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Tag: oracle

Oracle software audits: What you need to know

May 2nd, 2017

Recently, a company in Oklahoma told us about their experience being audited by Oracle. They were long-time Oracle users, and had never previously been audited.

Over the course of many years, their company’s IT personnel installed and ran various Oracle programs, but never performed a self-audit to check for appropriate licensing.

For this client, years of installing new features without referring back to their licensing agreement with Oracle ended up costing them a lot of money. $200,000 to be exact.

This is a common problem we see. Often, businesses install Oracle software, and as their IT needs change, install more software. However, during the installation process, there are specific boxes that get checked, allowing for greater functionality that is over and above what’s provided in the business’ original software license with Oracle.

This cycle gets repeated. Over time, this leads to major (and expensive) problems during an audit.

Here’s what you need to know in order to prevent an expensive penalty from an Oracle software audit.

Oracle’s honor system

Unlike Microsoft systems, Oracle’s software can be installed based on an honor system. Oracle does not require a key code to install their product.

While this allows for ease of use at install, it can also allow users to inadvertently install features they may or may not need, and which may or may not be included in their licensing agreement.

Oracle does perform random audits of users. If a user (business) is found to be using software or features without the proper licensing, Oracle charges a penalty based on what the user would have paid if they bought the appropriate license in the first place.

Be the skeptic

Any time your team is installing new software, be the skeptic. Teach your IT people that it’s okay to question whether a new feature is included in the license.

Always refer back to the licensing agreement for comparison. If something isn’t clear, be proactive and reach out to Oracle or an approved Oracle vendor, like LSG Solutions, with any questions.

Self-audit

Get your IT staff in the routine of preforming self-audits. Compare the current software running with your licensing agreement to see if there are any gaps.

If gaps are discovered, ask questions such as:

  • Is this feature being used?
  • Why was this feature turned on or installed?
  • Should we purchase the appropriate license or uninstall the item?

As always, LSG Solutions is ready to help your organization with any needs related to Oracle software licensing. Some of our clients will self-audit and then ask us to assist in verifying the information, which we’re happy to do.

Though we are an Oracle Value-added Reseller in Oklahoma, our relationship with our customers is paramount. We’re not the Oracle police. We don’t report customer information back to Oracle. But we will help you get back in compliance, so you won’t face a huge penalty if Oracle audits your company.

Please contact us at 405-285-2500 or our contact form for questions and other assistance.

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Oracle 12c R2 database available to on-premise

April 18th, 2017

Released in 2013 to all customers (on-premise and cloud / DBaaS), 12c was available for purchase or upgrade for any customer. However, Oracle 12C R2 is Oracle Corporation’s first database release available only to database cloud (DBaaS) customers, in October 2016. In order to boost ‘cloud’ revenues, the Oracle 12c R2 version was no where available to download for supported customers for months.

However, recently Oracle made available, Release 2 of 12C, to the on-premise customer. Linux customers were the first to benefit from the wait while Windows customers were appeased later, in March 2017.

Features

With this new release of 12C, customers can expect:

  • The elimination of downtime with specific features
  • The ability to perform maintenance without taking the system offline
  • Improved performance
  • Improved Multitenant architecture allowing for more databases per virtual or physical server.
  • Further streamlining of space consumption and overhead of indexes
  • The ability to perform simulations with a timeline predictor
  • “Hot cloning” (a copy made without shutting down the source database)
  • Ability to perform simulations for enabled features
  • Ability to split items up across multiple databases, or to offload one thing into multiple databases
  • Increased memory

Moving organizations forward

Oracle understands the demands on business and organizations to do more with less. Their commitment to improved systems allows customers to do just that.

With ever-expanding features, this is a good time to assess your organization’s database and support timeline. It may be time for an upgrade. Though upgrading may seem expensive, when compared to the loss of productivity due to system downtime or inability to access data, the long-term benefit is often well worth the expense.

If you are considering upgrading to Oracle 12C or have general questions about your database, please let us know. We offer a wide range of services to assess what you have and help you plan what you need as your business scales.

