#oow10 – Day 4 (Wednesday) Summary

I started the day with a quick walk around the exhibition hall in Moscone South.  Before long I found my way to the Demo grounds and noticed a sign 12.1 Upgrade Best Practices.   We are in the process of an upgrade to 12.1.2 so I stopped by and asked a few questions.  Before I knew it I had missed my first session!   I have to say, one of the best things about OpenWorld is the ability to meet the people behind the scenes at Oracle.

The first session I went to was S319052 Applications Performance Panel. I attended one of Ahmed Alomari’s  EBS performance sessions back when he was still at Oracle.  To this day I would say it was one of the best EBS sessions I have attended.   This session, as the title says, was a panel and although there was some good advice, fielding alot of questions slowed the pace down quiet a bit.

The next session I attended was S314886 - Oracle Database 11g Upgrade Essentials for Oracle E-Business Suite Environments.   The last session I attended was S313251 - Stats with Confidence.  I would recommend both of these sessions.  Elke Phelps did a great job of listing 11g features as they pertain to EBS, including a step by step guide of a recent upgrade she performed.

The stats session by Arup Nanda talked about the distribution of data, how it affects statistics and performance as it changes over time.  He continued by talking about some new features of 11g such as Pending Statistics, how to use them in a private session to determine if they will have a negative affect on performance.   If they do have a negative impact, how you can reverse the changes.  

Larry’s keynote was also on Wednesday and as usual it drew a packed crowd…  Unfortunately it seemed to be a repeat of his Sunday night keynote.  I left early so I could attend my last session but as it happens, the session was in one of the rooms broadcasting the keynote so it was delayed.


I have to agree with Larry and his views on Cloud Computing.  Salesforce.com is an application on the web, not cloud computing.   However, the best definition of cloud computing had to be the street interview where the guy said that it was invented a number of years ago by the airlines.  Internet access at 35k ft, over the clouds. ;)

The appreciation event was also that evening, so I had to rush back to the hotel and get ready.  This year my wife took the opportunity to do some shopping in San Francisco and she is a huge Black Eyed Peas fan.   It wouldn’t have been wise for me to be late.    I was actually looking forward to Berlin.  The last time they played at OpenWorld I arrived just as they were finishing their last song.  I’m glad I was able to finally see a full set.

I have to say tho, out of all the OpenWorld appreciation events I have attended, its safe to say that the Black Eyed Peas drew the largest response.   It was an awesome concert.   Shortly after the Steve Miller band came on stage we decided to head out.  I would have liked to stay a little longer but the boss was getting tired.  Amateur!

I took quite a few pictures, a few are below.. Not bad for sitting all the way back in the stands on my old Canon S3.



#oow10 – Day 3 (Tuesday) Summary

I have to apologize in advance for the delay its taken me to publish my thoughts on OpenWorld this year.  I was pretty busy this year and each night I pretty much collapses once I arrived back at the hotel.  I’ll try to get these out over the next couple of days.


The day started with a Keynote by Tom Kilroy and I have to say I really enjoyed it.   In retrospect, IMHO, it was probably the best one of the week.   Mr. Kilroy talked about how connected our world was becoming, the number of devices connected to the internet and the amount of traffic that was being generated.   Since the internet ‘began’ almost 150 Exabytes of data has traversed the net.  In 2010 alone its 175 Exabytes which brings the total to 325 Exabytes since the inception of the internet.   With an estimated 10 billion new devices connected by 2015 and the explosive popularity of video that amount of data is going to be staggering.   Mr. Kilroy continued by talking about how to structure that data, making it more relevant and less time consuming to find what you want.  

Thomas Kurian was next on stage where he talked about cloud computing, which seemed to be the primary focus of many vendors both in keynotes and the exhibition floor.   I remember years ago Oracle talked about using many cheap x86 computers in a grid computing environment instead of huge SMP systems but I guess the reality is that those systems are hard to maintain.  Now Oracle has Exalogic + Exadata, where a few high end, tightly integrated reliable systems deliver outstanding performance and scalability.  

Thomas Kurian also talked about systems management and how you can use Business Performance Indicators (BPI) to give you a better view than CPU, DISK, etc as to how your system is performing.   During the demo, the root cause of a performance issue was determined to be a CPU bottle neck. I find this interesting  because I would have been paged shortly after the CPU maxed if that was my environment. The BPI approach is pretty much the opposite of how most DBA's work today.

The first session I attended was Explaining the Explain Plan (S316955) and I have to say I really enjoyed this session.  So much material was covered that I couldn’t possible do it justice in a few lines so you should definitely download this presentation.  You can also follow the Opitmizer teams blog at http://blogs.oracle.com/optimizer/.   A second presentation that afternoon built on the material covered here, S317019 but unfortunately it was full.   A friend of mine attended and said it was good as well.

