Category Archives: Business

The rising of the Standard Edition (#orclse2)


It was the second half of 2011 when the broader introduction of Standard Edition database security tooling was introduced in The Benelux. Dbvisit Standby was the tool and protecting data in Standard Edition databases was the deal.

I remember the first meetings vividly! The Standard Edition database? Many people had not heard of this edition or, more frighteningly, the ones that knew about it, ignored it. Standard Edition was not something to be taken seriously, let alone used to run your production system on.
Still this time marked the start of the silent (r)evolution and the rising of the Standard Edition.

Since those days many things have changed.
With the continued attention and drive for promoting Oracle Standard Edition (SE) database, the visibility of this edition has flourished.
Obviously the economic hardship of the last years have encouraged companies to review their IT budgets. The investment friendly character of SE have helped its growth, especially in such times.
During the second half of 2013 the first broader initiatives around SE started to become visible. One of the highlights of the SE uprise was the world premiere of the Standard Edition Round Table during Harmony 2014 in Helsinki Finland organized by Ann Sjökvist, Philippe Fierens and myself, the same people that lead the Standard Edition community today.

With the increased attention, worries also came. The Standard Edition and Standard Edition One editions had no cap on the number of cores per processor. This means that modern servers, running SE, equipped with huge amounts of processor cores, bring tremendous processing power at extremely low cost.
Signs of change became visible with the postponed release of Oracle database patch release 12.1.0.2.0 for SE.se2And now, in 2015, Standard Edition is a tool to distinguish yourself with. Many IT consultancy firms advertise their SE-expertise and have increased visibility in this respect. Many new initiatives have been fired up to help give Standard Edition the punch it needs for the even more serious jobs. News on Standard Edition is spread by a range of blog posts (like this one) as a result and UKOUG_Tech15 is even hosting a Standard Edition track! We have come a long way!!

And finally, with the release of Oracle Standard Edition Two, on the first of September 2015, the future of Oracle Standard Edition has been secured. The release of version 12.1.0.2.0 marks a new era for this Smart Edition.
Standard Edition Two retains many of the important advantages of Standard Edition and Standard Edition One while capping the processor core factor at a very usable level.

Yes, Oracle Standard Edition is a solid product in the Oracle stack and is still capable to help Oracle offer the most complete software operations stack, especially due to the development and deployment capabilities of APEX.
An unbeatable, endlessly scalable and super affordable solution on the market today.
We have come a long way to witness the rising of the Standard Edition!

And what about the changes?

  • Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 (SE2) will replace SE and SE1 from version 12.1.0.2 onward;
  • SE2 will have a limitation of maximum 2 socket systems and a total of 16 CPU threads*;
    • SE2 has Resource Manager hard coded to use no more than 16 CPU threads, which helps protect against noncompliance.
  • SE One and SE will no longer be available to purchase from November 10th, 2015;
  • Oracle is offering license migration scenarios from SE One and SE to SE2;
    1. SE One users pay a 20% increase in support for the migration.
    2. SE customers face no other cost increases for license or support*.
  • * Named user (NUP) minimums for SE2 are now 10 per server;
  • There are no changes in the use of visualization solutions;
  • 12.1.0.1 SE and SE1 customers will have 6 months of patching support once SE2 12.1.0.2 is released with quarterly patches still being available in October of 2015 and January of 2016.

Hope this helps!


Oracle Standard Edition 2, a bright new future

Okay, it is not very much more than smoke, since Ludovico Caldara found MOS note 2027072.1 about the support of Standard Edition 12.1.0.2.0 and blogged and tweeted about it.

Despite Ludovico’s disclaimer, there is, nevertheless, some smoke… And Twitter quite quickly filled up (at least the early where I take interest). Dominic Giles stated: “More to come soon!” And Ann Sjökvist urged calmness by saying: “let’s wait for facts!” And of course she is right.

Why then this blogpost?

