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VMWare Player and IP Ranges June 30, 2008

Posted by Duncan in Administration, Oracle, PeopleSoft, PeopleTools, Virtualisation.
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I’ve been doing some work with VMWare Server and VMWare Player. They’re both free tools (download links can be found on the Applications page) and can be invaluable when you need a sandbox environment.

VMWare Server is great for creating the VMs, and you need it while you’re adding virtual disks etc. However once the VM is in place it may be worthwhile switching to VMWare Player. The Player is slightly faster but you can’t perform maintenance like add disks when using it. Also, they don’t co-exist on the same client machine, it’s either one or the other. To be honest, I just uninstall and install as it doesn’t take that long.

The issue I faced, and the reason for this post is that VMWare Server lets the user configure the IP Address assignments and DHCP ranges from within the application, while VMWare player doesn’t. This is a bit of an issue if you have a VM that you’ve configured with a static IP address in a non-default range, then when you switch to VMWare Player the static IP isn’t in the default range.

The secret to know is that the ability is still there, you just have to go looking for it. The utility you need is ‘vmnetcfg.exe’ and it’s under the VMWare Player install directory (i.e. ‘C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Player’). From here you can configure the IP Ranges to be whatever you wish.

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The Future for XMLP April 17, 2008

Posted by Duncan in Oracle, XML Publisher.
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Tim Dexter’s presentation on XML Publisher at Collaborate’08 gives us an insight into what lies ahead for XMLP.

The first portion of the presentation is more of an introduction so will be familiar to many of you, from slide 32 onwards however it got more interesting.

  • XBRL Publisher?
  • Excel Templates (finally!)
  • Master Templating (like the slide master in Powerpoint, or CSS in HTML)

The presentation can be found on Tim’s post here:

http://blogs.oracle.com/xmlpublisher/2008/04/17#a930

REN Server Ports on Multi-App Installations February 7, 2008

Posted by Duncan in Administration, Infrastructure, Oracle, PeopleSoft, PeopleTools, PS Admin.
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When you have more than one App Server on a single machine – and they both need to run a Ren Server process – you need to adjust the port number in the same way you do for other processes (although the REN Server is easy to miss – like I did – as it’s near the bottom away from the other port numbers).

If you do boot the App Server without changing the port you’ll get an error message:

exec PSRENSRV -A -- -C psappsrv.cfg -D PADMO -S PSRENSRV : CMDTUX_CAT:1685: ERROR: Application initialization failure

tmboot: CMDTUX_CAT:827: ERROR: Fatal error encountered; initiating user error handler

tmshutdown -qy

OK, you think. I know what that is, it must be a port clash. So you reconfigure the port in PSADMIN and then try to boot it again. Same error. Checking the REN Server log gives the following clue:

(ERROR) nssock: Cannot listen on port 7180. The port may already be in use.

It’s still looking on port 7180, not the new port!

The missing step is to update the database, as the port is stored there also:

UPDATE PSREN SET PORT_NUM = 7185, SSLPORT_NUM = 7148

You should then find you App Server and Ren Server boot fine.

SQL Best Practises in less than 20 minutes January 29, 2008

Posted by Duncan in Oracle, PeopleSoft, SQL.
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A post on the blog of H.Tonguç Yılmaz drew my attention to a great video tutorial by Stephane Faroult on “SQL Best Practises in less than 20 minutes”.

http://www.roughsea.com/vids/SQL_Best_Practices.html

Stephane clearly knows his topic, but also possesses a wonderful dry wit. His comical example of the developer’s shopping algorithm and the “DBA doing the parameter dance” to tune it had me chuckling away and has made sure that the point won’t be forgotten.

Is Oracle the next Microsoft? January 24, 2008

Posted by Duncan in Oracle, PeopleSoft.
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There’s an article/survey on the Register website pondering the above topic.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/01/24/oracle_bea_acquisition/

Tolerance of slow App Server boot January 22, 2008

Posted by Duncan in Infrastructure, Oracle, PeopleSoft, PeopleTools, PS Admin, Tuxedo.
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In one of the more recent versions of Tools (8.49 is the first time I’ve noticed it, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been around in prior versions) I’ve noticed that occasionally the boot of an Application Server will fail with an error.

Booting admin processes ...
exec BBL -A :
CMDTUX_CAT:1863: INFO: Process ID=2636 Assume failed (timeout).

At the time of writing, there is nothing in Customer Connection for this, and a google search wasn’t particularly helpful either. So I had to resort to a technique from pre-Google days – i.e. work it out myself. Thankfully it wasn’t too difficult. (more…)

Checking out the competition: Workday January 22, 2008

Posted by Duncan in Oracle, PeopleSoft.
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A colleague spotted that the Workday website has some online demos posted.

For those unfamiliar with Workday it’s the next project of Dave Duffield, the co-founder and ex-chairman of PeopleSoft.  See http://www.davesnextmove.com/

Some of the UI is pretty new (the org charts, related items and inline analytics are nice) but some of it is really reminiscent of a more ‘web 2.0’ style of PeopleSoft (the stars for required fields, the prompts, the date lookups etc).

Workday_screenshot

It’s interesting they’ve used Adobe’s Flex/Flash to enhance the UI rather than Ajax or Microsoft’s Silverlight, and they’re using the ‘home page’ as more of a functional than a structural portal – definitely a step in the right direction.

The demos are here:
http://www.workday.com/resources/product_previews/index.php

BEA acquired by Oracle January 16, 2008

Posted by Duncan in Fusion, Oracle, PeopleSoft.
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On the same day as Sun’s purchase of MySQL, it seems Oracle has finally managed to purchase BEA for $8.5 billion. Not as much as BEA wanted, but more than Oracle’s ‘highest offer’.

Press Release on Yahoo News

“The addition of BEA products and technology will significantly enhance and extend Oracle’s Fusion middleware software suite,” said Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. “Oracle Fusion middleware has an open “hot-pluggable” architecture that allows customers the option of coupling BEA’s WebLogic Java Server to virtually all the components of the Fusion software suite. That’s just one example of how customers can choose among Oracle and BEA middleware products, knowing that those products will gracefully interoperate and be supported for years to come.”

Multi Rowset Output from Query for XMLP January 15, 2008

Posted by Duncan in Oracle, PeopleSoft, PeopleTools, XML Publisher.
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One of the issues with using PSQuery to generate the XML for an XMLP report is that you can only get a single rowset from a query, meaning your report had to be fairly simple. In the past, for more complex reports I’ve just created an App Engine instead as it gives me greater control over the XML generated.

Another method exists however …

(more…)

Materialized Views January 10, 2008

Posted by Duncan in Oracle, PeopleSoft, SQL.
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A materialized view (aka Snapshot) is a sort of ‘summary table’, the use of which allows you to reduce the processing time and complexity of some queries.

It’s a view where the data is defined via a SQL statement, but the resulting dataset is actually stored in the database (which can then be indexed, analysed etc). Depending upon the parameters chosen Oracle can keep the data in your view in sync with that in the tables upon which it is based. They were originally designed for replication (i.e. holding local copies of remote tables) but they’ve been adapted for performance tuning and reporting use.

(more…)