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Autoconfig in Oracle EBS R12.2

Pythian Group - 4 hours 45 min ago

All seasonal Oracle Apps DBAs know that Autoconfig is the master utility that can configure the whole E-Business Suite Instance. In E-Business Suite releases 11i, 12.0 and 12.1 running Autoconfig recreated all the relevant configurations files used by Apache server. If the context file has the correct settings, then configuration files should include the correct setting after running Autoconfig. This is not the case anymore in Oracle E-Business Suite 12.2. Some of the Apache config files are under fusion middleware control now, namely httpd.conf, admin.conf and ssl.conf. All other Apache config files are still under Autoconfig control. But these 3 critical config files include the main config pieces like Webport, SSL port etc.

So if you have to change the port used by EBS instance, then you have to log into the Weblogic admin console and change port there and then sync context xml file using adSyncContext.pl. This adSyncContext.pl utility will get the current port values from Weblogic console and update the xml with new port values. Once the context xml file syncs, we have to run Autoconfig to sync other config files and database profile values to pickup new webport

Similarly, if you want to change the JVM augments or class path, you have run another utility called adProvisionEBS.pl to make those changes from command line or login to the Weblogic admin console to do those changes. Interestingly, few of the changes done in Weblogic admin console or fusion middleware control are automatically synchronized with context xml file by the adRegisterWLSListeners.pl script that runs in the background all the time. But Apache config file changes were not picked by this script, so Apache changes had to be manually synchronized

There are a few My Oracle Support notes that can help you understand these utilities little more, such as 1676430.1 and 1905593.1. But understand that Autoconfig is a different ball game in Oracle E-Business Suite R12.2.

Discover more about Pythian’s expertise in the world of Oracle.

Categories: DBA Blogs

Collaboration Goes Beyond File Sharing

WebCenter Team - 6 hours 42 min ago

Yes, Oracle Documents Cloud Service is an enterprise file sync and share (EFSS) solution. Yes, it is in the cloud as you would expect from a modern day EFSS solution. And yes, it is easy and intuitive to use with out-of-the-box mobile accessibility with the added security that you would expect from an Oracle solution. But why do we keep insisting it is more than just an EFSS or file sharing solution? Because beyond just providing cloud storage and 24/7 access and share and sync capabilities and mobile access, Documents Cloud mobilizes your enterprise content. Unlike first-generation EFSS solutions, it doesn't create new information silo's and instead allows you to drive the content connected to your applications, to your business processes or to your source of record (like an enterprise content management system that is on premise) and make it available anywhere, for sharing and for collaboration.

Here's a quick look at how it may make your work life that much easier, more productive, much more efficient and perhaps even, fun?

For more information, visit us at oracle.com/digitalcollaboration.

Amazon RDS Migration Tool

Pythian Group - Wed, 2015-09-02 15:06

Amazon has just released their RDS Migration Tool, and Pythian has recently undertaken training to use for our clients. I wanted to share my initial thoughts on the tool, give some background on its internals, and provide a walk-through on the functionality it will be most commonly used for.

There are many factors to consider when evaluating cloud service providers, including cost, performance, and high availability and disaster recovery options. One of the most critical and overlooked elements of any cloud offering though, is the ease of migration. Often, weeks are spent evaluating all of the options only to discover after the choice is made that it will take hours of expensive downtime to complete the migration, and that there is no good rollback option in the case of failure.

In order to reduce the friction inherent in the move to a DBaaS offering, Amazon has developed an RDS Migration tool. This is an in-depth look at this new tool, which will be available after September 1, 2015. Contact Pythian to start a database migration.

With the introduction of the RDS Migration tool, Amazon has provided a powerful engine capable of handling much more than basic migration tasks. It works natively with Oracle, SQL Server, Sybase, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Redshift (target only), Aurora (target only), and provides an ODBC connector for all other source systems. The engine is powerful enough to handle fairly complex transformations and replication topologies; however, it is a migration tool and isn’t intended for long-term use.

Architecture

Amazon’s RDS Migration Tool architecture is very simple. It consists of your source system, an AWS VM with the Migration Tool installed on it, and the target RDS instance.

Each migration is broken up into Tasks. Within a Task, a source and target database are defined, along with the ability to transform the data, filter the tables or data being moved, and perform complex transformations.

Tasks can be scheduled to run at particular times, can be paused and resumed, and can alert on success or failure. It’s important to note that if a task is paused while a table is loading, that table will be reloaded completely from the beginning when the task resumes.

Within a running task, the following high-level steps are performed:
• Data is pulled from the source using a single thread per table
• Data is converted into a generic data type
• All transformations are applied
• Data is re-converted into the target system’s datatype and inserted
• After the initial load, if specified, the tool monitors for updates to data and applies them in near real-time

While processing the data, each table has a single thread reading from it, and any updates are captured using the source system’s native change data capture utility. Changes are not applied until after the initial load is completed. This is done to avoid overloading the source system, where it’s assumed client applications will still be running.

