A day in the life of an Oracle Applications Consultant

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Magpie RSS/Atom parser powers Oracle Apps link blog listing

I’ve just installed the magpie plugin for Expression Engine which retrieves and parses RSS/Atom feeds. In lay man’s terms it gives you the ability to syndicate/copy the content of an RSS feed.

For this blog I’m using it to produce a listing of the latest entries added to the Oracle Apps Link Blog.

If you take a look at the left hand column of the main page you will see a new heading entitled Recent bookmarks & links. Underneath the heading there’s a listing of all the most recent links added to the link blog.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Join the OracleAppsBlog mailing list - powered by Bloglet

I’ve recently signed up for a service which will send reader’s an e-mail notifying them of any updates to my site. At the moment I have a mailing list but it is in no way automated i.e. I have to manually send everyone in my mailing list a notification of any updates to the blog. You will notice that on the left hand pane of the blog under Join our mailing list there is now a new Bloglet form. If you’re interested in receiving e-mail notifications of updates to this site then add your e-mail address in to the bloglet form. This service is ideal for persons who don’t necessarily read my site using an RSS feed reader.

Please note, if you had added yourself to the previous mailing list, you will have to resubscribe. Existing members will also have to sign up for the service as well.

Once you have signed up for Bloglet, not only will you receive an e-mail notification of updates to my site, you can also add other sites that have RSS feeds to your Bloglet subscription as well. Should you wish to remove an RSS feed from your daily Bloglet e-mail digest simply sign in to your Bloglet account and remove the feed URL.

I’m also regularly updating my Link Blog with interesting and useful sites I come across so you may also find it worthwhile adding it’s RSS feed to your Bloglet e-mail RSS subscription list.

San Diego Oracle User Group has an RSS feed!

This is the first Oracle User Group I’ve seen that has implemented RSS (apart from some of the OAUG SIG’s that run blogs - see my blogroll). Most of the Oracle User Group site’s I’ve come across don’t have this feature which means that to find out if the site has been updated you have to actually visit it - something you don’t really want to do if you’re tracking hundreds of sites a day. Hopefully other User Groups will follow suit. To me, the very fact that that the SDOUG has implemented RSS also means that they are intending to update their site frequently.

Anyone know of any other User Groups that have RSS support?

Incidentally, I’m building up a listing of User Groups in my Link Blog so all you have to do is bookmark that URL or subscribe to the RSS feed for the URL in question and each and every time I add a User Group to the list you will be notified.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Oracle Applications forum coming to this blog soon

I read with excitement the other day that ExpressionEngine v1.3 is due to be released quite soon. One of the new modules they will be introducing provides the ability to run a forum. I’ve been toying with the idea of running a forum on this site as I’ve suspected for quite some time that they might introduce this module.

Certainly there are already a number of other forums out there right now which I discussed in a post entitled Oracle Applications and E-Business Suite Forum Listing. The key to a forum being successful would be to differentiate it from the others that are out there as well as build an audience that would use it.

The first way I would do this is keep the forum aligned with the content on this site i.e. it would be focused on Oracle Applications.

Secondly, I believe the forum would immediately be different to the others out there as the software running it is feature rich and would provide users with a lot of options. To get an idea of what I’m talking about go and visit the pmachine forums which are now being run using EE1.3. The forum has a lot of features which I think the readers of this blog would appreciate. For example, you can run a poll on a post that you’ve created as well as upload file attachments.

Lastly, the forum would enable members and readers of the blog to initiate conversations rather than relying on blog authors to do this.

I would be grateful to receive comments and feedback from readers on my decision to run a forum on this site. In addition to this, any ideas you have for the forum would be much appreciated.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Rating a post on this blog

For each post on this blog I’ve now added the ability to give a rating. This service is provided by Newsgator and you will need a Newsgator Online account to cast your vote.

At the bottom of each post you will notice 5 grey stars. Rate a post by clicking on the appropriate star, 1 star means poor whilst 5 is excellent. If you don’t have a Newsgator Account you will be given the option to sign up for one.

If you’re interested in how to include such a rating system on your blog, read Tools for Blogging. More information on using Newsgator ratings can be found on Greg Reinacker’s blog, here and here

Although I’ve given the ability to rate any post, not all posts need to be rated. A case in point is this post, it’s merely an update on a feature I’ve added to the blog so it’s not really worthwhile rating it. I’ll leave it up to individual readers to determine if a blog post needs to be rated or not. As always, I appreciate your feedback and comments on this feature. I hope to use the feedback given in the ratings to help improve the quality of the content that is being delivered.

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