Wednesday May 21, 2008

Introducing Uma Prabhala, Guest Author

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Introducing Ivo Dujmovic, Guest Author

I'm very pleased to welcome Ivo Dujmovic to our ever-growing team of E-Business Suite techstack bloggers.  Ivo has already published his first article on our latest Apps 11i AutoConfig Rollup Patch S, so this this is a much-belated introduction.

Ivo Dujmovic leads the hard-working Applications Technology Integration development team responsible for the E-Business Suite's technology stack and configuration management tools, including AutoConfig and its associated templates.  He's been providing deep technical guidance for this blog from the wings since its inception, so we're very lucky to have his direct contributions for this particular announcement. 

Here's a short bio for Ivo:

Ivo Dujmovic is the Director of Oracle Applications Technology Integration Development.  Ivo joined Oracle in the Applications Technology Group in 1997.

For 3 years, he was with the Performance group, working on improving the Internet Computing Architecture's performance, as well as coordinating uptake of database features within Oracle Applications. He then joined the newly formed Technology Integration group, where he has since worked on integration of new technologies used by Oracle Applications, their infrastructure, support, and certifications. Currently, Ivo's team is responsible for the configuration of technology components via AutoConfig (used in install, cloning, Oracle Applications Manager/Applications Management Pack) and the creation of patched Oracle Home images used for Rapid Install.

Ivo holds a BS in computer science and in mathematics from Yale University.

Thursday May 01, 2008

Introducing Satish Pullacheri, Guest Author

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Wednesday Feb 27, 2008

Introducing Sanchit Jindal, Guest Author

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Friday Jan 18, 2008

Introducing Prasad Akkiraju, Guest Author

I'm very pleased to welcome Prasad Akkiraju as a new contributor to this blog.  Prasad is a key manager in my team -- the team responsible for new E-Business Suite technology stack certifications and techstack Quality Assurance. 

Here's a short bio:

Prasad Akkiraju is a Senior Manager in the Applications Technology Integration organization under Cliff Godwin.

Prasad manages the Technology Certifications team in India, primarily responsible for certifying the Application Server and Database components with E-Business Suite. In addition to working with certifications, Prasad manages the Technology Stack QA team that tests the various release vehicles from Oracle Applications Technology Stack development team.

Prasad has been with Oracle since 2000. He has worked in the Application Server performance and scalability testing team, has been responsible for managing a scalability lab, and has published whitepapers on Application Server services like Forms, Reports, Discoverer and Portal.

Prior to joining Oracle, Prasad has held positions with Sun Microsystems and Digital Equipment Corporation.  Prasad has been in the IT industry for 13 years and holds a Bachelors degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering.

Prasad works in Oracle India in Hyderabad. He resides in Hyderabad.


Wednesday Jan 02, 2008

Notable Apps Blogs - December 2007

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Monday Dec 31, 2007

Top 30 Apps Techstack Articles of 2007

It's been a big year for this blog.  Thanks to my talented panel of guest authors and your support, we're the most popular Oracle blog by an order of magnitude.  We passed the 10 million hits threshold not too long ago, a statistic that utterly blows my mind.  Now if only I could find a way of monetizing that traffic...

It's time for my annual roundup of this year's biggest articles published on this blog.

Most Popular

  1. Replacing JInitiator with Sun Java Plug-in 1.5.0_13
  2. Master DST & Time Zone Documentation for Release 11i
  3. Virtualization & the E-Business Suite, Redux
  4. Windows Vista + IE7 Certified with E-Business Suite
  5. Latest JDeveloper 10g with OA Extension Now Available for Apps 12
  6. Four Critical Changes for Customizations in Release 12
  7. The Software Vendor's Dilemma
  8. Transparent Data Encryption Certified for Apps 11i
  9. E-Business Suite Release 12 is Generally Available
  10. Choosing Between Release 12 or 11i
Editor's Choice

