Last Day! ODTUG Innovation Award

June 2nd is the LAST DAY for ODTUG Innovation Award nominations.

Make your nomination for the latest, greatest piece of awe-inspiring work using Oracle development technologies today.

It’s simple, go to the ODTUG Innovation Award Nomination page. Tell us about your nominee – or nominate yourself!  Everyone is eligible – make your entry today.

Is is a Cloud hybrid?  An APEX plugin? An open-source project that leverages Oracle tools?  A real clever in-house application of  Oracle JET? A really neat product from Oracle?  Anything goes!

Today is the last chance  to make your 2017 nomination.

The ODTUG Innovation Award honors excellence in creative, effective, and innovative use of Oracle development tools within ODTUG’s supported communities (ADF, APEX, BI, Database, EPM and Career). The goal is to honor developers – individuals or teams – whose passion and creativity shine through in their application of Oracle technology to address real-world problems.  Note that this year we are not excluding anything or anyone, so projects and individuals from all organizations (Oracle, too!) are welcome.

Remember that ODTUG members get to vote this year.  Make your nomination, then vote for it too! Member voting will be combined with judges scoring to determine an overall Innovation Award winner.

Check out the full information on the ODTUG web site here:

ODTUG Innovation Award Nominations

Best wishes to all our nominees!

 

Migrate BI to APEX 5?

Just back from presenting Migrating BI to APEX 5 at RMOUG Training Days 2016.  Great conference!  Great experts on all Oracle technology. If you have to pick one short sweet conference a year, this is it.

Ever thought of replacing your under-utilized, expensive or outdated BI tool with a suite of APEX Interactive Reports?  In *SOME* cases this makes sense:

  • Your Data Display requirements are reasonable – i.e. users are happy with seeing and working with a few thousand rows or less at a time.
  • Your BI feature requirements include APEX IR Actions (select, sort, filter, chart, pivot, group by aggregate, save, download), and
  • Your BI feature requirements do NOT include BI analysis, unlimited drill-downs, automatic or integrated analysis (such as percents, rank, etc), drag and drop report creation/analysis, and/or MS-Excel-like features. IF you want these, you have to build them.
  • You have APEX resources to plan, design, build and maintain the APEX app
  • You have Database Architects/Developers to plan, design, build and manage the data structures in the database required to consolidate and serve your data ( materialized views, indexes, or other rollups as needed as licensed for).
  • You are prepared to design, build and tune all for performance (as you always should anyways!)
  • You do NOT require out-of-the-box PDF Printing for the as-displayed data set.  Those who own and extensively use BI Publisher may not want to give up this printing luxury IF moving to APEX means doing so. There are many many printing uses cases for which there are many solutions – ensure you have a solution that fits (and is reasonable to implement) before you jump.

Given all this, it just might work for you  It has for many customers, successfully.  The caveats are:

  • If you need a feature that APEX does not natively supply, you must build it.
  • Dynamic Actions are great -but need to be implemented wisely. They may not always perform well with volumes of data.
    • ex: Dynamic parameter selection => Good.
    • Dynamic parameter selection AND dynamic refresh of the IR with the new parameters (a new query against the source data structure) may/will not perform so nicely, depending on the volume of data.
  • Some features are just not reasonable to build in APEX:
    • ex: True Excel-Like behavior
    •        Dynamic Aggregate adjustments

So – want to replace that aging Discoverer installation?  Consider APEX 5.

In planning pages, menus and features, consider these tips:

  • Plan and meticulously tune all structures – materialized views, CUBEs or ROLLUPS, or whatever works for your data. Anything slow here is magnified slow in APEX.
  • Give users mandatory parameters.  This forces up-front filtering, to reduce the result set to a reasonable size AND gives you a ready-made drill path.  We want reasonable size for reasonable performance of all interactive features.
  • Try 3 to 5 Parameters – More gets tedious for end users if they have to select every time.
    • A Temporal (Year. Quarter, Month), and Spatial ( Country, State, City ) and one or few others specific to your data.
    • Consider using Page Zero or building  a Plugin for displaying the same parameter set on all or several pages. (Yes, Plug-Ins can be used locally!)
  • Use a flag to control when data displays. This allows users to filter (using your parmeters Plugin) first, then wait for data to display.  Plan so users do not incur a big wait right up front.
  • Consider multiple IRs on one page, each containing different aggregates of you data depending on the parameters.  The parameters chosen control which ONE of thes IRs displays at any given time.
  • Consider multiple IRs on one page, each containing different Action Item features.  Authorizations for authenticated users control which ONE of thes IRs displays at any given time.
  • Plan and build drill paths wisely.  Intelligently build useful drill paths.  A drill on every column is not necessary. Drills on key columns are nice to have.

