Tag Archives: Blogs

Application Blogs I Read and Why You Should Too

Here is an updated compilation of application-related blogs I read and know about at this point.

AppsBI : Applications Business Intelligence By Nilesh Jethwa. Nilesh has worked on various reporting, Data warehousing, Daily Business Intelligence, Discoverer and Enterprise Planning and Budgeting projects and wants to share and write about different BI tools and techniques. He enjoys his job and starting this blog adds a new adventure to his life and career.

Big4Guy

Big4Guy is an online resource by an anonymous author with the latest news, insights, knowledge and experiences as a Big 4 consultant. He discusses some of the important issues which organizations are facing today in the areas of information security, security and controls in SAP R/3, Oracle Applications, J.D.Edwards, Peoplesoft and various other ERP’s. He also provides valuable resources for individuals interested in the CISA, CISM, CISSP, and various other security certifications considered essential for entry in any Big 4 accounting, auditing and consulting firms.

BlogERP: HCM Software Blog

By James Holincheck. James is a Research Vice President in Gartner Research where he covers the human capital management software market.

Deal Architect

By Vinnie Mirchandani. Vinnie is a former technology industry analyst (with Gartner), outsourcing executive and entrepreneur. He has personally helped clients evaluate and negotiate technology contracts worth billions of dollars, and has consistently advised companies on IT risk management, globalization and sourcing issues. A MUST READ!

ERP Software Blog

By another anonymous author. There are several good links and articles to ERP-related stories.

Grey Sparling PeopleSoft Expert’s Corner

By a group of authors at Grey Sparling Solutions. This is a company website turned into a blog with plentiful resources of information for Peoplesoft and Oracle users and buyers. These guys don’t know it but they were a great inspiration and influence on creating this blog. They do not play the usual blogging game with links and tags to improve their Technorati ranking. Instead, they focus on creating an original, expert content useful to their audience.

FIN-SIG Blog

The OAUG Financial Services Industry Special Industry Group (FIN-SIG) is affiliated to the Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG). The FIN-SIG shall fill a gap for a common forum and support/ resource base for all new and existing Oracle Applications users who operate in the space commonly called Financial Services Industry and also users who have interest in the specific packaged application software provided by Oracle Corporation to meet specific business needs of the Financial Services Industry.

Learn DIscoverer Blog

By Darlene and Michael Armstrong-Smith. They are the authors of the Oracle Discoverer 10g Handbook. Their company Armstrong-Smith Consulting specilaizes in everything Oracle Discoverer.

Learning ERP Systems

Discussion of challenges, ideas, and suggestions for improving ERP application training in the corporate workplace.

Learning of an Oracle Apps Consultant

By Krishanu Bose. Krishanu covers Oracle Apps consulting services situation and provides an inside view of Oracle Apps outsource services in India.

Mark Rittman’s Oracle Weblog

Not really an application blog, but one of the original Oracle blogs out there and an excellent production by Mark Rittman. Personally, this is to me a never-ending source of inspiration for how a corporate blog should be done. Read more about Mark and his blog in this story.

Oracle AppsLab

By Paul Pedrazzi, Jake Kuramoto, and Rich Manalang. In their own words, “Oracle AppsLab is a think-tank developed to drive adoption of new web patterns and technologies across Oracle’s business and products. We’re a small group dedicated to living and breathing Web 2.0. This blog is our space for sharing our ideas.”

OracleAppsBlog

By Richard Byrom and a group of authors. OracleAppsBlog is THE ORIGINAL Oracle application blog. If you search the web for anything related to Oracle Applications, the chances are you end up at OracleAppsBlog – a rich resource of Oracle-related links and information. Read 10 questions for Richard to find out more information about him and his blog.

Oracle Apps Confessions

By Jo Davis, Oracle eBusiness Suite functional consultant. A compilation of quick tips and tricks for Oracle Applications users.

