Monday, 16 July 2012


HI All,

I would like to consolidate a list of best practices and common mistakes done in implmentation projects.
I think you people might have come across different best practices and some amazing workarounds.
I request all of you to provide me your valuble inputs to put a road map for a ideal implementation.
From now onwards I will be sending different best practices and Process so that we can evalutate the pros and cons of each.

First of all let me list different techonologies and tools required at different stages of implementation.
From now onwards we can evaluate each technology and tool for different types of situations.

Data loading stage:

1.sql loader
2.GUI tools like DATA loader
3.Oracle External Tables(from 9i)
User interface Development:
2.OAF(Jdeveloper) Reporting Tools:
1.Reports Builder
2.XML Publisher
3.PL/SQL Reports
4.Oracle Discoverer
Business logic implementation:
1.Work Flow
2.AME(Approval's Management) Outbound interfaces:
2.XML Gate way
3.Custom made outbound interfaces using PL/Sql
Inbound Interfaces:
1.Open Interfaces
4.XML Gateway(Not Sure)
1.Oracle Alerts
2.OAF Personalization
3.Forms Personalization
2.SQL Client
3.PL/SQL Developer

Code Formatting Tools:
1.Formatter Plus
2.PL/SQL Developer Formatter Configuration Tools:


1. keep the source of all Customized objects(Tables,Packages,Procedures ..) in the PLS folder in the custom top.
It is easy to say but making people to follow it is very difficult(Even i don't :-) ).One way to make people to follow is by dropping objects whose lastest source is not present in the UNIX box.
we need to compare the last update date in the UNIX box and last_modified date in the all_objects...i witnessed this idea really working..This also removes the Cost factor of maintaining a VSS(VSS might have its own Advantages) also...

2.All Customized objects should be labeled.Example XXLGEOM2309.and the name of the object should be decided prior to the development
Lets say for example u have a Custom process involving a concurrent program,a form and a workflow.
For each object if u have one lablel right at the design phase all the documets can have a process design showing different components getting involved at differnt stages in the process.

3.A Repository of all the process and all the objects associated with it should be maintained.Thats what MD70 should contain...But most of the times it wont..they are always some missing objects.
we will realize the importance of it when the people starts leaving the company during implemenataion..


1.Its always better to identify one process owner From the customer side for each process or Area.
Even though it is not with in our control the management should insist for it from the starting because it clears a lot of hurdles during implementation

2.All Functional people should have a fair idea of all the technologies used . they need not be experts but aleast they should understand the usages of it,its advantages&limitations .
(Guys with a little idea straightaway dont start urself giving techincal solutions..use the knowlege to understand what's future after enought experience u may....)
This will help u a lot when u r designing solutions...

Let us discuss the reports..

1.The most common custom objects we see in any normal implentation(10-20% Customization) is Reports.
I personally feel the layout designing of the report should be the in the last stage of the implementation.Because the 90% of the Customer concern will be the data that he will get to analyze and 10% will be the Format it is presented.
so it is better to show the user the raw data every time using the tools like toad.Once user is happy with the data just have the sql and keep it aside.This gives us the flexibility of adding a column or removing it during the process development
Because adding a column or removing a column in tools like report builder takes a considerable amount of time.
It doesn't remove total rework but alteast reduces it considerably..

First let me list different types of reports from customer perspective..

1.Reports Presented to Authorities and top management--Look & Feel and the layout are important
2.Reports used for analyzation purpose and day-to-day operatons--like daily Shipping details report and Shipping lead time)
3.Reports Used for Record purpose--Keeping the data aside
4.MIS Reporting--Summary reports ,Report used to tally data from differnt applications in apps--Perfomance is pretty important as they run on huge data .

Let me list different reporting tools and some of their advantages

Report Builder:
Good for Complex layouts involving images and for Pre -Printed Document
Developer will have more control on the layout
Many Technical People knows very much how to use it
Report building time is Relatively High
Handling small layout changes is even more difficult
Data & Layout are combined into one unit--If I want to see same data in 3 different layouts we have to design three reports

PL/SQL Reports
Easy to Build and maintain
Just PL/sql Knowledge is Enough
Should be used for analyzation reports and day-to day operation Reports
Can handle only very simple layouts

XML Publisher
Replacement for Report Builder
Can handle Complex layout also
Layout Design can be done in Microsoftword,XSLT --Compartively Easy
We can have one report with different layouts and layout can be selected at run time
I heard even we can get single report in multiple layout by running it only one time--Not sure as I have not used it
Only available in after 11.5.9(with a patch),11.5.10 onwards
Requires sound knowledge of microsoft word tables and word feautures
Many people still don’t have much idea on it..
Some time output goes wavierd on hand experience is required to find workarounds--(My own Experience)
Discoverer Reports
Multi Dimension analysis
Easy to build and use
Separate License
No formatting options at all..can be used only for analysis not for reporting 


