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Archive for the ‘Kscope’ Category

Cameron's Blog for Essbase HackersMy good friend, fellow ODTUG Board Member, and Oracle ACE Cameron Lackpour is quite prolific when it comes to writing (anyone who writes more than I do must be prolific, right?). Well, this week he is going slightly overboard, but for good reasons. Kscope12 is exactly ONE MONTH away today. Cameron has put a blog post up each and every day this week highlighting a session or a bunch of presentations that he thinks that you might be interested in. While Cameron talks mainly about the EPM space, he does have some highlights that go outside of the EPM space. I always try to catch up with Cameron’s posts, even though I’m not in the EPM space, because he is a great writer with a very unique sense of humor. He is also very thorough and informative!

So, here are the links to each day’s posts on Cameron’s blog:

Kscope12 session highlight No. 1

KScope12 session highlight No. 2

KScope12 session highlight No. 3

KScope12 session highlight No. 4

Extra credit and brownie points to the first reader of these posts that spots the other ODTUG Board Member’s presentation in these four postings of Cameron’s. Leave me a comment in my blog when you find it.

If you haven’t registered yet for Kscope12, click the link and click on the registration from the Kscope12 home page. You have until June 9 to save $300.00 off of our standard registration rate. Tell them that you heard about it on the ODTUG Blog!

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Have you ever battled with the Oracle Optimizer?  If you answered yes to that question have no fear because Maria Colgan is there to help you along the way.  She is a principal product manager at Oracle Corporation and her core responsibilities are data warehouse best practices and the Oracle Optimizer.  She stopped by the Social Media Lounge at Kscope11 and was interviewed by ODTUG Board Member Barbara Morris.

You can meet Maria and learn some tips and tricks on using the Oracle Optimizer at Kscope 12!  She has two presentations:  SQL Tuning in a Data Warehouse Environment and Best Practices for Understand and Managing Optimizer Statistics.

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At Kscope11 ODTUG Board Member Bambi Price interviewed Chris Muir about the Fusion Middleware sessions.  He’ll be presenting The Ultimate Sales Pitch for ADF – On Strategic Importance and Practical Value and In a Nutshell: The ADF UI Shell at Kscope12.

Part 1

Part 2: Thursday Thunder


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Guest Blogger: Ron Backmann

As I look back at all the conferences that I have been to and been involved with, ODTUG’s Kscope is by far the most informative and least sales orientated. We have been attending ODTUG’s Kscope conference for the last five years and have made great friends. I am a consistent advocate for this conference and bestow its virtues to all in our organization that will listen. The content of the sessions is in-depth and includes best known practices of the users of the products. The conference points out the “gotchas” that exist within the software and allows the “users” to affect future development and deployment of the software.

Okay that is the business portion of this post.

This conference is the most fun anyone should be allowed to have. The planned events by the ODTUG team have always been fun and great networking opportunities. Though I am partial to the APEX track, I have met and enjoyed the company of others at the conference as well. I have used these opportunities to pick the brains of all people involved with ODTUG and several APEX luminaries such as:

•         New Orleans: speaking with the late Carl Backstrom watching his beloved Lakers

•         Texas Hold’em games in Washington, D.C., Monterey, and Long Beach with Joel Kallman, David Peake, Jason Straub, and our Canadian friends Francis Mignault, Patrick Bonneville, and Martin Giffy D’Souza

•         Going out in Long Beach with our friends from across the pond John Scott, Dimitri Gielis, and Baby AE

•         Learning all about Apex Lib from Patrick Wolf

•         Learning everything about collections from Dan McGhan

•         Winning a bet against Scott Spendolini when the Packers beat the Steelers

•         Meeting the very calming persons of Doug Gault and Raj Mattamal

•         Hanging out with Monty

Do you notice a theme here?

And all the others that I have missed in this post, I have learned a great deal from all of you in sessions and afterwards. I have benefited from your openness and willingness to share your vast knowledge and enthusiasm with a person who was tasked to replace a couple of spreadsheets. Which has now grown into an infrastructure of several Terabytes of data supported by an APEX front-end that gets 3M+ page views a month and supports 1,500 concurrent users across the United States.