Oracle Apps Epicentrum

Oracle Business Intelligence Blog

By Abhinav Agarwal and Keith Laker. This is a blog for all things Oracle Business Intelligence. Includes musings and postings on Oracle Discoverer, OLAP, and other Oracle BI products, technologies and tools. Way to go guys! Personally, BI is as technical as I ever want to get with Oracle Applications.

Oracle Contractors Network Blog

Oracle eBusiness Suite resources, ideas, white papers, advice and tips from a number of Oracle consultants.

Oracle E-Business Suite Technology

By Steven Chan. An excellent Oracle insider’s take on technology stack-related topics for the Oracle E-Business Suite, with sneak previews of upcoming releases, new product announcements, glimpses into the inner workings of Oracle Development, in-depth discussions of technology-stack architectures, and the occasional desupport notice. Read more about the man behind this blog in my interview with Steven. A MUST READ for Oracle Applications DBAs, system administrators, and other Oracle professionals.

Oracle eBusiness Suite Blog

By Ahmad Bilal Karachi. Ahmad is currently working as a Techno-functional Consultant, has more then 5 years experience of oracle applications in different areas.

Oracle Financials Strategy

The blog where we talk about what’s on our minds as individual strategists and as a team. It’s where we share articles, ideas and opinions that are relevant to our work here at Oracle. However, we reserve the right to veer off topic occasionally. It wouldn’t be a blog without that – would it?

Oracle iRecruitment Blog

By Martin Millmore, a Director of iRecruitment Development at Oracle.

Oracle Intercompany Blog

By David Haimes. The primary focus of this blog is Intercompany and Oracle Financials. David is a 10 year Veteran of Oracle Financials Development. David is interested in technology both inside and outside of Oracle and is always thinking of how I can incorporate new ideas, technologies, methodologies or innovations into my work here at Oracle. David’s current role is looking after the Intercompany and Legal Entity products in Oracle Financials, he has also worked on EMEA Globalizations, Federal and Public Sector Financials, XML Payments and a variety of projects on other products.

Oracle Support Blog

By Chris Warticki. This site is Oracle Support. Chris has been working for Oracle Support for over 8 years. His team helps Oracle customers, offers free information and training sessions on a variety of Support related topics. Take advantage of his team’s experience and knowledge about our Support processes, policies, tools, tips, and tricks.

ORCLville

By Floyd Teter. Floyd is the System Engineer for Institutional Business Systems at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California. Floyd has been working with Oracle products since 1990 and Oracle applications since 1997, and even spent a few years as a Managing Principal with Oracle Consulting during the dot-com boom.

Parallax: Calculating Technology’s Future

By Neil Robertson, a CTO at Newmerix and a talented writer who became famous in the enterprise bloggosphere for his original analysis of Oracle Fusion in I Pity the Fool. Neil is also very active in establishing the Web 2.0 tools in the enterprise.

PeopleSoft Corner

By Brent Martin. Ideas, Tips, Techniques and information sharing for Oracle and PeopleSoft Enterprise.

Project Directions

Produced by an anonymous project strategy manager at Oracle working with the Oracle Projects application. According to his own profile, the author’s focus is on our Project Management and Project Collaboration but he hopes that this blog will encompass some of other [Oracle] modules with the use of guest bloggers, i.e. his colleagues who manage those modules.The author is also interested in how software can help project managers and teams be more successful especially given the proliferation of collaborative tools that we see now.

Project Lifestyle

By Andrew Sparks. Andrew is a Senior Practice Director at Oracle EMEA. He runs the EMEA International Projects practice. This organization is an international team of specialist consultants based throughout the EMEA region. The team acts as a single point of contact for delivering and remediating complex or multinational applications programs in the EMEA region.

Project Partners

This is FINALLY a company blog by two authors from Project Partners – Bob Anderson and Neeraj Garg. Project Partners regularly publish great white papers and newsletters for Oracle customers in the project-centric industries. The blogs are an excellent complement to this already fantastic resource.

