TruTek TruTalk Newsletter for Oracle Professionals
 fireworks

July, 2009
Greetings!
 
Welcome to the July issue of TruTalk.
  • We have some exciting classes coming up in August that you won't want to miss. We have an Oracle BI Publisher and Intro to SQL class coming to Salt Lake City. We also have several functional classes coming to Fullerton, CA - Application Desktop Integrator, R11i/R12 Financial Business Overview, R11i Fixed Assets, and Release 12 New Features.
  • We're hitting the streets! Take a look at our upcoming training classes. We're offering classes in Utah, New York, New Jersey, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado 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. This is a no holds barred, hands on class. This class offers an essential practice run at doing this upgrade. Plus, you'll perform the upgrade using my new book, the little r12 upgrade guide.
  • If you've been looking for a class that will really teach you what you need to know to be a great DBA, then sign up for Robert Freeman's upcoming Oracle 10g DBA Boot Camp I.
  • Get ready for another visit from Steven Feuerstein. His last seminar went over so well that we've decided to bring him back, this time for The Best of Oracle PL/SQL, in September in Fullerton, CA, and then in November in New Jersey.

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

Sincerely,

Mike Swing
TruTek

IN THIS ISSUE
What We Do
the little r12 upgrade guide
ODTUG Meeting
We Do More Than Just Training!
Oracle Memory Troubleshooting
Robert Freeman
Confio
Article Writing Contest
Semi Automatic FNDLOAD
More Interesting Books and Papers
TruTek Training Schedule
QUICK LINKS
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.
 
Upgrading - It's Not Rocket Science

"If I would be a young man again and had to decide how to make my living, I would not try to become a scientist or scholar or teacher. I would rather choose to be a plumber in the hope to find that modest degree of independence still available under present circumstances." - Albert Einstein, The Reporter, 18 November 1954

Upgrading - It's Not Rocket Science

 
If your company is starting to think about upgrading to Release 12, one of the most important first steps is to try out the upgrade. TruTek's Oracle E-Business Suite R11i/R12 Technical Upgrade class is a 5 day hands-on class where you'll upgrade the Release 11.5.10.2 Vision instance to Release 12.0.6. And no, it's not rocket science. But sometimes it feels like it is.

the little r12 upgrade guideHow hard can it be? We'd like to think we've taken some of the agony out of upgrading by publishing a book, the little r12 upgrade guide, that takes you through the steps. Our guide - and the class - include additional patches that you'll need to apply, plus an assortment of "gotchas", with their solutions.

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.
 
We've got our first feedback from a reviewer:

I read the through the WHOLE BLESSED THING, and I have to say that this is incredible!  An incredibly thorough, detailed, and (near as I can tell) complete 165-page, step-by-step cookbook. Great work, Mike!
 
Tim Gorman
 
Don't miss Mike's upcoming training class, Oracle E-Business Suite R11i/R12 Technical Upgrade in Albany, NY, August 3-7, in Fullerton, CA, September 14-18, in Seattle, WA, September 28-October 2, and in St. Louis, Missouri, November 30-December 4th.

Other Articles About Upgrading to Release 12:
Another Most Excellent ODTUG by Steven Feuerstein
We received such good feedback, we're bringing him back! That's right, Steven Feuerstein's seminar went over so well, we've decided to offer another one. Steven will be presenting The Best of Oracle PL/SQL Seminar on September 15-16 in Fullerton, CA. Don't miss it!

I am just back from the latest ODTUG (the Oracle Development Tools User Group) Kaleidoscope conference, this time in Monterey, California. It was, as usual, a very well-run and successful event (their attendance actually grew from 2008, which is saying an awful lot given the state of the global economy).

It is easy to pick out the highlight of the conference for me: the ODTUG board of directors very graciously bestowed upon me their first Lifetime Achievement Award. Here, I can prove it to you with (what else?) Twitter: http://twitter.com/odtug/status/2273902345

[ How did we ever get by without Twitter? Aw, just kidding. I do without Twitter every single day of my life. :-) ]

Anyway, back to the seriously wonderful stuff: I was very honored by ODTUG and deeply appreciate the award, except I have to wonder if the "subtext" of the award is "Enough already, Steven. Time to chill out and let other people have their way with PL/SQL."

Oracle PL/SQL Programming, 5th EditionMaybe, maybe....I will give it some thought - after I finish the next edition of Oracle PL/SQL Programming (due out in October at Oracle Open World), implement object type support for Quest Code Tester, wrap up my best practice video series on PL/SQL Obsession, and come back from my Asia-Pacific summer tour (Australia, Singapore and Seoul).

