Wednesday, April 10, 2019


8:00 AM–9:00 AM - Compute Cloud Performance Showdown: Oracle, AWS, IBM, Google, Azure - @Ahmed_Aboulnaga

I really liked the subject matter, but really, really liked how Ahmed presented his findings by mainly focusing on the data results, and how he tried to make sure all VMs from the different providers were the same before he started. One caveat, by way of story, is that Netflix found out that all AWS VMs do not perform the same, so they will build thousands at a time, and then test them, destroying those VMs which do not perform up to expectations; Ahmed's point here was that he did not have the time or resources to do that, so was assuming each vendor would provide a VM that would perform the best they could, and he was not taking dedicated hardware options either as that defeats his purpose of testing actual VMs. In general, he found that AWS has a slight edge over the competition (mostly due to their newer and higher end CPU model), and in most testing Azure was the lowest performer, and Oracle Cloud was roughly half the price of the other options.

9:15 AM–10:15 AM - Enabling Canary Testing with Edition-Based Redefinition - @mohio73

With this presentation, Michael spent a lot of time explaining what canary testing and EBR were, before he did a very extensive demo to show how sessions connecting to the database to the ORA$BASE version would get redirected to the new VERSION1 edition after setting up triggers. I really did like this, and the demo was great, but I would have liked a little more about the canary release strategy. Visit to get his code for the demo and see what he was doing!

10:30 AM-11:30 AM - Automate the operation of your Oracle Cloud infrastructure - @ncalerouy

This was a lot of screenshots and information, but there were a few tidbits here and there which I found useful like making sure you look for the new version of OCI documentation on as any OCI documents on actually refer to OCI CLASSIC and now v2. If you want to work with APIs, there are a few links to check out on and and when you are spinning up instances you have to make sure port 22 is open so read MOS Note 2433870.1 for all the details.

Lunch again! Beginning to be a habit here, but I had to make it a short lunch since I wanted to visit a session at noon, and the flat iron steak was pretty good even in a hurry.

12:00 PM-12:30 PM - All you need to know about Backup and Recovery - @fcomunoz

Did you know that Francisco has built a free tool called CrashSimulator that will do just that? I am looking forward to combining this tool, with the vagrant Oracle database from Blaine's blog post, and blowing up the database again, and again, and again!! Then we saw Oracle Backup Cloud Service which keeps your data secure, with the keys on site and not in the cloud, and no ACO licenses needed to compress your data. Oh, and did you know that data pumps and RMAN Backup/Recovery options are actually in Oracle SQL Developer?!? I had no idea!

12:45 PM–1:45 PM - Data Analysis SQL vs Pandas Python Package _ - Rama Koganti

Python is about the speed of code vs. speed of development, and an example of this is how Google was doing video before buying YouTube, but Google had around 1,000 developers using C/C++ and YouTube had around 20 developers using Python to get features into the marketplace quicker and that is why Google decided to stop competing, and just buy them up. Very interesting! Lots of this presentation was demo, but check out his repository at to get up to date on the panda Python package which turns tables into data frames, and supports a LOT of data sources to get your data from! Again, another tool to combine with something else I learned at the conference since I can use Python to connect via the cx_Oracle package and then call the panda package in order to get my data out, then put it into a data frame, and do analysis or convert it, etc.

2:00 PM-3:00 PM - Devops Tools for Database Developers - @OraBlaineOS

Key in this is how DevOps is more about culture than the tools, and how you interact with your TEAMS. Again there is a GitHub repository available he used combined with Oracle Application Container Cloud Service to show the application Liquibase which is version control for your DB, change sets, auto generate SQL, tracks changes, rollback, conditions, diffs / reverse engineer, docs and the application utPLSQL which is a unit testing framework for PL/SQL.

4:30 PM-5:30 PM - Introducting Oracle Database 19c - @SeanStaceyfwiw

Sean is an Oracle PM for the Database product, so he is one of the few authoritative voices on the topic, so I was excited to dip my toes back into my Oracle roots with this session. The 19c product is a "long term release" which you can see as 18c support appears to end around 2021, but 19c support ends somewhere beyond 2026, and the core aim for the release is stability with thousands of bugs fixed and thousands of human years were spent in automated regression testing. There are a lot of new features you need to look up like Stats Only Queries, SQL Quarantine, High Frequency Automatic Statistics Collection, Real Time Statistics Collection, Automatic Indexing, and Partitioned Hybrid Tables! How best to find out? Go to then click on 19c, click on New Features Only, and then pick your new feature of choice to see the documentation. Oh, and want to know something neat? Try running this on a 19c database: select json_object(*) from customers and see what you get.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019


9:15 AM–11:30 AM - Hands on Lab: Migrating WebLogic Applications to Kubernetes in Oracle Cloud - @richardintx & Thomas Palzkill

Picking up where I left off the day before, I'm back in the same room, with the same Oracle experts, back at but this time ready to migrate WebLogic to Kubernetes! Exciting! Except.....when you see most of the introduction of the lab is the same as the day before, yet it does not work at the end this time, and the solution is to delete the Kubernetes cluster. That part is not even the bummer, the bummer is when it is giving the whole class an error message about APIs taking longer and just stalling us all for an hour until the instructors find out the Management backplane is having an issue, and to resolve it we have to switch to another Oracle Data Center. That is.....not really reassuring about going to the Oracle Cloud. Sure, everything in their DC is still running what was running (per Richard) but if the 20-30 people that might have been hitting the Management part of that DC helped to overwhelm it in some way, that seems like a bad thing. When a Cloud is not working, is it a StormCloud then?

Lunch! I finally got to have lunch when everybody else was eating! It was a novel experience! :}

12:45 PM–1:45 PM - Designing Scalable Oracle Database Solutions in AWS - Nick Walter of @houseofbrick

The one big takeaway here from Nick, is that the licensing costs of software going to AWS will be the biggest costs you will have and any AWS options are peanuts comparatively. Also, I loved his quote "a well tuned database is always limited by I/O" which is in relation to how to buy I/O options from AWS and that is good to know/remember! More importantly, instance local storage is fast and dangerous because it does NOT survive instance reboot so you CANNOT put Oracle files there!!