As one of the founders of the Oracle Standard Edition Round Table (#orclSERT), this interests me. Standard Edition One comprises the most cost effective software stack around. For a deeper dive on that statement, please visit an orclSERT session at an Oracle Usergroup event near you, or drop me a line.
Obviously some kind of news of this category has been long expected as the development of “ever more cores per socket” kept increasing. We have been eagerly awaiting this for a few years actually, hesitant to speak about it… For obvious reasons 😉

Where there is smoke, there is fire, especially when PM’s speak. And as the note states that the release of SE2 is foreseen for Q3 of 2015 (which coincidently is THIS quarter) I would like to prepare myself…

This is what we have to go by for now:

Beginning with the release of Oracle Database 12.1.0.2 Standard Edition 2 (SE2), Standard Edition (SE) and Standard Edition One (SE1) are replaced by Standard Edition 2. SE2 will run on systems with up to 2 sockets and will have the ability to support a two node RAC cluster. 12.1.0.1 was the final edition that we will produce for SE and SE1. Customers running SE or SE1 will need to migrate their licenses to SE2 to be able to upgrade to 12.1.0.2.

1. SE2 will run on systems with up to 2 sockets.
– This is not different from the current SE1 rule;
– This means that a 4 socket SE installation will have to be revised, either migrate up to EE or revamp to 2 sockets;

2. SE2 will have the ability to run a 2 node cluster.
– RAC will become available across the board in the Standard Edition realm.
– How many sockets will a full SE2 cluster be able to support? 2 sockets, if you would follow current rules, 4 sockets if the license would be optimal!

And it is always good to speculate about price… And mind you, this is smoke! The best educated guess so far, 3/4 between SE1 and SE, which could (hopefully) bring the price to round about 10k euro per socket, but… who knows? Perhaps, as Ludovico also stated, socket licensing could become history?

The great news is, Oracle Standard Edition will remain available as the alternative to the Enterprise Edition installations. For more information we will just have to hold our breath a little longer.
But, be assured, during the next session of #orclSERT we will be able to tell you (much) more!

Meanwhile I will keep preparing (and talking about it), for this change will have some impact yet…

Complex UI’s versus Simple UI’s

A few days ago I attended the AMIS UX & UI event.

During this interesting event, Niels Mansveld from AMIS presented about UX Frameworks. And he started off his presentation with an illustration about how user interfaces can create an “experience”, so to say. This illustration was a movie clip by Pixar, taken from the movie “Lifted”. It was so funny and, if you would watch it, you immediately know what Niels meant!

lifted uiThe day after I thought to show this movie at home and I found the YouTube link (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pY1_HrhwaXU). When I watched the clip, I realized that there was a second part to the preview, which Niels had left out, probably because of time concerns.
What struck me is actually the following…

I have seen quite a few views on user interfaces lately… Most of them talk about having clean and intuitive layouts and that it is important to think thoroughly about this. Shakeeb Rahman and Ultan O’broin are names that pop into my mind when thinking about this, and these gentleman are very clear about this!
Clean, intuitive UI’s make the Enterprise thrive!

Okay, but, as said, the clip went on for a little bit!TOAD saves

The second half tells the story of the Toad saving the situation, by using this same ultra intricate interface! By knowing what knob did which function, he was super-quick in saving the day!
Now, what would that mean?

Having a clean and intuitive layout may not be the ultimate solution in any situation, regardless! Having an application with a learning curve (not immediately judging the steepness of this learning curve is not always bad. If this interface helps the professional do his/her job in just a fraction of the time, because he/she knows what button to push, I think it’s a good thing.
I have to admit, there were one or two remarks about this in the flashing demo by Paco van der Linden… Bit I guess it is too little emphasized.

cockpitThere are several applications where these, more complicated interfaces do a superb job in helping the task at hand. And, as with anything, don’t blindly follow “best practices”, also in designing user interfaces!
Step back and think what would work best in your situation!

Hope this helps!

