Articles wanted for Oracle Scene–Spring 2013
The Call for Articles is now open for the Spring edition of Oracle Scene magazine. This is a publication of the UKOUG.
We are looking for technical articles covering all product offerings from Oracle.
Typically articles will range from 3 pages to 8 pages (MS Word format). These will convert into 2 to 5 page articles in Oracle Scene.
Check out the Article Formatting Guidelines before submitting.
All pictures and images should be 300dpi.
Include a 100(max) word Bio and your photo
Email your article and images to
For more details about submitting an article, check out
Oracle Scene (Autumn 2012) now available
The Autumn 2012 edition of Oracle Magazine (I’m the deputy editor) is now available online. Like in other editions recently there is a bumper online edition.
Here is the marketing release with the details of the contents.
Welcome to Issue 48 of Oracle Scene
In this digital edition find out why you should attend this year’s UKOUG conference – Brendan Tierney tells us why he has been attending since 1998. Read about one organisation’s success story from System Integration to Employee Self-Service, what the new release of Oracle BI Applications 11g has to offer and how it has been improved. Find out about training opportunities in the fastest-changing profession in the world, and Tim Poynter sheds some light on UPK Professional. Plus, Jonathan Lewis outlines how to apply a new strategy for Star Transformation.
Click here to view the digital edition
The articles in this edition:
Discuss the essential ingredient of Oracle Gold Partner, Prōject, transformation
Explore the ABC of ADF and why it may matter to you
Look at Oracle Fusion Middleware and summarise the most common products
Explore solutions for space management of database and file system
Outline optimal Oracle configuration for efficient table scanning
And there’s more…
How to raise a Service Request with Oracle Support for Exadata
Introduction to Data Vault Modeling
Next Generation Service Patterns using Oracle Fusion Middleware
HR Platform – the changes and how to implement it successfully
Winners of the UKOUG 2012 Partner of the Year Awards
We hope you enjoy a good read.
The deadline for submitting an article for the Spring 2013 edition will be in early January.
Many thanks to Brigit Wells and the other member of the UKOUG office who have worked on getting this edition and every edition out to print and online. Also a thank you to Geoff Swaffer who is the editor, and myself who is the deputy editor
Call for paper for Oracle Scene-Winter 2012 Edition
The call for papers is now open for Oracle technical papers for publication in the UKOUG Oracle Scene magazine.
The submission date for completed papers is 24th August.
To get more information of paper guidelines and submission details go to,
The Winter edition will be published online and in print format around the end of October. This will be in time for the EPM & Hyperion, JDE and UKOUG 2012 conferences. So this is a chance to get your message across to these communities.
Did you get a presentation accepted for the UKOUG annual conference or were you disappointed ? Maybe you could consider writing a paper based on your presentation and submit it for consideration.
How about advertising in Oracle Scene. Over the past couple of editions we have had a significant increase in readership, with readership from countries around the world.
Over the past few years Oracle Scene has moved from being a regional User Group magazine to having a readership in 30+ countries around the world.
Why am I writing this post ? I’m a deputy editor of Oracle Scene
Oracle Scene Call for Articles-Due 18th April
The Call for Articles is now open for the summer edition of Oracle Scene.
If you are interested in writing an article, now is the time to start working on writing it, as the deadline for submitting is 18th April.
Articles can be short (2 pages) or long 4 to 6 pages in MS Word.
All Oracle technical articles will be considered and can on one or more of the following areas:
- CRM market and megatrends eg. Cloud, mobile, CX (Customer Experience Management), self service, social
- Fusion CRM
- CRM on Demand
- Other Oracle CRM products
- e-commerce in Siebel
- Mobile CRM solutions
- Project implementation
- Applications & Fusion Applications
- Fusion Middleware
- Server Technology
In particular I would like to see more short (1/4 or 1/2 page) articles on what happened at the various SIG events so far in 2012 and your plans for the rest of the year.
Have you written and published a book recently or at some stage over the summer. If so would you like to publicise it by writing a short article about it and my to give a sign copy away in a draw?
If you have any questions about writing an article for Oracle Scene drop me an email and we can discuss.
Check out the following web link for submission guidelines and how to submit your article.
