New OTN Interface

If you are a user of OTN (Oracle Technology Network) you should have noticed that there is a new interface. I think its pretty cool. What do you think?

My Oracle Support Interface Change

If you are a use of My Oracle Support you should have received notification regarding a change to the user interface. As of July 13, 2012 Oracle will be retiring their Flash-based interface and replacing it with an improved HTML interface that has added functionality.

There is a CALL TO ACTION regarding this change. If you follow the link you will be directed to a page that will describe the changes in detail and advise what you have to do in order to take advantage of the new user interface.

Warning concerning Java 7 and E-Business Suite


This notification is being posted at the request of Oracle Corporation

All E-Business Suite desktop administrators must disable the JRE Auto-Update for their end users immediately to stop it updating to Java 1.7.

URGENT BULLETIN:  Disable JRE Auto-Update for All E-Business Suite End-Users.
The following link from my fellow blogger Steve Chan explains more:

So why is this required?
If you have Auto-Update enabled, your JRE 1.6 version will be updated to JRE 7.  This may happen as early as July 3, 2012.  This will definitely happen after Sept. 7, 2012, after the (more...)

Been a while

Hello everyone, I know it has been a little while since my last posting but I am here, alive and kicking and gearing up to get back into blogging.
In case you are not aware, I am in the process of updating my Discoverer Handbook to the latest 11g version of the product. Watch for more postings very soon.

CP10 for Discoverer 10.1.2.3

Just wanted to let you know that on April 18, 2011, Oracle has released CP10 for 10.1.2.3. You will find it on MetaLink as patch number 11674847. When compared to CP9, 10 bugs have been fixed.


Note: when you download the readme from MyOracle, from CP9 Oracle has placed the new bug fixes at the top of the list.

So far this cumulative patch has been released for the following platforms:
  • IBM AIX on POWER systems (64-bit)
  • Linux x86
  • Microsoft Windows 32-bit
  • Oracle Solaris on SPARC (64-bit)
If you are upgrading to CP10 from any patch level prior (more...)

CP9 for Discoverer 10.1.2.3

Just wanted to let you know that on January 11, 2011, Oracle has released CP8 for 10.1.2.3. You will find it on MetaLink as patch number 10233659. When compared to CP8, 6 bugs have been fixed.


Note: when you download the readme from MyOracle, from this release Oracle has started to place the new bug fixes at the top of the list.

So far this cumulative patch has been released for the following platforms:
  • HP-UX Itanium
  • HP-UX PA-RISC (64-bit)
  • IBM AIX on Power Systems (64-bit)
  • Linux x86
  • Microsoft Windows 32-bit
  • Oracle Solaris on SPARC (64-bit)
If you are (more...)

CP2 for Discoverer 11g released

Just wanted to let you know that on January 11, 2011, Oracle released CP2 for Discoverer 11.1.1.2.0. This is applicable for both Discoverer Plus and Viewer. You will find it on My Oracle Support (formerly MetaLink) as patch number 10409451. There are 5 bugs fixed in this cumulative patch.

So far this cumulative patch has been released for the following 5 platforms:
  • Linus x86
  • Linux x86-64 bit
  • Microsoft Windows (32-bit)
  • Microsoft Windows x64 (64-bit)
  • Oracle Solaris on SPARC (64-bit)

Configuring Discoverer Plus to pre-populate login credentials

Have you ever noticed how Discoverer does not remember your user name, database and EUL whenever you log out and wished there was a way to make it do so?

Well, there is a way but you need to add some parameters to your URL to make it do so.

Let's assume the following:
  • User Name is michael
  • Database is prod
  • EUL is eul5_us
All you need to do is to add switches to your URL and then save it in your favorites. The switches you need are:
  • For User Name  use us=
  • For Database use database=
  • For EUL use (more...)

Running Plus in IE8

If you are experiencing issues running Discoverer Plus inside Microsoft IE8 the following comments may help.

So far, I have noticed that under no circumstances with Discoverer run in IE8 when it is configured to use JInitiator. If your company has enabled Discoverer to run primarily using JInitiator try adding the following parameter to your URL:  _jvm_name =sun

Your URL should look something like this: http://myserver.com:7778/discoverer/plus?_jvm_name=sun

Now all this assumes that your Discoverer administrator has enabled a more recent Sun Java than Discoverer comes installed with, namely 1.4.0_06

Should you find that you have this version (more...)

CP8 for 10.1.2.3 released

Just wanted to let you know that on October 5, 2010, Oracle has released CP8 for 10.1.2.3. You will find it on MetaLink as patch number 9694503. When compared to CP7, 10 bugs have been fixed.

So far this cumulative patch has been released for the following platforms:
  • IBM AIX on Power Systems (64-bit)
  • Microsoft Windows 32-bit
  • Linux x86 (works for both 32 bit and 64 bit)
  • Oracle Solaris on SPARC (64-bit)
  • Oracle Solaris on x86 (32-bit)
If you are upgrading to CP8 from any patch level prior to CP4 then JDBC patch patch p4398431_10105_GENERIC.zip for bug (more...)

