Archive for September, 2009

Alternate locations for database parameter files in 11g - Part 5 of 7

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009 by

Using a symbolic link in Unix to reference the PFILE or SPFILE

In Unix you can just create a symbolic link in the default location for the PFILE and SPFILE (i.e. $ORACLE_HOME/dbs). The link then points to the alternate location and filename for the pfile or spfile.

As an example, you could:

a) Create an spfile stored under /export/home/oracle/spfile/spfile.ora
b) cd $ORACLE_HOME/dbs     (In this example $ORACLE_HOME is set to be /app/oracle/product/11.1 in the environment).
c) Re-name any existing spfile.ora or spfileORCL11.ora files relevant to this SID.
d) ln -s /export/home/oracle/spfile/spfile.ora spfile.ora

When starting the database, the alert log then shows: 

Using parameter settings in server-side spfile /app/oracle/product/11.1/spfile.ora

spfile                   = “/app/oracle/product/11.1/spfile.ora”
Notice that the alert log shows the parameter file that was used as being the symbolic link - not the name of the file that the symbolic link
actually points to.


Oracle Requirements open in the USA & Canada

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009 by

We have the following requirements open; 

  1. We require an Oracle DBA for a temp to perm or Permanent basis in Las Vegas. You will have experience with 9i/10g databases, RAC and  Linux. SQL Server would be a benefit. Immediate start to support ongoing production instance. Salary $ 83,000 per year
  2. We require a Oracle HCM Functional & Technical Consultant (50/50) Temp 2 Perm or permanent basis in Las Vegas. You will have 11i or ideally R12 Knowledge of Advance Benefits, Fast Formulas, Payroll, XML Publisher, Discoverer as they are running HR BI. You will be supporting the ongoing Oracle R12 environment.Immediate start $90-100,000 per year.
  3. We require a French speaking Oracle HRMS Functional Consultant in Canada, with experience across HRMS, AME, Discoverer and Forms Personalization. Immediate start for 12 month contract.
  4. We require a French speaking Oracle Applications Developer based in Canada. Immediate start for 9 -12 month contact.

If any of these roles would be of interest to you please touch base on or today.

Thank you and Regards,


Oracle EBS Release 12 - Tempus Fugit - Part 2

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009 by

Decisions, decisions, decisions?

Your business has concluded that a move to Release 12.1 would be the most sensible course for the future and has eliminated a ‘wait and see’ approach’ based on Oracle Fusion Applications becoming available sometime in the future.
Notwithstanding all the tasks that need to be accomplished to bring the current production system to readiness for the move, there is still the “small” matter of what type of move the organisation wishes to pursue.

Broadly speaking, there appears to me to be two classes of migration:

  Upgrade: ‘Straightforward’ migration of data, structures and processes.
  Re-implementation: Taking advantage of new functionality.

The Upgrade Path suggests to me the following advantages:

 Leverages existing investment in 11i.
 Minimizes potential cost and risk.
 Limits changes to business processes and documentation
 Less need to change existing setup in modules.
 Quicker end-to-end project time span ~ 6 month’s (optimistic estimate).
 Could implement new functionality at a later date.

The disadvantages that immediately spring to mind are:

 Lost opportunities to use new functionality.
 Upgrade process can take several days downtime.
 Risks will increase if the upgrade does not have a clean 11i base.

I am sure that there are more pros and cons, particularly when a business team looks at this option in relation to their own company. Decision making times, availability of staff, training requirements, communication strategies, level of customizations, personalizations etc will all play a part in implementing this option.

Lastly, I would strongly advise anyone looking at the upgrade option to talk to users who have followed this path, particularly, to understand the level of complexity behind what seems to be a “straightforward upgrade” process.
Looking to the Re-implementation Path, I see some real opportunities, principally as my own experience and that of others suggest that it takes a number of years before an organisation understands the capabilities and strengths of its own Oracle EBS systems.

This leads me to suggest that this path could be the ideal time to re-engineer key business processes. Naturally it is important that the business cases are evaluated and included in the final project assessment. Together with risk assessment and competitive advantage analyses.

This approach is going to cost more money than a “straightforward upgrade” but the project could also use team skills to gain efficiencies in a range of existing processes, as well as implementing new functionality.
For example:

 The re-implementation project could be closely linked with an enhanced Business Intelligence initiative to drive business efficiencies.
 Existing business security strategies could be implemented through Multi-Org Access Control.
 New or replacement modules could prove beneficial e.g. Advanced Collections or Projects Suite.

Naturally, certain tasks such as creating a clean 11i installation will still have to done. (Although, the downtime for the cutover to the new system is likely to be less than an upgrade.) Also, the same considerations for decision making times, availability of staff, training requirements, communication strategies, level of customizations, personalizations etc will still apply.