Popularity doesn't necessarily reflect an article's importance, so here's my chronological list of 2007's most important articles:
  1. 10 Tips for Protecting your APPS Password
  2. Getting Started with the Release 11i Technology Stack
  3. Security Best Practices for Release 12
  4. Loose Lips Sink Ships
  5. Fully Automated Cloning for Release 11i and 12
  6. Top 7 Ways of Reducing Patching Downtimes for Apps
  7. End of Premier Support for Apps 11.5.7 & 11.5.8
  8. Debugging General Performance Issues with Oracle Apps
  9. Top 5 Myths About Patching Apps Environments
  10. OA Framework or ADF?
  11. Pinning Objects to Improve Apps Performance
  12. Linux Clients for the E-Business Suite
  13. Reflections on Security and Backport Policies
  14. Troubleshooting DMZ Setups for Apps
  15. Understanding JDBC Connections From the eBusiness Middle Tier
  16. Java Caching for Oracle Applications 11i: Part 2
  17. Which Are Better: Family Packs or Consolidated Updates?
  18. Best Practices for Upgrading to Release 12
  19. Performance Tuning for the E-Business Suite
  20. Analyzing Memory vs Performance of Apps 11i & 12 Clients

Wednesday Dec 26, 2007

Editorial: Macs Slipping Into the Enterprise

Ah, Christmas.  I love this time of year.  This is when I get to wrap up some longstanding questions in my overflowing blog mailbag.  Here's an answer to a fun cluster of emails about my new laptop.

MacBook Pro: Screenshot of laptop images from Apple's MacBook Pro website

I was carrying a new MacBook Pro laptop around at the OAUG Collaborate and OpenWorld conferences this year.  This prompted a number number of questions to which I've been procrastinating on replying.

Never Took The Easy Road

But first, some context.  I'm a power user and developer.  I've been a Windows developer since its initial release, and as a a former IBMer, an OS/2 developer as well.  Before that I was an MS-DOS programmer, and long before that I was hand-coding 6502 assembler in hex on a KIM-1. Apple computers were intriguing, but aside from a short period when I wrote an inventory system on an Apple II, lay on a road less traveled by me. I've owned literally dozens of Windows PCs and laptops.

Somewhere along the way, unnoticed by me, Apple's operating system grew up.  Then Apple really got my attention when they switched to Intel chips.

A Windows User in an Apple World

Despite the ballyhoo that the press likes to make about Oracle's competition with Microsoft, Oracle is a staunchly-Windows environment.  It was with some trepidation that I purchased my first MacBook Pro (with my own funds) last year.

You know what?  All the hype is true.  As a long-time (hardcore) Windows developer and power user, I can only say that Mac OS X is a dazzling eye-opener.  It's easier to use, slicker, has lower systems administration overhead, and is demonstrably stabler and more secure.  New Leopard features like Time Machine are, indeed, as revolutionary and as good as the hype.  I now understand the sentiment that turns some Mac users into Apple zealots.

An Apple User in a Windows World

I run native Mac applications where possible. Where it's necessary for my work, I run all of my Windows-based applications on my Mac, too.  My MacBook Pro is the best Windows PC I've ever had.

I run WinXP using VMWare's Fusion (no relationship to Oracle's own Fusion Applications), which provides me with a stabler and more-robust Windows environment than my Oracle-issued Dell.  If I want to experiment with some sketchy Windows betas, I copy my base WinXP image to a sandbox and play there.  I simply delete the sandbox when I'm done.

I can run multiple virtual sessions of WinXP and Linux side-by-side on my Mac OS desktop.  This makes for an astonishingly elegant and powerful computing experience.

My anecdotal impression is that I'm not alone.  I see more of my colleagues carrying Macs instead of their Oracle-sanctioned Dells, and even Intel's CEO admits that he uses a Mac.  Macs seem to be slipping into the enterprise faster than before.

I've now been an Apple user for over a year.  The number of newly-acquired Macs in my household has shot up alarmingly.  At this point, I see no reason to recommend a conventional PC when you can purchase a Mac that runs both Windows and Mac software side-by-side. And here's a final confession that shouldn't make any difference to an IT professional like me (but does): it's simply more fun to run Mac OS X than Windows.

