14:00
Explaining Oracle’s Success in Cloud Applications

By Michael Hickins—Jul 17, 2019

The University of Pittsburgh has moved its business to Oracle Cloud Applications to improve efficiency and organizational insights.

Every business and every business leader today wants to modernize using technology, all while reducing costs and, above all, eliminating complexity.

From insurance to health care to education to luxury goods, companies across all industries are juggling competing demands from employees, consumers, and partners, and are being challenged to make better decisions across the board, more quickly than ever.

And they’re looking to large business cloud providers like Oracle to not only simplify IT and make it more accessible to stakeholders, but to provide continuous improvements, such as the inclusion of intuitive AI and machine learning tools.

“Technology is an incredible enabler that can help organizations… not just streamline processes, but also improve engagement and transform existing business processes and models,” says Rondy Ng, senior vice president of applications development at Oracle.

Monte Ciotto, associate vice chancellor of financial information systems at the University of Pittsburgh, which recently decided to implement Oracle ERP Cloud, noted the critical importance of technology in the university’s ability to achieve its mission. “To maximize value and impact, our technology must be a coordinated effort across business functions,” he said. “With Oracle ERP Cloud we’ll be able to manage finance, HR and student data on the same platform, creating a single source of truth that improves efficiency and organizational insights.”

These types of organizational insights are in large part driven by analytics, AI, and ML functions of the type being embedded within the larger Oracle ERP Cloud and Oracle HCM Cloud application suites.

Oracle’s strong position is underlined by a statement from IDC cited by Oracle CEO Mark Hurd during the most recent earnings report: “Per IDC's latest annual market share results, Oracle gained the most market share globally out of all enterprise applications SaaS vendors three years running—in calendar year ‘16, ‘17 and ‘18.”*

Hurd noted a number of businesses that have recently chosen Oracle as its cloud provider, including Ferguson, a $21 billion wholesale plumbing equipment distributor, which is using Oracle ERP Cloud, along with EPM and supply chain.

Other recent converts to the Oracle Cloud Applications suite include Argo Insurance, Experian, Helmerich & Payne, Wright Medical, Emerson Electric, Rutgers University, Waste Management, and Tiffany.

If Oracle is succeeding so wildly in the enterprise cloud apps space, it’s only because it’s helping its customers succeed by making it easier for them to find answers and solutions to the mounting challenges that face them day to day.

“Education is evolving and the technology that drives our organization forward needs to reflect modern education best practices,” said Becky King, associate vice president of IT, Baylor University. “Shifting to Oracle Cloud Applications will help us introduce modern best practices that will make our organization more efficient and reach our goal of becoming a top-tier, Christian research institution. Moving core finance, planning and HR systems to one cloud-based platform will also improve business insight and enhance our ability to respond to changing dynamics in education.”

*Source: Per IDC’s latest annual market share results, Oracle gained the most market share globally out of all Enterprise Applications SaaS vendors three years running—in CY16, CY17 and CY18.

Source: IDC Public Cloud Services Tracker, April 2019. Enterprise Applications SaaS refers to the IDC SaaS markets CRM, Engineering, Enterprise Resource Management (including HCM, Financial, Enterprise Performance Management, Payroll, Procurement, Order Management, PPM, EAM), SCM, and Production and Operations Applications

Oracle Named a Leader in Retail Price Optimization Applications Worldwide

Oracle Press Releases - Wed, 2019-07-17 07:00
Press Release
Oracle Named a Leader in Retail Price Optimization Applications Worldwide Recognized for providing next-generation retail planning in the age of curated merchandise orchestration

Redwood Shores, Calif.—Jul 17, 2019

Oracle was recently named a Leader in the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Retail Price Optimization Applications 2019 Vendor Assessment.1 The list includes price optimization vendors focused on the B2C business model based on their client base, use of advanced analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), and prominence on enterprise retailers’ buying shortlist. Oracle Retail’s placement as a leader underscores its continued investment in analytics, optimization, and data sciences. With these offerings, retailers gain an unprecedented line of sight into the future performance of their assortments and the impact every promotional offer will have on the bottom line.

The IDC MarketScape report notes that “that traditional retail planning, of which life-cycle price optimization is a key part, has run its course. We’ve defined next-generation retail planning as curated merchandise orchestration (CMO). CMO is the central nervous system of enterprise and ecosystem signals that harmonizes its own and adjacent processes from design to deliver. Pricing spans the curating and orchestrating sides of CMO as a flywheel to create sufficient demand and efficient sell-through of inventory.” In the report, IDC recognized Oracle for their deep expertise and technology assets in complementary merchandising and supply chain planning analytics, execution, and operations as well as its omni-channel commerce platform.

Oracle Retail’s price, promotion, and markdown optimization applications leverage Oracle Retail Science Platform Cloud Service which combines AI, machine learning, and decision science with data captured from Oracle Retail SaaS applications as well as third-party data. The unique property of these self-learning applications is that they detect trends, learn from results, and increase their accuracy the more they are used, adding massive amounts of contextual data to get a clearer picture on what motivates outcomes. These pricing applications are complemented by a broad suite of retail planning, optimization, and execution applications—particularly financial planning.

“Retailers have a big opportunity to leverage machine learning and retail science to bring their business to the next level of ‘curated merchandise orchestration,’” said Jeff Warren, vice president, Oracle Retail. “Oracle provides retailers with next-practice price optimization applications based on our Retail Science Platform, empowering them to automate and predict the impact of pricing decisions while simultaneously delivering offers that delight their customers and increase redemption rates.”

Oracle Retail solutions considered in the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Price Optimization Applications, 2019 Vendor Assessment, include Oracle Retail Merchandising System Cloud Service, Oracle Retail Customer Engagement Cloud Service, Oracle Retail Planning and Optimization Suite, and the Oracle Retail Science Platform Cloud Service.

Access a complimentary excerpt copy of the report for further details.

