TruTek TruTalk Newsletter for Oracle Professionals
TruTek Newsletter

February, 2009

Welcome to the February issue of TruTalk. We have some terrific classes coming up, taught by some of our favorite experts.

Don't miss out on this terrific lineup of classes with the best trainers in their fields!

Mike Swing

What We Do
Custom Functions, Menus and Responsibilities
OAM Patch Search Responsibility
RMOUG in February
UTOUG in March
Collaborate 09 in May
Send Us Your Papers
Need Editing Help?
Oracle R11i/R12 Applications DBA Concepts and Administration Class Review
We Do More Than Just Training!
Article Writing Contest
TruTek Training Schedule
What We Do
TruTekTruTek is a national leader in technical and functional Oracle training and consulting. We offer Oracle database and E-Business Suite consulting, training and remote services. We have a state of the art training facility in Salt Lake City, Utah. If you have 5 or more people interested in a class, we can also bring classes to your company if you would like onsite training. And if you've wanted to take a training class, but were intimidated by the crowds, we also offer "Personal Training" for certain of our classes.
An Example of How to Create Custom Functions, Menus, and Responsibilities - Guest Author, Lon White
Here's an article by Lon White, CTO at Triora Group, who is now a five time winner of TruTek's article writing contest. Think you can do better? Feel free to enter - we'd love to read about what you know about Oracle!

Can you create a custom function? What about a custom menu? Do you understand the relationship between functions, menus and responsibilities? This month we're going to walk through a solution provided to one of our clients for implementing employee-printed W2 forms directly from the E-Business Suite. The solution cuts across the E-Business Suite functionality, which makes it interesting, even though the technical difficulty for the solution falls in the beginner to intermediate knowledge range.

In our case, the main goal was to insure that all employees could print out their own W2 forms from within the E-Business Suite. To this end we also had a requirement to include an "instruction" sheet for each employee. We also needed to build a sustainable solution since this client planned to adopt this functionality permanently.

Our first step was to identify which of our employees had accounts and which ones did not. We did this through a query that tied the hr.per_all_people_f, hr.per_all_assignments_f, hr.pay_people_groups and applsys.fnd_user tables together. The following is baseline code for illustration purposes. We needed to add additional predicates to help identify the specific people groups we were targeting:

SELECT ppg.group_name peoplegroup,papf.employee_number employee_number,

       papf.full_name employee_name,fu.user_name username

FROM hr.per_all_people_f papf,hr.per_all_assignments_f paaf,

     hr.pay_people_groups ppg,applsys.fnd_user fu

WHERE ppg.people_group_id = paaf.people_group_id

AND papf.person_id = paaf.person_id AND papf.current_employee_flag ='Y'

AND papf.person_id = fu.employee_id(+) AND fu.end_date ISNULL

ANDTRUNC(SYSDATE)BETWEEN papf.effective_start_date AND  papf.effective_end_date

ANDTRUNC(SYSDATE)BETWEEN paaf.effective_start_date AND  paaf.effective_end_date;

This query identified all of the employees that will need to be able to print out W2s. This code has also helped us identify which of those employees do not have E-Business Suite logins since their "USERNAME" from the above query will be null. Yep, that's why we included an outer join between the PER_ALL_PEOPLE_F table and the FND_USER table. With this done we now needed to switch focus to the creation of the custom function and menu for assignment to the chosen responsibility. We'll come back to the employees and the remainder of their setup in just a minute.

Read More About Creating Custom Functions, Menus and Responsibilities
OAM Patch Search Responsibility - Guest Author, Kathy Duret
Kathy Duret is an Oracle E-Business Suite Database Administrator at Charter Steel, in Wisconsin. Here's her winning article about the OAM Patch Search Responsibility:

Oracle had a responsibility call OAM Patch Search available in later Release 11i versions. This was a great time saver.  I assigned the responsibility to all my functional leads and consultants. They could look to see if patches had been applied to an E-Business Suite instance, and if so, when, and respond to SR's right away instead of having to wait on the database administrators to provide them with this information.  It not only saved the functional leads time, but also the database administrators  time, since they didn't have to look up the patches.

In Release 12, this responsibility is no longer available. But the good news is, you can create a custom responsibility yourself very easily. I just created a custom responsibility and called it XXOAM Patch Search. Metaink Doc. ID 332974.1 describes how to define this responsibility. Following are print screens of what I did for our environment:

Read More About Creating the OAM Patch Search Responsibility
Don't Miss Us at RMOUG in February!
RMOUG Training Days

Check out the RMOUG Training Days schedule for February 11-12 - several of the people we love to bring in as instructors will be presenting, including:

Robert Freeman                    Teaching at TruTek in March, April and June!
Dan Hotka                                Teaching at TruTek in March!
Mike Swing                             Teaching at TruTek in March!
Tim Gorman                           
Gaja Krishna Vaidyanatha     Teaching at TruTek in May!
Dan Fink                                  

Can't make it to RMOUG Training Days? Then check out our complete TruTek Training schedule, our Papers and Presentations link, and our Books link for more from these instructors/authors.
Don't Miss Us at UTOUG in March!

