Tuesday 18 October 2011

Updates to the AUSOUG Conference schedule

Some of you may have received an e-mail today from the AUSOUG conference manager regarding some examples of new sessions included in the line-up.

This year we've been lucky in that we haven't had to make many adjustments to the program due to issues like international speakers having visa problems. Last week however we had a bit of rearranging to do to fit in the new sessions without creating conflicts.

There haven't been too many adjustments, most of them just different times on the same day - but I know some of you out there only come for the one day, and often select which day based on particular sessions. You might want to visit the conference program page to check out the latest changes, as of 17th October.

If you haven't looked at the line-up for a while, you may notice at 1:45pm on the second day there is a panel discussion titled "Presenting: from novice to expert - How your user group can improve your career"

Our panel members will be

  • Debra Lilley
  • Chris Muir
  • Connor McDonald
  • Penny Cookson
  • Tim Hall
And Vinod Patel has kindly accepted to be the ring leader keeping them all in line ;-)
Vinod is also talking to Oracle WA to have a representative from Oracle up there as well.

I'm currently sorting out the agenda with Yury Velikanov, who has just started a LinkedIn and Facebook group for the Perth conference. He's also started a discussion to accept any questions you might like to put to the panel. If you submit them now, we can better prepare for the day and have a better chance of your question being answered. We want to make the session as interactive as we can, and eke out as much advice from our experts as possible!
If you can't make it to the conference, but have a good question you think should put to the group, feel free to post it anyway so others may benefit. I'll comment about the session after the conference and I might be able to share any wealth I can remember.

If the panel isn't your thing, we have an alternative session on that time slot by Bryan Frew from Oracle. He will be talking about an interesting case study on Business Process Management (BPM).

Other additions include
  • Graham Wood on Exadata - You may have seen him as part of the trio at the Real World Performance day post-Insync. He'll give us a much closer look at what's involved in constructing an Exadata environment. This will be in lieu of Graham's hidden features presentation.
  • Yury Velikanov - This fellow is back from Oracle Open World, and since there have been all sorts of big announcements from Oracle, we've substituted one of his more appropriate & timely presentations in.
  • Chris Muir on ADF - If you want to know anything about ADF, Chris is the man to talk to. He is an ACE director for the product, and we now have a second presentation to include from him. He's first presentation on day one will introduce ADF and it's strategic & practical use in our industry; then he'll follow it up on day two with an architectural blueprint on application delivery. Chris is currently instrumental in a large Forms -> JDeveloper migration in Perth. You can find commentary on this here.
Never fear, though - I'm still due to present my chat on options for security in Apex 4.1 first up on day two. I won't be using boring old powerpoint, so come by to check out something a little different ;-)


Wednesday 12 October 2011

Three AUSOUG announcements (incl free breakfast!)

If you like a free breakfast, then you should visit the Perth Oracle Building on Friday Oct 21 from 7:30-9am. Visiting Victorian branch president Barbara Rabinowicz will be presenting on Oracle Database Security.
Oracle database security is a topic that impacts on ALL Oracle professionals.

Database security is an important aspect of the database which is often overlooked. This presentation will cover the security and auditing aspects of the database. It will include securing methods, monitoring and auditing techniques of the database environment in areas of network security,authentication, authorisation issues, links, replication, database Trojan and more.

The session will include a demo of configuring Oracle Network Encryption.
Oracle Australia: Level 2, 66 Kings Park Road, West Perth
Ticket parking is available in neighboring streets, and it's also not far from the peak of the Red CAT bus route.
RSVP to vicepresident.wa@ausoug.org.au.

I had the pleasure of meeting Barbara at Insync11, and unfortunately I missed out on her talk while over there - so here's everyone's chance from Perth to see her in our final event before the conference, and remember - breakfast is free - and based on the last event, quite tasty.

We have lined up something a little different in one of the keynote slots at the AUSOUG conference this year - we have lined up an informal style panel opening the floor to discussions regarding a career that involves public speaking as an Oracle expert.
Panelists coming (almost) straight from OOW including Yury Velikanov, Debra Lilley, Tim Hall, Connor McDonald & Chris Muir.

More details to come soon.