Of course, I don't like ODTUG just because they treat me so nicely (oh, and they have also agreed to let me publish a regular column named "Confessions of a Quick and Dirty Programmer" in their magazine). This is my favorite user group organization precisely because of its focus on developers. At a time when Oracle barely seems to remember that it has this great programming language (excepting the PL/SQL dev team, Oracle Magazine and OTN, of course), ODTUG offers an annual love fest for PL/SQL developers.

Hmmm, actually two love fests: the general ODTUG Kaleidoscope conference (it covers much more than just PL/SQL) and the annual Oracle PL/SQL Programming conference (it covers nothing but PL/SQL). OPP2009 will take place on Nov 10-11 in Atlanta. It will feature an expanded agenda, which means that, more than ever before, if you are looking for an intensive training in PL/SQL, OPP2009 is the best place to spend your scarce training dollars.

Enough shameless promotion of a conference for which I am technical co-chairperson.

So....thanks once more to the ODTUG board and its many fantastic volunteers, as well as Your Conference Connection, which does the on-the-ground organization of ODTUG events. Special kudos to Jeff Jacobs, Kaleidoscope conference chairperson, Mike Riley (ODTUG president, and husband of the very delightful Lisa Riley, with whom I had several excellent conversations) and Kathleen McCausland, ODTUG executive director.

If you've never attended a Kaleidoscope or OPP conference and you are a PL/SQL developer, I strongly urge you to get them on your calendar ASAP.

Other Papers by Steven Feuerstein:
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.
Oracle Memory Troubleshooting: Automatic top subheap dumping with heapdump by Tanel Poder

Tanel Poder's recent training class, Advanced Oracle Troubleshooting Seminar, was a big hit:

Very Impressive! - Apple Inc.

The most comprehensive Oracle performance troubleshooting seminar designed with operating system in mind - Life Care Services

Learning from one of the Oracle wizards.  Tanel Poder ranks up there with Jonathan Lewis, Tom Kyte and Steve Feuerstein.  I paid for the class with my own money and it was worth every penny.  Thank you TruTek for organizing this class! - Bridge-Tech.com

Here's more from Tanel from his continuing discussion about Oracle memory troubleshooting:

In Oracle, the HEAPDUMP dump event allows you to dump various heap contents to a tracefile. By adding the "level" parameter to this dump event, you can specify which heaps to dump.

Julian Dyke has documented most of the levels here.

There are two little known, but useful level bits for heapdumps - bit 010000000 and 020000000. These allow Oracle to dump the top 5 biggest subheaps in a heap recursively.

When bit 010000000 is enabled, Oracle dumps the top-5 subheaps inside any heap it is instructed to dump.

When bit 020000000 is enabled, Oracle dumps the top 5 subheaps as mentioned above, but in addition, Oracle recursively dumps the top 5 subheaps inside any subheaps automatically dumped above. So instead of dumping 1 level of subheaps, Oracle recursively dumps 2 levels, if such sub-sub-heaps exist.

This reduces the amount of manual work - Oracle can drill down towards the root cause automatically, and dump the relevant information.

Here's a little test case:

I set the serverout buffer unlimited (Oracle 10.2+) so that Oracle would buffer an unlimited amount of dbms_output data in the UGA (this is also a "good" way for using up all the memory in your server, so use "unlimited" with care).

SQL> set serverout on size unlimited
SQL>
SQL> exec for i in 1..1000000 loop dbms_output.put_line(lpad('x',10,'x')); end loop;

Read More

Other Papers by Tanel Poder:
Can You Make Something Too Simple? by Robert Freeman

I'm working on the new revised edition of our Oracle Database Backup and Recovery book for Oracle Database 11g ... I've been looking at some comments here and there that have been made about the book, and also comments about the competition. What I find interesting is that the approach that the competition has taken, the recipe approach if you will, seems to be popular with some. I suppose that makes sense. Everyone wants something to be easy. But that's the rub, can you take something as complex as backup and recovery and make it too simple?

In the recipe book, in the first two chapters they have you do a backup recipe and a restore recipe. Now, the Junior DBA (or perhaps the overworked senior DBA) might say, "FANTASTIC, I backed up my database and I restored my database, I'm set." They might just set up a script, start backups and off they go, not fully realizing what they have just done.

For in the book, they fail to mention some salient points.

1. That the recipe will have you backing up into ORACLE_HOME by default. Since there is no previous recipe to configure the Flash Recovery Area, that is where your backups will go by default.

2. They do have a recipe for putting the database in ARCHIVELOG mode... However if you do that first and then follow the recipe for backing up your database, you might find yourself in a world of hurt. The backup recipe does not backup archived redo logs.