Software Safari

By Brian Sommer. A “premium blog” by an experienced technology industry analyst.

Solution Beacon

Advise and opinions from employees of Solution Beacon, LLC, a provider of expert-level resources for the most widely used Enterprise Management Systems and Technologies.

Systematic HR

Systematic HR is a human resources blog about the intersection between HR process and HR technology. You can read about how HRMS systems, point solutions such as TAS, TMS, portals, etc, can be utilized to maximize your employee experience and enhance the strategic capabilities of your organization as well as the concerns of the day such as employee engagement, project management, and cost parameters to your strategies.

TalentedApps

Talented Apps is written by a group of Development and Strategy individuals within the Oracle Fusion HCM team. Their focus is on the industry and future of Talent Management…

Triora Group

This company blog is a way to “give back to the Oracle community”. You will find a growing amount of practical information you can use to improve your environment. Triora Group focus primarily on Oracle E-Business Suite 11i and 12, the Fusion Middleware and of course Oracle Database 10g/11g.

Yak About Apps

By Linda Fishman Hoyle, a a Senior Director for Cross Applications Marketing at Oracle and the Editor-in-Chief of a Podcast series called AppCasts. Linda has more than 20 years of experience with Enterprise Software and Services – marketing, strategy and business development. In Linda’s own words, “you want to read her blog if you are interested in the latest and greatest Oracle Application stuff!”

Usable Apps

Blog posts by some of the [User Experience] staff at Oracle. The posts vary in their scope and material, but they will give you a glimpse into what they think about new and emerging concepts that relate to enterprise applications.

Last, I would also like to mention blogs by Oracle Applications executives Jesper Andersen, Jim McGlothlin, and Luke Kowalski [see an interview with Luke]. We all appreciate their intention and effort to share their views and opinions.

Interview with the guys from Oracle AppsLab

It is my pleasure and honor to introduce Paul Pedrazzi and Jake Kuramoto from Oracle. Paul and Jake [along with Rich Manalang and Anthony Lai] are behind exciting Oracle projects like OracleAppsLab and Mix. We virtually connected this morning to chat about what they are up to.

Marian: Good morning. Well, thank you very much for joining in!

Paul: No problem. Glad to speak with you.

Jake: Thanks for inviting us!

Let me start with a traditional first question: How did you end up being Oracle professionals?

I’ll speak for myself and let Jake give his background. I worked in financial consulting for a while with Deloitte and Touche, then jumped to the internet via a consulting start up, and after that went under, I joined Peoplesoft. I have spent the last 6 years or so with the Oracle Journal Entry Reserve Ledger Report group doing marketing, strategy and product management. The latest role is Web 2.0 and AppsLab.

I started at Oracle as a sales consultant, and then bounced over to technical implementation consulting in EBS on R11. Then I took a Bubble-sabbatical, and came back to development in EBS Financials in 2001.

Bubble-sabbatical? That’s a good way to describe it! What are you responsible for now?

Jake and I both work in AppsLab. It is our “think tank” for all new tech but the 2.0 mostly seems to be on people’s radar. Our job is to Understand, Adopt (internally and in products), and Evangelize new technologies. So that’s what we try to do.

That sounds like a fun job. You get paid for looking into cool stuff? What is OracleAppsLab? How would you describe it to people outside the “geek crowd”?

Crazy, huh? We are pretty lucky. We are a lab in the truest sense of the word. We investigate, play and generally try out new things. But instead of [experimenting with] physical things, it’s virtual. We’ll take ideas and technology and put them together to see what makes sense. To see what sticks, if you will. Take an example like tagging. No one really knows how to apply it to business or even if it makes sense. So we apply that to our business and see. Sometimes we succeed, other times it blows up. But that’s OK. We figure that out before we hand it to customers. That’s our job.

Are you experimenting with applying new technologies to the applications specifically, or all Oracle products in general?