Performance Considerations

There are several factors which might limit the performance seen when migrating a database.

Network Bandwidth
Probably the biggest contributor to performance issues across data centers, there is no magic button when moving to RDS. If the database is simply too big or too busy for the network to handle the data being sent across, then other options may need to be explored or used in conjunction with this tool.

Some workarounds to consider when network performance is slow include:
• Setup AWS Direct Connect
• Use a bulk-load utility, and then use the tool to catch up on transactions
• Only migrate data from a particular point in time

RDS Migration Tool Server CPU
The migration tool converts all data into a common data type before performing any transformations, then converts them into the target database’s data type. This is obviously very heavy on the server’s CPU, and this is where the main performance bottlenecks on the server are seen.

Capacity of Source database
This tool uses a single SELECT statement to migrate the data, and then returns for any changed data after the initial bulk load is completed. On a busy system, this can be a lot of undo and redo data to migrate, and the source system needs to be watched closely to ensure the log files don’t grow out of control.

Capacity of Target database
In the best case scenario, this will be the limiter as it means all other systems are moving very fast. Amazon does recommend disabling backups for the RDS system while the migration is running to minimize logging.

Walkthrough

The following walkthrough looks at the below capabilities of this tool in version 1.2:

• Bulk Data Migration to and from the client’s environment and Amazon RDS
• Near Real-Time Updates to data after the initial load is completed
• The ability to transform data or add auditing information on the fly
• Filtering capabilities at the table or schema level

You will need to have setup network access to your databases for the RDS Migration Tool.

1. After confirming access with your account manager, access the tool by opening the AWS console, selecting EC2, and choosing AMIs.
AWS Console

2. Select the correct AMI and build your new VM. Amazon recommends an M4.large or M4.xlarge.

3. After building the new VM, you will need to install the connectors for your database engine. In this example, we’ll be using Oracle Instant Client 12.1.0.2 and MySQL ODBC Connector 5.2.7.

  • For the SQL Server client tools, you will need to stop the Migration services before installing.

4. Access the Migration Tool

  • Within VM: http://localhost/AmazonRDSMigrationConsole/
  • Public URL: https:[VM-DNS]/AmazonRDSMigrationConsole/
    • Username/Password is the Administrator login to the VM

5. The first screen after logging in displays all of your current tasks and their statuses.
RDS Migration Tool Home Screen

6. Clicking on the Tasks menu in the upper-left corner will bring up a drop-down menu to access Global Settings. From here, you can set Notifications, Error Handling, Logging, etc…
RDS Migration Tool Global Settings

7. Back on the Tasks menu, click the Manage Databases button to add the source and target databases. As mentioned earlier, this walkthrough will be an Oracle to Aurora migration. Aurora targets are a MySQL database for the purposes of this tool.
RDS Migration Tool Manage Databases Pop-Up

8. After defining your connections, close the Manage Databases pop-up and select New Task. Here, you can define if the task will perform a bulk-load of your data and/or if it will attempt to apply changes made.
RDS Migration Tool New Task

9. After closing the New Task window, simply drag & drop the source and target connectors into the task.

10. By selecting Task Settings, you can now define task level settings such as number of threads, truncate or append data, and define how a restart is handled when the task is paused. You can also override the global error handling and logging settings here.

  • The best practice recommendation is to find the largest LOB value in your source database and set that as the max LOB size in the task. Setting this value allows the task to optimize LOB handling, and will give the best performance.

RDS Migration Tool Task Settings

11. Select the Table Selection button to choose which tables will be migrated. The tool uses wildcard searches to allow any combination of tables to exclude or include. For example, you can:

  • Include all tables in the database
  • Include all tables in a schema or set of schemas
  • Exclude individual tables and bring over all remaining tables
  • Include individual tables and exclude all remaining tables

The tool has an Expand List button which will display all tables that will be migrated.

In this screenshot, all tables in the MUSER08 schema that start with T1 will be migrated, while all tables that start with T2 will be excluded EXCEPT for the T20, T21, T22, & T23 tables.
RDS Migration Tool Table Selection

12. After defining which tables will be migrated, select an individual table and choose the Table Settings button. Here you can add transformations for the individual tables, add new columns or remove existing ones, and filter the data that is brought over.

