Welcome to the Beyond Blog

John's Blog

This is my blog of various topics, from things that I think might be useful to others, to things that I just find interesting personally. If you have any comments or questions on any of my posts then please do ask - any positive contribution is very much welcomed.



The views expressed in this blog and completely my own and do not reflect those of Beyond Systems Ltd. All content is provided for informational purposes only, and you are solely responsible for how you use this on your own or others systems. We accept no liability for any losses or damages caused.

A Quick Glimpse into the Power of R

I remember when I moved into our first house, and I had to do a bit of DIY in the bathroom to replace some silicon sealant. I removed the old stuff using a utility knife, which whilst worked, involved a lot of messing about, a scratched bath panel, a cut finger and quite a bit of cursing. Several years on I had to do something similar, however this...
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GDPR and Oracle E-Business Suite

​I'm presenting at a small group in the near future on sources of personal data in Oracle E-Business Suite and how this relates to the GDPR regulations. If you're interested in this, you can find my slides below. File Name: General-Data-Protection-Regulation-GDPR-and-Oracle-E-Business-Suite File Size: 658 kb Download File
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222 Hits
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Oracle APEX Exploitation - Part 4

It's been a while since I wrote the first few posts on APEX exploits, so I'm going to briefly discuss an attack that is very widespread and potentially dangerous. SQL Injection In very brief terms, SQL injection involves an attacker causing the server to execute SQL code that it was not intending to, by passing that SQL into a vulnerable statement....
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428 Hits
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Oracle E-Business Suite Person Data Removal Tool - Roadmap Released

I wrote recently on the complexities of achieving GDPR compliance in an environment. Last week Oracle published the following MOS note:  Oracle E-Business Suite Data Removal Tool Roadmap (Doc ID 2384629.1) which whilst doesn't contain a great deal of information, is worth bookmarking. The current planned delivery timeline (subject of course to...
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Is your E-Business Suite ERP ready for GDPR?

If there's one thing that is causing a lot of stir within organisations at the moment it's GRPR . As the date of enforcement approaches rapidly ( 25 May 2018 ), more and more data controllers are becoming increasingly nervous as to whether their Enterprise Systems can support the requirements of GDPR. Particularly, but not only Right to Access Righ...
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Oracle Row Generators and Cardinality

I'm quite a fan of row generators. If I know I need a row for every day of the year for example, I generally avoid holding (and maintaining) a table of these dates, and instead will generate them. This is by no means a universal rule, so take each case on its merits. select trunc(sysdate,'YYYY') + level -1 dt from dualconnect by level <= add_mon...
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Oracle 18c Available on Live SQL Now!

If you haven't already used Live SQL then you're missing out. This free (Enterprise Edition) database instance provided by Oracle as a sandpit for trying things out and learning new stuff is a great resource. More importantly, it tends to be kept in line with the latest "hot off the press" database release. So it came as no real surprise last week ...
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Timing Repository Variable Refreshes in BI Applications

This issue arose at a customer today, and I've seen it happen in the past, so I thought it worthwhile making a quick note. A situation had arisen which had caused the overnight ETL execution to be delayed. Once this had completed the users complained that the dashboard was missing some data. This was tracked down to a shared filter which contained ...
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Simple Machine Learning

With machine learning being one of te big things at the moment, I thought I'd cast my mind back to my first ever c programming assignment at university - write the game of Pangolins . The game is based on the 20 Questions game, whereby the user thinks of an object and the machine aims to guess that object by asking simple yes/no style questions - i...
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Connecting your DBaaS Cloud Instance to your On-Premise ERP Instance

Unless you've been hiding under a stone for the past few years you'll know that the cloud is the big thing at Oracle. There are fewer and fewer on-premise installations for greenfield projects. With the new pricing structure it is easy to see why more and more organizations are considering cloud services for their new developments. An easy venture ...
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919 Hits
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Provisioning an Oracle Database Cloud Instance - For Free!

If you haven't already started using Oracle Cloud services, then what better way than to sign up for $300 free credits for a pay-as-you-go subscription (valid for one month)? Simply visit https://cloud.oracle.com/tryit and click Sign Up . I did it earlier - it's really easy and was set up within an hour. To try it out, I provisioned myself a Standa...
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Automating Oracle APEX Backups with Subversion

I know there are already a good number of blogs/guides out there already describing various methods of automating the backup of APEX applications, however I thought I'd share the method I recently implemented internally as it uses a remote subversion repository. This gives rise to a number of subsequent benefits such as holding a full version histo...
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Oracle APEX Application Exploits - Part 3

Oracle APEX Exploitation - Part 3 This is the third in my series of short posts about methods thatc an be used to exploit your Oracle APEX applications. The first two posts concentrated on URL Injection which is relatively easy to protect against, however this third post is going to focus on something that is a bit more difficult to stop, and not q...
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Oracle HRMS - Which View Should I Use?

Enter your custom HTML codes in this section ... Taking a break out of the APEX Exploits series for this as it's something I keep coming across at different client sites. select p.full_name, su.supervisor from per_people_x p, per_assignments_x a, per_people_x s where a.person_id = p.person_id and a.person_id (+) = a.supervisor_id; With me (or the r...
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1091 Hits
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Oracle APEX Application Exploits - Part 2

Oracle APEX Exploitation - Part 2 Following on from my previous post in a series on common exploits in Oracle Application Express, in this post I am going to continue the theme of URL modification, however this time to allow us to execute procedures where we shouldn't be able to. This issue arises from the fact that we can use the construct BRANCH_...
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1074 Hits
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Oracle Apex Application Exploits - Part 1

Oracle APEX Exploitation - Part 1 I decided to write a short series of posts detailing some different mechanisms that a malicious user may use to "attack" an application written in Oracle Application Express (Apex) - note - "Attack" is used loosely here in that it is more of "making the application perform in a way it was not intended". These posts...
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APEX Organization/Position Chart Plugin (Google API)

A while back I posted instructions on how to create an organization/position chart in Oracle APEX using the Google Charts API . That was a little manual and not massively simple, so I have encapsulated that process into an APEX plugin which is released Apex.World . The GitHub project page can be found here which is the master repository for this pl...
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1029 Hits
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Deferred Query Region Selector in Oracle APEX

Whilst working on a client project recently I created a page in APEX with a number of different regions, selectable via a Region Selector . The way this page was to be used, the user may not always want to click on every single region each time they use the page. Unfortunately the default behaviour with APEX is that all regions are rendered on the ...
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2037 Hits
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Organization or Position Hierarchies in Oracle OBIEE

A while back I created a post describing how to produce an organization chart in Oracle APEX using Google visualizations. If you didn't catch that then go and take a look here first before reading on as it will provide the background reading to this post. So in this post I am going to demo how we can do this in OBIEE - and it's actually quite easy ...
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2054 Hits
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Auditing Record Changes in an E-Business Suite Environment

A question that comes up all the time on the OTN Forums is "How do I know who updated this record?" . Generally the response is to point the member in the direction of the last_updated_by column on the table. The next question often then comes up... So how do I see what the old value was?" . Hmmmm... a little more tricky. We can try to look at flas...
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1548 Hits
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