And we have some updates to the schedule with people bringing even more information straight from OOW - Paul Kangro from Oracle will be lettings us know about
  • Oracle Enterprise Manager 12C – Managing in the Clouds
  • The New OVM 3.0 – Virtualization from Oracle
We also have meet the speakers program, facilitating opportunities to have a 15 minute discussion with some of our experts. Email our conference manager for more information or register soon!

The WA committee has also organised an end of year party for all our AUSOUG members. This year it will be fun filled time lawn bowling at Perth & Tattersall's Bowling Club, 2 Plain St Perth from 4pm Wednesday December 7th, 2011. Further details will be available closer to the event.

Hope to see you soon!


Monday 10 October 2011

Upgrading to APEX 4.1

Today I finally upgraded the APEX instance on my laptop to 4.1, and I'm very keen to start playing with the new goodies once I start finish my AUSOUG conference presentation.

When installing/upgrading anything Oracle, it's always a good start reading through the relevant installation notes. In my case, I started here:
Installing/upgrading with Apex Listener

I've heard some people are a little daunted sometimes with these notes - it's a shame because they are useful & concise. I've summarised the steps I needed to take below - as out of that page I linked to above - I only needed to apply a small percentage of commands. (I have APEX running on Glassfish on a Windows box)

1) First, I downloaded the software I needed for my system. Googling "download oracle apex" is always the best place to start for getting what you need.

I unpacked it to a fresh folder on my C drive:

2) Then I opened up SQL*Plus, ensuring my "Start in" was set to "c:\apex41", then logged in as SYS.
I ran the following script, which took about 15 minutes to run through and rejig my APEX 4.0 to 4.1
@apexins apex sysaux temp /i/

3) Then I had to copy all the images to my application server folder. APEX 4.1 has some fresh icons & updates to various supporting software like JQuery - so that needed to be updated.
However before I did this I backed up my existing images folder as I had modified some themes.
This is the command I executed:
xcopy /E /I C:\apex41\images C:\glassfishv3\glassfish\domains\domain1\docroot\i

The first time I ran I had permission issues overwriting the files, so I turned off read only for files in the folder. I probably should have thought a little harder over this, but since this laptop is very much localised just for my use, it didn't concern me much.

4) Before I did any cleaning up, I wanted to ensure I could log into the updated 4.1 instance, so I opened up the APEX log in page only to see the following error:
ORA-01658: unable to create INITIAL extent for segment in tablespace APEX

Turns out my tablespace was full, so I added another datafile:
alter tablespace apex
add datafile 'C:\app\Scott\oracle\11.2.0\oradata\sw11g\apex_b.dbf'
SIZE 500M;

From then I was able to log in successfully.

5) Then I decided to clean out any old users I had, so I ran this slightly modified SQL to list the users I could drop:
SELECT 'drop user '||username||' cascade;' ddl
   FROM dba_users 
          FROM DUAL 
        SELECT SCHEMA s 
           FROM dba_registry
         WHERE comp_id = 'APEX');

drop user APEX_040000 cascade;
drop user APEXLIB cascade;
drop user APEX_030200 cascade;
And after executing those drop statements my tablespaces got a little lighter anyway.

6) The only issue I've spotted so far is my modified login page, (thanks to Peter Raganitsch)
When opening my log in page, I noticed the following error in my console window - and my modifications weren't showing;
Error: uncaught exception: Syntax error, unrecognized expression: [src$=apex-logo-white.gif]

A quick google revealed this sort of response:

So in our case this is probably due to the APEX team upgrading from JQuery 1.4.2 to 1.6.2 - so keep an eye out for that when you test your existing applications, if they use JQuery.

So I had a play with the code in the ApexLib_Loginpage.js script. I had to change this:
var vLoginTitle$ = jQuery("img[src$=apex-logo-white.gif]").parent();
to this, noting the quote usage:
var vLoginTitle$ = jQuery('img[src$="apex-logo-white.gif"]').parent();

This meant lines containing the bold also needed modification (to what you see here)
var vLoginRegionLogoImage$ = jQuery('img[src$="apex-db-apps.png"]');

So the upgrade took about 15 minutes computing time & about half an hour of my time, plus me sledgehammering jQuery to make it work.

Happy coding! Now, about that presentation...


Saturday 8 October 2011

Advert: Sage Training for Apex & PL/SQL

Hello to all from Perth, Australia (and beyond if you like)

Sage Computing Services have just scheduled two courses for November:

Oracle Apex 4 Workshop => 9-11th November
PL/SQL Workshop => 21-23 November

Both will be held in the Perth CBD, please e-mail us if you're interested in further details.



ps - we don't often put on PL/SQL training here in Perth - get in while you can!

