Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Oracle wants to buy BEA

Oracle today confirmed that it delivered a letter to the Board of Directors of BEA Systems, Inc. on October 9 in which Oracle proposes to acquire BEA for $17.00 per share in cash. The $17.00 per share offer is a 25% premium over yesterday's closing price of $13.62.

The letter indicates that Oracle is prepared to proceed immediately to a process that leads to a definitive agreement. "We have made a serious proposal including a substantial premium for BEA," said Oracle President Charles Phillips. "We believe our all cash offer provides the best value for BEA's shareholders and the best home for BEA's employees and customers. This proposal is the culmination of repeated conversations with BEA's management over the last several years. We look forward to completing a friendly transaction as soon as possible."

"We intend to protect the investment customers have made in BEA's products by supporting those customers and products for years to come," Phillips continued. "Our continuing support commitment has been amply demonstrated with all of our previous acquisitions, including PeopleSoft and Siebel. BEA will be no different. The acquisition of BEA by Oracle will enable an increase in engineering resources that will in-turn accelerate the development of our world-class suite of middleware. Both Oracle and BEA customers will benefit from this increase in engineering investment as they migrate to modern SOA technologies."

BEA Systems, Inc. is a world leader in enterprise infrastructure software. BEA® Enterprise 360° is the industry's most advanced approach for building a Liquid Enterprise™. This comprehensive offering combines our product technologies, people, best practices, and broad network of partners to deliver maximum business value to our customers. BEA Enterprise 360° gives customers the ability to harness the convergence of:

* Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA)
* Business Process Management (BPM)
* Enterprise Social Computing

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Web 2.0 goes corporate

Serious business, Web 2.0 goes corporate is the title of a comprehensive report done by "The Economist Intelligence Unit" and which is sponsored by FAST.

The report is based upon a survey done in January 2007 by the EIU and polled 406 senior executives from around the world on the impact of Web2.0 on their business. Sponsored by FAST, the online survey focused on the prospects for improved internal and external collaboration, increasing in revenue or profitability, and implementation challenges.

Respondents included 406 senior executives, of which 41% were from the C-suite or the board. The average company size was about US2.5bn in revenue, and the major industry segments including financial and professional services, life sciences, IT/Telecoms and media. Two-fifths of the respondents were located in north America, about one-quarter each in Europe and the Asia/Pacific region, and the rest from elsewhere in the world.

The survey was supplemented with in-depth interviews with senior executives across a range of industries, including financial services, telecoms, advertising and publishing.

Some nice figures turned p in the results of the survey and show that web2.0 is picking up speed also in the corporate areas.To read the complete report you can go to the website of the Social Media Group and download it from there.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Get the version of a Oracle apps CLASS file

When you are working on a problem (or enhancement) of Oracle Apps it can be useful from time to time to know which version of a java .class file you have on your system. .class is a compiled .java file so you can not simply look into the code by executing a cat or head command on the prompt. You could try to decompile the .class file however when java is compiled all the comments are stripped, meaning that if you decompile the .class file you will not be able to find any comments of the version in it.

Because Oracle itself is also needing this information, especially when you are logging a SR (TAR) on metalink it can come in handy for Oracle Support that they can pinpoint a file and request the version of it. Therefor Oracle has included the adident utility in its AD Utility package.

You can now get the version by executing the adident command. For example I do get the information about the
RTFTextParser.class class file here by executing this command:

[root@testserver /]# adident Header RTFTextParser.class

$Header 115.25 2006/11/09 23:52:22 bgkim noship

Friday, October 19, 2007

Oracle, finding the OPP service log

When executing a concurrent request in Oracle E-business suite which will make use of Oracle XML Publisher you might run into the situation that the concurrent request is turning up with a status Warning. In these cases it can be quite possible you will find a error similar to the one below:

+------------- 1) PUBLISH -------------+
Beginning post-processing of request 1476145 on node OEBS20 at 19-OCT-2007 10:14:00.
Post-processing of request 1476145 failed at 19-OCT-2007 10:14:01 with the error message:
One or more post-processing actions failed. Consult the OPP service log for details.