2:00 PM–3:00 PM - An AWS DMS Replication Journey from Oracle to Aurora MySQL - @MarisDBA

Maris' presentation was more of an overview from one perspective, but since I have never touched any of the AWS, DMS, or Aurora MySQL technologies he talked about I certainly did not mind at all! I thought it was smart to start us off on some "basics" going over the motivation (DB contract expiration, company wanted to be cloud native), landscape (6 month hard deadline, multiple schemas, cannot move all apps at the same time, too much risk), and complications (cross schema FKs, other apps needed to have access to the main schema that was being moved). The rest of the presentation went by pretty quick, with the ideas and solutions which were put forward, and eventually rejected, until they came upon a solution which solved all their needs and addressed the complications of the project. There was a lot which Maris went through to get the solution implemented, and I am looking forward to seeing if maybe we can replicate some of what he did in order to get something small over to AWS.

3:15 PM–4:15 PM - Cloud 2020 Where We're Going from Here - Various Panel

Going into this, with only 5-10 sessions available for the entire conference, I knew that the likelihood of this being a sales pitch were high, but it did not start off like that! The main concern about moving to the cloud is not really about infrastructure costs, it is more about people (retire old skills, enable new skills), security (60-85% of all security breaches were preventable), and capabilities. Then going to the next presenter on cloud best practices, it is more a question of WHEN we will go to the cloud, not really a question of IF. Most of their presentation was about what services their company offers, which is not really where the cloud is going, even if they did suggest reading the book Leading Change by John P. Kotter. The last presenter on deck started talking about their cloud conversion story, focused on JD Edwards, and after about five minutes of talking about basic project management and app specific details, I decided to leave the session. This was unexpected as the small room was completely full, and LOTS of people were leaving, likely due to the same reason I did, and the abstract really led us to believe it would go differently.

4:30 PM–5:30 PM - 10 things you should know about Oracle and Kubernetes - @MNEMONIC01

I will not list all of these (mostly because I missed a few along the way) but there were a couple that stood out like: Oracle adopts Kubernetes, you can do it yourself even using Google packages on RedHat Linux if you are not on Oracle Linux, you should look into Helm & Tiller which is a release and package manager, there is a WebLogic migration to Kubernetes tool coming soon which will even migrate 11g.

Monday, April 8, 2019


8:00 AM–9:00 AM - Keynote: Be The Leader You Were Meant to be, Monday to Monday® - @StaceyHankeInc

This was an interesting session as the message was one of being brief, not saying too much (think, leaving out um and uh type words), and giving yourself time to think about what you will be saying next. Also, "only speak when you see eyes" and "common sense does not mean common practice" are some very sound pieces of advice we could all use.

9:15 AM–10:15 AM - Oracle Database infrastructure as code with Ansible - @ilmarkerm

The missing piece to this presentation was an introduction to Ansible, which Ilmar said could be found anywhere on the Internet and that is a fair point, but I felt that would have helped us to understand the session a bit more. There were a lot of use cases provided, setting up the OS (easy), automating routine DBA tasks (medium), and DB config and changes deployed as version controlled code (advanced). There are a few projects worth checking out here and which can help you to do some automation around Oracle DBs and ORACLE_HOME directories.

10:30 AM–11:30 AM - Upgrade SIG Meeting - Various Panel Members

The SIG meeting was kind of short on content, on purpose, so that the majority of the hour was spent on answering questions from the audience and most of those questions were about how to upgrade to 12.2, and not at all about going to the Cloud. Some of the content shared: there will not be a 12.3 EBS release, only Continuous Innovation of EBS 12.2, and future releases will separate technology stack from applications code updates.

12:00 PM–12:30 PM - Provisioning Oracle test environments made simple using Vagrant - @simonpane

This is very similar to the blog post from Blaine I shared yesterday, showing us how to use vagrant to start up an instance and then apply 2 levels of customizations: the VM (done via Vagrantfile), and the build (done via but was pretty neat to see it done live after a short presentation about what was going to be happening during the demo.

12:30 PM–1:30 PM - OAUG Geo/SIG Coffee Talk Roundtable Discussion - @OATUG1

This was an internal meeting for Geo and SIG leadership, but the gist of it is that OATUG is looking to be Trustworthy, Relevant, Dynamic, and Relatable, and the name change was because 40% of the sessions at this conference are technology focused and the group has been delivering technical content for years. Some very good points brought up here, and hopefully more discussions will be happening as a result of this change as it is not a bad change, but one we need to get used to.

Time for lunch! Still on Arizona time, and the keynote being presented sounds a LOT like something I saw last year, so I decided a better use of time was focusing on the noon session, and then eating later, so time for a short walk outside for some food.

3:15 PM–5:30 PM - Hands on Lab: Container Native Microservices Development - @richardintx & Thomas Palzkill

If you have not noticed this year, I am a fan of Hands on Labs, and I am also looking to get a lot of new technology under my belt, so I wanted to go to this one and was surprised when there were only 10 of us in the room as I thought it would be standing room only! After signing up for a free Oracle Cloud account as a COLLAB19 attendee, we got down to business following one of the labs at to dig in and start up a Kubernetes instance in the Cloud, and connect to it locally!! I probably need another hour or two to get through the rest of the lab, and then there are more labs available (including one I will be going to tomorrow) which I can use my free Cloud account for until I run out of credit or they turn it off next month, whichever comes first. :} Oh, and you can get $300 of free credits too which I am sure you have heard about by now, but if not, I wanted to make sure you had as this seems like a great way to get your hands dirty a bit with this technology.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

COLLABORATE19: Pre-Day + Me!

Hi folks, I'mmmmmm baaaaack! It is time for another COLLABORATE conference, so that means it is time for me to blog again!

First off, the major news is that the OAUG has now become the OATUG (Oracle Applications and Technology User Group) as of a few hours ago! LOTS of talk about that happening! Learn more about the change here on the new OATUG website.

9:15 AM–10:15 AM - Hands-on Lab: Using Python with Oracle Database - Blaine Carter - @OraBlaineOS

While not exactly the same, but Blaine's blog post details most of what we were doing, including the linked documentation at the end of the page to the cx_Oracle module. Want to do something like this, a bit different, but still in the DevOps space? Check out another page he posted and get your hands on Vagrant!

