January 31, 2009

OCP Blog R12 Beta Exam Challenge Period Extended

The recent survey on the blog revealed interesting statistics as shown below:

More than 85% of our readers indicated they are participating in the Beta Exam Challenge and answered an emphatic "Yes". Another 8% are undecided and answered with a "Maybe". As over 93% of our survey respondents are participating or thinking of participating in the Beta Exam Challenge, the blog editor has decided to extend the Beta Exam Challenge period.
The beta exam challenge is now extended to April 15, 2009. So please take the R12 Beta exams on or before April 15, 2009. All other Beta Exam Challenge rules announced on the blog earlier remain in effect.

So the incentive of getting certified for FREE is still available!
Register for your beta exam today!
We are inviting Beta Exam Challenge sponsors. So if your company is interested in sponsoring please e-mail the blog editor directly to ocp.advisor@gmail.com
Just as a reminder, the OCP Blog prizes are listed here
Starting February 2009 there will be daily Nano9s practice tests and weekly prizes to be won!

January 30, 2009

Oracle Certification may guide your career path

Oracle Certification may guide your career path. Depending on your positioning on the Oracle skill life cycle, certification can prove to be catalyst for the positive reaction that you seek from your employers or clients.

Consider three profiles:

  • Full-time students learning Oracle - Oracle certification credentials may lead to a job opportunity in an organization using Oracle or implementing for other corporates. Certification may decide what you would be doing for the rest of your career.

  • Beginner or Intermediate level professionals - Oracle certification credentials improve promotion and growth opportunities within or outside the organization. Certification confirms your expertise gained on the job.

  • Expert or Advanced level professionals - Oracle Expert credential provide the unique opportunity to specialize in an area of your expertise. For example, if you are a DBA look for OCE RAC Certification. Participate in beta exams for new releases and technologies. Be the first to be certified in the track. Oracle certification thus provides a continued validation of your superior skill set as an expert. For engagements involving these new releases, the experts or advanced level professionals are always in great demand and availability is scarce.

Has Oracle certification guided your career path?

Share your anecdotes as comments to this blog post.

January 29, 2009

Importance of Being Earnest

All over the world, R12 certification exam candidates are cramming hard for the two beta exams, 1Z1-225 and 1Z1-226, that are expiring in a few hours. Hopefully in ten weeks time we shall have the opportunity to announce the first R12 certified professionals on these blog pages.

For those who missed out on writing these beta exams, there are more R12 beta exams that are available for just over seventy days. The two and a half months time window should be adequate to prepare especially for the 'C-B-S' genre of questions asked in the beta exams.

However, this is not the time to procrastinate and postpone preparing for the R12 beta exams by yet another week. Establish a review schedule and follow it as part of a daily routine in an earnest manner. Perfection consists not in doing extraordinary things, but in doing ordinary things extraordinarily well. Now, more than ever, it will be a test of your will power to stick to the certification plan. Successful candidates are those who understand the importance of being earnest.

January 28, 2009

E-Learning Sessions Hosted by OAUG

Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG) hosts weekly e-learning sessions. The training days on Tuesdays and Wednesdays cover a broad range of topics and are presented by top-rated OAUG trainers. Community Thursdays highlight the best-of-the-best educational and training sessions presented at OAUG geographic (Geo) and special interest group (SIG) meetings

The OAUG e-learning sessions are delivered through web-conference and international dial-in with two flexible session time windows to cover almost every timezone around the world.

If you organization is an OAUG member, take advantage of these free training sessions. Dial into a training session from the convenience of your desk and take advantage of free sessions that you would typically pay hundreds of dollars to experience.

In case your organization is not yet an OAUG member, this is a good reason to become one. Based on my membership experience, the cost of the annual membership pays for itself in a month or two if you were paying for each of the membership benefit being a non-member.

OAUG Fusion Council has been spearheading the Fusion initiative and it is time to jump in early to the Fusion bandwagon through OAUG e-learning sessions.

January 27, 2009

Exam Strategy: Beware of the Three Musketeers

Certification exams are tests of skills and expertise. One may be as nervous as the young driver behind the wheels at the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles), but the similarity ends there. Unlike the driving test where basic road signs and driving etiquette needs to be followed, certification exams are like driving tests on a expressway. Of course, beta exams are the Formula One grand prix races with the thrill of a race against time.

As you prepare to go out to 'battle' at your nearest Prometric test center, it is time to forewarn you about the 'Three Musketeers' whom you shall encounter. The 'Three Musketeers' are three types of questions which stump most candidates. Allow me to illustrate the three little men (not so cherubic like the picture alongside) that would cause you a little heartburn during your testing window.

C2s - Consulting Conundrum or Complex Consulting: These are questions that ask you "How to make it work?" The question may relate to configuration and setup as well as steps for transaction processing. For technical exams, this may involve writing or arranging the code in the correct order. Questions have multiple choices (sometimes up to seven choices!) and one has to select the correct answer set - usually two or more options need to be chosen to get full credit.

