Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Oracle OpenWorld 2008 Registration is Now Open

Oracle OpenWorld 2008 is now open for registration. This year's event will be taking place quite a bit earlier from September 21-25 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

We have already started planning the breakout sessions. If there is any particular topic on Oracle Enterprise Manager and application management that you want us to cover, leave us a comment.

You may find out more about the event here:

Link to registration page:

See you in San Francisco in September!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Updated Oracle Maintenance Wizard for E-Business Suite

Oracle Maintenance Wizard 2.10, which provides step-by-step guidance for maintenance and upgrade tasks, is available. Enhancements include:

- A new, more secured encryption method
- Updates to Upgrade Assistance 12 that takes you directly to 12.0.4 in one upgrade
- Additional automation and bug fixes

Upgrade paths now included in the Maintenance Wizard are:
- 10.7 -> (via the Upgrade Assistant 11.5.10)
- 11.0.3 -> (via the Upgrade Assistant 11.5.10)
- 11.5.3+ -> (via the Maintenance Pack Assistant 11.5.10)
- 11.5.8+ -> 12.0.4 (via the Upgrade Assistant 12)
- RDBMS 8i -> 10g (via the Database Assistant 10g)
- RDBMS 9i -> 10g (via the Database Assistant 10g)

You need to start using this version of the tool if you are still on the older (v1.x) release, as 1.x versions are already de-supported.

For more information on the Maintenance Wizard, review note 215527.1 (login required). For information on training for the Maintenance Wizard, review note 418301.1 (login required).

Friday, April 18, 2008

Comparing Application Management and Traditional Systems Management

Collaborate 2008 is over. Presenting at Collaborate was a different experience from presenting at OpenWorld. OpenWorld was an Oracle's show, so I had to worry about a bunch of logistics of putting things together. On the other hand, Collaborate was run by our customers. I just had to show up, present, attend a couple sessions myself, party, and speak with people, which I seemed to have more time to do at this event.

In one of the conversations, a question came up on the difference between application management and traditional systems management. I thought this may be an interesting topic for readers of this blog, so I am going to share that discussion with you.

Gartner Group defines application management as the monitoring, diagnostic, tuning, administration and configuration of packaged and custom applications. This seems to make sense. Application Management is about the management of, well, applications. But what is an application, and how does the management of an application different from managing other IT components?

An application helps end users accomplish a specific task. Siebel CRM, PeopleSoft Enterprise, Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle Collaboration Suite, and the custom Jave EE-based software that you write, are all examples of applications, since end users can use these tools directly to perform to day to day work. Oracle RDBMS and Oracle Applications Server are not applications since end users typically do not write SQL statements, or Java code on run on these infrastructure software. Therefore, application management must be about managing these end user visible software, right? Yes, but not so simple.

Consider this. The performance and availability of a modern distributed application, whether it is written in Java EE, .NET, or integrated application stacks such as those provided by Siebel, PeopleSoft and JD Edwards EnterpriseOne are determined not only by the application layer, but also the middleware, database, operating systems, network, and storage layers. Successful management of applications therefore call for a holistic approach of managing the entire environment that supports the application.

In addition, because applications are used by end users in support of business activities, it is very important to manage applications according to business requirements and potential impact to business operations. This means defining performance and availability requirement according to the particular tasks that end users perform. In other words, application management needs to be done from the top-down, from the top where the end users are down to the bottom of the technology stack. This is rather different from the traditional systems management, in which the approach was much more bottom-up, and the focus is much more on the health of the individual components. It also means a whole new set of information to track, such as the activities that users perform on the applications and the experience that they get out of the applications.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Application Management Pack for Oracle E-Business Suite is Available on HP/UX

The first update to Application Management Pack for Oracle E-Business Suite is now available for HP/UX PA-RISC as well as Itanium in addition to the other O/S platforms that the pack support. You need Enterprise Manager Grid Control 10gR3 ( to run this pack, and you may download it through Metalink as patch 5489352.

The pack extends Enterprise Manager Grid Control to manage Oracle E-Business Suite systems. It supports E-Business Suite R11i (requires 11.5.10 ATG RUP4) and R12. Key capabilities include service level management, application performance management, configuration management, and automation of cloning processes.

I will be covering this pack in my breakout session at Collaborate next week and at the Enterprise Manager demo booth at the Oracle demoground.

Step to Fusion – Centralize the Managing of Your Current Oracle Applications on Oracle Enterprise Manager
Wednesday, 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Drop by if you are at the conference. See you in Denver!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Six New Monitoring Plug-in's Are Available for Oracle Enterprise Manager

Oracle just announced the availability of six new system monitoring plug-in's to extend Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control's ability to monitor third party applications and technologies. These plug-in's support two commonly used applications - Microsoft Exchange and SAP R/3. They also cover infrastructure technologies such as EMC CLARiiON, VMware ESX, Apache Tomcat, and Sybase Adaptive Server.

You may notice that many of these are products that compete against Oracle products. What's even more interesting is that five of these six plug-in's were developed by Oracle. You may ask, why would Oracle want to invest resource managing other company's products? The reason is simple. These are all technologies used in conjunction with Oracle products. In order for Oracle Enterprise Manager to provide a holistic view on the health of Oracle products, it needs to cover the adjacent technologies that are integrated with Oracle products as well. Unlike another infrastructure software vendor whose heterogeneous management strategy is to rely primarily on partners to do the work, Oracle has taken a much more hands on approach by investing its own resource.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Collaborate 2008 Preview

Collaborate 2008 is coming to Denver, Colorado in just over two weeks. For those of you who haven't attended the event, Collaborate is the combined annual conference of the three major independent Oracle user groups –IOUG (International Oracle User Group), OAUG (Oracle Application User Group), and Quest (PeopleSoft User Group). Contrary to what an IT trade magazine journalist recently reported, the Oracle community is alive and well. The early word is that the user group expects over 7,000 people attending the event. That's a double digit increase in attendence compared to last year, and quite a feat to pull off in this economy.

Oracle will be a guest at the event, and we have numerous sessions planned around manageability of various Oracle applications and technologies. Here is a preview.

Top-Down Application Management – Oracle's Blueprint for Managing Applications from the Business Perspectives
Monday, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Application Chanage Management and Masking for DBAs
Monday, 9:15-10:15 a.m.

Performance Diagnostic and Tuning Best Practices: What DBAs Must Know about Managing DB Performance
Tuesday, 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Improving IT Operations: Automated Provisioning and Patching, and Managing Configurations of Oracle Fusion Middleware Deployments
Wednesday, 8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m.

Fool-Proof and Fast Track Strategies for a Successful Upgrade: Database Replay, DBUA and More
Wednesday, 11:00 a.m.-noon

Step to Fusion – Centralize the Managing of Your Current Oracle Applications on Oracle Enterprise Manager
Wednesday, 4:30-5:30 p.m.

With the exception of the last session “Step to Fusion”, all the sessions are listed under the IOUG conference agenda. “Step to Fusion” is listed under the OAUG agenda.

The “Step to Fusion” session is targeted for people who run Siebel, PeopleSoft Enterprise and Oracle E-Business Suite applications. We will cover how you can use Oracle Enterprise Manager to manage these applications today, and discuss the roadmap for evolving your application management toolset to facilitate your eventual adoption of Fusion technologies.

See you in Denver!