A day in the life of an Oracle Applications Consultant

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Blog Links - JD Edwards, Red Hat, Oracle vs SAP growth, Metalink and Release 12i

News on Applications Unlimited - Oracle’s plan to enhance JD Edwards, Oracle, PeopleSoft and Siebel applications on an on-going basis. New release of JDE announced. Metalink user names changing to e-mail addresses. Oracle Applications License growth exceeds that of SAP and is Oracle looking to create their own Linux distro?

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Oracle OpenWorld 2006 - OAUG Call for presentations now open

I got a mail from the Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG) the other day informing me of their call for papers for Oracle OpenWorld, being run at the Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA USA from October 22-26, 2006. I certainly plan to be at OpenWorld this year whether I’m presenting or not, so let me know if you’re going to be there and hopefully we can meet up.

The e-mail reads as follows:

The Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG) invites the family of Oracle Applications users to share its ideas, innovations and solutions during Oracle OpenWorld 2006 (OOW 06). All accepted presenters and co-presenters will receive a complimentary full-conference registration to Oracle OpenWorld 2006.

The OAUG call for presentations for OOW 06 is now open and the deadline for submission is June 11, 2006. Presentation abstracts can be submitted on the following topics:

  • Technology
  • Procurement and Advanced Planning
  • Order Management
  • Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Service/Sales
  • Human Resources and Payroll
  • Financials
  • Business Intelligence/Data Warehousing
  • Public Sector
  • PeopleSoft
  • Siebel
  • Oracle Retail Users Group (ORUG)
  • Oracle HCM Users Group (OHUG)
  • PeopleSoft Distributors’ & Manufacturers’ Users Group (DMUG)

Submit your presentation abstract for consideration today!

For additional information regarding Oracle OpenWorld 2006, visit the OpenWorld 2006 Web site.

Important Paper Submission Dates and Deadlines
June 11, 2006: Presentation abstracts due
June 30, 2006: Accepted presenters notified by the OAUG

Manage your Oracle E-Business Suite Setup with ConfigSnapshot

ConfigSnapshot is a product we’ve recently bought and purchased in our organisation and I thought it would be useful to give it a mention on the blog. According to their site:

Effective management of set up data within the Oracle E-Business Suite is an essential requirement for all organizations. In reality, however, doing this can be a monumental task. At all stages of the Oracle E-Business Suite lifecycle (Implement - Support - Upgrade) it can prove to be a major headache.  The process is notoriously prone to human error and carries a significant overhead cost.

ConfigSnapshot, an easy-to-install, easy-to-use product enables organisations to simplify the entire process reducing the effort and cost, increasing accuracy at all stages, solve problems quicker and reduce human configuration error.

What you can do with the product?

  • Automatically generate set up documentation
  • Generate set up documentation for a single application environment
  • Compare operating unit / set of books / inventory organisation / business group set up within an environment
  • Compare set up between two application environments
  • Compare different versions of the applications
  • Identify set up changes that have occurred since a specific date
  • Identify changes made by a specific user
  • Review difficult to manage set up items in an easy to use format

What are the benefits of ConfigSnapshot?

ConfigSnapshot can help organisations at all stages of the E-Business Suite cycle by enabling you to take control of your application set up:

  • Dramatically reduce timeframes
  • Facilitate problem resolution
  • Increase accuracy
  • Reduce risk
  • Increase understanding
  • Simplify important housekeeping tasks
  • Enable time to be focussed on ensuring the set up is optimised for the business needs
  • Ensure both Oracle and internal standards have been followed correctly

We’ve found this product most useful at Thales and of course if you would like to see it in action then drop me a mail or speak to the team at ConfigSnapshot via their website.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Oracle Apps Wiki

I’ve just upgraded to the latest release of ExpressionEngine (the software I use to run this blog) which has a new Wiki module. I’ve decided, therefore, to start up an Oracle Apps Wiki. I’m probably going to use the wiki to post draft articles and presentations so that I can get feedback and contributions from other members. More importantly, I’d like to have comments from readers as to how you think we could use the wiki. I’ve given access to members only as I don’t want too much wiki spam so if you’re a member feel free to play. The wiki help will explain how it should be used and there’s an RSS and Atom feed to subscribe to updates. Enjoy

The ExpressionEngine upgrade announcement reads as follows:

We are pleased to announce the release of ExpressionEngine 1.4.2, the EE Wiki module, and Forum Module 1.3.

ExpressionEngine 1.4.2 is primarily a maintenance release, resolving any bugs reported recently.  It also includes over 20 new features and enhancements.

The Wiki Module is a powerful wiki that integrates seamlessly with ExpressionEngine, providing a great solution for websites centered on community contributed content.  It is included free with the ExpressionEngine Personal and Commercial licenses.

