Oracle Database Management Strategic Directions

1. Best Practices for managing Oracle database servers.
2. Oracle Fusion Middleware products like J2EE, ADF, XML, BPEL, SOA, Web Services, Discoverer...).
3. Oracle Application Servers and Apache.

 
 
Thursday, November 23, 2006

Moving to the Apple Mac

Our company made a decision to move to the Mac. This was not a trivial decision. I wish we had video taped a lot of the debates that occurred during our meetings discussing if we should move to the Mac. There are a number of reasons we decided to make this decision, here are just a few:
- Tired of dealing with viruses on Windows and the virus software you have to run on Windows to avoid viruses.
- Ability to video conference easily using iChat.
- A lot of the staff wanted to use iWork.
- Benefits of using iSync.
- Slow Windows boot times and the high maintenance of running Windows.
- Gave all staff iMacs that just a little bigger than a wallet instead of big clunky PCs.
- Reduced maintenance and management of using iMacs. Using System Preferences much easier than Control Panel and Services in Windows.
- iMacs are almost silent and generate almost no heat compared to PCs.
- Wanted to go to all wireless keyboards and mouses.
- A lot of software we have to download onto PCs, the equivalent functionality comes with the Mac.
- Very simple networking and setting up wireless network.
- Employees were excited about using GarageBand, IMovie, IPhoto and iWeb
- Ability to use underlying Unix operating system was desired by technical staff.

Four months into the move the move to the Mac from Windows is a resounding success. Benefits include:
- We installed Firefox and Microsoft Office software, the transition was a non-issue.
- Moving to the Mac has completely changed how our organization communicates internally. Everybody does video conferencing, and communicates using audio and video casts. Everyone feels this has significantly increased our productivity and communication within our organization.
- Oracle technologists have installed Oracle SQL Developer and Oracle JDeveloper with almost no issues.
- The Mac boots a lot faster than Windows and is a lot more efficient and runs faster.
- Everybody loves the move to the Mac. Almost half of the staff has purchased Macs for their home.

A few issues we have had to deal with include:
- Oracle staff cannot download Oracle10gR2 database server on the Mac. (11/22/2006).
- A few software packages like Quickbooks have more functionality in the Windows version.

Summary: Moving to the Mac, away from the Windows operating system, has been a resounding success. It has reduced our overall administration costs of our internal systems and has significantly increased productivity and improved internal communication. Its amazing how everyone loves working with the Mac. The only issue is everyone is complaining that they want to use the Apple Monitors (very expensive). We purchased adapters and everyone uses their old monitors with their new Macs. Due to the investment in Windows it would be very difficult for a large organization to make this move. However, for smaller organizations and small businesses the Mac may be beneficial. It is very important to understand all the software your organization is running and what are the issues of moving the software to the Mac.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Oracle Fusion: Trubix Training Roadmap

Oracle Fusion blog topics include:
  • Oracle Fusion: Java
  • Oracle Fusion: Internet Development Tools
  • Oracle Fusion: JDeveloper 10gR3
  • Oracle Fusion: Trubix Training Roadmap
  • Oracle Fusion: Key Components
  • Oracle Fusion: The Oracle Fusion Technical Platform

If you are going to be working with Oracle applications in the future, Oracle Fusion is in your future as well. Using Java and open standards it is important to define a set of best practices and pick a solid architecture and framework. The nice thing is Oracle Fusion does this for you.
If you are going to go down the Oracle Fusion path, it is important you take the right training and in the right order. Generic training companies are not going to provide the correct Oracle perspective to make sure you are successful with Oracle Fusion when you need to implement it in an Oracle applications environment. Our Oracle Fusion training is designed to allow you to move into an Oracle Fusion development environment. Each class is customized heavily for an Oracle applications environment.

The base foundation of Oracle Fusion is Oracle JDeveloper. Oracle Fusion applications are written in Oracle JDeveloper. Oracle JDeveloper is not required but it greatly facilitates Oracle features and functionality. One question is, what skill set does someone need to modify Oracle Fusion applications? The answer is, "it depends". Oracle Fusion tools will hide some of the complexity of the Oracle Fusion Technology Platform. However, dependent on the type of change or addition being made a developer may need to have a strong background in J2EE, Web Services, SOA, SOAP, XML, ADF, etc.