In a nutshell this presentation covered what an execution plan was, how to generate it, definitions around what is a good plan, cost, performance, cardinality, etc.     Causes of incorrect cardinality estimates by the optimizer and their solutions.  Access paths, how the optimizer chooses which one to use and situations where it can choose the wrong path.   Join types, causes of incorrect joins and situations where the join orders are wrong.  To drive the points home she included examples and asked the audience questions.

My next session was Tuning All Layers of the Oracle E-Business Suite Environment S317108.  This session was very good as well and was broken up into the various layers such as database tier, applications tier, concurrent manager, etc.   What I liked about this session was that they talked about some common performance problems, their causes and suggestions on how to resolve them or how to gather the right information to send to Oracle support.

Another good session on Tuesday was Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g: Architecting for Continuous Availability S317391.  This session talked about how to reduce the impact of both planned and unplanned outages.   How to upgrade your deployed applications  and apply minor Weblogic patches with no downtime.  A good review of HA features was in there as well.  Since I am new to Weblogic this provided me with a good overview but for those experienced there many not be much here for you.

The last session I attended was SQL Tuning for Smarties, Dummies, and Everyone in Between S317295.   Arup Nanda talked about the typical challenges DBA’s face with SQL tuning,   from ‘queries from hell’ to dealing with data that evolves over time.     Jagan Athreya continued the presentation by talking about the new features of 11g and 11gR2.  

One of the features that caught my eye was the ability in 11gR2 to save all the metadata related to a particular SQL statement as an interactive report.  It looks like it contains all the information you would need to identify who is executing it, bind variables, explain plan and metrics.   

Another feature also in 11gR2 is the ability to monitor PL/SQL, so you can figure out where PL/SQL blocks are spending most of their time.  The session continues to talk about the common problems that cause SQL to go bad (optimizer stats, application issues, cursor sharing, etc) and how these new database features can help you.

Overall,  Tuesday had some great sessions.


#OOW10 – Day 1 and 2 Summary

I’ve barely had a chance to sit down and collect my thoughts.   A short while ago I returned from my first NFL game.   It was a crazy experience, its insane the way fans get into the game.  I think I high fived more in a single quarter than all the NHL games i’ve ever been too.

So lets recap a bit.  Saturday I arrived shortly after lunch and checked into the hotel.  Our room was next to the elevator.  I always thought when selecting your room preferences that people choose to be away from the elevator since it would be noisier due to the foot traffic.   It didn’t cross my mind that it would be because the elevator passing by would cause an entire wall to vibrate!  Luckily they were able to switch me to another room the next day.

Sunday I attended a number of user group sessions and in general found them to be very useful.  At the OAUG Sysadmin Sig session I found out about the Mismanaged Session Cookie bug affectin EBS users.  For more information you can check our Steven Chan’s blog.  We are in the process of upgrading to R12 and the version of Java we are using is affected.   The first thing on my plate when I get back to the office is to downgrade.

I really enjoyed, Resolving the Free Buffer Waits Event and its too bad he had to rush through the material.  Craig was very entertaining to listen to and the hour went by very quickly.

Today I didn’t find the sessions as useful, which at least one other has noticed as well.  Its not to say they were bad, just not as good. ;)   After the keynote, my first session was Using Oracle VM to Support Test and Development in Oracle E-Business Suite.   I’ve been supporting a couple of R12 environments running on Oracle VM for a few months now but I was disappointed not to hear anything I didn’t already know.   About the only useful tidbit was Note: 464754.1, FAQ: Certified Software on Oracle VM.   Basically a trump card if Oracle support says to reproduce an issue on physical hardware.

My next session was Managing Customizations in Oracle E-Business Suite.  The session didn’t really talk about managing customizations at all which was disappointing.. It focused mostly on an environment and change control strategy.   Our environment doesn’t have a lot of customizations.  I was hoping to hear how large EBS implementations support customizations.

I’ve been following Richard Foote’s blog and it was nice to finally see him in person.  I think its safe to say that he knows his indexes!   Alot of useful information in this session and i’m definitely going to have to download the presentation once its available.

The last session I attended was Managing Oracle WebLogic Server: New Features and Best Practices.  Based on the session description I was expecting to hear how to troubleshoot problems in WebLogic.   However, it was basically a discussion on using the WebLogic management pack for Enterprise Manager.   For me that wasn’t a bad thing since we have purchased it but haven’t installed it yet.   Now that i’ve seen what it can do, I am anxious  to get it up and running.  The session didn’t really contain any tips tho.  It would have been nice to see some common support issues with WebLogic Server and steps used to diagnose and resolve the problem.