In this screenshot, the T1 table records will only be brought over if the ID is greater than or equal to 50 and the C1 column is LIKE ‘Migrated%’
RDS Migration Tool Table Settings

13. Select the Global Transformations button. Like the table selection screen, you use wildcards to define which tables these transformations will be applied to.
You can:

  • Rename the schema
  • Rename the table
  • Rename columns
  • Add new columns
  • Drop existing columns
  • Change the column data types

In this screenshot, a new column named MigratedDateTime will be created on all tables and populated with the current DateTime value.
RDS Migration Tool Global Transformations

14. Finally, save the task and choose Run. This will kick off the migration process and bring up the Monitoring window. From here, you can see the current task’s status, notifications, and errors, as well as get an idea of the remaining time.
RDS Migration Tool Monitoring Window

Categories: DBA Blogs

Reducing User Friction

Oracle AppsLab - Wed, 2015-09-02 14:27

A few nights ago a Domino’s Pizza commercial got my attention. It is called “Sarah Loves Emoji.”

At the end, the fictional character Sarah finishes by simply saying “only Domino’s gets me.

The idea of texting an emoji, tweeting, using a Smart TV, or a smartwatch to automagically order pizza fascinates me. What Domino’s is attempting to do here is to reduce user friction, which is defined as anything that prevents a user from accomplishing a goal.  After researching Domino’s Anywhere user experiences, I found a negative post of a frustrated user, of course! Thus proving that even if the system is designed to reduce friction, the human element on the process is bound to fail at some point. Regardless I think is pretty cool that consumer oriented companies are thinking “outside the box.”

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 2.30.45 PM

As a long fan of building Instant Messaging (xmpp/jabber) and SMS (Twilio) bots, I understand how these technologies can actually increase productivity and reduce user friction. Even single-button devices (think Amazon Dash, or my Staples Easy Button hack) can actually serve some useful purpose.

I believe we will start to see more use cases, where input is no longer tied to a single Web UI or mobile app. Instead we will see how more ubiquitous input process like text, twitter, etc. can be used to start or complete a process. After all it seems like email and text are here to stay for a while, but that’s the content of a different post.

I think we should all strive that our customers will ultimate say that we “get them.”Possibly Related Posts:

Breaking: Totara LMS Forks From Moodle And Changes Relationship

Michael Feldstein - Wed, 2015-09-02 13:43

By Phil HillMore Posts (358)

What interesting timing. Just as I published my interview with Martin Dougiamas, I was notified that Totara LMS, a Moodle derivative aimed at the corporate learning market, has forked from Moodle and is changing its relationship with the Moodle Community. From their newsletter released today (Sept 3 Australia time):

The relationship between Totara and Moodle is changing

We have made the carefully considered decision that from 2016 Totara LMS will no longer be in lockstep with Moodle. This will free the team at Totara Learning to focus on big leaps forward in usability and modernising the framework for our enterprise customers.

Further down, Richard Wyles wrote an additional post explaining the fork, starting with his long-term relationship with Moodle. He then explains:

Why are we forking?

From 2016 onwards we will no longer be in lockstep. Totara LMS will progressively diverge from its Moodle foundations.

Why have we made this decision? There are several factors;

  1. Innovation. A benefit of open source software is the ability to extend the code base of an application and develop it in a new direction. Over the past few years we have added more than 450,000 lines of code comprising a series of modular, interwoven extensions layered on top of a standard Moodle. All the additional features reflect the different needs of our user community and Totara LMS is now almost unrecognisable from a standard Moodle installation. We’ve taken a lot of care to achieve these results with minimal alterations to Moodle’s core codebase. That policy has been beneficial to both projects. However it also comes with constraints, particularly with some feature requests such as multi-tenancy. To do this well requires deep architectural changes. Overall, to continue, and accelerate our rate of innovation we need to start diverging the base platforms.
  2. Modernising the platform. It is our view, and we know it is a shared view with many Totara Partners, that the current product needs a significant investment in the overall UX. Due to the following point regarding collaboration we are unable to make this investment without diverging from Moodle. We are committed to doing the best by our Totara Partners, key stakeholders in our open source ecosystem, and our growing (collective) customer base. Our 2016 release (which will be tagged as Totara LMS version 9.0) will have a major focus on improving the UX design and overall quality assurance.

Richard goes on with other reasons and concludes:

The decision to forge a new direction is simply based on the need to deliver the best product we’re able – fit for purpose for modern workplace learning, guided by the needs of our partners and customers.

The Totara LMS home page links to a YouTube video introduction, and I note that the lack of reference to “Moodle” name.

Wow. This is a significant move for several reasons, including the following:

  • The long-term relationship of Richard and others in Totara to the Moodle Community, which will now diverge;
  • The importance of corporate learning for many, if not most, Moodle Partners;
  • One of the reasons not quoted above in Richard’s post is that “The leadership of Moodle Pty Ltd has made it clear to us that it is their intent to clone recent Totara LMS versions to offer the market ‘Moodle for Workplace.’” (read Richard’s post in full); and
  • Totara has contributed an large amount of code to Moodle, including “with Moodle HQ incorporating Totara developed features; Learning Plans and Competencies”.

