Friday, October 31, 2014

Weekend Learning: Oracle Linux - Information Center

Are you running an Oracle installation on the Oracle Linux platform?  Did you know there is an Information Center for that?  Bookmark MOS article "Information Center: Oracle Linux" from note ID 1381248.2 to stay on top of issues and knowledge related to Oracle Linux with recent articles such as:

Mitigating the SSLv3 “POODLE” Vulnerability in Oracle Linux (CVE-2014-3566) - Note ID 1940202.1
Oracle Linux 6.6 Release Notes - Note ID 1937716.1
Unable to Run X Applications Through SSH - Note ID 1938170.1

Thursday, October 30, 2014

POODLE vulnerability and Oracle products

By now you have likely heard about the POODLE (Padding Oracle On Downgraded Legacy Encryption) vulnerability issue facing SSL v3.0 communications, but do you know how to find out if your Oracle applications have patches released?  Follow this link to the OTN document which is keeping track of what is affected with patches available, likely vulnerable without fixes available, products not affected and those that are still being researched.  Did you know that this is so important Visa's Cybersource credit card processing platform is disabling SSL v3.0 next week to prevent malicious activities?

As a bonus, check out the article on OTN for disabling SSL v3.0 in the Oracle JDK and JRE platforms!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Cursor sharing and RMAN errors on 11.2.0.2

Tonight I learned that if you have the gv$parameter cursor_sharing set to FORCE or SIMILAR on an 11.2.0.2 platform RMAN may spit out some odd ORA-01008 or ORA-07445 error messages.  My Oracle Support article "ORA-01008: RMAN backup fails with Assorted Errors on 11.2.0.2 if cursor sharing is enabled" via note ID 1472116.1 has all the details including the patch you need to apply in order to avoid "resolving" this by flushing the shared pool all the time.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Hyperion, SmartView, Excel & HsAddin

Ever have users report the following error message in Excel while using SmartView?

Run-time error '53':

File not found: HsAddin

Me neither!  Luckily, I went to the trusty My Oracle Support portal and found several notes which looked to be of assistance:

Connecting to Essbase Through Smart View in Excel 2007 Crashes Excel- Note ID 824533.1
SmartView Shows as Custom Toolbar Instead of Hyperion Menu - Note ID 814257.1
Smart View Error "Run-Time Error ''53'': File not Found: HsAddin" when You Click the SmartView Toolbar - Note ID 875795.1

We followed the directions in the last note, but even though we did not see SmartView in the list of disabled items, HsAddin.dll was there in the list and after being Enabled the end user was able to refresh SmartView again without issue!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Signal 17 and RHEL upgrades

This weekend we upgraded servers to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5.11 but found quite a surprise when the DBA ran a simple ps command and received the following error message:

Signal 17 (CHLD) caught by ps (procps version 3.2.8).

What did we find out by searching the Interwebs in the middle of the night?  A KB article from Red Hat (subscription required) that told us that the error is confirmed on version 6.6 and has a few simple solutions.  Luckily our system administrators were able to implement one of them in order to return the ps command back to service!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Weekend Learning: Ways to instrument code

Have you ever had a situation where you wished code was instrumented?  Maybe a situation where you had no idea what the error was for a report when it crashed or what table/data was behind the error?  How about needing to get progress information into gv$session_longops?  Well Tim Hall of oracle-base.com fame wants you to instrument your code!  His article even has a few suggestions on how you can accomplish this feat, and I'll tell you that being in Support it is really critical that we plan to have as much information at hand at all times since when we have that .01% chance of encountering an issue we have the same amount of information as the 99.9% when it works right.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Weekend Learning: Oracle DB Information Centers on Security and Installation

As a follow up to my post about the main Information Center for Oracle database products, today I introduce you to several other My Oracle Support articles which may interest you as well:

Information Center: Overview of Database Security Products - Note ID 1548952.2
Information Center: Overview Database Server/Client Installation and Upgrade/Migration - Note ID 1351022.2

Friday, October 24, 2014

Weekend Learning: How software quality can degrade

The best thing about knowledge, is that it never gets old.  Take Cary Millsap's article from a few years about how software quality can be degraded due to the organizational model your company has!  On the surface it is obviously a great article, but the sharing of his ideas stimulated a really great discussion in the comments section as well.  Can we always try to find ways to enhance our processes so we maximize quality and support?  Of course!  Read Cary's article to see if there are some ways you can change processes in order to give your customers a best in-class type of experience.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

EBS R12 Security Issue: FND_LOG_MESSAGES

Were you aware that when you upgrade to E-Business Suite R12 one of the changes introduces a very serious security issue?  Read this note from CERT to find out what happened to the FND_LOG_MESSAGES table with the upgrade to R12 and why it is the root cause for the issue I shared at the beginning of the year about the volume growth for FND_LOG_MESSAGES!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Deep Thoughts: Digital Disruption

Recently I read a great article titled "Disrupt or Be Disrupted - Digitally Speaking" and it left me thinking about how I could see digital disruptions not only from/for external customers but our internal customers at work as well.  How often do you think about changes at work, or changes in technology, and want to embrace something that will make your life easier or provide a better service in some way?  Of course this is directed towards executives or masters of digital domains, but we can adapt some of these lessons at a lower level to think differently in our current roles.

Make sure you click through to Accenture's PDF that is also chuck full of information about what the different terms are, percentage of companies that are embracing this in varied ways, and questions that you need to ask yourself about how much of a digital disruptor you believe yourself to be.  The article from the Altimeter Group isn't too shabby either!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

R12.1.3: Unable to print A/R Invoices with BPA after patching

After reading My Oracle Support note "Bill Presentment Architecture (BPA) Issue: Unable to Print AR Invoices using BPA Transaction Print - The Print Program Does Not Produce Any PDF Output - File Size = 0" via note 1933710.1 I learned that BPA can have an issue after applying an Oracle patch related to a different issue!  While it appears a template can be changed from xslfo to XSL-FO the change actually needs to take place in the Oracle provided code so instead of being a setup change it requires another Oracle patch to be deployed.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Frits Hoogland: DB parameters from spfile

I've mentioned a few of Frits' articles before, and while this one may be a little out in left field for somebody in a Support role that never really gets to deal with pfile/spfile or even ASM, I think it is a good exercise to follow along with!  Frits has a shortcut to use ASM to get the information out of a spfile using the strings command, but as you will see shortly something is not 100% correct so he goes digging into the guts of how Oracle is working with the spfile to come up with a very interesting (and probably right) hypothesis.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Weekend Learning: Oracle Data as a Service

Last year I posted a nice article I found about DaaS (Data as a Service), but did you know that Oracle now has their own DaaS product?  It was news to me too!  This post from the Oracle Cloud Solutions site lead me over to the Oracle Data as a Service for Business and Oracle Data as a Service for Marketing data sheets but I thought the highlight was the mention of Oracle's BlueKai product which sounds like a centralized source to allow your customers to opt-out from multiple platforms/campaigns with a single touch point.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Weekend Learning: Solaris Zones

Ever wonder about virtualization or VM emulation?  How about hardware partitioning on a server?  If you answered yes to either of these questions, check out this article from the Oracle Systems Blog Austria about the 10 best features of Solaris Zones!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Network monitoring tool: iperf

Looking to add to your toolbox of commands and measurements for your network?  Then this article is for you!  Learn how to use this open source command to measure either client or server connectivity but also look at the comments section, as at least one person seems to have found a strange behavior which you may be able to replicate as well.