July 30, 2008

More Reasons To Attend Openworld 2008

The annual get-together of the Oracle family - Oracle Openworld - would be held from September 21-25, 2008 in San Francisco, California.
This year, the conference promises to be quite spectacular in terms of the sheer number of presentation sessions (close to 2000) as well as number of attendees flying in from all over the world (some estimate it to be over 50,000-60,000). The blog editor has been fortunate to be a frequent presenter (see list here) and a regular attendee since 2001. Over the years, the conference offerings have grown across multiple dimensions. There are hands-on lab sessions, panel discussions, user group forums, special interest group meetings, executive solution sessions apart from the enthralling keynotes presented by the who's who of the Oracle universe.
Just in case you are yet to register, the Oracle Certification Program team announced on their blog a few more reasons to attend Openworld 2008. For the Oracle OCP DBA experts waiting to jump on the 11g bandwagon, there is a free full day exam cram session. For more details on how to register early for this exam cram, click here. Like previous years, there would be two testing windows every day for the 4 conference days. So, in theory, one can write all the certification exams in an OCA, OCP or OCE track while at Openworld!
The blog editor looks forward to meet the dynamic Oracle Certification Program (OCP) team and publish the face to face interviews on this blog. So if you have any question for the OCP team, please e-mail me or post as a comment to this post. Like last year's interview, the top ten most popular questions would be featured on this blog.

July 27, 2008

What's in a blog name?

Oracle has been introducing new certifications for Oracle Certified Associate (OCA), Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) and Oracle Certified Expert (OCE) credentials. Apart from this there is the exclusive Oracle Certified Master (OCM) for DBA tracks.
Today, an individual can proudly announce oneself as an Oracle certified professional (Ocp) on achieving either an OCA, OCP, OCE or OCM certification.

Organization's today are no longer entirely brick and mortar entities but mostly 'click and mortar' corporations. Every organization that you work or interact with is in some form, shape or manner involved with e-business. It's either 'E-business or out of business' to profit in the today's new economy.

Whether one has a technical or functional background, years of experience transforms one to a techno-functional guru (the percentage of technical and functional expertise depends on one's background and continued interest). When one is considering a personal certification road map, it can very well consist of both technical as well as functional tracks.

The blog editor thinks its time for the E-Business OCP & OCE blog to change it's name to 'Oracle Certified Professionals' blog to cover an expanded certification footprint and topics for discussion. This blog is of, by and for Oracle certified professionals (Ocp) - those already certified and the hundreds of thousands who are working hard day and night in their pursuit of Oracle certification dreams. We raise a toast to you all!

July 24, 2008

New OCP Beta Exam For Technical Track

Oracle Certification Program team has come out with another gem - a new OCP Beta exam for the technical track. For our blog readers with technical and techno-functional expertise, Oracle PL/SQL Developer track was somewhat limited with only the Oracle Certified Associate (OCA) credential. One could take one of these three exams - Introduction to Oracle9i SQL (1Z0-007) or Introduction to Oracle SQL and PL/SQL (1Z0-001) or Oracle Database SQL Expert (1Z0-047) followed by Program with PL/SQL (1Z0-147) or Develop PL/SQL Program Units (1Z0-101) exam to complete the OCA certification.
The new beta exam launched today is called Oracle Database 11g Advanced PL/SQL exam (1Z0-146). Those already OCA certified can just take this exam and become a PL/SQL OCP!
For a pictorial of the certification path, click here
As usual, the 1Z0-146 beta exam is being offered at a significant discount ($50 in United States) and provide a mouth-watering challenge to all our technical and techno-functional experts. As more participants take the beta exam, it would be quicker for the certification program team at Oracle to launch the production version. This exam would certainly become one of the popular ones as it addresses the long desired OCP certification requests of the developer community.
Kudos to the Oracle Certification Program team for launching another winner!

July 23, 2008

Survey: Why Are You Preparing For Oracle Certification?

