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Essbase Meetup in San Francisco This Tuesday!

Tim Tow - Sun, 2013-09-22 12:08
As you may or may not know, this week is the annual mega-conference Oracle Open World and, in conjunction with the conference, I am hosting, with fellow Oracle ACE Director Cameron Lackpour, an Essbase Meetup this Tuesday evening in San Francisco.  Unlike most events during the week of Open World, our Essbase meetup is open to both Open World attendees and non-attendees, so if you are in the San Francisco area, make your plans to attend.  Last year, we had several Oracle ACEs, ACE Directors, and Oracle product managers who attended; several of the same people have confirmed their attendance this year as well.

The meetup is at Specchio, a great Italian restaurant in the Mission District.  Specchio is co-owned by one of my friends, chef Gino Assaf, and has had some notable guests in the past couple of years including numerous NBA teams and one of my favorite rock bands, The Who.  Specchio is located at 2331 Mission Street in San Francisco.

If possible, please RSVP for the meetup at http://www.meetup.com/Oracle-Open-World-Essbase-EPM-meetup/events/138157192/ so we can get a count for the restaurant.  I hope to see you there!


Categories: BI & Warehousing

Tracking email receipts through images

Gary Myers - Sat, 2013-09-21 20:50
I pinched a technique from EMail marketeers last week. It goes by the cool name of a web beacon or web bug and is used to detect when someone reads (or at least opens) an email.

Our application is like a work flow system and it sends out a whole bunch of emails. I'm a little sceptical about who reads them, especially since I've got a bunch of rules that automatically ignore about 20-30 emails a day.

For a new email alert to a distribution list, I decided to code in a beacon. 

First for each email sent, it grabs a unique identifier. You can use a plain sequence, but I opted for a GUID. It is harder for anyone to guess other values for GUIDs and it is easy for me to tell which ones come from the test environment and which ones from production.

    declare
      v_guid_vc varchar2(32);
    begin
      v_guid_vc := sys_guid();

Then, the email HTML body included an image link

v_body := v_body || 
  'img src="http://'||v_host||'/PKG_MAIL.image?i_val='||v_guid_vc||''' ';

</pre>
</div>
<div>
<span style=">These mails go out to internal users, and Outlook is the primary email tool. The technique doesn't work for users reading their mail through Outlook webmail or the iOS email. The host is behind our firewall and will be unreachable from a home email account. But our company standard Outlook config will happily try to render that image when the user opens the email at their desk. And when that happens, it tries to get the image content by calling PKG_MAIL.image and telling us the GUID we associated with that email.

When we get that image request, we record the GUID, timestamp, IP address, user agent and cookie data. If the user happens to be logged into our system at that time, the cookie will tell us who the reader is. If not, the IP address will give us a clue. [When someone logs into the application, we record the userid and IP address, so we can see if someone logged in from that address recently.] Once we've recorded that data, we return a standard image content, irrespective of the GUID passed in.

No one has to click any link for the picture rendering / email read to be logged.

Rather than sending one email to ten recipients (with the same GUID), you will be better off sending ten variations with their own GUIDs. If you are sending the email to a specific individual, you may not need that excess logging (unless you want to track forwarded emails too). 

Personal email clients, such as Thunderbird and GMail, tend not to open remote images by default, offering a vague "privacy" warning. This is what they are warning you about. It means that Dominos probably know that I read their email vouchers about 5 minutes before ordering a pizza. And they will know whether I am using Thunderbird or Chome, and a bunch of other stuff about me. But, cheaper pizza !

ACE Director Briefing - Friday afternoon

Hans Forbrich - Fri, 2013-09-20 18:44
David Peake discussed Apex and highlighted a few things:

  1. First place to look at Performance issues: check your SQL
  2. Since Apex (by default) is in the 12c seed and the root containers, plugging in a new container can be a challenge
  3. Self-service http://apex.oracle.com/vote to help prioritize new features
  4. Apex Listener does support multiple PDBs with configuration
Look at the Apex OTN site for information.

By the way - http://apex.oracle.com (which now runs on an ExaData X2-2) gives out Apex Workspaces on demand.  Great way to get access to a SQL environment to study for Oracle certification.

