Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Acronym Alert: XMLP is now BIP - XML Publisher now Business Intelligence Publisher

Oh No! Once again Oracle has decided to give another name to the same product. How confusing.

XML Publisher (XMLP) has now been re-introduced as BI Publisher (BIP).

I guess this will take a while to sink in coz of there is plenty of doco and references to XML Publisher.

Anyone know why they did that? Has someone trademarked "XML Publisher" or something?

Monday, February 26, 2007

Time to change? XMLP, Release 12 and Oracle Reports

I recently blogged about XML Publisher (XMLP) and it's comparison with Oracle Reports. With Oracle eBusiness Suite Release 12 now up and running, I have seen the following:

  • ~875 templates across 63 eBusiness products
  • A Oracle internal migration project is in progress to convert Oracle Reports based concurrent programs to XMLP
  • Slated for release later this year, this will mean 2000 templates available
  • In Release 12 - XMLP 5.6.3 there is a set of libraries to help move your custom Oracle Reports to data and layout templates
  • Hint of a Template Bank on Metalink to download delivered templates
So where does that leave you? As I mentioned in my prior post, new reports should be developed using XMLP - however consider the limitations of your installed XMLP version, or consider upgrading to 5.6.3, either of which may mean sticking with Oracle Reports now. Given the conversion libraries changing to XMLP in the future should be trivial. In the meantime, get on the template swapping bus and email some of you funky examples!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Firefox vs Internet Explorer, eBusiness and Key Shortcuts

Some time late last year I took the plunge and "upgraded" from Internet Explorer to Firefox as my primary browser. I guess it took me longer than many because for so long Oracle eBusiness Suite was inherently tied to Internet Explorer. However, that happy union has been consigned to history, and now things have taken a major turn for the better.

A couple of the components I find absolutely essential are Firebug, Adblock with Adblock Filters and the built in RSS reader.

I've also been using a bunch of the key shortcuts in Firefox and I thought I'd note them down here for easy reference. Very handy whether I'm in surfing mode - left thumb on left alt, right hand on arrow keys or developer mode - home row position.

Ctrl + T Opens a new tab, and places focus in the location bar.

Ctrl + W Close the current tab.

Alt + D or Ctrl + L or F6 Go to the location bar, highlight the current address for overwrite.

Ctrl + K Go to the search bar, highlight the current search for overwrite.

Ctrl + Tab / Ctrl + Shift + Tab or Ctrl PgUp / Ctrl PgDn Cycles through the open tabs forward or backward.

Ctrl + plus / Ctrl + minus Scales text size up and down.

Ctrl + Numpad 0 "zero" Resets text size back to default.

Ctrl + Shift + C Opens/closes Firebug – gotta have for debugging CSS etc.

Ctrl + U View source.

Alt + LeftArrow Alternative to the Back button

Ctrl + Enter In address bar adds "http://www." To front and ".com" to end of what you entered.

Ctrl + Tab / Ctrl + Shift + Tab or Ctrl PgUp / Ctrl PgDn Cycles through the open tabs forward or backward

Ctrl + plus / Ctrl + minus Scales text size up and down.

Ctrl + Numpad 0 "zero" Resets text size back to default.

Ctrl + Shift + C Opens/closes Firebug – gotta have for debugging CSS etc.

Ctrl + U View source.

Alt + Left Arrow Alternative to the Back button.

Ctrl + Enter In address bar adds "http://www." To front and ".com" to end of what you entered.

Apparently there is a KeyConfig Extension that allows you to customize your keystrokes.

Also see Firefox Keyboard Shortcuts Wiki.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Open Source vs Free: SugarCRM

I found a nice diagram on this page yesterday at SugarCRM. In summary it suggested:

  • 1st generation CRM = Proprietary On Premise, Client/Server, ~ to 2001
  • 2nd generation CRM = Proprietary On Demand, Hosted, ~ 2002 - 2006
  • 3rd generation CRM = Open Source, On Demand / On Premise Appliance ~2007 +
I like this concept. It means for those of us at the lower end of the food chain we can take a look inside the big fish and learn something. And we get to use some cool stuff with a minimum of outlay.

However, the "open source" bit does not equal "free". In the IT world "free" does not exist. You gotta pay your ticket to get to the "free" bit.

Moreover, big business is not in the market for free software - they aren't buying the software, they're buying process, support, and someone to sue if the toys end up on the floor by the cot.

Nice if your supplying the big business... not so nice if you're funding it.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Bring on the Information Age!

I've recently been dabbling with a variety of concepts and IT ideals - Web 2.0, Web Standards, XML, SaaS etc. and today while reading an Patrick Wolf's APEX blog I found my way to the Yahoo Pipes site. From a very quick glance, this site embodies the real sort of power some of the advances in web technologies provide. The featured pipe at the time was Apartment Near Something, attractive given my kiwi-driven occasional interest in property investment although unusable given my New Zealand location! From my perspective this sort of thing is getting closer to my real world expectation of the "Information Age".  I remember reading an opinion recently that after the stockmarket tech bubble and crash we have moved from the Industrial Age to the Information Age, but I don't think we're quite there yet ... getting closer though especially if when enabling technologies such as these become common.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Need to customize Oracle eBusiness Suite release 12 frameworks?

If you've got your Release 12 environment up and running already, there's some good news to boot:

Oracle JDeveloper 10g with OA Extension (Patch 5856648) is available on Oracle MetaLink.

Also see Metalink Note 391554.1  Oracle Application Framework Documentation Resources, Release 12

And while you're at it checkout the Apps framework forum on Oracle Technology Network OA Framework Forum

Let me know if you got some sexy stuff happening with Framework customizations!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Blogging via Email

Given the pressures we all have on our time, its often tough to use products and services to their maximum advantages. I thought I'd try out the blogging via email option at and see what it looks like on the other end!

Oracle eBusiness Suite release 12 available

Good to see Oracle a few days ahead of the release launch and Steven Chan keeping his blog current! Oracle eBusiness Suite Release 12 Available Looking forward to seeing it in action!

Do you have an IP addressed assigned?

In one of my earlier posts, I rehashed a couple of terms that I'd heard at a recent event Digital Immigrant vs Digital Native. After having a conversion with one of my colleagues about the expansion of phone numbers due to the increase in VoIP technology, and the limits in the range of IP Address, we came to the conclusion that there will be a way to determine whether one is a Digital Immigrant or Native: Digital Natives will have an "IP address" assigned to them at birth! With the advent and intersection of mobile devices, GPS, Google Maps and the inevitable tracking application that ensues, will we be referring to the flashing little red dot friends on our mobile device screens as Jane Doe or Food for thought.