10:30 AM–11:30 AM - Hands-On Lab: Low-Code Development with Oracle Application Express (APEX) - David Peake - @orcl_dpeake

Go to and click on Get Started for Free to get the same experience we did!
This was pretty awesome to get my hands on this technology and actually get to do some development without touching ANY code!

12:30 PM–1:30 PM - Workflow SIG Panel: Current, Future, and Cloud - Me!

Shameless plug time, but this was a pretty exciting panel since Bill Burbage with Oracle Proactive Support was able to share a few ERs (Enhancement Requests) that are making their way through the development pipeline! He also showed a demo of a new Analyzer framework they are working on, to make it easier to do a lot of data gathering all in one place which does not take as much effort to download and add onto your Oracle SR (Service Request). Plus, never forget about MOS Note 432.1 to get the latest on ALL the latest from Proactive Support, including analyzer updates!!

I wanted to go to the Extend Oracle E-Business Suite with Oracle SaaS Applications: Your Journey to the Cloud session, but due to the running around from Convention Center back to the Grand Hyatt room and setup, meant I did not get lunch, so I absolutely had to eat at this time and skip the session, but I am going to try and get my hands on the material Oracle presented so I can get up to speed on this subject! That is almost like attending, right? :}

3:00 PM–4:00 PM - OAUG SysAdmin SIG - James Morrow - @jjmorrow / @kansasdba

As the Vice Chair of this group, I felt I should go, and was looking to get out of the role as it is voted on every two years, and this was the year that role came up for renewal, but Michael Brown @MichaelBrownOrg re-nominated me, with nobody else volunteering, so I have graciously accepted the Vice Chair role yet again. :}

Besides the housekeeping, there was a BUNCH of stuff that came out of this like 12.2 DB support goes until 2030! (Look at MOS Note 742060.1)
MOS Note 2522948.1 shows you how to get a fee waiver for Extended Support fees for older DB versions up to 2020 ONLY IF USED FOR EBS.
The EBS application version 12.2 has Extended Support through March 2026, but you'll notice that EBS has not yet been certified on DB version 12.2. There are reasons for that, and apparently Oracle is SKIPPING certifying EBS on that version of the DB, and will go straight to certifying it with 19c ( which is the terminal release of the DB 12.2 code line. It is important to note, that with the 19c release UTL files will no longer be supported, and it will only be certified in a single container setup.
Check out MOS Note 2409163.1 or patch 28574967 to get the latest about Enterprise Command Center, which is baselined on EBS 12.2.4, which gives you dashboard information about your EBS installation. It absolutely sounds and looks like something some customers might want to investigate, in order to be able to give your executives some very high level details very quickly!

4:00 PM - OAUG Popup Event - @OAUG1

OAUG becomes OATUG! This was an almost emergency meeting that was shared and posted about an hour it happened, and was not even in the conference app/website listing of sessions, but I was pretty glad I had an essentially front row seat to the event after James and Michael mentioned this was going on!

5:30 PM–7:00 PM - OAUG Welcome Reception - @OATUG1

The first ever OATUG event! Which also, was probably the best Welcoming meeting I have been to at COLLABORATE! An outdoor event with the Riverwalk running through it, wonderful Mexican food, and various musicians roaming around playing, was VERY festive!

Happy to be back at COLLABORATE again, enjoying the company of some great people I have met over the years, excited to met new people, and get my hands on some new technology in the process to advance my career just THAT much further!! I will be seeing you in most blog posts over this week, and maybe I will even post after COLLABORATE is over too. :}

Wednesday, April 25, 2018


Even though I had to get up bright and early to get ready to be involved in the first two sessions of the day, it was not a chore because I am back in the conference swing! My feet might hurt, and my brain too a bit, but I forgot how much I missed this conference!

Upgrade SIG - Sandra Vucinic, Panel & Me! - 8:30 AM

I enjoyed how little Sandra had to present, but she could barely get through it because the crowd was really into the subject and kept asking good questions which fired off many discussions from the panel! An important takeaway for me is that there is likely no upgrade path from R11 to R12.3 when it comes out because it will be another major technical upgrade like from R12.1.3 to R12.2.1 was.

Analyzing Oracle Workflow Data for Increased System Performance - Me! - 9:45 AM

This is the old standby, the one that first got me on this journey, so it is good to get back to it AND I was able to address a question that had come up during the week at another Workflow event too like when should I purge (always!).

Workflow Administration 101 - Mary Hammes - 11 AM

Even though this is a 101 class, do not be fooled, it is GOOOOOD! I am taking this home and sharing this with the EBS Administrators-to-be so they can see a real world example of what we used to do in the day with workflow a LOT and what they might be asked to do/investigate. I mean, there is a reason that 40-50 people AT LEAST attended this session!! Awesome response, with about 10-15 people hanging out afterwards to chat with Mary and other OAUG members too. That is what COLLABORATE is all about! Oh and did you ever think to add a vacation rule to the SYSADMIN account to route errors to your team? Me neither, that is really smart!

Virtualized Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) - Containers and VMs for RAC - Marcus Michalewicz (@OracleRACpm) - 12:15 PM

I thought this session was interesting, and to start off the comment was made that "generally, the Oracle DB & Oracle RAC could be supported on a variety of virtual platforms". Ohhhhh really? While Oracle VM is the only certified VM solution for Oracle RAC for x86 environments, did you know that Docker Containers are supported for Oracle RAC for test and development environments? Yeah, I did not either!

Workflow Tips and Tricks - (@anand_jp07) - 1:15 PM

I was really looking forward to this one, but in the end the title should have been "Workflow Tips and Tricks for Developers" since the speaker went over what Workflow was, showed a very outdated technical diagram with OAS 10g as our platform, and just generally was going over how you would change things in Workflow Builder if you had different business cases. Kind of disappointing for me, but I hope the other attendees got something out of it!