---

The next session was all about Oracle's Cloud initiatives.  You are aware that Oracle is 'in the cloud', right?  Well, they are, and it ain't just Cirrus.

---

Now, an ExaLogic session ... "a network optimized system for the mid tier"for speed daemons. Economics shine because you generally can *significantly* reduce the number of server cores to accomplish the same work load.  It can run vanilla Linux or Solaris applications, as well as Exalogics-aware [WebLogic Server] applications.

Keywords to look up, during and after Open World:  Nimbula; Open Stack;

---

and ...

---

Time to head to the Hilton!  Bring me a beer!!!
Categories: DBA Blogs

ACE Director's Briefing - Friday morning

Hans Forbrich - Fri, 2013-09-20 14:46
Started out with the Database discussion, and got a heads up to listen to Larry's keynote on Sunday for some very interesting announcements for [near] future directions and reviews of accomplishments. 

Jeremy Ashley and his team showed some very interesting changes to the ADF visual toolbox and the directions for Fusion Applications UI management. 

Wim talked about upcoming UEK changes, pending upgrades of OVM for x86 and some enhancements coming for OVM for Sparc. 

Reminder - Oracle VM for x86 download from eDelivery is 3.2.3,  However, you can get OVM 3.2.4 from Support (patch ID 16410428, note 1565283.1) and today they released 3.2.6 (patch ID 16815542) which updates to a more recent XEN release.

Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance, recently announced, looks quite interesting with it's plug-n-play configuration, completely pre-cabled (with a rack-to-rack cable to extend to 2 more racks), including Infiniband based Oracle Virtual Network, and 'one hour power to VM' configuration - need to look at this.  Basically we are looking at an OVM Manager with a pre-built server pool.  Plug-n-play!  I see a major play possible in Canada.

The internal IT team discussed the Oracle Global IT infrastructure, and their 'Single Global E-Business' database on a 4-node RAC cluster.  Significant savings that work into the business case justification.

And ... WebCenter Portal, WebCenter Content and WebCenter Sites are heavily updated, especially to understand and interact with [NDA].  Some interesting use cases that will be discussed, especially in advanced integrated search.  There are some very interesting UI and tooling changes.  People who are into WebCenter need to check the Demo Grounds during Open World.

Categories: DBA Blogs

Multi-tenant Database notes

Hans Forbrich - Fri, 2013-09-20 11:52
We are in the ACE Director briefing on Friday morning with Penny Avril and people from her team.  Good to see her again!

There are some VERY interesting things coming up - look for the announcements in Larry's keynote on Sunday, and various presentations throughout the week.

---

We did discuss the Multi-tenant database.  One thing was clarified about the licensing, and this is actually written in the Licensing document at http://www.oracle.com/pls/db121/homepage

As of 12cR1, you have 3 modes to install the database:

- Pre-12c mode - 1 (or more) instance for one database;
- Single tenant - available for SE1, SE, EE and PE at no additional charge*
- Multi-tenant - available as an extra-cost option for EE only

* First entry in the table at http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E16655_01/license.121/e17614/editions.htm states:

"Extra cost option for up to 252 pluggable databases. The multitenant architecture with one pluggable database (single tenant) is available in all editions."

While somewhat ambiguous, we did get confirmation that "available in all editions" means no additional fee for 1 tenant.  

(As always - final word is only from Oracle ... "I read it on the internet" is never a good legal defense.)

--------

Update:  APEX is installed by default into the Seed PDB, and the Root PDB.  That can be changed - it can be removed from the Seed, and it can be removed from the Root.  This gives several potential configurations.
 




(Note to self: check on the impact of removing, specifically re: EM Express.)

If installing a PDB, especially importing from an 11gR2, there could be a challenge. 
Categories: DBA Blogs

Strange...