1 IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Retail Price Optimization Applications 2019 Vendor Assessment, doc #US45034619,  May 2019

Contact Info
Kris Reeves
About IDC MarketScape

IDC MarketScape vendor assessment model is designed to provide an overview of the competitive fitness of ICT (information and communications technology) suppliers in a given market. The research methodology utilizes a rigorous scoring methodology based on both qualitative and quantitative criteria that results in a single graphical illustration of each vendor’s position within a given market. IDC MarketScape provides a clear framework in which the product and service offerings, capabilities and strategies, and current and future market success factors of IT and telecommunications vendors can be meaningfully compared. The framework also provides technology buyers with a 360-degree assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of current and prospective vendors.

About Oracle Retail

Oracle provides retailers with a complete, open, and integrated suite of best-of-breed business applications, cloud services, and hardware that are engineered to work together and empower commerce. Leading fashion, grocery, and specialty retailers use Oracle solutions to anticipate market changes, simplify operations, and inspire authentic brand interactions. For more information, visit our website at www.oracle.com/retail.

About Oracle

The Oracle Cloud offers a complete suite of integrated applications for Sales, Service, Marketing, Human Resources, Finance, Supply Chain and Manufacturing, plus Highly Automated and Secure Generation 2 Infrastructure featuring the Oracle Autonomous Database. For more information about Oracle (NYSE: ORCL), please visit us at www.oracle.com.


Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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Kris Reeves

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Schedule reboots of your AWS instances and how that can result in a hard reboot and corruption

Yann Neuhaus - Wed, 2019-07-17 02:50

From time to time you might require to reboot your AWS instances. Maye you applied some patches or for whatever reason. Rebooting an AWS instance can be done in several ways: You can of course do that directly from the AWS console. You can use the AWS command line utilities as well. If you want to schedule a reboot you can either do that using CloudWatch or you can use SSM Maintenance Windows for that. In this post we will only look at CloudWatch and System Manager as these two can be used to schedule the reboot easily using AWS native utilities. You could, of course, do that as well by using cron and the AWS command line utilities but this is not the scope of this post.

For CloudWatch the procedure for rebooting instances is the following: Create a new rule:

Go for “Schedule” and give a cron expression. In this case it means: 16-July-2019 at 07:45. Select the “EC2 RebootInstances API call” and provide the instance IDs you want to have rebooted. There is one limitation: You can only add up to five targets. If you need more then you have to use System Manager as described later in this post. You should pre-create an IAM role with sufficient permissions which you can use for this as otherwise a new one will be created each time.

Finally give a name and a description, that’s it:

Once time reaches your cron expression target the instance(s) will reboot.

The other solution for scheduling stuff against many instances is to use AWS SSM. It requires a bit more preparation work but in the end this is the solution we decided to go for as more instances can be scheduled with one maintenance window (up to 50) and you could combine several tasks, e.g. executing something before doing the reboot and do something else after the reboot.

The first step is to create a new maintenance window:

Of course it needs a name and an optional description:

Again, in this example, we use a cron expression for the scheduling (some as above in the CloudWatch example). Be aware that this is UTC time:

Once the maintenance window is created we need to attach a task to it. Until now we only specified a time to run something but we did not specify what to run. Attaching a task can be done in the task section of the maintenance window:

In this case we go for an “Automation task”. Name and description are not required:

The important part is the document to run, in our case it is “AWS-RestartEC2Instance”:

Choose the instances you want to run the document against:

And finally specify the concurrency and error count and again, an IAM role with sufficient permissions to perform the actions defined in the document:

Last, but not least, specify a pseudo parameter called “{TARGET_ID}” which will tell AWS SSM to run that against all the instances you selected in the upper part of the screen:

That’s it. Your instances will be rebooted at the time you specified in the cron expression. All fine and easy and you never have to worry about scheduled instance reboots. Just adjust the cron expression and maybe the list of instances and you are done for the next scheduled reboot. Really? We did it like that against 100 instances and we got a real surprise. What happened? Not many, but a few instances have been rebooted hard and one of them even needed to be restored afterwards. Why that? This never happened in the tests we did before. When an instance does not reboot within 4 minutes AWS performs a hard reboot. This can lead to corruption as stated here. When you have busy instances at the time of the reboot this is not what you want. On Windows you get something like this:

You can easily reproduce that by putting a Windows system under heavy load with a cpu stress test and then schedule a reboot as described above.

In the background the automation document calls aws:changeInstanceState and that comes with a force parameter:

… and here we have it again: Risk of corruption. When you take a closer look at the automation document that stops an EC2 instance you can see that as well:

So what is the conclusion of all this? It is not to blame AWS for anything, all is documented and works as documented. Testing in a test environment does not necessarily mean it works on production as well. Even if it is documented you might not expect it because your tests went fine and you missed that part of the documentation where the behavior is explained. AWS System Manager still is a great tool for automating tasks but you really need to understand what happens before implementing it in production. And finally: Working on public clouds make many things easier but others harder to understand and troubleshoot.

Cet article Schedule reboots of your AWS instances and how that can result in a hard reboot and corruption est apparu en premier sur Blog dbi services.

Age Range of Generations & Customer Demographics

VitalSoftTech - Tue, 2019-07-16 10:09

Being an online content producer and marketer, one of your primary concerns should be is your content and ad on your website, reaching the correct customer demographics and age ranges of generations?  To think of it, the question of who is your target audience is a challenging question. You must answer this question to make […]

The post Age Range of Generations & Customer Demographics appeared first on VitalSoftTech.

Categories: DBA Blogs

Downloading And Installing JDK 8 for OIC Connectivity Agent

Online Apps DBA - Tue, 2019-07-16 06:25

[Downloading And Installing JDK 8 for OIC Connectivity Agent] Some adapters/connectors use a connectivity agent to establish a connection with the on-premise system while a connectivity agent uses the JVM (Java Virtual Machine) to run code on the on-premise system. So, are you looking for the steps to ⬇Download and Install JDK Version 8 on […]

The post Downloading And Installing JDK 8 for OIC Connectivity Agent appeared first on Oracle Trainings for Apps & Fusion DBA.

Categories: APPS Blogs

Intermittent cellsrv crashes with ORA-07445 after upgrading to

Syed Jaffar - Tue, 2019-07-16 04:05
Exadata X6-2 full and half racks were patched recently with Aug/2018 quarterly patch set. An ORA-07445 started to observe and the cellsrv intermittently crashing with ORA-07445 error. 