B2s - Brilliant Brainstorming or Business Breakthrough: These are questions that ask you "How to provide a solution?" Usually a mini case study is presented with relevant and not so relevant facts and figures. One has to architect and/or configure a solution and use the several alternatives among the multiple choices to arrive at the correct answer. Similar to the C2s, usually two or more options need to be chosen to get full credit. These questions consume a lot of minutes so proper time management is required to have adequate window to answer these questions.

S2s - Support Situation or Service Successfully: These are questions that ask you "Why is it not working?" Based on a problem statement one has to study the alternatives and eliminate the correct setups, configuration or codes and identify the incorrect ones. For once, 'wrong is right' here. Similar to C2s and B2s, usually two or more options need to be chosen to get full credit.

The C-B-S network would indeed test your skills and expertise to its limits. It all depends on your performance when it matters whether you will be a hit, a rock star or be just hit or get rocked. Oracle certification exams are increasingly moving away from Rs - Recall and Record or M2s - Memorize and Mark type of questions. Even if one has the urge to consult the illegal pass-guaranteed question banks, the M-R-I (M2s-R2s-Initiative) would only give you a headache (in more ways than one!). This MRI is not worth the scan!

January 26, 2009

Long Shelf Life - Expiration Date Approaches

Over the last week, there have been quite a few requests for extending the beta testing period for 1Z1-225 Oracle EBS R12: Inventory and Purchasing Fundamentals and 1Z1-226 Oracle EBS R12: Inventory and Order Management Fundamentals exams by a month or two. The blog editor had forwarded the requests to the Oracle Certification Program team. Till now the beta exam testing period for both the exams ends on January 31, 2009.

The beta exams started around January 2008 and had a long shelf life of about 13 months. While one cannot complain of the extended beta testing opportunity, it is only now that the critical mass of the candidates for these tests are being reached, perhaps thanks in no small measure to this blog and the beta exam challenge!

The expiration date on the two beta exams is just four days away. For those candidates who are taking the beta exams this week, we wish them the very best of luck and hope they have a long shelf life as EBS R12 Certified Experts.

The solution key to the Nano9s for EBS R12 INV, PO, OM is provided below. The correct answers are shown in bold and italics

January 25, 2009


A few thousand of our blog readers are celebrating their New Year today.

Allow me to take this opportunity to wish them: Xin Nian Kuai Le!

Wishing everyone a very prosperous year ahead: Gong Xi Fa Cai!

In this 'Year of the Ox' let us all resolve to be dependable, calm, methodical, patient, hardworking, ambitious, conventional, steady, modest, logical, resolute and tenacious like the ox.

For one, I am quite bullish about all of you reaching your Oracle certification goals this year!

We shall resume our regular blog post from tomorrow starting with Nano9s on both 1Z1-225 and 1Z1-226 exams that are being retired at the end of the month. We shall also publish the answers to the last Nano9s on R12 INV-PO-OM.

January 24, 2009

Review of Third Party Oracle E-Learning Sites

Having just reviewed Oracle University Knowledge Center a few posts ago, it would also be useful to review third party Oracle E-Learning sites.

The offerings are most likely to be similar to the Live Virtual Class (LVC) offered by Oracle University.

Read about the third party e-learning sites by clicking here

Online Apps DBA Blog offers DBA training for 11i and R12. This courses are available via web conference and hosted on weekends or late evening with hands on exercises. For a complete list of courses offered, please click here

There are several training providers who provide R12 training at their education centers. Perhaps it be worthwhile for certification candidates (and profitable for the training providers) if these classes are also made available as web classes since web conferencing and application sharing on the web has improved by leaps and bounds over the last two years.

Have you attended any web class? Please share your experiences as a comment on this blog post.

January 23, 2009

Book Review: The Release 12 Primer

For Oracle R12 Beta exam participants, the study material repository has been enriched with the launch of "The Release 12 Primer" by Solution Beacon LLC. The slim paperback starts with R12 overview regarding Master Data Management (MDM), data representation and the new user interface. The next few chapters are a deep dive discussing new R12 features for Financials, Procurement,Supply Chain, CRM and Projects family. These chapters can supplement the Oracle Tutor documents based on R11i content. For those preparing for Sys Admin exam, there are chapters on Application Security and Application infrastructure. There are several bonus chapters that discuss beyond R12 including Fusion Middleware. For more Fusion related whitepapers, go to the Triora Group site.

The authors have done a commendable job for creating an easy-to-read conversational style of writing. At times it just feels that you are an audience member listening one of the popular Solution Beacon workshops. Each new feature is illustrated with screenshots that makes it easier to understand the concepts.

The authors of this little paperback treasure tome of 250 odd pages include the Who's Who of the Oracle universe including the "Upgrade Guru" John Stouffer, "Workflow Wizard" Karen Brownfield, "Security Savant " Randy Giefer and R12 experts Alfredo Pantaleon, Lance Reedy, Montella , Susan Behn, Paul Cyphers, John Faucher, Daryl Geryol, Chuck Kennedy, Rob McMillen, Naren Thota, Lon White, Alyssa Johnson and Anthony Della-Croce.