Bas Klaassen - Fri, 2013-09-20 09:31
I was checking Oracle 12c again, because of a beta exam end of october, and noticed something strange. This time I decided to install 12c Grid software first to use the 12c ASM for the 12c database. After installing ASM, I tried to check the disks available in ASM... [oracle@localhost ~]$ . oraenvORACLE_SID = [oracle] ? +ASMThe Oracle base has been set to /opt/oracle[oracle@localhost ~]$ Bas Klaassenhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04080547141637579116noreply@blogger.com1
Categories: APPS Blogs

Presentation links

Catherine Devlin - Thu, 2013-09-19 18:59

I have just had a VERY. Busy. Week. (In a good way!) I've promised the world many talk materials, so:

As for Postgres Open, I absolutely loved it! So happy I finally got to go. I am proud to say that I was the very first to buy my admission for 2014! Hope to blog more about that later...

ACE Director Briefing - Thursday Morning

Hans Forbrich - Thu, 2013-09-19 15:06
ACE Director Briefings have started.

Pretty good attendance - about 75-80 of us from around the world.   Great time renewing old acquaintances and friendships, and meeting new ACE Directors.

We've had a very interesting morning of briefings.  Today is the day for Fusion Middleware and Cloud discussions.  So far we've heard about

- WebLogic Server, Coherence
- BI and EPM
- SOA suite, BPEL, Service Bus, and integration
- ... As A Service

There will be a lot of interesting announcements at Open World this year, but so far they've reminded us that we are under NDA for the details.

During the BI session, I was reminded that the new BI Suite Sample for 11.1.1.7 is available in VM form at http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/bi-foundation/obiee-samples-167534.html
Categories: DBA Blogs

Oracle Open World - the final stretch

Hans Forbrich - Thu, 2013-09-19 09:20
This is the 'week before' Oracle Open World.  The final stretch on the way to announcements, social and business networking, too much activity, sore feet ...

I arrived on Sunday to deliver the Oracle University "Oracle VM Administration: Oracle VM Server for x86" (2nd Ed) course, based on OracleVM 3.2.  I have to say this is one of the best tech courses in the Oracle course catalog - rates right up there with the "Oracle 11g: RAC and Grid Infrastructure Administration Accelerated".  Interestingly, two attendees were from Sweden - this gave them a chance to arrive early and adjust to the time zone.

In my spare time, I got 3 machines ready to loan out during RAC Attack at Open World.  Check out http://www.racattack.org

Arrived at Sofitel yesterday (Wednesday) in the early evening.  Already met up with a number of ACE Directors - Edward Roske, Cary Milsap, Mark Rittmann, Alex Gorbachev, Marcus Eisling, Arup Nanda, and many more ... Tanel Poder is in the booth next to me having breakfast.

In 10 minutes, I'm off to the ACE Director's briefing.  More as time goes on.
Categories: DBA Blogs

BI Publisher Trial Edition News

Tim Dexter - Wed, 2013-09-18 17:11

Whoooo hoooo! Theres finally a new version of the BI Publisher Trial Edition available for download from OTN.

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/bi-publisher/downloads/index.html

11.1.1.7.1 is the imaginative release name. Nevermind your iOS7's get some blazingly fast BIP '.7.1'!

I'll be digging into some of the new features in the coming weeks!

Categories: BI & Warehousing

SQL Developer: add a "child tables" tab to table definition

Tony Andrews - Wed, 2013-09-18 12:10
I always like to extend SQL Developer's table definition by adding a tab that shows the "child tables" for each table - i.e. the tables that have a foreign key to the table in context. I have lost count of how many times I have started work at a new environment or on a new PC and had to set this up from scratch, so thought I'd document it here for next time! First, create a file containing Tony Andrewshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16750945985361011515noreply@blogger.com6http://tonyandrews.blogspot.com/2013/09/sql-developer-add-child-tables-tab-to.html

Setup OUD and ODSM, and OVD/OID with ODSM

Frank van Bortel - Wed, 2013-09-18 09:12
ODSM and ODSM? The version of ODSM, suitable for OUD will *not* serve OVD or OID, it is as simple as that. In fact, Oracle spends a whole chapter on installing the lot. I did follow this, but sometimes you want to explore different routes. OUD and ODSM I have described the installation and configuration of these components in a previous entry. There's one update; for this entry I used Frankhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/07830428804236732019noreply@blogger.com0

