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March 2009


SAP is a huge, mysterious, expensive animal.

In my very private opinion it is probably the worst ERP system you can buy today. Hence, most whiteshirts will choose it.

To compensate for the fact that it's old and silly technology, it's also exceedingly expensive. Introducing SAP to your company is the only reliable way to tell whether your company is so financially strong that it almost resembles a monopoly.

But what I really hate about SAP is that it removes people from the Oracle database field. I think most of us have experienced the following scenario:

A colleague or a bunch of colleagues are selected to help implement SAP. Until then they've been ordinary DBA's, fixing stuff, running databases and leading normal family lives.

Minimum Number of Application Server Processes

I have had two conversations recently about what happens if you have only a single PSAPPSRV process in a domain. One of which was on the DBA Forum.

Basically, you should always have at least two instances of any server process that has a non-zero recycle count.

It is rare to see only one PSAPPSRV process in Application Server domains that support the PIA, but customers who use the Integration Broker often have separate Application Server domains for the publication and subscription servers. These domains are often not heavily used, in which case they have been configured with just one of each server process.


The exceptions are

  • PSSAMSRV is only used by Windows clients in 3-tier mode (nVision and PS/Query)
  • PSMSGDSP, only a single process can be configured
  • PSAESRV, because in the Process Scheduler each PSAESRV has its own queue.

The problem occurs when the server process recycles. This occurs when the number of services handled reaches the recycle count. When the only remaining server process on a shared queue shuts down the queue is also deleted, and the advertised services are removed from the Tuxedo Bulletin Board. If a service requests arrives in the application server domain before the new server process has started, and updated the bulletin board with advertised processes, the Jolt handler (JSH) will determine that the service request is not advertised and will raise an error.

It is quite simple to demonstrate this in PeopleSoft. In my demo system, I set the recycle count on PSAPPSRV to just 10 and the minimum number of servers to 1.

The Helsinki declaration: observation 3 (Yafets)

After observation 1 "we-do-not-use-the-feature-rich-DBMS", and observation 2 "we-are-still-delivering-UFIs-only-in-ways-much-more-complicated-than-we-used-to-do-so", let's move on to the third observation on 20+ years of database application development. As you will see, all observations are (of course) somewhat related. They each just emphasize a different symptom of a single shared underlying

The real history of Oracle database revealed!

Anyone who’s looked into Oracle X$ tables, knows that their names are really complicated and quite unreadable (and non-pronouncable), such X$KZSRT, X$KCPXPL, X$KQFSZ and so on.
A few years ago at some conference someone came up with a thought that the reason why Oracle has so unreadable names for its X$ tables is that the leading edge database source code was actually stolen in the 80’s from a Soviet Union intelligence agency.

Happy Birthday...

To both the World Wide Web, age 20 years this day and Linux v1.0, age 15 years this day.  Two creations that have changed a lot of things.  Sort of neat that they happened on the same day, albeit five years apart...

Excellent Information on Exadata

If you are interested to know more about the technology (not the marketing hype) behind Exadata - the datawarehouse appliance from Oracle, I just discovered a treasure trove of information on this blog:

Kevin Closson, one the lead architects of the Exadata machine has been interviewed by Christo Kutovsky and Paul Paul Vallée of Phythian. Kevin, in his usual detailed style explains the innards of the beast, aided by the excellent leading questioning by Christo.

I believe this is best writing I have seen on Exadata - all good stuff, no fluff. Thank you, Kevin.

Start Database Services automatically after instance startup

Those of us that have dealt with RAC environments for a while are familiar with the behavior of Oracle Services in an Oracle Cluster. Services are an essential component for managing workload in a RAC environment. If you’re not defining any non-default services in your RAC database, you’re making a mistake. To learn more about services, I strongly recommend reading the definitive whitepaper by Jeremy Schneider on the topic.

The Helsinki declaration: observation 2

To illustrate the second observation, let's take a look at the following quadrant. It maps character-mode / GUI-mode applications against stateless / statefull underlying protocol.At the end of the eighties the bottom-left square, is were we were. Database applications were provided to endusers who were sitting behind a dumb character-mode terminal, 25 by 40 characters, maybe 25 by 80.The backend

The Helsinki declaration: observation 1

So why is this blog called the Helsinki Declaration? Obviously it has nothing todo with the real Declaration of Helsinki. Hence the "IT-version" postfix in the title above. In line with the text of the WMA-version, we could describe the IT-version as follows:

"A set of principles for the IT-community regarding (database) application development"

Or maybe just: my vision on how database

@Hotsos 2009: Starting this blog

So here I am at Hotsos Symposium 2009. I've presented my vision on how to build "Window-on-Data" applications, yet again. I think it must have been the tenth time or so, ever since 2002, when I first presented the basics of this approach at Oracle Openworld. And of course again I was preaching in front of the choir. It has since evolved into a full 2-hour presentation, or rather a Part 1 and Part