Our charter is to influence Oracle Applications. However, our reach is much broader. There is not a group inside Oracle that has not seen our projects. So applications, middleware, database, and even teams like events marketing, PR and others are figuring our how to apply 2.0 to be more productive. We have started to see a sea change internally, it’s very exciting. Oracle is a big company, but many of these teams are extremely nimble and innovative.

In your recent post, Jake, you compared the adoption of the internet in early 90s to the current popularity of Facebook, Twitter or blogging… Could you elaborate?

It’s a similar time and a similar feeling to the mid-90s. Same change agents, same resistance, but eventually, I think the same results. People will see value and use these new, disruptive technologies for their own ends. Facebook, Twitter, blogging all have image problems now, since they’re seen as trivial, but the core principles apply to business.

How do you define Web 2.0? Everyone has been using that term for few years now. What does it mean to you?

I would agree that there is a similar feeling of optimism in the air, but behind the scenes the world is different. Today, you do not see the same insane valuations across the board for silly notions that had no real business behind them. I also see that funding levels have become more reasonable, i.e. less money vs. large investments. So in the end, the optimism is there, but it’s tempered – it’s wiser.

That said, I think we are at the beginning and the new wave of Web 2.0. Start-ups have taught us a lot about how people really will use the Internet going forward.

Web 2.0 means a more participatory, people-centric model of the Internet. It’s revolutionary in a way. It’s enabling the individual to really have a voice. Simply stated, it’s about social software.

Web 2.0 for me is all about participation and community.

Could you give us few examples of how Web 2.0 is bringing innovation to Oracle products?

As I mentioned, Web 2.0 is infecting us at all levels. Of course we have examples today of some applications “mashing” up their content with the perennial Google maps – we also have new CRM apps that have very rich user interface and a more viral distribution model (as an opposite to shipping a CD). Furthermore, we have our middleware division pushing hard on areas like communities, tagging and more.

Aside from products we have even adopted a more web centric model of interacting with our customers via sites like Oracle Mix. Across the board, we are doing a lot, but it’s just the beginning. I expect to see even bigger changes in the coming years.

Being an Oracle EBS consultant and user, I am very interested in the applications design and development. And frankly, I feel like the link between the makers and the users of the applications is broken. R12 is being gradually adopted by the marketplace with most people not knowing what’s in it or why to buy it.

The R12 feature scope deadline was two years ago. It is very difficult to get people excited about new products with such a long development cycle. Personally, that’s where I am hoping tools like Mix can help.

Amen, Marian!

We will see how Mix turns out. I am afraid of the “information overload”… Just look at Metalink forums…

Yep, overload can be an issue – we hope to have some features that help mitigate that – like voting and RSS. But it’s a real challenge for us in how we build these types of systems. In truth, if we get customers and development talking, that’s the big win. We want the relationships to be built, and then the communication takes care of itself. Fundamentally, a computer system can’t replace relationships.

Information overload is a risk. I think a percentage of people have a preferred way to talk to Oracle, MetaLink, OTN, etc. Mix offers another way for customers (and the community) to reach us. I expect people will find their preferred way and stick with that.

Let’s distinguish between customers (buyers) and users for a minute. How can users, people who actually use the applications every day, get more involved in the design process? How do we create this “application culture” where user experience, functionality, and efficiency of the applications are the main focus?

Also, the design process is only a start. After the applications are available, how do we use Web 2.0 tools to help “spreading the word” about the new features, benefits, etc…

So let’s talk the design process first. We already have many areas to involve users like focus groups, customer visits, on-site visits, usability tests and more. Those are all good but Mix is an effort to scale that. We want more, broader feedback. Initially, we look for ideas like new features, strategic areas of investment, etc. But over time, we hope to deepen what it can do to say, help plan specific releases, or to market upcoming online testing we may do. The future is wide open from that perspective.