Hit Refresh with Oracle GoldenGate Microservices - Bobby Curtis (@dbasolved) - 2:30 PM

This topic was all about Release 12.3 for GoldenGate and first off a major thing in this release is moving from a reliance on command line interface and going to a GUI instead! Whoa!! Really??!!? This release seems to be shaking the whole dynamic up, as it is a significant change in the architecture of GoldenGate for pretty much the first time in 20 years by having different REST APIs replacing key components of your architecture and even introducing AdminClient which is your GUI with security actually modeled and defaulted in the tool.

Virtualizing Oracle 12cR2 RAC Databases with Oracle VM and/or VMWare - Kai Yu (@ky_austin1)- 4:15 PM

While I had some RAC virtualization from Marcus earlier in the day, I was thinking this would be more compare/contrast of the options, and maybe even a discussion of why you would pick one, but in the end it was a very technical discussion of how to implement each option. Not what I was expecting, but a good kind of talking point abstract that I can try to get my head around if we decided to go to either option some day. Very interesting how the Dell EMC Ready Bundle (small version) is 6 VMs that can support up to 10 DB instances and they are building much bigger systems to handle larger ecosystems!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018


I may have planned on sleeping in just a bit and missed the robots, AI and the future keynote this morning since I have already seen the Terminator movies, so I know how this ends in Skynet. :}

Working with Oracle 12c Databases in the Cloud - Mark Kurtz (@ToadSC_CHI) - 9:45 AM

I really enjoyed this session a LOT! There was quite a bit of material which added CONTEXT, something I am not seeing a whole lot in some Cloud presentations/papers, around the questions you need to be asking in the meetings where people are deciding to go/figuring out how to go "the Cloud". Why are you going? What are you trying to accomplish by going? Then there are a SLEW of questions you need to be asking your vendor too!

Troubleshooting Workflow Notification Mailer in Your E-Business Suite - Jevgenijs Reuts (@jreuts) - 11 AM

I went into this session expecting a lot of razzle dazzle about everything new, but instead I was pleasantly surprised to see quite a bit of repetition about troubleshooting the mailer because it was done in such a thoughtful way, that for people that have not had these experiences now they have blueprints for how to deal with several different common scenarios! Even picked up some new things along the way, like did you know that FNDCPGSC is the mailer process that you can look for at the OS level? Oh and also there is a Workflow Purge Data Collection Script in MOS note 750497.1 which I will check out later to make sure I am not missing anything obvious in my toolkit!

Survival Tips for an Oracle DBA inside the MySQL World - Nisha Riyaj - 12:15 PM

If you go to there is a Community Edition which is free to download and use, so you can get some practice! Look at 1300654.1 for help installing it, but it is as simple as yum install mysql and then you are on your way! SYSDBA = root in MySQL, spfile = my.cnf file in MySQL, schema = database in MySQL, SELECT * FROM V$SESSION = show processlist \G;, also there are many different log files in MySQL and the binary log is the transaction log.

ASM Concepts, Architecture and Best Practices - Pini Dibask (@pini_dibask) - 1:15 PM

This one was not exactly what I thought it would be, but then again, it was exactly as advertised in an odd way. For some reason I thought this was going to go over the internals of ASM, but it was more basic low level concepts and even then I still picked up a lot of information like an ASM allocation unit is the smallest ASM unit, what the 3 ASM redundancy levels are (normal, high, and external), and even tables in ASM to look at for detailed status information like GV$ASM_DISK_STAT and GV$ASM_DISKGROUP_STAT. Getting into this session really made me want to finish up my Oracle Press book on ASM that I started a long time ago, and then get some hands on with ASM.

The Secret to Driving Digital Transformation within Your Organization - Chris Garrity & Shane Eisenhauer (@Terillium) - 2:30 PM

I thought this was going to be a sales pitch, and thankfully I was WRONG! This was pretty good example of how to drive digital transformation in 4 ways: stay informed, evaluate opportunities, set your strategy in motion, and achieve results. It seems simple when you think about it! Along the lines of Tesla outpacing GM in a session yesterday, did you know that by the end of 2019 digital transformation spending is supposed to be $1.7 Trillion worldwide? What about end of 2018 Cloud spend is supposed to be $160 Billion? Change is here, we need to embrace it and use it to benefit us.

Buzzword Bingo -- What does DevOps, IaaS, PaaS, CI/CD mean for the Oracle DBA? - Kirby McCord - 4:15 PM

Right off the bat, one of the first content slides shook me up since it had the regular People, Process, and Technology diagram BUT this time it had Organizational Culture smack dab in the middle which is TRUE and the first time I had ever seen that articulated in the "PPT" discussion! Very interesting! Did you know that for the most part Exadata hardware costs have stayed relatively the same since V2, up to X6, but the software costs have exploded? An example of the changing times where compute power/hardware is getting cheaper (or staying the same cost for more power) but the software to run on them is costing more. Again, The Phoenix Project book is mentioned. I really have to read this sucker! Three main ideas for DevOps: System Thinking, Continuous Experimentation, and Amplifying Feedback Systems. Also, Kirby kind of rocked my world with the statement "Standardize before Automation" which seems SO obvious, but for a complex organization it is incredibly difficult to do! As he said, every database is a snowflake, sometimes on purpose (read: job security), sometimes just out of habit/ignorance/"this is how we have always done things". Sound familiar to you?

Monday, April 23, 2018


Yesterday you probably noticed a trend, and today I can tell you was NOT all about me. :} Instead of running or helping run SIG meetings, I decided to spend my day getting outside of my comfort zone and getting into sessions that were not in my wheelhouse so I would have to stretch and pick up new skills or at least knowledge/terminology!

Building A Continuous Development Pipeline for WebLogic DevOps - Eric Mader (@ericgmader) - 9:45 AM

Eric sure knows his stuff! We do have CD were I work, but we are not fully DevOps in my area...yet...AND I have been working on WebLogic for the past year so this was too good to pass up! I liked it, and it helped reinforce some things like the People, Process, Technology pyramid, that I have to read The Phoenix Project book, and what some obvious benefits of DevOps are. Oh, and it was interesting how there is a new role coming out called "Operation Developer" which really embraces DevOps and what a person has to do here in this space.

