PIPER-Rx - PAMtutorials

Oracle E-Business Suite Resource Centre



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, reporting and tutorials you need to implement that learning. Hence the tag, “Blurring the lines between product and training”

PAM was originally released as a series of tutorials, each release comprising a software pack and accompanying tutorial that explains:

  • why Apps Administrators look for a particular item
  • the alert that PAM provides
  • what to do with the information
Whilst subsequent versions of PAM software and PAMtutorials now come as a single download to save installation time and cater for the more
experienced operator who wants the full monitor from day 1, the PAMtutorials remain integral to the PAM approach.

My reasoning for providing the tutorial approach is 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 already know and feel comfortable with because there isn’t the time or information to easily go beyond this.

PAM addresses this fundamental problem. The PAMtutorials are all there ready for whenever you have the time to learn and they clearly explain why an Apps Administrator would look for a particular item, the alert that PAM provides and what to do with the information.

PAMtutorial PRECIS
PAMtutorials 1: Usage profiling

Your OEBS Application - an introspective

Monitored items:

Basic application usage profiling

The best OEBS system administrators intimately know and understand what is going on in their application on a daily basis and throughout the business cycle. For all the key factors that have the potential to impact performance and system health they know the answers. Eg:
  • How many concurrent requests do you run per day how does this change with business peaks?
  • Has the overall activity been increasing or decreasing over time
  • What are the max concurrent users connected and when
  • How hard are the web servers being hit
  • All these questions and more will be answered in this tutorial; we will also show you how to use this information, including how to produce a monthly report on your OEBS application's monthly activity (A pro forma and example monthly report with guidelines are included in the pack)

    Note: The PAM collector will populate up to 31 days prior activity so you will have useful information straight away

    PAMtutorials 2: Performance profiling

    Surviving performance pressure (business peaks survival tips)

    Monitored items:

    Performance profiling, managing workflow background processes

    The skilled applications administrator understands the OEBS application’s performance profile and then develops strategies to manage it. In this tutorial you will learn…
  • What is your application performance profile and how does it vary over time
  • How is your application performance profile affected by cyclical business peaks
  • How to know immediately if a performance issue is application related.
  • Workflow background processes can tie your system in knots if you let them - Do you have too many running?
  • How to get data for response time SLAs that means something to the business
  • PAMtutorials 3: Database for Apps Administrators

    Entropy antidotes (maintenance must haves for the more technically inclined)

    Monitored items:

    Index rebuild alert, New invalid objects

    PAM is not database monitor (there are too many good Oracle database monitoring tools in the market already) but there are a couple of database related issues that are of interest to the systems administrator

    In this tutorial PAM alerts are installed to notify you about:

  • Matters that may affect the normal running of your application
  • Normal database maintenance tasks that are often forgotten
  • PAMtutorials 4: Coping with crisis

    What to do when the sh#! hits the fan...

    Unless you did something you’re not supposed to, it’s actually not your fault if there is an issue. This tutorial provides tools to use when things do go wrong so you can understand the scale of impact and proactively manage the fallout. You can answer questions such as:
  • Who was doing what?
  • Who was affected by the issue
  • Were any on line external customers impacted?
  • PAMtutorials 5: Concurrent Manager Activity

    Cunningly clairvoyant
    (Am I having a bad day?)

    Monitored items:

    Concurrent request activity, Maintenance mode alert

    The alerts in this tutorial help you get ahead of those business complaints by letting you know about those typical things that go wrong as and when they occur. This will enable you to get ahead on any related issues enabling you to proactively manage your OEBS application and its user community. Items covered include:
  • Error requests
  • Total requests
  • Warning requests
  • Maintenance mode
  • ICM down

  • PAMtutorials 6: Workflow basics

    What lurks beneath...