Thursday 6 October 2011

He started a fruit company...

Sometimes I find it hard to think of some people without thinking of references to pop culture.

Edit: This post from Brian Dunning is a timely & worthy read regarding treatment of health issues with modern medicine vs naturopathic woo

There are people in this modern world live their lives as best they can - grow up, get a job, get married, work hard, retire when they can. No doubt making many mistakes along the way, hopefully learning from each and every one.

Other people also live their lives the best the can, making similar mistakes, but for whatever reason taking hold of different opportunities, then start affecting the lives of many others - either directly or indirectly.

Two sets of people, different paths, same result. We all have an expiry date. Some sooner than others, some know when the end is near, others find it unexpectedly - some don't even see it coming.

One person might end their life with billions of dollars in their pocket, the other may have saved enough for a dream holiday one day once they retire.

Either way, I just hope both of them have enjoyed their life, perhaps finding a profession they love. One where they can go to work every day and do it with enthusiasm.

And if they are lucky enough to finish up with mega-bucks in the pocket, I hope they eased off the hard work, regularly spent time with the people they love, and doing the things they enjoy.

Because at the end of the day, there are some people out their with the sole purpose of seeking wealth - but to what end? If you die with a million dollars in your pocket, but haven't found happiness or contentedness - has it been worth it? Did you "win" because you finished with more money than the next person, or did you enjoy your life because of what you did every day, because of the people you touched?

Idle thoughts.

My condolences to the family & friends of Steve Jobs.

Upgrading APEX Listener on Glassfish

I can't believe it was July when I blogged about a problem with my Glassfish server.

Since then Oracle has release APEX Listener 1.1.3 (September 2011)

I thought I'd finally upgrade, and I was surprised how simple it was.

If you're using Glassfish already, check out the notes for upgrading APEX listener with Glassfish. The details are super simple and fit on one screen.

First I went to my Glassfish Administration module at http://localhost:4848
It took a while to respond, and so did logging in - the rest of the process for upgrading the listener didn't even take as long.

Clicking on the Application node took me here
Then I disabled my Apex deployment
Clicking on deploy enabled me to select the WAR file from my APEX Listener download, which I extracted to C:\app\Scott\apex_listener_113\apex.war
And it was enabled straight away
I opened my APEX login URL (without the trailing slash, which was the bug I wanted to avoid) and presto, all was good!
Next I need to upgrade my local instance to 4.1...

While in the Glassfish Administration console, I noticed there were 47 updates available to my Glassfish server. 
So I attempted to upgrade them all, but received the following lovely error:
manifest of pkg://release.javaeesdk.sun.com/glassfish-bundled-jdk@,0-3.1:20110525T211958Z has duplicates: file: path=jdk/register.html & file: path=jdk/register.html

So I decided to call it a night - if it ain't broke...

On a final note, if you would like to use Glassfish as your proxy between your web browser as the Application Express engine, check out the installation notes. This would be instead of using a dedicated HTTP server, which might be overkill for your laptop; and the basic XDB HTTP server embedded in the database - Embedded PL/SQL Gateway (EPG)



Tuesday 4 October 2011

Today's post is brought to you by the letter 'C'

I may not be at OOW11, but I've been listening to what's going on - one thing I did notice was the announcement of one of Oracle's latest products: Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c

I was joking with someone just the other day about what letter they were going to use for Oracle 12, and suggested perhaps C is for Cloud.

Careful what you wish for... this statement accompanied the press release:

Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c is the first product in Oracle’s portfolio numbered “12c” where the “c” stands for Oracle’s significant investments in delivering cloud-ready products

This of course follows
8i - Internet
10g - Grid

It already makes me wonder - what is going to be the next big thing in 5 years time. One suggestion:
"M" - Mobile. Yes, mobile technology is ubiquitous now - and that's what cloud technology is all about, but what's Oracle going to do with it? Whack some specially designed database on your latest octo-core, 8GB RAM, post-SSD  mobile device?

People like Tim Hall will have you thinking Oracle will come out with something like 13OGC, or some cleverly branded acronym/mnemonic...

What pace our technological world grows in, huh?!