OUGN15, The “boat conference” revisited

Jan at shipsport
Reflections on OUGN

Sometimes things in life can change quickly! It is only two years ago that I came to Oslo for the first time to join the Scandinavian Oracle crew on a boat trip to Kiel.
At that time I had never actually participated in this kind of experience and I wasn’t into presenting either. Together with my good friend Philippe Fierens I discovered a whole new world back then. You could have read about these experiences in some blogpost, but this was lost in the move to my own site, sorry!

And this trip couldn’t have been more different though! With three presentations accepted the two days at sea will be a reunion with the friends I made over the last years, as well as a way to contribute to one of the most tight knit tech communities I know. And this will be in a scene that I remember vividly from being a newbie… And this is somewhat strange, believe me

After a quick and pleasant flight I touched down in Oslo, flying from Amsterdam with a decent sized crew of Dutch Oracle enthusiasts, including my good friends Patrick Barel and Alex Nuijten. Waiting in the Oslo airport for Luís Marques, I catches up with Gurcan Orhan, which was a great surprise.
Later that day we found ourselves in the Oslo harbor for the speakers dinner. You can imagine the collective amount of Oracle knowledge packed into that one restaurant!

frits
Enkitek’s Frits Hoogland on Ansible

After a somewhat restless night we arrived, on Thursday morning, at the ship Color Fantasy with the Heli Helskyaho-company, just in time for the keynotes. It was good to see Mark Rittman and James Morle made it on board too. Especially as James was up for the delivery of version 2.0 of his vibrant keynote! Next we proceeded to bring our luggage to our cabins and grab a spot of lunch on the exhibition floor down in the belly of the ship. The setup of the exhibition was quite nice and gave a good opportunity to mix and mingle.
The afternoon was spent on sessions, where I visited Frits Hoogland with the Ansible talk, and preparation for my own session at 18:00. This is the last run of this APEX presentation, as I have retired it after OUGN15. The slides will be archived here.
After finalizing the preparation for the third edition of the Standard Edition Round Table (aka “slide polishing”) with the #orclSERT team, comprising of Ann Sjökvist, Philippe and myself, it was time for the souree and for diner in the grand restaurant on board. It has been a good first day!

Diner
Dinner with the international crew on board the Color Fantasy.
Gin-tonic
Warm reception at Kiel port.

The second day of OUGN15 started with a multitude of sessions including the third edition of the Oracle Standard Edition Round Table, which was actually quite busy and interactive. We had some good discussions, and that at 09:00, so thank you, everybody.
Of course, as was declared a tradition, Björn Rost was present in the Kiel harbor. With the famous “Basil smash Gin & tonic” and sandwiches we were welcomed on German soil.
My afternoon comprised 3 sessions, starting with my own called “Okay, and now my database server crashed…” which was quite nicely received. Next Alex Nuijten on 12c new features for developer, topped off with Tim Gorman who taught us to be CSI people, in finding issues in the database.
After an enjoyable evening in the various bars and discotheques of the ship we retired the official part of the Oracle User Group Norway Vårseminar 2015, thanking the board and of course especial Øyvind Isene, for their hard work.

If you want to catch up further on the unconference communications surrounding this event, please do checkout the Twitter hashtag #OUGN15. This will also include a great set of snapshots and pictures taken along the way…

Oslo, until the next time!

Oracle on OpenVMS – revival

Can it be true?

Will there be Oracle on OpenVMS again? Meaning the “regular” (sorry) Oracle (12c) RDBMS on a revived VMS?

As many who have ever lived on OpenVMS have always known:

OpenVMS will never die!

OpenVMS can never die, becOpenVMSause it is still running way to many hidden, hyper-mission-critical environments.
The fact that these environments are hidden, combined with the fact nobody ever spent any marketing budget on OpenVMS at all, created a super solution nobody knows about. And you cannot love what you don’t know.

A lot has been happening around this tormented operating system. OpenVMS is indefinitely bound to Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) which was acquired by Compaq in June of 1998 and then merged into Hewlett Packard in May 2002.