Following error is noticed in the cellsrv alert.log:

ORA-07445: exception encountered: core dump [0000000000000000+0] [11] [0x000000000] [] [] [] 

The above is registered as a bug whenever cell storage is patched with or Therefore, if you are planning to patch your cell storage software with one of the above versions, ensure you also apply patch 28181789 to avoid cellsrv intermittently crashing with ORA-07445 error. Otherwise, you need to upgrade the storage software with 18.1.5.


Customer may experience intermittent cellsrv crashes with ORA-07445: [0000000000000000+0] [11] [0x000000000] after upgrading storage cell software version to or


Upgrade the Storage cell software to or


Bug 28181789 - ORA-07445: [0000000000000000+0] AFTER UPGRADING CELL TO


Patch 28181789 is available for and Storage software releases. Follow the README to instructions to apply the patch.
apply 18.1.5 and later which includes the fix of 28181789

xadata: Intermittent cellsrv crashes with ORA-07445: [0000000000000000+0] [11] [0x000000000] after upgrading to or (Doc ID 2421083.1)

Oracle EBS 12.2 - adop phase=cleanup fails with "library cache pin" waits

Senthil Rajendran - Tue, 2019-07-16 03:24
adop phase=cleanup fails with "library cache pin" waits

When running cleanup action in adop , it hung for ever.

Lets dig deeper to see the problem

SQL> SELECT s.sid,
       s.module from v$session s where module like '%AD_ZD%';

2313 APPS       perl@pwercd01vn074 (TNS V1-V3)                   AD_ZD                                                            

SQL> select event from v$session where sid=2313 ;

library cache pin


SQL> select decode(lob.kglobtyp, 0, 'NEXT OBJECT', 1, 'INDEX', 2, 'TABLE', 3, 'CLUSTER',
                      4, 'VIEW', 5, 'SYNONYM', 6, 'SEQUENCE',
  2    3                        7, 'PROCEDURE', 8, 'FUNCTION', 9, 'PACKAGE',
  4                        11, 'PACKAGE BODY', 12, 'TRIGGER',
  5                        13, 'TYPE', 14, 'TYPE BODY',
  6                        19, 'TABLE PARTITION', 20, 'INDEX PARTITION', 21, 'LOB',
                      22, 'LIBRARY', 23, 'DIRECTORY', 24, 'QUEUE',
                      28, 'JAVA SOURCE', 29, 'JAVA CLASS', 30, 'JAVA RESOURCE',
                      32, 'INDEXTYPE', 33, 'OPERATOR',
                      34, 'TABLE SUBPARTITION', 35, 'INDEX SUBPARTITION',
                      40, 'LOB PARTITION', 41, 'LOB SUBPARTITION',
                      42, 'MATERIALIZED VIEW',
                      43, '  7  DIMENSION',
                      44, 'CONTEXT', 46, 'RULE SET', 47, 'RESOURCE PLAN',
                      48, 'CONSUMER GROUP',
                      51, 'SUBSCRIPTION', 52, 'LOCATION',
                      55, 'XML SCHEMA', 56, 'JAVA DATA',
                      57, 'SECURITY PR  8  OFILE', 59, 'RULE',
                      62, 'EVALUATION CONTEXT',
                     'UNDEFINED') object_type,
       lob.KGLNAOBJ object_name,
       pn.KGLPNMOD lock_mode_held,
       pn.KGLPNREQ lock_mode_requested,
       ses.userna  9  me
       x$kglpn pn,
       v$session ses,
       x$kglob lob,
       v$session_wait vsw
   pn.KGLPNUSE = ses.saddr and
   and lob.kglhdadr = vsw.p1raw
   and vsw.event = 'library cache pin'
 10  order by lock_mode_held desc

------------------ -------------------- -------------- ------------------- ---------- ---------- ------------------------------
PACKAGE            DBMS_SYS_SQL                      2                   0       3822      60962 APPS
PACKAGE            DBMS_SYS_SQL                      2                   0       2313      27404 APPS
PACKAGE            DBMS_SYS_SQL                      2                   0       2313      27404 APPS
PACKAGE            DBMS_SYS_SQL                      2                   0       3822      60962 APPS
PACKAGE            DBMS_SYS_SQL                      0                   2       3821      14545
PACKAGE            DBMS_SYS_SQL                      0                   2       3821      14545
PACKAGE            DBMS_SYS_SQL                      0                   3       2313      27404 APPS

PACKAGE            DBMS_SYS_SQL                      0                   3       2313      27404 APPS

SQL> select
  2   distinct
   ses.ksusenum sid, ses.ksuseser serial#, ses.ksuudlna username,ses.ksuseunm machine,
   ob.kglnaown obj_owner, ob.kglnaobj obj_name
  3    4    5     ,pn.kglpncnt pin_cnt, pn.kglpnmod pin_mode, pn.kglpnreq pin_req
   , w.state, w.event, w.wait_Time, w.seconds_in_Wait
   -- lk.kglnaobj, lk.user_name, lk.kgllksnm,
  6    7    8     --,lk.kgllkhdl,lk.kglhdpar
   --,trim(lk.kgllkcnt) lock_cnt, lk.kgllkmod lock_mode, lk.kgllkreq lock_req,
  9   10     --,lk.kgllkpns, lk.kgllkpnc,pn.kglpnhdl
  x$kglpn pn,  x$kglob ob,x$ksuse ses
   , v$session_wait w
 11   12   13   14  where pn.kglpnhdl in
 15  (select kglpnhdl from x$kglpn where kglpnreq >0 )
and ob.kglhdadr = pn.kglpnhdl
and pn.kglpnuse = ses.addr
and w.sid = ses.indx
order by seconds_in_wait desc

       SID    SERIAL# USERNAME                       MACHINE                        OBJ_OWNER            OBJ_NAME                PIN_CNT   PIN_MODE    PIN_REQ STATE               EVENT                                                         WAIT_TIME SECONDS_IN_WAIT
---------- ---------- ------------------------------ ------------------------------ -------------------- -------------------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------- ---------- ---------------
      2313      27404 APPS                           apprnrcod05                    SYS                  DBMS_SYS_SQL                  0          0          3 WAITING             library cache pin                                             0              701
      2313      27404 APPS                           apprnrcod05                    SYS                  DBMS_SYS_SQL                  2          2          0 WAITING             library cache pin                                             0              701
       803      46104 APPS                           orarnrcod05                    SYS                  DBMS_SYS_SQL                  2          2          0 WAITED SHORT TIME   control file sequential read                                 -1               24

Other errors on the adop logs , you can also use scanlogs to verify the errors.

