TruTek TruTalk Newsletter for Oracle Professionals

TruTek R12 Upgrades

June, 2010

We're heading into summer, and we're pretty excited, because we have some great new training as well as some "old reliables": 
  • We've got a terrific new class, Oracle Release 12 AME (Approvals Management Engine), coming to Salt Lake City, in September.
  • We are looking for a few brave souls to take our Oracle E-Business Suite R11i-R12.1 Technical Upgrade class. This is a hands on class where you will upgrade a Vision instance from Release 11.5.9 to Release 12. This class will be offered in Orlando, St. Louis, and Calgary, and is a real workout - definitely worth taking a week off from work.
  • We've totally wrapped up Scott Spendolini's schedule. He's our expert on APEX. We're the first to offer the APEX 4.0 training. If you've been searching for the right instructor and want to learn about the latest release, Scott is definitely the one. 
  • We're expecting another new class, Introduction to Oracle E-Business Suite and Oracle Project Management, to totally rock - this class will provide a review of the E-Business Suite modules and how to use Oracle's Application Implementation Methodology (AIM) for project management
Don't miss the chance to take training from our experts - Scott Spendolini, Steven Feuerstein and Tanel Poder..
Mike Swing
What We Do
Oracle MIX Proposals for OpenWorld
Tanel Poder
PL/SQL Tips by Dan Stober
New Class: AME
New Class: Introduction to Oracle EBS and Oracle Project Management
The R12.1.2 Upgrade Trio
Patch til There's Nothin' Left to Fix
Project Profiles for the Oracle 11i to R12 Transition - eprentise
Thinking About Reimplementing?
Your Claim to Fame!
Upcoming Oracle Training
What We Do
TruTekTruTek is a national leader in technical and functional Oracle training and consulting. We also offer permanent placement services for part-time and full-time employees. 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, as well as online training. 
Oracle MIX Proposals for OpenWorld - Vote for Mike! 

Oracle OpenWorld 2010

Getting a presentation accepted at Oracle OpenWorld is a pretty big deal. It's hard to do. Fortunately, Oracle has kindly come up with an extra way to get a chance to present, assuming your peers are willing to vote you in. So if you don't mind, please consider voting for the following presenters, even if you won't be able to attend OpenWorld this year.
To vote, you need to be a member of Oracle MIX. Oracle Mix (it's easy to join, just go to is a social network for the Oracle Community (employees, partners, customers, developers, and anyone else interested in Oracle). Mix allows you to:
  • Share ideas
  • Create and join groups
  • Network with your peers
  • Ask questions (and get answers)
  • Share and learn
You can vote for as many presentations as you want, but Oracle wants you to show you're serious by voting for at least 3 to be counted. We didn't find it particularly easy to search for specific presenters or presentations, so please be patient with the user interface. You can sort all the presentations by title, but we couldn't find a way to search for a specific title. And you can search by topic, which helps a little, assuming the presenter put his presentation under the right topic. But we didn't find a way to search by presenter name or company name. If you like any of the presentations that we've listed below, though, you can just follow the link to vote for them. But hurry, you've only got until June 20th to vote.
Here's the location of the voting and submission link: There are lots of proposals, but we're hoping you'll help Mike Swing get permission from his staff to attend OpenWorld. We've decided he needs to earn the right to go by getting a presentation accepted:
Mike Swing's presentation is called Upgrading to Release 12 is SO EASY! You'll have to attend to decide if he's right. Thanks to all the training classes he's been holding on the R12 upgrade, and the books that he published, he's got a pretty solid idea of how to do the upgrade, and what types of issues you'll run into while trying.
And here are a few other "Staff Picks":
Scaling to Infinity: Partitioning Data Warehouses on Oracle. This is Tim Gorman's terrific presentation about how to partition your Oracle data warehouse.
These are Mark Farnham's submissions:
Stay Away if You Are Technical - This is Fusion Middleware for Business - We love Deborah Lilly's premise - "Do you want to understand Fusion Middleware and what it can do for you but don't want to be blinded by technical speak? Well this is the session for you." (Mike's presentation, on the other hand, might blind you with technical speak).
Practical Guidance on the Use of PeopleSoft Performance Monitor  and Managing Cost-Based Optimiser Statistics in PeopleSoft are by David Kurtz. We consider him to be the reigning expert on all things PeopleSoft.  
Does Your Database Need a Hug? 
We received this terrific feedback after Tanel Poder visited a client:  

