|dc.description||Sunday, April 13, 2008
Summit Freshmen Orientation,
Registered myself, had several conversations with other people from other universities about Banner system.
I have learnt some tips and tricks for navigating my first Summit, along with other valuable SunGard Higher Education information and resources that I can take advantage of after the conference. It was a very good session for anyone attending this conference for the first time.
General Session and Keynote Address
SunGard CEO Brian Madocks and members of the SunGard Higher Education management team were on hand to talk about how SunGard Higher Education can help your institution achieve results that matter. The session closed with a keynote address from Mr. Erik Weihenmayer who shares seven "summits" for harnessing the power of adversity and turning it into the fuel for growth and innovation.
Banner UDC today, tomorrow and beyond
SunGard HE executives and other peers talked about what’s new and what’s coming up in the Banner Unified Digital Campus (UDC). From new Enrollment Management to Banner Travel & Expense Management, Identity management services to globalization, I learnt all about the exciting new products, functionality, and services designed to help our Athabasca University meet our performance challenges today and tomorrow. I also got a glimpse at what’s in store for the Banner UDC beyond 2008. This was a great way to start the conference.
UDC Technical Forum
In this session, SunGard Higher Education general manager and other higher lever technical managers presented the UDC technology road map of future software architecture development, and all new modules such as Banner Enrollment Management and Travel & Expense Claim Management etc., all based on new RIA (Rich Internet Application) Technology – Adobe Flex in order to enhance the user interface of using Banner system. This was the session I first heard about SunGard HE is going to switch the Oracle Forms technology to Adobe Flex in the future release. It is a very useful piece of information we have to prepare to face the changes in our upcoming Banner upgrades in AU.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Banner Technical Forum
This was an important session for all Banner technical professional like me, performing the banner database job in the AU. The SunGard HE principal software engineer presented the details of SunGard supported Banner Oracle database, Oracle Application Server, Data warehouse, SUN Java Plug-In and Adobe Flex versions on upcoming release Banner 8.0 and minimum supported versions on current Banner 7.x. The panel of SunGard HE experts also answered all technical questions raised by audiences from all user groups.
This was a very good session to clear most of concerns and questions I had before, and had a chance to talk to the SunGard experts issues related to our Banner7 upgrade project.
Banner 8.0 Upgrade and UTF-8 Conversion
This is a technical question and answer session. SunGard technical architect Julie Turnbull presented the ways related to the Banner 8.0 Upgrade and UTF-8 Conversion Such as:
• Export/import process, suggest to use Oracle 10g Data Pump
• UTF-8 character conversion
• Database semantics and ICU (International Components for Unicode) requirements.
Tips: install ICU component on the database server in advance will reduce upgrade downtime.
I took this session because I need to know those technical tips and tricks once we need to upgrade our AU Banner system in the future, as well as those potential problems when upgrading to Banner 8.0, Another important message I got was the actual downtime of other pioneer universities had when they upgraded to Banner 8.0.
Oracle 11g Update
This session was presented by Oracle Sales Consulting Manager. I came to learn about Oracle's recent Database announcement Oracle Database 11g. Oracle 11g, building on Oracle's unique ability to deliver Grid Computing, gives Colleges and Universities agility to respond faster to changing Campus conditions, provide more services through technology innovation, and reduce costs.
With Oracle Database 11g we can do:
- Adopt new technology faster with Real Application Testing
- Manage more data for less with advanced compression and partitioning
- Simplify systems by storing all your data in the Oracle Database with Oracle Secure Files
- Maximize data reliability with Oracle Active Data Guard
- Free IT personnel for strategic tasks with management automation
- Enhance RAC features
This session gave me helpful information about Oracle 11g database, which we will setup here in AU Oracle Database Re-architecture project.
Oracle 11g New Features
This session was presented by two team managers from SunGard HE. The session involves technical staff from all universities who are looking for the information on new features with Oracle new released 11g database, specific on the database installation and setup. The presentation revealed changes and updates in support of Banner 8.0.
Oracle – I Need what version? … Where?
This session was for those responsible or involved with the installation/upgrade of the Oracle infrastructure, having the correct version is very important. The experts from SunGard HE presented the information about Banner 7.x and Banner 8.0 Oracle version. The Oracle RDBMS, Application Server and Developer Suite versions also were addressed. The most useful things are they provided the FAQ CMS numbers for quick search the answers from SunGard Customer Support website. It was great for my job because I used to spend a lot of time to search they website in order to get the correct FAQs.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Managing Banner Upgrades
This was the most excited session I have ever attended, and it was just coming in time for our current Banner 7 upgrade project I work on with it, and it was presented by Shelly Keck, Technical team Manager from SunGard Higher Education.
This session provided an idea of how to lay our foundation in preparation for our next Banner upgrade. Discussion was centered on everything from creating the project plan to testing to the final Go-Live date! I have learned how to make our Banner upgrades run as smoothly as possible. The main topics included:
• Preparing the Timeline
• Who Are the Players?
• Test Plans (Samples distributed)
• Roundtable Discussions
• Planning the Go-Live Day
DBA fun with Banner
Banner is a large system that fits well for any size institution. With such a range of scalability comes a fair amount of work for the Database Administrator. What is usually put under the umbrella of maintenance can take on many faces: auditing, security, upgrades, data integrity, reporting, third party software integration, and development, to name a few.
