Archive for August, 2010

What is Cloud Computing ??

August 25, 2010

Cloud computing is a  technical term for anything that involves delivering hosted services over the Internet. These services are broadly divided into few categories: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). The name cloud computing was inspired by the cloud symbol that’s often used to represent the Internet in flowcharts and diagrams.

A cloud service has three distinct characteristics that differentiate it from traditional hosting. It is sold on demand, typically by the minute or the hour; it is elastic — a user can have as much or as little of a service as they want at any given time; and the service is fully managed by the provider (the consumer needs nothing but a personal computer and Internet access). Significant innovations in virtualization and distributed computing, as well as improved access to high-speed Internet and a weak economy, have accelerated interest in cloud computing.

A cloud can be private or public. A public cloud sells services to anyone on the Internet. (Currently, Amazon Web Services is the largest public cloud provider.) A private cloud is a proprietary network or a data center that supplies hosted services to a limited number of people. When a service provider uses public cloud resources to create their private cloud, the result is called a virtual private cloud. Private or public, the goal of cloud computing is to provide easy, scalable access to computing resources and IT services.

Infrastructure-as-a-Service like Amazon Web Services provides virtual server instances with unique IP addresses and blocks of storage on demand. Customers use the provider’s application program interface (API) to start, stop, access and configure their virtual servers and storage. In the enterprise, cloud computing allows a company to pay for only as much capacity as is needed, and bring more online as soon as required. Because this pay-for-what-you-use model resembles the way electricity, fuel and water are consumed, it’s sometimes referred to as utility computing.

Platform-as-a-service in the cloud is defined as a set of software and product development tools hosted on the provider’s infrastructure. Developers create applications on the provider’s platform over the Internet. PaaS providers may use APIs, website portals or gateway software installed on the customer’s computer. Force.com, (an outgrowth of Salesforce.com) and GoogleApps are examples of PaaS. Developers need to know that currently, there are not standards for interoperability or data portability in the cloud. Some providers will not allow software created by their customers to be moved off the provider’s platform.

In the software-as-a-service cloud model, the vendor supplies the hardware infrastructure, the software product and interacts with the user through a front-end portal. SaaS is a very broad market. Services can be anything from Web-based email to inventory control and database processing. Because the service provider hosts both the application and the data, the end user is free to use the service from anywhere.

..Rakesh

Trials & Tribulations of a Business Systems Analyst .

August 25, 2010

Being a business analyst in a software firm, I would like to share my knowledge about the role of Business Analyst in the software Industry. Business Analyst Roles: -> BA is the one who involves in gathering Business Requirement from clients. -> BA though not having a good insight into technical knowledge in analyzing which technology can solve the business needs of the clients. He should be aware of various different technologies and updates. -> BA and Technical Architect should interact with the clients. Project Manager if needed can join in the client meeting. -> BA should prepare the Business Requirement Document (BRD), Use Case Document (UCD), Use Case Diagram, User Scenario Document (USD) and Test Cases. -> BA should interact with Project Manager, Software Developers and QA team consistently to meet the Business Requirements. -> BA should interact with testing team and clarify their doubts regarding any issues in testing against the requirements. BA should review the test case and test results of QA team. -> BA should able to communicate and present the demo of the entire application. -> BA should maintain the entire documentation of the project. He is responsible for maintaining the organization internal repository for the assigned project. -> In this present era, there is no such profile called System Analyst, they are called as Business Analyst. Business Analyst should have excellent communication skill, excellent documentation and writing skill. He should be good in converting the business needs of the clients into Business Requirements. He doesn’t need to be a tech savvy, but he should be good in merging the business needs with the right technology. He needs to provide the right solutions with the cutting edge technology to the business needs at the right time.

Oracle BI Applications 7.9.5 is out

August 9, 2010

Oracle BI Applications 7.9.5 is released early this month. Here is a quick summary of the features introduced in this release and where you can get more information about it.

1. Informatica PowerCenter 8.1.1 SP4 – Informatica delivered the PowerCenter 8 in 2006. Oracle BI Apps has been used PowerCenter 7.1.4 until Oracle BI Apps 7.1.4. Oracle BI Apps 7.9.5 now requires Informatica PowerCenter 8. PowerCenter 8 has several new features and use new terminologies.

2. PeopleSoft 8.9 & 9.0 Adapters

3. Siebel 8.1 Adapter

4. Oracle BI EE 10.1.3.3.2 – Another technology update is Oracle BI Apps 7.9.5 now requires OBIEE 10.1.3.3.2.

5. Parameters are now managed in DAC repository: OBI Apps 7.9.4 and before let users to directly modify the parameter files deployed in the DAC server machine. In 7.9.5, these parameters are managed in DAC repository. You can use DAC client to remotely administer these parameters.

6. Optimization – we continue improving the product by optimizing the SQL and tune the indexes.

Here are links to get more information

Why do I need to use DAC from Oracle BI EE?

August 9, 2010

Data Warehouse Application Console (DAC) works together with Informatica to acomplish the ETL for pre-packaged BI applications.

Here are what happen behind the scene:

  • DAC publish the changes from OLTP
  • Informatica extracts the changes from the change log published by DAC as well as from the base table
  • Informatica load the data to the stage tables and the target tables in the data warehouse
  • DAC manage the performance by dropping indexes, truncating stage tables, rebuilding the indexes, and analyzing the tables during the process

If you do not use DAC, you have to write your own custom change capture process and need to redesign from scratch an ETL method that allow the restart of the ETL process from point of failure at record level. The biggest saving is that DAC can survive during the upgrade , while your custom processes cannot.