Oracle Apps DBAs, have you empowered your users?

Last week, I gave a talk to my local Oracle Applications User Group about the value of the Oracle E-Business Suite Diagnostics product (IZU). Feedback was positive, though I was still somewhat surprised that I'd been asked to discuss the topic in the first place. I've been a fan of the tool since 2006, so I've fallen into the trap of assuming that everyone knows about it already. My audience was primarily business analysts and privileged end-users, so I didn't get into technical nuts and bolts, not that there are very many. My general message was, "Here's a free tool from Oracle to help you track down EBS problems in your area of responsibility, all within the scope of the system privileges you already have."

For Apps DBAs, the same message applies: It benefits you to provide this easy-to-configure, easy-to-use EBS product to your business analysts and "Power Users." They'll get access to diagnostic tests that will help them to identify problems and potential solutions (with period close, errant sales orders, wayward invoices, stuck workflows, etc) before they even have to involve Oracle Support. This, in turn, can engender a sense of ownership and understanding of the working of the EBS products.

If the warm fuzzies derived from having empowered users aren't quite enough to motivate installing EBS Diagnostics, how about some enlightened misanthropy? With EBS Diagnostics, properly trained and encouraged users may be more likely to leave you alone. :-) Consider the usual opening salvo from Oracle Support when an EBS service request is raised:

  1. "Please run ACT/RDA/Diagnostic Apps Check for the product in question and upload the results"
  2. "What database version/applications version/product patchset are you running?"
  3. "What version of file X is installed on your system?"
  4. "Have you applied any patches recently?
  5. "Please check the value of profile option Y"

Ordinarily, unless you have very lax security rules, answering these questions (except for #5, and maybe #2) requires input from a DBA, sysadmin, or someone else with privileged access to the system (via OAM, or ad-hoc database queries). Anyone with access to EBS Diagnostics, however, can run the RDA report (see #1 above) for an EBS product and answer all of those questions:

EBS Diagnostics ACT Report Summary section

(Yes, that's a screenshot from 11i, because that's the version I used for my talk. R12 looks much the same, just bluer).

Maybe I'm preaching to the choir here, but I do still find people who either don't know about EBS Diagnostics, or don't see the value of the tool. If you've not done so already, you owe it to yourself to take a look at the Diagnostics product, starting with Note 167000.1: E-Business Suite Diagnostics Installation Guide . Put the tools in your users' hands, and see what happens. Sure, some of them might still just throw things over the wall to you, but others will undoubtedly surprise you.

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