I consider all of you my friends. Thank you ODTUG and the APEX community.

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#Kscope 11 BI EPM Lunch and Learn

#Kscope 11 BI/EPM Lunch and Learn

Guest Blogger: Martin D’Souza

Coming to the best Oracle Developer’s conference in the world this summer (i.e. Kscope 12)? If you are, and I certainly hope you are, you probably have a list of things to bring: clothes, toothbrush, clean underwear & socks (no exceptions :-), laptop, etc.

What you may not have on your packing list is a list of questions to bring and get answered by the world’s leading experts! On Tuesday, June 26, there will be a Lunch & Learn panel for each of the main content groups. The panels will be filled with Oracle ACE and ACE Directors who will gladly answer all of your questions.

On a personal note, I’ll be participating in the Oracle APEX panel, and I’m really excited to be sitting next to the best of the best in the APEX community.

You can see a complete list of the different Lunch & Learn sessions along with the moderators and panelists at: http://kscope12.com/content/lunch-a-learn.

Don’t forget to bring your questions to Kscope12!

Martin

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Community Service Day is and ODTUG/Kscope tradition of giving back to our host community.  Check out Serving Your Community by Mike Riley.

In 2008, our first Community Service Day was in New Orleans where we helped repair a school.  Lewis Cunningham wrote about it ODTUG Kaleidoscope: Day Of Service.

In 2009 we went to Monterey and helped the Big Sur Land Trust eradicate an invasive plant species.  Debra Lilly wrote about her experience: ODTUG Community Service Day.

In 2010 we coordinated with Greater DC Cares and helped improve a school.  Check out Tim Tow’s Kaleidoscope 2010 Community Service Day.

In 2011 we were in Long Beach and worked to improve the Boys and Girls Club. Developing a Better Community.

And this year we are working with the Boys and Girls Club of San Antonio!  We want you to be a part of this tradition.  When you register for Kscope12, be sure to indicate that you are interested in participating in the Community Service Day.  If you are unable to attend but still would like to help our efforts you can become a sponsor.  NO DONATION IS TOO SMALL!

For more information on Kscope12’s Community Service Day please visit our website http://kscope12.com/events/community-service-day.

Here is a video from Kscope11 Community Service Day

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Mike RileyBlogger: Mike Riley

For a quick break from some of the content based posts that we have been doing today, I thought I’d tell you a bit about the resort’s golf facilities. I got the opportunity to play a round of golf on the site visit that I did with Kathleen McCasland and Crystal Walton back in January of 2011. Being the middle of winter, it wasn’t the warmest round of golf I had ever played, but compared to St. Louis winter weather, San Antonio is downright balmy.

I got to play on the course with a couple of the resident golf pros, and while I certainly wasn’t the quality of playing partner that these two gentlemen were used to, they seemed to enjoy the day with me as we were able to take our time and enjoy the course. They were able to tell me a little information about the course (as it had only been open a little over a year at that point).

From http://www.tpcsanantonio.com, “TPC San Antonio is a model of environmentally sound methods and practices, beginning with two of the most well-planned, eco-friendly layouts ever conceived. The highlight of these layouts is a closed-loop irrigation system, which ensures the protection of the Edwards Aquifer and supports the TPC Network’s vision of all courses designated as Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary Systems. TPC San Antonio was designed to take full advantage of the abundant natural resources, majestic trees and indigenous flora and fauna found throughout the property, including the adjacent 750-acre nature preserve and sanctuary for the protection of the Golden-Cheek Warbler.”  (http://www.edwardsaquifer.org/) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwards_Aquifer).

You may ask, what is an aquifer? Well, thanks to WikiPedia, here is a link that tells you quite a bit about this – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquifer.