Know Your Users, and know what they really do with the data.  That helps you to design and build truly useful data sets and features.

Still not convinced? On the Fence ?

Consider waiting for APEX 5.1 Interactive Grid.  Previews of this new region type show some promising features that BI folks may find interesting:

  • Drag and drop headings
  • Lazy loading – an option to display the frame then the rest of the data
  • Loading data in pages, as opposed to one big result set.

Doesn’t seem like much, but these are big useability improvements , especially when we are considering paging through volumes of data.  Were I to be starting a BI migration project now,  I would investigate the APEX 5.1 Interactive Grid previews and plan my project accordingly.

In the meantime, see my Migrating tBI to APEX 5 slides here, and  if you have specific questions, reach out:

ODTUG Technical Journal Corner –

Check out the latest ODTUG Technical Journal Corner content!

We are currently featuring:

Kevin McGinley, Red Pill Analytics, our new BI Perspectives author, with Making the Case for Leveraging Agile and Continuous Integration in Oracle BI Development, Part 1 of a three-part series.   Expand your mind a bit and consider – just consider – agile, Continuous Integration as opposed to traditional Waterfall method of integration and deployment.  Watch for the rest of this series in coming weeks. And Welcome Kevin, thank you for taking over our BI Perspectives column!

William Hodges, The Hackett Group, on Slow and Fast Changing Dimensions in Hyperion Planning  This article was a 2014 Editor’s Choice Award finalist. William address changing dimensionalities beyond the capabilities of “varying attributes” in Hyperion Planning.  Read this excellent article to learn more.

A new Book Review by John King, King Training Resources, Oracle PL/SQL Performance Tuning Tips & Techniques by Michael Rosenblum and Dr. Paul Dorsey.   Tuning tips from this pair of authors is always good advice and good reading. See John’s review on the ODTUG Technical Journal Corner, and read the book – we can all use PL/SQL tuning tidbits.

Our latest NoSQL articles, by Steven Feuerstein, Oracle, and Iggy Fernandez, NoCOUG, are still there ready for your learning. If you haven’t read these two perspectives on NoSQL and how it fits on our usually-relational lives, do so now – this is great material from ODTUG respected authors. 

Note that we have made strides in availability of our articles to ODTUG members and beyond.  Starting now, articles by Steven and other Oracle employees will be available to all, in and out of the ODTUG firewall.  This is good news and steps forward as we increase visibility and availability of ODTUG content for all.

Happy reading – and Happy Coding to all, 

 Karen


 

Mr. PL/SQL on NoSQL: YesSQL and the Oracle Database

Steven Feuerstein’s latest Confessions of a Dirty Programmer column actually focuses on – surprise – NoSQL. Yes, Mr. PL/SQL is writing about “Not Only SQL”.  In YesSQL and the Oracle Database, Steve addresses the NoSQL movement head on.  Is SQL old and tired?  Is Database a commodity?  Read on a Steven answers these questions, giving valid arguments why NoSQL and SQL (and of course PLSQL) can live together.  Btween Steven’s NoSQL perspectives and Iggy’s NoSQL information, you will be well-armed for NoSQL considerations.

If you have not seen this week’s ODTUG Technical Journal Corner – check it out now!

Next up is one of our ODTUG Editor’s Choice Award finalists, William Hodges on “Slow and Fast Changing Dimensions in Hyperion Planning”.  A fine paper – stay tuned.

After that, watch for our new BI columnist, Kevin McGinley, debuting with Part 1 of the three-part series, “Making the Case for Leveraging Agile and Continuous Integration in Oracle BI”.  Welcome Kevin!

 

Many thanks to Mark Rittman for bringing us years of BI Perspectives columns, all while maintaining many other writing, speaking and work commitments. BTW, Mark has an astounding T score if 1253!  No Low-T there.  Thank you Mark, and enjoy your “retirement”!