A day in the life of an Oracle Applications Consultant


Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Oracle Diagnostics Support Pack and the Applications Collection Tool (ACT)

This post contains information on a very useful feature of the Oracle E-Business Suite that allows you to perform diagnostics on your instance and the related setup.

For quite some time now I’ve been making use of the Oracle Diagnostics Support Pack when implementing and supporting Oracle E-Business Suite. I’ve found it an invaluable tool to check applications setups, compare setups between different instances/environments and diagnose specific problems with a particular module or process. In addition to this, when raising a TAR with Metalink, quite often you will find that they will require you to run some of the scripts in the Diagnostics Support Pack.  Surprisingly not many implementor’s I’ve dealt with know about this tool so hopefully I will be able to raise the awareness of it.

March 2005 saw the release of the Diagnostics Support Pack version 5.3 which contains diagnostic scripts for the following components of Oracle E-Business Suite: -

  • ERP - Enterprise Resource Planning
    • Applications Core Technology
    • Distribution/Supply Chain
    • Financials
    • Human Resource Management Systems
    • Manufacturing
    • Projects Suite
    • Public Sector
    • Self-Service Web Applications
  • CRM - Customer Relationship Management
    • CRM Applications Foundation
    • Service
    • Contracts
    • E-Commerce
    • Marketing
    • Sales

The details of how to setup the Diagnostics Support Pack can be found in Metalink note 167000.1 entitled eBusiness Suite Support - Oracle Diagnostics Support Pack Installation Guide. According to this note: -

Oracle eBusiness Support initiated an automation effort to ensure customers are successful at installing, using and upgrading Oracle eBusiness products. The goal of this program is to create tools that will increase customer problem avoidance, customer self-service and support engineer efficiency.

The diagnostic tests provided as part of this Oracle Diagnostics Support Pack gather information and perform a set of tests on that information. The results include the output of information gathered, the results of the tests and appropriate actions to take. The tests provided do not alter data or setup.

The Support Packs are updated and released every other month and include the latest updates to existing tests and all new tests that are available.

The note provides you with the URL from which you can access the diagnostics, namely http://<web-tier-host:port>/OA_HTML/jtfqalgn.htm, and contains the following sections: -

  1. Diagnostic Support Pack Overview - An overview of the diagnostic support pack and how it can help you
  2. System Requirements - System/Version requirements for the diagnostic support pack
  3. References
  4. Installation Instructions - Instructions for installing the diagnostic support pack
  5. Usage - Instructions for running tests included in the diagnostic support pack
  6. Recent New/Updated Diagnostic Tests
  7. Complete List of All Tests Contained in the Diagnostic Support Pack

Applications Collection Tool

The Applications Collection Tool (ACT) is another tool that collects detailed information about your technical environment as well as any module you specify. E-Business Suite R11 users can run this as a separate programme (see Note:293127.1)  whilst 11i users can run it from the Diagnostics Support Pack under the Applications DBA responsibility.

Other Useful Metalink Notes

  • Note:235307.1 - OSS Application Diagnostics Tools: FAQ and Troubleshooting Guide
  • Note:179661.1 - Applications Support Diagnostic Tools Catalog
  • Note:293198.1 - How To Use Support Diagnostics Tools Most Effectively
  • Note:296261.1 - How To Install And Run The Applications Collection Tool (ACT) - On-Line Trainings

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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Oracle eBS 11.5.10 Upgrade Assistant and Maintenance Wizard

Oracle Metalink has recently announced the release of the new upgrade assistant otherwise referred to as the Maintenance Wizard. This post contains the details.

According to Metalink: -

Oracle Support provides a self-service tool (formerly known as E-Business 11i Upgrade Assistant) that guides customers in a methodical and repeatable way through the upgrade process. The Upgrade Assistant and Maintenance Pack Assistant are now part of a tool called Maintenance Wizard.

Upgrade Assistant 11.5.10 was released on February 4, 2005 and is intended to help implementers upgrade Oracle Applications from 10.7 or 11.0.3 to 11.5.10. In March 2005 Oracle intends to release the Database Upgrade Assistant 9i for upgrading Applications databases from 8i to 9i.

View Oracle Support’s Free Upgrade Assistance Data Sheet (Metalink User Name and Password required) or read the Maintenance Wizard FAQ. To download the latest version of the Maintenance Wizard visit Metalink Note 215527.1 entitled Master issue list for the Maintenance Wizard - this note provides you with a listing of all the releases from version 1.01 through to the current release, version 1.07. The diagram below also gives you some idea of what the Maintenance Wizard looks like.

An illustration of the Oracle 11i Upgrade Assistant or Maintenance Wizard

You can also find the following demonstrations on Metalink which will give you some idea of how to use and implement it: -

Lastly, for those readers who don’t have access to Metalink you can obtain more information at the official Oracle Upgrade Assistant Web Page.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Oracle Web Conference (OWC) replaces Oracle Direct Connect (ODC) 

A couple of weeks ago I had to use Oracle Web Conference (OWC) to resolve a Severity Level 1 Technical Assistance Request (TAR). This post discusses this new feature Oracle is offering for Collaborative Support.

My first reaction when asked by Oracle Support if we could have an OWC session to help resolve a TAR was mmm…..they must have made a spelling mistake. I’ve used ODC (Oracle Direct Connect) to resolve TAR’s for the past couple of year’s and I soon found out that it has now been replaced by Oracle Web Conference (OWC) which is run from Oracle Collaboration Suite. I have to say that I was really impressed by this product and will try in the next few sentences and pictures to give you an idea of how it works and what it looks like. The Metalink Note 274430.1 entitled How to use OWC as a customer contains instructions on how to use OWC and states: -

Oracle Web Conference (OWC) is the next generation of collaborative support that allows us to engage in a one on one system relationship with dual party control of your system using the Internet. This allows the Support Engineer to observe your issue first hand within your specific environment. OWC works on the same principles as Oracle Direct Connect(ODC) but gives us a greater range of possibilities.

Typically, to use OWC you will be given a conference ID and login information by Oracle Support. After accessing Metalink and then clicking on the Oracle Collaborative Support picture you will be presented with a screen as illustrated below which will allow you to start your conferencing session.

Resolve problems online with Oracle Web Conferencing (OWC)

The Oracle Web Conferencing (OWC) Welcome Screen

In your conference with Oracle Support they will most likely run through your problem on screen with you and via the phone. After logging out you can then access a recording of the conference via the archive as displayed in the screen shot below. I thought it was quite cool that you can download a copy of the conference session afterwards 😊

The Oracle Web Conferencing (OWC) Archive Screen

Download your Oracle Support conference sessions using the archive