Utah Oracle Users Group

We are participating in the UTOUG Training Days March 12-13th at the SLCC Miller Campus in Sandy, UT. We'll have a booth, so be sure to come find Mike, Sherri, Tammy and Bethany. Also, some of our favorite instructors will be speaking:

Mike Swing                         Teaching at TruTek in March!
  • Failover and Load Balancing of Parallel Concurrent Managers
  • Upgrading Oracle E-Business to Release 12
Steven Feuerstein             Teaching at TruTek in April!
  • Why You Should Care About Oracle11g PL/SQL Now!
  • Automated Testing Options for Oracle PL/SQL
Daniel Fink                          
  • Never a DUL Moment: How to Avoid Costly Data Recovery
  • Analytical Functions and Regular Expressions in SQL
Robert Freeman                 Teaching at TruTek in February, March and June!
  • RMAN
  • Oracle 11g New Features
If you like what you hear, you can sign up for classes with these top trainers!
Of Course We'll Be at Collaborate 09!
Collaborate 09

Check out our booth and check out our presentations! Once more, several of our favorite people will be presenting:

Mike Swing - How Does Parallel Concurrent Processing Really Work?

Mike Swing - Load Balancing and Failover of Parallel Concurrent Processing
Didn't Make Collaborate, But Still Got Something to Say?
You would not believe how many submissions there were for Collaborate 09 this year. It seems there are LOTS of people with LOTS of things to say. So if your abstract didn't get accepted, we still want to offer you an opportunity to be heard... or, well, read. Go ahead and write that paper, and send it on over to us, and we'll put it on our website under the Papers and Presentations link. We'll even write up a brief description of your paper and include it in our newsletter. See, there's more than one way to become wildly famous beyond all your dreams!
Collaborate '09 Presentations - Make 'Em Perfect!
Barb's YarnThe acceptance notifications, and, alas, the rejection notifications, for Collaborate 09 are out. And we thought we'd offer a new service. Barb Matthews has been editing technical newsletters, papers, books, websites and blogs far more than she'd care to admit. If you'd like your paper edited before you submit it, contact Barb. Yes, she charges for the service, but you can live safe in the knowledge that you'll be helping fuel one of her hobbies. Yes, Barb has become a spinner of yarn and requires a constant influx of fiber to keep her happy. 
Oracle R11i/R12 Applications DBA Concepts and Administration Review
Barb Matthews attended Mike Swing's Oracle R11i/R12 Applications DBA Concepts and Administration class last week. Here's her review:

So last week I decided to refresh my E-Business Suite Applications DBA skills. I spent a week in lovely Salt Lake City at the TruTek offices. My goal when I take training, read a paper, or attend a presentation, is to walk away with what I'll call a "golden nugget". A golden nugget for me is something that I wouldn't have known otherwise, something that caught my attention and that I knew would be very useful. As it turns out, I picked up several golden nuggets in this class, so I'll share some of them with you here.

First off, this class is a mixture of lecture and hands on work. Mike has a very deep understanding of the Applications. His biggest challenge appears to be clamping down on the fire hose of information that he wants to share. "Better too much than too little!", I say. Well, I said that until I had to hand my luggage over at the airport, where I worried that Mike's 7 pound class handout would tip me over the luggage weight limit.

The class covered topics that I knew would be useful for an Apps DBA. On Monday we covered  the 11i architecture, a hands on workshop where we installed Release, information about oraInventory, the 11i file system, and the shared $APPL_TOP. I found the shared $APPL_TOP discussion to be particularly helpful, because I knew that companies should use it, but didn't know the exact details of how to implement it. Mike's reviews of the Release 11i and Release 12 architectures tend to be a bit overwhelming, but I agree with Mike that you really need to understand the architecture and where it came from to be able to support it as a DBA. And nobody ever said anything about the Oracle Applications was simple, particularly the underlying architecture.

Now, I have to admit, we had a little mishap on our first day. Mike's equipment had last been used by Release 12 instances, and it turns out that those instructions that you've heard time and time again about how you need to carefully review the Operating System Release Notes really are important - we had to de-install some operating system packages and install other versions to make the Release install work. Who would have thought?

