Wednesday, August 22, 2007

An EUL horror story

EUL backups - now there's a novel concept. Let me tell you a story.

Just over a year ago I consulted to a large organization and created a new EUL with a couple of business areas. It took three weeks to complete. On the Friday when I was leaving I migrated the whole lot from Dev to Prod and left.

About 11am on Monday morning I received a call that went something like this: Michael, hello, how are you? Ummm - Discoverer deleted itself from production. Don't you find that odd? Why does it do that?

Well you can't kid a kidder. Because I know the tool so well I said - it cannot just delete itself - either the owner or someone who knows the EUL owner's password must have logged in and told Discoverer to delete the EUL.

No admissions of guilt were offered - naturally. I mean - would you own up to having deleted your company's production reporting system on the same day that it went live? Perhaps booking a one-way ticket to Australia (sorry oz - but I am English) would be in order.

No problem - I said - go to your Prod backup and restore your EUL schema. You'll soon be back up and running.

Ah - they said - here's the second problem - we forgot to put the EUL schema into the backup routine.

Hmm - I said - in that case all you have to do is go to your Dev instance, export the EUL and then import it into Prod.

Ah - they said - here's the third problem - we refreshed Dev from Prod on Sunday afternoon and it also does not contain an EUL.

Oops - I said - when do you want me to come back?

Let us think about it - they said - and we'll call you back.

They did call me back and I informed them that before I left on Friday I had taken a backup myself of the EUL in Dev and told them where it was on their server.

Phew - they said - thank you, thank you. Oh and by the way the DBA admitted to having dropped the EUL schema on Friday evening as he thought it was a user messing about!

I recount this story as a warning to everyone else - please make sure your EUL schema is included in your backups. A good administrator should also take periodic exports of the EUL - just in case!

Anyone else got a similar horror story - hopefully with a happy ending?

By the way - I'm in Boston this week and I can't find a decent English cup of tea anywhere. In years gone by we would have gone to war over that. Oh - we did - and we lost. Methinks I'd better keep a low profile.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Paper accepted at Open World 2007

I am delighted to be able to let you know that I have had a Discoverer paper accepted for Oracle Open World 2007. I will be presenting my famous Build an EUL in one hour paper. Perhaps you have already seen it? Perhaps you have heard of it and would like to see for yourself?

Either way, this will be a live demonstration, using the Discoverer 10.1.2 Administration tool of how to create a fully working End User Layer inside one hour. You will be shown all of the steps involved in creating a fully working Oracle Discoverer EUL. If you have a copy of the Oracle Discoverer 10g Handbook, this presentation will take you through all of the steps required to build the tutorial database.

I will start by selecting the schema owner and tables required. Using the Load Wizard, you will be walked through all of the steps involved in loading the meta data definitions from the source database. Sticking close to the wizard's defaults, you will see how Discoverer automatically builds joins and lists of values.

After I have the base folders loaded, now the fun stuff begins. You will now be shown how to add some new items, in particular we will add new columns for calculating standard margin and mark up, as well as for profit and profit percentage. We do this so that the end users do not need to build these for themselves.

Next, you will be shown how to build complex folders out of the simple folders that we have just created. We will create fiscal date folders, linking these back to the sales order folder. After creating these new folders, you will be shown how to create fiscal date hierarchies so that users can drill from day, to fiscal month, fiscal quarter and so on.

After you have been shown how to build complex data folders, you will be shown how to build a geographic rollup. This rollup will allow the users to drill from City to District to Region.
After building the complex folders for fiscal date and geography, we will have created a psudo star schema with the our sales folder at the center.

The presentation will conclude with a walk through of some of the most often used features of Discoverer's Administrator edition. As I have said many times, you are only limited by your own imagination when it comes to working with Discoverer.

If you're going to be in San Francisco in November come and join me and say hello.