European Highs and Lows

These last few weekends I have been visiting Spain and Switzerland. Sailing in Spain and Skiing in Switzerland. Down on the Coast in Spain and Up in the Mountains in Switzerland.

The car rental in each country demonstrates the major difference between these countries.

In Spain we pre booked a car, but the car rental place (Avis) was closed when we got there, so we rented from Hertz instead, but a new French car was very cheap.

In Switzerland, the Budget car rental was incredibly expensive, again for a new French car, but the service was excellent.

Similar differences was experienced in restaurants, bars and hotels.  Spain Cheap, poor service, and Switzerland Expensive but great service.

Spain’s economy is on is knees.  Youth unemployment is astonishingly high, and there has been a crisis in all sectors.

Switzerlands economy is very strong and their currency is dominant over Europe.

So how does this relate to OBI?  I’ve always maintained that you pay for what you get.  Pay cheap, you get poor service (bad code/wrong Data model/poor implementation).  Pay well and your project impresses, you give great customer satisfaction and you get promoted.

Are you Spain or Switzerland?

29er Sailing in Spain

blogBlogs of the week

1. OBIEE Patch now available

Paul Cannon blogs about the latest patch.  It has no new features and is just a bug fix patch.  Full details are available here.

2. OBIEE – Selecting column dynamically – part1, column selector

Boris Dahav, in part 1 of a 4 part blog, says, “In OBIEE, in Analysis, we can use column selector to dynamically change a column in the analysis. Unfortunately, in complex cases, when you have to use the selected column few times, or you have some complex dependency between selected columns, we have to move the selection to prompts.”

In the following 4 posts he will describe:
  1. How to use column selectors.
  2. How to use column names in prompts with presentation Variables.
  3. How to use better looking column names in prompts.
  4. How to do the same with session variables and why never to do it (hint, security breach).

3. APEXposed 2015 – Montreal May 6th

Martin D’Souza blogs about APEXposed.  Martin writes,  “APEXposed is coming back to Montreal this year for a 1 day event. This conference is lined with some amazing speakers and will be your chance to learn lots on APEX 5, ORDS, and so much more.” See more here.

4. If You Oracle Then You Should Twitter Too

Jeff Smith shares ‘Twitter for the OracleNrd’.

5. OBIEE ODBC driver returned an error Cannot Function Ship Error

Steve Yeung writes of how OBIEE Patch ODBC driver returned an error.  He says, “The way to fix it is to edit the fact columns and change the “Aggregate Rule (Total Rows)” to “Sum” instead of Default. The strange thing is that the first fact column can be left as default from my current observations. Hope this helps everyone who encounters this error.”

6. READ ONLY TABLES In Oracle 11g

This blog talks of ‘Read only’ tables.  “Since Oracle 11g we can place a table in read -only mode with the ALTER TABLE …READ ONLY statement. Read-Only tables are like normal tables, the only dissimilarity being it disallows any attempt to modify the data.”

7. Oracle Data Integrator User Functions with Regular Expressions and Dropped Square Brackets

Danny Byrant says, “Just the other day I described how you can use Regular Expressions Functions with Oracle Data Integrator. Well that was only part of the story.  Immediately after that post went out, I had several notes from people who are way smarter than me say “put that in an ODI User Function for reusability”.  This post was to originally be just that, but as I began to work through the example, I ran into an problem.  The ODI User Function was dropping the square brackets I needed for my REGEXP example to work.  This post now serves a dual purpose.  I will definitely show how to put that REGEXP into an ODI User Function, but along the way you will also see how I address the square brackets issue.”

8. Oracle ACEs at OUG Ireland 2015

Brendan Tierney lists the Oracle ACEs presenting at the conference – plus their twitter and website details.

9. Separating numbers from characters in OBIEE 11g

Vishal Pathak talks us through what he is talking about – with a screenshot to help.

10. Why SQL is the natural language for data analysis

Keith Laker writes, “Analytics is a must-have component of every corporate data warehousing and big data project. It is the core driver for the business: the development of new products, better targeting of customers with promotions, hiring of new talent and retention of existing key talent. Yet the analysis of especially “big data environments”, data stored and processed outside of classical relational systems, continues to be a significant challenge for the majority companies.”

He then goes on to say why SQL is so popular:

  • Powerful framework
  • Transparent optimization
  • Continuous evolution
  • Standards based

He then promises to explore these points in further blog posts.

twitterThis week on Twitter

Steve Yeung tweeted OBIEE ODBC driver returned an error Cannot Function Ship Error

OTNArchBeat posted 2 Min Tech Tip: Using the Direct Database Request Feature in OBIEE

Gokhan Atil shared Retrieve OS information using SQL

LinkedinThis week on LinkedIn

Sanket Suri posted Learn more about Oracle SOA



Stories from and

Videos such as #Kscope14 Special Event Look Back by Danny Bryant

and The Psychology Behind Hard-Coding (HC-2)

Wearable Oracle

A parcel arrived this week, while I am away in Barcelona, and it was a nice Oracle ACE Program top.  I hope it fits!  Photos to follow (of the top not my Barcelona trip)


Anyway, despite being away, the show must go on…

blogBlogs of the week

1. Using ODI Knowledge Modules To Manage Indexes

Pete Bunning says, “The idea is to remove the need for separate procedures to disable and rebuild indexes around the main warehouse load.  By including this functionality into an ODI KM it can be used for every fact table and seemed a much neater way of doing things.”