Article for Oracle Scene–Due 13th Jan
As we approach Christmas, many of us will be looking forward to a few days holidays/vacation. During this period we may start thinking about some techniques or methods that we discovered over the past 12 months or about things we need to find out more on, over the coming months.
One thing to consider is to write an article on these techniques or methods, for Oracle Scene. The next due date for submitting articles is 13th January.
For more details and ideas check out my webpage Oracle Scene
Make sure you check out the Article Guidelines and Submission Details
I hope to write an article based on the presentation I gave at the UKOUG Conference in Birmingham.
The most common question that I get asked is ‘how long should it be?’. The length of an article can be anything from half a page, up to 4 or 5 pages long.
My UKOUG Conference 2011 Schedule
The UKOUG conference will be in a couple of weeks. I have my flights and hotel booked, and I’ve just finished selecting my agenda of presentations. I really enjoy this conference as it serves many purposes including, finding new directions Oracle is taking, new product features, some upskilling/training, confirming that the approaches that I have been using on projects are valid, getting lots of hints and tips, etc.
One thing that I always try to do and I strongly everyone (in particular first timers) to do is to go to 1 session everyday that is on a topic or product that you know (nearly) nothing about. You might discover that you know more than you think or you may learn something new that can be feed into some project on your return or over the next 12 months.
My agenda for the conference currently looks Very busy and in between these session, there is the exhibition hall, meetings with old and new friends, meetings with product/business unit managers, asking people to write articles for Oracle Scene, checking out possible presenters to come to Ireland for our conference in March 2012, etc. Then there is my presentation on the Wednesday afternoon.
I’ll miss most of the Oak Table event on the Sunday but I hope to make it in time for
16:40-17:30 : Performance & High Availability Panel Session
9:20-9:50 : Keynote by Mark Sunday, Oracle (H1)
10:00-10:45 : The Future of BI & Oracle roadmap, Mike Durran, Oracle (H5)
11:05-12:05 : Implementing Interactive Maps with OBIEE 11g, Antony Heljula, Peak Indicators (H10A)
12:15-13:15 : OBI 11g Analysis & Reporting New Features, Mark Rittman (8A)
14:30-15:15 : Master Data Management – What is it & how to make it work – Robert Barnett, Hub Solutions Designs (H10A)
16:20-17:35 : Dummies Guide to Oracle ADF, Grant Ronald, Oracle, (Media Suite)
16:35-18:30 : The DB Time Performance Method, Graham Wood, Oracle (H8A)
17:45-18:30 : Performance & Stability with Oracle 11g SQL Plan Management, Doug Burns (H1)
17:45-18:30 : Experiences in Virtualization, Michael Doherty (H10A)
19:45-20:45 : Exhibition Welcome Drinks
20:45-Late : Focus Pubs
9:00-11:00 : Next Generation BI Architectures Masterclass, Andrew Bond, Oracle (H10B)
10:10-10:55 : Who’s afraid of Analytic Functions, Alex Nuijten, Maxima (H5)
11:15-12:15 : Analysing Your Data with Analytic Functions, Carl Dudley, (H9)
11:25-13:25 : Using a Physical Standby to Minimize Downtime for DB Release or Server Change, Michael Abbey, Pythian (Media Suite)
14:40-15:25 : How note to make the headlines, Mark Clewett, Hitachi (H10A)
14:40-15:25 : APEX Back to Basics, Paul Broughton, APEX Evangelists (H9)
15:35-16:20 : Can People be identified in the database, Pete Finnigan (H1)
16:40-18:35 : OTN Hands-on Workshop, Todd Trichler, Oracle (H8A)
17:50-18:35 : SQL Developer Data Modeler as a replacement for Oracle Designer, Paul Bainbridge, Fujitsu, (H8B)
18:45-19:45 : Keynote : Future of Enterprise Software and Oracle, Ray Wang, Constellation Research (H1)
20:00-Late : Evening Social & Networking
9:00-10:00 : Oracle 11g Database: Automatic Parallelism, Joel Goodman, Oracle (H9)
9:00-10:00 : Big Data: Learn how to predict the future, Keith Laker, Oracle (H8B)
10:10-10:55 : All about indexes – What to index, when and how, Mark Bobak, ProQuest (H5)
11:20-12:30 : Using Application Express to Build Highly Accessible Products, Anthony Rayner, Oracle (H8A)
12:30-13:30 : Practical uses for APEX Dictionary, John Scott, APEX Evangelists (H8A)
15:20-16:05 : How to deploy you Oracle Data Miner 11g R2 Workflows in a Live Environment – Me (H7B)
16:15-17:00 : Next Generation Data Warehousing, Kulvinder Hari, Oracle (H8A)
16:15-17:00 : Beyond RTFM and WTF Message Moments. Introducing a new standard: Oracle Fusion Applications User Assistance, Ultan O’Broin (Executive Room 7)
I know I have some overlapping sessions, but I will decide on the date which of these I will attend.