Back to the golf course. This is a beautiful golf course, difficult, but fair for even us high handicappers (although not official, I’d put my handicap around 18-22). I had a great time playing it. Here is a picture of the course from the hotel:

In the vein of one of those fish stories (“it was this big”), I had one memorable hole on the course. It was a par 4, #13 on the Oaks course. Playing up to my handicap, I hit a really poor tee shot that left me short of a bunker. Once again, playing very consistently, I chopped my next shot into the greenside bunker. Because I did not want to go back to the cart to get a sand wedge, I decided to play a pitching wedge out of the trap. This was ultimately a bad decision, as I was unable to get the ball out of the bunker. At this point, one of the pros asked me what club I was using. Of course he knew what club I had, but politely was hinting that maybe I’d be better off with a sand wedge. I told him I was using my pitching wedge, he asked if he could get my sand wedge for me, I said no and took my stance. The golfing gods must have been smiling, because I got the ball out of the trap and lo and behold, the ball went in the cup! Of course, a bogey, but nonetheless, it was the moment that I always look for in every sport that I have played: at least one moment that makes you want to come back again another time! Perhaps the funniest thing about that moment was what the pro who asked if I wanted him to get my sand wedge said “Well, I guess you don’t want me to caddy for you anymore!”  🙂

Why do I tell you all of this? Well, the PGA holds the Texas Valero Open at the TPC San Antonio every year, and in 2012, that is this upcoming weekend, April 19-22. TV coverage is on the Golf Channel (http://www.golfchannel.com/) on the 19th and 20th exclusively, and then on the 21st and 22nd, coverage will be on CBS (http://www.cbs.com) on Saturday and Sunday (there may be golf coverage on the Golf Channel early on the weekend as well).

Look for amazing views of the golf course itself, and the facilities at the resort. I remember last year watching the coverage during our monthly ODTUG Board conference calls and wanting to tell everyone to watch and see where KScope12 was going to be held. Of course, we had not announced the location of KScope12 yet, so that was not possible.

You can find several videos and coverage of last year’s action on the Texas Valero Open website here – (http://valerotexasopen.org/).

Also, as an add-on to your KScope12 conference experience, may I suggest that a perfect opportunity to play some golf at the TPC San Antonio is during our first EVER KScope scramble golf event. The registration is not free, but when else can you say that you got the chance to play on a course that the PGA professionals play on? For more information, and to register – (http://kscope12.com/events/golf-tournament).

OH, by the way, if you haven’t registered for the conference, here’s where you need to go – (http://kscope12.com/registration).

Are you interested in playing some golf at KScope12? Answer the poll below, or leave us a comment!

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Kellyn Pot’VinGuest Blogger: Kellyn Pot’Vin

Short Introduction:

I’m Kellyn Pot’Vin, pronounced Poet-vaughn, and I’m a senior technical consultant with Enkitec, an Oracle-centric consulting partner, (www.Enkitec.com).  I have a technical blog, dbakevlar.com, am part of the board of directors for RMOUG, and thanks to Chet Justice, (ORACLENERD.com) also part of the database track for Kscope12. I live in Westminster, CO with my partner, Tim, along with my three children, Sam, Cait, and Josh.

You can reach me via gmail at dbakevlar or I can be followed on Twitter @DBAKevlar and Facebook or LinkedIn as Kellyn Pot’Vin.

Now for the post:

All DBAs have experienced this. We come in after a weekend or a couple days have simply gone by when suddenly, a user or your manager approaches you and says, “You know, we had a performance problem on XYZ at 00 o’clock. I’d like to know what happened and why the database performed so poorly…”

The database is always guilty until proven innocent and the DBA must be the one to represent it. The more you know about how to find historical information that can justify the database is innocent; the better off your database environment is from becoming the source of blame every time something goes awry. The additional benefit of having the users and managers coming to you to find out what *REALLY* happened when performance challenges occur vs. having assumptions rule the day.

The example below has occurred just recently for a client. The manager wants to know why he continues to have blocked sessions in his APEX application. Even though this example is from an APEX issue, I felt it was a good one to use for this example.

As the DBA, we start by viewing Top Activity from Enterprise Manager and it’s easy enough to capture the issue in the grid historical view (click on the image to see in full size):

I know they say “Girls love pink,” but no matter what gender DBA you are, you don’t like anything in the pink, red, orange, or brown family on our grid. As the red section is easy enough to pinpoint the area of concern and the complaint, you can direct all of your attention to this point in time.