As for “spreading the word”, this is where it becomes very interesting and where the power of social networks is quite large. The strength of a social network is “trust”. You should have some level of trust with those you have networked with. If you don’t, there is very little reason to “connect” to them. BUT once you have trust, lots can happen. For example, take news. Lots of news out there. How do you decide what to read? Personally I read very little of the generic media. BUT if a friend sends me a link a friend I trust then I read it every time. This is the power of trust.

So take that to Mix. If you and I are connected and you trust me cause we both use EBS 11.5.10 and have talked about it and I tell you that 12 is great or point you to a new whitepaper or a webinar on the new features, you’ll likely read or watch. That is how sharing happens in our world.

Sounds like you really hope to and encourage people to Mix it up!

The Oracle EBS Technology blog by Steven Chan and his team is another excellent example of what I am talking about. It greatly supplements the official Oracle channels and provides a place for feedback, discussions, exchange of resources in the area of EBS technology. As I mentioned in my review of the OOW, I wish every product group and SIG had a blog like that. Perhaps, Oracle could encourage and formalize that process…

Steven’s blog is great. And yes, I too wish every group had one. But Web 2.0 just does not work well under mandates. Passion has to be at the core and living a more transparent life has to be in your DNA. It is one of the main reasons AppsLab exists – to get people to live 2.0. Once they do, the problem you state goes away.

We have already seen new Oracle teams start blogs that didn’t know what blogging was 6 months ago. If you go with mandates you’ll fail. You need to find the root cause why others aren’t blogging, then you can succeed.

That is so true. It takes passion and willingness to openness to be able to blog [not to mention time and energy]. Oracle DBAs and other technology types (aka, the geeks) have had blogs forever. I find it interesting that the technical guys use blogs to connect and show their “personal” side, while the functional types use blogs as more professional resources…

We have successfully brought several strategy and development teams and people into blogging. For example, Dave Haimes, a development manager on Intercompany blogs about R12 Intercompany. He’s inviting customers to talk Intercompany on his site.

What are your other favorite blogs in your readers, Oracle and otherwise?

Aside from the Feature? :-)

Of course!

We have our OPML on the site so you can see them all. But my favorite is Marc Andreesen’s blog right now, and maybe Joel on Software; they are both solid.

I enjoy uncov, although it’s not for everyone. Topical stuff: Eddie Awad, Floyd Teter, a couple others.

Let’s switch gears for a minute. How did the acquisitions change Oracle?

I’ll let Jake take that one.

Hey, I always get that one. Acquisitions have given us shots in the arm. New people, new methods, new products. It’s been great overall. Jasper Andersen started AppsLab. He, Paul and Rich are all from PeopleSoft.

So, it’s been great internally because we’ve got an influx of new ideas to test drive. You can’t get that organically. People are critical of the ”acquiring innovation” tag line that Charles mentioned at OOW. But it’s pretty true from what I’ve seen, and I’ve been around a while. People outside Oracle like Floyd Teter have noticed that as well.

I also noticed a general shift in focus to the applications. R12 and mainly Fusion will show how much customers and users will benefit. That’s a whole different topic, perhaps for another time.

Did you have any other questions or items you’d like us to mention today?

I think you hit the main points. I think we are really pushing the envelope with using social software both internally (Connect) and with customers (Mix). More work to do, but lots of good energy at Oracle.

I’m interested to see what your readers think, and obviously, we’ll look for you and your readers on Mix.

Well, thank you very much for your time and opinions. I really appreciate it! Keep up the great work at AppsLab and good luck with Mix and other innovative ideas!

Thanks for the time.

THANK YOU GUYS!

And I encourage all of you readers to comment on how Oracle can use new innovative technologies to improve its applications and other products. If you have ideas on how to enhance Oracle products, Mix it up a bit!

10 Questions for Richard Byrom from OracleAppsBlog

I am pleased to publish another segment in the series of interviews with interesting Oracle Applications professionals and introduce to you Richard Byrom, an author and creator of the original OracleAppsBlog. Let’s get right to it:

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 RichardByrom.com 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.