3. Since you are not backing up the archived redo logs, or removing them, guess what happens to the archive log destination directory?

So in an effort for simplify, the chapter falls short of the mark a bit. I know we all want simple solutions. Something we can craft out of the box without having to understand, without having to think, and that's all well and good. I'm not sure it's practical when dealing with backups of your database.

I'd love your feedback on how we can make our RMAN book better. I'd love to hear any suggestions you might have out there on how we can make it better, what we can add, modify or even delete.

Robert's latest technical book, called OCP Oracle Database 11g Certified Professional Study Guide, is available. It's a prep guide for the Oracle Database 11g OCP Exam (Exam 1Z0-053). Check out this and other great books on our books link.

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

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 editor@trutek.com by July 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!

The following article is from our latest winner, Kathy Duret.
Semi Automatic FNDLOAD by Guest Columnist Kathy Duret
FND is short for Foundation, which are the common components shared between applications in the Oracle ERP or E-Business Suite.  Oracle provides a nice API to transfer code from one instance to another.  But exporting and importing them one by one can be time consuming, plus, you need to provide each item one by one in the script that you want to export out from the source instance and import into the source instance.  If you are moving just a couple of items, this is fine.  But what if you have 20 or more items to move?   What if you need to do this on an ongoing basis?  There are some very nice third party tools for automating all of this, but unfortunately not all companies can afford  these tools.

Thankfully, Oracle provides another tool - Dynamic SQL - that can be used in conjunction with FNDLOAD to help automate the process.

Prereqs:
  • Move custom functions and programs from the source to the target ERP system.
  • End date any users, responsibilities, etc., that you DO NOT want to bring over.
  • The examples provided in this article assume you are following the Oracle-recommended practice of prefixing any custom objects with "XX".
  • Test your base SQL to make sure you are getting the correct result set back before you try the dynamic SQL.  This will be the items you WANT to migrate.  If you don't have the right results here, dynamic SQL isn't going to magically fix it for you.
  • You'll need to know the APPS password
First Step:

Outline the order of events for your FND Load exports and Import, and make sure you have the correct FND Load command for what you are moving, and the Oracle ERP version you are moving. Release 12 and Release 11i have some slight syntax differences.  The examples I use in this article are for Release 12.

There is a specific order to doing FND Loads.  For example, you need to load functions before menus, menus before responsibilities, and responsibilities before request groups. Below is a PARTIAL list of items and the Release 12 download and upload commands associated with each.  The ones listed will be used in this article as examples.  There are MANY more items that can be moved using FNDLOAD, including profiles, LOVs, request groups, and concurrent programs.  If you code your SQL and dynamic SQL correctly, the XX...Name and the Application Short Name will be filled in by the SQL.

Functions:

FNDLOAD apps/apps O Y DOWNLOAD $FND_TOP/patch/115/import/afsload.lct XXFUNCTION_NAME.ldt FUNCTION FUNC_APP_SHORT_NAME="APP_SHORT_NAME" FUNCTION_NAME="XXFUNCTION_NAME"

FNDLOAD apps/apps O Y UPLOAD @FND:patch/115/import/afsload.lct XXFUNCTION_NAME.ldt
 
Menus:

FNDLOAD apps/apps O Y DOWNLOAD $FND_TOP/patch/115/import/afsload.lct XXMENU_NAME.ldt MENU MENU_NAME="XXMENU_NAME"
 
FNDLOAD apps/apps 0 Y UPLOAD @FND:patch/115/import/afsload.lct XXMENU_NAME.ldt

Responsibilities:
 
FNDLOAD apps/apps O Y DOWNLOAD $FND_TOP/patch/115/import/afscursp.lct XXRESPONSIBILITY_NAME.ldt FND_RESPONSIBILITY RESP_KEY="XXRESPONSIBILITY_NAME"
 
FNDLOAD apps/apps 0 Y UPLOAD_PARTIAL $FND_TOP/patch/115/import/afscursp.lct XXRESPONSIBILITY_NAME.ldt FND_RESPONSIBILITY RESP_KEY="XXRESPONSIBILITY_NAME" APPLICATION_SHORT_NAME=" YOUR_APP_SHORT_NAME "

Second Step

Create and run your FND_Load dynamic export SQLl on your source database instance.

Third Step

Run theSQLl generated from the dynamic SQL on the source database instance. Check over the logs and out files to make sure everything ran ok.  Correct and rerun if there are any errors.  If items don't download correctly, then they won't upload correctly.

Fourth Step

Transfer the *ldt files to the target database system.

Fifth Step

Create and run your FND_Load dynamic import SQL on the source database instance.