Introducing Kafka to the Oracle DBA - Mike Donovan (@dbvisitmike) - 11 AM

I was totally not ready for this session, and that is great! It was ALL completely new to me!! "The truth is the log. The database is a cache of a subset of the log." Whooooooaaaaaa!! Boiling Kafka down to the nitty-gritty, it is pretty much just a log writer/reader that is really good at what it does. I need to get over to to see about getting some free books which may include Kafka: The Definitive Guide book, or otherwise just find it online at a retailer since this seems like a wide open space which is interesting.

The Self-Driving Oracle Database of the Future (or Present) - Rich Niemiec (@RichNiemiec) - 12:15 PM

DBAs need to become data experts, not database experts to survive the future, which includes moving closer to the business and innovation. Awesome stuff to hear! Data will become the new oil, which we see with Tesla becoming worth more than General Motors who shipped 92 TIMES as many cars as Tesla in a quarter recently. On-Prem 18c DB WILL exist. Also, try it out by going to with some free credits.

Going Serverless - An Introduction to AWS Glue - Michael Rainey (@mRainey) - 1:15 PM

In this context, serverless is going to a fully managed provider which allows developers to focus on developing instead of supporting. There are challenges facing this such as: monitoring, debugging, integration testing is difficult, maintaining state of application across multiple functions is tricky, startup latency, built for small short functions, vendor lock-in. AWS Glue - "a fully managed extract, transform, and load (ETL) service" straight from their manual.

General Session: Oracle Cloud - How to Build Your Own Personalized Path to Cloud - Steve Daheb SVP (@OracleCloud) - 2:30 PM

This one was a lot of general things I have heard before, including some data/examples Rich shared at lunchtime (like AWS only offering 99.95% availability which comes out to 20 minutes of downtime a month NOT including several other reasons there could be an outage, yet Oracle is offering 99.995% which means less than 2.5 minutes of downtime a month WITH NO CAVEATS), but one thing I heard which caught my attention was Oracle Autonomous Cloud is coming at some point, in addition to the OLTP version of this (18c) coming this Summer.

Advance from DBA to Cloud Administrator - Erik Benner (@Erik_Benner) - 4:15 PM

This echoed a lot of what Rich was saying too, where DBAs need to go from Database Management to Systems Management. Example of how many people in the audience (most) that were using Outlook 365 which is just an instance of a workload/system moving out of your DC and into the Cloud. New skills you need to get include: DATA administrator, small environments (focus on the application), large environments (focus on all of that plus, automation, security, integration). Brand new product to help with this called Oracle Management Cloud, which is NOT replacing Oracle Enterprise Manager, but this is an evolution of OEM in that it is using a big data repository to put just about everything into the same bucket so it can learn about the whole system. After it learns, it allows you to drill into what it has aggregated so you can get down to the specific transaction/SQL statement/error message at any time in the past. Heady stuff!!

Sunday, April 22, 2018


Hello faithful readers, I have returned to regale you with stories of the OAUG COLLABORATE conference for 2018!  I will try to start returning to some kind of regular blogging this year, but we will see how it goes.  :}

Workflow SIG Meeting - Why Won't My Workflows Purge!?!?!?!? - Karen Brownfield (@BrownfieldKaren) and I

Karen put together the presentation for this session which pulled together a lot of what she has done, things I have done, and even things that former SIG Chair John Peters has done over the years, so it was really awesome to see things come together like that. I'm going to change what I do a bit this year, and NOT detail everything little thing I see in a session, BUT I will post some of her tips and tricks later this year because some of them were really good, and deserve their own spotlight.

EBS SysAdmin SIG Meeting - James Marrow (@jjmarrow) and I

Brandy Robert w/Oracle from Proactive Support had a really great presentation for us!
Are you using Online Patching Log Analyzer Utility for ADOP?  What about Online Patching Diagnostic Reports for ADOP too?
Check out 1901242.1 for ADOP diag information.
Of course there is always 432.1 on MOS.  :}
There are changes to analyzers detailed in 1939637.1 to allow them to autoupdate!

Database SIG Meeting - Michael Brown (@MichaelBrownOrg) and I

News about a new EBS Advanced Architecture and High Availability SIG coming out!
Santiago Bastidas from Oracle had a presentation on licensing EBS on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure
EBS - BYOL (Bring Your Own License), only PROD instances, still pay yearly support
Cloud - subscribe to basic IaaS services
Differences between BYOL for app server EE on Compute, BYOL DB EE on Compute, BYOL DB EE to DB Cloud Services, and Exadata Cloud Service
Cloud pricing = automation + infrastructure + (licensing) but (licensing) gets waived with BYOL

Thursday, April 6, 2017


Oracle E-Business Suite Mobile and Web Services Security - Michael Miller - Integrigy Corporation - @Integrigy

While I only took a few notes, that does not reflect poorly on Michael, actually the opposite!  There was SO much information that I decided early on to go get his presentation and download it instead!  I put my name down to get invited to regular security webinars, and I suggest you go to their site and do the same!!

Great opening note that Oracle attack toolkit exists in the wild, and people download it to work against Oracle installations.
FND_IREP_CLASSES - Integrated SOA Gateway (ISG) cropped up again, so I really need to look into it.
"Yesterday's interfaces are now web services."  Just awesome quote!
Httpd.conf -> url_fw.conf -> url_fw_ws.conf

Personalize and Extend Oracle E-Business Suite for Desktops and Mobile Devices - Maher Muhanna and Vijay Shanmugam from Oracle

6 levels of OA Framework personalizations
New components can be added at the Site level like buttons.
Ability to undo personalizations from the Manage Levels page - as result of feedback
Copy Personalization, again something new that was designed as part of user feedback.
R12.2.4 a new simplified home page, more tablet like.
Personalized Announcements looks like a widget on the home page that can deliver specific messages you want to your customer base.
User level global header can be selected between icons only or classic links only, and the same for Alta UI options in 12.2.5+ too.
Save search as a view as user personalization, sounds like a great feature.
12.2.3 allows column reordering on webpages, and can hide columns too - Settings menu allows you to do this too
Column Freeze indicator like Excel's grid freeze
Admins have more powers to disable freezing or hiding columns on pages
Plan for a smoother upgrade by making sure your OAF points to synonyms not the tables themselves!!
1531121.1 Online Patch readiness
Oracle Alta UI is the only supported skin in 12.2.5
Simplified Global Header
HTML 5 Standards Uptake
12.2.3 takes on ATG 12.2.4/12.2.5
Working on:
- a WYSIWYG admin personalization workbench
- theme editor form Alta UI
- column freeze for HGrid
- page as favorite part of every favoritable page