The Release 12 Primer surely lives up to its byline as a lighthouse beacon shinning a beam of light on the unknown (to many) and mysterious R12 world. I wholeheartedly agree with fellow blogger Floyd Teter on his comments: "The Release 12 Primer provides the real story on the latest version of the Oracle E-Business Suite and its technical underpinnings. If you only buy one book on Oracle E-Business Release 12, buy this one".

Specially for our blog readers, the book is available for a week at a 20% discount of its original price that I bought the book for.

Click here to buy the book now.

For those preparing for R12 beta exams and are in a hurry to review the R12 concepts, select the 'Download' option and add to the cart. You would get a Adobe Acrobat version of the book that you can read on your computer or print the pages as you read the chapters.

January 22, 2009

Weird Tales - Believe It or Not!

  • Weird Tale #1: One can buy Oracle Student Guides online without attending Oracle University courses! The site is probably not an authorized one since each guide sells for $19.95 only while the courses cost hundreds of dollars. Since, we do not encourage nor condone such copyright violations please do not ask for the link. However, I want to post this item so that Oracle University notices and takes appropriate action.

  • Weird Tale #2: One can 'pass' the Oracle Certification exam even without writing the exam. Someone else will write the exam for you. The 'service' provider takes this absurdity to its limit by asking buyers to be patient while they search for the next 'available' (sic!) testing centre. Since we only encourage you to write the exam and not someone else to write for you, please do not ask for the link. However, I want to post this item so that Oracle Certification Progam notices and takes appropriate action.

  • Weird Tale #3: A famous auction site is hosting sellers who are selling certification exam questions for less than ten dollars where the seller claims it to be the 'latest' (sic!) one. Since we only encourage our readers to try the Nano9s practice tests (which are NOT actual exam questions but just questions for practice) and win Apple iPod Nanos, please do not ask for the link. However, I want to post this item so that Oracle Certification Progam notices and takes appropriate action.

  • Weird Tale #4: One of our blog readers buys the 'latest' question bank - unsuspectingly and innocently one presumes - to cram both the questions and answers before writing the exam. To his (un)pleasant surprise, the exam questions at the testing center were not the same as the 'latest' question set promised by the online seller. Needless to say, Oracle Corporation benefited from additional revenue as an exam retake was required.

  • Weird Tale #5: One of our blog readers buys the 'latest' question bank - unsuspectingly and innocently one presumes - to simulate the test center conditions as close as possible. This time he has studied enough to know the correct answers to most of the questions. After the 'practice' test, he checks his answer and finds that many answers in the (un)helpful test guide are wrong! He writes to the OCP Advisor to find the correct answers!

Have you heard of weird tales like the ones I shared with you? I wish none of the above stories were true! Believe it or not!

January 21, 2009

Maximize Your Training Budget: Attend Oracle Conferences

In these tough economic times when the mantra is "Do More - Spend Less" one has to be creative to maximize the training budget. One of the better ways to smart spending of training dollars is attending Oracle conferences. Collaborate'09 is happening in North America in the first week of May while Oracle Openworld Latin America is scheduled mid-March in Sao Paulo, Brazil. ilOUG Annual Apps Day 2009 is happening in March at Tell Aviv, Israel and Dubai hosts OAUG Connection Point in April. The beautiful city of Sydney hosts InSync09 also in April.

Conferences offer 4-5 days of education sessions covering a wide range of topics unlike instructor-led sessions where it is focused on a specific technology or application module. One also gets to visit the vendor booths and see demonstrations of latest Oracle solutions. Conferences are also a great way to network and make friends with fellow members of the Oracle community.

Today, I attended a one day conference hosted by the Northern California Oracle Applications User Group. There was a cornucopia of great presentations - too many of them and too less time to attend as many must-see sessions overlapped. Please visit the presentation archives and download the presentations to review at your leisure.

Did you attend a memorable Oracle related presentation lately? Please share with us what you learned from it? Did you apply the knowledge at work already?

January 20, 2009

Test Taking Strategies for Oracle Certification Exams

After months or weeks of preparation, you are nearing your scheduled test date. While there is no substitute for experience, one is advised not to write an exam unprepared and then develop a test taking strategy for the retest.

Try to imagine you taking your first parachute jump. There is not much of a chance of a 'do-over' if the parachute fails to open before your hit the ground!

Planning for the one and a half or two hours exam duration is an important part of your overall preparation. Using the exam content guide, do a quick analysis of the duration of the exam and number of questions asked. For example, let's take a 90 minute exam with 72 questions. That translates to an average time of 75 seconds to answer each question.