DIGITAL-logo
Personally I have lost access to OpenVMS, and Oracle op OpenVMS, around 1995, when these systems were replace by HP Unix. I never fully recovered 😉

Until a few years ago I was introduced to a Alpha emulator, which creates a virtual machine with (obviously) an Alpha processor, which allows you to run OpenVMS. This was one step closer (back) to Oracle on OpenVMS.

Recently (like the day before yesterday, recently) I learned a number of new things! One is that the ongoing development OpenVMS will be take up by VMS Software Inc. (VSI).
But, more importantly, they will be creating new versions for mainstream hardware (such as x86)!! Wilm Boerhout of VX Company wrote an announcement about this not too long ago (article in Dutch)!

And now these rumors…

A porting of Oracle on OpenVMS!

Will we once again see the day that systems just won’t go down? Oracle environments with an uptime with like a dozen or two ‘nines’ behind the decimal-mark? Wouldn’t that be something?
Your own VMS server running an Oracle database with Oracle Application Express (APEX)? Wouldn’t that be something else? High time to clear some of your calendar and get (re)acquainted with this super OS!

A very special “thank you” goes to my dear friend Gerrit WoertmanOpenVMS Ambassador, who never seized to remain a link to the VMS World!!

If you are from The Netherlands, please also join Interexperience, to stay close to the game.

Live free or die

Big Data: Hadoop and Oracle technologies explained

MarkRittmanUnder the title “Hadoop and Oracle technologies on BI projects” Mark Rittman flew to The Netherlands on the 14th of July to visit the Oracle Usergroup Holland.

As I had obviously heard a lot about Hadoop, I never really did anything further with it and left it to a synaptic link to Gwen Shapira. This lack of action created a kind of threshold in the understanding of the technology. When I heard about this session I realized this would be the moment to take a step further. It turned out the be the  first real talk that puts “Big Data” in the perspective it needs to be consumable and realistic.

In these current times where “The Internet of Things”, more and more social media and ever further digitization we are heading to a Big Data Disruption. This is both a conceptual as a very real thing if you take a moment to think about it. According to real world experience it is also not something “which will once be”, it is something which is actually here today!

On the technical side of thhadoopings, data is captured in something that is called a “data reservoir” (or “data lake” or “data dump (yard)”). Compared with “regular” data storage, you can conclude that data-governance, or a data-structure, in a Big Data system is applied later  We are used to apply this structure, this governance, beforehand, by applying data definition. Using Hadoop in combination with noSQL give you “schema on read” capabilities making quering of the Hadoop data reservoir possible.

Adding this structure later is harder! This leads to the following:

  • Data is much easier to get into Hadoop then into a star-schema
  • Data is much easier to get out of a star-schema then out of Hadoop

This could be one of the essential things to consider when thinking about engaging in a Big Data project!

As Tanel Poder concluded: “High value, high density data will remain in the Oracle database” which I think is a very true conclusion. In the end, the high value conclusions (or the engineering of Big Data results) will also happen within the Oracle database.

On the horizon is “Oracle Big Data Discovery” which will help with the time consuming and tedious work of sorting and interpreting raw data in the data reservoir. The use of ‘R’, as the data exploration tool of duty, is expected to be replaced by this discovery tooling, over time…

To sum up the concept of the first half of the presentation, to my taste:

  • Hadoop changes business
  • NoSQL scales business
  • Oracle runs business

It takes eons to list all names of the Buddha” nicely sums up the number of different applications that make up and are needed to execute a successful Big Data project.
Plus, “You’d better keep the 13 rules for relational databases close at hand“!

presentation

Part two of the evening was spent on mapping these concepts on actually tools, disclosing data through Hadoop to Oracle SQL and making actual use of Big Data. The exercise was completed by demos and illustrated by screenshots from the slides (link below).
A special word of warning goes out to the security aspect of Big Data, which is something to really pay close attention to. Kerberos authentication and apache Sentry are imperative things to implement in your Big Data environment.

All in all, this evening turned out to be 110% more informative and necessary as I expected when I embarked on the journey to Utrecht! Thank you for sharing, Mark!