I have been reading with interest the two recent postings (http://tinyurl.com/6ddx46 and http://tinyurl.com/5z7x4g) by Paul Sorensen, Director of Oracle Certification Program on the topic "To Certify or Not To Certify".
As Paul emphasizes, "It can be an important career-building tool for people who take the process seriously. However it’s my strong feeling that certification alone is only a part of the equation in building your career". To a large extent, certification is a means and not the end. Paul adds, "The true value sought by professionals and their clients is found in the steps that a person must goes through in order to pass the required exams". Indeed, for this reason I would encourage blog readers to actually prepare for the exams the hard way by going through the exam content and reading training guides, user guides, handbooks and so on but please avoid dumps at all cost. Not only it violates clause 3.3 of the Certification Candidate agreement, it defeats the very purpose and dilutes the value of certification. There is no greater joy than the enjoying success through your hard-earned effort of weeks or months of preparation. Oracle E-Business Suite certification exams employ questions that tests the real world experience is not a straight out of the manual memorization exercise. Paul highlights this when he says, "The breadth and depth of what is covered on the exams (or the exam objectives) typically requires even experienced professionals to prepare well – think, practice, train and study".

Here are few reasons that are top of my mind why one would seek Oracle certification:
[1] Provides industry-standard validation of my Oracle expertise recognized around the world

[2] Brings prestige and recognition from my peers and my employer
[3] Provides me an incentive to keep pace with new Oracle technologies and releases
[4] Demonstrates proof of my professional competence
[5] Provides greater opportunity for my career advancement within the organization (including salary increases, job role changes and promotions)
[6] Increases my marketability outside the organization
[7] Raises my clients or end users confidence in my Oracle skills
[8] Oracle certifications are HOT! I see everone is going for it.

What are the top 5 reasons why you are attempting to get Oracle certified?

I encourage you to please take the survey on this blog so that we can find from our blog readers around the world.
On a lighter note, if you are looking for top five reasons why you should NOT get certified, please read the humorous article that I came across on about.com - http://certification.about.com/od/entrylevelcertification1/a/notcertified.htm

July 22, 2008

1Z1-206 System Administration Beta Exam Announced

Oracle E-Business Suite R12: System Administration is now available as a beta exam (1Z1-206). Pre-registration for the exam started on July 7, 2008. The beta exam will be available from July 26, 2008.

The exam is based on the Oracle University 5 day instructor-led training entitled 'R12 Oracle Applications System Administrator Fundamentals'. Are the 11i and R12 exams close cousins? Let's have a quick look to compare the exam content and highlight any differences.

The topic - 'Introduction to Applications Security' - discussing Role Based Access Control (RBAC) is a new introduction though the Function Security and Data Security topics were also in the 11i version too. Somewhat overlapping is the topic 'Introduction to Oracle User Management' which was also in the 11i exam.

Exam topics such as Profile Options, Auditing System Resources, Managing Printers, Concurrent Programs and Reports are unchanged in the R12 version. Topics related to Oracle Applications Manager related to system monitoring and troubleshooting feature in the R12 version. These may be DBA duties in some organizations and Sys Admin in others. Perhaps, that was the logic of including this topic. Oracle Workflow topics feature prominently in the R12 exam content and if one is preparing for the Workflow exam, it would be quite a bonus to score some handy home runs here. The R12 exam content rounds off with topics related to flexfields, value sets and advanced validation capabilities.

Surprisingly, several topics are excluded from the R12 exam. Application DBA duties, Form Personalization and Personalization OA Framework Pages are among those topics that are missing.

Look out for the Nano9s on Sys Admin Fundamentals later this week. Meanwhile, take up the challenge and register for the 1Z1-206 Beta exam!

July 20, 2008

Solution Key for Nano9s on Inventory Fundamentals

Google Analytics tracks the geographical location by city, country or continent where our blog readers reside. Since the launch of this blog, I am happy to report that we had our honored guests arriving from 137 countries and 3070 cities till date.

This week's lucky winner of one OCP Blog T-shirt is Ivo Huaynates from the city of Lima, the capital of Peru. Ivo (pictured in cosy warm clothes in the South American winter - remember its winter down south when we have summer north of the equator), works for an Oracle Implementation partner and is an Oracle E-Business Suite expert. Congratulations Ivo!

Whether you are an Oracle EBS expert or not, questions for OCP/OCE exams are often tricky with multiple correct answers and some like "which one of these is NOT a correct option" which is read by the test taker in a hurry as 'which one of these is a correct option'. Unfortunately "not" is neither in caps, bold or italic on the exam terminal to trigger a more careful review.

Every week, more blog readers are taking the Nano9s and checking their preparation for the OCP exams. Here is the solution key for the Nano9 on Inventory Fundamentals. The correct answers are listed in green and bold. How may questions did you correctly answer?