Mobile list 1641772.1 / search "Oracle EBS America" - same app connects to 12.1 and 12.2
Need to apply patches on 12.1 to start using it.
Can use VPN to connect apps
Smartphone apps can use existing authentication
No SSO between apps because apps are installed in one offs, no shared browser cookies
Choice between App Store and enterprise distribution (seems like a killer choice to enable uptake by management) - allows you to not upgrade the app, and have to patch EBS as a result
cacerts file cannot be updated after app is installed from store - I might ask for some clarification about this one, as this could be a deal-breaker as we have other certs in this file that might be on different schedules than the mobile suite is.
Working on:
- adding certificates dynamically after installation
- reassign in Approval (seems like a blocker for us)
- AirWatch and MobileIron 3rd party apps
- push notifications

Oracle WebLogic Server Administration and Management with Oracle E-Business Suite 12.2 - Kevin Hudson and Elke Phelps

This is a brand new session based on OAUG ATG feedback, which is pretty awesome!
To WLS, EBS is a handful of web applications, deployed to Clusters of Managed Severs, supervised by AdminServer.
oacore_server, forms_server, oafm_server are just different nodes that need to run, forms-4ws_server comes disabled but do not delete it, it will be deleted with a later patch!
Online Patching is used to apply ALL patches in 12.2!!
1583902.1 Online Patching FAQ
Identical FMW_HOMEs in FS1 and FS2
3 Oracle homes in here, FMW Common, Webtier & Utilities, WLS home
Synchronizations to one FS goes to the other FS
Recommendation for ports to be incremented by 10 example: FS1 :0 and FS2 :10
Not supported to have direct connection to PATCH FS
Multiple ports with administration - think about having a VIP pointing to both locations?  Need to ask more about this, but I think it would work.
100-150 concurrent users per JVM
Add WLS managed server gets added in RUN, then prepare PATCH creates it for you
Adding nodes 1383621.1 / 1375769.1
pairfile - important new file, need to understand it
dualfs=yes after ATG.D7

Downtime for changing WLS admin password, since you have to stop application tier services
New things in changing APPS password, and does require downtime too - AFPASSWD recommended
EBS Technology Code level Checker (ETCC) 17537119.1
Process to patch the 3 homes is essentially the same - key step is adop phase=fs_clone 1355068.1
ss -l -p -n | grep <AdminServer PID> - Need to try this in our environment to see what port the server is running on!!
1940996.1 DS connection pool diagnostics
1428056.1 Oracle Fusion Middleware diag
2230225.1 WLS utility - MOS
1984710.1 Summary of EBS login

I had a really great time at COLLABORATE yet again, and I am already looking forward to next year!  Hope you join me!!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

COLLABORATE17: Day 3 + Me!

As you will see, today was pretty much all about me!  :}

E-Business Suite Workflow SIG Meeting

I tried to sneak into the room and be a normal attendee, but current SIG Coordinator John Peters spotted me and made me sit at the table up front!  This meant that I couldn't take too many notes, but you should visit the website in a day or too for the conference slides.

Other than that, the major announcement that started off the session was my promotion to SIG Coordinator taking John's place due to his time commitments at the moment.  I promise to try my best here!

E-Business Suite Upgrade SIG Meeting

EBS R12.3 is expected 2019 at the earliest which is coming from Cliff Godwin, as they expect R12.2.7 this year and are planning a "year off" of releases in 2018, but that could change depending on other technologies that are in the works so R12.2.8 COULD come out at some point.
There was some very lively discussion about upgrading from 11.5.9 instance on Windows or if reimplementation is a better idea, which had the entire panel agreeing on something for the first time, that reimplementation is the preferred option.

Next up was lunch, and then instead of going to a session I took the hour off to practice for...

R12: Reducing the Data Footprint of Oracle E-Business Suite - Me!

Obviously I could copy and paste all of my slides here, but that just is not a lot of fun!  I thought it went well with 20-25 people attending, and they seemed engaged and interested in the subject, so that was really great.

How Arby's Restructured Their GL Chart of Account Without Re-Implementing EBS: You Can Too - Matt Powell

This one should have said the answer was they contracted services from EiS Consulting and used a tool from eprentise to get this done since, other than that there was not a lot of meat to the presentation.
I did think it was interesting that they were trying to collapse 18 companies into a single unit but were having problems.
Reimplementation was going to be 500-750k, upgrade only 100k, which was a great motivator for not doing reimplementation.
Used eprentise to have FlexField software.
Created a one-time responsibility just to allow people to help with COA conversion, and I found this a good idea.
Leveraged SharePoint w/WebADI templates.
Summary Template deletion delayed by 18 hrs due to DB performance and then on top of that the Internet went out at their office!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


E-Business Suite on Oracle Cloud: An Architect's Perspective - Roy Hunter

Business priorities - innovation, agility, lower cost and risk (grow and transition the business)
IT priorities - on-demand self-service, rapid elasticity, measured service (enable business growth and transformation)
Five QA systems to support a PROD system, TEST, UAT, SIT, performance test, and stress test!
Migration tools allows automated cloning.
Reimplement onto SaaS
Re-platform onto IaaS - why?  Current environment tailored (customized) to support unique business processes and requirements, while SaaS requires business process re-engineering and SaaS modules lack features/functionality, or don't exist.  Doing IaaS allows you to eventually move to SaaS when ready while getting benefit of IaaS immediately!
Constraints on moving - Data Sovereignty, Control, Latency
Oracle Cloud Machine moves into your Data Center to solve some of those constraints.
Co-existence between Cloud and on-prem is possible, and actually even expected!
Can't get a trial account for Exadata, but if you talk to your tech rep they may be able to help set up a POC
This is for EBS 12.1.3 and up.
There is also a new disconnected OCM which to me sounds like an Exadata box, where it gets installed in your DC and then does not connect to Oracle.