If someone is currently modifying Oracle, PeopleSoft, Siebel, Retek and JD Edwards applications they need to start considering how those enhancements are going to roll into future Oracle Fusion products. One way to minimize enhancements to existing systems is to organize them so they can be integrated as a Web Service in Oracle Fusion applications.
The current Trubix Oracle Fusion Training Road Map will change over time as Oracle Fusion evolves.
Trubix Oracle Fusion Training Road Map:
  • Oracle Java Development using JDeveloper
  • Oracle Building J2EE applications using ADF
  • Introduction to Web Services using Oracle
  • Introduction to SOA
  • Introduction to Oracle XML
  • Advanced Oracle XML DB
  • Top Link


There seems to be some conFusion on the Fusion initiatives at Oracle. To clear up a few of them:
  • Oracle Fusion is the integration of Oracle applications (E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, Siebel, ...) into a set of modular next generation applications based on industry standards. This set of next-generation applications will be based on the Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) with loosely coupled software components organized by Business Process Execution Language (BPEL).
  • Oracle Fusion Middleware is the technical platform implemented with SOA using J2EE, Web Services, ADF, XML, etc.
  • Oracle Fusion Architecture is the organizational blueprint that ties together the Oracle applications, middleware platform and grid technology.

It is important that this Oracle Fusion Training Road Map is very involved and is going to take time to develop these skills. Oracle JDeveloper and the Oracle Application Server are key foundations for all of these classes. With Oracle Fusion Middleware being implemented with open-standard components, other webservers such as WebSphere and WebLogic can be used. If someone started with Eclipse and has been imprinted, they can still use Eclipse since Oracle is throwing a lot of support for Eclipse.

An important point to understand is that Oracle Fusion is an evolutionary process not a mutation process. Software as a service is going to continue to gain momentum. Oracle Fusion is part of this natural evolution of the softwware industry. Remember everything on this planet that does not evolve becomes extinct.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Oracle Fusion: Key Components

Oracle Fusion blog topics include:
  • Oracle Fusion: Service Oriented Architecture
  • Oracle Fusion: Java
  • Oracle Fusion: Internet Development Tools
  • Oracle Fusion: JDeveloper 10gR3
  • Oracle Fusion: Trubix Training Roadmap
  • Oracle Fusion: Key Components
  • Oracle Fusion: The Oracle Fusion Technical Platform
One step at a time we are going to introduce key Oracle Fusion components to database and developer professionals. In this blog we are going to list the initial components we are going to define. The Oracle Fusion architecture is very comprehensive and touches most areas of the Oracle technology stack. Instead of trying to cover the entire Oracle technology stack and all Oracle products that will be impacted by Oracle Fusion ,we are going to focus on key components of the Oracle Fusion Technology Platform.

Key Oracle Fusion Components
  • Oracle Fusion Architecture
  • Oracle JDeveloper
  • Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE)
  • Oracle Application Development Framework (ADF)
  • Oracle TopLink
  • Web Services
  • XML, XQuery and XSLT
  • Service Oriented Architecture
  • Oracle Application Server

Additional Fusion Components
  • Oracle Fusion Service Registry
  • Event-Driven Architecture (EDA)
  • Identity Management
  • Secure Socket Layer (SSL)
  • Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML)
  • Security Provisioning Markup Language (SPML)
  • Integrated Services Environment (ISE)
  • Oracle Portal
  • Oracle WebCenter
  • Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)
  • Oracle Internet Directory
  • Oracle Business Activity Monitoring (BAM)
  • Business Process Execution Language (BPEL)
  • Oracle BPEL Process Manager
  • Data Provisioning
  • Oracle Grid Control
  • Messaging systems (JMS and AQ, also supports MQ Series, Sonic ME and Tibco)
  • Database caching (TimesTen, Web Cache, Java Object Cache)
  • Single Sign-On (SSO)
  • XML Publisher
Saturday, November 04, 2006

How Important is Oracle Certification?

I keep going back and forth about Oracle Certification as to what are its true benefits. So I thought I would ask other DBAs what they think of Oracle Certification.

Oracle says:
"Oracle certifications are tangible, industry-recognized credentials that can help you succeed in your IT career and provide measurable benefits to your employer. Oracle certifications are a reliable validation of training and experience that can accelerate your professional development, improve your productivity, and enhance your credibility. For IT professionals and managers, each Oracle Certification level signifies a benchmark of experience and expertise recognized for its value and relevance in the IT industry. Today there are over 350,000 Oracle Certified Professionals worldwide."

The benefits of certification initially seem obvious. Certification is a way to establish some measurement of the knowledge of an IT professional. However, there are some of the negatives I have encountered in recent years:
1) We have hired two interns out of college over the last five years that were Oracle certified before they got out of college. Neither had even one minute of real Oracle DBA experience.
2) I have interviewed numerous certified DBAs that have brought in their certification test results but they could not answer the most basic questions on Oracle fundamentals.
3) Some of the certification companies do a really good job of preparing you for almost the exact test, which makes it a lot easier for a studious person to pass the certification test.
4) An Oracle DBA told me how his wife (a nurse) helped him prepare for one of the certification tests and one day she told him she thought she could pass the test. They had her take the certification test and she passed it just from studying the certification study guides.
5) I have never had an experienced confident DBA introduce themselves as a certified DBA. I have always found people that have limited if any Oracle experience always introduce themselves as Oracle certified.
6) A lot of the companies that offer certification boot camps are generic training companies that do not have any Oracle expertise. I call these the 7-11 Oracle training companies. They will sell any type of training that makes money whether they are very knowledgeable in it or not.
7) A lot of the certified training instructors in the U.S. do not have any real world experience or very indepth experience. They use their certification as a measure of credibiilty not their knowledge or experience. Which makes it kind of interesting that they are traveling around the U.S. training individuals in Oracle.
8) There are a lot of companies making money on certification, so they are always going to promote it as positive thing that someone should do.
9) I have talked to a large number of very experienced DBAs around the U.S. and the consensus I always hear from them is they think Oracle certication is more of a joke and I always hear some comment about how they have encountered an Oracle certified person that had no real world experience.