Solution Key to Nano9s on Oracle Inventory Fundamentals - 1Z0-221 or 225/226

#1: An organization's Receipt to Issue (R2I) process consists of which of the following functions?
[a] Receiving, Purchasing, Work in Process, Shipping
[b] Receiving, Work in Process, Order Management
[c] Receiving, Transferring, Issuing
[d] Receiving, Order Management, Work in Process, Shipping

#2: For which of the following areas can one define status attribute controls?
[a] Services
[b] Bill of Material
[c] Inventory
[d] Invoicing

#3: Which flag makes a sub-inventory eligible for Pick Release Process?
[a] Depreciable Flag
[b] Nettable Flag
[c] Reservable Flag
[d] Customer-order Enabled Flag

#4: In MTL_SERIAL_NUMBERS table, CURRENT_STATUS = 6 for a serial number. What does this signify?
[a] Serial Number is defined but not used
[b] Serial Number is obsolete
[c] Serial Number in pending status
[d] Serial Number is in transit

#5: Oracle Inventory shares key data with other Oracle modules such as Payables, Assets and Receivables. Please select from the list below which are the share entities.
[a] Item Information
[b] Transaction Accounting Information
[c] UOM Information
[d] ATP Supply Information
[e] On-Hand Quantity Information

#6: Which of the following time fences are used by the Available To Promise (ATP) algorithm?
[a] Infinite Supply Time
[b] Planning Horizon Time
[c] Past Due Supply
[d] User Defined Lead Time
[e] Past Due Demand

#7: For which Move Order transaction is approval required?
[a] Shipping Move Order
[b] Replenishment Move Order
[c] Requisition Move Order
[d] All of the above

#8: Which among the following are Inventory Replenishment Methods?
[a] MRP
[b] Kanban
[c] Safety Stock
[d] Min-Max Planning

#9: What is the precedence for Locator Control to apply ?
[a] 1. Organization Level 2. Sub-inventory Level 3. Item Level
[b] 1. Organization Level 3. Sub-inventory Level 2. Item Level
[c] 2. Organization Level 3. Sub-inventory Level 1. Item Level
[d] 3.Organization Level 2. Sub-inventory Level 1. Item Level

July 17, 2008

Live Virtual Class - a training option worth considering

More than a year and a half ago, I had discussed about online instructor-led training classes (read here) for the busy professional. Oracle has recently launched several classes that would be of interest to certification aspirants.
Oracle University’s online Live Virtual Class (LVC) is an educational experience that is comparable to our traditional in-class training -- without the need for expensive travel. This flexible option gives you the freedom to learn anywhere and stretch your education budget by training from your home or office and eliminating travel.

LVC is distance learning with live delivery of lectures and labs. The trainer is an Oracle University expert instructor using state-of-the-art interactive Web conferencing tools. LVCs are similar to regular instructor-led training classes except the participants are not located in the same physical place. The content of an LVC is basically the same as the content in a traditional instructor-led course. The same topics are covered in the same amount of detail. LVCs use voice-over-IP (VoIP) technology for audio. VoIP means that students don’t use phones to hear the instructor’s voice.

Students attending LVCs are emailed a key code that is used to access the student materials online. This key code notification is sent 7 days in advance of the class (or less depending on when the enrollment occurs). This enables students to review the materials and prepare before the class start date. Almost all LVC courses have hands-on lab exercises. LVC lab environments give students access to the actual software and technology discussed in the course.

As per the LVC FAQ, attending LVC does count towards the certification hands-on course requirement.
For more information about LVC, click here

July 15, 2008

R11i and R12 EBS Essentials - What's the Diff?

Several blog readers are preparing for the EBS Essentials exam. A popular question is which exam to write - 1Z0 11i EBS Essentials or 1Z0-204 R12 EBS Essentials?
Depending on your experience and exposure to 11i and to a greater extent to R12, you can answer the question yourself.

Among the more adventurous amongst us, some are preparing to write the R12 beta exam as well. One assumes that they are writing the 1Z0-204 exam before the R12 betas. Others have a longer planning horizon of getting up to speed with R12, writing the 1Z0-204 exam to confirm their R12 knowledge foundation and then proceeding with R12 production exams. Many are deciding whether to certify on 11i or wait till the R12 production exams arrive. For all these groups, a common question is - R11i and R12 EBS Essentials exam: What's the Difference?

Let's start answering that question by looking at the Oracle University courses the exams are based on. Though the exams carry the same name, 1Z0-200 is based on the 2 day training: 11i E-Business Suite Essentials for Implementers and 1Z0-204 is based on the 3 day training: R12 Oracle E-Business Suite Essentials for Implementers. Not surprisingly, there are quite a few additions in the exam content for R12 (1Z0-204).