Thanks to Piet de Visser for the nice quotes! And a great “hi there” to Klaas-jan Jongsma, René Kuipers and Marti Koppelmans.

If you want to work with Big Data on your Smal(ler) Device, please download the Big data light VM from OTN.

The link to the slides for anyone who wants to review the “extended remix”!

My Oracle 2014, what a blast…

Twenty-fourteen… What a year!

As the year draws to a close, I just wanted to take a few minutes to look back at the passed crazy 12 months… Crazy from a personal as well as a professional point of view!

ougfIn June things took off for the Oracle stuff with a visit to OUGF14. My second real talk after starting to speak in UKOUG-Tech13. Plus the bonus, the first ever Round Table on Oracle Standard Edition, together with my friend Philippe Fierens and the support of Ann Sjökvist. Always imagined, never experienced, the way technology binds people. For all the events happening in Haltia, Finland, please read this post.
OUFG14 was also where I met Gurcan Orhan for the first time. My partner in (hard) rockin’ Oracle stuff!! Together with my international peers, we have quite a team and this makes me super proud.

I owe an apology to the Scotts! I should have been in Linlithgow presenting. I was honored to be selected to travel to the beautiful city of Edinburgh in one of the most beautiful parts of the world, but there were to many things going on, so I had to cancel. I am so sorry!!Scotland

The next stop on the agenda was Oracle Open World. But before I could pack my bags, up and leave, there was A LOT of work to be done at VIR e-Care Solutions coordinating and rolling out a brand new Oracle infrastructure to all of their clients.
And not alone that, there was a trip to Hamburg for Dbvisit with a presentation at the DOAG Data Replication SIG meeting, organized by Johannes Ahrends. Of course, also Björn Rost was present, plus a number of the other representatives of the data replication scene in Germany.

Oracle Open World was not the high-point of 2014, which was somewhat surprising, actually… I cannot really put my finger on it, because the days were packed with good stuff, unexpected encounters and many more goodies… But somehow, the second time around, and with a lot more OUG-experience, it didn’t crack up to be event Numero Uno of 2014! I can safely say, looking back, that national Oracle User Group events are more interesting. You get to have more quality time with the people you just get to meet a few times a year.
Still, with all the content and with everything that happened… And especially the lunch with Martin NStretchedLimoash in the sun at the CCM as well as the unparalleled drive by Stretched Limo to Treasure Island, hosted by Portrix (Henning and Björn) with Yuri Velikanov, Ilmar Kerm and others. I am not complaining!!

Coming back from America there was a huge surprise and honor for me.

ACEAssociateNominated by my peers, Oracle Corp. saw it fit to award my efforts for the Oracle Community with the Oracle ACE Associate recognition. I had never thought or expected this to be a possibility for me, so this was a complete surprise which started a chain of events, ending at the end of this post.

The final event for 2014 was the DOAG Jahreskonferenz in Nuremberg. I guess the biggest event in Europe and the biggest even for me by means of contributions. I had my “Pre-APEX” talk, there was the second edition of the Standard Edition Round Table, co-hosted by Philippe and chaired by Johannes Ahrends!! What a shock 😉 There was the Data Replication forum and Dbvisit #RepAttack!
DOAG also, and again, brought a sheer endless list of new and re-encounters with Oracle Hero’s. My good friend Peter Raganitsch was also there…

At the end of the year, you would think that you would be “home free”, right?

Well 2014 had a last trick up it’s sleeve! The year ended with me saying goodbye at VIR e-Care Solutions BV. After 16 years we had to decide to break up. It’s like tearing off a band-aid. You do it quick and it hurts less, but still…

So, I am a free man!

With this last development, set in the light of everything I had the chance of doing this year, it has been a great deal to handle. The first visit to Oracle Open World, back in 2010 has started a chain of events that has invoked some quite unforeseen twists and turns. It all looks and feels like it has been worth it, but it has indeed taken it’s toll.
Currently I am enjoying some well deserved but also much needed time off with my wife and family and I will start thinking about new ventures in a bit.
Please take a look here and here for some more information!!

