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XHQ Operations Intelligence

Dealing with connector timeouts

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XHQ – Operations Intelligence software allows you to pull data from different sources, massage it, and present it to the end-user in any way desired. This is a great functionality, and it is a the heart of the platform. However, in some networked environments, you could be dealing with latency issues to remote database systems. In these cases, the default XHQ connector timeout settings and/or the JDBC retry interval need to manually be configured/customised for your specific needs.

-rinterval n - Where n is the delay (in ms) between retries.  The default is 10 seconds.
-retries n - Where n is the number of retries. The default is 3 retries.

Here is how to do it:

1. Launch Solution Builder
2. Go to Configure » Connection Processes
3. Select the Process name in question, then click Edit
4. At the end of the line, add -retries 6

To change the default timeout setting of 1 min to 5 min, add the following parameter (in ms) to the solutionsettings.properties file. XHQ Server has to be restarted for these settings to take effect.

net.indx.repository.solution.server.connectorcontroller.extendedtimeoutinterval=300000

For more detailed information about these parameters, please review the XHQ Administration Guide corresponding to your XHQ version. Need XHQ consulting? Get connected.

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Oracle 11.2 Install on Windows 2008 R2 failed

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Finally figured out a problem installing Oracle 11.2 on a Windows 2008 R2 64bit Server.  Every time the Oracle prerequisite check would run, it would fail with the below misleading messages:

INFO: *********************************************
INFO: Architecture: This is a prerequisite condition to test whether the system has a certified architecture.
INFO: Severity:CRITICAL
INFO: OverallStatus:OPERATION_FAILED
INFO: -----------------------------------------------

INFO: *********************************************
INFO: Environment variable: "PATH": This test checks whether the length of the environment variable "PATH" does not exceed the recommended length.
INFO: Severity:CRITICAL
INFO: OverallStatus:OPERATION_FAILED

or… in the actual Oracle log you may find message similar to:

INFO: Verification Result for Node:HostName
WARNING: Result values are not available for this verification task
INFO: Error Message:PRKN-1019 : Failed to create directory "C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Temp\2\\oraremservice\" on node "HostName", Error: "0|The network path was not found.

After much research, the actual fix for this issue was pretty simple – for us.  All we needed to do is to add the ”File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks” service to the active network adapter on our test VM.  Hope the same works for you!

Unable to Create Signatures in Outlook 2010

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We came across a strange issue recently regarding users who were unable to create signatures in Outlook 2010. Anytime a user would open “Signatures and Stationery” and click New, nothing would happen. Resolution of this issue was a high priority as affected users included the executives of a managed company. The environment was relatively straight forward. Our users used Outlook on Windows XP x64 and Window 7 x64 systems. Their application data was redirected to a common file share.

There were multiple complaints across the internet regarding this issue and few helpful suggestions for resolution. Downgrading to Outlook 2007 or moving to 64bit Office were not options for us. We determined that finding the cause of the problem and developing our own solution was the best way to go.

We discovered from a Microsoft KB article that when a user created a signature, Outlook's editor created files for the signature in the user's application data folder at \appdata\Microsoft\Signatures. As mentioned previously, our users' appdata folders were redirected to the common file share. Users had full permissions for every level of their own redirected folder. However when the Signatures folder was generated by Outlook, the permissions on the folder did not inherit from the parent folder, Microsoft. The Creator/Owner was allowed full permissions for subfolders and files of the Signatures folder, but was given no permissions for the folder itself. Without the permissions on the folder to create files, the Signature files would not create. The workaround was to manually add permissions at the folder level for Signatures. This was not the optimal solution considering multiple users had this problem, but this served as a workaround until the issue in Outlook 2010 could be fixed.

Need assistance with this issue or others? We’re here to help.

EXP using 9.2.0.1 client from an 11.2.0.3 database

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When trying to export data from an 11.2.0.3 database using the Oracle 9.2.0.1 client, our dmp files were 12k and the log file was 0 bytes.  The Metalink Note: 550740.1 helped resolve this issue.