[ERROR] [CLEANUP 1:1 ddl_id=69120] ORA-04020: deadlock detected while trying to lock object SYS.DBMS_SYS_SQL SQL: begin sys.ad_grants.cleanup; end;

Adop Cleanup Issue: "[ERROR] [CLEANUP] ORA-04020: deadlock detected " (Doc ID 2424333.1)

Fix : 

SQL> select count(1)
from dba_tab_privs
where table_name='DBMS_SYS_SQL'
and privilege='EXECUTE'
and grantee='APPS'  2    3    4    5  ;


SQL> exec sys.ad_grants.cleanup;

PL/SQL procedure successfully completed.

SQL> select count(1)
from dba_tab_privs
where table_name='DBMS_SYS_SQL'
and privilege='EXECUTE'
and grantee='APPS'  2    3    4    5  ;



now adop cleanup fine without any issues.

Fix for Oracle VBCS "Error 404--Not Found"

Andrejus Baranovski - Tue, 2019-07-16 01:13
We are using Pay As You Go Oracle VBCS instance and had an issue with accessing VBCS home page after starting the service. The service was started successfully, without errors. But when accessing VBCS home page URL - "Error 404--Not Found" was returned.

I raised a support ticket and must say - received the response and help promptly. If you would encounter similar issue yourself, hopefully, this post will share some light.

Apparently "Error 404--Not Found" was returned, because VBCS instance wasn't initialized during instance start. It wasn't initialized, because of expired password for VBCS DB schemas. Yes, you read it right - internal system passwords expire in Cloud too.

Based on the instructions given by Oracle Support, I was able to extract logs from VBCS WebLogic instance (by connecting through SSH to VBCS cloud machine) and provide it to support team (yes, VBCS runs on WebLogic). They found password expire errors in the log, similar to this:

weblogic.application.ModuleException: java.sql.SQLException: ORA-28001: the password has expired

Based on provided instructions, I extracted VBCS DB schema name and connected through SQL developer. Then I executed SQL statement given by support team to reset all VBCS DB passwords in bulk. Next password expiry is set for 2019/January. Should it expire at all?

Summary: If you would encounter "Error 404--Not Found" after starting VBCS instance and trying to access VBCS home page, then most likely (but not always) it will be related to VBCS DB schema password expiry issue.

Delete MGMTDB and MGMTLSNR from OEM using emcli

Michael Dinh - Mon, 2019-07-15 18:22

Doc ID 1933649.1, MGMTDB and MGMTLSNR should not be monitored.

$ grep oms /etc/oratab 

$ . oraenv <<< oms

$ emcli login -username=SYSMAN
Enter password : 
Login successful

$ emcli sync
Synchronized successfully

$ emcli get_targets -targets=oracle_listener -format=name:csv|grep -i MGMT

$ emcli delete_target -name="MGMTLSNR_host01" -type="oracle_listener" 
Target "MGMTLSNR_host01:oracle_listener" deleted successfully

$ emcli sync
$ emcli get_targets|grep -i MGMT

Note: MGMTDB was not monitored and can be deleted as follow:

$ emcli get_targets -targets=oracle_database -format=name:csv|grep -i MGMT
$ emcli delete_target -name="MGMTDB_host01" -type="oracle_database" 

The problem with monitoring MGMTDB and MGMTLSNR is getting silly page when they are relocated to a new host.

Target type=Listener 
Target name=MGMTLSNR_host01
Message=The listener is down:

Dealing with the same issue for scan listener and have not reached an agreement to have them deleted as I and a few others think they should not be monitored.
Unfortunately, there is no official Oracle documentation for this.

Here’s a typical page for when all scan listeners are running from only one node.

Target type=Listener
Target name=LISTENER_SCAN2_cluster
Message=The listener is down: 

$ srvctl status scan_listener
SCAN Listener LISTENER_SCAN1 is enabled
SCAN listener LISTENER_SCAN1 is running on node node02
SCAN Listener LISTENER_SCAN2 is enabled
SCAN listener LISTENER_SCAN2 is running on node node02
SCAN Listener LISTENER_SCAN3 is enabled
SCAN listener LISTENER_SCAN3 is running on node node02

Email Spoofing

Yann Neuhaus - Mon, 2019-07-15 11:07

Have you ever had this unhealthy sensation of being accused of facts that do not concern you? To feel helpless in the face of an accusing mail, which, because of its imperative and accusing tone, has the gift of throwing us the opprobrium?

This is the purpose of this particular kind of sextortion mail that uses spoofing, to try to extort money from you. A message from a supposed “hacker” who claims to have hacked into your computer. He threatens you with publishing compromising images taken without your knowledge with your webcam and asks you for a ransom in virtual currency most of the time.

Something like that:


Date:  Friday, 24 May 2019 at 09:19 UTC+1
Subject: oneperson
Your account is hacked! Renew the pswd immediately!
You do not heard about me and you are definitely wondering why you’re receiving this particular electronic message, proper?
I’m ahacker who exploitedyour emailand digital devicesnot so long ago.
Do not waste your time and make an attempt to communicate with me or find me, it’s not possible, because I directed you a letter from YOUR own account that I’ve hacked.
I have started malware to the adult vids (porn) site and suppose that you watched this website to enjoy it (you understand what I mean).
Whilst you have been keeping an eye on films, your browser started out functioning like a RDP (Remote Control) that have a keylogger that gave me authority to access your desktop and camera.
Then, my softaquiredall data.
You have entered passcodes on the online resources you visited, I intercepted all of them.
Of course, you could possibly modify them, or perhaps already modified them.
But it really doesn’t matter, my app updates needed data regularly.
And what did I do?
I generated a reserve copy of every your system. Of all files and personal contacts.
I have managed to create dual-screen record. The 1 screen displays the clip that you were watching (you have a good taste, ha-ha…), and the second part reveals the recording from your own webcam.
What exactly must you do?
So, in my view, 1000 USD will be a reasonable amount of money for this little riddle. You will make the payment by bitcoins (if you don’t understand this, search “how to purchase bitcoin” in Google).
My bitcoin wallet address:
(It is cAsE sensitive, so copy and paste it).
You will have 2 days to perform the payment. (I built in an exclusive pixel in this message, and at this time I understand that you’ve read through this email).
To monitorthe reading of a letterand the actionsin it, I utilizea Facebook pixel. Thanks to them. (Everything thatis usedfor the authorities may helpus.)