Rest assured, there are some new ideas and they are EXCITING!!!
One of them being that  I will be speaking at #OUGN15, better known as the boat conference, with a brand new talk.
But hey, we’re looking back here and I wouldn’t want to spoil too much of the surprise.

Stay tuned…

A new form of on-line data protection

In the last few years I have been active with data replication solutions in the Oracle realm as you may know. This data replication field is one that has many angels, so there is something new to learn every day and sometimes there even are really new possibilities!

Take heed…

The first and most familiar form of the data replication forms is ‘physical data replication’, also known as ‘Standby Database‘.
In this form of replication, both source and target database are binary identical. Changes are propagated by copying the archived redo logfile from the source database to the environment for the standby database lives. Most often this is another server, preferably in another building in another town, far enough away to not be struck by the same havoc.

There are basically 3 ways to accomplish this;

  1. Use Oracle Data Guard (in Enterprise Edition Oracle database)
  2. Use Dbvisit Standby (in all Oracle database Editions)
  3. Write your own scripting (not recommended in any case)

The second and more emerging form of data replication is ‘Logical Data Replication’.
In this form of replication, there is not real relationship between the source and the target database, other than that the target database houses data coming from the source database. They can live on different systems, be from different database version, a different operating system or even be from a different vendor.
Data is harvested from the source database, converted and copied over to the target database / system. On the target system this data is being applied, in the native speech of the the target database.

There are a few ways to accomplish this, but basically every vendor has the same technique. It is more a matter of pricing, basically.

  1. Oracle Golden Gate (expensive, complex)
  2. Dell Shareplex (somewhat expensive)
  3. IBM Infosphere (ComPlex, expensive)
  4. Dbvisit Replicate (easy, affordable)

So, having discussed this, as this is not new, why this blogpost?

Well…

A Standby database is more or less closed. You can open it occasionally to query some data, but that interrupts the apply-process.
On-line data replication does what it says, you have an active database, where data is continuously added. This way you can, for example query, the same data on two sources to spread load.

The case I mean to discuss is the following:

“I have 10 source database and I want one target database (ah, presto, on-line data replication) and I want to backup 5 tables from each source to the target database (again, on-line data replication, but wait, backup?) so I can easily copy back specific data to the source (eeeuhm, yes…) whenever a user messes up the source tables (aï…) and I want the target to be update each day at 23:00 (so… okay!)

This reeks after somewhat of a hybrid approach!

We cannot do regular on-line data replication, for this is aimed at being real-time.
And we cannot leverage Standby database, since it needs to be centralized in one database and not 10. Next to that it would take some administration to open up the standby database in read-only mode, take the copy, and close the database again.

Working with Dbvisit, we came up with “Pause Apply” and “Resume Apply”, which we combine to form “Delayed Apply“.
This delayed apply would neatly answer the question posed.

  • By “delaying” the application of changes to the data, we could make sure the requested tables are only updated from 23:00 on;
  • We can combine the 50 tables (10 databases x 5 tables) in one single target database, since it is a logical approach to the matter;
  • We can easily restore or copy back corrupted data, since both the source and the target database remain continuously open.

Using Dbvisit Replicate, having this kind of protection for your “logical test-cases”, what this company was doing to require this solution, is really affordable.
It can help in dynamically and quickly resetting specific data-sets or test-cases while remaining much more flexible than creating scripts to reset a specific data-set or test-case! And, of course, there are many more ways to use this neat feature…

My wordpress site just disappeared

I was just thinking about re-checking something I wrote. That happens.

So I went to my blog-site… Just to find out it was gone…

GONE?

Yes, gone!

I got the message that this domain was reserved by my provider, TransIP. And that was not exactly what I was looking for.

The mystery was quickly resolved.
By checking out the ControlPanel at my TransIP account, I found I had received a message:

Dear customer,

Because of complaints of high load on our web hosting platform we have regrettably been forced to (temporary) block your website jk-consult.nl. We have done this to ensure the stability of our servers.

