Volunteer SpotLight Featured Articles

ODTUG Volunteer Spotlight: Opal Alapat
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The latest ODTUG Volunteer Spotlight shines upon Opal Alapat (al-uh-pat). You probably know Opal as the Kscope15 Content Chair for EPM/BI or maybe as a great speaker in the Hyperion/EPM world. You might not know that Opal is also one of ODTUG’s most prolific tweeters (@Opal_EPM) and a blogger, too.

Opal is Services Engineering Manager at TopDown Consulting and spends her days finding ways to allow TopDown to provide better services to its customers and a great working environment for its consultants. In a nutshell, Opal’s focus is to help TopDown and its consultants succeed. Opal is one of TopDown’s premier consultants, working her way up through the organization to a management role once she got tired of traveling for work. Her position now allows her to work from home (most of the time) and be more creative with her career. That’s lucky for us at ODTUG because it provides her with more time for ODTUG and the user community.

Born in South Korea (Opal is half-Korean), Opal’s family moved to Houston, Texas, when she was a toddler, and she is a loyal Texan to this day. She moved to Dallas 10 years ago and has no plans to move out of Texas anytime soon. One of my first experiences with Opal was when a conference committee meeting was scheduled in Dallas and she put together Texas welcome bags for all of the participants (much obliged, ma’am)!

Read more about Opal here.

JohnKing.png John King, King Training Resources
Oracle PL/SQL Performance Tuning Tips & Techniques” by Michael Rosenblum and Dr. Paul Dorsey is a book you should read soon. A quote from Oracle’s Bryn Llwellyn in the book’s forward says it all “Every professional PL/SQL programmer should study this book and act upon its teachings.”

Misha and Paul take the scientific route to performance, providing readers the how and why of effective performance. The first chapter sets the tone, showing how performance is an aggregate typically of nine steps from execution of code on the client side, through middleware, to server, and back again to the client.

Learn how PL/SQL works from two of the best, whose shared stories of actual issues underline the importance of performance planning and thinking.

Read more here.


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karagiannidis_border.jpg SQL Tuning for Day-to-Day Data Warehouse Support
Nikos Karagiannidis, oradwstories.blogspot.com
In this article, we will describe the most popular methods that DW engineers use today to solve SQL performance problems, based on our real-world experience. We will point out the pros and cons of each method, as well as describe the basic tools/commands for using each one, and provide some best-practice recommendations. The intended audience is DW support engineers, DW developers, and DBAs. The methods presented are not DW-specific and pertain to SQL tuning in general, so this article will be useful to a broader audience of database professionals with interest in SQL tuning and not only to Data Warehouse professionals. 

LucasJellema.png Declarative Web User Interface Development by the Citizen Developer: Introducing the Oracle Application Builder Cloud Service
Lucas Jellema, AMIS
The citizen developer – also known as the line of business user – is the non-technical but still somewhat IT-savvy member of a business department. She may configure web surveys, create macros in Excel spreadsheets, perform complex data analysis, or maintain a departmental website. She does things that touch upon the responsibilities of the corporate IT department and probably knows some people in that department to consult with, and she may want to do even more. Gartner identified the citizen developer a few years ago, and Oracle has identified her as a persona it wants to cater to with the public cloud. 

Chris Rothermel Border.jpg How Can I Extract My Essbase Outline to a SQL Database?
Chris Rothermel, Rothermel Consulting
This article highlights how a utility from Applied OLAP can save time and development work by exporting Essbase outlines to SQL. Having outline information in SQL makes Essbase outline information available for ETL processes and also for historical comparison. 

Philip_Hulsebosch Frame.jpg Ever Wanted to Look into a Crystal Ball?
Philip Hulsebosch, Trexco b.v.
Who does not want to know the future? Only a few people like risk and uncertainty. In the old Greek mythology, the Oracle of Delphi was consulted for decision making, and it was assumed to be inspired by the gods (Hyperion was one of them). The myth is, the oracle looked into a crystal ball and saw the future. Some of us still rely on this kind of approach, others using statistical methods. Oracle Crystal Ball (CB) is an analytical tool to simulate, quantify, and manage risk and uncertainty in a spreadsheet model. It is a Microsoft Excel add-in that is leveraging the easy interface of a spreadsheet and the calculation power and modelling capabilities of Excel. Crystal Ball adds strong statistical and analytical functionality, which should validate a model with scientific measures. 

dmitry_kryuk.png Essbase Outline and Data Scrambler
Dmitry Kryuk, Independent Consultant
In this article, I demonstrate the utility that completely "scrambles" Essbase database. If the scrambled data files or outlines get to the wrong hands, they will have no meaningful business information. On the other hand, the outline structure, data distribution, and volume would be exactly the same as in the original application. A consultant would have just enough to perform her/his job. 

Check out the latest from the Oracle Apps UX Team. This group, which sponsored the ODTUG Scavenger Hunt at Kscope15, stays on the edge of everything UX.

Oracle Apps UX Team Report: Future, Strategy, What's New, and RDK
Submitted by Kathy Miedema, Oracle Apps UX
The Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) team has loads of new content that we’re eager to share. Beginning with Oracle Voice, Oracle’s platform on Forbes.com, Group Vice President Jeremy Ashley describes in a recent post how Oracle is addressing specific HCM trends and issues in our cloud application services while keeping that “suite” perspective. What else did we write about in the past month?