BBC and web accelerators don't mix

Robert Baillie - Wed, 2013-09-18 02:53
Do you have a problem with the BBC website? Even though you're based in the UK it seems to have a lot of adverts for American companies on it? And it's not that you don't like American companies, it's just that you've already paid your licence fee and that means that you shouldn't have to see any adverts at all.Even worse than that, because it thinks you're not in the UK, it won't let you access any of the iPlayer content! At some point in the last few weeks that started to happen to me on my Android (Nexus 10, no less) tablet. Thankfully I managed to solve it. A quick scan of the BBC help seemed to just direct me to my ISP (they may route you through foreign / non-UK servers - I knew this wouldn't be true as my desktop works OK, and it doesn't sound like BT). A quick mail to them seemed to confirm my fears - no problem there. A mail to the BBC was never going to be much use. I don't blame them, they have a lot of people to deal with and none of them pay a subscription fee that's...

BBC and web accelerators don't mix

Rob Baillie - Wed, 2013-09-18 02:52
Do you have a problem with the BBC website? Even though you're based in the UK it seems to have a lot of adverts for American companies on it? And it's not that you don't like American companies, it's just that you've already paid your licence fee and that means that you shouldn't have to see any adverts at all.
Even worse than that, because it thinks you're not in the UK, it won't let you access any of the iPlayer content!

At some point in the last few weeks that started to happen to me on my Android (Nexus 10, no less) tablet. Thankfully I managed to solve it.

A quick scan of the BBC help seemed to just direct me to my ISP (they may route you through foreign / non-UK servers - I knew this wouldn't be true as my desktop works OK, and it doesn't sound like BT). A quick mail to them seemed to confirm my fears - no problem there.

A mail to the BBC was never going to be much use. I don't blame them, they have a lot of people to deal with and none of them pay a subscription fee that's optional. It makes no economic sense for them to have a good technical help line.

Any way, after a lot of Google searching for phrases like:
  • The BBC thinks I'm not in the UK when I am.
  • iPlayer thinks I'm not in the UK.
  • iPlayer won't serve me any content.
  • BBC has adverts on it.

And many other variations on the theme, I decided to go back to the BBC site and give it one last go.

On one of their help pages I spotted a pretty throwaway comment about web accelerators causing problems sometimes. Knowing that Google's a little too clever for its own good sometimes this seemed like a good avenue to check.

It turns out that this was the problem, and it's really easy to solve.

In Chrome (on Android 4.3 anyway) go to:
  • Settings
  • Advanced
  • Bandwidth management
  • Reduce data usage
  • Then in the tip right corner, flick the switch to off.

That simple.

Basically, if this is switched on then a lot of content isn't served from its source. Rather you get it from Google instead - it gets it from the source, simplifies it, re-compresses it and then sends it to you so that you can get a modest 20% saving on your download sizes.

The result is pretty much as the BBC describes it, your internet content is routed through non-UK servers. It's just that it's not down to your ISP doing, it's Google.

So, hopefully, when you get that dreaded "BBC says I'm not in the UK" feeling, your Google search will bring you here and you'll solve the problem in a fraction the time it took me!

APEX OOW 2013 Schedule and Developer Challenge

David Peake - Tue, 2013-09-17 15:52
For all of you attending Oracle OpenWorld 2013 then you should check out http://apex.oracle.com/oow.
This application will run on both desktop and mobile*
{* The mobile application requires you to sign with your OTN credentials. The desktop application only requires logging in when you enter the challenge}


OTN APEX Developer Challenge

This year, in conjunction with OTN, we are proud to be running a developer challenge.
Entrants will be required to build a mobile application using Application Express.

The challenge starts at 3:00 pm PDT on Monday of OOW in the OTN Lounge (Moscone South). Official Rules and specifics of the challenge will be released at that time and entrants will be allowed to sign-up for the challenge. Entrants have until Tuesday 7:00 pm PDT to complete their submission. Then at 3:00 pm on Wednesday the winners will be announced in the OTN Lounge.

You could win one of three Amazon gift cards!
Simply go to http://apex.oracle.com/oow to learn more (and to enter once the challenge begins).

Last year OTN and Oracle Social Network ran a similar type challenge. Top honors went to two people well known in the APEX community, Martin Giffy D'Souza and Dimitri Gielis.