WHAT!!

This high load is caused by the (automatic) posting of a high number of comments on your WordPress-website. It is highly probably that this concerns unapproved comments.

In many cases this is a form of automated spam. This leads to a high load on our web hosting servers, which leads to performace problems for you and other clients on this same server.

Eeewww…

And this was followed by some comments to quiet down this spamming.

I have now installed these two plugin’s from WordPress:

https://wordpress.org/plugins/stop-spam-comments/
https://wordpress.org/plugins/spam-comments-cleaner/

And I just checked. In stead of 8000+  there were now just 2!

Another problem solved.

Thank you Arjan van den Berg (I see these are not the first kudos you’ve received)

Printing directly with APEX

When looking for a print solution with APEX you will find .PDF

You will find a lot of .PDF

And .PDF is good. There is nothing wrong with .PDF. In fact, .PDF looks cool and you can do a lot of neat stuff with it. With toolkits like pl/pdf you can create .PDF’s directly from PL/SQL.

But sometimes there is the need to be able to print directly.
For instance with batch-processing or with nightly print-runs or whatever. And this is where you would find yourself locked out with .PDF and, glancing Google, you would guess you’d be out of luck!
Since we had:

  • created a web based solution
  • the need to print directly
  • print in nightly-runs

plus we had:

  • about 400 reports (.rdf files) which we need to reuse (without having the opportunity to rebuild them in something like pl/pdf)
  • combine different output / distribution mechanisms

we needed to tackle this challenge!

So we did !!

It was fixed by using some old and new technology mixed together:

Oracle reports builder
and
Oracle Fusion Middleware, more specifically, Oracle Reports Server, aka WLS_Reports

By using this combination of products, you can create a printing solutions which is capable of printing directly to your network printer, create HTML or PDF reports.
Schedule them, e-mail them, and all this by URL-control!

http://<your-reports-server-node>:8888/reports/rwservlet?command=argument&command=argument&and-so-on

Use the following (much used, but far from a complete list of) control-commands:

  • report=<name of your .rdf>
  • userid=<userid/password@database>
  • desformat=HTML/PDF
  • destype=type of output of the report
  • desname=name of your output (device, file, whatever)

More commands in the link to the documentation on the bottom of this post!!

Notes:

  • You can post these parameters to the Reports Server without calling them in the original URL!
  • You can set a “local” on your Reports Server for omitting <@database> in ‘userid’ for your default database
  • Actually you can set all environment variables, like TNS_ADMIN, NLS_LANG, REPORTS_PATH, etc.

What we found is we needed to run Oracle Reports Server on Windows, just to take advantage of the Windows Printing System which is quite stable and easy to configure. (So, yes, okay, there you have it, a good thing about Windoze!)

Basically you can create a simple solution, but you can easily expand it quite a bit, making a printing and reporting solutions worthy of and enterprise environment, with distributing reports via e-mail, creating reports in file-systems, embedding reports in websites, and basically anything you want or would need.

And, you get a nice Management Console for free with this installation!

08-forms-em
Oracle Enterprise Manager Console

From this management console you can administer your print-jobs, set all kinds of parameters, which is quite neat!!

But, wait… the catch… It’s gonna cost you!

Or, can you keep it under control?

But of course!

Printing is mostly a half-on-line thing, and for a lot of stuff, it’s not extremely performance / time critical… So what can we do?

Oracle Reports Server is licensed as “Oracle Forms & Reports Server” and it will set you back € 370 per Named User or € 18.200 per CPU (being Oracle CPU’s according to the Core Factor Table!)
It’s still a whole lot of money, but would you really need more than 2 cores? If you give the machine enough memory and fast disks? Probably not.

Is it worth considering taking another node in your environment? Perhaps. This print-solutions could be a viable reason to do so. It brings you quite a bit of functionality straight from the box. But, as always, do your math and make educated choices.

The documentation link promised:
https://docs.oracle.com/cd/E16764_01/bi.1111/b32121/toc.htm

If you would like more info, please just drop me a line!