This error message log is actually telling you nothing more than the fact that “something” went wrong and you have to check a other log, in this case the OPP service log (Oracle Post Processing). To be able to find this log file you have to navigate to the System Administrator responsibility.

Navigate to Concurrent -> Manager -> Administration.

Search for the “Output Post Processor” and click on the “Processes button”

select the process that was active when the request ran and click on the “Manager Log” button.

This will give you the OPP service log which you are looking for. From here you can continue your investigation to find the reason for the request to fail or end in a status Warning

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Oracle Application Server Hosting

Running a website which attracts large numbers of vistors and which generates large numbers of data throughput takes more than a simple standard Apache webserver running on a standard Linux box. When you expect large numbers of visitors which you have to serve 24 hours a day 7 days a week you will have to think about network architecture, failover clustering, scaling your machines and what system should be behind your website, Apache or something else.

Oracle Application Server, more known for running Oracle E-business suite in most cases can also be used to run a website. Oracle Application Server 10g is developed with a demanding 24*7 environment in mind and copes with all the questions like "can I use grid computing" or "what about backup servers". I never experienced the power of Oracle Application Server as a web platform for consumer intended content and graphical rich websites until recently I was involved in the setup of a high availability website for a Dutch TV program named "the taste of life". This website is developed with some partners by SmartApps who are also providing the hosting of the Oracle Application Server.

When developing a high availability web platform you might want to take a look into Oracle Application Server.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Oracle custom debug log package

When creating custom code which will run in a Oracle Database you like to include some debug information which you can use during development and which can be used during a debug session when you code is in production. When I write PL/SQL code I always try to include some debug steps which insert data into a table. Now I have developed a very simple procedure which you can call from your code. You can call this function by invoking the following code:

xx_rdbms_debug.calllog('debug information');

Currently this is all the package / procedure will do at version 1.0. However as I am intending to make this my default debug package I will include in upcoming versions more functionality which enables you for example to turn on or turn off logging and some other tracefile functionality.

However, at the moment of version 1.0 you can simply call the function and view the results in the xx_rdbms_debug_log table.

To enable you to use this package you have to create the table and compile the package spec and body file in your database. You can download them here:

Download table creation script.
Download SPC file.
Download BDY file.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Running Windows on a Mac.

Running windows on a Mac computer with a x86 processor is already quite common. However running Microsoft Windows in a Mac environment is something that is even nicer. You will still have the capabilities of all the Mac applications and have all the things you want from Windows.

Or what about running Solaris, FreeBSD and or Debian all together on the same Mac? Sounds like a promise to you to good to be true? Take a look at VMware Fusion.

VMware, already known for its server virtualization software is now turned to the Mac users to help. If you like to try it out you can download a 30 day trial version from their website.

Oracle datacenter

Please watch the video below which will give you a short impression of one of the Oracle datacenters. The video is presenting some comments from Mike Beck the Senior Vice President of Oracle Global On Demand Operations. Also Chris Pohto, Senior IT Director of Oracle Global On Demand Operations is telling some things about the running a datacenter this size.

For the close viewer, you can see the Dell servers and some NetApp data storage equipment.

This video is part of the “Oracle Video” collection posted on YouTube. A guerilla marketing campaign from Oracle?

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Oracle bug codes.

When you raise a SR (formerly known as TAR) at Oracle metalink you might end up in the situation that your problem is assigned as a bug to Oracle development. In this case it is possible you see a lot of messages in your updates stating things like:

Associated bug XXXXXX has been updated and is still at status: 16.

Please find the meaning of those codes here:

- Status 10 Development is requesting more information
- Status 16 Bug is being reviewed by our Bug Diagnostics group
- Status 11 Bug is being worked by Development
- Status 30 Bug is being worked by Support and/or more information was requested by Development
- Status 37 Bug has been fixed
- Status 80 Bug is being regression tested for future release
- Status 92 Bug is closed as not a bug (not reproducible or setup issue)
- Status 96 Bug is closed as a duplicate bug

Buzzword bingo aka bullshit bingo.