    Monitored items:

    Workflow activity

    Workflow is typically the most poorly managed aspect of the OEBS application resulting in significant wasted resources both human and machine. This tutorial gives you the vital information you need to help improve workflow management and performance.
    PAMtutorials 7: More Concurrent Managers Activity

    Tools to manage user behaviour through fear and guilt (I know what you did and when you did it)

    Monitored items:

    Queue management, duplicate and long running requests

    Every systems administrator knows this story…. After many conversations your users know what buggers up the system but they continue to do it anyway and usually at the busiest times like month end. This tutorial shows you how to seek out the guilty…
    PAMtutorials 8: User Account security

    Basic Security Salvos

    Monitored items:

    Aged User Accounts, Unsuccessful logins, Monitored Accounts

    Good systems administrators keep on top of matters that may be security issues. This tutorial has some basic timely reminders:
  • Have you been removing old employees access?
  • Are there any signs that someone may be maliciously trying to get access to the OEBS application
  • PAMtutorials 9: User Activity

    Basic User Activity

    Monitored items:

    Full Service sesions, Self service sessions, Self service Page requests

    Each application user connection require application resources, often organisations are in a position where resources including web services (in the case of self service session) are limited and we know that once we exceed the certain number of connected users the overall application slows down and all users experience degradation in performance. This tutorial also delves into user activity profiling.
    PAMtutorials 10: Database Session Statistics

    Monitoring Database Session Statistics

    Monitored items:

    One or more of the 240+ database session statistics

    There can be a high correlation between some sessions stat levels and performance slow downs so these are the session stats the expert administrator likes to keep an eye on. In this tutorial we will show how PAM:
  • Monitors and records databases session statistics information
  • Alerts when database session statistics exceed threshold values
  • Reports on session statistic activity
  • The final part of this tutorial is a PAM alert when patches have been applied to your application.
    PAMtutorials 11: Intraday User and Concurrent Manager Activity

    How is your day going (really)?

    Monitored items:

    Detailed intra day Concurrent managers and User activity

    Ever wondered:
  • What is happening in your application when you are not looking?
  • How does your activity profile differ over month end to normal processing times?
  • The information collected with this PAM tutorial / software release will provide invaluable detailed application profiling information.
    PAMtutorials 12: More on concurrent managers

    Proficiently psychic (Is bad stuff going on?)

    Monitored items:

    Aged on hold requests, Maintenance program missing

    This tutorial helps you:
  • Ensure your standard maintenance program doesn’t go off the rails
  • Monitor for selected concurrent programs that have been submitted and or complete with a status of error or warning
  • Identify some of the rubbish you will want to get out of the system
  • PAMtutorials 13: More on workflow

    Business bottlenecks busters (or how to make you look good)

    Monitored items:

    Long running workflows , Old active workflows

    We revisit that perennial performance pest Workflow - This tutorial gives you vital information to help manage and clean up workflow.

    PAMtutorials 14: Managing your OEBS customers

    On top of the game

    Monitored items:

    Session timeouts, SLA Renegotiation trigger, Setting PAM thresholds

    This tutorial will help you show the business that you are on top of customer related and administrative issues in and about the OEBS application
  • Good systems administrators proactively manage customers. This tutorial gives you plenty of information to help you, e.g.:

  • Can you easily discern between your internal and external customers so you can manage the different group properly and professionally?
  • Do you want to know how to tell how who and how many external customers were impacted by a performance problem so you can manage the fall out?
  • Are your customers getting peed off because they are having to continually reconnect to you application?

  • We introduce you to Auto thresholds which continually adjust your PAM alert thresholds as your business changes, these give you great tracking information to tell you what is changing over time and by how much to aid your forward planning.?
  • It is a common misconception that SLAs are predominately about database and system response times when actually this is preferably only a small part and a good SLA should be about so much more. In this tutorial we will look at some trigger points for when you might want to renegotiate your SLAs

  • PAMtutorials 15: Customising PAM

    Customising PAM

    We show you how to customize PAM so it is even better at meeting your individual needs.
    PAMtutorials 16: Printers

    Printers - who, what, where & when

    Monitored items:

    Application Print Requests

    In the IT world, the term “end to end” is predominantly based around internal application transactions or in effect any transaction that can be measured. When it comes to printing reports, my view (and most users) of end to end is the time taken from the moment the report is requested to the time it has completed printing. If a print request is in the print queue for a long period of time before it prints it should be considered as an overall performance issue.

    In this PAM tutorial we aim to answer the following questions:

  • What have my printers been printing?
  • Who has been using my printers and when?
  • Are my printers load balanced?
  • Who has a printer defined at the profile options level?
  • Has a large print request been submitted?
  • and more...
  • PAMtutorials 17: Workflow – invalid emails

    Not known at this address

    Monitored items:

    Invalid e-mail addresses formats.