Disclaimer:  Although I am clearly enthusiastic about Apple products, this does not represent Oracle's endorsement of my opinions. This is an editorial, and as such, reflects only my opinion, not Oracle's.  In the interest of full disclosure, you should know that I have been sufficiently impressed by my experience with Apple's products to purchase some AAPL stock along the way, too.

Tuesday Nov 27, 2007

Which Are Better: Family Packs or Consolidated Updates?

Boy, is my inbox going to get hammered because of this article.  But when have I shied from controversy?  (Always, a cynical voice mutters).  Nevertheless, into the breach I charge.

11.5.10.CU2 Download screenshot: Screenshot of Metalink download site for E-Business Suite Release 11i 11.5.10 Consolidated Update #2 download

A recurring question raised at OpenWorld came from customers debating between applying individual Family Packs or the much larger Consolidated Updates to their E-Business Suite environments.  Which is better?

If I Were An IT Manager

I understand your dilemma:  maintenance windows grow tighter by the day.  Staffing levels don't keep pace with rising workloads.  Risk-averse stakeholders pressure you to keep the system unchanged -- all the while clamoring for their own personally-reported bugs to be fixed immediately.  Given this climate, anything that looks like it makes your life more complex is going to be summarily rejected.

If I had the choice of applying a random and arbitrary combination of individual family packs (e.g. FWK.H + AD.I + XDO.H) or applying a single Consolidated Update (e.g. 11.5.10.CU2), I'd choose the latter without hesitation.  If I had had the choice, Consolidated Updates are unquestionably what I'd choose.

Pulling Back the Curtain

The recommendation to apply a much larger patchset with broader impact might seem irrational, especially given what I just acknowledged is the typical IT environment.  But bear with me:  this may make more sense if I give you a glimpse into our development and testing processes.

How Consolidated Updates are Tested

Consolidated Updates (CU) are tested by the entire E-Business Suite development division in a central testing environment.  In fact, Consolidated Updates are repeatedly tested in multiple iterations of these centralized testing environments, some built for automated regression testing, others for cross-product integration flows (e.g. "Order to Cash"), and even others built for internationalization testing with NLS character sets and localizations. 

We also test multiple migration paths to a given Consolidated Update.  For example, the 11.5.10.CU2 Consolidated Update was tested on top of the 11.5.9 Rapid Install, 11.5.9.CU2, the 11.5.10 Rapid Install, and 11.5.10.CU1.

On top of all that, Consolidated Updates are tested in a variety of so-called "advanced architectural configurations" that include load-balancers, DMZs, Single Sign-On, Discoverer, SSL, RAC, different JInitiator versions, different native Sun Java (JRE) plug-ins, different desktop platforms (e.g. Windows and Mac OS X), and so on. 

And then, just because we have too much free time on our hands, the Consolidated Updates are tested on various operating system platforms, including Solaris, HP-UX, IBM AIX, and so on.

How Individual Family Packs are Tested

Individual Family Packs are tested by their respective product teams.  They receive product team manual testing and automated regression testing.  Depending on the product, they may receive some additional central testing by multiple product teams or in with advanced configurations, but this is relatively rare.

You can see that there are fundamental and profound differences in the depth and range of Consolidated Updates vs. Family Pack testing.  A Consolidated Update receives massive, intensive, coordinated testing across all E-Business Suite products.

A reasonable analogy might be:  Family Packs are to Consolidated Updates as emergency one-time patches are to Family Packs. 

The Sum of the Parts Does Not Equal the Whole

Here's something else to consider:  let's say that FIN_PF.G is in 11.5.10.CU2 (this is just an example -- I don't know if this is actually true).  Even if you install FIN_PF.G on top of 11.5.9, you aren't officially on 11.5.10.CU2 since you haven't applied the actual 11.5.10.CU2 patchset.  If you haven't explicitly applied 11.5.10.CU2 itself, Oracle Support does not consider you to be on that code level, regardless of the sum of the individual Family Packs that you might have applied.

So, when 11.5.9 is desupported, your calls to Oracle Support will prompt the usual  discussions about being on a desupported release, even though your individual family packs may be up-to-date to 11.5.10.CU2. 