E-Business Suite 11i/12.1/12.2 to 12.2.6 Upgrades: Quick, Fast, and Easy - @OATCInc

Relational calculus is what Oracle is built on, did you know?
Review of the support timelines, which is always good.
742060.1 DB support note
If you are going to do a fresh install, do R12.2 now, there is no reason to do R12.1 anymore.
1439822.1 EBS customers get updates for JRE
Forms won't launch in Chrome without an addon that is unsupported anyways!
Microsoft Edge doesn't support Java, so won't support EBS!
Oracle Forms are not going away due to how powerful they are, and cannot replicate what they do in Java...yet at least!
There are 22 mobile apps right now - 1641772.1
2114173.1 R12.2 Knowledge Center
1984710.1 architecture
UI login in 12.2.6 and favorites have a tablet look and feel which is completely different!
E48834-13 11i to R12.2 upgrade document
R12.2 patches are C patches, R12.0 are A, and R12.1 are B, so know which are which and do not apply the wrong thing!
How long it takes depends on: Time, scope, budget (famous triangle)
1 month per module!

Navigating My Oracle Support with the Customer Support Council - Doug Hahn - @doughahn
Enhancement Requests
Extended Premier Support for 12.1
ORAchk, Oracle Analyzers, Support Identifier Groups (virtual CSIs)
Hot Topic notifications
Bundle Analyzers - concurrent reports DO update
Focusing on being proactive

Architect Data for Excellence - Ian Abramson - @iabramson

Bi-model BI, this is new to me, so need to research it a bit.
Wal-Mart is like a cult…Sam Walton was focused on innovation
Hans Peter Luhn, Bill Inmon, Ralph Kimball - major influencers on Business Intelligence/Big Data
Ian deals with a 40 Petabyte data lake!
Variety, volume, velocity, veracity
Data Lake - highly agile, data scientists vs. Data Warehouse - less agile, business users
Need to celebrate failures as much as successes - this is a major takeaway because the thought process behind it is that you learn from failing just as much (if not more) than succeeding!
Key question is: What do we expect from Big Data?
DW is highly governed data, low latency, 1000s of users vs. Big Data raw and unstructured data, unrestricted and ungovernable data
Out of a million products, probably 200k are right, so how does that throw off the company?  Millions of dollars out the door!
What do we need to do today?  Need to provide access to all data, be able to bridge data between business units and data sources, keep data secure, bi-modal BI is the new analytic approach.
Hadoop is not a database.  Hadoop is not an IDW.
Data warehouses are not going away, they are going to instead evolve!
Big Data is not a solution, but a tool
New analytic needs - new data integration, business need for lower data latency, support for dynamic structures, report personalization.
How to evolve?  Understand the architecture.
Analytic Sandbox -> Raw Data Hub -> Enterprise Data Lake
Three components of data architecture: landing & assembly, general DW, specialized data warehouse

Low-Hanging Fruit: Tuning & Securing WebLogic Server - Sid Patel & Smarajit Pramanick - @ASTCorporation

Intro of WLS - example of a sandwich to show how what is in the middle might really matter…great example!
Common issues - system errors (stuck thread, thread waits, timeout, memory issues - StuckThreadMaxTime default is 600 seconds), bad throughput (server not responding to new requests), loss of messages (intractability of messages, network/socket issues), poor performance (request taking longer time than expected, SLAs violated)
Common performance issues - memory leak, thread deadlock, WLS session replication, high number of open file descriptors or sockets, long running DB queries, JVMs spending took much time in GC, too chatty system, improper hardware sizing, network bandwidth, payload size, load balancer issues, bad application design
Performance tuning - how is WLS performance measured?  Response time, latency, throughput, resource utilization - how is WLS performance tested?  Functional, stress, load, and soak testing
Identify possible bottlenecks
OS tools - netstat, iostat, top, vmstat
WLS tools - server logs, WLS diagnostic framework, WLS console & EM, WLST
JDK tools - JPS, thread dumps, heap dumps, Java flight recorder, jvisual vm, jconsole, jstat (some of these I do not know so I need to look them up)
Log and debug options - logging service, log subsystem events (startup/shutdown, application deployment, subsystem failures), communicate status, domain message log (overall status (server logs and out, domain logs)), change log location, message catalog (Java logging API), use Java logging (Log4j), subsystem logs (http, transaction, data source, diagnostic images)
Log severity levels
Log rotation policy
WLDF (WebLogic Diagnostic Framework) free out of the box
OS parameters need to be tuned, especially for Linux
file descriptor since everything is a file - "Too many open files"
ps -eaf | grep Java -> pfiles processID | grep rlimit
ulimit -H -n
ulimit -S -n
TCP tuning, default wait time netstat -a | grep TIME_WAIT | wc -l

Monday, April 3, 2017


Keynote Session - Jenn Lim -

There was SO much good stuff here that it was hard to capture, so I recommend that you check it out for yourself BUT there were six keys that I thought were important to capture: commitment, revisit your core values, commit to transparency, purpose, build meaningful relationships, build the right team!

Get More from Data by Giving It to Your Customers - Bryan Brewer

This was interesting as Womble is a pipe coating company that doesn't own their inventory!
Internal challenge to find a dashboard with the following features: real time, integrated, secure, Internet enabled, summary and detail reporting, easy to install design/develop, and train/support.
External challenge to provide the customers the same thing!
What they did is come up with a combined checklist!
Looked at BI Publisher, OBIEE, OBIFS, Hubble ( and finally used Hubble in their efforts.
Went from a report with over 900 lines to a dashboard with 4-5 visual reports that can be drilled down into!

JSON is not another YAML ("Yet Another Markup Language") - Coleman Leviter - @cleviter

Lightweight compared to XML.
Basic types - number, string, Boolean, null, whitespace
JSON data types are few and predefined, it has a simple structure-defining and document-combining constructs, order of the objects is insignificant, is very data centric
JSON doesn't have its own data type like XML does
JSON operators - json_exists, json_query, json_table, json_value, RETURNING

What you need to know about Oracle's password file - Michael Nelson

Password file is stored at the OS level so you can log into a down DB!
If you are on the server, be part of the ora_dba or dba group, but if you are not on the server, use the password file stored on the server!
Run select * from v$pwfile_users to see who is in the password file.
Password file is encrypted on the OS for security!
The file is usually located at $ORACLE_HOME/DBAs/orapw$ORACLE_SID
orapwd command - can be used on ASM only in 12c, only if ASM is set to 12c also
ORA-1996 indicates that the password file is full!