Here are five test taking tips to implement for your next certification exam:
  1. Spend less than a minute on the fixed length questions (those that are multiple choice - single answer). Preserve your time for the longer case study based questions
  2. Check the box for 'Mark for Review' when you are not confident about the answer. Review the answers after you have completed one round of browsing and answering all questions
  3. For case study based questions, scan the case study to get the highlights. Make sure to understand the context of the problem at hand and then, quickly move on to scanning the questions. While scanning make mental notes remember which sections of the case study you should focus on. The goal is to avoid having to study and analyze material that is not completely relevant because time allotment to complete the entire exam is limited.
  4. Budget your time. A good thumb rule is to answer at least 25% of fixed length and short answer (multiple choice - multiple answer) questions in the first 25% of alloted time (18-19 questions in the first 23 minutes, as per our example). A good progress is completing 75% of the questions in 75% of alloted time (i.e. 54-56 questions in 65-70 minutes)
  5. If you finish before the alloted time and there are still some questions that are unanswered and you are not sure about the answer, make an attempt to answer all questions. An unanswered question is always incorrect. There is a probability of your best guess being the correct answer.
Have you mastered a test taking strategy that has worked for you? Please share the secrets of your success with our readers by writing on the comments section of this post.

January 19, 2009

OUKC: A Goldmine for Oracle Certification Study Material

More than two years ago, I had mentioned about OUKC briefly. For our newer readers, let me introduce this goldmine for Oracle certification study materials. Oracle University Knowledge Center (OUKC) offers nearly 2000 online courses covering product overview - functional and technical, product readiness and transfer of information for new releases as well as OCP exam preparation courses, assessment tests for EBS modules as well as implementation champion certificates.

OUKC offers subscriptions which are called 'passports' for accessing the online content. OUKC Technology Passport topics covering Database Administration, Performance, Tuning, Backup, Recovery, Real Application Clusters, Streams, and Oracle Enterprise Manager. OUKC Applications Passport includes topics covering Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft Enterprise, JD Edwards Enterprise One and World, Siebel, Demantra and G-Log products.

There is an option for Free Trial membership. This gives you access to a selection of complete OUKC courses chosen to provide a sampling of the learning styles employed and of the wide range of online courses that are available when you purchase an OUKC Passport One Year Membership. The one year membership provides access to all the paid courses.

For Oracle employees and Oracle partners, access to OUKC is free with ability to enroll to all the content (This conclusion is based on my past access to OUKC using oracle.com e-mail and oracle partner e-mail respectively and as an OUKC user since 2001). Oracle partner employees need to enter their OPN number in their profile and then login through the subscriptions link.

Visit this goldmine and discover the rich treasures of certification study material that are so generously available.

January 18, 2009

7 Reasons to Hire Oracle Certified Professionals

The last blog post generated an interesting comment from our regular reader and featured expert, Patrick Gresham who offered a memorable quote about hiring a candidate with certification: "Certification is the security blanket that helps me sleep at night"!

The comment led me to think about the compelling reasons for hiring a candidate who is certified.

So here are seven reasons that I could think on my keyboard (similar to thinking on my feet I guess).
  1. Certification benchmarks and validates qualification - the unknown angel who is walking in is certified by an independent body of his / her potential ability
  2. New hires hit the ground running - the on-boarding to on-time delivery phase is minimal with certified individuals having all-round knowledge about the subject
  3. Reduces support costs - exposed to the entire product feature and functionality during certification, probability of using standard features instead of workarounds and customizations reduce support costs in the long run
  4. Increases competitive edge - the 'edge' spurs teams both internally to compete amongst themselves to perform better as well as externally to deliver as promised
  5. Improves project delivery and team performance - Several industry studies have confirmed that certified individuals help in enhancing the team performance by several notches.
  6. "Bird of the same feather" phenomenon - experts network amongst each other ("flock together") and spending days troubleshooting issues or brainstorming fixes, often this informal collaboration produces quicker results. Certified professionals are the right breed for show time.
  7. A self-fulfilling prophecy - It is a good PR to hire Oracle Certified Professionals. Sooner than later, the perceived promise to deliver is translated to excellent feedback from your IT customers. As a hiring manager, it is definitely a good day when you get an e-mail full of praise ending "You've made an excellent hire!"

Hire Oracle Certificated Professionals and build a winning team!

January 17, 2009

Experts Debate on Oracle Certification

Two leading Oracle experts, Oracle Certified Master Dan Norris and Oracle ACE Director Bex Huff, recently engaged in an interesting debate on the topic of Oracle Certification.
Fittingly for the Web 2.0 world of ours, the debate happened on their respective blogs.

Read their viewpoints by clicking on the links below:

Please express your support or opposition to either of the viewpoints using the comments window of this blog post.

January 16, 2009

Making A Big Deal About It - 84% Discount

Oracle Certification Program team has introduced several bridge exams for certified professionals to upgrade to the next level. The bridge exams provide a single hop to get certified on the latest product release. For a quick overview of the bridge exams, please click here.

For those certified professionals still thinking whether to write a beta exam or not, here is a quick analysis of the cost savings.