On Tuesday, we covered the admin utilities and autoconfig. We tried our hand at changing an autoconfig template, and we used admergepatch to merge some patches. Ah, admergepatch. If you don't know how to use this, you absolutely must learn. It really helps decrease upgrade time. We also started cloning our Release 11i instance. I took great comfort from the knowledge that Oracle's cloning scripts have improved tremendously over the years.

On Wednesday, we finished up our clone. Somehow I managed to mess up the permissions on mine, but eventually I got things pointed to where they were supposed to point. We also covered more architecture topics - this time on Release 12. We talked more about Apache, 10gAS and configuration, and we installed Release 12. Packing two installs and a clone into this class really gave us a workout.

On Thursday, we covered Release 12's OPMN. We didn't have enough time to do a Release 11i/Release 12 upgrade (Mike has a separate class for that), but Mike walked us through his notes, as he has done this upgrade many times. Then we moved on to failover, load balancing and parallel concurrent processing, three topics near and dear to Mike's heart. He did a terrific demo with three machines that showed how failover kicks in. Incidentally, you don't have to be a RAC user to take advantage of failover - Mike showed us how the concurrent manager could be set up to fail over to another server. He's done some very interesting research on the parameters that affect how quickly failover takes place. Mike also showed how failover behaves differently between Release 11i and Release 12. I considered that information to be a golden nugget for sure, because with Release 11i, you don't have to specify your failover server in your concurrent manager setup. You do with Release 12, so if you didn't know that, you might be in for a rude awakening!

On Friday we covered troubleshooting issues. We looked at some of the log files and Mike showed us where to find them and how to interpret them. We also covered how to change the APPS password, and finished up with a rousing presentation about security.

All in all, it was a great class. I highly recommend it, particularly if you're transitioning from being a DBA to being an Applications DBA. The amount of knowledge that you have to have to take on the Applications DBA role is daunting, and this hands on class really provides you with the necessary information to do that job well.

Next on my list? I think I'll take a whirl at the Release 11i to Release 12 Upgrade Class, but not until I've practiced my cloning and install skills a bit more.
Did You Know? We Do More Than Just Training!
At TruTek, we offer training classes, remote database and applications administration support, and on-site consulting. And in the next month, a few of our top consultants will be rolling off of projects, so check them out:

Mike Swing - Besides teaching many of our E-Business Suite technical classes, including several of our DBA classes, Mike has extensive experience implementing, upgrading and maintaining various Oracle RDBMS versions and the E-Business Suite. Mike teaches our classes on installing and upgrading to Release 12, so if you need someone with plenty of hands on experience, he is one of our best resources. Mike also has experience supporting RAC implementations and has a deep understanding of parallel concurrent processing, load balancing and failover. 

Samuel - Here's a Database Administrator with excellent credentials. Samuel is an Oracle Certified Professional, an Oracle 10g Certified Technician, and he has an Oracle DBA Masters. Couple that with years of experience as a senior database analyst, and you've got someone that can manage your database and work well with any development team.

Dennelle - It's always good to have a skilled financials functional expert in your corner. Dennelle specializes in General Ledger, Fixed Assets, Purchasing, Payables, Receivables, Cash Management, Order Management, ADI, FSGs and UPK.  Dennelle is also a great trainer, so her hand-offs to clients go especially well.

Susan - Offering strong technical skills combined with excellent project management and team lead capabilities, Susan is an experienced ERP application designer and developer. Susan is a Certified Oracle Application Developer, and can resolve issues quickly due to her wide variety of experience and technical knowledge.

Terry - With a solid background handling all aspects of database design, development, performance tuning, security, and recovery, Terry can handle both Oracle DBA and developer responsibilities. Terry is also skilled in project management, requirements/specifications writing, and Microsoft Project.

Fred - Fred has strong experience supporting large, worldwide Oracle E-Business Suite implementations and upgrades as a project manager, lead, and functional consultant. Fred's experience includes both Project Manufacturing and Oracle Financials. 

Joe - Joe is an Oracle developer with over 12 years of experience in designing, building, maintaining and enhancing both ERP and custom applications across a variety of business sectors. 

Bob - Bob is an accomplished Oracle DBA with extensive experience as an Oracle Apps DBA. Bob's E-Business Suite experience includes installing, updating and cloning environments.

Nathan - Nathan has both functional and technical expertise, which makes him a valuable asset in supporting the E-Business Suite. Nathan has worked as both an Oracle Database Analyst and Oracle Financial Applications specialist, responsible for implementing Oracle Accounts Payable, Oracle Purchasing, Order Management, Fixed Assets, Cash Management, Accounts Receivable and Oracle General Ledger. Nathan has performed data conversions as well as Oracle database installation, reorganization, tuning, and instance recovery on various Linux, Unix, NT, and VAX/VMS platforms. Nathan's technical skills include RMAN backup and recovery, RAC on AIX, Oracle Warehouse Builder, Workflow and XML Publisher.

