Smart Panda Newsletter – July 2015

Smart Thinking Newsletter

The ERP upgrade conundrum: How to calculate the true cost

Smart Panda - Newsletter Postman
If you use an old on-premise financial management solution, you have a difficult decision to make over the next few years: do you upgrade the application one last time and get a few more years out of it or move to a modern cloud solution? This is the first of three parts that will help you answer that question

Smart Panda Goes Biking – MS Bike Ride 2015

Smart Panda - BikingSmart Panda Goes Biking

July 24th, 2015 the Panda headed north by northwest and landed at the Grandbend Motorplex approximately 100 kilometers from home, spiked a tent and had a cold beverage with some members of the Butt Ugly – MS Bike Ride Team. After a nice dinner we all headed back to camp and tried to get some sleep before the early morning start.

The MS Bike Ride Grandbend To London (and Back) is a long standing bike ride that has seen thousands of riders over the years raise millions of dollars in support of ending Multiple Sclerosis (MS).  This unrelenting disease has affected several of my friends over the years and it is staggering how many people are being diagnosed with this disease every day.  It is an honour to ride in support of my friends and all those who are battling everyday.

The Grandbend to London MS Bike Ride is a lovely 150 kilometer round trip trek across several counties in Ontario.  This year over 50 members of Team Butt Ugly has raised to date over $44,255 dollars!  Currently in third place and going after Corporate Team – Libro Freewheelers, to take over the #2 spot.  Help The Fight To END MS >>> Click Here >>>>

Smart Panda - MS Bike Day 1 Startline Smart Panda - MS Bike Day 1 SelfieThe Start Line:

Early on the Saturday morning the cycling gear came out and once it goes on your committed. We packed some gear and through it on the truck, grabbed some coffee and a bagel and headed for the starting area.  This years MS Bike Ride had almost 1600 riders and there was bikes for as far as the eye could see, and there was a lot of clothing that none of us legally should have been allowed to wear.

Team Butt Ugly was in 4th place for fund raising on race day, so we were very close to the front of the pack.  At around 7:45 am we were on our way.  The best part of being on Team Butt Ugly, is you can find your teammates almost anywhere because of the fake butt we all donned for the ride.  I have never received some many comments on my butt in my life, and the even better part is cars take a WIDE berth around you when they see the butt!

Smart Panda - MS Bike Ride Day 1 - Finish Line

Day 1: Riding & Celebrating

The MS Bike Ride was just a little over 80 kilometers on the first day.  There was volunteers everywhere and they did an absolutely fantastic job in supporting us riders.  We had riders age 8 to 86 on the course, every size and shape, every kind of bike you can imagine, and everybody had a smile on their face.  There was some really fast riders which consumed the course in under 2 hours, and then there was the troopers that ride in same nasty heat upwards of 8 to 9 hours, I honestly don’t know how they did it.  I was able to finish in around 4 1/2 hours with about 3 1/2 hours of actual riding.  Since nothing ever goes as planned for me once I arrived the elevator broke and I got to walk 5 flights of stairs multiple times.

The Kids arrived and we got to hang out at the University and got our picture in the MS Bike Ride – We Did It Tent! After a nap we had some dinner and celebrated all the successes of the MS Bike Ride over the years with all the participants (except the ones that were sleeping) at Thompson Arena.  Which just happens to be the arena I worked at as a kid cleaning ice – Yes, The Smart Panda was once a Zamboni driver.

Smart Panda - MS Bike Ride - Day 2

Smart Panda - MS Bike Ride - Day 2 - Selfie

Day 2: Gett’r Done

The sun seemed to raise early through the fog and after a quick breakfast we were packed up and ready to rock and ride back to Grandbend.  The MS Bike Butt Ugly Team was in great spirits even with the fog delay.  The early ride back was interesting as it felt like we were travelling into an abyss as the fog burned off.   Our youngest members were in a hurry to get back so they put the hammer down and traveled back over 70 kilometers in under 3 hours.  The last couple of kilometers found several of us singing “just keep spinning, just keep spinning….”