As the Active Session History is aggregated, the specifics seen in the left side is obscured. We clearly see the two sessions on the right that are also in red and can drill down, making the easy assumption that they are related:

Having the same SQL_ID substantiates the assumption and we can move forward.

You could drill down and come up with your own data, but today, my preference is to have a report that will clearly link all data and leave less to assumption. You have the time of the impact by the issue, running an ASH report is an easy way to see what occurred.

An ASH report is a simple task to run from the Enterprise manager, but we’re going to run this from the command line for the example.

Log into the database server, set your environment and change directories to the one you would like to write the report to. Log into the database with SQL Plus, as a user who has the privileges to execute an ASH report and execute the following:

You will only need the snapshot in time you want the report for:

Yes, the format for the snapshot is not the same as for an ADDM or AWR report but not difficult and Oracle ensures to even remind you of the format to use. My snapshot is from 9:09 AM and the duration I chose is thirty minutes. I then simply name the report and that’s all there is to the command line version to generating an ASH report.

The report is then deposited in the current directory you have run the report from and you can view/vi the report from a Linux/unix prompt.

The top wait event is something we would expect to see and the second not so much- CPU and Waits for CPU.

The second wait event line is less common and a serious concern for any DBA- transaction row lock contention.

The TCP socket (KGAS) is the network waits we could see at the top and are part of a separate export process, (can be seen as a light brown section in the Grid of the first graphic). It should not be considered as part of the scenario at and justifies why having a second view, such as EM, is handy when looking into an issue. It often quickly helps you rule out what is NOT part of the problem.

The next section of the ASH report shows us a bit more info:

Again, we see the transaction row lock contention. This section also shows us what is seen as the cause of the wait. Top service/modules show the problem from APEX and which “page” is the heaviest percent of the activity.

We can see what applications are experiencing the contention and which area of the application, in this case APEX, is the heaviest percentage of the action. This can be very valuable for the developer who may be assisting you on resolving the issue. I strongly believe that to come to the right solution, you should involve all the right skilled individuals. I’m the DBA- yes, I can and have been in the development role, but I would be wise to include the developer who knows this code, this application best. To not include him would be arrogant and ask for assumptions to be made.

We have now approached the section of our report that lists out the sid/serial# for the top sessions.  This offers us a clear view, which happens to include our two SIDs that we saw on the first grid panel in red, of the wait TX, (transaction) row lock contention. Note that there is one sid that is shown above it for top sessions. This is something you definitely want to take note of. We can then see in the next section why there is the wait and why sid 412 is listed first:

Well, no wonder SIDs 423 and 458 aren’t happy-  412 is blocking them! Now we need to know why 412 is blocking.

It is easy to see the matched % Event on the XXX_RPTS table and the 412 blocking session above.

We also know that the TX Row Lock Contention is showing on a sequence. A sequence should not be holding up a transaction, unless odd circumstances-

Check the sequence…

Hmmm…not as good as I would prefer…  This we can fix up, but THERE has to be something more…

So what is the sequence being used for?  Check for triggers-

Now I’m really curious and want to see all of this trigger’s code, so let’s take a look:

Now I’ve experienced triggers with more complex logic coded into them and this is packaged code from Oracle, too, but this is a “hidden” wait that often is difficult to find for most DBAs and Developers. What started out as a simple update to a table becomes much more when a trigger has a bit of complexity added into it, just a bit of logic that might be better put elsewhere.

Triggers are powerful, but they must be gauged wisely and understand the performance risk that can arise when too much complexity occurs either in the trigger or in the application logic or due to database growth, (or all three.)