Oracle Apps UX Team Report: Usable Apps Roundup
Submitted by Kathy Miedema, Oracle Apps UX 
Submitted by Kathy Miedema, Oracle Apps UX
Updates and new content have gone live on the Usable Apps website in the past month. Here’s a roundup of webcasts, articles, posts, and more on the Oracle user experience strategy.

Oracle Apps UX Team Report: Looking Back and Community Innovationmitted by Kathy Miedema, Oracle Apps UX
Submitted by Kathy Miedema, Oracle Apps UX

Asteroids and Amazon Echo won the popularity contest for Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) posts in 2015. We studied the stats to see which OAUX posts from across our channels caught readers' attention.

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Letter from Editor

Karen Cannell, TH Technology
Hello, ODTUG! It is with mixed emotions that I formally announce the retirement of the ODTUG Technical Journal – and along with it the ODTUG Editor’s Choice Award, because, well, there will be no Editor.

Times have changed, significantly, since I first volunteered for the Technical Journal in 2006 – writing book reviews, then as Associate Technical Editor, and finally as Editor. This is a span of almost 10 years. To put things in perspective, 10 years ago:

  • The top five cell phones were NOT smartphones (remember Nokia and Motorola flip phones?).
    Smartphone options included Blackberry and Palm Treo.
  • Twitter was brand-new.
  • Blogging was just gaining in popularity.
  • LinkedIn existed but had not yet taken off (launched in 2003).
  • YouTube was launched, starting video blogging.
  • The Kindle did not exist (introduced in 2007).
  • The iPhone did not exist (debuted in 2007).
  • The iPad did not exist (introduced in 2010).
  • The ODTUG listservs were a popular, excellent way of exchanging questions, answers, and advice. An actual ODTUG listserv question from September 2005:
Karen Cannell
We are considering using Oracle's HTML DB to do some web development. Does anyone who has experience in using this, have time to spare to make some comments about it? I am particularly interested if anyone knows from where inside of Oracle this came from and if it is likely to have a long shelf life.

(see http://www.freelists.org/post/oracle-l/HTML-DB-here-to-stay for a trip down memory lane)

Well, we know what happened with all of the above. Technology has changed and advanced. Rapidly.

Accordingly, how we Oracle Developers work has changed. How we communicate has changed. How we learn has changed. How we find and consume learning and reference materials has changed from hard copy, book-based to online, blog and video-based.

The ODTUG Technical Journal has served its purpose through the years, providing Oracle developer tools white papers, book reviews, volunteer features, conference highlights and more. The Technical Journal transitioned from quarterly paper editions to 100% online biweekly releases at the end of 2012. The online Technical Journal Corner enabled publication of material of all media types – blog, video, and audio, as well as traditional white paper format.

Quite simply, it is no longer practical to consistently consolidate the best of the best materials on a single website in a manner that is searchable and accessible to all Oracle developers. Static webpages are superseded by blog aggregators and Twitter streams. We at ODTUG prefer to stay ahead of the curve in serving our members, and thus our final Technical Journal Corner article has been posted and as of May 6 the ODTUG Technical Journal Corner will be retired.

I wish to thank and applaud all those who have contributed to the ODTUG Technical Journal through the years. I have enjoyed working with each and every one of you, far too many individual authors to list here, but I thank you all for your contributions.

In particular, I would like to thank our long-term dedicated columnists who served since I have been editor: Joe Begenwald, who even delved his Ask the Experts column when he could not see; Nilesh Shah, who contributed years’ worth of book reviews; Lucas Jellema, who taught us all much about Oracle Fusion Middleware; Mark Rittman, star of BI Perspectives; Steven Feuerstein, for his unique Confessions of a Quick and Dirty Programmer; Ed Roske and Tim Tow, for the Look Smarter Than You Are with Hyperion column; and John King, for a wealth of Volunteer Spotlights and overall general encouragement. Many thanks to Donna Richey-Winkelman and Maggie Tompkins, Editors Emeritus, for setting the bar high as previous editors of the ODTUG Technical Journal. Finally, I would like to thank Peter Koletzke for teaching me by example how to be a better editor. It has been a privilege working with you all.

So what’s next? Watch the ODTUG Communities: APEX, Business Intelligence, ADF, Database, EPM, and Career Track, where you will find blog aggregators, Twitter handles, a calendar of events, and more. Sign up for ODTUG webinars, free learning from ODTUG experts. Better yet, volunteer! ODTUG is a volunteer organization serving Oracle developers around the world. We need you!

At this time we will also be retiring the ODTUG Editor’s Choice Award, traditionally awarded at our annual Kscope conference for excellence in communication of a technical topic.

We at ODTUG still wish to honor excellence in the Oracle tools development world. Accordingly, I am pleased to announce the inaugural ODTUG Innovation Award, designed to honor innovation, excellence, and amazing accomplishments in the realm of Oracle development tools adoption and integration. Get more information about this new award here.

As always, happy coding,

Karen Cannell
Editor Emeritus, ODTUG Technical Journal



Oracle Apps UX Team Report: Emerging Technology and Innovation Events
Submitted by Kathy Miedema, Oracle Apps UX
Group Vice President Jeremy Ashley, who leads the Oracle Applications User Experience team, writes about how mobile devices and emerging technology influence the Oracle user experience on Forbes.com’s Oracle Voice.