10 Questions for Mark Rittman

I am very excited to publish an interview with an Oracle blogging pioneer and enthusiast Mark Rittman. Mark’s weblog has been around for a LONG time as he had seen the benefits of this media for professional purposes way before the rest of us did. To me, Mark’s blog is an ultimate bizlog. A very nice job, Mark! One can tell you do presentations for living.

How did come to learn Oracle?

I first came across the Oracle database when I worked in product marketing at the Woolwich Building Society, a mortgage lender in the UK. We used Oracle for our first “customer profitability” data warehouse and I joined the project as a business analyst, using Oracle Discoverer/2000 and Designer/2000. Over the years I moved more into data warehouse design and ran my first data warehousing project whilst working for Toyota in London. After working at Toyota, I moved into the world of consultancy, starting at SolStonePlus in Brighton where I headed up their new Oracle data warehousing practice. Over the following years, I’ve worked with tools such as Oracle Warehouse Builder, Oracle Express Server and Oracle OLAP, Oracle Discoverer, Reports and Portal as well as the various releases of the database and application server.

How are you involved currently?

I lead a team of consultants who work with the various Oracle BI and data warehousing tools. Generally I’d work out the architecture for a project, perhaps get involved in the presales effort, do various short engagements performing tuning around the tools, application server and database, as well as doing the odd two or three month engagement where I’d be either the lead developer or perhaps the development DBA.

What inspired you to start blogging?

Back in 2002 I used to read blogs by the likes of Raymond Chen, Robert Scoble, Joel Spolsky and Joshua Allen and whilst they were good, I thought it’d be interesting to read something about Oracle as opposed to Microsoft. I’d had a homepage for several years prior to this, where I’d posted presentations, articles I’d written and bits of code, but I started the blog proper back in June 2003 and I’ve kept it going since then. For the first 18 months or so I was pretty much the sole Oracle blogger, then people like Niall Litchfield, Tom Kyte, Howard Rogers and others came along, and now there must be 50 or so Oracle bloggers out there writing about their experiences.

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

When I first started out, I posted about everything and anything that came up in the Oracle world – the latest article by Jonathan Lewis, an interesting article on AskTom, bits of news about Oracle Corporation and any new products that came out. Over the years I’ve changed the focus somewhat as people like Tom and the various Oracle product managers all have their own blogs now, and I write more in-depth articles on new products I’ve worked with, projects I’ve been involved in and opinions I’ve got on the industry. I guess my postings are split 50/50 between what you’d call traditional server tech postings – which is what I get up to in my spare time – and ones about business intelligence, which reflects the work I do day to day with clients.

What have you done to personalize your blog?

Apart from when I first started with Radio Userland’s blogging software, I’ve always built my own template rather than use the default ones that come with the blogging software. I also host the software and site myself so I’ve got a bit more flexibility when it comes to upgrading, site layout and so on. The site has been through various redesigns over the years, and most recently I’ve expanded it to contain links to other articles that I’ve found useful, a forum for posing technical questions, and some commentary and write-up on the various Oracle business intelligence products.

Do you have any favorite posts?

Probably the ones that have generated the most comments and feedbacks, such as The Cost Of Database Independence where I talked about a project where the customer refused to implement any Oracle-specific functionality; Is Oracle A Legacy Technology? where I looked at a recent article in Oracle Scene by Mogens Norgaard, Tracing Parallel Execution which actually got cited by Doug Burns as good bit of work around Parallel Query, and Being Too Clever For Your Own Good where I owned up to perhaps over-complicating a bit of database tuning I was asked to do.

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

Well the Oracle ones that I generally check on a daily basis are those by Tom Kyte, Howard Rogers, Tim Hall, Peter Scott, Doug Burns, Andrew Clarke and Abhinav Agarwal. Outside of Oracle, I check out Eric Sink, Adam Barr, Paul Thurrott, Andy Hayler and Raymond Chen more or less every day,

What tools do you find most helpful in putting together your blog?