There is a new exam topic to start with - Navigating in R12 Oracle Applications. This topic includes logging in to Oracle Applications, navigating from Personal Home Page (PHP), choosing a responsibility,creating favorites and setting preferences, using forms and menus, entering and searching data, running programs and reports and accessing online help. The 'swan' interface would be the first of many new R12 features one would come across as well as additional options for preference settings.

The next exam topic is 'Introduction to Oracle Applications R12' which corresponds to the 'Overview of Overview of 11i10 E-Business Suite'. The topic on 'Shared Entities and Integration' and 'Fundamentals of Workflows and Alerts' remains unchanged.

'Fundamentals of System Administration' mentions the new R12 Role Based Access Control (RBAC) model when describing layers of access control in Oracle Applications security, defining function security and data security.

'Fundamentals of Flexfields' mentions R12 enhancements to flexfields as one of the sub-topics.

'Fundamentals of Multi-org' has undergone a great change due to R12. Additional sub-topics include the new R12 definition of Multi-Org Access Control (MOAC), setting multi-org preferences, enhanced multi-org reporting and last but not the least Sub-ledger Accounting (SLA) concepts.

'Oracle Business Intelligence Products Overview' now replaces the 11i Daily Business Intelligence (DBI) topic. Apart from DBI, one has to know about Oracle Fusion Business Intelligence (assuming it is OBIEE here) and identify the features of embedded dashboards.

Even if you have passed the 1Z0-200 exam, the 1Z0-204 exam would indeed require some additional reading. A good reference book for the EBS R12 exam is "The Release 12 Primer - Shining a Light on the Release 12 World" which is available online here.

Over the next two weeks, Nano9s (set of nine questions to answer while you are having your morning tea or coffee) would be posted on the 1Z0-204 new R12 topics that were discussed above. You would be able to judge your R12 exam preparedness well in advance.

July 14, 2008

A moment of silence for world's oldest blogger

The global blogging community pauses for a moment of silence today to celebrate the life of the world's oldest blogger - http://worldsoldestblogger.blogspot.com/
On Saturday, July 12th, Olive Riley signed off for the last time.
Her blog used to be at
www.allaboutolive.com.au where she shared her memories of more than a hundred years.

July 12, 2008

OCP Program Team Blog Debuts: We Have Company!

Oracle Certification Program team launched the Oracle Certification blog this week. There's a welcome post by Paul Sorensen, OCP Program Director whom this blog editor interviewed at Openworld 2007 (click here for the interview).
There's another post from Paul on the question which modern day Hamlets may be asking - "To Certify or Not To Certify" (with apologies to William Shakespeare "To be, or not to be: that is the question", Hamlet, Act III, scene I )

I have added this new Certification blog in the 'Blogs of Note' blogroll to the left of this posting and any new posts would appear there through RSS feed.
Hopefully, the new blog would be a platform to get further insights about the dynamic OCP Program team and behind the scenes working of the Oracle Certification Program.

It was a bit lonely on the blogosphere for the last two years without any other Oracle Certification blog. At last, we have company!

July 11, 2008

Solution Key for Nano9s on 1Z0-231 Oracle Workflow

Our blog readers are indeed enjoying their java break and attempting Nano9s by the nines.

Perhaps the t-shirt prize for answering the Nano9s is an added incentive while one can test their OCP preparation level.

Amit Chandola from New Delhi, India is the lucky winner of a OCP Blog T-Shirt. Congratulations Amit!
Your gift is already on its way!!

Meanwhile, other blog readers can win OCP Blog T-shirts too. Be one of the lucky winners with all correct answers for any Nano9s. Nano9s would would appear each week on this blog with the answers to be published the week after to provide enough time for our busy readers to attempt the questions.