1. Connect to the 11.2.0.3 database as SYSDBA through SQL*Plus

2. Change the definition of view EXU9DEFPSWITCHES
From

CREATE OR REPLACE VIEW exu9defpswitches (
compflgs, nlslensem ) AS
SELECT a.value, b.value
FROM sys.v$parameter a, sys.v$parameter b
WHERE a.name = 'plsql_compiler_flags' AND
b.name = 'nls_length_semantics'

To

CREATE OR REPLACE VIEW exu9defpswitches (
compflgs, nlslensem ) AS
SELECT a.value, b.value
FROM sys.v$parameter a, sys.v$parameter b
WHERE a.name = 'plsql_code_type' AND
b.name = 'nls_length_semantics'

3. Re-run the EXP job using the 9.2.0.1 client

Need help? For free development help, leave a comment. Alternatively contact us to see how we can help your organization with Oracle database management and support.

MPLS (My Perfect Little Solution)

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Of course, this is not the correct meaning of MPLS, but please read on to discover our experience in implementing this solution.

In the last year, a client company began to experience the pains of its increasing business needs not being met by the limited nature of its IT infrastructure. One of the issues was the quality of the WAN links between its three offices. The company was using a single T1 at each of the three offices and IPSec VPNs that logically connected their office networks. Several problems arose after applications were added to the company network. The applications did not require much bandwidth as could be seen from bandwidth measurements, however the WAN links lacked the Quality of Service (QoS) very much needed by these applications. For example, the company had begun using VOIP phones at each of the offices, and the VOIP server was located at the main office. Call quality at the satellite offices was extremely poor. The line of business application also suffered from poor response time as the application server was also located at the main office. Network latency and the lack of QoS over the WAN links was limiting the productivity of the satellite offices.

We assisted the client company in migrating to a better internet solution for improved connectivity between the three offices. An ISP offered their MPLS (MultiProtocol Label Switching) solution at a reasonable cost. Simply put, MPLS provides faster direct connections between labeled endpoints (or routers) effectively providing an IP VPN. The need for encryption is removed from the data stream, and routing within the network is streamlined. Security of the data is maintained through proper management of the MPLS routers by the ISP. QoS is also included on the MPLS network for improved management of network traffic.

The decision was made to implement MPLS at each office. As the MPLS network did not provide internet connectivity, we maintained the internet connected T1 at the main office. The implementation of the solution was technically simple requiring little added hardware at the main office and some reconfiguration of the routers at the satellite offices. We were also able to eliminate the VPN endpoint devices between the networks. The QoS built into the network greatly improved the flow of data required by the VOIP and line of business applications.

In the end, the client appreciated the results of My Perfect Little Solution (aha!). Employees were able to work more effectively, and fewer issues regarding slowness were being reported to our Desktop Support technicians. How can we help you?

How to duplicate database for standby

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This is not the first scratchpad sample of duplicating a database for standby you’ve seen, and by no means comes close to the official Oracle documentation.  Its intention is simply for those that don’t use this process often and need a quick reference.

1. You need to startup nomount the standby instance with the bare minimum requirements

DB_NAME=’dbstdby’
DB_UNIQUE_NAME=’dbstdby’
DB_CREATE_FILE_DEST=’C:\Oracle\dbdata\’

2. Connect to rman (in this case with nocatalog)

rman TARGET sys/pwd@db1 AUXILIARY sys/pwd@dbstdby

3. Run your duplicate script (make any other necessary changes for your environment)

RUN {
ALLOCATE AUXILIARY CHANNEL c1 DEVICE TYPE DISK;
ALLOCATE CHANNEL c2 DEVICE TYPE DISK;
DUPLICATE TARGET DATABASE
FOR STANDBY
FROM ACTIVE DATABASE
DORECOVER
SPFILE
SET db_unique_name='dbstdby'
set db_file_name_convert='C:\Oracle\dbdata\db1\DATAFILE','C:\Oracle\dbdata\dbstdby\DATAFILE'
set log_file_name_convert='C:\Oracle\dbdata\db1\ONLINELOG','C:\Oracle\dbdata\dbstdby\ONLINELOG'
set control_files='C:\Oracle\dbdata\dbstdby\stby_control01.ctl'; }

Need help?  Free development help, leave a comment or contact us to see how we can help your organization with Oracle database management and support.

