TruTek TruTalk Newsletter for Oracle Professionals
TruTalk Newsletter

April, 2009

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

  • We're hitting the streets! Take a look at our upcoming training classes. This quarter we're offering classes in Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Virginia/DC, and California.
  • If you've started thinking about upgrading from Release 11i to Release 12, check out my Oracle E-Business Suite R11i to R12 Technical Upgrade class in Las Vegas in April. This is a no holds barred, hands on class. This class offers an essential practice run at doing this upgrade. Plus, you'll get a first peek at my new book, the little r12 upgrade guide.
  • In April, we have Steve Feuerstein coming! Steve is incredibly knowledgeable about SQL and PL/SQL and is an excellent teacher. So if you'd like to hear from this talented expert, sign up early!
  • Hey ARIZONA! We're bringing our Oracle 11i Workflow Builder, Business Events and Administration and our Oracle E-Business Suite R11i to R12 Technical Upgrade classes to Scottsdale in April. Sign up before we run out of space!
  • California, here we come! Our E-Business Suite functional experts will be teaching several functional classes in San Diego in April.
  • We're offering a terrific class on OBIEE in May. Learn all about Interactive Dashboards, Oracle BI Publisher, and XML.
  • In May, Gaja Krishna Vaidyanatha will be presenting his highly acclaimed Oracle Performance Management Seminar.
  • Don't miss Robert Freeman's Oracle 10g Boot Camp I in June, and Oracle Database 11g New Features class in August.
  • We also have terrific articles by Tanel Poder, one of our Oracle internals experts.Sign up for Tanel's upcoming Advanced Oracle Troubleshooting Seminar by April 30th and get a 10% Early Bird Discount!
  • We'll have a booth at Collaborate and are really looking forward to seeing folks.
Don't miss out on this terrific lineup of classes with the best trainers in their fields!

Mike Swing

What We Do
R12 Upgrade Book
We Do More Than Just Training!
Hold Off on IE8
Tanel Poder on Rowcache Internals
MetaLink / My Oracle Support Survey
DBA Boot Camp
OCP: Oracle Database 11g Administrator Book is Available!
Article Writing Contest
Collaborate 09 in May
Send Us Your Papers
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 classes.
What We've All Been Waiting For... a Book on Upgrading to Release 12

TruTek's Oracle E-Business Suite R11i/R12 Technical Upgrade class is 4 days long and starts with an Vision Instance and upgrades that instance to Release 12.0.6. Basic concepts and downtime-reducing steps, such as staging from the Release 12 DVDs, are covered.  The class size is limited to 4 to 6 students to allow plenty of instructor attention for dealing with problems that arise, and questions that students have. Each student uses a quad core Linux server with 4-8 GB of memory and 1 TB of disk space to perform the upgrade.

Minimizing downtime is a common theme throughout the R12 Upgrade class. Techniques include merging patches, using fast IO, snapshots and other downtime reducing techniques.

Mike Swing's the little r12 upgrade guide describes the process we follow during the class. Can you skip the class and do it yourself with just this book? Sure you can. We think there are advantages to taking the class, most importantly having others to bounce questions and problems off of. Taking the class also offers the advantage of helping to build confidence levels. Will this book work perfectly for every environment that users have in place? Probably not. Since Oracle continues to provide patches for issues that are reported by customers, there is always a chance that after we publish this book a new patch will become available. This book is no substitute for using the power of your own analytical skills. And of course, our hardware will likely not be exactly the same as your hardware configuration, so there may be differences due to operating system and other variations.

If you'd like to be notified when the little r12 upgrade guide is available, just fill out our survey and we'll let you know when it's ready. We're planning on selling it at our booth at Collaborate 09, so look us up there if you are attending the conference. If you want to be the first to get a copy, sign up for either of our upcoming classes in Las Vegas, April 14-17, or in Scottsdale, April 27-30.

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. 

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.

Rick - With 15 years of manufacturing planning, forecasting and inventory management experience, and 10 years of functional Oracle ERP implementation experience, Rick is one of our top manufacturing experts for the E-Business Suite. Rick specializes in supporting the Oracle BOM, CST, EAM, ENG, INV, PO, MRP, MSCA and WIP modules.

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.

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.

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.
E-Business Suite Users, Hold off on Internet Explorer 8
Internet Explorer 8Steven Chan, Oracle's Senior Director of Oracle Applications Technology, says that Oracle has not yet certified IE8 for the E-Business Suite. Steven says there are issues with launching forms, and further states that "it is imperative that your Apps users stay on IE7 until we complete our certification of IE 8". Fortunately, Microsoft has been kind enough to come out with an IE8 Blocker Toolkit, so check that out.