Our recent exercise with Tanel Poder was an extremely positive one and one which I would recommend to anyone seeking help with a contention issue on their Oracle database.  I had seen Tanel speak at the Hotsos Conference in Dallas and knew that he would be extremely valuable in helping us identify what was causing an unpredictable latching scenario in our production environment.


Even before he arrived he asked for and begin reviewing the data we had collected (AWR reports, statspack output, etc.) and begin devising a "plan of attack" for determining the cause of our issue.  Upon arrival he took our input very seriously,  but was quick to validate our assumptions with factual database analysis.  I also appreciated his concern for our security and the well-being of our production environments and was very careful to not run scripts which would cause contention themselves in production, or leave behind bothersome custom objects.  

Tanel was always courteous and friendly and was willing to repeat his explanations and translate his very technical knowledge into terms that the lesser-trained DBA could comprehend.  And the tools he brought along were bundled up nicely for us to download to our own environment and use for our troubleshooting.  He summarized his findings for us in a way that was presentable to upper management and gave a clear explanation of his approach, analysis, and final recommendations.

I appreciated Tanel's offer to be a resource in the future if we have further questions after using his scripts and tools and I fully intend to take him up on it!   
Don't miss the chance to learn straight from the master. Tanel is teaching two classes, Advanced Oracle Troubleshooting and Parallel Execution and Partitioning for Performance in September, and is available for consulting engagements.
PL/SQL Tips by Dan Stober 

One of our favorite instructors, Dan Stober, who teaches our Workflow classes, is offering a class on PL/SQL. Don't miss your chance to learn PL/SQL Fundamentals from Dan. Here's an article by Dan to get you started on your way to being a true PL/SQL pro: 

Impaired by Implicit Cursors

Oracle calls the structure an implicit cursor, but most people just know it as "SELECT...INTO."  It's a shortcut way to query the database for a single record and place fields values from that record into PLSQL program variables.  But, there are several gotchas associated with their use that can lead to inefficient - or even buggy - code.

SELECT ... INTO ... Randomly

The SELECT .. INTO .. construct requires a query that returns one and only record.  If the query returns no records, PLSQL will raise the no_data_found exception, and if it returns more than one, PLSQL raises too_many_rows.  Sometimes, I see code where it's obvious that the developer applied a bandage to patch up code that raised a too_many_rows, and the result is a statement like this:

    SELECT empno

      INTO v_empno

      FROM emp

     WHERE deptno = v_deptno

       AND ROWNUM = 1;


At some point in the past, the query probably returned more than one row and PLSQL subsequently raised an exception, or the developer believes that the query has the potential to return more than one row, so she added that "ROWNUM=1" to make sure that it doesn't. 

The block now contains exception avoidance, but at what cost?  Does the developer know why the query is returning two rows?  If there are two records, does she care which record will be placed into the variable v_empno?  If you're going to go through the trouble to have PLSQL execute a SQL statement and retrieve a value from the database, shouldn't that value be important enough that you don't leave it to the vagaries of database internals to determine which record it will be?

After all, it is possible that the same query, executed twice, can return the records in a different order.  In fact, it happens all of the time!  What you should do is write a query that is certain to return only one record.  If possible, try to access the table using the primary key.  Failing that, use the natural key.  Also, ensure that all of the joins are necessary and are complete.   Even if you access one table using the primary key, if it's joined to another table with a one-to-many relationship, your query will return as many records as are present in the child table with that foreign key value

Here is an example of a query with an unnecessary join:

New Class: Oracle Release 12 AME (Approvals Management Engine)
OK, we're pumped. We've wanted to offer a class about AME, and now we've got a terrific one lined up: Oracle Release 12 AME (Approvals Management Engine). Take this 3-day class and you'll learn how to use AME to transfer employees from one division to another, authorize expenses, pay invoices, or approve purchase requisitions. Topics include an overview of AME, how to implement AME, how to implement tasks, approvals management, and transaction types, how to use Attributes, and testing and administration.
New Class:  Introduction to Oracle E-Business Suite and Oracle Project Management
This class sounded so good that our entire office is bickering about who gets to take the class first. We spotted Todd at Collaborate this year. Todd's co-workers raved about his wonderful presentation skills and ability to share knowledge. So we can't wait to take Introduction to Oracle E-Business Suite and Oracle Project Management. Todd's 3-day class will start with two days covering the modules that make up the E-Business Suite, and how they fit together. Then he'll teach one day on how to use Oracle's Application Implementation Methodology (AIM) to manage a project. Todd promises to use lots of real world examples and describe best practices. If you've been looking for a class that can help prepare you for the planning stages of an Oracle implementation or upgrade, this is the class for you.
We Call Them the Oracle Upgrade Trio
"Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple."   -- Dr. Seuss
"Unfortunately, that is not the case with upgrading to R12." -- Mike Swing 
Toad Handbook by Dan Hotka      Toad Handbook by Dan Hotka     the little r12.1.2 upgrade guide 
                              PLAN                                                   PREPARE                                                  PERFORM
Are you the Mighty Oracle Foot Soldier, ready to tackle the upgrade to Release 12.1.2 for your company? We recommend you start here, with TruTek's 3-part guided tour.
One of the first steps you should take in preparing to upgrade is to actually try the upgrade. If you haven't already installed the Release Vision Instance on a test environment, go ahead and do it. And then use Mike's guides to upgrade that instance to Release 12.1.2. Surprisingly, even the Vision Instance doesn't upgrade flawlessly. Mike includes pointers to additional patches and steps that you'll need to take to make your upgrade a success.
Mike's comprehensive trilogy consists of:
the little r12.1.2 project plan - this is the project plan that Mike's students use when they step through an upgrade.
the little r12.1.2 upgrade essentials for managers and team members - this book describes why you need to upgrade, and includes a discussion of how it should be done.
the little r12.1.2 upgrade guide - sponsored by the Oracle Application Users Group, this 414 page (so far) book provides the detailed steps to upgrading your Vision instance from R11i to R12.1.2. It includes the steps for upgrading your database to Version 11gR2. It includes pointers to more than 175 patches and 150 My Oracle Support notes. That's right, just because you've got this book doesn't mean you get out of downloading patches and reading the Readmes and assorted other explanations. But we tell you, all in one place, which documents to read, how to apply the patches, and "gotchas" that we've discovered along the way.
This edition is bigger and better than the last, as Mike continues to add information about patches and bugs and features that you need to understand to upgrade to E-Business Suite Release 12.1.
Are you looking for a guided tour? Don't worry, Mike uses this book as the basis for  TruTek's Oracle E-Business Suite R11i to R12.1 Technical Upgrade class.  He's also available to chat if you'd like to discuss your upcoming upgrade plans - just give him a call at 801 486-6655 or send him an email at [email protected].   Best of all, Mike has the hands-on experience that you'll need for an upgrade, so consider TruTek for meeting your consulting needs.  
Patch 'til There's Nothin' Left to Fix
Steven Chan's Oracle E-Business Suite Technology blog included a number of interesting articles last month. Note the warning about Premier Support end dates. Also, Steven wrote that JRE 1.6.0_20 Build 5 fixed the issues that we wrote about in last month's newsletter..  
Project Profiles for the Oracle 11i to R12 Transition by Skip Straus, eprentise 



The IT leaders who run Oracle E-Business Suite know the objective -  R12.  It's the release that will carry them to 2015 or beyond.  They will run one instance, it will be global in scope, and all the business users on the planet who logon to their instance will follow the same business processes.  R12 will be the single source of financial truth.  Some 11i customers have already made the transition, others are in process, many are planning, and a few are too busy with other priorities and will wait.