Excel Documents Slow to Load: Office File Validation

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We all try to follow conventional wisdom by pushing out security updates and new features for our application. However, what do we do when one of these updates causes our application to slow down or even hang? This type of issue caused a little bit of a headache for some of our Microsoft Excel 2003 users.

Recently, IT Vizion pushed out Office File Validation (OFV) for Microsoft Office 2003 and 2007 per Microsoft KB2501584. For improved application security, OFV checks a file for expected behavior prior to opening the file. This feature was already built into Office 2010, and we decided to include this functionality for users who have not yet upgraded to the latest Office version. Soon thereafter, IT Vizion also pushed out Microsoft update MS11-021, a fix for Excel that resolved multiple security vulnerabilities.

Taken separately, nothing appeared to be wrong with installing these updates. However, we later determined through research that OFV was causing a specific problem for some of our users.

When attempting to open Excel files from a network share, users were waiting several minutes for the files to open. The files were between only 3-5MB in size, and they were being worked on from an available network share over a fast ethernet network. This problem became annoying as we were able to eliminate multiple possible causes including antivirus scanning and network bandwidth issues.

We were able to determine through research that this was being experienced by other support groups and users across the internet as well. Some had suggested uninstalling MS11-021 as a simple fix, but this did not seem to resolve the problem for us. Fortunately Microsoft released an article on this specific issue soon after first report of the problem. Article 2570623 provided both an automated and manual fix. We found that the fix worked, but required administrator access to the machine. Given that the fix alters the HKEY_CURRENT_USER registry hive, the fix is per user and of course most of our supported users are not local administrators. The best solution was to include in user logon scripts a check for the version of Office and install of a registry file for making the necessary alterations using administrative credentials.

For the explanation and fix from Microsoft, please see the article mentioned above at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2570623.

Windows 7: All Devices in Network Connections default to a “Public” network type

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Introduction
This is a fairly common problem when you allow employees to use their personal Windows 7 laptops on a corporate network. This occurs due to a misconfiguration when a user is selecting their network type whereby they select the option “Treat all future networks that I connect to as public, and don’t ask me again”

Symptom
When connecting a new networking device to your computer, the Operating System defaults that device automatically to “Public Mode” and does not allow that devices network type to be changed.

Resolution
There are two ways to address this problem.

Fix 1:Automatic Fix
The automatic fix is located on Microsoft’s website at http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9779407

Fix 2: Manual Fix

1. Access Device Manager and Disable all the Network Adapters
2. Enable the device you are trying to change
3. Go to Network and Sharing Center, choose the option “What is a network location”
4. Select the type of network you would like that device to use

Leave a comment if you have any issues and we’ll try to help you. Interested in a long term expert provider to help you when needed most? Contact us.

I’m Infected, What do I do?

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In the field of Information Technology there is one thing that everyone dreads, but few seldom escape and that is the computer virus. Viruses and those that create them have become evermore proficient when it comes to infiltrating and compromising corporate network and the intellectual property held therein. With the computer virus being so dangerous, what do I do if I get one.

There are several steps that you must take to ensure that your company remains protected in the event of a computer virus. Below I will identify universal steps that you can use to detect, identify, and remove a threat to your corporate computer.

• Disable Network Access
• Identify the Threat
• Remove the Threat

Disable Network Access:
Disabling an infected computers access to your corporate network is paramount. A virus is designed with two objectives in mind. These objectives are survival and delivering its payload. While a infected computer is connected to the network it is a potential conduit in which your company can loose intellectual property. If you Disable that connection then you have in effect limited your exposure to that one computer.

Identification and Removal of the Threat:
Just like in the weekly crime dramas on TV in order to catch a criminal you must first know who he is. This being the case, how can you tell which virus is which? The first and easiest way would be though the use of your companies’ virus detection software. This software is designed to scan every file on your computer and search files for matching virus characteristics. This process will be able to identify the virus and remove it 85% – 90% of the time. If the scan completes and nothing is found this does not mean that you are not infected. If your computer is still exhibiting symptoms and your computer either found and removed or did not find anything at all, then you can proceed to our second recommendation. This would require the use of another virus detection application.

Need help?  Count on IT Vizion to help you prevent infections and assist in removing them when needed. Contact us at 877-488-4946 or use our online form.