The questions to ask the developer or application support person could be similar to the following:

  • Why can’t these columns have default values when null?
  • What is the business reason for the insert/update to the secondary table, (many times the trigger may have outlived its use, ask them to justify it.)
  • Note the indices- are indexes present that may help the process and/or are their indices impacting it that are not used, (need to monitor a few indexes)?
  • Could the complex logic be moved to a procedure or package that can be called from the application?
  • If the trigger is used for auditing or reporting tables, would a materialized view or other option be a better choice at this stage in the database’s life?
  • Can the logic in the trigger be simplified?

This is a lot of data for any developer to take in and the developer may get frustrated when they fully understand what is occurring inside the database each time this trigger fires vs. what they may have assumed was a simple transaction. Your job as a DBA is to support him/her and if the design/code can be changed to improve performance to stop the blocking session issue, then proceed forward to do so.

I will be speaking/attending the following conferences the next couple of months:

Miracle World 2012, Denmark, http://mow2012.dk/

April 19th: ASH Analytics- Top Activity, the Next Generation

April 20th: EM12c, Making it work for you!

OUG Harmony, Finland, http://www.ougf.fi/

May 30st: EM12c, Making it work for you!

OUG Harmony, Latvia, http://www.ougf.fi/

June 1st: EM12c, Making it work for you!

Kscope12, San Antonio, TX, http://kscope12.com/

June 27th: EM12c, Making it work for you!

E4, Enkitec Extreme Exadata Expo, Los Colinas, TX, www.enkitec.com

August 13-14, New Date and More Details to Come!

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Here is round 2 of ODTUG President Mike Riley’s list of quotes of about Kscope.

David Peake

“ODTUG Kaleidoscope continues to be THE premier conference for APEX developers. Once again this year there are over 40 APEX sessions and the best social networking opportunities. Whenever you get that many people together in one place, passionate about the same things as you, it is sure to be worthwhile.” – David Peake – Principal Product Manager – Oracle Application Express (https://odtug.wordpress.com/2010/04/15/oracle-application-express-and-david-peake/)

“This is the one conference where I have been able to learn the most in the least amount of time. The brain store behind the sessions is amazing.” – Glenn Schwartzberg – Oracle ACE Director (https://odtug.wordpress.com/2011/02/16/where-to-learn-the-most-in-the-least-amount-of-time/)

John Flack

“Great developers helping developers – how could you help learning something worth the price of admission?” – John Flack – Oracle ACE (https://odtug.wordpress.com/2010/06/09/odtug-conversation-with-washington-dc-native-john-flack/)

“The best thing about the Kscope conference is the focus on tools and techniques, and the chance to network within a friendly environment.” – Mark Rittman – Oracle ACE Director (https://odtug.wordpress.com/2011/02/21/the-queen-mary-a-great-british-piece-of-workmanship/)

Patrick Cimolini

“Kscope tells it like it is from the developer’s perspective.  You find out what technology works and what doesn’t work.” – Patrick Cimolini (https://odtug.wordpress.com/2011/02/14/odtug-kscope-an-idea-meet-market/)

“I don’t even think there’s a comparable event. This is the only event I know of (from the APEX viewpoint) that has most of the Oracle APEX team along with some of the best APEX developers in the world presenting at.” – Martin Giffy D’Souza – Oracle ACE Director – ODTUG Board Member (https://odtug.wordpress.com/2011/03/02/03022011/)

Alex Nuijten

“Kscope is a real developer’s conference. The presenters tell from personal experience and that’s what makes it so great. It’s not some marketing story, but real useful material.” – Alex Nuijten – Oracle ACE Director (https://odtug.wordpress.com/2011/02/23/kscope20110223/)

“Some conferences are too big, others are too small. Kscope seems to have that perfect balance where you feel you’re a part of something big but not so big it inhibits one of the main reasons for attending – knowledge transfer.” – Dan McGhan – Oracle ACE (https://odtug.wordpress.com/2011/03/16/kscope-seems-to-have-the-perfect-balance/)

Cameron Lackpour

“Where else are you going to get the fantastic content married up to nice people who are wildly passionate about sharing knowledge? Nowhere else is where.” – Cameron Lackpour – Oracle ACE – ODTUG Board Member (https://odtug.wordpress.com/2011/03/07/quality-passion-and-the-people-excellence-breeds-excellence/)