Sometimes "More" is Better

Knowing all that, I always recommend applying the latest Consolidated Update instead of individual Family Packs.  This guarantees an end-run around the hassles of possible family pack incompatibilities and desupport issues.  In my view, the initial larger overhead of applying a bigger patch is far outweighed by the benefits.

I know that this will be a controversial position for some of you, so I welcome your comments. Let the debate begin...


Wednesday Nov 21, 2007

Introducing Andy Tremayne, Guest Author

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Friday Nov 16, 2007

Enough About Technology, Let's Talk About Me...

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Wednesday Oct 31, 2007

OpenWorld Press Passes for Apps Bloggers

Some of you have noticed that my publishing cycle recently has been slower than normal.  I'm in the midst of OpenWorld prep and a reorganization right now, with the combined effect being the proverbial perfect storm. 

Oracle OpenWorld 2007 Logo: Oracle OpenWorld 2007 San Francisco conference logo

This one's important, though.  It's something I've been lobbying for for a while, so I'll struggle, gasping, to the surface to highlight it:

All Apps (and general Oracle) bloggers are invited to register for a free Press pass to OpenWorld.  Jake Kuramoto, my impassioned colleague over at the Oracle AppsLab blog, has more details:
Apparently, the criteria for getting a blogger Press pass are surprisingly minimal.  According to Jake, they are:
  1. You are a blogger
  2. You blog about Oracle, enterprise software, Enterprise 2.0 or another loosely-coupled subject
This is a new thing for Oracle -- who knows where this will lead?  As far as I can tell, there's no Machiavellian grand plan to subvert the blogosphere; we just want to make sure that you're able to blog firsthand about OpenWorld without being constrained by the cost of getting in the door. 

If I were a blogger, I'd seize this unprecedented opportunity while it lasts.


Tuesday Aug 14, 2007

Reflections on Security and Backport Policies

Mary Ann Davidson, Oracle's Chief Security Officer, has just published a remarkable article that characteristically spans a broad range of subjects ranging from surfing to security. This is absolutely required reading:

Most notably, Mary Ann gives a candid and uncommonly-revealing view of the strategy and reasoning that underlies our security policies here at Oracle. All Apps sysadmins would do well to read this article carefully.  When you're done, stop and reread it, slowly, while thinking about the implications for your security and patching policies.


Wednesday Jul 04, 2007

On Courtesy Amongst Bloggers

I think age is a very high price to pay for maturity.

~ Tom Stoppard

Being bedbound with illness gives one more time than usual to catch up on some long-delayed reading.  So here I am, battling pneumonia and fever, when I stumble upon a blogger who appears to have lifted one of my recent articles -- word-for-word, including images -- and reposted it as original content.  Worse, the blogger provides his name but no way to reach him directly.

Words cannot properly express my reaction. 

A Teaching Moment

I have had many teachers in my life, and have been extraordinarily lucky to have had some Teachers, as well.  You can always spot the Teachers:  they're the ones who can turn even the most-awkward or difficult situations into teaching moments about issues broader than the ones at hand.

So here's my chance to impart something -- a call for courtesy amongst my fellow bloggers.  I submit that this has at least two important dimensions:
  • Respect:  fact-based, reasoned dialogue in the face of differing opinions.

  • Citations:  links to others who have inspired your own ideas, with the understanding that we all benefit from the great pooling of ideas
I consider plagiarism to be discourtesy of the highest order.

Plagiarism in the academic world is grounds for expulsion, dismissal or loss of tenure.  Plagiarism in the business world is grounds for copyright lawsuits.

At the very least, plagiarism is simply rude.

How To Do it Right

A recent shining example of doing it right is Niall Litchfield's recent article, "Critical Patch Application Redux."  In his insightful article, Niall reflects on some points I made about patching myths.  He doesn't fully agree with my reasoning, but no matter:  he extends and expands on that with his own experiences. 

When I'm back on my feet, I might even contact Niall directly and have a more in-depth discussion, which in turn, may even result in patching-related improvements down the line.

Regardless, we are both more wiser and richer for the dialogue, and for the grace with which Niall brought his views to the table.  If all Apps bloggers did the same, our Stone Soup would be hearty, indeed.

