Thursday, May 6, 2010

EnterpriseOne Tools Release 8.98.3 Notes Part 2

In the first article in the series on Tools Release 8.98.3, EnterpriseOne Tools Release 8.98.3 Notes Part 1, we highlighted WebLogic 11gR1 and its extended platform support, Oracle VM Templates for EnterpriseOne and their potential impact on implementation times and Improved User Experience in the web client.

This article will continue the series, covering UBE Quick Deployment, Related Information Application Framework and Kernel Resource Management. These items promise to make CNC Administrators, data-hungry power users and troubleshooters happier with their new-found free time.  All three advance Oracle's goals of improving the user experience and simplifying system administration.

Again, please be aware that my reviews are not a comprehensive accounting of all new features in 8.98.3,  that the information presented herein is my interpretation of what I heard, read and utilized, that Oracle can change anything prior to GA release and that, of course, only Redwood can speak for Oracle, they are the final authority on their software.

UBE/Interactive App Quick Deployment

True high availability in EnterpriseOne has long been a dream of sleep-deprived CNC Admins who have had to wait until the wee hours to deploy a package on a quiesced system.  The ability to deploy changes in a 24 x 7 shop has also been a desire of IT Directors who have had to fight the business to gain permission to bring the system to a standstill while the changes are installed.  Partial relief is here in the form of UBE/Interactive App Quick Deployment.

This new functionality allows deployment of update packages without locking batch queues and is considered necessary in a 24 x 7 environment.  Packages can be deployed while UBE's are executing but only packages that include *only* UBE and APPL objects.  In other words, if your package contains something other than a UBE, a UBE version or an Interactive Application (APPL) Quick Deployment will not work for you.

There are some minor caveats but nothing near the issues normally encountered with deploying update packages to a working system:
  • If a UBE is in the package and in queue that UBE will be held until deployment is complete.
  • Interactive Applications that are being used and are in a deployment will continue to be used by that user until logout.
Speaking of caveats - this feature is for 9.0 only but is being considered for backporting to 8.12 in the future.  Beyond that and you are out of luck.  The feature, like many in Tools Release Updates will require a Tools ESU to enable it.

Related Information Application Framework

RIAF purports to "Embed context-sensitive, external information into the EnterpriseOne User Interface" and is supposed to "Integrate E1 user interface with Web 2.0 technologies".  Related information can be in the form of links or active content (think stock charts, BI reports, images, video, etc.).  RIAF can be used extensively with (and I suppose is designed for) Oracle WebCenter.

Sounds nifty but oh, it is not going to be easy.  We'll address the "nifty" part first.

A use case to consider:  You're in Address Book, select a vendor and in a frame below the form a Google Maps satellite view of their location appears.

or a Sales Report from BI, based on the Address Book number:

Obviously there is much, much more to the "nifty" part, and this new feature demos well but I simply do not have it set up yet to grab more screenshots.  Which leads us to the the "not easy" part.

Tellingly, the install guide for the supporting software for RIAF is two-hundred, thirty-four pages long.  RIAF runs as an application in WebLogic and requires Oracle Access Manager and Oracle Identity Management to manage security.  It starts to shine when integrated with WebCenter but both WebLogic Server and WebCenter are expensive propositions and OAM and OID are time-consuming to install and configure.  All support components require a significant investment in terms of setup, configuration, hardware and administration.  RIAF itself will require a significant amount of time to configure and maintain.  This will likely limit full use of Related Information Application Framework to the larger EnterpriseOne customers until the requirements are slimmed or it gets easier to implement and administer.

This feature will be supported on 8.11 SP1 and above and will require ESU's to enable its use.

Update (5/13/2010): I received the following from Oracle in response to this section - 

"RIAF in 8.98.3 is for WebCenter Groupspace integration only.  This requires OAM / WSM  in order to (for example) get a list of groupspaces that the logged in user can access.  In the future, the RIAF will be expanded to other related information content, but there is no reason to expect that other content will also require OAM / WSM."

Kernel Resource Management Improvements

Kernel Resource Management, introduced in 8.98.2, continues to be improved.  Designed to capture information about a problem without impacting the system, this tool dramatically reduces the time spent troubleshooting and since the functionality of this feature was driven by an analysis of support request and time spent on support calls that functionality is highly relevant to real-world troubleshooting scenarios.  From zombie kernels, to memory leaks and high numbers of database connections, KRM cuts down on the time spent finding the root cause of an issue.

KRM is integrated with Server Manager and now includes the ability to access the complete call stack, including E1 at multiple BSFN levels and OS information.  Improvements to KRM graphs have been made, including an enhanced ability to drill down to the desired information.  Much improved application logging and additional logging for database connections is also offered.

The best thing to do is simply post a copy of Oracle's table of KRM functionality instead of spending three paragraphs explaining it:

Integration with Oracle Enterprise Manager has also been introduced although Denver offered assurances that Server Manager was not going to be replaced by Enterprise Manager.

Server Manager 8.98.2 is the minimum version required to use Kernel Resource Manager.  You will need to update to Server Manager 8.98.3 to utilize the KRM improvements.

Update (5/8/2010):  I received the following list of KRM improvements from Oracle too late to include in the initial publication of this article but would like to include them here:
  • Instance level and Kernel Level Metrics/ Data passed to Oracle Enterprise Manager
  • Automatic "Memory Limit Determination" on all OS Platforms
  • Contextual Data provided in all memory diagnostic data by adding File/ Function/Line where the resource was allocated, hence all leaked objects can be identified to their point of origins
  • Inline Diagnostic Actions:

    •     create a dmp diagnostics file for Kernel Crashes
    •     create a mem diagnostic file for Out Of Memory
    •     create a diagnostics file on running out of Threads
  • Long Running Query Detection in Enterprise Server with diagnostics of the SQLquery with all params, e1 user, dbuser, calling function provided
  • SQL Server deadlock detection
  • Number of Database connections from each Kernel 
  • Clearing Business Data Cache from Server Manager
  • JADE - advanced profiler and much simpler than BMD. Runs Dynamically to capture mem leak at the source of leak

The system administration items, Quick Deploy and Kernel Resource Management, will prove to be useful to both CNC folks and developers and the Related Information Application Framework, while hefty, should move EnterpriseOne toward truly embedded business intelligence.  Again, Oracle seems to be listening and Denver seems to be executing.  This bodes well for the future of the product.

This completes the review of three more new items included in EnterpriseOne Tools Release 8.98 Update 3.  Our next installment will cover Workflow Delegation, BI Publisher Enhancements, E1 Application Management Pack and WebCenter.

Stick around.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice review Jeff. I look forward to part 3.