So I wanted to throw it out to all of you and get your perspective as to whether you think Oracle certification is important, relevant or necessary.

Oracle Fusion: The Oracle Fusion Technical Platform

Oracle Fusion blog topics include:
  • Oracle Fusion: Service Oriented Architecture
  • Oracle Fusion: Java
  • Oracle Fusion: Internet Development Tools
  • Oracle Fusion: JDeveloper 10gR3
  • Oracle Fusion: Trubix Training Roadmap
  • Oracle Fusion: Key Components
  • Oracle Fusion: The Oracle Fusion Technical Platform
Oracle Fusion can be looked at from two perspectives: Oracle Fusion Applications and the Oracle Fusion Technology Platform. Oracle Fusion Applications will be the next generation of Oracle applications that will integrate Oracle, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, Siebel and Retek applications. The Oracle Fusion Technology Platform focuses on the technology components of Oracle Fusion Applications. This article is going to focus on the technology platform perspective. The Oracle Fusion technology platform addresses the technology components that are the center of Oracle Fusion Applications which include the Application Server, SOA, Web Services, J2EE, XML, BPEL, ADF, Identity Management, Portals, Grid and Single-Signon.

Oracle Fusion offers a standards based integrated solution for future middleware applications. In today's complex multi-tiered architectures this is a very important strategic direction. The alternative of putting together best of product solutions from different vendors can be a high risk approach. Integrating solutions from multiple vendors creates integration challenges in large complex environments. The integration issues often become cost prohibitive over a period of time. The down time, errors and maintenance costs of multiple vendor solutions can be significant.

I am not saying that best of breed solutions may not work well in the right environments. However, as middle-tier applications are moving towards SOA, Web Services, J2EE (or .NET), XML, BPEL, Identity Management, Portals, and Single-Signon, the complexity involved in integrating solutions across multiple vendors puts a tremendous burden on IT staffs. There is also high risk in relying on the interoperability of different vendor middleware solutions. A single vendor solution should reduce the interoperability, patch maintenance and upgrades of large applications.

Oracle Fusion offers an integrated solution for the middleware. The ability to customize and enhance these applications offers a better long term lower cost as well as less integration issues over a longer period. In delivering training courses and professional services across North America, here are some of the top perspectives we have received from customers on Oracle Fusion:
- It's so far out on the horizon, it is not a current issue.
- There is not enough information on Oracle Fusion to begin looking at it in any detail.
- Installing a new generation of Oracle Applications is a very scary thought. Kind of like how at the turn of previous century people slowly started to consider giving up their reliable horse and buggies for loud smoky automobiles. The future direction is not always an easy one to move to.
- DBAs still do not understand how it is going to impact them.
- Implementing SOA, Web Services, XML, Identity Management, etc. presents significant challenges and most organizations are just beginning to try and understand the scope of them.

It is important to understand that the technology side of Oracle Fusion is very involved from a complexity perspective. It is not going to be easy to make the transition from a technology perspective. However, anyone that is going to modify or enhance Oracle Fusion applications is going to have to understand the underlying technology. This is not a small feat and is going to be a challenge for a lot of organizations. The Oracle Fusion Technology Platform has its advantages but also brings its own set of challenges and issues. Following articles are going to include what are things to watch out for and how to prepare yourself for Oracle Fusion. Its going to be important to make sure you do not look at Oracle Fusion through rose covered classes.

From a middleware applications perspective, on a smaller scale there are also strong development alternatives. If your are going to implement future Oracle applications you are going to have to learn the Oracle Fusion Technology Platform. If you are building your own applications there are also excellent alternatives with .NET, PHP, Ruby on Rails, Flash, APEX, etc.

Any thoughts on Oracle Fusion applications must address the business priorities, costs and the return on investment. It is also going to be important for organizations looking at Oracle Fusion to understand the technology skills they are going to need to implement, maintain, deploy and customize Fusion applications.
Friday, November 03, 2006

Changing Skillsets for Oracle DBAs - The New Challenge

Oracle DBAs have spent years developing their expertise in internals, backup/recovery, performance tuning and writing really cool scripts. Although these skills are still required, these are considered more standard skills. Today, organizations are struggling in new areas where there are not enough experienced DBAs.