Let's assume the bridge exams are not available and one is taking the production exams. So for a EBS 11i OCP to get certified on a R12 track, the minimum cost would be US $320. This consists of $125 for 1Z0-204 exam and $195 for any of EBS R12 combo exams.

By taking the a beta exam at a cost of only US $50, the savings is a whopping 84% . Now that is what is called a real deal!

During this gloomy economic weather, this is a certain measure that one should take in these uncertain times. Tell your fellow certified professionals about this savings opportunity. With this huge discount, no wonder we are making a big deal about it!

January 15, 2009

Meet The Experts: Oracle OCP Chen Shapira

OCP Advisor interviewed the captivating Chen Shapira from the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) department of Hewlett-Packard for this featured post.

For those who are yet to meet this vivacious Oracle expert and OCP, please attend the Hostos Symposium where this angelic DBA would speak about "Seven Sins of Concurrency"

OCP Advisor (OCPA): Please share with us your background and professional experience.

Chen Shapira (CP): I studied Computer Science and Statistics in Tel Aviv University in Israel. I've been working in IT for over 10 years, and I did pretty much everything - development, system, storage and even management! In the last 4 years I've been a DBA for HP. This position involves lots of different systems, but most exciting is working with RAC systems and with streams.

OCPA: Which Oracle certification exams have you taken? How do you prepare for the certification exams and achieve such great success?

CP: I took OCA and OCP for 10g. I'm planning to upgrade to 11g this year and also take the RAC OCE. I took 3 weeks to study before each exam. About an hour a day, maybe a bit more on the weekend before the exam. I used Oracle 10g OCP Certification All-in-One Exam Guide to help me prepare, but I also relied heavily on Oracle's product documentation. Its important to remember that the test goes into a lot of details about the products, so it is quite challenging and even experienced DBAs must study for it seriously.

OCPA: Based on your certification experience, what is your advice, tips and suggestions for candidates preparing for the exam?

CP: I'm not one for "tips". If you read the study guide, practice on a real DB, answer all the practice test questions and sleep well before the exam, you'll probably do fine. However I have discussed about exam preparation on my blog. Click here to read how I prepared for the OCA exam and my click here about my notes about OCP exam.

OCPA: Oracle is constantly releasing new versions and technologies. How do you keep updated and upgrade your skills?

CP: Ah, this is a huge question! Catching up is difficult and I am not sure I manage to stay updated. I try to be involved in beta programs, I try to read the "new features" guide in the documentation and Arup Nanda's series on OTN. Reading blog helps a lot. The single most useful source of new features are my coworkers who frequently send an email saying "Hey! check this out!"

OCPA: Which Oracle technologies excite you most? What's your advice to Application DBAs for adopting these?

CP: Right now I'm most excited about Advanced Compression, because it gives such clear business benefits and it is also very easy to test and implement. I'm also very excited about Oracle's high availability features. RAC is getting better with each release, Data Guard is improving a lot. It is nice to see that Oracle is putting lots of effort into scalability and comes up with solutions that are both innovative and practical.

OCPA: You are also a very popular blogger. Please tell us what you blog about.

CP: I work as production DBA, so naturally I blog about production topics. Hence, my blog is called ProdLife. Mostly how things can go awfully wrong, how to prevent them from going wrong and how to solve problems after they already happened. Sometimes I even blog about things that go right.

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

CP: I read a lot. By a lot I mean at least two hours a day! So I know about new features and how they should work before I implement them and I know a lot of theory about how Oracle
database works. I also remember lots of random bits that "I've read somewhere" and turn out to be useful from time to time. I want to be able to say that my co-workers learned that I know everything and stopped arguing with me, but in fact, we argue all the time!

OCPA: As a small token of our appreciation, we shall be sending you one OCP Blog T-Shirt from the OCP Blog Gift Shop.

CP: Thanks for the thought-provoking questions! By the way, will you attend NoCoug Winter Conference? It's going to be at Oracle Redwood Shores Conference Center and and Tom Kyte is giving two presentations!
Thanks for the t-shirt. Any chance it will be pink?

January 14, 2009

Target Practice for 1Z0-225 and 1Z0-226 OCE Exam

Just over 2 weeks to go before the beta testing period ends for the EBS R12 Supply Chain exams: 1Z0-225 and 1Z0-226. For those who are registered to take these exams, here are the links to previous blog posts that may be handy:

Oracle Tutor patches for R12 Inventory, Purchasing and Order Management are not available. Hence, one may refer to the 11i Tutor documents and read the R12 Release Content Document and R12 User Manuals for the respective modules.

There's no better way to test your exam preparedness than answering 9 questions every day as part of OCP Blog Nano9s series.

What's more - there is one Apple iPod Nano to be won!