“The (still relative) small size of the conference makes it easy to speak to whoever you like.” – Roel Hartman – Oracle ACE Director (https://odtug.wordpress.com/2011/03/09/easy-to-speak-to-whoever-you-like/)

Dimitri Gielis

“…KScope became *the* conference to meet the developers around the world. Next to that a big portion of the APEX Development team is present too. I always love to talk to these nice people who are working so hard to give us the best product possible.” – Dimitri Gielis – Oracle ACE Director (https://odtug.wordpress.com/2011/03/21/the-conference-to-meet-the-developers-around-the-world/)

“So: why KScope? The ODTUG conferences are the best places I can go in the Oracle market where I can be with people who think and talk about these things. …Or for that matter, who understand that these ideas even exist and deserve to be studied. KScope is just the right place for me to be.” – Cary Millsap – Oracle ACE Director (https://odtug.wordpress.com/2011/04/27/carymillsap-kscope-is-just-the-right-place-for-me-to-be/)

With all of these great reasons to attend Kscope why are you waiting? REGISTER TODAY!

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Dave Schleis Guest Blogger: David Schleis

For the last dozen years, springtime has always meant one thing: cleaning up all the surprises exposed by the melting snow (you northern-tier dog-owners know what I’m talking about). But aside from that, this time of year always meant that it was crunch-time for writing the paper for my upcoming presentation at Kscope. I enjoy writing these papers, but I’d be lying if I said that it was all fun. There are pressures of the deadlines, making sure I get things right, that I don’t use “then” when I mean “than,” and generally that I read smarter than I actually am.

This year, however, is different in several ways; first of all, there was not much snow over the winter, so the back yard is surprise-free. Also, I am not presenting at Kscope. “Why?” you may ask. As I am not a meteorologist, I will not get into the reasons for the former, but as to the latter, the primary reason is that this year I have the honor and awesome responsibility of being the Content Co-Chair for Kscope12.

So, while this time of year is typically punctuated with brief bursts of excitement, anticipation, and fear regarding my own presentation, this year those feelings have expanded to encompass everybody’s presentations (no pressure). Fortunately, I know that the speakers at Kscope are the best there are. I know that the abstract review process used was designed to select the best of the well-known presenters, as well as ensuring that new speakers will get a chance to share their knowledge with the welcoming audiences of Kscope. I know that the content selection teams did a remarkable job with a difficult task. I know that I have nothing to worry about, right?

This year I can enjoy these weeks of spring, free from any of the trials or tribulations that are a part of my creative process for developing a Kscope presentation. This year I can focus on why I’m looking forward to Kscope. There are, of course, all of the standard reasons:

  • Reconnecting with my ODTUG friends, and making new ones.
  • The chance to interact with so many people so much smarter than me.
  • Learning from old hats and young guns; from the basics to the bleeding edge.
  • That reenergized feeling you take back to work.

But this year is different in another way. This year, I have a new focus. My place of employment has recently purchased an Oracle Forms-based COTS system to replace a large portion of the code-base I have created over the years. Those portions that are not being replaced will need interfaces, and these interfaces need to be written in PL/SQL. While I have been a thick-database proponent for years, I have not been much of a practitioner. The reasons for this are many, both institutional and personal. The Designer Table API packages, VB, PHP, and Groovy seemed like the most expeditious means to get the apps out of my head and into the hands of the users. (You might say that this just means that I was lazy, but “expeditious” sounds so much better). Anyway, regardless of the reasons, I have not done any serious PL/SQL coding for a number of years. To say that my skills are rusty would imply more of an existing, solid foundation than, I am afraid, actually exists.

In light of the new opportunities placed before me, this year I will be focusing like a shotgun on SQL and PL/SQL coding like I never have before. Just a few of the sessions that I am looking forward to are:

This year is different for me in many ways, but one thing that remains the same is my anticipation of the best conference for developers using all things Oracle: Kscope12. So I hope you’ll join me and hundreds of fellow developers from across the Oracle family, at the incredible learning and networking experience that is Kscope12.

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