Thursday, July 31, 2008

Metalink, SCM, the error and the good stuff

Yesterday I got an e-mail from Oracle Support letting me know about the new Metalink interface which is supposed to go live this Fall:

Dear MetaLink Customer,

Oracle is committed to consistently improving your customer support experience. In the fall of 2008, MetaLink will have a new user interface. To help you prepare for the transition, you may now preview MetaLink's new user interface and provide valuable feedback about its features.


I clicked on the link, that was supposed to redirect me to Metalink, and I got one very fancy schmancy login page. Well, actually, it is the Software Configuration Manager (SCM).

I put in my login credentials and ... I got an error message "IO Error Error #2032"

WOW ... :-)

Well, OK the problem was fixed latter that day.

Regardless of the problem I experienced, I must say that I've been using SCM for quite a while and I am pretty impressed with its functionality. It is really much easier to create and manage service requests using the configurations you I have registered with SCM. Oracle Support engineers have all the information they need about the configuration of the server and the database.

Searching the Knowledge base looks improved as well. Now you can have your search results visible on the left panel of the screen, while, at the same time, you can read the content of the selected note. This makes navigation much easier.

Service Requests part has new design too.

All in all, improved functionality, better navigation, good design, some new features too ... Good job !!!

Useful Links:

Sunday, July 27, 2008

1Z0-043 ... Passed

I passed the 1Z0-043 exam a week ago. While waiting on Oracle to process my hands-on course requirement I am thinking what should be the next step. Certainly OCM is on my list, but in the mean time I'd like to go for SQL Expert Certificate.

I have been studying very hard, especially the last month. I started with Oracle 10g Certification and Oracle Database 10g OCP Certification All-In-One Exam Guide, but the most of the time I spent reading from the Official Documentation and of course, practicing a lot.

The books I mentioned are good, they cover some basics, but I found they are not quite sufficient to prepare you for the exam. Some of the material is not up to date with the exam topics. The sample tests that come with the books contain some questions out of the scope of the exam. Some of the questions contain answers that are wrong or arguable.

It is very important that while preparing for the exam you practice a lot. It is not very difficult to set up a test environment for each of the topics. It was slightly complicated to create a test environment for ASM on my Ubuntu Linux, but the post from Grégory Guillou How To Set Up Oracle ASM on Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon has helped me with that.

Finally, while preparing for the exam, I have improved my skills significantly and learned some new stuff that I didn't have any experience with before (Resource Manager for instance).