As Published In
Oracle Magazine
November/December 2009

COMMUNITY: Peer-to-Peer

New-Feature Fanfare

By Blair Campbell

Three peers find plenty to praise in Oracle’s database and applications tools.

Sandra Vucinic

Peer Specs


 Company: VLAD Group, a consulting firm specializing in Oracle Applications

 Job title/description: President

 Location: Westmont, Illinois

 Length of time using Oracle products: More than 16 years

Oracle ACE
Oracle ACE

What’s your favorite tool or technique on the job? Oracle Application Management Pack for Oracle E-Business Suite. Using this pack, applications DBAs can “hot-clone” their environments or patch them using the pack’s patch manager. The setup manager is a must-have for Oracle E-Business Suite functional users, and the customization manager empowers developers to manage their Oracle E-Business Suite custom objects.

How do you use the internet today to connect with customers? We’re using Cisco’s WebEx, which integrates with Oracle CRM On Demand, as an internet-based videoconference solution. I can be in touch as if I were in the same room with our customers.

If you were going to the International Space Station for six months and could take only one Oracle reference book, what would it be? The Oracle Applications DBA Field Guide [Apress, 2006]. In a review on his blog, Oracle’s Steven Chan called it “essential reading for new Oracle Applications DBAs.”

Randolf Geist

Peer Specs


 Job title/description: Freelance consultant, specializing in Oracle Database performance tuning

 Location: Heidelberg, Germany

 Oracle credentials: Oracle Certified Professional DBA (Oracle8i, Oracle9i, Oracle Database 10g), with 17 years of experience using Oracle products

Oracle ACE
Oracle ACE

What do you consider to be some of the most significant new Oracle Database features? I really appreciate Oracle’s effort to keep improving the database’s built-in instrumentation tools. With Oracle Database 10g came active session history, automatic database diagnostic monitor, the database time model, and wait event histograms, while Oracle Database 11g introduced the hierarchical profiler and real-time SQL monitoring.

Tell us about your focus on Oracle’s cost-based SQL optimizer. I’m trying to get a better understanding of how this feature works and what it can do. I recently published a series on my blog about the system statistics that are enabled by default in Oracle Database 10g and later. I’m also looking at details of the “first_rows_n” mode of the cost-based optimizer.

What advice do you have about how to get into database development? You can gain a lot of experience by trying to solve other people’s problems in public forums such as those on Oracle Technology Network ( By solving, I mean that you back up your conclusions with suitable and repeatable test cases. And don’t stop learning. Like Tom Kyte, I try to learn something new about Oracle Database every day.

Juan Carlos Olamendy

Peer Specs


 Company: ProLogic Corporation, a provider of Oracle and Microsoft .NET solutions and consulting

 Job title/description: Senior enterprise solutions architect, consultant, and developer

 Location: The Woodlands, Texas

 Length of time using Oracle products: 5 years

Oracle ACE
Oracle ACE

How do you use Oracle technology? I rely on Oracle Database 10g grid technology and all the management packs—as well as the new releases of Oracle JDeveloper and Oracle Application Development Framework [Oracle ADF] to build high-performance Web applications.

Which new features of Oracle Database are you finding most valuable? One feature of Oracle Database 11g that’s really held my interest is the SQL pivot clause. It enables the quick roll-up and presentation of information in a cross-tab report using simple SQL statements. Instead of writing a lot of complex functions, it’s now very easy to convert the relational data into meaningful information.

What green practices do you use in your development work? I’m an advocate of automating every paper-based process using information technologies—specifically Oracle technologies. I use Oracle Database as the back end for storing the organization’s information, and Oracle JDeveloper and related technologies such as Oracle ADF and Oracle TopLink to develop applications for gathering and displaying that information.