OOW Calendar and Schedule

This same site also lists all of the Application Express sessions, and related sessions, you may have overlooked in the official OOW Content Catalog. As with the last several years there will also be an APEX Meetup which of course is listed in the schedule complete with the address.

Oracle Open World

Bex Huff - Tue, 2013-09-17 12:09

UPDATE: Oracle Open World is almost upon us! I will be giving 3 talks this year... there was some confusion about Sunday, but this schedule is now final:

UGF9799 Displaying Enterprise Content in Oracle WebCenter Sites
Sunday, 9/22, 8:00 - 9:00 @ Moscone West - 3018

With the latest version of Oracle WebCenter, you can easily surface documents and Web content stored in Oracle WebCenter Content in Oracle WebCenter Sites. There are many integration options, from single images and rendered HTML to an entire Website. Attend this session to learn how to use them and which option is right for you.

UGF9900 - The Top 10 Web App Vulnerabilities and Securing Them with Oracle ADF
Sunday 9/22, 11:45 - 12:45 @ Moscone West room 2003

Cross-site scripting, SQL injection, and request forgery are just some of the major vulnerabilities every Web application developer needs to know about. Attend this session to learn about the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) Top 10 security vulnerabilities and how to avoid them by using Oracle Application Development Framework (Oracle ADF) and other Oracle technologies.

CON6876 - Displaying Enterprise Content in Oracle WebCenter Sites
Tuesday 9/24, 15:45 - 16:45 @ Moscone West room 2012

An encore performance of my Sunday talk of the same name...

The first and third ones I will be presenting with Tony Field from Function1, and giving a demo of the new WebCenter Sites/Content integration that was recently released with WebCenter 11.1.1.8. I'm very excited about the 11.1.1.8 release, and will be blogging my overview of it after Open World... when all the dust settles!

read more

Categories: Fusion Middleware

#OOW13

Chet Justice - Mon, 2013-09-16 21:41
I'm going to be busy.

Here's my list of events:

  • Saturday
    • I arrive in San Francisco on Saturday around 1 PM. If you're arriving at around the same time, let me know, we can share a cab into the city.
    • Beer. After arriving I plan on finding a very cold Pliny the Elder. Or three.
    • ODTUG Dinner. I'm crashing this one. It's Board members only to my knowledge and until someone says I cannot go (especially if fueled by more than one Pliny the Elder), I'm going.
  • Sunday
    • Open World Bridge Run. Not sure if I can make it, but I'm going to try. I'm presenting at 10:15 so it will be a tough decision.
    • 10:30 to 11:30. Thinking Clearly About Performance. Somehow I managed to con Cary Millsap into a duet of sorts. I have him convinced it is the other way around. Either way, it should be fun (I am not nervous!).
    • 2:15 to 4:30, Software Development in the Oracle Ecosystem, Part I and Part II. I'm moderating the aforementioned Mr. Millsap, Sten Vesterli, Markus Eisele and Jerry Brenner (My first boss was scheduled to speak as well, but he had a last minute change of plans, jerk).
    • Oracle ACE Dinner. Evening.
    • Post Oracle ACE Dinner drinks...wherever the night takes me.
  • Monday
    • Oracle OpenWorld - San Francisco Bay Swim - Part II, 7:30 AM. We had almost 20 last year, 33 have signed up (on the page anyway) this year. Come along. Cool t-shirts too, sponsored by Oracle Technology Network and designed by Lauren Prezby.



      Let's not forget the swim caps! Sponsored by the encouragable Bjoern Rost of The portrix group (he's like me, afraid of capital letters) (designed by Lauren Prezby).

    • Oaktable World. You'll most likely catch me here after the swim and before the...
    • Wear Your ORACLENERD Gear Day, 3 PM to 4:30 PM. We'll be taking a group photo around 4:30 PM. If you can't make it for that, come by when you can and get a picture with me. You know I like that sh...stuff. You don't have a shirt/hat/sticker/random-item? OTN Lounge is giving away one hundred cool red t-shirts (Lauren Prezby, again).