As you an see I will be following the BI stream mainly, with a few sessions on the Database and Development streams too.
This year there is a smart phone app help us organise our agenda, meetings, etc, The only downside is that the app does not import the agenda that I created on the website. So I have to do it again. Maybe for next year they will have an import agenda feature.
ODM PL/SQL API 11.2 New Features
The PL/SQL API interface for Oracle Data Miner has had a number of new features. These are listed below along with the new API features added with the 11.1 release.
- Support for Native Transactional Data with Association Rules: you can build association rule models without first transforming the transactional data.
- SVM class weights specified with CLAS_WEIGHTS_TABLE_NAME: including the GLM class weights
- FORCE argument to DROP_MODEL: you can now force a drop model operation even if a serious system error has interrupted the model build process
- GET_MODEL_DETAILS_SVM has a new REVERSE_COEF parameter: you can obtain the transformed attribute coefficients used internally by an SVM model by setting the new REVERSE_COEF parameter to 1
11.1g API New Features
- Mining Model schema objects: previous releases, DM models were implemented as a collection of tables and metadata within the DMSYS schema. in 11.1 models are implemented as data dictionary objects in the SYS schema. A new set of DD views present DM models and their properties
- Automatic and Embedded Data Preparation: previously data preparation was the responsibility of the user. Now it can be automated
- Scoping of Nested Data: supports nested data types for both categorical and numerical data. Most algorithms require multi-record case data to the presented as columns of nested rows, each containing an attribute name/value pair. ODM processes each nested row as a separate attribute.
- Standardised Handling of Sparse Data & Missing Values: standardised across all algorithms.
- Generalised Linear Models: has a new algorithm and supports classification (logistic regression) and regression (linear regression)
- New SQL Data Mining Function: PREDICTION_BOUNDS has been introduced for Generalised Linear Models. This returns the confidence bounds on predicted values (regression models) or predicted probabilities (classification)
- Enhanced Support for Cost-Sensitive Decision Making: can be added or removed using DATA_MINING.ADD_COST_MATRIX and DBMS_DATA_MINING_REMOVE_COST_MATRIX.
Book Donation by Oracle
Today I received two boxes, containing 48 books of
The Performance Management Revolution by Howard Dresner
These books have been kindly donated by Duncan Fitter, UK Business Development Director at Oracle.
I will be distributing these books to my MSc Data Mining students over the next week.
Thanks Duncan and Oracle
Oak Table Event in Dec 2011
This year the Annual UKOUG event will be in Birmingham (again) from the 5th to 7th December.
This year there is a slight difference to the usual schedule. On Sunday 4th December there is an Oak Table event, with two parallel tracks. It has all the well known experts presenting at this event.
If I had the time turner from Harry Potter, I would be able to go to all the sessions.
Presenters include Morgens Norgaard, Johnathan Lewis, Frits Hoogland, Martin Widlake, Christian Antognini, Connor McDonald, James Morle and Wolfgang Breitling.
This is an impressive line up and hopefully the UKOUG will run a similar event in 2012.
Check out of the full agenda at
This is one event that I would love to go to but unfortunately I wont be able to make it. I’ll be attending the Annual UKOUG conference alright, and I have already booked my airline tickets. But there are no flights from Dublin that will get me to Birmingham on time. I would need to fly to Birmingham on the Saturday, involving another hotel night and another night away from the family.
The best I’m hoping for is to get to the ICC in time for the Panel Session on Performance and High Availability.
Depending on weather and travel delays I might even miss this last session. If I do, I can always meet up with everyone in the pub on the Sunday evening for a chat.