I will now extend my core argument from last week’s post on Blackboard’s Moodle strategy in Latin America.

The Moodle community at large appears to be at an inflection point. This inflection point I see comes from a variety of triggers:

  • Blackboard acquisitions causing Moodle HQ, other Moodle Partners, and some subset of users’ concerns about commercialization;
  • Creation of the Moodle Association as well as Moodle Cloud services as alternate paths to Moodle Partners for revenue and setup;
  • Remote-Learner leaving the Moodle Partner program and planning to join the Moodle Association, with its associated lost revenue and public questioning value; and
  • Totara LMS forking and diverging from Moodle core.

Analysis post coming soon.

The post Breaking: Totara LMS Forks From Moodle And Changes Relationship appeared first on e-Literate.

Interview With Martin Dougiamas On Changes To Moodle Community This Year

Michael Feldstein - Wed, 2015-09-02 12:59

By Phil HillMore Posts (358)

In my post last week on Blackboard’s Moodle strategy in Latin America, I made the following observation:

At the same time, this strategy and growth comes at a time where the Moodle community at large appears to be at an inflection point. This inflection point I see comes from a variety of triggers:

  • Blackboard acquisitions causing Moodle HQ, other Moodle Partners, and some subset of users’ concerns about commercialization;
  • Creation of the Moodle Association as well as Moodle Cloud services as alternate paths to Moodle Partners for revenue and setup; and
  • Remote-Learner leaving the Moodle Partner program and planning to join the Moodle Association, with its associated lost revenue and public questioning value.

I’m working on a follow-up post that looks more deeply at these changes to the Moodle community, and as part of the research I’ve interviewed Martin Dougiamas, Moodle Founder and CEO, by email. Given Martin’s role, I wanted to avoid the risk of having his answers get buried within my upcoming analysis post; therefore, I’ve decided to publish the interview in full. The only changes I have made are for clarity: showing and correcting[1] full names instead of acronyms[2], correcting grammar, and reordering questions to show follow-up discussions in context.

Phil: Given Blackboard’s trend in acquisitions for Moodle (Remote-Learner UK, X-Ray Analytics, Nivel Siete), and assuming these are not the last, how do these moves affect the Moodle community and future (including roadmap, Moodle HQ funding, whatever)? What are the biggest benefits and / or what are the risks and downsides?

Martin: In any community there’s always going to be some concern about any one organisation trying to gain dominance. Our certified Moodle Partner program was designed specifically to avoid these kind of risks by building a large global network of different companies (currently 68 and growing, including Moonami and Elearning Experts recently in the US) who are committed to supporting Moodle HQ. The recent Blackboard acquisitions don’t bring any benefits to Moodle as a whole.

Phil: When you say “the recent Blackboard acquisitions don’t bring any benefits to Moodle as a whole”, I note that in Latin America the only other Moodle Partners are in Argentina (1) and Brazil (3). Would Blackboard / Nivel Siete expansion to service most of Latin America end up generating more official Moodle Partner revenue, thus helping fund more core development through HQ?

Martin: We have South American Moodle Partners in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Peru and several in Brazil, as well as Partners who work in South America from other locations. Our Partner program is all about supporting local businesses who are Moodle experts, and they support us by paying royalties.

There is always some talk around acquisitions which it’s good to be mindful of. From a Moodle point of view there’s no new “expansion” – it was already happening.

Nivel Siete, like Moodlerooms, was a tiny company of several people who grew to 20 or so people with our support over many years. Meanwhile, Blackboard has had offices and resellers selling Blackboard Learn in South America for many years. As you know, acquisitions usually happen to remove a competitor or to gain some capabilities that the buying company was not able to develop on their own.

Phil: Do you agree with my characterization that “Moodle community at large appears to be at an inflection point” this year, driven by the three examples listed?

Martin: Sorry, I don’t really agree with your characterization. Unlike nearly all other LMS companies, Moodle is not profit-focussed (all our revenue goes into salaries). We are an organisation that is completely focussed on supplying a true open source alternative for the world without resorting to venture capital and the profit-driven thinking that comes with that.

Of course we still want to grow our core development team significantly in order to help Moodle evolve faster. So some of the big new things you’re seeing from us this year have been in the pipeline for a while and are about driving that: the Moodle Association is a formalisation of crowd-funding for additional new core developments; and MoodleCloud is very much about supporting and strengthening the Moodle Partner brand (while helping those who want these new services).

Regarding our ex-Partner Remote-Learner, it’s a shame we’ve lost them as friends but they are driven by their own internal issues. Saying they have switched to the Association is a little like saying you switched to Kickstarter, it doesn’t mean much. In any case they cannot actually even join the Moodle Association as commercial LMS service providers are not eligible.