Oracle 12c Whitepaper

Transforming Data Management – March 2017

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Oracle ODA X6 and SMB affordability

October 4th, 2016

smb-server-roomSmall and medium businesses have unique database needs. In the past, business owners were priced out of robust appliance applications. But a new option from Oracle is changing that.

This summer, Oracle unveiled a new database appliance specifically for small businesses; the Oracle Database Appliance X6. This is a new version of still-current appliance, the X4 and X5.

The X6 still offers the same ease of set up as Oracle’s other versions. This hardware line is set up as a high availability system, with loads of redundancy. As a 2-server-in-1 option, it allows for a tremendous reduction in downtime. The server is also certified with Standard Edition 2.

Here are a few features that differentiate X6 from the previous versions.

Affordability: The price of X4 and X5 priced out many small and medium businesses. Business owners had to contend with fulfilling a database need in small, affordable increments by paying someone for their time, versus a relatively high cost of buying the X4 or X5 ODA.

Small business savvy: The X6 is specialized for small business. If you’re an SMB and need to run an around-the-clock database system, this is a good choice. It’s meant for people who need to run one database in production on site.

Storage: Buyers should take note that because it’s scaled for small business, X6 has limited storage. This appliance application is geared for organizations whose storage needs won’t grow past 10 terabytes.

Oracle X6 is available in two sizes: 2S (small) and 2M (medium):

 Oracle Database Appliance X6-2SOracle Database Appliance X6-2M
SizeOne rack unit serverOne rack unit server
ProcessorOne 10-core Intel Xeon E5-2630 v4Two 10-core Intel Xeon E5-2630 v4
Memory128 GB expandable to 384 GB256 GB expandable to 768 GB
Networking2x 10GbE SFP+ (fiber) and 2x 10GBase-T (copper) ports2x 10GbE SFP+ (fiber) and 4x 10GBase-T (copper) ports
Storage6.4 TB high performance NVMe flash storage6.4 TB high performance NVMe flash storage
Storage ManagementOracle Auto Storage Management (ASM)Oracle Auto Storage Management (ASM)
Database SE2 or EESE2 or EE

Oracle Database Appliance X6 offers database option accessibility to the small business market like never before. Not sure if this is a good fit for your business? Contact us today, and we will review options with you.

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Oracle resources for developers of all skill levels

July 5th, 2016

Online researchWhether you’re in search of information about a specific application that you’re working on or simply want to learn more about Oracle, there’s a place for all of your needs - Apex.world.

What is Apex.world and what can you do there?

Apex.world is a community for the discussion of all things Oracle. Perhaps the most valuable aspect of this community is that it’s a place where developers of all skill levels can network and exchange information outside of the world of conferences. For many developers, this is a way to meet and learn from the best in the industry.

This forum isn’t only a place to find information about your projects. Apex.world also frequently features announcements about job openings, conferences, presentations, code sharing, and more.

What makes Apex.world so special?

There were plenty of resources for Oracle before Apex.world came around. However, these resources were very spread out. If you were new to Oracle and searching for help, finding it could be a daunting process. The founders of Apex.world brought all of that information to one location. Using the Slack platform, they made it easy for people to get answers from other specialists.

Who is Apex.world for?

To put it simply, Apex.world is a community for anybody involved with Oracle. Developers at all stages of learning will find content that’s helpful for them. Apex.world is also a great place for managers and recruiting agencies who are looking for talent.

The most common use of Apex.world, though, is to help developers finish excellent work. Developers value this community as a resource that will help them complete projects and get the desired results form Oracle.

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Protect your customers’ information

April 5th, 2016

Old fortress, tower under attackAre you ever worried about someone hacking into your company’s database? It’s where all your most secure information is. If someone is able to bypass the security in your website, it’s often not much harder to access your database from there.

A security product from Oracle known as Oracle Firewall could help. It lets you see all the IP addresses of the people accessing your website, monitoring what kind of data is being requested. It also serves as a barrier between your website and your database, making it more difficult to get to your most secure data.

One way you can use this firewall to protect your data is to change the accessibility settings on your website. You have the capability to block your website’s accessibility to people outside of the United States.

If your business is international, of course, that would be a terrible thing to do. But if all of your current and future clients will be Americans, you can filter out literally billions of people who would not be customers but could potentially be hackers by toggling those settings.

