PIPER-Rx - About PAM

PIPER-Rx
Oracle E-Business Suite Resource Centre

About PAM

PAM rationale – Blurring the line between software product and training

After over 20+ years working with Oracle (the product, not the Company) and Oracle E-Business Suite (since Release 5) I always thought that I would write a book on how to look after your OEBS application. In my experience I have found that the DBA / Apps DBA only tends to look after the database and the ever more complex technology stack and the business user usually only looks after business activity. Consequently, at nearly all sites I have been exposed to (and these number in the hundreds, it has been a long career!) there is one common theme - the basics of Applications Administration usually get missed. Reflecting on this I was eventually to decide that a combined tutorial and software offering was the best way to help bridge the gap.

In mid-2008 I ceased fulltime work and took up small strategic contracts only. This gave me the time to write PAM incorporating pretty much all I have learnt, monitored and reported on in Applications Administration over the years.

In the 18 months between August 2009 and February 2011 we built and released PAM Version 1.0 as a series of tutorials, each release comprising a software pack and accompanying PAMtutorials that explains:

- Why we look for a particular item
- The alert that PAM provides
- What to do with the information

Whilst with subsequent versions of PAM the software and PAMtutorials now come as a single download to save you installation time and to cater for the more experienced operator who wants the full monitor from day 1, the tutorials are still an integral part of the PAM offering. My reasoning for providing the tutorial approach was that in today’s market place most of the large complex enterprise tools available are provided with training that you have to fit in amongst managing your business. In my opinion the training provided spends more time on configuration of the tool, dashboards and reports, with little to no time on interpreting the information provided and what to do with that information. So as a result, only a small percentage of the tools functionality usually gets used, what generally happens is you just become more efficient at the stuff you know and feel comfortable with. This in my mind defeats the purpose. The basics still get missed. PAM addresses this as the PAMtutorials clearly explain why we look for a particular item, the alert that PAM provides and what to do with the information.

In addition – once you decide a tool would help, most OEBS tools in the market are large, high cost enterprise level tools which means you generally have to wait forever for the selection and purchase process to complete and then a few months more for implementation, training and configuration for your site. Who wants to wait that long?

I thought, wouldn’t it be good to have a product that installs in 5 minutes, is self-configuring and provides information alerts, reports and processes in a format readily usable by the Apps Administrator and business users, just like the old point products used to be…AND you get all the training on why monitored items are important and what to do them.

As a unique point of difference to anything else I have seen out there, PAM deliberately focuses on the educational element and provides all the software and reporting you need to implement that learning. Hence the PAM tag, "blurring the lines between product and training"

What is so different about PAM?

PAM is an “alert on exception” application that only monitors OEBS activity, it does not monitor databases, networks, operating systems etc… and does not try to be all things for all people.

PAM is not a tool dumped on your desk with a training regime scheduled by the vendor. We understand you are in the business of managing your application not managing a tool and PAM has been designed accordingly. Instead, PAM Version 3 comes to you FREE as a simple, single pass software download of the complete application monitor. PAM and features 19 accompanying practical, learning based PAMtutorials so you get all the detailed learning modules to enable your skills and knowledge to grow. This learning is just as important as the monitor itself, as a monitor without knowledge of how to maximise the value of it's outputs is of little use.

Also, as an add on to PAM V3.0, you can now install PAMappview – Activity snapshot for the Applications Administrator.

Every good Apps Administrator dreams of having the answer to “How’s my day going?” in one simple screen with drill downs and now you can have it for FREE with PAMappview. PAMappview snapshots all that really useful stuff… How is application response time tracking today? …How are my concurrent managers currently performing? …What is going on with workflow?…Are there currently long running jobs that will cause my users to complain? What PAM alerts have been raised recently? PAMappview is a FREE optional extra for your FREE PAM application and yes, of course it has a super informative user guide as well as references to all the relevant PAMtutorials to increase your knowledge in each area. It wouldn’t be PAM without our unique learning guides!

Here at PIPER–Rx we believe its all well and good having information provided by your Application monitor, but in reality it's what you do with that information that makes the difference. Through the PAMtutorials and the PAMappview user guide, you will learn how to use the information you are obtaining from PAM to improve the day to day efficiency of your OEBS application. Each PAM alert e-mail cross references you to the relevant PAMtutorials, as well as providing detailed information on the nature of the alert and what to do to obtain more information about the issue.

Don't forget to have a look at our PAMtutorials page. It gives you a great snapshot of the contents of each PAMtutorials as well as access to individual PAMtutorials downloads.

PAM - what, how and why

PAM - what, how and why (pdf) - (Recommended reading to tell you all you could ever want to know about PAM)

Can I use PAM in non-production environment?

OK, so you have heard about PAM , you’ve read our Legal Notice and Disclaimer and you are debating whether to give PAM a go. Worried about where to start? Well stop worrying, you don’t need to be going near your production environment any time soon....not until you are completely comfortable with what you are doing. One of the best things about PAM is that provided you are using a fresh copy of production, you will still get great outputs you can use to improve your organisation’s OEBS efficiency without going anywhere near production! All you will be missing is the daily activity information but you can get to that later once you are entirely comfortable with PAM .

What PAM does…

PAM monitors and alerts on all key areas of OEBS application activity:
- User activity
- Concurrent managers
- Concurrent requests
- Concurrent programs
- Daily application activity
- Intraday application activity
- Invalid Objects
- Index maintenance
- Db space
- Workflow activity
- Workflow spinners - unique to PAM
- Workflow - deferred wait - unique to PAM
- Printers Definitions and usage
- E-mail address validation
- Specilisation rules

……and is great for activity profiling over time to help you understand trends and emerging issues.

PAM provides:
- Alerting by e-mail only
- Instructions for obtaining more information with each alert e-mail
- Auto alert thresholds and threshold reset
- Clone protection
- Time creep function
- Fully configerable e-mail alerting
- Long running workflow feature

PAM is smart and simple to manage:
- Simple, fast, install and uninstall
- Fully configurable check frequencies for all alerts
- Self purging
- Fully and easily extensible
- Self maintaining

PAM provides reports that give you the information you require to understand and better manage application activity including over 200 reports on all aspects of OEBS application activity!

PAM is not…

- An enterprise application monitor
- A CMDB
- A tool trying to be all things to all people

What PAM does not do…

- Monitor databases
- Monitor networks
- Monitor operating systems
- Provide root cause analysis
- Performance resolution
- Notify by SMS etc…
- Provide health checks
- Notify of SLA breaches