Sixth Step

FTP the SQL that is outputed in the Fifth step to the target system.  To make things easier, make sure this is in the same directory you transferred the *ldt files to in Step 5.  If you didn't already, you need to adjust your script to point to where the *ldt files are located.

Seventh Step

Run the sql outputted on the TARGET system.  Check the output and log files to make sure everything loaded as expected. 

Other Articles About FNDLOAD:

Customization Survival Guide: How to Use E-Business Utilities to Migrate Your Custom Code - Brad Simmons and Donna Campbell

More Interesting Books and Papers
Troubleshooting Oracle Performance by Christian AntogniniWe are fortunate to live in a world where so many clever people are willing to share their knowledge. Christian Antognini's book Troubleshooting Oracle Performance describes how to systematically analyze issues with Oracle 11g performance. The book offers a repeatable approach to identifying performance problems, and demonstrates how to optimize table
accesses, joins, and physical table layout, as well as how to read and recognize inefficient SQL execution plans.

We also liked Christian's presentation Query Optimizer 11g - What's New? We always hear that the next release of the RDBMS is worth going to because of improvements to the Cost Based Optimizer. In this presentation, Christian describes not only what the new optimizer features are, but also what problem in Oracle Database 10gR2 (10.2.0.4) is addressed with which solution in Oracle Database 11g. With this information, it should be easier to make the case for upgrading to RDBMS 11gR2.
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.


Date

Class

Location

 

Technical Classes

 

Aug 3-7

Oracle E-Business Suite R11i/R12 Technical Upgrade

Albany, NY

Aug 10-12

Oracle BI Publisher

SLC, UT

Aug 25-27

Intro to SQL

SLC, UT

Sep 14-18

Oracle R12 Applications  DBA Concepts and Administration

Fullerton, CA

Sep 14-18

Oracle E-Business Suite R11i/R12 Technical Upgrade

Fullerton, CA

Sep 15-17

Intro to SQL

Fullerton, CA

Sep 15-16

The Best of Oracle PL/SQL Seminar with Steve Feuerstein

Fullerton, CA

Sep 21-25

Oracle 10g DBA Boot Camp I with Robert Freeman

SLC, UT

Sep 28- Oct 2

Oracle R12 Applications  DBA Concepts and Administration

Seattle, WA

Sep 28- Oct 2

Oracle E-Business Suite R11i/R12 Technical Upgrade

Seattle, WA

Oct 19-23

Oracle Release 11i Applications System Administration

SLC, UT

Oct 19-20

Intro to PL/SQL

SLC, UT

Oct 21-23

Advanced PL/SQL Tips and Techniques

SLC, UT

Oct 26-30

Oracle Database 11g New Features with Robert Freeman

SLC, UT

Nov 3-5

Intro to SQL

Denver, CO

Nov 10-11

The Best of Oracle PL/SQL Seminar with Steve Feuerstein

New Jersey

Nov 9-13

Oracle 10g DBA Boot Camp I with Robert Freeman

New Jersey

Nov 9-13

Oracle 11i/R12 Applications  DBA Concepts and Administration

New Jersey

Nov 17-18

Scaling to Infinity: Partitioning in Data Warehouses on Oracle with Tim Gorman

SLC, UT

Nov 30-Dec 4

Oracle E-Business Suite R11i/R12 Technical Upgrade

Las Vegas, NV

Nov 30-Dec 4

Oracle 11i/R12 Applications  DBA Concepts and Administration

Las Vegas, NV

Dec 14-18

Oracle 10g DBA Boot Camp II with Robert Freeman

SLC, UT

Dec 15-16

Discoverer for End Users Training

SLC, UT

Dec 17-18

Discoverer for Administrators

SLC, UT

Dec 15-17

Intro to SQL

Phoenix, AZ

Jan 18-22

Oracle 10g DBA Boot Camp II with Robert Freeman

Las Vegas, NV

Jan 19-21

Intro to SQL

Las Vegas, NV

 

Functional Classes

 

Aug 5-6

Oracle Applications Desktop Integrator (ADI) Training

SLC, UT

Aug 10-12

Oracle Release 12 AME (Approvals Management Engine)

SLC, UT

Aug 17-20

R11i/R12 Financial Business Process Overview

San Diego, CA

Aug 24-25

Oracle Release 11i Fixed Assets

San Diego, CA

Aug 24-27

Oracle Release 12 New Features (Functional)

San Diego, CA

 

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

 

Sep 2

UTOUG SIG Fest

SLC, UT

Oct 11-15

Open World

San Francisco, CA

                               

***Class Dates and Locations are Subject to Change.

Enough Already!
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