September 26, 2008

Openworld 2008: A pictorial walkthrough

Here are more pictures from Oracle Openworld 2008 held in San Francisco, September 21-25, 2008

Bloggers from all around the world meet at the Thirsty Bear in San Francisco. There were quite a few thirsty bears in there as the picture below might reveal.
A group picture of the who's who of the Oracle Blogging community. How many can you identify?

A view of the Moscone Center where most of the presentation sessions were held

A sea of humans - conference attendees walking from one conference center venue to another

The escalators were full too
A view of the conference crowd in front of the conference material distribution counters Bean Bags to the rescue - attendees rest their tired feet between attending the sessions
One of the most popular session types was the 'Unconference'

'Unconference' sessions are usually a no-slide zone with presenters posting their session topics on Post-it notes (see picture below). These sessions are not selected by the conference committee but just a volunteer exercise - the modern equivalent to a soap box speech

White board with 'Unconference' session listing
A glimpse of the OCP Lounge - candidates attempting practice tests from Self Test Software
A board outside the OCP Lounge announces the on-site certification exam schedule

The exhibition halls were busy most of time. Here's a picture of the gracious hosts at Golden Gate Software who were distributing cookies and other refreshments
If you are an Oracle customer, Oracle wants to thank you!

September 21, 2008

Live From Oracle Openworld 2008!

Oracle Openworld 2008 started today at San Francisco. Attendees from all over the world have showed up in their Sunday best. Here are the latest pictures from Openworld 2008 (Also please follow the Live Blog feed)

Registration counters at Openworld are already very busy

Oracle Applications Lounge finds a few visitors early in the morning

OAUG Booth at the User Group Pavilion

Big LCD screens all around the conference center

A most welcome sight: coffee and croissants

September 19, 2008

Most Memorable Messages on Oracle Listens

Here are some of the most memorable messages on Oracle Listens:

Of course, some others also left their signature feedback: "I Like Oracle", "I love you Oracle", "I hope to have a ORACLE watch", "Buy SAP", "Buy Microsoft", "No idea", "No Thanks", "Do this more often", "It is too soon for my comments, but later I will comply" and one from perhaps the Poultry Association of America: " Eat more chicken"!

Have you posted your idea yet?

You talkin' to me?

Have you visited lately?

Participate with Oracle in an unique networking experience. You can propose an idea, vote on ideas presented by others as well as share your feedback. You can also join several groups that interests you. Become a member of the 'Oracle Certification' group moderated by Harold Green, Senior Manager of Oracle Certification Program Team.

The objective is to have this radically new channel of communication to let Oracle know features you would like to see, offer suggestions for better service and improvements.

This is a great adoption of Web 2.0 applications and your enthusiastic participation in the program will make it a resounding success.

Oracle is listening.

"You talkin' to me?"

Meet The Experts: Featuring Author Joyjeet Banerjee

OCP Advisor: Hi Joyjeet, on behalf of the OCP blog readers we are delighted to have you today as our featured Oracle Expert. Please tell us something about you, your background and professional experience.

JB:  I have around 9 years experience with Oracle Technologies and for the last 6 years I am working with Oracle Corporation focusing mainly on implementing Oracle Applications 11i/R12 with all the big clients across the continent. The area of my expertise are RAC,  Apps on RAC, implementing Shared APPL_TOP model, providing disaster recovery solutions, MAA and upgrading to R12. 

OCP Advisor: New Oracle technologies are being introduced every year. Which technologies excite you most? What's your advice to Application DBAs for adopting these?

JB: One of the biggest issues for the customer is the downtime. The Maximum Availability Architecture (MAA) technology excites me the most as it is the future. With the technologies like rolling upgrades and online patching being introduced, there will be a day when we won’t be taking down the production system for maintenance. I would like to urge Apps DBAs to focus on the MAA, as it’s the DBA’s who works in the late nights and on weekends for every downtime.  

OCP Advisor: Congratulations on your new book: "Oracle Applications DBA Covers 11i and R12" that's available on Amazon and other leading bookstores. Please tell us what the book is all about?