The finish line was filled with hundreds of people cheering and celebrating (maybe because the BBQ was right beside the finish line).  It was truly a satisfying accomplishment to cross the finish line with my team with big smiles on our faces.

We are already recruiting for next year, and if you would like to be part of something spectacular! Join the Team, Raise some money, and have an Amazing Ride!

Its still not too late to donate to the 2015 Ride!  >>> Click Here >>>>

Oracle: Data Export Pump – Directory Setup

Oracle Database Export Data Pump (expdp):  Directory Default Setup

Smart Panda - Export Data PumpData Export Pump utility (expdp) is designed for unloading data and metadata into a set of operating system files called a dump file set. The Data Export Pump Dump file set can be imported only by the Data Import Pump utility (impdp). The Data Export Pump Dump file set can be imported on the same system or it can be moved to another system and loaded there. The Data Export Pump Dump file set is made up of one or more disk files that contain table data, database object metadata, and control information. The Data Export Pump Dump files are written in a proprietary, binary format. During an import operation, the Data Import Pump utility uses these Data Export Pump Dump files to locate each database object in the dump file set.

Because the dump files are written by the server, rather than by the client, the data base administrator (DBA) must create directory objects. In order to have the Data Export Pump Dump file be in a specific location you will need to do the following:

Step 1:

Login into the database using the command:  sqlplus / as sysdba

Step 2:

SQL> create directory dmpdirectory as ‘/my/new/dump/directory’;

Step 3:

SQL> grant read, write on directory dmpdirectory to scott;

Step 4:

Execute the command:  expdp scott/tiger directory=dmpdirectory dumpfile=scottdata.dmp

Smart Panda - IdeaGood To Know:

As of Oracle 10gR2, there is a specific directory that is used by default:  DATA_PUMP_DIR, to see what the default value is you can run the command:

SQL> select directory_path from dba_directories where directory_name = ‘DATA_PUMP_DIR’;



Here is a great link for working with Oracle Data Pump.
Happy Exporting!

Pivot Grid: Generic Error Query Datasource

Pivot Grid: Setup Issue

Pivot Grid supports operational dashboard reporting within the Oracle PeopleSoft PeopleTools framework to provide a pivot table and chart representation of data using PeopleSoft Query data source. The framework also enables users to see different views of the data as in an Microsoft Excel pivot table, and the same data is also available in a chart view.

When doing a recent upgrade for a client they were experiencing issues opening up some pages in the Billing module.  The reason was that the Pivot Grid popups for the page were generating the error:

Generic error while executing the Query datasource. (268,91)

Interestingly, this error was only occurring in my Oracle Database systems.  No errors were being generated in SQL Server.  It would appear that there is a corruption in the data load for the data sources of the Pivot Grid.  In order to resolve this, My Oracle Support (MOS) recommends that you do the following:

Step 1:

Smart Panda - Pivot Grid ViewLogin with a super user who has ‘PivotGridAdmin’ role. This role can be added from the navigation: PeopleTools > Security > User Profiles > User Profiles – Roles page.

Step 2:

Navigate to Reporting Tools > Pivot Grid > Pivot Grid Wizard.

Step 3:

Open up the following Pivot Grids in the Pivot Grid Wizard and just move through steps 1 to 5 (no changes are necessary) and then save the pivot grid:

For Billing:


For Accounts Payable:


Step 4:

Retest the issue.

PeopleBooks Guides: Install & Upgrade

PeopleBooks Guides: The Search for Install & Upgrade Guides

Smart Panda - PeopleBooks GuidesAlmost on a daily bases questions arise as to what upgrade paths are supported and often the answer to that question changes.  My Oracle Support (MOS) has the answer, however, that answer can be extremely difficult to find.

A little hidden gem of the PeopleBooks Online Reference homepage is they have a link to the current PeopleBooks Guides for Install and Upgrade pages.

Simply expand the category you want and it will link you to the MOS support page associated the guide you are looking for.

PeopleBooks Guides Install Upgrade Guides