Wednesday May 16, 2007

Blogging and the Oracle Apps Community

An interesting series of meta-discussions about blogging were triggered recently by Justin Kestelyn, OTN's Editor-in-Chief.   For those interested in going meta, I'd recommend browsing through recent entries in his own blog.

I'm pleased to see that the Oracle Apps blogging community is growing steadily.  Some authors are putting out really interesting original material that might not be covered elsewhere.  In the last few months, I've found posts on the following blogs to be notable for their perspectives, insights or richness of technical data (in no particular order):
  • The Apps Traction Blog by Joel Asselin
    Very interesting site from a functional consultant with a passion for working with Supply Chain modules.  Recent articles of note include a massive set of practical tips and techniques for using Forms Personalization.

  • Blak Geek Blog
    Written by an anonymous Oracle University instructor, recent notable articles include a series on JServ troubleshooting, coverage on Release 12, and Linux migrations.
  • Oracle Applications DBA by Atul Kumar and team
    Frequently updated, Atul and team have been recently writing about their experiences with Oracle Identity Manager, Microsoft Active Directory and Oracle Internet Directory integration
  • Oracle BI Publisher Blog by Tim Dexter
    Tim's indefatigable coverage of XML Publisher (as it's known to Apps readers) is filled with tips, tricks, techniques, and insights into using this Swiss-army-knife of a tool.  Recent articles cover barcodes, charts, templates, bursting...  As a fellow Oracle blogger, I wonder how Tim manages to squeeze in time to blog on XMLP while pumping out new releases.

  • My Oracle EBS Dba Blog by Bas Klaassen
    Reading Bas's blog gives one the impression of peeking into his personal DBA notebooks.  He meticulously documents things he's tried, along with any error messages encountered, and follows up with solutions.
  • Global Oracle Contractors Network
    With a diverse team of contributors, this blog covers a wide range of Apps-related functional and sysadmin topics, with a hearty dose of business philosophy, to boot.
  • ORCLville by Floyd Teter
    As an active member of the OAUG Fusion Council, Floyd has recently been sharing his thoughts and speculations about Fusion Applications and their implications for existing E-Business Suite users.  Remember that Oracle employees, including myself, are specifically prohibited from speculating about future releases.  As such, I'm always fascinated by what people are gleaning from the information that we've shared publicly so far.
Getting on the Radar

If you have an Apps Technology-related blog (or any blog, for that matter), make sure that you:
  1. Register it with Technorati, so that readers can find you.
  2. Drop me a line.  I'll follow your posts, and will add blogs with regularly updated content on the E-Business Suite to my public blogroll, too. 

Tuesday Apr 10, 2007

A Year Online

Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.

~ Franklin P. Jones

This blog's inaugural post was on April 10, 2006, so it officially turns one today.  It's hard to imagine that a year has zipped by already.  This is a good time to take stock and reflect.

In the past year:
  • We've published over 210 articles
  • Five other Applications insiders have been coaxed into joining our blogging team
  • We've had over 8.5 million reads (which utterly blows my mind)
Still on the Right Track?

If you've been along for the ride since the beginning, you might recall an early article that followed the tradition of the Hudson's Bay Company.  Before embarking on expeditions to parts unknown, Hudson's Bay Company voyageurs camped overnight within a half-day's walk from their starting point to assess whether they'd brought everything they needed.

Well, we're a long way from home now.  Probably a good time to stop and ensure that we're still headed in the right direction:
  1. Is this content useful for you?
  2. Is this content pitched at the right level of technical depth?
  3. Are there new areas that you'd like us to cover?
  4. Are there areas that you'd like us to revisit or cover more heavily?
  5. Do you have any other suggestions on how we can improve?
Not surprisingly, this blogging effort has taken more energy and time than any of us originally expected.  Your emails and feedback are always appreciated -- they give us encouragement to go on.

Friday Apr 06, 2007

Introducing Sara Woodhull, Guest Author

Our coverage for Oracle Application Framework-related areas is about to get a big helping hand.  I'm very pleased to announce that Sara Woodhull is joining our editorial team for this blog.  We've touched upon Sara's areas of expertise before, so I'm looking forward to her contributions to expand our coverage further.