Depending on what someone hacks on a website, it could be a minor, embarrassing nuisance, or a large security breach. If someone hacks your website and changes a page, that’s embarrassing. But that’s all it is. If a hacker is able to break into your database, there’s the potential for a significant confidentiality breach, especially if you keep credit card information or social security numbers in your database.

This Oracle firewall is a great resource for website owners who are worried about their customers’ security. It could be a good fit for your business if you need to be PCI (or PCIDSS) compliant to do credit card business, if you need to be HIPAA compliant, or if you need to adhere to SOX. All the security requirements for your printed information are required for your online information as well.

For optimal security, you need to have access-level reporting that will tell you the location of the people who are accessing your website. This system will take care of that.

It can even monitor SQL commands to determine what kind of data is being requested. That means this Oracle security system can help block hackers from your database based on what they’re looking for on your website. They won’t even get close.

This firewall will give you realtime alerts and you can give it passive or active permission for monitoring and addressing threats. It works for a variety of database systems, as well-not just on Oracle systems.

Whether you’re a small business-owner or you have your own IT team, this new Oracle system can greatly increase your company’s database security. Especially if you have confidential information stored on your database, it’s worth your consideration.

If you want to know more about this security system, feel free to give us a call.

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APEX Meetup in OKC

December 1st, 2015

MeetupFor those who work daily in the world of Oracle’s Application Express (APEX), being able to network with other APEX folks is essential. However, having the time and place to do that has been limited, until now.

LSG Solutions has launched the Oklahoma City Oracle Application Express Meetup. This meetup gives APEX specialists an opportunity to make contacts within the local Oracle community, while helping them stay current with APEX development.

This group is open to anyone who is interested in:

  • Discussing, learning, and sharing topics and presentations related to Oracle Application Express development.
  • Uniting Oklahoma City metro area professionals and aspiring IT students, in order to gain synergy from one another.
  • Discussing secondary topics involving technologies like SQL, PL/SQL, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and jQuery that are used to get the most out of APEX.

* Other Oracle technology and Web development experts are also welcome.

Due to this Meetup now being highlighted on apex.world, we anticipate a rapid increase of new members. We invite anyone interested in this group to sign up via Meetup.

We look forward to the continued growth of this group and interacting with other area APEX professionals!

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Jump start team productivity

November 17th, 2015

DBA for increased productivityThe idea of building a house without a strong foundation doesn’t sound very smart, does it? We all know without a solid base, the walls and roof would eventually collapse, leaving the owner with an inhabitable home.

That same analogy can be used to understand the importance of Oracle Administrators. They set the rebar and pour the concrete of the foundational structure of a platform, so to speak. Here’s a few things to know about their foundational work.

A High Learning Curve

The administrative role and tasks associated with it have a high learning curve. In other words, there’s a lot to know just to lay down the platform.

Using an Oracle administrator frees your team up to do with they do best, like developing software products. The return on investment for that productivity is likely a better option than the cost of time and capital just building the initial structure.

On Premise PaaS

In order to achieve results quickly, using a company, such as LSG Solutions, as the system administrator is the equivalent of having an on-premise platform-as-a-service (PaaS). We are able to offer this specialty type service due to our in-house talent.

Businesses find that the time savings alone is enough to offset the cost. In other words, let us do what we do well, so that you can do what you do well.

Wrapping It Up

At LSG Solutions, we strive to meet the unique IT needs of each of our clients. Every business is different, and so technology needs will always vary. We have the ability to outline your needs and provide solutions.

To find out more about how we can provide resolution for your organization’s IT challenges, please contact us today. LSG Solutions stands ready to help you move your business forward.

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Oracle launches Standard Edition 2

October 20th, 2015

Small and medium business databaseOracle has always offered a database option for small to medium sized businesses with Oracle Database Standard. When compared to Oracle Enterprise, the cost savings alone, made it the obvious choice for its targeted users.

However, Oracle continues to upgrade and develop new software and databases to meet the changing needs of customers. Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 is part of that change.

