Saturday Apr 23, 2016

Oracle Utilities Customer Care And Billing 2.5 Benchmark available

Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing v2.5.x marked a major change in application technology as it is an all Java-based architecture.  In past releases, both Java and COBOL were supported. Over the last few releases, COBOL support has been progressively been replaced to optimize the product.

In recently conducted performance benchmark tests, it was demonstrated that the performance of Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing v2.5.x, an all java based release, is at least 15 percent better than that of the already high performing Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing v2.4.0.2, which included the COBOL-based architecture for key objects, in all use cases tested.

The performance tests simulated a utility with 10 million customers with both versions running the same workloads. In the key use cases tested, Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing v2.5.x performed at least 15% faster than the previous release.

Additionally, Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing v2.5.x processed 500,000 bills (representing the nightly batch billing for a utility serving 10 million customer accounts being divided into twenty groups, so that 5% of all customers are billed each night on each of the 20 working days during the month) within just 45 minutes.

The improved Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing performance ultimately reduces utility staff overtime hours required to oversee batch billing, allows utilities to consolidate tasks on fewer servers and reduce data center size and cost required, and it enables utilities to confidently explore new business processes and revenue sources, such as running billing services to smaller utilities.

A whitepaper is available summarizing the results and details of the architecture used. 

Friday Sep 12, 2014

Oracle OpenWorld Sessions - Oracle Utilities

I will be presenting three sessions at Oracle Openworld this year. Feel free to come to the sessions if you are attending and have a chat with me on your implementations and general feedback.

The three sessions I am conducting are:

I will also be around the Oracle Utilities area for general discussions with customers and also be appearing at demo grounds.

See you there.

Monday Nov 19, 2012

Oracle Utilities Application Framework V4. Released

The Oracle Utilities Application Framework V4. has been released with Oracle Utilities Customer Care And Billing V2.4. This release includes new functionality and updates to existing functionality and will be progressively released across the Oracle Utilities applications.

The release is quite substantial with lots of new and exciting changes. The release notes shipped with the product includes a summary of the changes implemented in V4. They include the following:

  • Configuration Migration Assistant (CMA) - A new data management capability to allow you to export and import Configuration Data from one environment to another with support for Approval/Rejection of individual changes.
  • Database Connection Tagging - Additional tags have been added to the database connection to allow database administrators, Oracle Enterprise Manager and other Oracle technology the ability to monitor and use individual database connection information.
  • Native Support for Oracle WebLogic - In the past the Oracle Utilities Application Framework used Oracle WebLogic in embedded mode, and now, to support advanced configuration and the ExaLogic platform, we are adding Native Support for Oracle WebLogic as configuration option.
  • Native Web Services Support - In the past the Oracle Utilities Application Framework supplied a servlet to handle Web Services calls and now we offer an alternative to use the native Web Services capability of Oracle WebLogic. This allows for enhanced clustering, a greater level of Web Service standards support, enchanced security options and the ability to use the Web Services management capabilities in Oracle WebLogic to implement higher levels of management including defining additional security rules to control access to individual Web Services.
  • XML Data Type Support - Oracle Utilities Application Framework now allows implementors to define XML Data types used in Oracle in the definition of custom objects to take advantage of XQuery and other XML features.
  • Fuzzy Operator Support - Oracle Utilities Application Framework supports the use of the fuzzy operator in conjunction with Oracle Text to take advantage of the fuzzy searching capabilities within the database.
  • Global Batch View - A new JMX based API has been implemented to allow JSR120 compliant consoles the ability to view batch execution across all threadpools in the Coherence based Named Cache Cluster.
  • Portal Personalization - It is now possible to store the runtime customizations of query zones such as preferred sorting, field order and filters to reuse as personal preferences each time that zone is used.

These are just the major changes and there are quite a few more that have been delivered (and more to come in the service packs!!).

Over the next few weeks we will be publishing new whitepapers and new entries in this blog outlining new facilities that you want to take advantage of.

Monday Sep 10, 2012

Business Objects/Crystal Reports Interface Changes

The Business Objects and Crystal Reporting interface for Oracle Utilities Application Framework V2.1, V2.2 and V4.x is now supplied as a sample interface. This will allow customers and partners who use this interface to tailor the interface to suit their inidividual needs and also support the numerous versions of Business Objects and Crystal Reports available.

The sample interface is available from My Oracle Support in Doc Id: 1487588.1. The download includes the interface code, an overview of the interface and instructions on how to install and maintain the interface as a Customer Modification.

Thursday Jul 12, 2012

Oracle Application Management Pack for Oracle Utilities

A management pack for use for management of Oracle Utilities applications within Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c is available. A detailed whitepaper is now available on My Oracle Support at Doc Id: 1474435.1.

