Held at the Marriott on November 21, 2008
Emmanuel and Ricky started discussing this idea back in 2001, but it had always been on the back burner. Then, Jose approached Emmanuel four months ago about starting up a DBA Consortium. Jose is going to be the Project Manager and will coordinate the effort.
Who is going to be involved? Who is going to do what? How do you maintain the whole thing? Emmanuel pointed out that we might have a list of 15 or 20 people that want to be involved now. However, 6 months later, who is still going to be maintaining this?
We are looking to make this available as an on-line offering. There would be a 50 dollar fee on top of the DOUG membership fee for database maintenance. We could use that to build up a reserve fund for hardware.
This could be a worldwide offering (particularly to India and China). We already have lots of international traffic with only 90% of the DOUG website’s traffic originating in the US. Guys that are desperate to access the latest Oracle technology, but do not have the hardware or the ability to install all the underlying pieces from scratch.
Jose works as a DBA for Motorola and he relayed the following story. A few months ago, two tables were lost so Jose received a call late at night from China. After two days, we sent them the tapes via FedEx but the local DBA could not restore it. Nobody could restore it. So, I helped them use RMAN to restore the tables from tape. The whole time I was thinking, “Someone should be videotaping me so that other people could learn how to do this.”
Jose’s idea is not to compete with Oracle, but rather to spend time on special topics. Like How to Set up a Standby Database or How to Set Up ILM Assistant. We could conduct boot camps on a predetermined training day like Saturday. Then, make it available to other users for a small fee. Plus, we would make ourselves experts at the same time that we are working with it.
Looking to get Oracle eBusiness Suite and Oracle Financials set up on the new box. Companies want people with hands-on experience now and you can’t hire on someplace that is going to train you. Application Express is the sandbox of the e-Business Suite and the basic building block of the Oracle Financial System.
Not many other companies have anything like this hosting proposition. Solution Beacon offers Oracle Applications, but only as an application service provider. Apex.oracle.com has workspaces available for an Application express instance, but it does not give access to the backend. This hosting could put DOUG on the map
Jose added, “If you are a fresh graduate with an OCP, that is a joke. Everyone wants an experienced hire. If not, then someone has to train me.”
Functional Consultant at Accenture
Trained at Northlake College
Took courses on Admin Workshop 10g I & II
Have a good understanding of the technical aspects
Wanted to do his OCP but needs hands-on experience
Goal is to be able to talk intelligently with developers and DBAs
Might be managing projects – knows what his team members are going through
Has been working with computers for the past 30 years and has recently picked up 8 certifications (OCA, OCP, Solaris, web design, PMP)
Never worked as a DBA, but would not rule it out.
Most experience as developer / analyst
Likes to write code in Java
Jose said, “Oracle is really focused on this unbreakable LINUX initiative. If you know Linux and can develop in PL/SQL, then you are set.”
Worked mainly on the Application side but is interested in Data Guard and setting up the Financial Software. Wants the ability to practice on hardware.
The plan is to install Oracle 11g and put on Oracle Applications. Clone to Server and do patches every quarter. Jose has set up Data Guard at least 50 times. Knew that he could do it, but it was very difficult to do the first time.
List of volunteers – Need experts available on a rotation who can get in and patch it as needed.
Ideally, you want enough people to ensure close to around the clock coverage.
Hardware – We currently have one LINUX Server. These do not need to be commercial class machines. Just something that we can put Oracle 11g and Applications on. Can also clone from the same machine. We can start small and play with it. Put together a proof of concept that we can figure out the numbers of concurrent users.
Reserving the box for cloning, others watch. Then if a user gets stuck, he or she can contact us. They could tell us that they got to step 6c and could not get any further. Then, someone steps in on a web seminar
Don’t worry too much about the hardware specifications, right now. Maybe we can tell HP that you need two machines, like the Oracle Database Machine.
Is there an issue of paying an additional membership fee? Developers can download and install anything off OTN as long as they are not making any money off of it. We are trying to stay away from the charges.
Next meeting – E-mail when the next meeting is going to be held. Hopefully the server will be ready by then. Ricky will ask Vic about the server. Plan to meet again on December 4th for a little meeting toward the end of the Holiday party at Blue Mesa.
Emmanuel said that we can do the training at Oracle. Ricky pointed out that we probably want to go through something 3 to 5 times before taping.
We will need to get a hold of someone to do the video taping and the production work. Chris will check at Collin College with the eLearning and Video production departments. We would also need to do audio overlays with the presentations.
Update on the DOUG Website
Ricky Burke headed this portion of the meeting.
Application Express – Ricky is working on a developer’s version of Oracle 10g right now. Looking to use it with Oracle Express. That’s the free Oracle Database with Application Express on top of it.
Ricky is a long-time Oracle Forms Developer. A couple of years ago, Oracle started into JDeveloper and Java. Now, they have Application Express that does want you use to do in Forms and Reports. He’s been using it for the past 6 months and is impressed with it. Says that lots of the Oracle sites are in APEX (i.e. AskTom)
DOUGs website is run off of a Microsoft Access database. We want to move this to an Application Express front end. The free Oracle Express edition comes bundled with an older version of Application Express. We dropped down to the 10g release for the site. Oracle 11g Express Edition is due out next year. In the interim, we can update the Application Express to 3.1 and still have it run with the Oracle Express Free Version. Oracle Express edition is limited to a single processor and less than 4GB of storage.
Application Express is being marketed to a huge area of small to medium businesses that currently use Access or MySQL. If the business takes off, that product can’t handle it anymore and they need to upgrade to a full-fledged server. Microsoft uses this to get companies to move from Access to SQL Server.
If something is built in Application express, there is no need to rewrite the application. It can work in a standard or enterprise version of Oracle just as well. APEX is getting more and more common for mid-size businesses. Workspaces are already web-enabled, so you just give them a user ID and password to get them up and going.
The DOUG website is currently hosted by Network Solutions. In addition to the website, Ricky is building a full-blown DOUG membership and event management application. Ricky took the current DOUG website and stuck into an Application Express application version 3.1 on his laptop. Now, he needs Vic to upgrade the development website server to 3.1 so Ricky can export his application and import it back over to the website. Already have a reimplementation of the front-page. Question – Do we want to have the same banner?
Emmanuel – Stay with the old banner for now, get it moved over, and then we can worry about changing the layout. Converting the membership page and calendar are the top priority items. Once we are on the new platform, we can look at the layout and see if there are parts that we want to replace pieces at a time.
Events calendar – Want ability to filter on different topics instead of having to see everything all at once. Also, want the ability to export to Outlook.
RSVP process – Currently done by the coordinator, want to use Application Express for the automated e-mails. Prepare 3 or 4 email ahead of time and put them on schedule for blast.
Emmanuel suggested having a user’s full profile come up every time they RSVP. Prompts you to put in your personal e-mail and ensures more accurate info in the membership database.
Another big thing – Renewals are manual right now. DOUG wants the ability to do online membership renewals.
Assignment – Look at the DOUG website and compare the old website with the new website. For example, the page for the BI Group is just static information. Ricky wanted a liaison to get a hold of the BI and other Forums. Emmanuel said that he can do that.
Ricky will combine the notes from Emmanuel and Jose. Then, we will e-mail them out to the group this weekend.