Maybe next year.
OBIEE VirtualBox VM Available
I have a few Updates since I posted the blog on 14th Sept
1. The OBIEE VMS are now available on the Virtural Box Pre-Built VM webpage, as of 15th Sept. Thanks to @oraclenerd for requesting this
2. Thanks to @rnm1978 for pointing out that the OBIEE VM is very resource intensive. The min. spec. given is not really enough. You really need more than 4GB for this VM to run.
3. The SampleApp that the OBIEE VM contains also has some examples of how Oracle Data Miner can be used in an application
I’ve recently come across an VM of Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition, which has the sample application already build and ready for you to use.
The VM files are available at the following link for download.
There are 2 files that you need to download to create the VM in VirtualBox. These are the VB Image key File (.ovf) and the VB Image Disk Files (.vmdk). The second file is ~25G, so it a while to download!
There is also a VB Image-Deployment Guide.
If you already have OBIEE installed and you don’t want to setup the VM, the setup files and data files are also available.
Oracle Scene–Next Submission Date 26th Aug
The Winter edition of the UKOUG Oracle Scene magazine is now looking for articles to be submitted for consideration.
The due date for the article submission is Friday 26 August. So you have just over 2 weeks to put together your article.
Lots of people have asked me what kind of articles are you looking for. The simple answer is anything as long as it is Oracle related. The following list should give you some ideas:
- Technical article
- Application article
- Business articles
- Tool article
- SIG meetings, new, updates and plans
- New features
- Something that you discovered
- Your likes, dislikes or anything relating to Oracle
- Oracle Book reviews
- Oracle Conference reviews
So you can see anything goes really.
How long should an article be ? It can be any length really. Anything from 1/4 page to a full 5 page article, and anything in between.
Selection of Articles Process
All submitted articles are assessed by a review panel, comprised of volunteers from a variety of businesses and specialties. The review panel rates the articles and makes comments where appropriate.
An editorial meeting takes place after the submissions have been rated. The articles are assessed and the review panel’s scoring and comments are taken into account. The editorial team makes the final decision as to which articles will be selected for publication, or to be held over for a future edition. You will be notified of the result as soon as this process has been completed.
You will be contacted near the publication date by the publishing company for you to review to print version of your article.
Submitting your Article
Check out the Article Formatting Guidelines before submitting.
All pictures and images should be 300dpi.
Include a 100(max) word Bio and your photo
Email your article and images to
My first Oracle Scene planning meeting
I had my first meeting, as a deputy editor, with the Oracle Scene team on Tuesday 12th July. The meeting was organised by Suzanne Gaunt, who is leaving the UKOUG on Friday. She will be sadly missed. Lavinia and Karina are taking over the role of producing the magazine.
Also at the meeting was Neil Jarvis, the editor, and Gillian and Philip Adams from www.doggARTadams.com, who look after the whole production of the magazine.
The main topic of discussion was the production process for the magazine and an outline of the timelines involved.
There was some discussions on how to improve the magazine with new material. Some of the suggestions included
- From the editors section to be added back in. This is a half page from each of the deputy editors. For myself this will be an introduction/bio in the next edition
- Ask the editors section, where the readers can submit questions to the editorial team for them to attempt to answer and hopefully in a humorous way
- Articles from the different regions and SIGs. This is to allow the user group to get to know what the other parts of the group are up to
- A Blog summary. This will be a round up of some of the blogs from user group community
- Introduce a competition in each edition
- Unusual Photo competitions
- Book reviews, which maybe Book giveaways from the publishers
In addition to these suggestions the main content of articles from the user community. Everyone is invited to write an article. It does not matter how long or short it is. The main idea is for you to share some of your knowledge. An article can be of any length, for example it could be 1/4 page, 1/2 page, 1, 2, 3 or 5 pages.
Have you come across a new or unusual feature, did you do something interesting with a feature, how and why you implemented it, case studies, new tools, etc.
So articles could be technical or non-technical, or on anything that might be of interest to the user community.
The next deadline for submitting articles is 26th August and with all deadlines it is good to submit early!
The finished magazine will be ready for distribution around the end of October.
If you have any suggestions of changes, additions, articles or adverting, let me know.