    E-mail is the main stay of communication these days, In this tutorial we check for incorrect e-mail address in the following application objects:
  • When a record is changed in any of these objects the email account is validated against 12 validation checks including a PAM banned domains list, to highlight domains that are not acceptable for use for commercial communications. In the case of fnd_user when an application account is accessed the accounts email address will be validated.

    Separate reports for each of the above mentioned objects are provided to list all relevant invalid email addresses.

    PAMtutorials 18: Specialisation Rules

    Getting to grips with Specialisation Rules

    Monitored items:

    Possible inconsistent specialisation rules.
    Specialisation rules assigned to disabled managers
    Programs assigned a request type that does not exist.
    Pending standby requests
    and more....

    Specialisation rules, easy to create difficult to maintain….

    Ever wondered:

  • Why are my requests are running in multiple managers?
  • What a request type is?
  • What happens when a standalone request is run?
  • What specialisation rules you have in place, who crated them and when?
  • This tutorial covers all you need to know about specialisation rules and provides over 20 reports, allowing you to easily and quickly understand your specialisation rules.
    PAMtutorials 19: Scheduled requests

    When Scheduled Requests Go Wrong

    Monitored items:

    Aged Scheduled Requests
    Scheduled Request Creep
    Duplicate Scheduled Requests

    So as to lighten the load on the concurrent managers we encourage our users to schedule their non-important / urgent requests to run during lower activity times such a lunch time and after hours. We also schedule normal activity and maintenance programs such as the Work flow background processes and maintenance purging for the same reasons.

    However, based on experience, what we generally don’t do as part of a normal maintenance program is to re-visit our scheduled requests and keep them up to date and relevant. In this tutorial we check the following scheduled items:

  • Aged Scheduled Requests - Requests that have been hanging around forever.
  • Scheduled Request Creep - Scheduled requests that have crept into the working day.
  • Duplicate Scheduled Requests - Possible wasted processing.
  • In this tutorial we also cover the following PAM internal activities:
  • Preventing PAM alert backlogged e-mail storms (IN-013)
  • Maintenance Purge PAM data repositories (IN-014)
  • PAMtutorials 20: General Ledger

    Your Accountant's best friend

    Monitored items:

    Program Optimiser
    GL Interim Objects
    Unposted Batches
    and more....

    General Ledger has been around since the inception of OEBS circa 1987. It is very stable and generally requires little maintenance; that’s because GL is a cornerstone for your Accountant and their tools are pretty rigid and date back to the 1300’s. That being said there are a few things to keep an eye on, for example:
  • FSG’s – They have the ability to bring the whole system to its knees.
  • GL Optimiser – Has to be run regularly to ensure peak performance.
  • Unposted batches – A big ‘No No’ for your Accountant.
  • Interim Objects – they need regular clean ups.
  • Indexing – Understanding your indexing on GL code combinations.
  • This tutorial covers all you need to know about basic GL maintenance and provides 14 reports, allowing you to easily and quickly understand your GL Application.
    PAMtutorials 21: Application Account Audit

    Know Thy Users!

    Monitored items:

    Password auditing
    Responsibility usage Monitoring
    Terminated users with active accounts
    and more....

    Application Accounts should not be set and forget! This tutorial looks at password aging and other security issues such as when a terminated employee’s account is still active and worse still being used.

    This tutorial covers all you need to know about specialisation rules and provides 14 reports, allowing you to easily and quickly understand your application accounts.

    PAMtutorials 22: PAMfallback

    The PAM Auto-Healer

    This is another PAM internal feature designed to ensure PAM just keeps working...

    In this tutorial we also cover the following PAM internal activities:

  • Invalid PAM Objects (IN-016)
  • Check Single Sign-on Status and disable selected alerts (IN-017)
  • PAM Notifications Check (IN-018)
  • PAMtutorials 22: PAMadmin

    PAM Administration made easy

    This tutorial shows you how to use selected PAM reports to make PAM administration easier.
  • Enable / disable PAM alerts.
  • Change PAM alert thresholds.
  • Change PAM alert frequencies.
  • Change PAM alert severities.
  • Temporarily suspend PAM alerts.
  • PAM tutorial content is subject to change without notice.