JB: Oracle Applications DBA covers all the pertinent aspects of administrating Oracle Applications—from installation to day-to-day maintenance. It covers upgrading, cloning, patching, maintenance and troubleshooting of the application system. Embellished with over 350 screenshots and illustrations, it helps in administrating complex Oracle Applications Database in an easy-to-navigate format. To help readers manage Oracle Applications without much difficulty, a comprehensive discussion on upgrading Oracle Applications in Unix environment has been provided. Further the book includes a balanced coverage of Oracle 11i and R12 – making it a must-have for experienced Oracle Applications DBAs. Professionals who are keen to migrate from DBA to Apps DBA profile would also find the book useful.
The book would be a very good starting point for someone who wants to know about Oracle Applications and at the same time this book would come handy for all the experienced DBA's. Initially this book was focused only on 11i and was about to get released long back. But when Oracle announced the availability of Release 12 I didn't get enough motivation to release a book on 11i so the next biggest question for me was to continue with my initial book or to start a new one focusing entirely on R12. I was in the process of deciding when Oracle launched "Apps Unlimited" which implied that 11i is going to stay in the market. . So, I decided to cover both 11i as well as R12 in this book making it as comprehensive as possible by ensuring coverage of every aspect of 11i and R12 including upgrading to R12. As a result what we have now is a book that not only helps a novice DBA in terms of getting started but also a veteran to get a better foothold in 11i and R12.

OCP Advisor: Several of our blog readers are preparing for R11i/R12 Application DBA certification. What advice/tips/suggestions do you have for the certification candidates?

JB: The certification track for the OCP 11i/R12 focuses on the practical aspects of Oracle Applications and most of the questions contains the real life scenarios. If you are a starter then best thing would be to install Oracle Applications and then practice the same. Since the questions have balance on each and every topic so you must prepare all the topics.  My book also would be great help for those who are preparing for this exam. 

OCP Advisor: Can you please let us know one habit that has contributed most to your professional success?  

JB: Well if you are asking about one habit then I would say it would be to constantly upgrade one's skill set. These days when the technology is changing everyday and new things come up you need to constantly upgrade yourself with the latest technologies. 
OCP Advisor: Thanks Joyjeet for taking time out from your busy schedule and chatting with our blog readers. Wish you continued success and acclaim in the coming years. 

JB: Hopefully, I would continue to help certification candidates through my current book and future references. Best of Luck to all OCP blog readers!

September 17, 2008

Solution Key for Nano 9s on OM Fundamentals

Here is the solution key to Nano9s on Order Management Fundamentals.

The correct answers are listed with the questions below in bold and italics.

One should have scored at least 6 out of 9 correct answers (66%) to be reasonably confident of success in the certification exam.

Question#1: In order to provide grants for shipping transactions, your administrator was asked to provide full access to US organization. However, by mistake, he left the organization field blank. What would the user be now able to do?

[a] User would not have shipping transaction right for any organization

[b] User would have shipping transaction right only for US organization

[c] User would have shipping transaction rights for all organizations

[d] User would have view only shipping transaction rights for all organizations

Question#2: An urgent sales order was expected to be released by the Pick Release process but it did not. Which among the following may be one of the causes why the pick release was not successful?

[a] The sales order is on Hold

[b] This was an Internal Sales Order

[c] The order date was outside the scheduled ship date for the release

[d] There were multiple Ship To Addresses on the sales order

[e] The Pick Release was not run for the same organization as that of the order

Question#3: After the item was setup in the Master Org and enabled in Child Orgs, you found that the item's primary Unit of Measure (UOM) was defined wrongly. Which of the following statement is true about the action you can perform?

[a] You can change the items primary UOM at any time

[b] You cannot change the item's primary UOM once it is defined

[c] You can change the item's primary UOM as long as there are no transactions performed against this item

[d] You can change the item's primary UOM as long as there are no pending transactions against this item

Question#4: With which of the following modules is Oracle Order Management integrated?

