Saturday, September 26, 2009

Values Based Skills and Success Traning Blog

Take a look at Our newest Blog -
We are excited to offer this Values Based Training to help you get the results in your company and your life. We will be giving frequent Webinars many of them will be free of charge and others which will be priced to fit into your training budget.

We will also be traveling around the country giving speeches and presentations to our clients and the public, so I will keep you posted on where we will be.

Our Armstrong-Smith Consulting clients will already be aquinted with our excellent technical training. Expect the same quality and dedication in all of our Values and Skills based training.

Values Based Success Skills

Armstrong-Smith Consulting is proud to announce our newest training initiative. My wife and the President of our company, Darlene Armstrong-Smith, spent a number of years delivering Success Skills training. She gave that up to support me in building our Business Intelligence initiatives. Now she is ready to launch a new division of Armstrong-Smith Consulting with training and coaching for companies and individuals in Values Based Success Skills.

As a means of launching this initiative she is giving a FREE Webinar on Tuesday September 29th. The title of the Webinar is; Do you know why you do what you do? She will be exploring the area of how paradigms are formed and give many useful tools to help you improve the way you think about things for better results. It is time to understand why you act the way you do, think the thoughts you think and get the results you get.

Darlene will open your eyes to the way you think about things and motivate you to make changes that give real results.

Title: Do you know why you do what you do?

Date: Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Time: 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM CDT

After registering (link) you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

Please share this information with anyone who you think would enjoy and benefit from this Webinar.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Join my LinkedIn group

For everyone who knows me or my company, Armstrong-Smith Consulting, I have recently started a new LinkedIn group.

Whether you're a client, an OTN forum follower or just interesting in anything to do with business intelligence or Oracle Discoverer come and join my group (link)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Supported Java Versions

From time to time I get asked what versions of Java are supported for Discoverer Plus. You can find this information on MetaLink in note number 465234.1

To help you, as of 16-DEC-2008 the following Java Virtual Machines are supported:
  • Oracle JInitiator and higher
  • Sun Java Plug-in 1.4.2_06 and higher
  • Sun Java Plug-in 1.5.0_2 and higher
  • Sun Java Plug-in 1.6.0_4 and higher
  • Apple JVM 1.4.2_05 or higher is needed when using Safari on an Apple Mac OS X

Please note that some people experience a slowing down when they upgrade to Sun Java 1.6. I have a posting (link) about this and Oracle has a document on MetaLink (747189.1)

Slow performance when using Sun Java 1.6

Over the past year of so, several of my clients have reported a slowing down of Discoverer Plus 10.1.2 (, and following an upgrade of the Sun Java to version 1.6.0_04 or higher.

This has been recognized by Sun and if you are technically minded you can read more about this bug by clicking here.

From a Discoverer point of view there does not appear to be an issue with these Java versions:
  • Sun Java Plug-in 1.4.2_06 and higher
  • Sun Java Plug-in 1.5.0_2 and higher

To overcome the issue with Sun Java 1.6 please look at note 747189.1 on Oracle MetaLink.

There is a lot of information in this note but of interest there really are only two ways to overcome the problem and get Discoverer Plus working fast again. These are:

  1. Ensure the external facing IP address of the Discoverer server has a reverse DNS entry in the DNS server, or
  2. Add an entry for the Discoverer server to the local HOSTS file

Ever since I've been using Discoverer I've always tended to have an entry for the Discoverer server in my HOSTS file. So for me I rarely see this issue. On your local PC you will find the HOSTS file here:

  • c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc

You can edit it with either Notepad or Wordpad

Maximize your Investment in Discoverer paper

Earlier this year, at the ODTUG 2009 Kaleidoscope conference in Monterey, California, I presented a paper called Maximize your investment in Discoverer.

I have taken the white paper and the PowerPoint presentation and revamped them a little and now have them available for download free of charge from my website (link). They are both contained in a zip file called

Please feel free to download this paper and take a look at the Armstrong-Smith Consulting recommendations for how you can maximize your investment. In a nutshell, because of the introduction of Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBI EE) you basically have three options:
  1. Protect your investment by staying with Discoverer - there will no forced migration away from Discoverer and Oracle will continue providing enhancements and cumulative patches plus support will be covered by Oracle's lifetime policy. Discoverer 11g is due for full release during 2010. Oracle also have a statement of direction stating that Discoverer will continue to be enhanced and supported.

  2. Extend your investment by combining Discoverer with some of the OBI EE tools. One of the notable extensions is to interface Discoverer with BI Publisher

  3. Migrate your investment by converting your Discoverer application into OBI EE. In order to do this effectively you will need to migrate your EUL and migrate your workbooks. Oracle currently have a migration utility for the EUL and hope to have a workbook migration utility available either as part of 11g or as a separate release around the same time.