Jim - Jim is one of our best manufacturing consultants. His experience includes full life cycle implementations in manufacturing management, purchasing management, production planning, and materials control. Jim has worked as a Project Manager, Team Leader, and as a Functional Application Implementer.

Craig - Craig's most recent assignment had him multi-tasking as a Unix System Administrator, Oracle Database Administrator, Applications System Administrator and E-Business Suite Developer. Craig's solid technical background makes him an excellent candidate for any E-Business Suite team.

Also, if you're looking for a developer to design custom software or programs for your company, we have a Java team ready to roll!  We have other consultants with E-Business Suite, DBA and developer skills available as well.

Contact us if you'd like to see more resumes.
Your Claim to Fame... This Month's Winners: Lon White and Kathy Duret
AmazonYou might argue that our newsletter staff weighs in more on the technical side than the functional side. Yes, we admit it, we're geeks. But that doesn't mean we don't want to include articles about the functional side of the E-Business Suite. Really, we do. So here's your chance to help us keep a balanced perspective in our newsletter. If you've got a good functional topic, please, let us know. Enter our writing contest!  If you'd like to enter, just write an article about Oracle or the Oracle E-Business Suite. Tell us about a technique that you've used that made your life easier at work. Or describe something you've learned from all those books on your bookshelf, and how it applied to your environment. If you're not sure if you've got a good topic, send us a note, and we'll help you figure it out. Go ahead, you know you want to!

Submissions should be sent to by February 25th. We'll include the winning article in our next newsletter. And the winning author will win a very cool prize, a $100 Gift Certificate from Amazon!

This month we received two submissions that were both excellent, so we decided to award two gift certificates.
Confio Igniter Suite

Confio builds performance management software that improves the effectiveness of IT systems and the people who run them. The Confio Igniter Suite currently includes products that help Oracle DBAs, managers, and developers continuously monitor the performance of databases and the applications that depend on them, isolate specific problems, and identify solutions in production systems.

Confio Ignite

Upcoming TruTek Training Schedule
We're always open to adding new classes, so let us know your interests! We add new classes regularly, so be sure to check the latest version of the schedule on our website.

Not finding the course or date that you're looking for? Let us know!





Technical Classes


Feb 23-27

Oracle 10g OCA DBA Certification Prepwith Robert Freeman


Mar 2-5

Advanced SQL Programming with Ferenc Mantfeld


Mar 2-6

Oracle R11i/R12 Applications DBA Concepts and Administration

Dallas, TX

Mar 17-19

Introduction to SQL Using Oracle 10g


Mar 17-20

Oracle Release 11i Applications System Administration


Mar 17-20

Oracle E-Business Suite R11i /R12 Technical Upgrade

Denver, CO

Mar 24-26

Oracle Warehouse Builder 11g Development and Deployment


Mar 30-Apr 3

Oracle 10g OCP DBA Certification Prep with Robert Freeman


Apr 6-9

Introduction to Oracle Business Intelligence EE (OBIEE)


Apr 21-22

The Best of Oracle PL/SQL Seminar with Steve Feuerstein


May 19-20

Oracle Performance Management Seminar with Gaja Krishna Vaidyanatha


Jun 1-2

Oracle SQL Performance Tuning Tips and Techniques


Jun 3-5

Advanced PL/SQL Tips and Techniques


Jun 1-5

Oracle Database 11g New Features with Robert Freeman



Oracle 11i Workflow Builder, Business Events and Administration

Chandler, AZ


Functional Classes


Feb 4-5

Oracle Discoverer for End Users


Feb 15-16

Oracle Applications Desktop Integrator (ADI)


Feb 18-20

Oracle Release 11i General Ledger for End Users


Mar 2-3

Oracle Release 11i Purchasing


Mar 4-5

Oracle Release 11i Accounts Payable


Mar 2-5

Oracle Release 11i Procure to Pay


Mar 16-19

R11i/R12 Financial Business Process Overview


Mar 26- 27

Oracle Release 11i Fixed Assets


Mar 31-Apr 3

Oracle Release 11i Advanced Pricing



Conferences and User Group Meetings - We'll Be There!


Feb 11-12

The Rocky Mountain Oracle User Group will be holding RMOUG Training Days at the Colorado Convention Center.

Denver, CO

Mar 12-13

The Utah Oracle Users Group will be holding Training Days 2009 at the SLCC Miller Campus.

Sandy, UT

May 3-7

The Oracle Applications User Group will be holding Collaborate 09

Orlando, FL

Enough Already!
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