Phil: My note on “inflection point” is not based on a profit-driven assumption. The idea is that significant changes are underway that could change the future direction of Moodle. A lot depends on Blackboard’s acquisition strategy (assuming it goes beyond Remote-Learner UK and Nivel Siete), whether other Moodle Partners follow Remote-Learner’s decision, and whether Moodle Association shows signs of producing similar or larger revenues than the Moodle Partner program. What I don’t see happening is extension of the status quo.

Martin: Moodle’s mission is not changing at all, we are just expanding and improving how we do things in response to a shifting edtech world. We are starting the Moodle Association to fill a gap that our users have often expressed to us – they wanted a way to have some more direct input over major changes in core Moodle. There is no overlap between this and the Moodle Partners – in fact we are also doing a great deal to improve and grow the Moodle Partner program and as well as the user experience for those who need Moodle services from them.

Phil: You have previously described the Moodle model as a ‘benevolent dictatorship’. Do you see that core model changing in the near future based on the three items I mentioned under inflection point (Moodle Association, Blackboard acquisitions, Remote-Learner leaving Moodle Partner program) or do you see roughly the same model but just with additional crowd-funding through Moodle Association? I think you’re answering the latter, but I want to make sure.

Martin: Yes, the latter.

I don’t use the ‘benevolent dictatorship’ term myself although it’s common in the open source world. Yes, I wrote everything in the first versions of Moodle, and my company continues to lead the project via Moodle Pty Ltd [aka Moodle HQ].

However, rather than any kind of dictatorship we see our mission as being *servants* to the community of teachers and learners who need Moodle and quality open source Free software. Our core duty is to give away the software we develop. Our values are to support educators with respect, integrity, openness and innovation. See https://moodle.com/hq/ This is never going to change.

This is in contrast to multi-billion companies whose value is in increasing their EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization] before a sale, and whose mission is to expand by acquiring markets in other countries.

Phil: Could you comment on the deep penetration of Moodle worldwide into corporate learning (maybe equal to higher ed / K-12)?

Martin: Yes, Moodle is used a lot in corporate learning worldwide. In fact something like 40% of the many thousands of clients using Moodle Partners as service providers are using Moodle for company training, including some really huge ones. We have a few case studies on our website at moodle.com/stories if you’re interested.

  1. Changing references to “Remote Learner” to follow the proper “Remote-Learner” usage
  2. For example, replacing “BB” with “Blackboard”, “NS” with “Nivel Siete”, etc

The post Interview With Martin Dougiamas On Changes To Moodle Community This Year appeared first on e-Literate.

Bigger Than Ever―Oracle’s Commerce Solutions at OpenWorld 2015

Linda Fishman Hoyle - Wed, 2015-09-02 12:37

A Guest Post by Jeri Kelley (avatar to the left), Senior Principal Product Manager, Oracle

There are a lot of great reasons for Oracle Commerce customers to attend OpenWorld at the end of October, including in-depth product updates, many customer success stories, hands-on labs, and networking events. Attendees will walk away with a better understanding of how Oracle’s commerce solutions can help them stay competitive in today’s rapidly changing commerce market.

What’s New and Different?

  • Meet Oracle Commerce Cloud―it's the newest addition to Oracle’s CX Applications portfolio. See demos, learn about the roadmap, and hear directly from our first customers leveraging this new product
  • Check out the Hands-on Labs: See how you can quickly stand up an online storefront with Oracle Commerce Cloud
  • Catch the Interactive Customer Showcases in the CX Commerce Demo Zone, featuring Oracle Commerce and Commerce Cloud customers

All sessions and the demo zone for customer experience will be located on 2nd floor of Moscone West in San Francisco.

Conference Sessions

Commerce attendees can explore best practices and share knowledge with more than 20 commerce-focused sessions:

  • Learn about roadmap and release updates
  • Get an in-depth look at Oracle Commerce Cloud
  • Attend thought-leadership sessions featuring Oracle strategy experts and industry analysts
  • Sit in on customer panels featuring both Oracle Commerce and Commerce Cloud customers
  • Experience manager and business control center best practice sessions
  • Listen to customer and partner case studies
  • Take part in more than just commerce-focused sessions and explore all that CX Central @ OpenWorld has to offer

Sessions of Special Interest

  • The Future of Oracle Commerce: Roadmap and Release Update (CON6303), Tuesday Oct. 27, 5:15-6:00 p.m., Moscone West, Room 2005
  • Meet Oracle Commerce Cloud―A New SaaS Solution for Commerce (CON8647), Wednesday, Oct. 28, 12:15-1:00 p.m., Moscone West Room 2005
  • Accelerating Success with Oracle Commerce―Panel discussion with KLX Aerospace, Tilly’s, and other Oracle Commerce Customers (CON8641), Tuesday, Oct. 27, 4:00-4:45 p.m., Moscone West, Room 2005
  • Building Commerce Experiences In The Cloud―Panel discussion with Rock/Creek, Hollander, and Elaine Turner (CON8842), Wednesday, Oct. 28, 3-3:45 p.m., Moscone West Room 2005