[a] Oracle Receivables

[b] Oracle Advanced Pricing

[c] Oracle Install Base

[d] Oracle Time and Labor

[e] Oracle iPayment / Payment

[f] Oracle Fixed Assets

Question#5: You have been asked to set up a one-step Pick Release process. Which of the following actions would ensure a successful Pick Release run?

[a] Select both Auto Allocate and Auto Pick Confirm checkbox on the Inventory Tab of the Release Sales Order window

[b] Select only Auto Allocate check box on the Inventory Tab of the Release Sales Order window

[c] Select only Auto Pick Confirm checkbox on the Inventory Tab of the Release Sales Order window

[d] Select neither Auto Allocate nor Auto Pick Confirm checkbox on the Inventory Tab of the Release Sales Order window

Question#6: Which of the following statements are true regarding customer accceptance of a sales order?

[a] Acceptance can be either pre-billing or post-billing

[b] Customer Acceptance is a compulsory feature in Order Management

[c] Set the system parameter, Enable Fulfillment Acceptance = Yes for the operating unit, to enable the feature

[d] Run Implicit Acceptance Request Set for implicit acceptance

Question#7: You are accessing R12 APAC Order Management responsibility. When you are trying to query Sales Order # 9999 for China operating unit, no records are returned. What are the probable causes?

[a] China OU is the default value in MO: Default Operating Unit

[b] China OU is not the default value in MO: Default Operating Unit

[c] Some other OU was chosen for the operating unit field when querying the sales order

[d] China OU is not part of the MO: Security Profile for the responsibility

Question#8: Which of the following statements are true regarding purging of orders and quotes?

[a] OM: Transactions Purged Per Commit = 1000 means that 1000 orders can be purged in a day

[b] Order Purge is a concurrent process

[c] Purging degrades system performance and occupies additional disk space

[d] Order Management allows you to purge open orders

[e] Purge sets contains orders based on critieria specified in the parameters for Order Purge Selection program

[f] Order Management allows you to purge orders with uninvoiced lines or open returns

Question#9: You have been asked to build a business case for buying Oracle Advanced Pricing licenses since some of the desired features for pricing configuration are not available with Basic Pricing. Which of the following features are not available in Basic Pricing?

[a] Can define unlimited number of secondary price lists

[b] Can define static formulas

[c] Can define promotions and coupons

[d] Can define dynamic formulas

[e] Can add qualifiers to the price list

[f] Can define discounts

September 15, 2008

Oracle Openworld 2008 - What's in your schedule?

Those registered for Oracle Openworld 2008 are busy packing their bags for a flight to the city by the bay, San Francisco. Many of our fellow Oracle bloggers have already made their conference schedule public. To paraphrase the popular CapitalOne credit card catch phrase, "What's in your pocket?"

It is time to ask all attendees: "What's in your schedule?"

There are nearly 1400 conference sessions scheduled next week from Sunday, September 21st to Thursday, September 25th. To accommodate more than fifty thousand guests, the sessions are being held not only in the main conference facility, Moscone Center, but also in several nearby hotels like the Marriot, Westin, Intercontinental and Palace Hotel. The online Schedule Builder (powered by Oracle Data Mining) is a trusted friend who can help the attendees keep track of the sessions they have reserved their seating. Popular sessions often are 'sold out' and even if one wants to attend it in a standing-room only manner, there is not enough oxygen left in the mega ballrooms that shrink after a few thousand members of the audience settle in. It is always a wise decision to book the session attendance well in advance and know the exact location since some of the venues are a few blocks away from the conference center.

Many of our DBA friends are thinking of cloning themselves since the interesting sessions that they want to attend are scheduled in the same time window. The scheduling decisions are often very tough when there are multiple lunch and dinner invites to add to the packed conference schedule.