Oracle says that Standard Edition 2 is:

  • An affordable, full-featured database
  • Built for ease of use, power, and performance
  • Available on servers supporting a maximum of two sockets
  • Optimized for small business

Comparing Standard Edition 2 and Enterprise Edition

When deciding which option may best fit your business, it’s important to understand the differences between Oracle’s two types of databases.

Standard Edition 2

This version was specifically created for small businesses. It is scalable as your business grows. However, you should be aware of possible licensing requirements when changing from one version to another.
As mentioned above, affordability is a hallmark of this version. Prices range from $700 to $17,500. Though it has a maximum support of two sockets, this is typically a good option for small to medium sized businesses.

Enterprise Edition

For those businesses needing greater scalability, Enterprise Edition will be the better choice. This version is available on single and clustered servers. There is no socket limitation.

Cost will be a consideration with this version as prices range from $4,750 to $47,500. Before choosing this option, you will want to discuss your business needs with Oracle professionals. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Moving Forward

As Oracle moves forward with Standard 2, customers may have questions about migrating from their old edition to the new. Oracle says they expect this to be a seamless process. Though, as with any new database, delays or challenges may arise. It is important to fully understand the transition, and how it will affect your business before the migration actually occurs.

We at LSG Solutions look forward to speaking with you and working with you through this change. Please contact us with any questions or simply to discuss options.

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Sex Offender Notifications

October 6th, 2015

Easy alertsOver the past few years, we have continued to update Oklahoma’s Sex Offender Registry. We have worked to ensure the system is current and easy to access. We believe it not only keeps the community informed, but also provides people peace of mind.

One of the features we’re particularly proud of is the email alerts. Users can go to Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry, and sign up to be alerted when a sex offender registers their residence address in the radius of your specified address.

For example, you could enter your home address and set the radius for one mile. After entering an email address for the alerts to be sent to, you will receive notification if a sex offender registers an address in that radius. We recommend you register your children’s school too.

The feature also allows you to set multiple physical addresses for one email address. So, you may want alerts for a radius around your home, family member’s home or other location you frequent.

Benefits of the Alert

The alert feature allows you to receive notification in real time. As soon as an offender registers an address and a law enforcement agency adds it to the registry, the system automatically sends out alerts if the address is within the radius of a location you selected.

The ease of use is another benefit of the feature. You simply enter a physical address, a radius of 1, 3 or 5 miles, your email, and first and last name. There are no passwords to set up or remember. You simply need your email address to maintain your monitored locations.

Finally, when you are notified by email of an alert in your selected area, a link is sent with the email. You simply click on the link and are taken to the system. From there, you can search and learn more about the offender.

Our Commitment

At LSG Solutions, we are committed to the continued development and improvement of the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry. We believe a registry with current, easy-to-find information is essential in keeping the community informed. We believe this feature will benefit law enforcement agencies and communities alike.

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Ready for a change, software developers?

July 7th, 2015

Oracle DeveloperAre you ready to make the next move in your career? Maybe you have web development experience and are ready to transition into working with large Oracle database systems. Come join our team of talented and motivated IT professionals, who are committed to providing exceptional service to our customers!

Job duties include:

  • Serve as a technical resource for the LSG Solutions staff
  • Analyze user requirements and define application objectives

LSG Solutions has been helping businesses meet their technology needs since 2004. Known specifically for their quality of delivery, LSG focuses on a full life cycle approach to solving business problems with technology. LSG Solutions provides employees:

  • Competitive salaries with outstanding benefits
  • Continually trains employees for career growth
  • A culture that exceeds customer’s expectations

This is a great opportunity for individuals from any of the following career paths.

  • Intermediate to Senior-level APEX developers
  • Intermediate to Senior-level PL/SQL and Oracle Forms developers
  • Junior to Intermediate level - currently developing Oracle Application Express applications.
  • Intermediate to Senior-level web developers (PHP / Ruby / Python / Javascript / CSS / etc.) wanting to change specializations ... becoming more familiar with the Oracle stack.
  • Powerbuilder & Delphi and even client-server developers wanting to change specializations

This job is based in the Oklahoma City metro area. Interested applicants, please click here to submit an application and resume.

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CONTACT

501 E. 15th St., Suite 200B
Edmond, OK 73013
(405)285-2500
info@lsgsolutions.com