“There are over 1,500 new features in Release 12, with significant new functionality in the Financials area.”  Further enhancements have been added with subsequent Release Update Packs (RUP). If a business chooses to ignore the benefits that these features could bring then there could well be opportunity costs associated with that decision.
Furthermore, if the organisation envisages remaining with an Oracle ERP system past Q3 2013 then a move to Fusion Applications will be an even bigger jump from both a technical and functional perspective.

In the final analysis, the decision as to which route to take will depend on the Cost–Benefit analyses and the assessments of future competitive advantages of the two options.


New Release White Paper through Contractors Network

Monday, September 28th, 2009 by

Contractors Network is pleased to announce the latest free of charge release into our extensive Oracle Apps related White Paper Library of:

Oracle HRMS - Documents of Record
Authored by Alex Christou

About Alex;

Alex is an experienced functional Oracle Human Capital Management Consultant with several years experience.  He has a proven track record in developing and delivering Oracle solutions for several high profile clients across both private and public sectors including 3 full lifecycle implementations.

‘This paper intended for use by any consultants who are involved in an implementation of DOR, either at the bid stage or during project delivery.
The main purpose of DOR is to allow information on legislative documents related to the employee to be held against their record e.g. work permit, passport documents.
However, you can store other related employment document information if required e.g. compensation-related DOR’

If you would like request a copy please email myself on or register via the White Paper library later today and request your copy today.

Alternate locations for database parameter files in 11g - Part 4 of 7

Friday, September 25th, 2009 by

On Windows:

a)  Place an pfile called INITORCL11.ora in the location C:\Alternate_Location.

b)  Open the registry editor (Start - run - REGEDIT or REGEDT32).
c) Browse to the registry key  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/ORACLE/KEY_OraDb11g_home1  

   (Note: The final parameter could be different in your installation, or if you have more than one 11g installation).
d) Add a new “String Value” called:  


   (Note: replace ORCL11 in the above with the SID of your database)

   Set the value of this key to be: C:\Alternate_Location\INITORCL11.ora

e) If you then start the Windows service for the database, you will see the following message in the alert log:
Using parameter settings in client-side pfile C:\ALTERNATE_LOCATION\INITORCL11.ORA on machine SERVER1
You’ll also notice that in %ORACLE_HOME%\database the file oradim.log (as used by oradim) contains the entries:

C:\app\Administrator\product\11.1.0\db_1\bin\oradim.exe -startup -sid orcl11 -usrpwd * -pfile C:\Alternate_Location\INITORCL11.ora -log oradim.log -nocheck 0
Note: You should be aware that this setting is only effective when using the Windows Service to start the database.  If you manually start the database logged into SQLPLUS*, then the instance will try to use a parameter file in the default location again.
f) You can also amend the value of the ORA__PFILE registry key using ORADIM.

e.g. oradim -EDIT -SID ORCL11 -PFILE C:\Alternate_Location\INITORCL11.ora     

These commands would update the registry key ORA__PFILE to reference the file C:\Alternate_Location\INITORCL11.ora. 
If this key doesn’t exist when you run the command, it will add the key, if the key exists then it will update the value that the key points to.

You should be aware that if your windows service is currently referencing an SPFILE then running these commands will add the registry key and will also set the service to reference the PFILE instead.  (Refer to the next section for the commands to revert back to the SPFILE).  


Note: There is no ORA__SPFILE key. If you try to add one, the windows service just ignores it and the instance won’t start.  (No registry key is required, as if you are using an SPFILE, then it is assumed that it will be in the default location).

Using the previous method to directly reference an SPFILE called C:\Alternate_Location\SPFILE.ora won’t work and the instance will fail to start.

To reference an SPFILE called C:\Alternate_Location\SPFILE.ora

a) Create a file C:\Alternate_Location\DBPARAMS.ora and then just add the line:

b) Configure the same registry string value as in the previous example, but this time set the value to be:  

c) Re-start the windows service.

The alert log now shows the entry:

Using parameter settings in server-side spfile C:\ALTERNATE_LOCATION\SPFILE.ORA

  spfile                   = “C:\ALTERNATE_LOCATION\SPFILE.ORA”


Note: As with the previous example, these settings will not be retained if you re-start the database using SQLPLUS commands.  The registry settings are only referenced when using the Windows service to start the database.

As far as using oradim is concerned, although there is a -SPFILE option available, you can’t specify the name of the SPFILE after this parameter.
(DIM-00003: An argument is missing for the parameter if you try it).  The command assumes that your SPFILE will be in the default location.
(i.e. oradim -EDIT -SID ORCL11 -SPFILE  - sets the database to startup using an SPFILE in the default location).

You should be aware that if your windows service is currently referencing a PFILE, then running these commands will delete the registry key and will also set the service to reference the SPFILE instead.  (Refer to the first section of this blog for commands to revert back to using the PFILE).  


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