HI All,
Here i try to analyze different Data loading methods available...and some other debatable issues..
Best Practices:
1.Always have the rightly balanced teams.
A typical ratio for medium complexity process would be(1:1:2 )(Functional:Technical Designer:Developers).
Techical designer should be a guy who understands both the importance of business and technical limitations.
And the rule should be , technical designer should always be involved at the Functional Discussions with the customer.
This always help for not committing things which are not technically feasible..(Nothing is impossible ..but the effort needed to make it happen is worth or not??)

2.The other big Question is how should I divide my project team???
Method A>Functional,Technical( With in technical people by technologies they are good at like ..reports ,Forms & OAF ...)
Method B> One Process one team.(Atleast team size should be more than 20 to implement this)

There are advantages & disadvantages of both the ways..I am part of implementations which are done both ways....Lets me list some of them...
Method A:
Advantages: Less time is taken for development of components..(As technical people are doing what they are good at..)
1.I don't know whether I am correct or not in quoting this but the truth is you will find a clear divide between the two teams..And once things start going wrong people start blaming each other...I think every one might have experienced it already..
2.For technical people it is even bigger loss because you work on different components belonging to different process and never understand how your component fits in the overall solution. At the end of day it will be just a
piece of code...
3.Any change in the process during the course of development is very difficult to handle, as there will be inter dependencies among components

Method B:
1.Every one will feel the ownership of the process and better team spirit.
2.Technical team will also have better understanding of the processes and will able to implement the changes faster (as In a development project change is unavoidable ) as they have all the components with them

1.Development time might be a bit long as the technical people in u r team might not have expertise in all the technologies involved in the process

My views might be a bit biased as I am strong supporter for method B..

Technical:Coming to our today's technical discussion loading..This will be one of the first steps(development) and the last step(before live) of a implementation..
The typical way of data loading is a three step process.
1.To load data from the legacy/Flat files to temporary tables.
2..Perform all the validations on the temporary table data and load it to the open interfaces or API's
3.Run the Open interface Concurrent programs/API's to load data to the standard tables.

First let me figure ways of data movement in oracle apps..
1.Open Interfaces-- used for live interfaces(every day activity) & one time loading
2.API's--Almost same as Open interfaces but are easy to handle.(validation & integrity logic is taken care by them)
3.Out Bound Interfaces--Required if we integrate oracle apps with third party or legacy systems
4.EDI--automation process..we will talk about them later

For loading data
SQL Loader:1.Used when data is available in flat files(tab delimited,Comma delimited)
2.Faster & Easier way of loading data
3.Can use sql functions to modify data

DB Links: if the legacy systems is on oracle data base the best thing is to get access to the data customer want to import through db links

Data loader tool : These are third party tools used for loading ,which automates the process of punching data.There are very much user friendly and not much technical expertise is required to work with them.
But the biggest disadvantage of these tools is they are slow.If you have huge data it is not advisable to use them(unless u r patient enough to see thru :-) )
The data loaded will be valid because it is as good as manual punching..

XML: Oracle Provides Apis to import XML data and to export data into XML.This should be most convenient way for data interaction as most of the other technology systems are able to parse XML data easily.
There are some limitations(can be easily overcome) also for these in oracle like while importing XML data into oracle tables oracle can't parse huge files

WEBADI: These are oracle provided templates for data loading into some standard interfaces.Easy to use. we can create the custom api's and use for data loading..i felt this is one of the best ways of loading data

UTL_FILE: it is PL/SQL way of loading data into oracle tables.This packages gives us the API to read and data into flat files.This method is very useful when the data to be loaded is less and more validations are required
before loading.One of the limitations of this pacakge it reads data in lines and the maximum length it can read is 1022 charecters..In writing data to files it can write only 32K in one shot..later we need to close the file
and reopen it again..

External Table:This concept concept comes from Oracle 9i onwards.This is one of the easiest way of loading data.Once you create the external table you can simple use the select stament to query the table.
On performance basis this is as good as Direct path loading of SQLLDR.(Technical People Give a try for this...)

Caution:Disable any indexes on the table before loading data..other wise it will slow down the process of loading data.

On summary for all conversions(one time data movement) use External Tables or SQL Loader
For interfaces use PL/sql,dblinks or XML
HI all i have not used SQL loader much..most of the time i have used External tables ,UTL_FIle and XML.So people who has much exposure can come up with any limitations or advantages of it..
Plz let me know if any thing is wrong or any other suggestions to make this better....


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