A little bit of background on Sara:

Sara Woodhull is a Principal Product Analyst in the Oracle Applications Technology Group (ATG).

The Applications Technology Group integrates components such as Oracle Application Object Library (AOL) and Oracle Application Framework (OAF) into the Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i and Release 12 technology stack.

Sara has been with Oracle as part of ATG since 1989 and has trained generations of Oracle developers on AOL and later OAF.  She has also had responsibility for product management, documentation and curriculum development for AOL and OAF, specializing in flexfields and custom development topics.  She regularly contributes to Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco.

Sara works at Oracle HQ in Redwood Shores, CA, and she strongly prefers sunny weather.


Thursday Mar 29, 2007

Blogging Code of Ethics

[July 28, 2008: As expected, here's Version 2.0 of this Code of Ethics.  Updated 3, 4, and 7]

I have long admired ComputerWorld's deceptively simple Code of Ethics.  Reading the venerable New York Times' Ethical Journalism Guidebook is almost as inspirational as a short seminar in journalism.

Blogs are entering the mainstream.  This new medium offers an unruly blend of news, advice, gossip, and speculation.  Some of this material is credible, some of it is not.  Corporate-sponsored blogs, like this one, add yet-another ingredient into the mix.  This has the potential to make it even harder for readers to assess the credibility of what they're reading.

If blogs are to attain any recognition or credibility as a new form of journalism, they must follow a code of ethics specific to the demands posed by this new medium.  Inspired primarily by the gold standard set by ComputerWorld, here's my attempt at a Code of Ethics for this blog:

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Tuesday Mar 20, 2007

Loose Lips Sink Ships

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Tuesday Jan 09, 2007

Top 30 Apps Articles of the Year

In the spirit of the season, here's a round-up of this site's top 15 most popular articles from 2006:

  1. Encrypting Traffic Between 11i Application and Database Tiers
  2. Microsoft IE 7 Certified with Apps 11i
  3. OCFS2 or ASM for Apps 11i?
  4. Applying O/S Patches to Apps Environments
  5. Cheatsheet: Supported Database Configurations with Apps 11i
  6. Using OracleAS 10g & Apps in an Enterprise Configuration
  7. John Wookey on Oracle's Apps Strategy
  8. Windows Vista Client Certification for Release 11i
  9. Pre-Release Browsers: Why Internet Explorer 7 Matters
  10. Reminder: Discoverer 4i Desupport in October 2006
  11. Using Database Partitioning with the E-Business Suite
  12. 10 Things You Can Do Now to Prepare for Oracle Fusion Applications
  13. Security Fixes in ATG Rollup 4
  14. Update: Upgrading to Release 12
  15. Investigating java.lang.OutOfMemoryError with Apps 11i Middle Tier JVMs
We all know that popularity isn't directly correlated with relevance or impact.  Here's a list of what I consider to be this site's top 15 most important articles that didn't make the previous list:
  1. Diving Deep Into the Release 12 Techstack
  2. Mod_plsql Not Supported in Release 12
  3. Replacing Oracle JInitiator with Sun's Native Plug-In
    (I am still accepting customer nominations for this Early Adopter Program)
  4. New Techstack Baseline for Release 11i, Redux
  5. DMZs, SSL & RAC for OracleAS 10g + Release 11i
  6. Using OracleAS 10g With The E-Business Suite
  7. Managing E-Business Suite Configurations with AutoConfig
  8. XML Publisher & The E-Business Suite
  9. Certification & Support for Third-Party Products
  10. Documentation Available for Daylight Saving Time 2007 Changes for Apps 11i
  11. The Blue Bridge of Death
  12. Master Class in Apps 11i Performance Tuning
  13. Configuring Middle-Tier JVMs for Applications 11i
  14. In-Depth: Load-Balancing E-Business Suite Environments
  15. Securing Your E-Business Suite Deployment

