OracleAppsBlog
A day in the life of an Oracle Applications Consultant

Thursday, February 07, 2008

UK Oracle Apps Contractors, Consultants and Blogger Meetup in London

Next week we’re having a UK Oracle Apps Contractors, Consultants and Blogger Meetup at the Tapas Brindisa in London. If you fit into any of those categories and would be interested in coming along and meeting myself and other Oracle Apps Fans for a drink and chat then please join us at 7pm on the 13th February 2008. 

The event was initiated by Simon Tomey of BeLife and I’ll be joining in along with some of his colleagues and friends. Although its a social I’ll be there with my laptop and internet connection so we can always do some techy stuff.

If you need any further information don’t hesitate to contact me. I’ve also created an event in Yahoo’s upcoming calendar tool so that you can automatically add the details to whatever calendar software or application you are using or let us know whether you plan to attend. 

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Oracle Applications EBS on a Laptop, Desktop or Server for 11i or R12

A couple of years back I used to have my own Oracle E-Business Suite setup on a laptop, now I’m looking at doing this again but this time I want to bypass the installation and setup effort. Certainly the online 11i and R12 Vision instances that Solution Beacon provide you with are useful but having your own Oracle Applications instance allows you to play with other Oracle software like Workflow, Discoverer and Applications Desktop Integrator (ADI). It also helps in situations where you don’t have internet access. With that in mind I’ve done some investigation and discovered two independent providers of this type of service/product in the UK.  

The first provider is James Ball Consulting who provides what are called small architectures. According to his site:

Every administrator knows that the most effective way to get to grips with new technology is to sit down with the software to practice, experiment and explore. Building and experimenting with new Oracle software is something we have been doing for a long time and this series of small architectures is built from that acquired knowledge and designed to allow administrators to familiarise themselves a new system on hardware which mirrors a large production system without the associated costs.

To make the learning experience as realistic and useful as possible we keep the systems as ‘real’ as we can without introducing excessive cost and taking up valuable desk space. This is achieved by using low-cost mini-ITX hardware and commodity networking equipment to model much larger Oracle system within a small footprint. All systems run Oracle Enterprise Linux so that, for administrators running any type of Unix, tasks such as scripting, maintenance and management are kept as close to the product environment as possible. The end result is that the administrator has a system which is: small, fast, reliable and realistic at an affordable price.

Essentially James will build you a mini Server on which you can have your Oracle Apps Instance. He provides the following types of architectures and can also build according to your unique requirements:

Single Node Database Server 10g Architecture.

This system allows a DBA or Developer to have a dedicated Oracle 10g database environment on the desktop for evaluation and testing of new Oracle software. The system consists of one node built with Oracle Enterprise Linux and networking kit to attach a desktop PC or laptop.

Single Node e-Business Suite Release 12 Architecture

This system allows the Apps DBA, Developer or Functional Consultant to learn and explore new features and setup without effecting production or test environments. The system consists of single node server with fast network links for connecting a laptop or desktop.

Two Node e-Business Suite Release 12 Architecture

An extension of the single node system, this architecture allows the administrator to explore a realistic two-node installation of the Release 12 e-Business Suite and all of the associated setup. The system consists of an application server node and a database server node with networking equipment to connect the nodes and a desktop or laptop PC as illustrated below.

Two Node e-Business Suite Release 12 Architecture Two Node e-Business Suite Release 12 Server and Laptop

The second provider is Richard Fieldhouse of AppsDBA who has the following products on offer:

11i Laptop / R12 Laptop

Oracle 11i E-Business Suite Laptop The all new product from AppsDBA.co.uk. This product has been designed for use by the business/home user who wishes to get up to speed with the Oracle 11i or R12 e-Business Suite. This product is especially useful to new users to the Oracle e-Business Suite, and give a good platform to learn or expand your current knowledge.

11i Desktop

Oracle Applications EBS 11i Desktop

The beauty of the “11i Desktop” is that you can sit it at home (on the network supplied) and run the Oracle e-Business Suite from any PC or Laptop, however connected to your network (wireless etc.).

Richard also offers a Release 12 Server, R12 DIY Optionand R12 Virtual Machine (VM). He can also build Oracle EBS laptops according to your unique requirements.