Making the transition to a major release of an enterprise system with E-Business Suite's scope is a big complicated game and a puzzle that takes several years to play.  How do you make the transition?  What are the moves?  What's the sequence?  The IT teams that get to R12 at just the right time for their organization, with the lowest transition costs and ongoing operational cost structures, and the best functioning R12 environments will be the winners.

Oracle EBS customers can be grouped according to four distinct R12 transition project profiles: Direct Upgrade, Transform Then Upgrade, Partial Reimplementation, and Full Reimplementation.  Customers select the project profile that best fits their EBS landscape, available resources, and culture. The chart below shows the profiles, ordered from easiest to most difficult: 

Project Profile


Direct Upgrade

The organization has confidence that R12 offers business value.  Everyone accepts that the costs will be reasonably low and also unavoidable, so there are no arguments.  The organization has plenty of resources and the right skills, or a consulting firm they are comfortable working with.

Landscape:  Single production instance, compatible with the new R12 Financials architecture.  The implementation-time setup configurations - Chart Of Accounts, Calendar, Flexfields, and Organization structures - are all suitable for the business for the next five years.

Plan:  Run Oracle's Upgrade software to convert the application layer and the business data, and you're done.  Go live in 3-8 months.

Consider:  While this takes few resources and uses familiar technology, the E-Business Suite implementation-time setup configurations will not change.  They were selected years ago for Release 10 or 11i.  Are they good for the business today?  Will the 11i structure, when re-cast in R12, still be good for the business through 2015?

Transform Then Upgrade

There are stakeholders in the business whose success depends on the business capabilities due when R12 goes live.  R12 business value is accepted.  The business is not satisfied with the current 11i instance or instances. 

        The organization is resource-constrained but maneuvers for a single global R12 instance, without compromise, with a go-live date sooner than anyone expects. 

Landscape: One or more production instances.  Implementation-time setup configurations may need to be changed to realize full R12 value and properly model the business for the next five years.

Plan:  If there are multiple 11i instances, use a commercial software product from eprentise to consolidate them into a single instance, without losing any data or database integrity.  If the implementation-time setups need to change, use eprentise software to change them.  Run Oracle's upgrade to take the single, pre-conditioned 11i instance to R12.  Go live in 4 - 10 months. 

Consider:  The business still needs to define what must be different in R12 to maximize value, but they don't waste effort on configurations and setups that need not change.  Business value sooner + lower transition costs = faster payback.

        Many eprentise customers transform their 11i instance(s), go into production for a while, capture some of the business benefits, then wait for the best time to complete the upgrade to a single R12 instance.

Partial Reimplementation

The organization doesn't have the resources or the technology assets to go directly to R12.  Top management may not understand how R12 helps the stock price.  Getting part of the business on R12 becomes the short term, intermediate objective, to build support for R12. 

Landscape: There may be one instance with obsolete setups, or multiple 11i production instances. 

Plan:   Select a small, relatively simple business unit to be the R12 pilot.  If there are multiple 11i instances, upgrade the most recently implemented one.  Alternatively,  create a fresh implementation.  Go live in 12 - 24 months, then monitor success.  Advertise R12 throughout the business to create interest in R12. 

Consider:  The next objective is now more complex: to get from the mature, core 11i instance(s) and a clean, lean R12 instance to the single global R12 instance.  The intermediate situation is not of much value, but it looks like progress.  R12 is live.

         The next phase is to go from division to division and reimplement each into the small R12 instance. There may be a learning curve where the re-implementations and data conversions get easier.  This takes another 12 - 24 months before the enterprise is live on the single R12 instance.



The organization is not satisfied with the current 11i instance or instances, and they accept R12 business value.  They are willing to spend whatever it takes to configure Oracle right this time, or to get to a single instance, or both.  There is not much value in the 11i historical data, which may also be corrupt and untrustworthy.

Landscape:  One or more instances, or obsolete implementation-time setup configurations, or both.  Incompatible with the new R12 architecture. 

Plan:  Leave the 11i instances behind, implement a fresh R12 instance, and import all the 11i data.  Or import just some of the old transactional data.  The R12 instance may take 14 - 36 months to go live, but it will work fine for the long haul.