      This picture is coinciding with the APEX Developer Challenge which goes from 3 - 7:30 that afternoon/evening. I might even give it a go (fueled, hopefully, by Pliny the Elder).
  • Tuesday
Somewhere in there I'll get a chance to breathe. I'll also attend some sessions, hopefully.
Categories: BI & Warehousing

RAC Attack at Oracle Open World

Hans Forbrich - Sun, 2013-09-15 20:53
This year, one of my main Open World activities will be to participate as a RAC Attack Ninja.

RAC Attack is a program initiated by Jeremy Schneider, Dan Norris and Parto Jalili at the IOUG Collaborate 2008 conference as a result of a classroom full of unattended PCs (long story, great ending)

Quoting from the RAC Attack web site at http://racattack.org :

"RAC Attack is a free curriculum and platform for hands-on learning labs related to Oracle RAC (cluster database). We believe that the best way to learn about RAC is with a lot of hands-on experience."

This year the RAC Attack team - we call ourselves RAC Attack Ninjas - will be hosting a campground in the OTN Lounge on Tuesday and Wednesday from 10-2.

People who have their own laptop can download the Oracle VirtualBox (http://virtualbox.org), Oracle Linux (https://edelivery.oracle.com/linux) and Oracle Database 12c for Linux (http://download.oracle.com) and we will help them install Oracle Database 12c and a 2-node RAC cluster.

This year, Exit Certified (Oracle University partner who provides a lot of RAC training) and DELL (Oracle partner who sells a lot of hardware used with RAC) have sponsored some equipment for people who want to attend, but don't want to use their own laptops.

If you are interested in learning more about RAC, maybe installing it on your laptop, then come along to the RAC Attack sessions during OOW. Get more details from the Facebook page for each of the two days.
There is also a Google+ page.

If you are coming to install RAC, you might want to read through this.

Categories: DBA Blogs

Countdown to Oracle Open World

Hans Forbrich - Sun, 2013-09-15 20:38
Oracle Open World - the annual festival during which Oracle employees, pundits, reporters, supporters, and customers try to overwhelm San Francisco with bodies, information, and just general fun - is about to begin. 

My itinerary, generally speaking (as I usually allow a lot of flexibility):

1) I'm already in San Francisco - teaching the Oracle University course on OracleVM until Wednesday. 

On Wednesday evening, I'll be heading to the Sofitel where many of the ACE Directors meet up before the ACED Briefing.

That's when we get to see Vikki and Lillian, the wonderful ladies who herd the cats known as Oracle ACEs. 

2) ACE Director Briefing, Thursday and Friday

In the years since I was fortunate enough to be selected a ACE Director, I have tried to attend all the ACE Director Briefings - presentations by Oracle management and product management to let us know (under NDA) what is coming up.  Of course, with the NDA, we are not allowed to talk about anything until Larry spills the beans, but at least we will have had a chance to mull things over before the beans do get spilled. 

Since Tim Hall can not be at the briefing this year, a number of us ACEDs will be blogging extra, trying to keep him up to date without violating the NDA. 

3) RAC Attack pre-meeting on Sunday, and possibly another on Saturday.

4) Kickoff on Sunday

Things officially start on Sunday with the various user group and specialty sessions, which inevitablyt have a great amount of info, followed by The Kickoff.  If things hold true to previous years, Larry will throw the gauntlet and give us a glimpse of what new announcements will be made and why we should listen.

5) ACE Dinner on Sunday

One of the ACE highlights at OOW it the ACE Dinner on Sunday evening.  I enjoy catching up with my fellow ACEs from around the world, and meeting the new faces who joined the ranks.

6) Monday-Thursday is going to be filled to the brim with all sorts of activities, traveling to and fro, and blogging about it.

7) RAC Attack

I'll be at RAC Attack both Tuesday and Wednesday.  Facebook pages at

8) Enterprise Manager CAB on Friday

I've been very fortunate to be selected as a Customer Advisory Board attendee for the Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control.  This is an opportunity to provide feedback to the inner circle of the product team, as well as to learn about future directions of products.

Most products, and even major features, have CABs.  I encourage all customers to consider getting involved.

Categories: DBA Blogs

Call for papers – Turkish Hadoop Users Meeting

H.Tonguç Yılmaz - Sun, 2013-09-15 07:08
This December we will be meeting, the call for papers period will be finishing at the end of this month, you can follow the meeting details from the LinkedIn group.  

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