Both James and Richard are providing these products/services for under £1,000 which is quite reasonable in my opinion. Having mentioned providers in the United Kingdom I’m interested to hear from readers if there are any other worldwide providers that I should give a mention. I’m sure US providers might be able to provide a cheaper product/service given the cost of hardware and labour in their country is lower than here in the UK. Please add a comment or send me an e-mail if you know of other providers that reader might be interested in knowing about.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Oracle Financials Applications Consulting

Oracle Financial Applications Functional ConsultingI recently came across the Oracle Financial Applications Consulting site and thought I would give it a mention since there’s some downloads on the site which I believe would be useful to readers. The about section of the site has the following to say about the founder:

The Orafinapps was formed by Daniel North in 2005 to provide Oracle Financials consulting services and solutions. The business has recently been rebranded in order to emphasise its core skills and to provide a strong platform to attract new business and share skills, tools and experiences with others in the Oracle Financials community

Daniel is a principal level ex-Oracle UK consultant with an Accounting & Finance degree and considerable experience of large multi-country projects over the last 10 years of implementing Oracle Financials.

He is a skilled and effective applications consultant, who brings with him a great deal of international experience, strong communication skills with the drive and enthusiasm to get results quickly. He has continually demonstrated his ability to adapt to new and challenging environments whilst maintaining consistently high standards of professionalism.

 Daniel offers services in the following areas:

The sites Knowledge Base has a number of downloads which are categorised as follows:

Oracle Financials Implementation and User Guides

A collection of Oracle Financials related material used for implemetation and training purposes. Current sub categories include the following:

  • FSG Reporting
    • FSG User Manual
    • FSG Training
    • FSG Report Writing Guidelines and Strategy
    • FSG Overview spreadsheet
    • Links to FSG SQL scripts
    • FSG Hits and Tips such as writing continental Europe style balance sheets
  • Accounting for Currency - General Ledger currency information surrounding the treatment of foreign currency and the handling of revaluations and translations. 
  • Country Specific Localization Guides - A collection of country specific setup documents, solution proposals and user guides.

A collection of Oracle Financials Tools

Oracle Financials Project Plans, Scope Documentations, Functional, Configuration Documents, Dataload Classic .dld files & Dataload Professional Files .fld

  • Project Management Tools
    • Go Live Criteria Check List Go/No Go
    • Oracle Financials Consultant Interview Questions

The Largest Collection of Free Oracle Financials Scripts on the Internet

The scripts can be downloaded and used  free of charge subject to the following:

  • All scripts have been written for use on Oracle R11i ( 11.5.5 to 11.5.10 ) although untested they may work on other verstions and should be run using a tool such as TOAD or similar. 
  • They should be submitted with read only sql account under the APPS schema. 
  • Always run scripts first on a test system after taking a full system back and only run them in a production system once you have tested and undertaken your own peer review.

Scripts are available in the following areas: -

  • System Administrator SQL Scripts
    • Concurrent Request Running Times
    • Users of a concurrent request including parameters
  • General Ledger SQL Scripts
    • GL : ADI Opening Balances
    • GL : Autopost Definitions
    • GL : CoA Parent Accounts
    • GL : CoA Segment Qualifiers
    • GL : CoA Structure
    • GL : CoA Values
    • GL : Code Combinations
    • GL : Consolidation Mapping
    • GL : Cross Validation Rules (CVR) Line Detail, Summary Overview & Common Configuration Errors
    • GL : Distinct accounts by GL Source
    • GL : Entered Currency by Month
    • GL : FSG Reports. Column Sets, Row Sets, Content Sets, Row Orders
    • GL : GL Interface snapshot across books & GL Interface Details
    • GL : Journal Lines including Reference fields
    • GL : Journal Category & Source Combinations Used
    • GL : Journal Headers & Batches
    • GL : Journal Line based Trial Balance
    • GL : Mass Allocation Formula
    • GL : Period Statuses
    • GL : Security Rule Assignments & Security Rule Definitions
    • GL : Set of Books configuration
    • GL : Summary Account Template
    • GL : Trial Balance from GL Balances
  • DataLoad .dld SQL Scripts
  • Includes the following Dataload scripts that output data in a .dld dataload classic format to extract configuration from one environment to load into the next using dataload classic. This eliminates the need to manually review and update you .dld spreadsheets and files.