Just textpad, Paint Shop Pro and Frontpage. All the templating and so on is done by the Moveable Type blogging software.

How does blogging fit into your job or your business?

I’m pretty lucky actually in that my employers are pretty supportive of my blogging. They “sponsor” the site, in that they cover my hosting fees, but they don’t have any say in the content I post, it’s not edited by them or in any way approved. I can put a blog posting together in work if I get a spare moment, but the vast majority of the work I do on it is in the evenings or when I’m traveling somewhere.

What do you think business blogging will look like 3 years from now?

No idea. I suspect it won’t be around in exactly the same way, because nothing stays the same on the internet and interests and focuses change. I don’t even know if I’ll be blogging in three years time, it’s certainly quite demanding of my time and my family (my wife and two young children) obviously come first. I’m trying to encourage a few of my colleagues at work to start a blog (and of course Lisa Dobson‘s joining us in a couple of weeks) so maybe I’ll be able to hand things over to someone else in time.

You can find this and similar articles in Conversations.

10 Questions for Eddie Awad from Eddie Awad’s Blog

We continue in our 10 Questions series with Oracle users, consultants, and bloggers with ten questions for Eddie Awad, an Oracle programmer, active Oracle blogger and a creator of the Oracle News Aggregator, which aggregates all Oracle-related blogs and news into one convenient super-blog. Thank you Eddie!

How did come to learn Oracle?

Eddie AwadIt was in 1994. I was a COBOL programmer working in Saudi Arabia. The IT management decided to replace COBOL with Oracle. So, I had to learn SQL, PL/SQL, Oracle forms and reports. If I remember correctly, it was Oracle version 7 running on VAX/VMS. I have been developing Oracle applications since then and I do not regret it at all.

How are you involved with Oracle currently?

Currently, I work as a senior application developer. My main focus is Oracle SQL and PL/SQL in addition to web development and E-commerce using Macromedia ColdFusion and Microsoft BizTalk. No matter what tool I use, Oracle is always the backend database. We are also a big Oracle E-business suite customer, so I’m involved a little bit with that as well.

What inspired you to start blogging?

At first, I started a personal blog to share thoughts and pictures with my family and friends. After trying it for a while on a personal level, I felt that I would have a lot more topics to talk about that are related to what I do on a daily basis, and a lot more people to share my daily work experiences with. So, I moved my focus from personal to professional/technical blogging. I do, however, blog about anything I find interesting, which may or may not relate to Oracle.

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

Primarily, everything related to Oracle, specifically SQL and PL/SQL tips, tricks and, most importantly, forgotten features as well as new features. Usually my blog posts are a result of something I read in a book, stumbled on a website, blog or a forum, or something I researched at work or was the result of my own experiences.

What have you done to personalize your blog?

My blog’s title is Eddie Awad’s Blog. That’s the first personalization and the most obvious one. I use many plugins to personalize the look of my blog. I use plugins to fight spam, display related posts, give the ability to subscribe to comments and offer many other functions; Even the display theme of my blog is a plugin.

Do you have any favorite posts?

All my posts are my favorites, otherwise I won’t write them. However, if by favorite you mean the post that generated the most comments, that would be Char or Car. If by favorite you mean the post that generated the most inbound links, that would be the Oracle Firefox search plugin and Oracle Docs Firefox Extension.

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

I have created OraNA to keep track of all my favorite Oracle Blogs. They are too many to list here. For non-Oracle I read lifehacker.com, 43folders.com, and Creating Passionate Users among others.

What tools/websites do you find most helpful in putting together your blog?

My blog is powered by WorPress. I love WordPress. It is highly and easily customizable using themes and plugins found on wordpress.org and elsewhere on the net. As far as blog tips and tricks, I have found the following two blogs very helpful: problogger.net and performancing.com.