Guest Customer and Partner Appearances Include:

Vitamix, American Greetings, Maritz Reward Solutions, KLX Aerospace, Tilly’s, Ulta Rock/Creek, Hollander, Elaine Turner, JC Penney, Furniture Row, TOMS, Bodybuilding.com, Lojos Renner, Verizon, Razorfish, Compasso, SapientNitro, Cirrus10, and more!

Commerce Demo Zone

Take a break in the CX-Commerce Demo Zone. You’ll see the latest Oracle Commerce product demonstrations led by members of the Oracle Commerce product management and sales consulting teams. Take note of the latest features and learn from our customers at these demonstrations:

  • Oracle Commerce On-Premise: See the latest features for both B2C and B2B commerce
  • Oracle Commerce Cloud: Learn all about our newest offering
  • Interactive Customer Showcase: Stop by and visit Oracle Commerce and Commerce Cloud customers as they showcase their latest product offerings. You also can see how they are using Oracle Commerce or Commerce Cloud to power their online shopping experiences.
    • Note: These customers will be offering special OpenWorld-only discounts on their products, so make sure to stop by! Featured customers include Vitamix, Rock/Creek, Elaine Turner, and Hollander.

Customer Events

Finally, a preview of Oracle Commerce at OpenWorld would not be complete without a mention of customer appreciation events:

  • Monday, October 26: Commerce Customer Dinner @ The Waterbar Restaurant; by invitation only and your chance to network with Oracle Commerce product management and your commerce peers.
  • Tuesday, October 27: CX customer appreciation event; planning is in progress!
  • Wednesday, October 28: Oracle Appreciation Event at Treasure Island!

At a Glance

Visit Commerce—CX Central @ OpenWorld for full details on speakers, conference sessions, exhibits and entertainment!

We look forward to seeing everyone in San Francisco, October 25–October 29, 2015!

Using Data Relationship Management to Maintain Hierarchies for BI Apps (1)

Dylan's BI Notes - Wed, 2015-09-02 10:52
DRM is a generic data management application. It provides a web based application that allows the deploying company to maintain the data. It is a collaboration tool that allows you to define the validation and set up the data security duties and share the maintenance. Earlier the tool was designed to maintain the account information.  However, […]
Categories: BI & Warehousing

Set environment properties in SoapUI (freeware) - Revised

Darwin IT - Wed, 2015-09-02 07:08
Last july I wrote about setting environment depended properties in SoapUI. I'm looking for the best way to make SoapUI testcases environment independend and to make it easy to switch between target environments.

In that article I suggested to create a set of properties with the actual working values on project level to be refered in the endpoint urls (hostname:port + URI), username/passwords and so on. And per environment a distinct set of the same properties holding the values of that target environment. Then I created a test case per target environment that copies those target-environment values to the working properties.

This works fine for me. However, in my quest to the most comfortable way of registering and toggling between those values, I found a few enhancements quite convenient.

First of all, after the property-transfer step, I created a manual step, listing the values of the working properties, with a remark that it should contain the values of the particular target environment:



My Localhost version of this testcase will run into:
Don't forget to click 'Ok' after this step. Unfortunately I did not find a way to increase the 'Expected Result" Textarea.

The second enhancement was that I moved my Target Environment property values to the "setEnvironment" test case. I found that with an increasing number of properties it is quite hard to have a clear overview of the properties. And I need to think about a proper naming convention. But when I moved those to the "setEnvironment" test case I have a distinctive set of properties per environment and on project level a distinctive set of working properties.
Since the testcase is environment-specific, I don't need a target-environment reference in the property-names. And also, they are scoped and thus not referable within other testsuites/testcases, preventing errors.

Moving those properties in SoapUI is pretty labor-intensive. But moving those in the source is quick (and dirty). If you open the SoapUI project xml file, you'll find the project-properties at the bottom of the file:
For instance:
<con:properties>
<con:property><con:name>CSServiceURI</con:name><con:value>ContentServer/PS_StoreDocumentToCSStage_v1</con:value>
</con:property><con:property><con:name>CSServiceHost</con:name><con:value>localhost:7001</con:value></con:property>
<con:property><con:name>CSUser</con:name><con:value>svc_GSA</con:value></con:property>
<con:property><con:name>CSPassword</con:name><con:value>welcome1</con:value></con:property>
<con:property><con:name>CSHost</con:name><con:value>localhost:8088</con:value></con:property>
<con:property><con:name>CSAuthenticationURI</con:name><con:value>ContentServer/Authentication</con:value></con:property>
<con:property><con:name>CSSearchServiceURI</con:name><con:value>ContentServer/SearchService</con:value></con:property>
<con:property><con:name>CSDocumentManagementURI</con:name><con:value>ContentServer/DocumentManagement</con:value></con:property>
<con:property><con:name>CSAuthenticationToken</con:name><con:value>TsiKqmREU78MhR4Po%2FJFlsv3OzGUAnDsDsPDcymSnxI%3D</con:value></con:property>
</con:properties>