Consider:  It's a big effort for a global business to implement and deploy an enterprise application.  Many across the business will be drawn into the design, decision, and testing effort.  Most EBS customer will be forced to engage outside help. 

         There is risk that a project this big and long-running will run into trouble keeping resources and funding, with changing business requirements, and technology shifts over its life.

Direct Upgrade remains the preferred project profile whenever it's possible.  Transform Then Upgrade eliminates Full  Reimplementation and Partial Reimplementation as practical project profiles for R12 transitions.

eprentise provides the software technology that changes the 11i to R12 transition game for (a) organizations who have multiple instances and want a single instance, and (b) those who have obsolete implementation-time business setups like Chart Of Accounts, Calendar, or Organizations.  They retain more of the investment in the 11i instances, and Time-To-R12-Value is shorter. The resulting R12 instance is configured to last to 2015, and it is a true single global instance with all historical data.

The surprising combination of eprentise Transformation software plus Oracle's R12 Upgrade software causes the Oracle EBS thought leaders to ask "Why reimplement?" 

Thinking About Reimplementing? 
Talk to us. We're very impressed by eprentise's solutions, and think you will be too.
Confio Igniter Suite
ConfioConfio 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.
Your Claim to Fame...
AmazonOh, go on. Maybe you went to Collaborate, saw a great presentation, and want to tell people about it? Or maybe you didn't get to go, wish you could have, and have a paper that just needs an audience? Here's your chance. Drop us a line, and if we publish your article, we'll send you a $50 Gift Certificate from Amazon!
Don't be shy! Send your submission to [email protected] by June 25th. We'll include the winning article in our next newsletter. 
Upcoming TruTek Training 
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. 

*** Class Dates and Locations are Subject to Change
Time Zone for Online Classes is MST 



Oracle Apps Technical Classes


Jun 21-25

Oracle Release R12 Applications System Administration


Jul 12-16

Oracle E-Business Suite R11i-R12.1 Technical Upgrade

Orlando, FL

Jul 19-23

Oracle E-Business Suite R11i-R12.1 Technical Upgrade

St. Louis, MO

Oct 4-9

Oracle E-Business Suite R11i-R12.1 Technical Upgrade

Calgary, AB





BI & Reporting Classes


Jul 12-13

Oracle Discoverer for End Users Training


Jul 14-16

Oracle Discoverer for Administrators


Aug 16-19

Introduction to Oracle Business Intelligence EE (OBIEE)






APEX Classes


Aug 2-4

Introduction to Oracle APEX I Using 4.0 with Scott Spendolini


Aug 5-6

Introduction to Oracle APEX II Using 4.0 with Scott Spendolini


Aug 9-11

Intermediate Oracle APEX Using 4.0 with Scott Spendolini


Aug 12

Troubleshooting & Debugging APEX Using 4.0 with Scott Spendolini


Aug 13

APEX Installation and Administration  Using 4.0 with Scott Spendolini






Oracle Database Classes


Sep 13-15

Advanced Oracle Troubleshooting with Tanel Poder


Sep 16

Parallel Execution and Partitioning for Performance with Tanel Poder






Developer Classes



21st Century PL/SQL (New) with Steven Feuerstein


Aug 13-25

Oracle 11i Workflow Builder, Business Events and Administration


Sep 27-20

Oracle Web Based Performance Tuning for Developers


Oct 11-13

PL/SQL Fundamentals (New)









Functional Classes


Jun 14-17

Oracle Release 11i/R12 Procure to Pay


Jun 14-15

Oracle Release 11i/R12 Accounts Payable


Jun 16-17

Oracle Release 11i/R12 Purchasing


Jul 19-20

Oracle Release 11i/R12 Fixed Assets


Jul 19-23

Oracle Release 12 AME (Approvals Management Engine) (New)


Aug 4-6

Introduction to Oracle E-Business Suite and Oracle Project Management (New)


Aug 9-11

Oracle Release 12 New Features (Functional)     


Oct 20-22

Introduction to Oracle E-Business Suite and Oracle Project Management (New)

Long Island, NY





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


Sep 19-23

Oracle Open World 2010

San Fran, CA

Oct 13




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