Oracle E-Business Suite SysAdmin SIG - @kansasdba and @michaelbrownorg

EBS 12.2.6 released on 9/2016, while 12.1 was released on 5/2009, and 12.3 is coming at some point.
EBS 12.1 supported until 2021!
My Oracle Support note ID 742060.1
-I'm now the Vice Chair!
Santiago Bastidas with Oracle gave us a presentation on EBS on Oracle Cloud.
This strategy uses both PaaS and IaaS.
Shift to the cloud is going to be assisted by automation!
DataBase Cloud Services (DBCS) is different from the offering for Exadata Cloud.
My Oracle Support note ID 1383621.1
My Oracle Support note ID 2066260.1
Lift and Shift - process of moving an existing EBS system from on prem to the Oracle Cloud.
Enhanced EBS management with EBS Cloud Admin Tool, adds SOA CS, OAM/OID instance, Mailer instance.
Roadmap - lots of things, but major takeaway is REST/SOAP enablement is being worked on in the Cloud!

McDonalds's journey to re-platform Java applications from IBM WebSphere to Oracle WebLogic Server - Chandan Bedi & Sundeep Khurana

I felt sorry for these gentlemen, as I was the only person in attendance and it was a pretty good presentation!  Since I was the only person, it was kind of hard to take notes while they were talking directly to me, but it was a good overview of their project, pitfalls they encountered, and how they got the applications from one system to the other.

What's New in PL/SQL and EBR in Oracle Database 12c Release 2 - @BrynLite

Bryn started with a ten minute pep talk about using coding correctly, which seemed a bit odd, but what the hey, right?
Edition-based Redefinition (EBR) has been around since Oracle OpenWorld 2009 in 11gR2!
Brand new code coverage tool - start coverage, run the tests, stop coverage (there didn't seem to be a lot of detail about this, so I am going to have to go searching for this).
alter session set Plsql_Warnings = 'Error:All' - This was a new one for me, since I'm not a developer, but I'm squirreling this away for later if I ever need it!
It took about ten seconds to refresh his 12.2 PDB locally, so try to be destructive and curious if you can recover from it with little to no effort!!
Pl/Scope (what is this program?)
HPROF (hierarchical performance profiler) enhancements - identifies SQL "subprograms" with the SQL_ID (again, what is this?)
Accessible by is a feature that is pretty new, but not a lot of people in the room were using it.
New pragma allows an element of any kind to be marked as depreciated.

Sunday, April 2, 2017


Testing Oracle E-Business Suite Best Practices - Mazen Arar - 12:30 PM

"Change is constant" was on his first slide, and this is SO true these days for many of us!
Testing readiness means challenging facts.
A great insight that Mazen had was that QA needs to be proactive, as early as possible, even to listen.
Have the hardware on hand, including different versions of it.
Where/how do we start?  Plan, Execute, Automate
Planning - what is the task on hand, what documentation is at hand?  RCD (Release Content Document), FIAD (Functional Impact Assessment Document)
Scope - key business flows, impacted flows, usage patterns
Mark test flows with priority - basic, sanity check, detailed
Follow a testing methodology based on task - theme based, exploratory, role based, end to end flow based
Make sure to have well defined entry and exit criteria
Cloud testing - Shorter Release Cycle (automation), Rapid Addition of features, security, integration, multi tenancy
IoT testing - Complex Architecture, Complex data, security, validation, performance and scalability
Good practice - be creative/innovative, review results, learn from them, plan next cycle with a new flavor, improve scoping
Automation!  Who can do it?  Anyone.  What do you automate?  Critical and repeatable flaws.  When should we?  Now!  Allows more innovation out of employees
There are several different applications for this in Oracle Application Testing Suite (OATS), Oracle Load Testing Suite, and Oracle Test Manager.
Oracle QA reduced their automation time by 60%!
Flow Builder application allows you to generate test scripts.
API and WebServices support in Advance Pack
Due to their own use of these applications, EBS patching won't break OATS.
If you are around at the conference, stop by Demo Booth 14 to see this in action!

Real- time Data Integration in Oracle E-Business Suite using Integrated Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) Gateway by Faraz Khalik with @DeloitteOracle - 1:45 PM

This was supposed to be a case study about transitioning to SOA, which was technically what was provided, but really what Faraz talked about was the solution/process that was put in place, not much technical information.  This was kind of frustrating, but I'll check out the addendum in the whitepaper/presentation to see if there is any kind of technical information included.

Geo Land setup! - 3:00 PM

The coordinators of the Geo's had a blast getting everything set up for the OAUG members!

OAUG Geo Land! - 4:00 PM

This was even more fun than the setup hour was!  The Arizona/New Mexico Geo had a cactus themed ring toss game, and a LOT of the OAUG members had a blast!!

OAUG Meeting of the Members - 5:30 PM

There were some awesome awards given out, and even had a sneak peek of an Oracle and OAUG survey which is going to be made public in a few days!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Kicking off OAUG's eLearning for 2017!

Hello everybody, I do exist!  Sorry I have been away, but I plan on returning on a more regular basis very soon!!

Anyways, the OAUG is having another great eLearning slate of sessions and none other than yours truly is going to kick it off next Tuesday with my Workflow purging presentation!!  If you are not already a member, make sure you sign up as an individual member or get your company to join and all employees get this amazing benefit.  This gets you ready to attend COLLABORATE17 in Las Vegas in April!!

Monday, November 7, 2016

COLLABORATE17: Accepted!

This year I had a lot going on at COLLABORATE16, and next year seems to be going the same way as my new presentation that was for the ConnectionPoint - Apps Tech conference was selected for COLLABORATE17!  OAUG's COLLABORATE conferences are always jam-packed with information and great networking opportunities so make sure to check out the registration page and sign up before the rates change!!