Here are the answers to the Nano9s on 1Z0-231 11i Oracle Workflow Fundamentals. The correct answers are in bold

Q#1: When a workflow process activity is setup as runnable, what function is allowed?
[a] Allows workflow engine to check its status
[b] Allows it to be setup as a top-level process
[c] Allows workflow engine to compile
[d] Allows it to be included as a standalone subprocess

Q#2: Name the type of event message used by Business Events to queue messages to external systems.
[a] Any data type
[b] Binary

Q#3: Which component of workflow lets you design a complete workflow process?
[a] Workflow Builder
[b] Workflow Definitions Loader
[c] Workflow Engine
[d] Workflow Monitor

Q#4: Which of the following statements are true regarding Workflow Processes?
[a] Workflow process definition is composed of activities and transitions between them
[b] Workflow engine locates the 'Run' activity which is the first activity in the process defintion to start it

[c] Workflow process completes when the workflow engine encounters an 'End' activity
[d] Workflow process definition must never be stored in the same database as the Workflow Engine

Q#5: Workflow logic supports sophisticated rules to model your business logic. Which of the process constructs are supported?
[a] Looping
[b] Non-parallel flows
[c] Rendezvous
[d] Voting
[e] Results-based branching

Q#6: What is the purpose of the Workflow Monitor?
[a] View status of worklfow process instances
[b] Monitor workflows

[c] Administrator can control workflows in Workflow Monitor
[d] Shows summary of all individual workflows

Q#7: Workflow Notification Mailer uses which of the following protocols?
[a] Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) for inbound messages
[b] Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) for outbound messages
[c] Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) for inbound messages
[d] Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) for outbound messages

Q#8: Business Event System is part of which tier of the Workflow Architecture?
[a] Application Server
[b] Oracle Server

[c] End-user Client
[d] Workflow Development Client

Q#9: Which of the following would you use to transfer a workflow process definition between the database and flat file ?
[a] Workflow Monitor
[b] Workflow Builder
[c] Workflow Definitions Loader

[d] Workflow XML Loader

July 9, 2008

Join 1500+ Professionals Like You

Please join the OCP/OCE group on Linkedin and network with 1500+ professionals like you.

A recent survey in Certification Magazine states that the talent shortage for specialized IT professionals would reach 3 million by 2012. A large percentage of this shortage would be addressed by certified professionals. So here's a platform to network with certified/would-be certified professionals like you as well as resourcing managers who are always on the lookout for the best talent available globally.

Here's the invite to join the group and reap benefits from your certification:

July 8, 2008

Another Nano 9s - This time on Inventory Fundamentals

As the OCP blog survey results indicate, three out of every four readers of this blog are preparing or intended to prepare for EBS R12 beta exams.

For 11i OCP SCM track and R12 Supply Chain Expert track one has to take the following exams: 1Z0-221 Oracle Inventory Management 11i Fundamentals, 1Z0-225 Oracle EBS R12: Inventory and Purchasing Fundamentals, 1Z0-226 Oracle EBS R12: Inventory and Order Management Fundamentals. This set of Nano 9s is based on Inventory Fundamentals that are part of the above exams.

Before you click on the Nano9s link and submit another entry for the exclusive OCP blog t-shirt, let's discuss a few minutes on the differences between the 11i Inventory Fundamentals exams (1Z0-221) and its R12 avatars - 1Z0-225 and 1Z0-226. The R12 exams consist of two modules: Inventory+Purchasing or Inventory+Order Management.

The exam content for the Inventory Fundamentals section is mostly the same for R12 and R11i exams. There are minor changes in the exam topic names - '11i Receipt to Issue Overview' and '11i Defining Inventory Organizations' for the R11i exam is 'Overview of Oracle Inventory' and 'Inventory Structure' respectively for the R12 exam. Some R12 topics are now independent topics like 'Unit of Measure' (R12) and '11i Inventory Controls' is split up in the R12 exam content as 'Lot and Serial Control' and 'Material Status Control'. R12 exam content also mentions the topic of 'Table Information' where one needs to identify the Oracle Inventory tables (for this eTRM is the reference of choice)

Please enjoy the Nano 9s on Oracle Inventory Fundamentals while sipping your hot cup of java and also enter for a chance to win the OCP Blog T-shirt to a lucky winner with all correct answers.

Please click here for the direct link to Nano 9s: http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/?p=WEB227ZVJBVEYK

Solution Key:

July 4, 2008

Vote For Openworld Sessions on Oracle Mix

What session would you like to see at Oracle OpenWorld 2008?
Oracle Mix now provides you an opportunity to vote on your favorites!
The top 35 presentations would be selected for presentation at the conference.While you are mixing with a lot of new friends on the impressive portal, please spend a few seconds to vote on my session submission entitled - Service Contracts Life Cycle Management: Pathway to Higher Profits. H
ere's hoping that the session sneaks in the top 35 with your help and there would be an opportunity to meet some of you wonderful folks at the conference.