In the event I do not get bitcoins, I shall undoubtedly give your video to each of your contacts, along with family members, colleagues, etc?


Users who are victims of these scams receive a message from a stranger who presents himself as a hacker. This alleged “hacker” claims to have taken control of his victim’s computer following consultation of a pornographic site (or any other site that morality would condemn). The cybercriminal then announces having compromising videos of the victim made with his webcam. He threatens to publish them to the victim’s personal or even professional contacts if the victim does not pay him a ransom. This ransom, which ranges from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, is claimed in a virtual currency (usually in Bitcoin but not only).

To scare the victim even more, cybercriminals sometimes go so far as to write to the victim with his or her own email address, in order to make him or her believe that they have actually taken control of his or her account. 

First of all, there is no need to be afraid of it. Indeed, if the “piracy” announced by cybercriminals is not in theory impossible to achieve, in practice, it remains technically complex and above all time-consuming to implement. Since scammers target their victims by the thousands, it can be deduced that they would not have the time to do what they claim to have done. 

These messages are just an attempt at a scam. In other words, if you receive such a blackmail message and do not pay, nothing more will obviously happen. 

Then, no need to change your email credentials. Your email address is usually something known and already circulates on the Internet because you use it regularly on different sites to identify and communicate. These sites have sometimes resold or exchanged their address files with different partners more or less scrupulous in marketing objectives.

If cybercriminals have finally written to you with your own email address to make you believe that they have taken control of it: be aware that the sender’s address in a message is just a simple display that can very easily be usurped without having to have a lot of technical skills. 

In any case, the way to go is simple: don’t panic, don’t answer, don’t pay, just throw this mail in the trash (and don’t forget to empty it regularly). 

On the mail server side, setting up certain elements can help to prevent this kind of mail from spreading in the organization. This involves deploying the following measures on your mail server:

  •       SPF (Sender Policy Framework): This is a standard for verifying the domain name of the sender of an email (standardized in RFC 7208 [1]). The adoption of this standard is likely to reduce spam. It is based on the SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) which does not provide a sender verification mechanism. SPF aims to reduce the possibility of spoofing by publishing a record in the DNS (Domain Name Server) indicating which IP addresses are allowed or forbidden to send mail for the domain in question.
  •         DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail): This is a reliable authentication standard for the domain name of the sender of an email that provides effective protection against spam and phishing (standardized in RFC 6376 [2]). DKIM works by cryptographic signature, verifies the authenticity of the sending domain and also guarantees the integrity of the message.
  •       DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance): This is a technical specification to help reduce email misuse by providing a solution for deploying and monitoring authentication issues (standardized in RFC 7489 [3]). DMARC standardizes the way how recipients perform email authentication using SPF and DKIM mechanisms.



[1] S. Kitterman, “Sender Policy Framework (SPF),” ser. RFC7208, 2014, https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc7208

[2] D. Crocker, T. Hansen, M. Kucherawy, “DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) Signatures” ser. RFC6376, 2011,  https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc6376

[3] M. Kuchewary, E. Zwicky, “Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC)”, ser. RFC7489, 2015, https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc7489

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Forecast Model Tuning with Additional Regressors in Prophet

Andrejus Baranovski - Mon, 2019-07-15 04:17
I’m going to share my experiment results with Prophet additional regressors. My goal was to check how extra regressor would weight on forecast calculated by Prophet.

Using dataset from Kaggle — Bike Sharing in Washington D.C. Dataset. Data comes with a number for bike rentals per day and weather conditions. I have created and compared three models:

1. Time series Prophet model with date and number of bike rentals
2. A model with additional regressor —weather temperature
3. A model with additional regressor s— weather temperature and state (raining, sunny, etc.)

We should see the effect of regressor and compare these three models.

Read more in my Towards Data Science post.

apt-get install aspnetcore-runtime-2.2 fails on ubuntu: workaround with snap

Dietrich Schroff - Sun, 2019-07-14 05:10
Two week ago i tried to install a microsoft tool on my linux laptop and i got the following error:
So i tried:

apt-get install aspnetcore-runtime-2.2
Paketlisten werden gelesen... Fertig
Abhängigkeitsbaum wird aufgebaut.
Statusinformationen werden eingelesen.... Fertig
Einige Pakete konnten nicht installiert werden. Das kann bedeuten, dass
Sie eine unmögliche Situation angefordert haben oder, wenn Sie die
Unstable-Distribution verwenden, dass einige erforderliche Pakete noch
nicht erstellt wurden oder Incoming noch nicht verlassen haben.
Die folgenden Informationen helfen Ihnen vielleicht, die Situation zu lösen:

Die folgenden Pakete haben unerfüllte Abhängigkeiten:
aspnetcore-runtime-2.2 : Hängt ab von: dotnet-runtime-2.2 (>= 2.2.5) soll aber nicht installiert werden
E: Probleme können nicht korrigiert werden, Sie haben zurückgehaltene defekte Pakete.

A quick workaround was to use the dotnet snap package:
snap install dotnet-sdk --classic
And then to a link from /usr/bin/dotnet to /snap/dotnet...:
$ ls -l /usr/bin/dotnet 
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 31 Jun 23 20:56 /usr/bin/dotnet -> /snap/dotnet-sdk/current/dotnet

Oracle Express Edition – features new to 18cXE

The Anti-Kyte - Sat, 2019-07-13 15:55

I learned a number of things watching the recently concluded Women’s Soccer World Cup.