The pack supports the following products and versions:

Oracle Management Pack for Oracle Utilities provides application life-cycle services for the Oracle Utilities suite of applications. By combining Oracle Enterprise Manager's enterprise management solution with Oracle Utilities applications, IT organization can significantly reduce the cost and complexity to manage an Oracle Utilities product environment.

The Application Management Pack for Oracle Utilities provides a top down application management framework. This framework automates mundane operational tasks of application lifecycle management. These tasks are routinely performed by IT administrators to operationally manage a deployed production instance of Oracle Utilities products. The management pack leverages the power of the Oracle Utilities Application Framework to provide a single solution that is based upon Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c and extends it by providing a single view and console to manage Oracle Utilities products.

Centralized Operations and Management

Typically, multiple instances of multiple Oracle Utilities products are implemented at a site. A centralized framework is needed to manage and operate these multiple instances of multiple products to reduce total cost of operations. The Application Management Pack for Oracle Utilities provides a centralized management framework and allows IT administrators to centrally manage instances of Oracle Utilities environments using a browser based console.

Main OEM screen

Application Operations – Availability

Once an Oracle Utilities product has been installed, managing that environment's availability is critical. The Application Management Pack for Oracle Utilities provides instrumentation and tracking of a products individual components and their availability. This capability can be integrated with Oracle Enterprise Manager's incident and alerting capability to provide availability target tracking.

Oracle Utilities Home Page

Application Monitoring – Introducing Group Monitoring

An Oracle Utilities product contains a number of key components in the architecture. These components can be managed individually or as part of a group or group(s), to perform group monitoring and group management capabilities. Groups can be created by a number of dimensions matching your preferred IT management strategies.

Application Environment Management – Cloning environments

After installing the Oracle Utilities product, the Application Management Pack for Oracle Utilities allows additional copies of the software to be quickly created using environment cloning. Simple cloning allows for environments to be created with minimal interaction and advance cloning allows new environments with new characteristics to be created.

Sample Advanced Cloning

Application Upgrades – Introducing Patch Management

Once an Oracle Utilities product is installed the challenge is to keep that environment up to date with patches. The Application Management Pack for Oracle Utilities provides an interface to My Oracle Support to import and install patches on an environment interactively or on a schedule. Once an environment is patched to an acceptable level, Application Management Pack for Oracle Utilities allows patch sets to be migrated across environments.

Example Patch install

Utilizing the power of Oracle Enterprise Manager

The Application Management Pack for Oracle Utilities allows Oracle Utilities products to take advantage of the power of management from Oracle Enterprise Manager. The ability to schedule any of the pack tasks interactively or on a pre-scheduled basis, integration with availability alerting to detect outages, support for blackout periods and support for management grouping allows Oracle Utilities product to take advantage of the power of Oracle Enterprise Manager.

Enterprise Wide Management

The Application Management Pack for Oracle Utilities has been designed to work standalone or in conjunction with other packs available for Oracle Enterprise Manager. Customers can choose to target Oracle Utilities product using Oracle Enterprise Manager or target their entire Oracle infrastructure to provide higher levels of management across the enterprise

Wednesday Jun 01, 2011

Oracle Utilities Legacy Integration KB Article

In the past Oracle Utilities has offered point to point solutions for integration between the suite of Oracle Utilities products. Over the last few years, there has been a steady migration of those point to point solutions to support Oracle's Application Integration Architecture (AIA).

There is a KB Article in My Oracle Support that outlines the point to point integrations and their AIA counterparts for migration to the AIA solutions. The article is Doc Id: 1326073.1.

Tuesday May 10, 2011

Updates to Whitepapers: Batch Best Practices and Environment Management

A number of whitepaper have been updated and released with some latest advice:

  • Environment Management (part of the Software Configuration Management Series in Doc Id: 560401.1 from My Oracle Support) - Now includes instructions on how to clone environments (make a new environment from an existing environment.
  • Batch Best Practices (Doc Id: 836362.1 from My Oracle Support) - Now includes instructions for setting c3p0 to be more tolerant to database recycles.

These updates are part of the cycle of updates coming up.

Friday Aug 27, 2010

New releases of Oracle Utilities SDK

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Anthony Shorten
Hi, I am Anthony Shorten, I am the Principal Product Manager for the Oracle Utilities Application Framework. I have been working for over 20+ years in the IT Business and am the author of many a technical whitepaper, manual and training material. I am one of the product managers working on strategy and designs for the next generation of the technology used for the Utilities and Tax markets. This blog is provided to announce new features, document tips and techniques and also outline features of the Oracle Utilities Application Framework based products. These products include Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing, Oracle Utilities Meter Data Management, Oracle Utilities Mobile Workforce Management and Oracle Public Service Revenue Management. I am the product manager for the Management Pack for these products.


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