Archive for the ‘Oracle’ Category

Cool Tools 7: Benthic Software’s Golden

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

For those of you that use the Oracle DB in your portal stack (or for pretty much anything), you know what an atrocity Oracle’s SQL*Plus is (it’s more dated than Plumtree / ALUI!).  I’ve looked on and off over the years for a simple Oracle client that works as well as Microsoft’s SQL Server Management Studio, and I want to thank Hani Atalla for turning me on to this one: Benthic Software’s Golden.  It’s hyper-simple to use, and even has all the “creature comforts” like being able to copy a result set into an Excel Spreadsheet (try doing THAT with SQL*Plus!).  It does require Oracle’s Instant Client to work, but even I (as a non-Oracle DBA) was able to install both in a matter of minutes.

If you’ve sweated through SQL*Plus sessions for way too long, definitely check this tool out – it’s cheap, at only $40.  If you’ve got a better tool for quick and easy Oracle DB queries, I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Plumtree (aka ALUI, aka WCI), indeed, is not dead yet

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

You’ve heard it here before, but yesterday, Brian Harrison, Oracle Product Manager extraordinaire, made it official: The My Oracle Support (MOS) community has been announced!

Any thoughts?  A great step by Oracle to showcase the virtues of WebCenter Interaction?  Too little too late?  I for one haven’t completely given up, and this community shows great promise – even if it’s not for the community itself (which has been around for a while), but a showcase of how the ALUI Collaboration UI doesn’t have to be so bad, and can truly integrate into a social community space.

Don’t count Plumtree out just yet; there are still a few more tricks up its sleeve…

Wall of Shame Rant: Oracle Support and Maintenance

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

In my last Wall of Shame rant, I blasted some shady spammer and had no qualms about it.  But this time is different:  I’m writing this post in a sincere effort to get Oracle to look at some of its policies and procedures, specifically around support.  Oracle has some stellar products and decent support, and in defense of Oracle’s support organization, support people have a tireless, thankless job, dealing with irate customers who think that software should never have problems.  So, while occasionally customers have it tough, customer support often has it much tougher (NSFW for a LOT of language; kudos to that Dell support guy for keeping his cool and staying on the line).

Oracle support, I salute you for the tireless, thankless job you have, but please stop telling clients their problems will be fixed with an upgrade when you’re not sure it will, or worse, know that it won’t.  Also, please honor Oracle’s support policy and don’t withold patches until a client gets to the latest version of the software, knowing that by the time they do, another patch release will probably come out, starting the whole cycle all over.  Of course, it’d be different if the upgraded version actually fixed the problem, but in the below rant, my client couldn’t even submit a patch request that affected the 10gR3 version of Analytics because they weren’t on the “latest version”, which was ridiculous because the latest version didn’t fix the problem either.


“I’m nawt dead yet!”: WCI getting some love at Oracle?

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

Woah, what’s this?  Perhaps rumors of WebCenter Interaction’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.  The Little Portal That Could seems to have gained a foothold – however slight – in an Oracle site at

I don’t really know how long this has been available – or even if it’s an official Oracle site – and maybe you’ve already heard of it.  But I think it’s promising that at least the old AquaLogic User Interaction is getting some mindshare over at the Oracle mothership.

Ironically, this portal is still BEA’s ALUI version 6.5:


.. and not Oracle’s WebCenter Interaction (10gR3).  It would have been even neater if this was a preview release of the much-fabled 11g, but I’m not complaining.  The site does look pretty interesting in an “Enterprise 2.0-y” kind of way and appears to have some neat social features such as tagging, profiles, and a much more integrated Collab (if it’s even Collaboration Server at all?).  Maybe this will some day replace that terrible flash-based site?  A person can hope…

Check it out at – your support credentials should work to get you logged in:


Finally, special thanks to Monty Pyton, Mark Twain, and, uh, The Little Engine That Could for providing the mixed metaphore fodder above…


Free Oracle WebCenter Interaction Code!

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Sorry if the title of this post sounded sensational; this code has been around forever.  In fact, it’s kind of ancient, and as far as I can tell hasn’t had new submissions in years.  But for those of you looking for the old BEA “CodeShare” repository, this is the link you’re looking for.  All the classics are here: Lotus Notes / SAP / PeopleSoft / Exchange Portlet Suites, Java Portlet Tools, the Publisher Blog Templates, Sample Code (including some under-publicized Social Network portlets).

You won’t need any of this stuff today (or tomorrow), but someday when you’re pulling your hair out and thinking to yourself “if only BEA’s CodeShare was still around!”, this is the link you’re looking for: (free registration/login required).