  • it is possible for a human body to be fouled in the penalty area without then falling over as if it has just been shot (see Lisa-Marie Utland for Norway against England for proof)
  • England have developed a happy knack of reaching the Semi-Final of every tournament they enter
  • Alex Morgan is a tea-drinker

There were some complaints that Morgan’s celebration of her goal against England were disrespectful. Personally, I though it was rather witty. Let’s face it, if she’d really want to stir up some controversy, she’d have mimed putting the milk in first.
That said, she is going to face a challenge at the Olympics next year were she may herself up against a united Great Britain team.
If you’re not up on your sporting geopolitics, Great Britain (for now at least) comprises four nations – England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Should Morgan need to celebrate in a similar vein, the tea will be just the start. She’ll then need to neck a pint of Brains SA (known as “Skull Attack” in Cardiff) followed by a Guinness ( there is no border in Ireland when it comes to the Black Stuff) before moving on to a Scotch single-malt chaser.

Anyone looking for an object lesson in how to up their game could do far worse than have a look at how Oracle Express Edition has evolved from 11g to 18c…

“Hey Megan, how much extra stuff did Oracle squeeze into 18c Express Edition ?”

Using the License documentation for 18c XE and that of 11g XE, I’ve compiled a list of features which are now included in Express Edition but were not in 11gXE.
This is mainly for my own benefit as I keep being surprised when I find another – previously Enterprise Edition only – feature in Express Edition.
I’ve also listed the new stuff that wasn’t previously available in any edition of Oracle 11g.

Anyhow, for anyone who might find it useful…

Extra functionality in 18c

Using the Functional Categories mentioned in the license documents as a template, the features newly available in 18c Express Edition are :


Perhaps the most profound structural change is the advent of Multitenant functionality.
18c XE comes with Oracle Multitenant and allows up to three Pluggable Databases (PDBs).

Development Platform

SQLJ is now available.

High Availability
  • Online Index Rebuild
  • Online table organization
  • Online table redefinition
  • Trial recovery
  • Fast-start fault recovery
  • Flashback Table
  • Flashback Database
  • Cross-platform Backup and Recovery

Sharded Queues have been introduced in Oracle since 11g.


Network Compression is also new to Oracle since 11g.

  • Client Side Query Cache
  • Query Results Cache
  • PL/SQL Function Result Cache
  • Adaptive Execution Plans
  • In-Memory Column Store
  • In-Memory Aggregation
  • Attribute Clustering
  • Column-Level Encryption
  • Tablespace Encryption
  • Oracle Advanced Security
  • Oracle Database Vault
  • Oracle Label Security
  • Centrally Managed Users
  • Fine-grained auditing
  • Privilege Analysis
  • Real Application Security
  • Redaction
  • Transparent Sensitive Data Protection
  • Virtual Private Database
Spatial and Graph Data

11g XE contained no spatial functionality at all. In 18c you get :

  • Oracle Spatial and Graph
  • Property Graph and RDF Graph Technologies (RDF/OWL)
  • Partitioned spatial indexes
VLDB, Data Warehousing, and Business Intelligence
  • Oracle Partitioning
  • Oracle Advanced Analytics
  • Oracle Advanced Compression
  • Advanced Index Compression
  • Prefix Compression (also called Key Compression)
  • Basic Table Compression
  • Deferred Segment Creation
  • Bitmapped index, bitmapped join index, and bitmap plan conversions
  • Transportable tablespaces, including cross-platform and full transportable export and import
  • Summary management—Materialized View Query Rewrite
Stuff that’s not included

Unlike it’s predecessor, 18cXE does not come with a version of Application Express (APEX). Fortunately, you can still get APEX and Oracle Rest Data Services for the same low, low price of – well, nothing – and install them separately.

I’m Kyle Benson and this is how I work

Duncan Davies - Fri, 2019-07-12 06:00

I’ve not blogged on this site for a while so it takes a special post to break the hiatus. I’m delighted to finally be able to share the “How I Work” entry for Kyle Benson, one half of the all-conquering PSAdmin.io duo. Kyle and Dan are super-busy, splitting their time between PeopleSoft consulting and the PSAdmin.io slack community, their Podcast, their conference and their website.  I’m thrilled that he has added his profile to our ‘How I Work‘ series.


Name: Kyle Benson

Occupation: Independent PeopleSoft Consultant and Co-owner of psadmin.io
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Current computer: Dell Precision 5510
Current mobile devices: Pixel 2
I work: To keep from getting bored. I have a ton of fun solving tough problems and optimizing things.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
Saying I “can’t live without” this is overstating it, but I love my home automation gadgets. I have been slowly adding more and more to my home. Lately my pace has slowed down so my family can keep up with my craziness. I’m currently using a SmartThing Gen. 1 HUB and I’m liking the ecosystem.  That reminds me, time to upgrade!

What’s your workspace like?
I split time between client sites and my home office. I like to use a standing desk and keep it rather tidy. I love my ultrawide monitor and have a “studio” step for creating psadmin.io content.


What do you listen to while you work?
I love to put on mellow, ambient, downtempo style music. I often listen to the same playlist on repeat for months. Something about the relaxing, repetitive sounds helps get me in “flow” faster. The artist Blackmill really started me down this road. The current playlists I’m listening to on Spotify are ‘Atmospheric Calm’ and ‘Soundscapes For Gaming’.

What PeopleSoft-related productivity apps do you use?
I love Phire for development and git for DPK/admin scripts. Having the history and flexibility to migrate is so nice. Using psadmin-plus helps a lot, too!

Do you have a 2-line tip that some others might not know?
Make sure you are using aliases so you aren’t wasting time typing! Here is a short list of aliases I use often, mostly related to changing directories.

  • cddpk
    • Change to the DPK base directory
  • cdcfg
    • When using multiple $PS_CFG_HOMEs on a server, change to the config homes base directory
  • cdweb $domain_name
    • Change to the PORTAL.war directory of a domain
  • pupapp $environment
    • Run puppet apply for an $environment (ie. production)

What SQL/Code do you find yourself writing most often?
Currently I’ve found myself living in the browser development tools. I’ve been exploring some of the new JavaScript that Fluid and Unified Navigation introduces. I do a lot of debugging, playing in console, etc to find out how some of these features work. This is all pretty complex stuff and you can really get lost down the rabbit hole.