    • Dataload .dld GL Cross Validation Rules
    • Dataload Professional .fld : Daily Rates load
    • GL : Mass Allocation Migration Script in Dataload Professional FLD format
    • GL : Mass Allocation Rule Migration Script in Dataload Classic Format

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Oracle Business Accelerators (OBA) for E-Business Suite

Towards the end of last year I blogged about the Oracle Accelerate programme. The first step required to participate in the programme is to complete the Oracle Business Accelerators for Oracle E-Business Suite Accelerators Overview Course available on i-learning. The purpose of this course is to:

  • Provide an overview of the Oracle Business Accelerators
  • Familiarize you with the Accelerators Online Portal 
  • Mandatory for all users of Oracle Business Accelerators
  • Gain Access to online portal after successful completion

According to the course, the goal of Oracle Business Accelerators (OBA) is to use industry targeted leading practice business flows to rapidly get to transaction testing and go live.

How do the Accelerators work?

  1. Using the Accelerators Online Portal capture information from Customers and generate configuration instructions
  2. Within E-Business Suite - download configuration instructions and load setups to instance

Essentially, Accelerators allow you to generate your systems configuration instructions based on a series of questions presented to the Customer that pertain to their industry. Once the configuration instructions are generated they can be loaded onto an Oracle instance to create the setups. In essence,  the setup of an Oracle instance is faster as there is now more automation involved. There are varying access levels for the accelerator online portal and these are outlined below. For each level courses have to be taken to gain access.

Level 1 Browse

This gives you access to the following:

  • Datasheets
  • Solution Footprint
  • Process Models
  • Sales Pitch
  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Functionality Overview
  • Industry Business Case
  • Videos and FAQ
  • Project Implementation Guide
  • Setup Guide and Video
  • Setup Tool Save Mode Off

To attain level 1 status the following courses have to be undertaken:

  • Overview - 30 minutes
  • How to Position - 30 minutes (optional) 
  • Industry Business Case - 30 minutes (optional)

Level 2 Browse

This gives you access to the following:

  • Includes Level 1
  • Implementation Guidelines
  • Setup Questions
  • Key Assumptions
  • Testing Sequence
  • Setup Tool Save Mode Off

To attain level 2 status the following courses have to be undertaken:

  • Implementation Overview - 30 minutes

Level 3 “Project Workspace” (per industry)

This gives you access to the following:

  • Includes Level 2
  • Test Scripts
  • Setup Tool Save Mode On

To attain level 3 status the following courses have to be undertaken:

  • Implementation Details - 60 minutes
  • Common Setups - 60 minutes
  • Industry Implementation - 40 minutes (per Industry)

Setup Loader Utility for DBA’s

  • No other levels included
  • Setup Loader Utility is Mandatory for Setup Tool Downloads

To attain the loader utilities, the following course has to be undertaken:

  • Installation Training for DBA’s - 60 minutes

Following successful completion of the Oracle Business Accelerators for Oracle E-Business Suite Accelerators Overview Course an assessment exam can be taken which gives you access to the Accelerators Online Portal. The exam is a 20 question exam for which the pass rate is 95%  i.e. 19 questions right. There doesn’t seem to be any time limit on the exam but it should really only you take you 20 minutes i.e. 1 minute per question. I managed to pass on the second attempt and my advice to anyone taking it is take notes on the overview course and have them as a reference point when writing the exam.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Richard Byrom Consulting

Last year I left my permanent job and I am now going to be contracting as an Independent Oracle Applications Consultant and Solutions Architect. I’ve formed Richard Byrom consulting and the consulting tab on my site outlines the type of services I intend to provide which can broadly be categorised into the following areas: -

  • Bids and Proposals
  • Business Consulting and Analysis
  • Information Technology (IT) Strategy
  • Solutions Architecting
  • Enterprise Resource Plannning (ERP) Implementations
  • Writing and Presenting

I’m looking forward to this particular venture and am interested to see what its like working as an Independent contractor. I also see it as an opportunity to breath some life back into my blogs. If you’re interested in my services or want to talk to me about potentially working together then please don’t hesitate to contact me.

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