Thursday Dec 07, 2006

Introducing Avanish Srivatsav, Guest Author

Earlier this week I wrote about Ahmed Alomari's Master Class in Apps 11i Performance Tuning, which is mandatory reading for all Apps DBAs interesting in optimizing the performance of their E-Business Suite environments.  Following on the heels of that article, it's a real pleasure to welcome Avanish Srivatsav, a member of Ahmed's Applications Performance Team, to our roster of guest authors:

Avanish started his career working with Oracle technology at Tata Consultancy Services.   He joined Oracle Support Services five years ago, where he  supported database-related areas such as Real Application Clusters, DataGuard, and performance tuning.  Building on that experience, he moved to the Oracle Applications Performance Group, where he's been helping Apps customers optimize performance for the past three years.

Avanish will be highlighting some of the hot topics in Apps performance optimization, based on the group's experiences with some of our largest enterprise customers.  Stay tuned for his first article...

Tuesday Nov 28, 2006

Introducing Nilesh Patel, Guest Author

[Editor Update May 21, 2008:  Nilesh has moved on to another team within Oracle and, sadly, is no longer an active contributor to this blog.  Feel free to direct any questions about his posted articles directly to Steven Chan, instead.]

I'm very pleased to welcome another one of my colleagues from the Applications Technology Group to our ever-growing team of Oracle authors:

Nilesh Patel is a Senior Database Administrator in the Oracle Applications Technology Integration group. He spends the majority of his time on new technology integration certifications with Oracle E-Business Suite releases.

Nilesh has been with Oracle since 2004. Nilesh has over six years of experience in software industry, working as a Developer and production DBA at various customer sites. Prior to Oracle he worked for Hitachi and Applitech Solution Inc.

Nilesh works in the Oracle India Development Centre office located in Hyderabad, India.

Monday Nov 27, 2006

Stone Soup for the E-Business Suite DBA Community

From its humble beginnings back in April, this little blog seems to have grown to be regarded as a serious resource for E-Business Suite DBAs.  Both I and my fellow Oracle bloggers are pleased by your feedback -- keep it coming!  With over 60,000 hits a month and still steadily climbing, it seems like there's a real demand for this kind of information.

Get Into the Act

If you've spent any time at all as an Apps DBA, you've likely bumped into unexpected problems, made obvious mistakes, developed some time-saving techniques, or had an epiphany after deciphering some particularly cryptic Oracle documentation. 

If so, I'd like to encourage you to contribute to our Stone Soup.  The global dialogue and knowledge base would be enriched by your own experiences.  The E-Business Suite needs you!  Here are some ideas on how you can participate:

  • Drop in on the E-Business Suite Oracle Technology network forums and post something, from time to time
  • Comment on -- or contribute to -- some of the existing websites and blogs covering this area (more on that in a minute)
  • Start your own wiki, blog, or even a full-blown website if you're feeling even more ambitious
  • Participate in the Oracle Applications User Group Special Interest Group of your choice
My Own Reading List

In case you haven't already stumbled across these in my own annotated site list, here are a few of the notable external sites that I read regularly for their insights into how people are really using the E-Business Suite (in alphabetical order):
  • Eddie Awad's Blog - an eclectic mix of tips, cross-references, and observations about Oracle-related things, including the E-Business Suite
  • The Feature by Marian Crkon (with
    guest bloggers like Floyd Teter) - A wide array of practical news and
    articles about both functional and technical E-Business Suite topics

  • My Oracle EBS DBA Blog by Bas Klaassen - Interesting tips, observations, and detailed chronicles of a real Apps DBA working with the E-Business Suite
  • OracleAppsBlog by Richard Byrom - Occasional postings from a busy Apps DBA
  • Oracle Apps DBA by Atul Kumar - Frequent in-depth posts from an Apps DBA with a experience in a wide range of E-Business Suite technologies

  • The Oracle EBS Developer by Andries Hanakom - Occasional technical postings with tips from a developer building extensions on top of the E-Business Suite

  • ORCLville by Floyd Teter - Thoughtful observations and insights on the impact of E-Business Suite strategic directions on organizations and Apps DBAs
  • Oracle Applications DBA Blog - An interesting site with a particularly strong emphasis on explanations of core E-Business Suite techstack concepts, tools, and utilities
As usual, my links to these sites don't imply that Oracle endorses them, agrees with everything they have to say, or even that what they say is accurate.  But they're always interesting, nonetheless, and I look forward to seeing what you contribute to this growing pot of Stone Soup.