Ever been in a meeting where someone (from the management) is using terms you never heard before. Then there a some things you might consider… moving away to a new job in a non computer related business. TIP do look for a marketing job, marketing companies are also know for a high buzzword ratio. The second thing you can do is start playing the buzzword / bullshit bingo. Every time someone mentions a word or phrase on you bingo score card during the meeting you can cross this… the goal is the same as in normal bingo… however shouting bingo is something you might want to reconsider before you do this.

You can find some examples here:

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Women Scared Away From Math?

Are Women Being Scared Away From Math, Science, And Engineering Fields? Have you ever felt outnumbered? Like there are just not that many people like you around? We’ve all felt outnumbered in one situation or another and walking into a situation in which you sense the possibility of being ostracized or isolated can be quite threatening.

One group that may experience this kind of threat is women who participate in math, science, and engineering (MSE) settings- settings in which the gender ratio is approximately 3 men to every 1 woman. Recently, in the wake of comments made by former Harvard University President, Larry Summers, suggesting that women may not possess the same “innate ability” or “natural ability” in these fields as do men, several leading scientific institutions and university presidents publicly lamented the underrepresentation of women in Math, Science and Engineering fields and put out a call to study the reasons for the numbers gap in these areas.

While previous research offers biological and socialization explanations for differences in the performance and representation of men and women in these fields, Stanford psychologists, Mary Murphy and Claude Steele argue that the organization of Math, Science and Engineering environments themselves plays a significant role in contributing to this gap. Murphy contends that situational cues (i.e. being outnumbered) may contribute to a decrease in women’s performance expectations, as well as their actual performance.

Murphy and colleagues showed a group of advanced MSE undergraduates a gender balanced or unbalanced video depicting a potential MSE summer leadership conference. To assess identity threat, the researchers measured the participant’s physiological arousal during the video, cognitive vigilance, sense of belonging and desire to participate in the conference.

The results are telling. The women who watched the gender unbalanced video- where women were outnumbered by men in a 3 to 1 ratio- experienced faster heart rates, higher skin conductance (sweating), and reported a lower sense of belonging and less desire to participate in the conference.

They also found that women were more vigilant to their physical environment when they watched the video in which women were outnumbered. Throughout the testing room, Murphy planted cues related to Math, Science, and Engineering such as magazines like Science, Scientific American, and Nature on the coffee table and a portrait of Einstein and the periodic table on the walls. Women were able to recall more details about the video and the test room, indicating that they paid more attention to the identity-relevant items in order to assess the likelihood of encountering identity threat. “It would not be surprising if the general cognitive functioning of women in the threatening setting was inhibited because of this allocation of attention toward MSE-related cues,” write the authors. Thus, it is likely that this kind of attention allocation would interfere with performance and might help explain the performance gap between men and women in these fields.

While men, in either condition, showed no significant difference in physiological arousal, cognitive vigilance, or sense of belonging, both men and women expressed more desire to attend the conference when the ratio of men to women was balanced. Murphy says that while it’s interesting that both men and women want to be where the women are, the motivations of men and women for wanting to be there are probably quite different. “Women probably feel more identity-safe in the environment where there are more women- they feel that they really could belong there- while men might simply be attracted by the unusual number of women in these settings. Men just aren’t used to seeing that many women in these settings, because the numbers in real Math, Science, and Engineering settings are so unbalanced.”

These findings, which appear in the October issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, demonstrates that rather than being endemic to women the experience of identity threat in MSE settings is attributable the situation.

This research underlies the importance of situational cues and Murphy hopes that it will "inspire greater motivation to attend to such cues when creating and modifying environments so that they may foster perceptions of identity safety rather than threat."

Note: This story has been adapted from material provided by Association for Psychological Science.