The traditional DBA has worked on writing scripts to manage enterprise environments, how to optimize storage for tables and indexes, and how to optimize databases for different types of environments. The traditional DBA usually started out developing code in C, C++, Forms, Reports and PL/SQL. As this type of person became a DBA it was easy for them to support development environments on Oracle. Today's middle-tier environments are running BPEL, XML, J2EE, Web Services, SOA, ADF, JSF, Single-Signon, Identiy Managment, JMS, .NET, etc. and the traditional DBA does not have the right skill set to support these development environments. Recently a manager of a large organization told me "Things go fine in our XML and Java development environments but when we go to deploy our applications the DBAs mess everything up because they do not know how to optimize the environment for the types of applications we are writing".

The application server is also becoming a central piece of the architecture. BI and Internet applications are retrieving millions of records across the network and then processing them on the application server. Middleware developers are very knowledgeable on developing applications for the middle tier, however their priority is usually not how to optimize these applications for database performance. The issues between the database server and the application server are creating a lot of issues in organizations.

Most databases look more like a version 7 database and are using only a small subset of new features from Oracle9i and Oracle10g. There are a lot of reasons for this but what would you think of any company that was pretty much running their company with the same tools they had fifteen years ago. You would definitely see a lot of typewriters.
Today's DBAs are going to need to improve their enterprise management skills for environments running:

1) Oracle RAC, Data Guard, Streams, Oracle Grid, 3rd Party Database Monitoring and Management software, Advanced Queuing as well as understanding how to leverage new features in Oracle9i and Oracle10g.

2) Application servers and middle-tier applications. Middle-tier environments for large organizations are just as complex as database servers and address the similar issues such as performance, availability, scalability and backup/recovery.

3)The Oracle Fusion technology platform using technologies such as XML, BPEL, SOA, Web Services, J2EE, ADF and Grid.
Another area for DBAs to master is in governance and compliance. DBAs need to expand their skill sets to be able to increase the integration of technology and business in a world of Sarbanes-Oxley, ITIL, COBIT, ISO 17799 and COSC.

New technologies, larger databases, increased customer demand for performance and quicker deployments and Oracle Fusion are putting increased demands on today's DBAs. How are you addressing these challenges?
Thursday, November 02, 2006

Excited to start the new Trubix blog!



Welcome! My name is George Trujillo and I am the owner and President of Trubix Inc. We specialize in delivering technical training in Oracle technology. We offer enterprise wide solutions for Fortune 1000 clients as well as for the individual learner. Trubix stands out by being able to offer very strong solutions in areas such as the Oracle Fusion technology platform as well as the 10g RAC, Oracle 10g Portal, Oracle 10g Application Server, Linux training and Java training.

I have over 20 years experience in the IT industry. My focus is on helping medium and large organizations move to new and advanced areas of Oracle technology. I focus on areas such as 10g RAC, 10g Application Server, Oracle Streams and Oracle Fusion areas such as XML, J2EE, SOA, BPEL and Grid.

I am currently a Board of Director for the Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG), with my area of responsibility being the Select Magazine. Previously I was responsible for the Special Interest Groups (SIGS) for the IOUG. I am on the Fusion Council for the International Oracle User Council (IOUC). I am actively involved with the Oracle Beta Program within Oracle Corporation. I have as strong history and relationship with different international Oracle users groups and professional business organizations throughout the United States.

I have been selected as one of the Oracles of Oracle for international Oracle user groups and have been a keynote speaker for business and technology conferences world wide. I have also been selected as a primary presenter for Oracle Master Universities offered by international Oracle user groups.

With Oracle Open World completing (www.oracle.com) and the latest vision coming from Oracle, I see a lot of energy and enthusiasm for current (9i and 10g) and future (11g) Oracle technology.

This blog is going to involve and will start including audio podcasts, video webcasts, online training and regular webinars surrounding Oracle technology and strategic directions.

I started this blog to share my thoughts on current and future Oracle directions. I hope to find others that wish to share and collaborate on various areas of Oracle technology. I will use the feedback and input of readers to determine the direction of this blog.
 
 

George Trujillo
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    The Trubix Blog is focused on discussions on strategic directions in database technology and the challenges Oracle technologists are addressing today and in the future. This site will focus on issues and challenges of database management that cannot be resolved with a code snippet. There are already a lot of great websites out there with tons of code samples. We would like to facilitate more discussions on issues Oracle technologists are dealing with today that a quick search on the Internet cannot solve. There will also be a group of recognized industry leaders that will also participate in this blog. This blog is an extension of the Tim Tam Group, an international group of industry leaders that meet once a year to discuss strategic directions in the industry.

     

     
       
     

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