Copy and paste the properties to move (since I did so allready you'll don't find my target-env properties here anymore) to a seperate  file to get them together.
Then find the target-testcase in the file (in this example "SetLocalEnvironment"):

You'll find at the end of the testcase an empty properties element (<con:properties/>). Open it up (<con:properties> </con:properties> ) and copy and paste the properties within the element.
SoapUI doesn't do formatting of the xml, so you might want to add line-feeds like I did in this example.
Finally you need to change the property-transfer-lines. In the example above, you'll see that I found the transfer-step and added line-feeds for each "<con:transfers ..."
<con:transfers setNullOnMissingSource="true"... some other properties... ><con:name>CSServiceHost</con:name><con:sourceType>CSServiceHost-Dev</con:sourceType><con:sourceStep>#Project#</con:sourceStep><con:targetType>CSServiceHost</con:targetType><con:targetStep>#Project#</con:targetStep><con:upgraded>true</con:upgraded></con:transfers>

You'll find in this line the source step: "<con:sourceStep>#Project#</con:sourceStep>" and target step: "<con:targetStep>#Project#</con:targetStep>". Change the value of the source step to: "<con:sourceStep>#TestCase#</con:sourceStep>". Now the property is refered from the testcase instead of the project. The property on project level can be deleted.

Renaming the properties can better be done from the UI, since SoapUI will then change the property-name also in every reference. Even in soap-requests. So after changing the file in your ascii-editor reload the project in SoapUI. And make the final changes and do the tests.

Now, although this is a nice example of source-hacking from outside the UI, you can't expect any support on this of course. So enable a proper version-control and test the SoapUI properly.

Protect Your APEX Application PL/SQL Source Code

Pete Finnigan - Wed, 2015-09-02 04:50

Oracle Application Express is a great rapid application development tool where you can write your applications functionality in PL/SQL and create the interface easily in the APEX UI using all of the tools available to create forms and reports and....[Read More]

Posted by Pete On 21/07/15 At 04:27 PM

Categories: Security Blogs

Oracle Security and Electronics

Pete Finnigan - Wed, 2015-09-02 04:50

How does Oracle Security and Electronic mix together? - Well I started my working life in 1979 as an apprentice electrician in a factory here in York, England where I live. The factory designed and built trains for the national....[Read More]

Posted by Pete On 09/07/15 At 11:24 AM

Categories: Security Blogs

New Conference Speaking Dates Added

Pete Finnigan - Wed, 2015-09-02 04:50

In the last few years I have not done as many conference speaking dates as I used to. This is simply because when offered they usually clashed with pre-booked work. I spoke for the UKOUG in Dublin last year and....[Read More]

Posted by Pete On 06/07/15 At 09:40 AM

Categories: Security Blogs

Happy 10th Belated Birthday to My Oracle Security Blog

Pete Finnigan - Wed, 2015-09-02 04:50

Make a Sad Face..:-( I seemed to have missed my blogs tenth which happened on the 20th September 2014. My last post last year and until very recently was on July 23rd 2014; so actually its been a big gap....[Read More]

Posted by Pete On 03/07/15 At 11:28 AM

Categories: Security Blogs

Oracle Database Vault 12c Paper by Pete Finnigan

Pete Finnigan - Wed, 2015-09-02 04:50

I wrote a paper about Oracle Database Vault in 12c for SANS last year and this was published in January 2015 by SANS on their website. I also prepared and did a webinar about this paper with SANS. The Paper....[Read More]

Posted by Pete On 30/06/15 At 05:38 PM

Categories: Security Blogs

Unique Oracle Security Trainings In York, England, September 2015

Pete Finnigan - Wed, 2015-09-02 04:50

I have just updated all of our Oracle Security training offerings on our company website. I have revamped all class pages and added two page pdf flyers for each of our four training classes. In have also updated the list....[Read More]

Posted by Pete On 25/06/15 At 04:36 PM

Categories: Security Blogs

Coding in PL/SQL in C style, UKOUG, OUG Ireland and more

Pete Finnigan - Wed, 2015-09-02 04:50

My favourite language is hard to pin point; is it C or is it PL/SQL? My first language was C and I love the elegance and expression of C. Our product PFCLScan has its main functionallity written in C. The....[Read More]

Posted by Pete On 23/07/14 At 08:44 PM

Categories: Security Blogs

Integrating PFCLScan and Creating SQL Reports

Pete Finnigan - Wed, 2015-09-02 04:50

We were asked by a customer whether PFCLScan can generate SQL reports instead of the normal HTML, PDF, MS Word reports so that they could potentially scan all of the databases in their estate and then insert either high level....[Read More]

Posted by Pete On 25/06/14 At 09:41 AM

Categories: Security Blogs

Oracle Midlands : Event #11 – Summary

Tim Hall - Wed, 2015-09-02 03:14

oracle-midlandsLast night was Oracle Midlands event #11 with Chris Antognini.