Q#1: Which of the following statements are correct for a Receiving Process? *
Cannot correct receiving transaction errors
Can record returns to suppliers
Can match a delivery to a PO
Can define receiving tolerances at item level
Q#2: Which of the following data is transferred from Order Management to Inventory for a transaction? *
Pricing information
Shipping information
Reservation information
On-hand quantity information
Q#3: Which of the following functions can you perform from the Materials Workbench? *
Perform miscellaneous issues
Perform ship confirm
Perform move orders
Perform miscellaneous receipts
Q#4: Which of the following is true about MOAC? * MOAC = Multi Org Access Control
Always specify operating unit when you query a transaction
On the sales order form there is a new field for Operating Unit
Operating Unit is a view only field on Sales Order form
One cannot access multiple operating units within a single responsibility
Q#5: Internal Requisitions functionality is not working properly. Which are the probable causes? *
Item attribute Internal Order Allowed set to "No"
Receipt Routing for the shipping inventory organization set to "Standard"
PO:Legal Requisition Type is set to "Internal"
Source Type for Inventory attribute is set to "Yes"
Q#6: Which of the following is a PO: Document Security option? *
Q#7: If you use the control option of "Freeze" for a PO, which functions can you still perform? *
Add a line to the PO
Receive invoices against the PO
Match invoices against the PO
Close the PO
Q#8: Which is of the following statement is true about QP: Security Control profile option? *
Set this option to "Yes" enables Global box on Price list header
Newly created pricing entity gets automatically assigned to creating OU
Granting of privileges should be done after setting up this profile option
As a best practice, it should not be turned off if it is switched on
Q#9: Which of the following can be defined as the base unit of measure for Class=Area *
Square Kilometer
Square Foot
Square Inch

For answers, click here

January 13, 2009

Blog Author to Present at Collaborate 2009 conference

Just received the following e-mail today:

The Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG) is pleased to
inform you that your presentation, “14 Easy Steps to End-User Empowerment: Convert Custom Reports to BI Publisher,” has been accepted as a session at COLLABORATE 09 in Orlando, Florida, May 3-7, 2009.

For our blog readers here is the presentation abstract:

Business Intelligence Publisher is now tightly integrated with Oracle E-Business Suite. This session would introduce end-users to fourteen easy steps for converting existing custom reports to its Business Intelligence Publisher avatar. Leverage the power of Business Intelligence Publisher to create reports with rich layout and graphics within minutes. This session would also provide information necessary to understand and support Business Intelligence Publisher reports. It is time for end-user empowerment!

Hope that some of our blog readers are planning to attend this mega conference and I would have an opportunity to meet you in person.

January 12, 2009

TEAM: Together Everyone Achieves More

Collaboration among fellow Oracle certification candidates before the exam is another strategy for success. Several Oracle communities have been formed on social networking sites. The OCA/OCE/OCP/OCM group on Linkedin now boasts more than three thousand members! Another vibrant group is the Oracle Community on Ning.

One innovative approach is to post your study notes online and blog your way to certification! An illustration of this unique example is this blog post. If you are an extrovert who is not shy about showcasing your journey towards certification, you too can start 'documenting' it online.

The more we communicate and discuss our thoughts and experiences, the better are the chances of success. We are all together in this effort as a TEAM. As a team we should always remember our credo - Together Everyone Achieves More!

Starting tomorrow we have our 2009 Nano9s Practice Tests for R12 beta exams that would appear every day till the beta exam period ends. This would be in addition to any other blog posts and weekly features that we have on our blog.

January 11, 2009

Where the Sensei Reside

Oracle Certified Master (OCM) credential is the most advanced Database Administrator certification. This credential is for senior database professionals with both classroom and on-the-job experience. Candidates must first obtain the OCA and OCP credentials. In addition, they must complete two advanced hands-on courses and pass the two-day practicum exam.

We look forward to OCM credentials for other tracks from the Oracle Certification Program team in the coming years.

For those preparing for DBA certifications, may we recommend that you visit the pen profiles of these masters of the Oracle universe.
Click here and see where the exclusive group of sensei reside.

Most of the Masters have graciously shared their e-mails and contact details. If your are looking for advice on your journey to certification, e-mail the nearest sensei.

You might just get lucky and hear back from a Master!

January 10, 2009

Help is Just A Click Away

Our ever vigilant readers were quick to point out that the last blog post mentioned only forums related to Oracle certification discussions and there were other helpful communities that I overlooked.

There are indeed several Oracle list servers and online communities that have discussion forums and bulletin boards that discuss Oracle technologies including databases, middleware and individual application modules. Almost all of these forums are formally or informally moderated by Oracle experts who are Oracle ACE or ACE Directors. Rarely does a question posted on the forums go unanswered. A leading Oracle ACE has answered an astronomical 14,000 questions on Oracle Technology Network!

For the benefit of our readers, here is a listing of five such community forums.
* Requires My Oracle Support (Metalink) access

The list is an indicative one and not exhaustive by any means. Please list the discussion forums that you visit or nominate as the most popular in the comments section of this blog post.

Join the forums and subscribe to the discussion threads. Whatever be the time of the day or day of the week, there is an expert waiting to answer your questions on a topic you are preparing for the certification exams.