This year, your blog editor plans to blog and twitter (handle: ocp_advisor) live from the conference. Here is a proposed schedule for an attendee preparing for Oracle Certification exams (production as well as R12 betas):

Sunday, September 21:
OCP Exam Cram - Oracle Database 11g New Features for Administrators - a full day session

Monday, September 22:
S301397 - So you want to be an Oracle ACE?
Session#S301711 - Simple Tips to Quickly Find Answers to Your Oracle-Related Questions and Keep Your Oracle Skills Up to Date
Session#S301399 - How to Look Like a Star DBA: Shell Scripting Tips and Techniques for Junior DBAs
Session#S299147 - Lessons Learned in Upgrading to Oracle E-Business Suite Financials Release 12: Oracle's Internal Upgrade
Session#S298539 - Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12: Technology Essentials
Session# S299134 - Oracle E-Business Tax Key Features and Strategic Benefits
Session#S299990 - Oracle Running Oracle
Session#S300197 - Introduction to Java: PL/SQL Developers Take Heart

Tuesday, September 23:
Session#S299092 - Oracle E-Business Suite Financials: Release 12, What's New in 12.1 and Beyond
Session#S300185 - Why You Should Care About Oracle 11g PL/SQL Now
Session# S299918 - Upgrading to Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12: Best Practices and Lessons Learned
Session# S301683 - Real-World Best Practices for DBAs

Wednesday, September 24:
Session# S299152 - Top 10 Features in the Release 12 Credit-to-Cash Process Flow That Can Make Your Job Easier Today
Session# S299140 - Oracle E-Business Tax: Upgrade Considerations and Implementation Best Practices
Session#S301684 - Oracle 11g New Features for DBAs

Thursday, September 25:
Session#S298375 - Upgrading to Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12: Get Your Technical and Functional Questions Answered by This Panel
Session# S299730 - Best Practice Tips for Your Upgrade to Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12
Session# S300480 - Oracle ACE Director Birds-of-a-Feather Tips and Techniques Panel

For the mavericks amongst us, here is a list of must attend sessions simply based on the most memorable session titles:

Session#S301177 - Who Needs Backups When You Have No Restore Scripts
Session#S301156 - Be the Master of Your Domain: MDM Explained
Session#S301163 - 2009: A BI Odyssey
Session#S301016 - Let's Get Physical: Success Through Storage Tuning
Session#S300184 - Weird PL/SQL
Session#S301194 - 10 Things Your Mother Didn't Teach You About Oracle's Middeware and Oracle Fusion Strategy
Session#S300183 - Break Your Addiction to SQL!
Session#S301803 - How Green Is Your House?
Session#S299349 - Banking for the Unbanked
Session#S298423 - Introducing Oracle Beehive
Session#S298946 - How to Prevent SQL Injections
Session#S298497 - No REST for the Weary: REST APIs and the Activity Stream
Session#S299903 - The Secret to Self-Funded Transformation
Session#S300518 - Beyond the Obvious
Session#S300169 - Our Site Is HOT! Disaster Recovery
Session#S298594 - Oracle Healthcare Goes to Prison
Session#S299183 - If You Configure It, They Will Come
Session#S300026 - The New Kids in the Cubicles
Session#S300166 - Around the World in 80 Days, but from SAP to JD Edwards in 46!
Session#S298754 - Using Oracle Database in the Cloud
Session#S299154 - You Closed the Deal of the Century, but Did Your Customer Actually Pay?
Session#S300035 - We Want You Back!

We want you back tomorrow to read another blog post!

September 13, 2008

Solution Key for Nano 9s on Receivables Fundamentals

Here is the solution key to the Nano9s on Receivables Fundamentals

The correct answers are listed with the questions below in bold and italics.

Question#1: From which of the following data sources does Bill Presentment Architecture (BPA) provide the architecture to retrieve billing data?
[a] Oracle Quotes
[b] Oracle Receivables
[c] Oracle Order Management
[d] Oracle Service Contracts

Question#2: To create an invoice due over four quarters, which of the following is the best option?
[a] Create 4 lines and assign different payment terms, i.e. 1 for each quarter start date
Assign payment terms that have 4 quarterly payment schedules
Assign an invoicing rule with 4 quarterly schedules
Assign an accounting rule with 4 quarterly schedules

Question#3: The following profile option has been set to a value of 'Yes' - AR: Change Customer on Transaction. What would this setup allow an user to do?
[a] Update customer profile
[b] Update customer name on a transaction
[c] Update posted transactions
[d] Update transactions only of type Commitment

