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As you'd expect from the winners of the Specialized Partner of the Year: Business Analytics at the Oracle UKI Specialized Partner Awards 2014, Beyond work with leading edge BI Applications primarily within the UK Public Sector. We intend to share some of our ideas and discoveries via our blog and hopefully enrich the wider discussion surrounding Oracle Business Intelligence and driving improved insight for customers

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With every major release of Oracle Applications in recent years there has been a new look and feel for OAF pages. BLAF (11i), Swan (R12.1) and finally Skyros (R12.2). One would imagine that once R12.3 comes out (or even the latter end of R12.2) it will be with the Alta skin - R12.2 already has some nods towards this.
Customer response to the E-Business Suite look and feel certainly is a mixed bag. Many dislike the washed out feel of Swan, some feel BLAF is far too dated and others simply want their ERP system to match their corporate branding.
The Oracle Forms modules are pretty much how they come - there are number of different colour themes you can apply such as red, blue, purple and green, however there isn't really a great deal to change. OAF pages however are somewhat different. They do have a very distinct look and feel. Fortunately, it is possible to customise these to great lengths, however unfortunately it's not all that intuitive. Hopefully this blog will help get you started. I will be using an E-Business Suite 12.2.4 vision instance, simply because it's what I have to hand as a pre-built VM on my laptop. The same applies to all releases though.

First you need to give yourself the Customising Look and Feel Administrator responsibility. It only has one option.

CLAF Responsibility

Once we enter the responsibility we will choose Create Look and Feel

Step 1

Depending on the version of EBS you're using, the options you'll see for the base look and feel will vary. I'd suggest choosing simple-desktop to begin with.
Clicking Next takes us to the page where everything is done. However before I jump into that (we'll come back to it shortly) we will click through and save the look and feel so we can demonstrate the starting point.

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Tagged in: E-Business Suite
in Technical 1488 2

After being announced at Oracle Openworld 2016 for cloud-only, 12.2 is now finally available as an on-premise release and available from Oracle E-Delivery 

12.2 E-Delivery

We've been using it in the Cloud for a while here at Beyond on our Exadata instance and you may have already seen my previous blog posts on some of the new features such as Analytic Views. More to come soon.

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in Technical 1180 0

Whilst BICS comes with complete Schema as a Service, some customers choose to use database as a service (DBaaS) for many reasons (such as the ability to use the on-premise modelling tool and "lift and shift" the model).  DBaaS has recently been upgraded to offer 12.2 as an option for the database which is what we were trialling as part of internal R&D whilst we were formulating some recommendations for a BICS customer.

Whilst doing this we encountered a couple of issues with connectivity but fortunately we were helped out by this paper that has just been released by Oracle in February 2017 called "Known Issues for Oracle Business Intelligence Cloud Service".

In addition this paper covers a few other things you will likely want to know about, so if you have embarked on a BICS installation then I highly recommend giving this a quick read.


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in Installation and Patches 860 0

Oracle Synopsis was first announced at Openworld 2016; a mobile platform to allow data analysis on the go on a mobile device. Think of it a bit like Oracle Data Visualizer Desktop for your phone or tablet. Up until now though it's only been available for Android devices, however over the weekend the iOS version was released on the Apple Store.
So your first question might be Ok, so how much is it to licence?. Well - the answer to that would be £0; it's FREE! Yes Free! You don't need any back end OBIEE software or anything to run it either - it runs completely on your device. With that in mind I thought I should take a look.

The idea behind Synopsis is that you can take a spreadsheet from any existing App (email etc) and easily import that. So I took a spreadsheet of spend data from my local authority (.csv format), emailed it to myself and used the new option Import with Synopsis to load up the dataset.

Import with Synopsis

Synopsis then proceeds to import the data file. My file was about 7MB which is a reasonable size for a .csv, however it only took a minute or two to import.


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Tagged in: dv desktop OBIEE
in Business Intelligence 1206 0

Since Oracle 10g it has been possible to hide data from specific users or under a set of specified conditions. This can be entire rows using Virtual Private Database (VPD) policies or specific columns in a table. In this post I'm going to look at the latter and how that has been enhanced in Oracle 12c. First, let's take a pre-12c example. Suppose I have the following table of data.

Create Table emps As
  Select '12345' emp_no, 'Alice' emp_name, '01234 567890' tel_no From Dual Union All
  Select '67890' emp_no, 'Bob' emp_name, '07800 123456' tel_no From Dual Union All
  Select '09876' emp_no, 'Charlie' emp_name, '07989 989898' tel_no From Dual Union All
  Select '54321' emp_no, 'Dave' emp_name, '01987 654321' tel_no From Dual Union All
  Select '13579' emp_no, 'Erin' emp_name, '07909 101010' tel_no From Dual;

Now suppose we have a requirement to hide the telephone from all users as we deem that to be sensitive information. We could of course put whatever logic we wanted in our function, however let's just keep it simple for the purposes of demonstration.

Create or Replace Function check_auth(p_owner In Varchar2, p_name In Varchar2)
Return Varchar2
  Return Null;

Then we create a policy against our emps table as follows.


Now look what happens when I select from my table emps as user KEYMEJ.

----- ------- ------
12345 Alice         
67890 Bob           
09876 Charlie       
54321 Dave          
13579 Erin      

I can also still insert data, I just can't read what I've inserted!

Insert Into emps(emp_no, emp_name, tel_no)
Values ('24680','Frank','07909 090909');

Select * From emps Where emp_no='24680';

1 row inserted.

----- ------- ------
24680 Frank         

Now that is all well and good, however wouldn't it be useful for say a customer support representative to at least be able to verify the data? I.e. What if they could just see the last four characters of the phone number? Prior to 12c we would have done something like this:

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Tagged in: sql
in Technical 1101 0