2. Ephemeral Port Issue with Essbase Has Been Fixed!

Tim Tow informs us that the issue that has plagued a number of Essbase customers over the years related to running out of available ports has finally been fixed!

After going into more details about this issue, he closes by saying, “In summary, this fix will be very useful for a lot of Oracle customers.”

3. The 12 Steps to Faster Data Warehouse Success

Kent Graziano blogs about his first online training video based on his very popular white paper and talk: Agile Methods and Data Warehousing: How to Deliver Faster.

Also, as a bonus, once you finish the course, you can download a free copy of the detailed article he wrote for UKOUG.

Read the full blog for more details.

4. Stupid Programming Tricks No. 20 — Load Rules, header rows, and confusion

Cameron Lackpour writes, “Load Rules are a simple (yet evil and yes there is some personal bias in this but it is my blog after all) interface for loading files and tables into Essbase as either data or metadata.  Every schoolboy knows this, or at least every Essbase developer.”He goes through:

Loading data
Header Records
Data source properties
Data load setting

5. My OTN 2 Minute Tech Tip: Predictive Queries

Brendan Tierney says, “The challenge was to talk about the topic within 2 minutes. That is a lot harder than you time. Believe me.”

6. FixParallel–How fast is fast?

Glenn Schwartzberg asks, “How fast is fast?!”

He concludes his blog by saying, “So is FixParallel worth it, my testing says YES! FixParallel for me was an awesome new feature and one I will use often.”

7. Stop Doing That! – In Oracle SQL Developer

Jeff Smith writes, “One of the coolest bits of The Matrix, was the ability for the main characters to ‘download’ new skills or objects into their virtual reality. Like Neo could learn Kung-Fu with a simple button click. Today, I want all of you to take the (Oracle) Red Pill, and download your SQLDev knowledge pack.”

Jeff then writes about:

  • Firing up another copy of the app
  • Scrolling through the tree every time you want to open an object.
  • Copying and pasting data to Excel
  • Writing queries from scratch, every time.
  • Using *’s in your SELECTs
  • Putting DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE all over your PL/SQL
  • Using the Create Table Dialog

amongst other things, that you can stop doing!

twitterThis week on Twitter

Brendan Tierney tweeted a link to the OUG Ireland agenda

Cesar Baisanu shared OBIEE 11g: Troubleshooting Stuck Threads or Hangs

KPI Partners posted Fixed Asset Analytics for Oracle BI & E-Business Suite

LinkedinThis week on LinkedIn


Simon Berglund shared How good are the data model definitions?

Alan Sam posted a link to the Big Data Survey 2015


Stories from and

Videos such as :

What is hard coding?


Use the yum utility to install updates from ULN

England 21 Wales 16


some stats dont need a big database and business intelligence systems.

sometimes we are asked to write fancy javascript or create links, or put lots of colour on the page, but remember…

its the numbers that matters, not how clever the developer is.


Blogs of the week

1. APEX 5.0 EA3 released with Universal Theme

Dimitri Gielis says, “For me the Universal Theme with Theme Roller, Theme Styles and Template Options is the absolute killer feature of APEX 5.0.”

and posts a link to a training day to take place in May.

2. OBIEE and Working with Oracle Enterprise Metadata Management

Srinivas Malyala says, “Today I got a chance to explore on Metadata Management Tool and thought of sharing information with you on how to get started.”

He links to another blog on how to get started.

This blog consists of:

  • Overview Section
  • Working with Metadata Manager MM
  • Now coming to Utilizing Metadata Manager
  • Performing Lineage

3. Planning New Features

John Goodwin writes, “So much was promised for the release of planning but unfortunately some of the key new functionality missed out on the release and it looks like it will be delivered in a PSU.

The main new feature is the simplified interface even though it is not really new as it first appeared in and was aimed purely at accessing the interface through a tablet which I blogged about here.”

4. Taking for a spin in the cloud

Cameron Lackpour blogs, “John Booth has solved the problem – he has created another of his EPM Amazon Web Services AMIs (Amazon Machine Instance).  Get an AWS account and fire up John’s AMI  (see Tim German’s post on how to go through the steps on this), and off you go to EPM”

Read his detailed blog on this here.

5. 12c OBIEE is coming soon

Arthur Dayton says, “With 12c, end users of OBIEE will find it much easier to take advantage of the huge efforts that have been put into creating a curated source of the truth, and all of the wonderful visualization and enterprise delivery capabilities of OBI, without having to sacrifice the ability to add data that didn’t make the cut for the data warehouse team.”

6. Oracle Big Data Discovery (BDD) Webinar on 5-Feb-2015

Boris Dahav posted Oracle Data Discovery: The Visual Face of Hadoop

and posted a link to an upcoming webinar.

7. Are Invisible Columns really Invisible?

Jeff Smith asks and answers this question.

twitterThis week on Twitter

KPI Partners shared Manufacturing Analytics for Oracle BI & E-Business Suite | Download Information Sheet

Alexander Hansal tweeted Siebel Open UI – Create your own user experience

Gokhan Atil posted Enterprise Manager and Services, Part I

LinkedinThis week on LinkedIn


Kent Graziano posted Better Data Modeling: The Data Warrior Speaks 2015



Stories from Cameron’s blog for Essbase Hackers, thatJeffSmith and Oracle Scratchpad

Videos such as:

OBIEE Bulk Scheduler

and Oracle Coherence: Explaining the 3 Cache Types