Saturday 26 January 2008

I want to learn about Oracle...where do I begin??

A few of my clients at a present customer have stated that they want to learn more about Oracle but dont know where to start, so could I help them?

Its an interesting topic when you have been working with (and for) Oracle for a number of years you get used to having access to a variety of information sources that a customer may not

a) Know about
b) have access to

So where do you begin?

When I was a practice manager at Oracle I would always say to my Consultants to go to the following sites on a daily basis to get the latest information that was getting passed to Oracle's customers:

Oracle Technology Network - A fantastic source of information on the technology that Oracle has
Oracle Applications Network - Now called Ospace for packaged applications information

These two sites will give you access to a fantastic set of information.

For Product Documentation the following sites:

All up to date product documentation

If you are an Oracle customer and have a support agreement then the following two sites are also excellent:

Metalink - Oracle's support site with knowledge bases
etrm - E-Business Data Models (from 11.5.4 onwards)

An excellent site with links to a variety of very useful documents is Boat Consulting ran by e Business Suite technical guru Peter Jacklin. I have added his site to my links to make it easy to find.

Now, some people prefer a more tactile experience and there are some excellent books out there covering a variety of areas.

Oracle Press is always a good place to start and two books which are a little dated but very relevant still today(for anyone working 11.5.x of Oracle Apps)

E-Business Suite Financials Handbook
E-Business Suite Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management

Oracle Press also do a fantastic range of technology books and for anyone wanting to learn about the database, sql and pl/sql then Tom Kyte's books are a must have:

Effective Oracle By Design
Expert Oracle Database Architecture

In parallel with Tom's books is his website - Asktom where the man himself will answer your questions (if he has the time)

Alan Hornsby @ Phones4u recommended the following link as a good source for Oracle eBusiness Suite Technical Articles -

I will pull together a useful list of blogs when I have a few mins and add it to this blog. In the meantime if you know of other good links, drop me a line...

Adding Intelligence to your SOA Architecture

Mark Rittman (Global Oracle Ace for BI and Director of RittmanMead ) has a great article published on otn at the moment which describes how Oracle BI EE can be integrated with Oracle SOA suite to provide increased insight into how an organisation is operating in real time.

The article got me thinking about the key stakeholders in an organisation for whom this would be important. The key buzzword here is really AGILITY. By Providing an effective SOA with integrated BI an organisation can increase an organisations agility:

  • Reduced reaction time in response to the operational environment
  • Reduction in Planning Horizon
  • IT enablement of business strategy - not limiting
  • Increased organisational capability to focus on business-oriented development projects
  • Increased leverage of "legacy" data through the ability of SOA to cope with heterogeneous environments
  • Evolution rather than revolution in the technology platform(s)
  • Potential for smaller and shorter projects with reduced risk

As ever the question is - how much do I need to spend. The products that Mark discusses in his article are not cheap - but there are open source alternatives to some components.

What is great for me is the discussions are at last moving beyond the "implementing a SOA" and evolving into "How can leverage my SOA investment"

Have a read of Mark's article and pop by his website and blog too.

Tuesday 8 January 2008

New Year Resolution - Spread the Blog....

Happy New year to all. Its 2008 and I am determined to do better on the blogging front than last year.

I also want to introduce you to some fellow former and current Oracle people who I would recommend you keep and eye on: Chris Reid and Angus Myles. I have added their respective blogs to my links.

Chris is an Oracle technology and development guru. Having worked with Chris for over 10 years (yup its that long!) there is no technology that he has not been able to master - and trust we have seen a few with Oracle!

Angus is a Java God. Its the only way I can describe him. Whatever you need to know about Java he is your man. I can remember hiring Angus into Oracle many moons ago and I am very proud to say he is still there, delivering outstanding solutions - and delivering minimyles V3.0 recently.

Pop by and say hello to the guys and keep them on your radar. They are good guys to know!