As with each Openworld there have been a slew of announcements.    Those which caught my eye was the upcoming release of Solaris 11 and the Unbreakable Linux Kernel.  There were plenty of hardware announcements as well.  I listened with interested but didn’t really take notes since I work for a small company and we would never need something so powerful.

So far the only really annoying thing I have noticed is the amount of people talking loudly during the keynotes. As well, the number of people who support mission critical environments but can't seem to figure out how to put their phones on vibrate!

So thats it… Day 3 starts tomorrow!


Agenda for OpenWorld 2010

I’m happy to say that this year I will be attending OpenWorld as part of the blogger program.  My first OpenWorld was back in 1998 (I believe), held in Los Angeles.  I’ve attended 5 times since then and every year I pick up alot of good information and have alot of fun.

Today I reviewed my agenda and finalized it (hopefully).   In a few slots there aare multiple sessions I would like to see.  Often its hard to choose one or the other, so I pick which ever one is more applicable to my day to day job.  I can always download the presentations for the others after.

Most of the sessions I will be attending are Fusion and E-Business Suite related.  We are in the process of upgrading our Fusion stack to and E-Business to 12.1.2 on Oracle 11g.

I leave Saturday morning and if everything goes according to plan I should be in San Francisco shortly after lunch.   

S318417 OAUG SysAdmin SIG
S318375 OAUG EBS Applications Technology SIG
S318617 IOUG: Resolving the Free Buffer Waits Event
S314960 Performance/Capacity Trend Analysis with Automatic Workload Repository in 11g
S316387 Using Oracle VM to Support Test and Development in Oracle E-Business Suite
S315658 Managing Customizations in Oracle E-Business Suite
S319069 A Detailed Analysis of Indexing New Features in Oracle Database 11g R1 and R2
S318126 An Oracle E-Business Suite Integration Primer: Technologies and Use Cases
S317063 Managing Oracle WebLogic Server: New Features and Best Practices
S316955 Explaining the Explain Plan: Interpreting Execution Plans for SQL Statements
S317108 Tuning All Layers of the Oracle E-Business Suite Environment
S318968 Oracle Fusion Middleware Management
S317391 Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g: Architecting for Continuous Availability
S317295 SQL Tuning for Smarties, Dummies, and Everyone in Between
S318119 Oracle E-Business Suite Technology Certification Primer and Roadmap
S319052 Applications Performance Panel
S314886 Oracle Database 11g Upgrade Essentials for Oracle E-Business Suite Environments
S313251 Stats with Confidence
S317114 What Else Can I Do with System and Session Performance Data?
S318130 Personalize, Customize, and Extend Oracle E-Business Suite User Interface
S316789 Manage the Security of Your Oracle Database, Middleware, and Applications
S317066 Deep Java Diagnostics and Performance Tuning: Expert Tips and Techniques
S318121 Oracle E-Business Suite Applications Technology: Diagnostics and Troubleshooting

EBS: DB Upgrade to 11gR2 – Autoconfig Fails

Today I hit an issue upgrading our database from to  

The main metalink note which details the steps needed is: Interoperability Notes EBS R12 with Database 11gR2 [ID 1058763.1]

Step 22 involves implementing autoconfig in the new database home.  However, when I ran $ORACLE_HOME/appsutil/bin/adconfig.sh it would fail

Checking the logfile I found that afdbprf.sh fails with ORA-12504: TNS:listener was not given the SERVICE_NAME in CONNECT_DATA

Metalink has an article which discusses the issue:

ORA-12504 When Using (HOSTNAME) Method For 11G Client/Database [ID 556996.1]

The note goes into a fair bit of detail about why this error is happening and how to resolve it.  In a nutshell, 11g expects the service name to be specified in the connect string.  If one isn’t specified then it uses the default service name specified at the listener level.   If the listener is not configured with a default then an error is thrown: 

ORA-12504: TNS:listener was not given the SERVICE_NAME in CONNECT_DATA

Previous to 11g, if you dídn’t specify the service name, then the connect string alias was used instead.  In the case of the following connection string, VIS is the alias:

sqlplus apps/pass@VIS

The solution is to configure listener with a default service name using the DEFAULT_SERVICE_listener_name parameter.   I added the following to my listener.ora ifile, reloaded the listener and re-ran adconfig.sh successfully. Note: if you add it directly to the listener.ora file and not the ifile, then the change will be lost when your run adconfig.sh.


Since this is an EBS environment I always search to make sure there are no issues but I was surprised to find nothing.   I’m wondering if I missed something in the upgrade steps.  Have you upgraded to 11g?  Did you hit this issue?