Tuesday Oct 24, 2006

Oracle Techcast Featuring... This Blog

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Thursday Sep 14, 2006

John Wookey on Oracle's Apps Strategy

In a break from our usual coverage, this isn't a technology stack-related article.  But bear with me; it's worth your while.

John Wookey doesn't have the luxury of writing articles every day.  In fact, given that he's got the hardest job in Silicon Valley, it's amazing that he has the time to write anything at all.

Therefore, if he's taken time out of his schedule to update his blog, I always sit up and pay attention.  Even if you're an Apps DBA whose primary concern is applying ATG RUP 4, John's latest article discusses some of the thinking behind our Applications Unlimited commitments and warrants some reflection:

Thursday Sep 07, 2006

Introducing Pranjal Deosthali, Guest Author

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Sunday Jul 16, 2006

Introducing Jim Van Heel, Guest Author

By now, regular readers might have gathered that my plans are to assemble a dream team of guest authors from different lines of business that work with the E-Business Suite.  So far I've been lucky enough to convince senior colleagues such as Mike Shaw (Support) and Keith M. Swartz (Development) to join us here.

Success often builds on success, and so I'm pleased to welcome Jim Van Heel as a new contributor to this blog.  Jim spends nearly all of his time speaking directly to people in the field -- architects, system planners, and DBAs -- and he brings a fresh new perspective to this blog.  On top of all that, he's a snappy dresser.

Here's a short bio:

Jim is an 11i Applications Technology specialist in the Field Sales organization. Since joining Oracle in 1998, Jim has worked with big and small customers in the Utilities, Communications and Financial Services industries.

Jim works out of the Manhattan office, but he's on the road spreading the good word most of the time. One day, his sailboat will be back in the water.

Thursday Jul 13, 2006

Introducing Keith M. Swartz, Guest Author

[Editor Update May 21, 2008:  Keith has moved on to another team within Oracle and, sadly, is no longer an active contributor to this blog.  Feel free to direct any questions about his posted articles directly to Steven Chan, instead.]

I'm very pleased to welcome Keith M. Swartz as a new contributor to this blog.  He's a colleague in my team and a key member of the core group that does the tough R&D work of integrating Oracle components with the E-Business Suite technology stack.  For example, Keith has spent a substantial portion of the last few years involved with the work that culminated in Release 12's upgrade to Oracle Application Server 10g.  

Here's a short bio:

Keith M. Swartz is a Senior Software Architect in the Technology Integration group, and spends the majority of his time on lifecycle management and collaboration integration strategies for the forthcoming Fusion Applications products. So if his writings seem vague and leave you wanting for more, just be patient, because there's much more to come!

Keith has been with Oracle since 1993, and has spent nearly the entire time in the bowels of the E-Business products: first as a support analyst for the AOL and AutoInstall products, then later, as product manager for AutoInstall. He was also the founder of the Systems Assurance Group for candidate release testing, and one of the original designers of the Certify application that has since become a staple of Oracle's MetaLink offerings.

As is customary for anyone who writes in this blog, Keith is also a remote worker, taking root in Seattle, Washington, and only occasionally travelling to Redwood Shores for brief respites from the rain.

Tuesday Jun 27, 2006

Apps-Related Websites and Blogs

There appears to be only a relatively small number of websites and blogs that cover Apps-related topics, some of them only tangentially or occasionally.  Here's a list of the ones that I've found so far:

Oracle Authors

Technology-Oriented Functionally-Oriented Adding Your Blog

If you know of a good Apps-related website or blog not listed here, drop me a line and I'll update this list accordingly. 

Note that I prune this list every now and then of blogs or websites that haven't been updated within the last twelve months or so.  If your blog's back after a long hiatus, drop me a line and I'll add it back to this list.

Wednesday Jun 21, 2006

Introducing Mike Shaw, Guest Author

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