What would be the one item you’d add to PeopleSoft if you could?
Current CPU archives in DPK.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
I love riddles and puzzles. I’ve been really into escape rooms this past year, too.

How do you keep yourself healthy and happy?
Getting outside with the family year round is key. Living in a place like Minnesota, you learn a lack of vitamin D and cabin fever is no joke. Walking, hiking, biking in the summer. Biking and cross country skiing in the winter. Also, the family heads up to the North Shore of Lake Superior every few months. These weekend getaways are always a great recharge.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

Merging OBIEE 12c .RPD binary files directly in Git

Rittman Mead Consulting - Thu, 2019-07-11 15:41
Let's talk about OBIEE concurrent development!

Enabling concurrent development for OBIEE RPD is a recurring theme in OBIEE blogs. Full support for RPD development with Gitflow has long since been part of the Rittman Mead's BI Developer Toolkit and is described in great detail in Minesh's blog post. What you are currently reading is a follow-up to Minesh's post, but taking it one step further: instead of calling Python scripts to perform Gitflow steps, we want to perform all those steps directly from our Git client (including the ones performing a merge, like feature finish), be it command line or a visual application like Sourcetree.

RPD versioning directly in Git - do we need that?

How is versioning directly in a Git client better than calling Python scripts? First of all, it is the convenience of using the same approach, the same tool for all content your need to version control. A Python script will have to come with instructions for its use, whereas every developer knows how to use Git. Last but not least, a 3-way merge, which is used for Gitflow's feature finish, release finish and hotfix finish commands, requires three repositories that need to be passed to the script in the right order. Doing merges in your Git client would be quicker and less error prone.

What is a Git merge?

Before we proceed with discussing our options for merging OBIEE RPDs, let us quickly recap on how Git merges work.

There are two types of Git merges: Fast-forward Merges and 3-way Merges. Strictly speaking, Fast-forward Merges are no merges at all. If the base branch has not seen any changes whilst you worked on your feature branch, merging the feature back into the base simply means 'fast-forwarding' the base branch tip to your feature branch tip, i.e. your feature becomes the new base. That is allowed because the two branches have not diverged - the histories of the base and the feature branches form a single history line.

When the two branches have diverged, i.e. when the base has been modified by the time we want to merge our feature, a 3-way merge is the only option.

In the above diagram, feature 1 can be fast-forward merged whereas feature 2 must be 3-way merged into the develop branch.

Note that because a Fast-forward Merge is not an actual merge but rather a replacement, it is not relevant what content is being merged. The 3-way Merge however, depending on the content being merged, can be quite challenging or even impossible. And can result in merge conflicts that require manual resolution.

So... can Git 3-way merge RPDs?

OBIEE RPD can be saved in two formats: a single binary .rpd file or one or many .xml files (depending on what rpd-to-xml conversion method you use). The choice here seems obvious - it is common knowledge that Git cannot reliably 3-way merge binary files. So XML format it is. Or is it?

Like any other text file, Git certainly can merge XML files. But will it produce an XML that is still recognised as a consistent OBIEE RPD? Well, there are some OBIEE developer teams that have reported success with this approach. My own experience even with the most trivial of RPD changes shows that somewhere during the .xml to .rpd conversion, then introducing changes in the .rpd and in the end converting it back to .xml, the XML tags get reshuffled and sometimes their identifiers can change as well. (Equalising RPD objects is supposed to help with the latter.) I found no standard Git merge algorithm that would reliably and consistently perform RPD merge for XML format produced this way, be it a single large XML file or a collection of small XML files.

Fortunately, there is a better (and less risky) way.

Creating a Git custom merge driver

It is possible to create custom Git merge drivers and then assign them to specific file extensions (like .rpd) in the .gitattributes file - as described in Git documentation. According to the guide, defining a custom merge driver in Git is really straight forward: just add a new entry to the .git/config file:

[merge "filfre"]
	name = feel-free merge driver
	driver = filfre %O %A %B %L %P
	recursive = binary

Here, filfre is the code name of the custom merge driver, feel-free merge driver is the descriptive name of it (hardly used anywhere) and the driver value is where we define the driver itself. It is a shell command for your operating system. Typically it would call a shell script or a binary executable. It can be a java -jar execution or a python my-python-script.py call. The latter is what we want - we have already got a 3-way merge script for OBIEE RPD in the Rittman Mead's BI Developer Toolkit, as blogged by Minesh.

For the script to know about the content to be merged, it receives the following command line arguments: %O %A %B %L %P. These are the values that Git passes to the custom merge driver:

  • %O - this is the Base or the Original for the 3-way merge. If we are using Git Flow, this is the develop branch's version, from which our feature branch was created;
  • %A - this is the Current version for the 3-way merge. If we are using Git Flow, this is the feature branch that we want to merge back into develop;
  • %B - this is the Other or the Modified version of the 3-way merge. If we are using Git Flow, this is the develop branch as it is currently (diverged from the original Base), when we want to merge our feature branch back into it.

There are two more values, which we do not need and will ignore: %L is Conflict marker size, e.g. 7 for '>>>>>>>'. This is irrelevant for us, because we are handling binary files. %P is the full path name where the merge result will be stored - again irrelevant for us, because Python is capable of getting full paths for the files it is handling, in case it needs it.

Creating a Git custom merge driver for OBIEE .rpd binary files

What we need here is a Python script that performs a 3-way RPD merge by calling OBIEE commands comparerpd and patchrpd from command line. Please note that OBIEE creates a 4th file as the output of the merge, whereas a git merge driver is expected to overwrite the Current (%A) input with the merge result. In Python, that is quite doable.

Another important thing to note is that the script must return exit code 0 in case of a success and exit code 1 in case there were merge conflicts and automatic merge could not be performed. Git determines the success of the merge solely based on the exit code.