How does blogging fit into your job or your business?

Blogging does not actually fit into my job, rather it is the other way around, my job fits into my blogging. What I do for a living is often the subject matter of my blog.

What do you think business blogging will look like 3 years from now?

Just recently, Oracle officially launched blogs.oracle.com to host Oracle employees blogs. A lot of other companies, especially big ones, are trying to formalize the blogging activities of their employees and put procedures and policies in place to basically control what gets blogged about by employees. I believe that “business” blogging is still growing and will play a greater role in establishing a company’s image.

Thank you very much for your time, Eddie!

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Blog about the Implementation of Oracle 11i CRM

ITtoolbox has several (stealth) ERP and Oracle Applications authors. One in particular who caught my eye with good content and smooth writing style is Ashwin Pingali. He writes for the Building Efficient Sales & Service Ops: The Implementation of Oracle 11i CRM blog. Check it out!

Most recents articles by Aswin include:

CIO Article About Fusion and SOA

Christopher Koch, CIO’s Executive Editor, posted some interesting thoughts in his The Really, Really Hard Software Architecture Strategy story about Oracle Fusion with regard to enterprise architectural strategy SOA. Check out some interesting comments to his story too.

…In the last century, the vendor strategy pretty much lined up with thinking on architecture: standardize as much as possible to reduce integration headaches. That was great for vendors. If you owned the majority chunk of a customers enterprise software architecture, you got two big advantages: First, the suite was so big and complex that the customer had little incentive to get rid of it over the long term, which meant guaranteed streams of revenue in the form of maintenance fees, which could be raised incrementally over time; second, you got a critical advantage in selling them new software: fear of integration problems and management complexity if they bought stuff from someone else.

But today, the dominant architectural trend, SOA, is diverging from the vendor strategy. SOA says the enterprise application infrastructure is almost irrelevant. Technology is constructed according to services specified by the business, not by processes contained within an enterprise application vendors’ software box. In this scenario, enterprise applications become just a piece of the service, yet another component of a larger business process such as an insurance claims process that links a jumble of functions and data inside ERP, CRM and old mainframe legacy systems. The vendor of the applications doesn’t matter anymore; the linkages between them become the important thing. Why replace all your old mainframe systems with enterprise software suites if you can cheaply and quickly link all the old stuff together into services using web services and integration middleware?

In this sense, the vendors’ integration strategies become more important than the features of their software suites. Of course, both of the dominant enterprise software vendors, Oracle and SAP have begun offering integration middleware to go along with their big software suites. Yet both are sticking with the big, integrated software suite vision. Indeed, Oracle has pledged to meld all the best of all its different acquisitions together into something greater: Fusion.

But that begs the question: Why? Why try to integrate or build something that serves all the diverse interests of all the customers that bought Peoplesoft, Oracle and J.D. Edwards when the emerging SOA strategy is telling your customers that it’s okay to have diversity in your software portfolio?

…Oracle doesn’t have to integrate all the acquisitions together in the technical sense. It has other options. It has an anxious herd of CIOs all paying maintenance fees on different enterprise software packages who could be coaxed into upgrading to something entirely new, or buying middleware so they can keep what they have.

But if SOA really takes over, how anxious will those CIOs be for upgraded versions of software they already own? SOA bodes for keeping old software infrastructure around longer. It seems that if SOA really takes over, the software that links applications together, rather than the applications themselves, will become the most important strategic decision that CIOs make…

Oracle Has Its Eyes on Open Source Competitors

Larry Ellison’s open source Fusion by ZDNet‘s Dan Farber — BusinessWeek reported yesterday that three core open source companies–JBoss (middleware), Zend (PHP) and Sleepcat (database) –are in Oracle’s crosshairs. The omnivorous Oracle recently made waves by acquiring InnoDB, an open source storage engine for database competitor MySQL. It’s not surprising. Larry Ellision has said the company would embrace open source (more like bear hug) and make it work [...]