Question#4: To setup transaction numbering, which of the following setup/s need to be configured?
Auto Accounting
Transaction Sources
Transaction Types
System Options

Question#5: The Approval Limits have not been setup. Which of the invoice creation methods may not work?
[a] Refund
[b] Debit Memo
[c] Adjustment
[d] On-Account Credit

Question#6: Which of the following setups need to be configured for invoicing a customer?
[a] Customer Profile Class
[b] Customers
[c] Lockbox
[d] Remit-to address

Question#7: Which of the following transactions cannot be created using the AR: Enter Transactions form?
[a] Chargebacks
[b] Credit Memo against an invoice
[c] Debit Memos
[d] Deposits
[e] Guarantees
[f] Invoices

Question#8: California Sales Tax imposed by the State Board of Equalization is an example of _______________
[a] Tax Authority
[b] Tax Regime
[c] Tax
[d] Tax Jurisdiction
[e] None of the above

Question#9: In the Sub-Ledger Accounting (SLA) Receivables Accounting event model, an Invoice or a Credit Memo would be defined as a ___________________
[a] Event Entity
[b] Event Class
[c] Event Type
[d] Event Category

Hopefully, the questions on the new features (focussed on R12 1Z0-216) did not stump many!

September 12, 2008

Survey Results: Top Reasons for Oracle Certification

Nearly a hundred of our blog readers answered our survey question - "What's your top reason for Oracle Certification?"

It came as no surprise that Oracle certification is considered as the pinnacle of Oracle expertise. More than a third of our respondents (36%) chose 'Proof of professional competence' as Reason #1.

The underlying reason for enhancing one's competence is a motivation for a better career. Hence, Reason #2 chosen by nearly a quarter of our respondents (26%) was 'Greater Career Advancement Opportunity'

Oracle professionals are spread all across the world. Oracle certification exams provide an universal standard to measure one's competence. The same certification exam is administered globally and Reason #3 chosen by 16% of respondents recognized it as a 'Globally recognized industry-standard'.

Some of our leading Oracle experts are the first ones to take the beta exams and chose certification as a means to learn the new Oracle technologies for database and applications. Nearly 9% of our respondents chose Reason #4 - 'Keep pace with new Oracle technologies'.

Even though certification credentials do lead to some bragging rights, 'Prestige and Recognition' was only the fifth motivating factor. Some of our maverick respondents thought 'Oracle certifications are HOT' ! We definitely agree with them!

September 11, 2008

Meet The Experts: Featuring OCP Mihajlo Tekic

This week's featured expert is Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) and soon to become Oracle Certified Master (OCM) the debonair DBA - Mihajlo Tekic.

OCP Advisor:Hi Mihajlo, on behalf of the OCP blog readers we are delighted to have you as this week's featured Oracle Expert. Please tell us something about you, your background and professional experience.

MT: I have been working in the IT industry for over eight years. After I obtained my Bachelors degree in Computer Science I got an opportunity to work as an Oracle Developer. I have been working in Oracle database development and administration for more than five years. I have special interest in performance optimization, data replication and MAA solutions. I am also pursuing my Masters degree in Computer Science at DePaul University in Chicago. I am originally from Macedonia, but currently live and work in Chicago, USA.
I spend my spare time with my wife Natasa and our newborn daughter Monika. Whenever possible, I watch soccer games, read books and hang out with my friends. (Editor's note: Congratulations Natasa and Mihajlo on the new addition to your family!)

OCP Advisor: New Oracle technologies are being introduced every year. Which technologies excite you the most right now?

TM: I have been using many Oracle technologies and database features. Each of them is special in its own way. If I have to pick the ones that have excited me the most, that would be Flashback Database, Oracle Streams and definitely Oracle Wait Interface.

OCP Advisor: You have passed multiple Oracle Certification exams. How do you prepare for the certification exams? Can you please walk us through the preparation steps of one of your exams ?

TM: First and foremost try to completely understand the exam topics. Read as much Oracle documentation related to the exam topics. Read the books related to the exam, if any available (but be aware that the topics might have been changed since the book was published). And finally, practice, practice, practice. Reading without practice is not sufficient.