Once we have the Python script ready and have tested it standalone, we open our local Git repository folder where our OBIEE .rpd files will be versioned and open the file <repo root>/.git/config for editing and add the following lines to it:

[merge "rpdbin"]
    name = binary RPD file merge driver
    driver = python C:/Developer/bi_developer_toolkit/git-rpd-merge-driver.py %O %A %B

Our Python script expects 3 command line arguments - names of .rpd files: Base (%O), Current (%A) and Modified (%B). Those will be temporary files, created by Git in run time.

Once the config file is modified, create a new file <repo root>/.gitattributes and add the following line to it:

*.rpd merge=rpdbin

This assumes that your binary RPD files will always have the extension .rpd. If with a different extension, the custom merge driver will not be applied to them.

And that is it - we are done!

Note: if you see that the custom merge driver works from the Git command line tool but does not work in Sourcetree, you may need to run Sourcetree as Administrator.

Trying it out

We will use Sourcetree as our Git/Gitflow client - it is really good at visualising the versioning flow and shows the currently available Gitflow commands for the currently checked out branch.

We will use the RPD from Oracle Sample Application v602 for OBIEE 12c for our testing.

After initialising Gitflow in our Git repository, we add the out-of-the-box Sample Apps RPD to our repository's develop branch - that will be our Base.

Then we create two copies of it and modify each copy to introduce changes we would like to see merged. In the screenshots below, you can see Business Models and Databases renamed. But I did also change the content of those Business Models.

Repo 1:

Repo 2:

Now we create a new feature branch and overwrite the Base rpd it contains with our Repo 1 rpd.

As the next step, we check out the develop branch again and replace the Base rpd there with Repo 2 rpd.

Note that we need to make sure the develop branch is different from the original Base when we finish our feature. If the develop branch will be the same as the original Base when we finish the feature, a fast-forward merge will be done instead and our custom merge driver will not be applied.

The result should look like this in Sourcetree. You can see a fork, indicating that the develop and the feature8 branches have diverged:

We are ready to test our custom 3-way merge driver. In Sourcetree, from the Gitflow menu, select Finish Feature.

Confirm your intention to merge the feature back into develop.

If all goes as planned, Git will call your custom merge driver. In Sourcetree, click the Show Full Output checkbox to see the output from your script. In my script, I tagged all output with a [Git RPD Merge Driver] prefix (except the output coming from external functions). This is what my output looks like:

Now let us check the result: make sure the develop branch is checked out, then open the merged RPD in the Admin tool.

We can see that it worked - we can now do full Gitflow lifecycle for OBIEE .rpd files directly in Git.

But what if the merge fails?

If the merge fails, the feature branch will not be deleted and you will have to merge the .rpd files manually in the OBIEE Admin tool. Note that you can get the Current, the Modified and the Base .rpd files from Git. Once you are happy with your manual merge result, check out the develop branch and add it there.

Categories: BI & Warehousing

2019 Oracle ITA National Fall Championships Come to Newport Beach, California

Oracle Press Releases - Thu, 2019-07-11 12:00
Press Release
2019 Oracle ITA National Fall Championships Come to Newport Beach, California

TEMPE, Ariz.—Jul 11, 2019

The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) and Oracle announced today that Newport Beach Tennis Club and The Tennis Club at Newport Beach Country Club will serve as host sites for the 2019 Oracle ITA National Fall Championships November 6–10. The men’s and women’s finals will be held at Newport Beach Tennis Club.

The event returns to Southern California for the second time in the last three years. Arizona’s Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex held the tournament in 2018. The JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Indian Wells Tennis Garden co-hosted in 2017.

“Oracle’s commitment to college tennis continues to help move our sport to the forefront of intercollegiate athletics,” ITA Chief Executive Officer Dr. Timothy Russell said. “The ITA is proud that our championships are some of the best in college sports. We are very excited to come to Newport Beach, which promises to ensure a fantastic student-athlete experience.”

The Newport Beach Tennis Club features 19 lighted tennis courts and a sunken center court with stadium seating. It has hosted numerous professional events throughout its history, including the Davis Cup and Oracle Challenger Series. The Tennis Club at Newport Beach offers 24 outdoor courts.

“Oracle remains committed to collegiate tennis and ensuring young players get the opportunity to improve their games and compete in great venues,” Oracle CEO Mark Hurd said.  “We’re looking forward to seeing American collegians and juniors play some terrific tennis at this year’s Oracle ITA National Championships.”

The Oracle ITA National Fall Championships features 128 of the nation’s top collegiate singles players (64 men and 64 women) and 64 doubles teams (32 men’s teams and 32 women’s teams). It is the only event on the collegiate tennis calendar that highlights competitors from all five divisions (NCAA Divisions I, II, III, NAIA, and Junior College) playing in the same tournament. Now in its third year, the event replaced the ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships.

The Oracle ITA National Fall Championships joins the Oracle ITA Masters as one of two major collegiate tournaments held in the Southern California area and co-sponsored by Oracle and the ITA. The Oracle Masters returns to Pepperdine University and the Malibu Racquet Club for the fifth consecutive year and is scheduled for Sept. 26–29.

Contact Info
Mindi Bach
Oracle Corporate Communications
Al Barba
Director of Communications, Marketing & Advanced Media, ITA
About the Intercollegiate Tennis Association

The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) is committed to serving college tennis and returning the leaders of tomorrow. As the governing body of college tennis, the ITA oversees men’s and women’s varsity tennis at NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College divisions. The ITA administers a comprehensive awards and rankings program for men’s and women’s varsity players, coaches and teams in all divisions, providing recognition for their accomplishments on and off the court. For more information on the ITA, visit the ITA website at www.itatennis.com, like the ITA on Facebook or follow @ITA_Tennis on Twitter and Instagram.

About Oracle

The Oracle Cloud offers a complete suite of integrated applications for Sales, Service, Marketing, Human Resources, Finance, Supply Chain and Manufacturing, plus Highly Automated and Secure Generation 2 Infrastructure featuring the Oracle Autonomous Database. For more information about Oracle (NYSE: ORCL), please visit us at www.oracle.com.


Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Talk to a Press Contact

Mindi Bach

  • 650-506-3221

Al Barba

  • 602-687-6379


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