Thursday, May 24, 2007

Fake It - masquerade one BIP concurrent program as another for testing purposes

Had a query from a friend about why their XML / BI Publisher template and underlying XML wasn't working.

I wanted to do a quick check on my system to see if I was seeing the same problem.

I don't know where/how the XML was generated from so I "borrowed" an existing concurrent programs output file (XML) and template definition in order to test. Stealing the existing concurrent requests identity also means I didn't have to setup a new data definition, template, concurrent program etc...

So how?

I had previously (for other BIP work) done the following:

  • Setup a AR Statement Data Definition and Template
  • Run the AR Statement Generation Program, XML file produced - say concurrent request id 112233
  • Run an XML Report Publisher concurrent request report for the Statement - say concurrent request id 112244

I now had the following files to use/test:

  • /tmp/virtuate.xml - my friend's XML output
  • /tmp/virtuate.rtf - my friend's template

Okay, so now to faking it:

1. In Unix as the applmgr user, replace the xml output from statements with the masquerading xml:

mv o112233.out o112233.out.stmt
cp /tmp/virtuate.xml o112233.out

2. Upload virtuate.rtf over top of the AR Statement template

3. Login to Oracle eBusiness Suite, Copy your Request 112244, and submit.

The output is now your friends template applied to your friends XML data source using your instance.

Unfortunately for my friend, things were working perfectly for me but not for him...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

How to determine XMLP BIP Version

Here's a quick SQL to get the version of XML Publisher / BI Publisher that you are running in the Oracle eBusiness Suite:

SELECT DECODE (bug_number
            , '3554613', '4.5.0'
            , '3263588', 'XDO.H'
            , '3822219', '5.0.0'
            , '4236958', '5.0.1'
            , '4206181', '5.5.0'
            , '4561451', '5.6.0'
            , '4905678', '5.6.1'
            , '5097966', '5.6.2'
            , '5472959', '5.6.3') PATCH, bug_number
  FROM ad_bugs
 WHERE bug_number IN
     , '3263588'
     , '3822219'
     , '4236958'
     , '4206181'
     , '4561451'
     , '4905678'
     , '5097966'
     , '5472959');

This is based on Metalink Note:362496.1 with 5472959 5.6.3 added.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Low /usr space ... Move XE Directory

Just got a bit tight on space in my /usr partition ... so decided to move XE to /opt to free up about 1Gb.

Nice easy operation ... as long as you're okay with the remaining symbolic link ;-)

/etc/rc2.d/S80oracle-xe stop
cd /usr/lib
mv oracle /opt
ln -s /opt/oracle /usr/lib/oracle
/etc/rc2.d/S80oracle-xe start

All done!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Demo Oracle eBusiness Suite R12 Online

If you're in need of having a play with Oracle Applications / E-Business Release 12, check out Solution Beacon, as they now have a Release 12 instance (12.0.0 Vision Installation from Media Pack/10.2.0) of the Oracle Vision Demo environment publicly available - although you may need an Oracle Support CSI to access.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

User Interface Design - take a closer look

I recently had an excruciating experience with an airline website ... I got a flight booked in the end, so much for the "3 easy steps" but perhaps their developers should have taken a good look at this excellent document by Yahoo! Senior Principal Designer Luke Wroblewski. Oh, and perhaps some pre-release testing would have helped?

Watch out NZ property developers

There are a couple of proposals on the table currently related to property development that any serious property investors/developers should be following closely.

The first is the "Associated Persons" IRD proposal, submissions close tomorrow 11th May, so get your skates on. You can find the discussion paper here.

Basically the associated persons rule related to tainting is proposed to be relaxed and this would seriously affect property developers etc. ability to invest in property without attracting capital gains - something the rest of the New Zealand population can do legitimately. Gilligan Rowe and Associates (GRA) are actively pursuing this one, so if you want more info let them know. Alternatively drop me a line. You might even source a sample submission. I foresee strong opposition to this one.

The second is the Wellington City Council's (WCC) proposal on"Infill Housing". Basically WCC is planning to introduce more stringent requirements on the splitting up and corresponding site coverage/height etc. rules when subdividing an existing property, due to the concern that some developments are going beyond reasonability with height and space. I can see arguments both ways for this one, so make sure to act now to make sure your voice is heard.