And while you're at it, Steven says, don't expect JInitiator to run on Vista desktops. Steven recommends moving off of JInitiator for this reason, and because JInitiator will be desupported on July 31, 2009. So if you haven't made the leap to Native Sun JRE, now's the time to get going.
The Real History of Oracle Database Revealed!, by Tanel Poder
We've snagged a couple more of Tanel Poder's presentations and put them on our website under our Papers and Presentations link. Check out Latch, Lock and Mutex Contention Troubleshooting and Oracle SQL Plan Execution: How it Really Works.

Tanel has just been recognized as an Oracle ACE Director. This is quite an achievement!

Be sure to sign up for Tanel's Advanced Oracle Troubleshooting Seminar in Salt Lake City on June 10-12 or in Denver from June 15-17. Don't miss it! Also, if you like what you read here, be sure to check out Tanel's blog, Core IT for Geeks and Pros, for more information about Oracle internals.

Good news - even Tanel has a bit of the conspiracy theorist in his genetic make-up. Check out this article about Oracle's X$ tables and their potential origins...

Anyone who's looked into Oracle X$ tables, knows that their names are really complicated and quite unreadable (and unpronouncable), such X$KZSRT, X$KCPXPL, X$KQFSZ and so on.

A few years ago at some conference, someone came up with a thought that the reason why Oracle has such unreadable names for its X$ tables is that the leading edge database source code was actually stolen in the 80's from a Soviet Union intelligence agency.
And evidence started appearing. For example, here's an X$ table which clearly references USSR (in Russian) below:

SQL> select name from v$fixed_table where upper(name) like '%CCCP%';


The above view has been there for many years (it's hidden behind a layer of the V$THREAD view so no-one would suspect anything).

And now, more evidence has shown up that even in the latest versions (, Oracle just reuses code originally written by the Soviet intelligence agency decades ago:

SQL> select name from v$latch where upper(name) like '%KGB%';

kgb latch
kgb parent

So there's apparently some KGB "latch" and KGB "parent" built in into every database from 11g.

I don't know what exactly these do, but the code locations which make use of these latches make me worry the most:

SQL> select "WHERE" from v$latch_misses where parent_name = 'kgb latch';


New Coke MetaLink
We noticed that Rob McMillen from Triora Group was not pleased with Oracle's plans to force users to migrate from Classic MetaLink to My Oracle Support later this year. Among the issues he described were the overwhelming flood of information provided by My Oracle Support, the length of time it takes to log in to My Oracle Support, the way that My Oracle Support handles multiple CSI numbers, and the requirement by My Oracle Support to use FLASH. So we thought we'd ask our readers for feedback on MOS. What's your opinion, do you like the new MetaLink interface, or do you take issue with it?

My Oracle Support
Robert Freeman Teaches Oracle 10g DBA Boot Camp
TruTek DBA Boot CampSpend an intense week learning from our database master, Robert Freeman, in our Oracle 10g DBA Boot Camp I in Salt Lake City June 1-5. Students will install the Oracle Database 10g RDBMS software, create a database, configure networking, startup and shutdown the instance, and manage Oracle database parameter files, tablespaces, users and objects. Students will also learn about Oracle database backup and recovery and the basics of the optimizer and statistics collection. This class provides a thorough hands-on experience for anyone interested in becoming an Oracle database administrator, or fine tuning your current skillset. Robert's expertise is unparalleled, having authored a number of books about the Oracle database. Robert is an excellent instructor and is a favorite with our students.
Another Great Book by Robert Freeman!
OCP: Oracle Database 11g Administrator Certified Professional Study GuideRobert's latest technical book about Oracle is available. It's called OCP Oracle Database 11g Certified Professional Study Guide. It's a prep guide for the Oracle Database 11g OCP Exam (Exam 1Z0-053). Robert will be teaching a corresponding class, so watch our training schedule for an announcement.

Check out this and other great books on our books link.
Oracle 11g: Reading the alert log via SQL by Tanel Poder
Oracle has added some major improvements in the diagnosability infrastructure in RDBMS Version 11g. Here's one little detail.

Before Oracle 11g, it was possible to access the alert log via SQL using an external table or a pipelined function which in turn uses the utl_file. After reading the text, you need to parse it to extract the information you need from there.