CP7 for 10.1.2.3 released

Just wanted to let you know that on June 4, 2010, Oracle has released CP7 for 10.1.2.3. You will find it on MetaLink as patch number 9112482. When compared to CP6, 9 bugs have been fixed.

So far this cumulative patch has been released for the following platforms:
  • HP-UX PA-RISC (64-bit)
  • Microsoft Windows 32-bit
  • Linux x86 (works for both 32 bit and 64 bit)
  • Oracle Solaris on SPARC (64-bit)
If you are upgrading to CP6 from any patch level prior to CP4 then JDBC patch patch p4398431_10105_GENERIC.zip for bug 4398431(release 10.1.0.5) needs to be (more...)

CP6 for 10.1.2.3 released

Just wanted to let you know that on November 18, 2009, Oracle has released CP6 for 10.1.2.3. You will find it on MetaLink as patch number 8746296:. When compared to CP5, 19 enhancements or bugs have been fixed.

So far this cumulative patch has been released for the following platforms:
  • HP-UX Itanium
  • HP-UX PA-RISC (64-bit)
  • IBM AIX on POWER Systems (64-bit)
  • Microsoft Windows 32-bit
  • Linux x86 (works for both 32 bit and 64 bit)
  • Sun Solaris SPARC (32-bit)
If you are upgrading to CP6 from any patch level prior to CP4 then JDBC patch patch p4398431_10105_GENERIC.zip for (more...)

Be inspired today

This truly inspirational clip makes me proud to hail from Liverpool. I hope you enjoy it and if you do please pass it on and make someones's day.

Be inspired and go on and inspire someone else.

Support for Discoverer

As you probably know, if you are using Discoverer 3 or Discoverer 4 Oracle no longer provides support for these. I've seen a lot of folks recently who are still on these older versions and who are now out of support.

I wanted to let you know that I am able to offer remote support using gotomeeting for troubleshooting issues. I can connect to your system and help diagnose problems. In most cases we can get issues resolved within an hour.

Obviously there is a fee for this service but if you are really stuck and need help who you going (more...)

Corporate Dashboards

During a recent consulting engagement I was asked about dashboards and where one should begin when the boss comes in and says I want a dashboard. I decided what I needed to do was step back and look at the dashboard concept, then explain my understanding in simple terms. I share those thoughts here and invite your comments.


Dashboards are unique to an organization and what works in one place will not be suitable in another. But of course, it all depends on your definition of a dashboard. The one that I like and the one that keeps me out (more...)

Traditional vs OLAP

I have been following a very interesting thread on LinkedIn in the group called Data Warehouse & Business Intelligence Architects. The thread is discussing the pros and cons of OLAP as compared to more traditional methods of modeling. Personally I love these discussions. Here's what I recently said:

For me, probably an oldie in terms of these discussions, I have been working with modeling and data warehouses coming up on 25 years. I find it very, very strange that for some reason the term OLAP gets pushed around as if it is the answer to everything. This is probably being (more...)

New Discoverer Books

I thought I would let you know that McGraw-Hill may well be interested in doing 2 extra versions of our best selling Discoverer book. As you know, the current book is on version 10g and incorporates both end user and administration. We are going to separate these out into a brand new Oracle Discoverer 11g Administration Handbook and a smaller one for end users as a sort of tutorial for getting to know the tool. There is still demand for material on Discoverer and now, following the release of 11g, I believe would be a good time to bring our current (more...)

Flooding in Tennessee

As many of you will be aware there has been unprecedented and extensive flooding throughout Western and Central Tennessee this weekend. My home town is Cookeville which lies about 75 miles to the east of Nashville which as you know is one of the worst hit areas with well over 14 inches of rain in the last 48 hours. To everyone who has asked after me and my family I just want to say thank you and to let you know that we are safe. Even though there is water all around the area with trees down and rivers over (more...)

NVARCHAR2 versus VARCHAR2

I've been coming across more and more databases using NVARCHAR2 instead of the more usual VARCHAR2 data type and found some issues.

First, I had issues inserting data from an NVARCHAR2 column into a table where the corresponding column in the other table has a data type of VARCHAR2.

Second, I had an issue joining tables together where the same column was defined with a different data type, one being NVARCHAR2 and one being VARCHAR2.

Here is the way I solved these issues:

Inserting NVARCHAR2 into VARCHAR2
If you try inserting data from an NVARCHAR2 column into a table where (more...)

Group Sort will not sort

Problem Description
Have you ever encountered a tabular worksheet that when you tell it to Group Sort an item that it doesn't display as a Group Sort even though in the Sort list Discoverer says it is a Group Sort? If so, I have the reason and a solution.

Background
Let's say you have a worksheet that has the following 3 fields:
  • Department Name
  • Supervisor Name
  • Employee Name
And let's say we have two optional parameters:
  • Department Name
  • Supervisor Name
This worksheet simply lists who the employees are within a department along with the associated supervisor. The parameters will let you (more...)