Given the current heat in the property market and enormous pressure on property prices, based on my understanding of fundamentals, both of these initiatives will apply more pressure. Moreover why is our taxpayers money being consumed on initiatives to increase the income tax specifically related to property, when we're running a too many billion dollar and growing surplus? Oh well, I guess that surplus has to go somewhere... I'd love the government to take my spare tax dollars and build some decent broadband infrastructure.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Freeview TV via wok without the black bars anyone?

Well, it's definitely an active time for TV ... and the internet, for a bit of fun here's my New Zealand twist on some of it.

On May the 2nd we had the Freeview launch, only problem is you should spend about $700 for an accredited setup ... not including your time to arrange getting the set-top box, dish setup. Hey, why would u go bleeding-edge and spend that up front capex $$ when u can ring up and get Sky digital for $99 and Start Up $47.73 per month - with a whole bunch of additional channels and upgrade capabilities available now? I may be biased since I already have Sky.

Still, my DIY tendencies and attractions to "free" stuff are making me very itchy to try Freeview out. Now, where did I put that spare wok.

Then there was a bit of noise, definitely noise, coz that's what we're gonna face over the next number of years, when TV3 started broadcasting in widescreen on 11 April. Always a good source of info: geekzone. Expect more when TVNZ switches on July 31st. Maybe it's about time I switched my aspect ratio from 4:3 to 16:9 ... me no complain about a couple of black bars on the Simpsons as long as Dancing with the Stars is okay ;-)

From an internet perspective but with a slant on TV there was the announcement of an undersea cable between Asia and the US which is great news. What sparked my interest in this was the statement

...capacity of up to 1.92 terabits per second ... the new system can support 130,000 high definition television signals simultaneously...

Hmmm. should be able to get a few more concurrent signals than that, isn't HDTV about 55Mbps? It'd be a bit of a bummer if everyone in Asia started watching US HDTV at the same time ey? Also begs the question: what is high definition and what is high quality? The likes of Joost look fantastic, but the mainstream progress towards low end quality data must be a real bugbare for those at the high end. Compare MP3 vs CD (or higher quality) music. Compare "High Quality" internet TV vs. DVD or HDTV.

Give me Burger Fuel over MacDonalds any day of the week.

Gotta love those technology oxymorons.

Telstra has installed a 150km fibre-optic cable across a new mining site in South Australia that will provide wireless broadband, voice and video calling to on-site staff.
Source Cable = Wireless. Nice. No wonder people get confused about technology.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Thick Database? Intelligent more like it.

Just stumbled onto some excellent papers regarding architectural considerations in today's jumble of technologies. Interesting to see the reference to APEX - Oracle HTML DB in the Thick Database paper. Great that Paul added the examples of relative efforts/time/lines of code there! Nice work.

Dulcian Papers - Thick Database

One thing I'd be keen to see is APEX vs. Thick Database application examples in terms of effort... okay I hear the "but APEX ain't following the guidelines". Nevertheless if a technology works for you, use it!

Also I threw together a table with additional "minutes per line of code" columns just for fun ;-)

Mins per line of code DatabaseMins per line of code Java
Case 1Conventional developmentn/a1.44
Case 1Thick database development4.800.80
Case 2Conventional development2.403.60
Case 2Thick database development3.603.60
Case 3Conventional development2.094.43
Case 3Thick database development1.233.43

Any opinions appreciated.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

BI Publisher 5.6.3 is out

Oracle BI Publisher (XML Publisher) 5.6.3 is out. Check out Tim Dexter's Blog. Patch is 5472959 - XDO/ORACLE XML PUBLISHER OA ROLLUP PATCH 5.6.3 A selection of the new features:

  • Template Builder Enhancements and Name Change
  • Report Migration Utility
  • Support for Rotated Text in RTF Templates
  • Conditional Formatting Enhancement in RTF Templates
  • Data Template Enhancements

I'm particularly interested in the Template Builder and the following:

XML Publisher provides a utility to facilitate the conversion of Oracle Reports (version 9i and later) to XML Publisher Reports

Especially with respect to the conversion from custom Oracle Applications Reports 6i to Report 9i to BI Publisher templates. I'll be looking closely at the handling of user exits, notably FND SRWINIT for profile option initialization, currency formatting, and key flexfield handling.