I also want to mention that participating in Oracle Technology Network (OTN) forums helped me to better prepare for the exams. I always find some interesting discussions that make me research more and take more tests.

OCP Advisor: Your are preparing for Oracle Certified Master credential. What is your impression about the Certification exams? What advice, tips and suggestions do you have for the certification candidates?

TM: Well, there is one common thing for all the exams I have taken: They made me improve my skills and become a better professional. For all the future candidates, remember the words of Goethe: "Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do."

OCP Advisor: Can you please let us know one habit that has contributed most to your professional success?

TM: I always follow the KISS principle (Keep It Simple Silly) when solving problems and never try to reinvent the wheel if the solution already exists.

OCP Advisor: Thanks Mihajlo for taking time out from your busy schedule and chatting with our blog readers. Wish you continued success and acclaim in the coming years!

TM: Thanks for inviting me to participate. Good luck to all your blog readers in their careers and certification endeavors.

September 10, 2008

Oracle OCP Team is Listening: Particpate in Survey

Oracle OCP Program team has once again demonstrated their superior customer-focus. On the OCP Program Team Blog, there is a survey to estimate the demand for OBIEE (Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition) certification.  OCP Program team has their ears to the ground and this survey once again demonstrates they are listening. 

May I strongly encourage our blog readers to participate in this survey to make sure there are enough positive responses for Oracle to launch the OBIEE certification!

There are several blogs dedicated to OBIEE. 

Click the following links to visit two of them:

September 8, 2008

Nano 9s on Order Management Fundamentals

Ever since the Nano9s were introduced on this blog nearly two months ago, more and more readers are testing their preparedness by attempting these mini tests.

This post features the last of certification tests for EBS not yet covered on this blog - 1Z0-221/1Z1-226 for R11i Oracle Management Fundamentals. For those preparing for the R12 beta exam (1Z1-226), a brief comparison of the exam topics with the R11i exam (1Z0-221) would provide a perspective of new topics that need to be reviewed. For those preparing to upgrade their OCP SCM 11i certification to R12 OCE certification, this analysis might be helpful too.

Since the R12 beta exam (1Z1-226) consists of both Inventory and Order Management areas, the exam content for Order Management has been curtailed to some extent. The introduction sections on 'Overview of Oracle Order Management' and 'Order Entities and Order Flows' in R12 (1Z1-226) closely echo similar topic in R11i (1Z0-221) namely 'Order to Cash Lifecycle' and 'Oracle Order Management Process'. While 'Bank Reconciliation' sub-topic is missing, 'Manage Quotes' makes an entry in 1Z1-226.

The R12 exam is based on the Oracle University course for Order Management Fundamentals. Hence, the chapter titles on Oracle Inventory setup for OM, Oracle Receivables setup for OM, Shipping Execution setup and Basic Pricing setup (including Price book feature) are listed as exam topics. As expected 'Multiple Organization Access Control setup' debuts on the R12 exam. 'RFQs and Quotations' and 'Holds, Order Purge and Exception Management' is introduced as a separate exam topic.

The Nano9s are meant to provide just a flavor of the certification exams. Questions presented on Nano9s may not resemble the actual tests and neither claim to be one. As mentioned multiple times on this blog, exam questions tend to be more like mini-case studies and not direct setup/configure/feature questions. This week the Nano9s on Order Management have been developed using that mini case study approach and the similarity with the exam questions might not be much varied for a change.

Please click here to answer the Nano9s or type the following URL below on your browser address bar:

For the solution key, click here or type the following URL on your browser:

September 6, 2008

Oracle Openworld Blog Features This Blog Editor Again

The "Around the World" feature on the Oracle Openworld Blog has once again featured this blog editor.

Here's what the Oracle Openworld Blog had to say:

"The Art of Justification: Attending Oracle OpenWorld 2008 : It's not always easy to make the most of a conference. Especially if you're having trouble getting permission to go. One of our favorite bloggers, Mohan Dutt, shares some tips on how to convince the suits in management that the value of Oracle OpenWorld is much greater than the expense"