This session discussed the best practices for the Banner/Oracle 10gR2 environment. The use of Enterprise Manager for auditing, security, performance and backups were detailed, as well as Oracle and Banner 7.x upgrade schedules.
This course was intended for Database Administrators/Analysts, or System Administrators who are responsible for planning and maintaining Banner at their institution.
After attending this session, I felt it could exactly apply that knowledge to our situation here in AU.
Private one-on-one technical session with Action Line Staff
I had an appointment with Joe Carey, Lead Technical Support Analyst, SunGard HE for one specific technical issue we had when I switched the Banner 7.3 user login from Oracle JInitiator to Sun Java Plug-In. Even he could not instant trouble-shoot this problem, he directed me to the right direction of how to solve this issue on his computer. It was nice to face to face talk with those technical support staff from SunGard ActionLine customer support.
Disaster Recovery with Oracle Data Guard
This presentation focused on the features of Oracle Data Guard specific to disaster recovery. The presenter Brian Borchers came from the University of Idaho, showed us how Data Guard can provide a fully integrated, cost-effective DR solution for the production databases. The architectural details of establishing one or more physical standby databases using Oracle 10g Release 2 features were provided. The presenter described steps for establishing a brokered configuration, performing switch-over and fail-over operations, and reinstating the original database after a failover is completed. Automatic failover features new to Oracle 10gR2 were also discussed. Architectural considerations for designing a Data Guard implementation were considered. This presentation was targeted for Oracle database administrators.
I have the chance to hear U of Idaho’s experience using Oracle Data Guard and asked Brian the question of the distance between their two data centers. In the near future, we are going to setup Data Guard (standby database) at CIM, St. Albert. So it was a good session for me.
UDC Web Services Tour
Richard Moon, a product manager of Integration and Service-Oriented Architecture, SunGard HE talked about the Banner Unified Digital Campus numerous Web service operations across multiple applications. This includes Banner, Luminis, Workflow and Banner Document Management services. He provided a grand tour of the UDC Web services that are currently available. This session was not exactly related to my work, but it was good to learn something new and some possible technologies we could use to our Banner system in the future.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Closing Session & Keynote Address
The closing session brings everyone together for the last day of the conference. Our closing was truly an inspirational one, featuring a keynote address by Dr. Carl Hammerschlag who is an internationally recognized speaker, author, physician, and healer who helps people transform their lives by showing them how to rise above limitations, remove roadblocks, rekindle dreams and become the principal agents in their own professional and personal lives. His extraordinary life experiences have given him a unique perspective about how people can restore life balance. Using the language of science, the power of legends and his vast clinical experience.
Banner Performance on Oracle 10g
This session was presented by Scott Harden, Data Manager from University of Illinois.
The change from the rule-based optimizer (RBO) to the cost-based optimizer (CBO) in Oracle 10g is a scary performance proposition, especially since Banner was developed under the RBO, but it doesn't have to be. They have experienced great performance and stability on Banner 7 and Oracle 10g since August of 2006. I have learnt how U of Illinois manipulated statistics and histograms to provide stable and consistent performance under the CBO, and learnt how we can make the CBO function as reliably as the RBO or even better! He discussed what you need to do to ensure performance from day 1 on Oracle 10g and how to maintain that performance going forward.
I got a look at their custom statistics gathering code, and Scott provided the link to download their custom script if I want it as a reference. I learnt why the out-of-the-box 10g statistics are actually bad for Banner system. Scott also discussed what should look for when performance does start to suffer in a particular area and how to fix it.
RMAN: Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late
Melissa Hazelwood, Sr. technical consultant/Oracle DBA from SunGard HE discussed the Recovery Manager (RMAN) all features and how to apply to Banner database backup and recovery.
Oracle database backup strategies have changed a great deal over the past several years. RMAN has replaced the scripts and cold backups of the early days. Many DBAs are not sure how to get started or if RMAN will be as reliable as the old methods. This is a good introduction to the basics, with an opportunity to get those lingering questions answered. This session was concentrated on RMAN with Oracle 10gR2, detailing best practices, syntax, and RMAN maintenance. Backup automation and verification were covered, as well as Flashback, Data Guard and Grid Control as supplements to a RMAN strategy.
This session was intended for Oracle DBA and provided me plenty information of using RMAN to do our job.
ODS on RAC
This presentation was on Ithaca College's recent move of the SunGard ODS (Oracle Decision Support) from MS Windows 2003 to Red Hat Linux running Oracle RAC enabled RDBMS. Marco Cestaro, a Manager of Business Intelligence from Ithaca College talked about an overview of their hardware architecture, RDBMS configuration, and performance statistics. This was a high level overview of a very complex environment. And he also reviewed their staff attending Oracle Data Warehouse and RAC training, and resources used for this project.
This technical presentation was for Data Warehouse Administrator, System Administrator, and Database Administrator of SunGard's ODS. Oracle RAC is an advance RDBMS capability and requires a solid background in Oracle databases. I selected this session was because Athabasca University is going to setup RAC environment in AU-central and CIM, and most likely we are going to setup Oracle Data Warehouse after the Banner 7 upgrade.
SunGard Summit is a very good conference for the university, like AU using SunGard Higher Education ERP system. I had many opportunities to talk with SunGard experts and met so many people from other universities to share our experiences of using Banner systems and how to solve the problems we had before and now. It was a great learning experience for me to attend this conference.
I definitely would attend SunGard Summit in the future.||en