Starting with 11g, Oracle does all this work for you. There is a fixed table X$DBGALERTEXT. When you query it, Oracle reads the log.xml from the alert directory (which contains all the data that alert.log does), parses it, and returns the details back as rows:

SQL> select message_text from X$DBGALERTEXT where rownum <= 20;

Starting ORACLE instance (normal)
Shared memory segment for instance monitoring created
Picked latch-free SCN scheme 2
Using LOG_ARCHIVE_DEST_10 parameter default value as USE_DB_RECOVERY_FILE_DEST
Autotune of undo retention is turned on.
ILAT =18
SYS auditing is disabled
Starting up ORACLE RDBMS Version:
Using parameter settings in client-side pfile /u01/app/oracle/admin/LIN11G/pfile/init.ora on machine linux03
System parameters with non-default values:
processes = 150
memory_target = 404M
control_files = "/u01/oradata/LIN11G/control01.ctl"
control_files = "/u01/oradata/LIN11G/control02.ctl"
control_files = "/u01/oradata/LIN11G/control03.ctl"
db_block_size = 8192

20 rows selected.

This is the text representation, but you can get individual details from other columns as listed below:

Read More
Your Claim to Fame...
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 [email protected] by April 25th. We'll include the winning article in our next newsletter. And the winning author will win a very cool prize, a $50 Gift Certificate from Amazon!
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                                                                       Teaching at TruTek in April and May!
  • How Does Parallel Concurrent Processing Really Work?
Mike Swing                                                                       Teaching at TruTek in April and May!
Jonathan Lewis
Robert Freeman                                                               Teaching at TruTek in April and June!
Steven Feuerstein                                                           Teaching at TruTek in April!

Dan Hotka - Oracle11g New Features for Developers     Teaching at TruTek in June!

Gaja Krishna Vaidyanatha                                              Teaching at TruTek in May!
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!

Check out the Papers and Presentations link, by the way - we've added a ton of new material this month!
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


Apr 14-17

Oracle E-Business Suite R11i/R12 Technical Upgrade

Las Vegas, NV

Apr 21-22

The Best of Oracle PL/SQL Seminar with Steve Feuerstein


Apr 27-30

Oracle E-Business Suite R11i/R12 Technical Upgrade

Scottsdale, AZ

Apr 28-30

Oracle 11i Workflow Builder, Business Events and Administration

Scottsdale, AZ

May 12-14

Introduction to SQL Using Oracle 10g


May 12-14

Oracle Release 11i Applications System Administration


May 12-15

Introduction to Oracle Business Intelligence EE (OBIEE)


May 18-22

Oracle R12 Applications  DBA Concepts and Administration

Ashburn, VA

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 Oracle PL/SQL Tips and Techniques


Jun 1-5

Oracle Database 11g New Features with Robert Freeman


Jun 10-12

Advanced Oracle Troubleshooting Seminar with Tanel Poder


Jun 15-17

Advanced Oracle Troubleshooting Seminar with Tanel Poder

Denver, CO

Jun 15-19

Oracle R12 Applications DBA Concepts and Administration

Denver, CO

Jul 6-10

Oracle R12 Applications  DBA Concepts and Administration

   VA/ DC Area

Aug 3-7

Oracle 10g DBA Boot Camp I with Robert Freeman



Functional Classes


Apr 6-7

Oracle Release 11i Purchasing

San Diego, CA

Apr 8-9

Oracle Release 11i Accounts Payable

San Diego, CA

Apr 6-9

Oracle Release 11i Procure to Pay

San Diego, CA

Apr 14-17

R11i/R12 Financial Business Process Overview

San Diego, CA

Apr 22-23

Oracle Release 11i Fixed Assets

San Diego, CA

Apr 22-24

Oracle Release 12 New Features (Functional)

San Diego, CA

Apr 22-24

Oracle Release 12 AME (Approvals Management Engine)



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


May 3-7

The Oracle Applications User Group will be holding Collaborate 09

Orlando, FL

Enough Already!
Our newsletter editor's dad, who is 82, likes to spend a little bit of time every day shredding his junk mail and then putting it into the pre-addressed stamped reply envelope and mailing it back in. That's one way to deal with too much information! We know how it is. You're on everybody's mailing list, and maybe you're just not interested in being there. Hey, we don't want to cram your mailbox unless you'd like to hear from us. So here's what you can do:

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Save 10%
Sign up for Tanel Poder's Advanced Oracle Troubleshooting Seminar by April 30th, and you'll get a 10% discount! Just enter LUVTANEL as the coupon code when you register.
Offer Expires: 04/30/09