Help is just a click away!

January 9, 2009

Oracle Certification Community Forums: Virtual Study Groups

Group study has been a successful model in high school and colleges. Candidates preparing for Oracle certification exams can benefit from exchanging study notes, exam experiences, clarifying doubts and asking about study materials and references.

The only problem is that one gets only a few days at Oracle University to make brief introductions with a group while attending one of the instructor-led courses. So how does one form study groups?

The solution here is courtesy the internet. There are several virtual study groups in existence. These are the Oracle community certification forums where certification candidates and certified experts discuss any and every certification topics.

For the benefit of our readers, here is a listing of five such community forums.
Join the forums and subscribe to the discussion threads. There are priceless nuggets of information that one would discover on these communities. Network your way to Oracle Certification!

January 8, 2009

Meet The Experts: Oracle Magician Ben Prusinski

OCP Advisor interviewed Ben Prusinski, Managing Principal from IT Convergence - a high energy database architect, author, speaker, multi-linguist and Oracle Certified Associate (OCA) and Oracle Certified Professional (OCP). An Oracle Magician indeed as his eponymous blog - http://oracle-magician.blogspot.com says.

OCP Advisor (OCPA): Please tell us about your professional background and Oracle experience
Ben Prusinski (BP): I have worked as an Oracle database consultant, administrator and developer for past 12 years. In addition to my experience with Oracle, I have also worked on MySQL, MS SQL Server and IBM DB2 UDB database systems. I started with version 7.3.4 on Oracle and UNIX (Sun Solaris) platform and was fortunate to learn clustering and high available technologies since then with OPS (Oracle Parallel Server) which later evolved into Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) and physical standby database which became Data Guard.
My focus is with financial, manufacturing, government, defense and technology industries with a specialty in Oracle High Availability (HA) technologies especially RAC and Data Guard as well as Oracle database performance tuning, upgrades, migrations and database security.
I am also the author of an upcoming book on database migrations to Oracle from Rampant TechPress called "Migrate to Oracle" which should be available in the spring of 2009.
OCPA: Your blog discuss the latest and greatest releases and products. How do you keep abreast of these changes and pick up the skills on these new technologies?
BP: I have been a beta tester for new releases of Oracle database software. By trying out new versions of the Oracle database, I am able to quickly learn and maintain skills and knowledge in advance of key new technologies for the Oracle software stack. Conferences and user groups are another way that I share and learn about new advances with Oracle and other database products. Lastly, I try to take a new course or two every years to maintain and build my knowledge base.
OCPA: New Oracle technologies are being introduced every year. Which technologies excite you most? What's your advice for learning these new skills/technologies?
BP: The new features for database monitoring and testing for Oracle 11g excite me quite a bit. Oracle 11g provides a one-stop shop to monitor all database trace files and log files in the Automatic Diagnostic Repository or ADR. The Data Recovery Advisor in 11g also fascinates me by providing more tools to quickly resolve backup and recovery issues.
Of course, the new Oracle Exadata server introduced at the Oracle OpenWorld 2008 conference this year fascinates me by providing a super computer for high performance database environments.
My advice for learning these key new technologies in order to acquire skills is to participate in the Oracle user community by attending local and national (IOUG) user group meetings and conferences to learn and share knowledge. Besides, its a lot of fun and great way to meet new colleagues and friends.
Second, download and install the new releases of the Oracle software to experiment and understand how the Oracle database really works!
Third, read the documentation for new features and notes on Metalink for key new features. Many hidden nuggets of wisdom are available for free. You would be amazed at how many experienced DBAs never actually have read the documentation or installed Oracle software!
OCPA: What motivated you to take the OCA and OCP certification exams?
BP: I work as an Oracle consultant and many clients insist on certifications. Even though I have many years of real world Oracle DBA experience, many companies also want their in house DBA talent to possess Oracle database certifications. With the challenging economy, I see a lot more clients and employers wanting both years of experience and the certifications.
(Editor's Note: Please read a related blog post entitled: Certain Measures for Uncertain Times that echo's the same observation as that of Ben)
OCPA: How did you prepare for your OCA and OCP exams?
BP: I prepared for both the OCA and OCP exams by studying the Oracle 10g OCA/OCP certification guide from Oracle Press as well as taking the practice exams from Transcender and Self Test Software as recommended by Oracle Education. I also installed and configured Oracle 10g databases in my home lab environment on Windows and Red Hat Linux. This helped immensely to focus and retain the knowledge to pass both exams. I spent a total of 3 months to pass both the 10g OCA and 10g OCP exams. I recommend that candidates use the Oracle Education study preparation guide as a starting point to get certified.
OCPA: Please share your OCA/OCP exam experience with us.
BP: I had a good experience preparing, taking and passing the exams. It helped me to review certain Oracle 10g new features that I had little to no experience with before. As an Oracle DBA and consultant, we do not always have the opportunity to use every new feature. The exam experience allowed me to brush up on weaker areas in my skill set as well as to work with features that I had not used before such as the Oracle 10g Database Resource Manager and Oracle 10g Scheduler.
OCPA: What advice and tips do you have for aspiring OCA/OCP candidates?
BP: Study, study, study! Get real experience first. Just memorizing a bunch of terms will not benefit you for OCA and OCP. You really want to understand the material. Then you will easily pass the exams. I was able to quickly pass with flying colors on the first try because I already had a solid Oracle DBA background. Beginners to Oracle will require more hands on experience and preparation time to master the content. Do not try to cram for the OCA and OCP with only a week to pass because you will fail. Spend at least 4-5 weeks for each exam preparation as there is a lot of material to digest.
OCPA: Lastly, what benefits did you get from your Oracle certification
BP: Credibility. Recognition as an Oracle expert. The Oracle certification has given me new benefits in that I have increased confidence working with new and existing clients since I have proven baseline knowledge and competency on Oracle database technology. More importantly, it helped me to improve my basics for Oracle database administration while refreshing my knowledge of certain little used features with Oracle 10g. Plus I have a cool new certificate that I can frame and display with pride!
OCPA: As a small token of our thanks, we shall ship you one OCP Blog T-Shirt from the OCP Blog Gift Shop.
BP: Please send me a large one!