The lead up to this event was not the best for me. I had been on the verge of a headache all day. By 14:00 I gave up, went home and went to sleep for a couple of hours. It wasn’t great, but it was just enough to take the edge off, so when the time came, I felt sort-of OK to head out for the event. The drive started to convince me this wasn’t the best move, but once I got to the event and sat down I figured I was going to make it. :)

Chris did two talks at the event.

The first talk had lots of people’s heads nodding. It’s kind-of depressing, but we’ve all seen, and continue to see, these same things happening again and again. I, like others in the audience, am convinced it is because of the lack of emphasis on database technologies in development. Too many frameworks encourage a hands-off approach to the database, hiding it behind persistence layers that end up doing a mediocre job, at best. Anyway, enough of my rambling. This session should be mandatory viewing once a month for every developer that goes near a database! :)

redstacktechThe second session was pretty neat too. I must admit I’ve become addicted to the Enterprise Manager 12c performance pages, so a couple of the things Chris mentioned took me by surprise, including the use of some V$ views that I assumed were part of the Diagnostics and Tuning Pack, but aren’t. I’m purposely going to avoid mentioning them here because I would want to confirm the status before accidentally leading someone astray, but the idea was, query the V$ view and you are good. Query the DBA_HIST_* view and you’ve sourced the information from the AWR, so you need the D&T pack. This definitely *does not* apply to all V$ views, but it’s worth checking out if you don’t have D&T, or you are working with standard edition.

I think the evening went really well. Thanks to Chris for coming to speak to us and thanks to the Oracle ACE Program for getting him across. Thanks to Red Stack Tech for sponsoring the event, allowing this to remain free. Thanks to Mike for doing a great job of keeping these events rolling. Of course, thanks to everyone for turning up after the Bank Holiday weekend. :)

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle Midlands : Event #11 – Summary was first posted on September 2, 2015 at 10:14 am.
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job_name cannot be null

Laurent Schneider - Wed, 2015-09-02 01:23


exec dbms_scheduler.create_job(job_name=>null,job_type=>'PLSQL_BLOCK',job_action=>'BEGIN NULL; END;')
ORA-27451: JOB_NAME cannot be NULL
ORA-06512: at "SYS.DBMS_ISCHED", line 146
ORA-06512: at "SYS.DBMS_SCHEDULER", line 288
ORA-06512: at line 1

This sounds like a proper error message. A bit less obvious is the drop_job message


SQL> exec dbms_scheduler.drop_job(job_name=>null)
ORA-20001: comma-separated list invalid near
ORA-06512: at "SYS.DBMS_UTILITY", line 236
ORA-06512: at "SYS.DBMS_UTILITY", line 272
ORA-06512: at "SYS.DBMS_SCHEDULER", line 743
ORA-06512: at line 1

comma-separated list invalid near what?

Ok, why would you create an empty job? Obviously you wouldn’t. But remember job_name could be a very long expression that won’t fit in your VARCHAR2(30) variable.


SQL> begin 
  dbms_scheduler.create_job(job_name=>
'                  "SCOTT"                    '||
'                     .                       '||
'             "JOB10000000000000000000001"    ',
    job_type=>'PLSQL_BLOCK',
    job_action=>'BEGIN NULL; END;');
end;
/

PL/SQL procedure successfully completed.

SQL> exec dbms_scheduler.drop_job('scott.job10000000000000000000001')

PL/SQL procedure successfully completed.

If you use drop job in the exception clause without catching the exception of the exception, it could lead to this ORA-20001 if job name is null

For exception handling, we could improve


BEGIN
  CREATE JOB 
  RUN JOB
  DROP JOB
EXCEPTION
  WHEN OTHERS THEN
    DROP JOB
    output message
    RAISE
END

into

BEGIN
  CREATE JOB 
  RUN JOB
  DROP JOB
EXCEPTION
  WHEN OTHERS THEN
    BEGIN
      DROP JOB
    EXCEPTION 
      WHEN IS_RUNNING
         sleep
      WHEN OTHERS
         output message
    END LOOP
    output message
    RAISE
END