The new Discussion Forum Module adds significant new features such as the ability to “split” or “merge” threads, “Show/Hide” capability, enhanced RSS support, and more.

Posted by Richard Byrom on 05/26 at 01:40 AM
e-mail this articleAdministrationNewsWiki • (3) CommentsBookmark this to del.icio.usPermalink

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Oracle Apps Blog - 10 Questions

I got 10 interview questions from Marian Crkon of The Feature blog, which I’ve answered as follows:

1. How did you get involved with Oracle Applications?

My original profession was that of an Accountant and Auditor with Deloitte & Touche in Zimbabwe. I then got involved in developing Executive Information Systems (EIS) with the Microsoft Office Suite of Products with the Business Development Services (BDS) side of Deloittes. After Deloittes I moved to PricewaterhouseCoopers where I joined them as a BaaN consultant. With the collapse of BaaN, PwC decided to turn all BaaN consultants into Oracle consultants and I got sent on an Oracle Bootcamp at RPC Data in Botswana. I did pretty well on the Bootcamp and six months later ended up getting a job offer by the company that trained us. I’ve been implementing Oracle E-Business Suite ever since April 2001, 5 years now.

2. How are you involved with the applications now?

I’m implementing internally for Thales, a large defence company where I head up the Financials Team. We’re rolling out across the group and trying to come up with a standard implementation methodology as well configuration for all companies within the organisation.

3. What applications or functionality have you implemented recently?

All of the Financials modules really and I’m getting the chance to make use of some of the more advanced features which is pretty much why I came to the UK in the first place.

4. What is your favorite application or feature?

Probably Oracle Financial Analyzer which I haven’t touched in some time. It’s being replaced by Enterprise Planning and Budgeting (EPB) but I haven’t had the chance to implement EPB yet or play with it that much.

5. If you could change one thing about the applications, what would it be?

I think it would be standardisation between how the different modules work. When you use the different modules you get the feeling they were all developed by different people who weren’t talking to each other (which is probably the case anyway). For example, lets say your are running the interface to General Ledger in Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable, or maintaining a Customer or Supplier in these modules, they are both done in completely different ways and the interface for performing these operations is different. I think there’s a lot more room to give various components of the application a consistent look and feel. I guess this will happen over time but considering all the acquisitions that Oracle is going through as well as what’s happening with Project Fusion it does make the whole exercise a little difficult.

6. What inspired you to start blogging about Oracle Applications?

Originally I started up to share tips and tricks about Oracle as well as just get more exposure as at that time I was working in Africa and considering a move to the United Kingdom or United States. I soon found that my site wasn’t getting as much traffic as expected and through trial and error discovered the secret to having a really good web site and getting more visitors was to have good content that changed on a frequent basis. I discovered Mark Rittman’s blog and realised that this would be a good way to build up some really good content and at the same time document solutions to problems encountered at work. The thing about having a blog is that the site administration side is a lot easier. With my first site I found that I spent more time administering all the pages and trying to optimise it for searches than actually getting around to building content. After investigating all the options of what I could use to blog and trying out a lot of different software and service providers I eventually decided to use ExpressionEngine, which I believe is the best blogging software about.

Blogging has enabled me to share what I am learning through implementation experience with a global audience as well as given me the ability to publicly document these learnings. I try as much as possible to use my blog as a knowledge management tool.

7. What are some of your favorite blogs (Oracle or otherwise)?

I read a couple of the main stream blogs and also have an Oracle Blogroll and Personal Blogroll that I read using FeedDemon, another excellent software product. The main blogs I read, apart from yours are:

8. Are there any special topics or issues that you enjoy covering?

I like to blog about things I’m learning at work or how I solved a particular problem at work. I also like keeping track of any new products coming out so that I can understand the potential impact this will have on our customers and learn the new product as soon as possible.

9. How does blogging fit into your job or your business?

It’s helped me to connect with more people that I can obtain advice from or ask questions as well as provided an effective way of documenting everything I’m doing.

10. Where do see business blogging in three years from now? How will the Web 2.0 infiltrate the enterprise?

I think we’ll see more internal blogs by large software and IT companies such as Oracle, SAP and Microsoft as a means of documenting employee conversations as well as more blogs aimed at enhancing relationships with customers i.e. bringing in that element of a two way conversation with customers. Essentially organisations are going to have to be more open and engage with customers at earlier stages of product development.

From a consulting point of view they provide a very effective mechanism for sharing knowledge with customers as well as showing them that you have the knowledge in the first place. I’m sure we’re going to see more consultants using these as a medium for demonstrating, managing and sharing their knowledge.

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