January 7, 2009

Deltas For R12 Betas Expiring Soon

A little over 3 weeks to go before the first two EBS R12 exams complete the beta testing period. For those who had taken the 11i OCP EBS Supply Chain Certification exams - Oracle Purchasing 11i Fundamentals: 1Z0-222 and /or Oracle Order Management 11i Fundamentals1Z0-223 , these two beta exams:
1Z0-225: R12 Inventory and Purchasing Fundamentals
1Z0-226: R12 Inventory and Order Management Fundamentals

are bridge exams to get certified on EBS R12.

In two blogposts a few months ago, the deltas or differences between the 11i and R12 exams were highlighted. Here are the links for the deltas for the following:
R12 Inventory Exam Content

Since the R12 exams are mega exams - involving two modules, one would expect the Inventory section and the second section would be Order Management or Purchasing. To complete the discussion on the deltas for the R12 Beta Exam expiring at the end of this month, please find below the analysis of the delta for R12 Purchasing Exam content.

There is quite a substantial overlap of the 11i and R12 Purchasing Exam content. Considering the fact that R12 is being promoted as a "Global Release for Global Companies", the R12 exam content includes sub-topics related to business processes of a global enterprise. For example, for the topic on Enterprise Structure one needs to review multi-org consideration in defining inventory orgs; for the topic on Document routing and approval one needs to review multi-org considerations including routing across business groups; for the topic on Suppliers review global vs local suppliers; for the topic on Approved Supplier list review intercompany sourcing rules and processes; for the topic on Purchasing Accounting review key accounts, accouting events and accounting entries.

One of the most visible R12 new functionality is the the Professional Buyer's Workcenter. This is a new topic for the R12 exam. Sub-topics includes how to use the workcenter to manage requisitions, standard purchase orders and blanket purchase agreements as well as condct negotiations and supplier management.

January 6, 2009

Oracle SQL Expert Certification : A Hidden Gem For EBS Professionals

Close on the heels of the previous blog post on ETRM and IREP, it might be relevant to highlight one of the hidden gems of the Oracle certification treasure chest - Oracle SQL Expert Certification.

For the Oracle EBS Professionals, knowledge about SQL is necessary for ad hoc queries, data extraction for reporting, alerts and even setups for table validated value sets, approval management engine, workflow and many more. Skill set requirements for today are more for a techno-functional expert. SQL and PL/SQL are still an useful weapon to have in one's arsenal. Notwithstanding the onslaught of XML and BI Publisher, a foundation in SQL would go a long way in situations such as troubleshooting.

The following Oracle University courses can be taken for the exam: Oracle Database 10g: Introduction to SQL OR Oracle Database 11g: Introduction to SQL OR Oracle Database 11g: SQL Fundamentals I and Oracle Database 11g: SQL Fundamentals II

The 1Z0-047 exam qualifies one for Oracle Database: SQL Certified Expert credentials or helps you in the quest for Oracle9i DBA OCA certification or Oracle PL/SQL Developer Certified Associate certification.

There are several exam study guides available for SQL exams. A exam preparation guide being released in May-June 2009 is the "Oracle Database SQL Expert Exam Guide" by the popular author April Wells.

In case you find it difficult to get access to a test database like Oracle EBS vision database or your organization's test database, may I recommended that you download Oracle Express Edition or Oracle XE from Oracle Technology Network (OTN). Oracle XE is one of the most popular downloads with its own mini database schema that you can practice on. Also one the other popular download on OTN is the SQL tool - Oracle SQL Developer.

Have you already taken the Oracle Database SQL Expert Exam? Please share your exam preparation and test taking experiences with our blog readers.