Thursday, June 24, 2004

Oracle 10g is a hog

I installed Oracle 10g on my laptop and it seems to be working but it took up about 1.5gb and about 300mb of my memory. I am using the WmJDBC 6.03 package without any problems. I'll write back if I come across any issues.

10g kicks it... it has all web interfaces and makes the administration much easier. Go Larry!

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

webMethods eLearning Passport

Well, I finally used the eLearning passport to get me out of a jam on a oracle project. I've not used the Oracle toolset at this level in a while.

For the curious, I installed Oracle 10g on my little laptop and I have it humming along pretty good. I configured the JDBC adapter fairly quickly, but I kept on getting a long string of errors. A quick trip to eLearning solved my dilemma as it provided me with a REAL copy of a typical Oracle setup. Bravo for that.

I also used the TableFilter property in the JDBC driver setup for the first time so I don't get a jillion tables in the drop-down when I create an adapter service.

Things keep getting better.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Step aside for the young'uns..

Sometimes, I look at some of the posts on wmusers and a few thoughts wander through my mind:

1. Does the term RTFM mean anything to anyone anymore?? Yes, I am guilty of this as well.
2. I wonder what certain people do for a living? It seems like they spend all of their time posting on wmusers. If they are consultants, I wonder what their customers think?
3. I sometimes wonder if they know that they are wrong? I see many posts that are shots in the dark.
4. Hi Rob Eamon. Nice to see you back. I haven't seen any posts from you in a while. For anyone reading this, Rob Eamon is one of the original wmusers "gods" and his posts are always worth reading.
5. You can add Mark Carlson as a good read as well.

-- Enough rambling for today --

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Web Services Book by Graham Glass

I bought the original book on from Graham Glass (CTO, webMethods) titled "Web Services: Building Blocks for Distributed Systems." It is a pretty good read for those with Insomnia or need to get up to speed on GLUE. I paid $2.75 plus postage and there is about 25 copies on Amazon if anyone needs them (no, I'm not selling them myself.)

It has a CD with it too. ASIN: 0130662569
Prentice Hall PTR; Bk&CD-Rom edition (November 14, 2001)

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Treo Can be used for wmusers

Yes, I use my treo to post comments on wmusers!


Friday, June 11, 2004

Specs? Those were specs? I thought it was a Christmas wish list!

Have you ever worked on a project where the entire idea was drawn on a napkin from some drunkin dinner? I know I have. I started in the IT field in 1996 working bleeding edge technology (yeah, old stuff now) and that's how everything was done.

Now, nothing has really changed. Well, I'll get to that in a minute. I have worked a lot of projects where the customer engaged my services a little late in the game. The requirements and specs are there, but they're useless as the current rendition of the project in no way resembles the instruction manual. We've all been there.

Now, I'm at the height of glory, or so I thought. I am working on a large project probably worth 10's of millions of dollars (obviously not in my pocket or I would be someplace else and NOT writing this..). In any case, there are requirements, specifications, everything that one could ask for and more! More you say?? Yes indeed. It seems that just about every document on this project references some other document. It took me 5 documents to gather the rudimentary requirements for the data synchronization deliverable for my current phase. The documents were produced by 3 different teams and 2 different companies.

And even though the "requirements" are there, they are always subject to intepretation by the various individuals who steer the bus. Kinda makes me want to wipe my mouth with that napkin.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Corporate Travel Offices

Do you ever feel like you're shoveling it against the tide? Well, our company has a policy that requires the use of a designated travel agency as our "Corporate Travel" office.

In theory, this is a good thing, because it relegates the risks associated with purchasing airline tickets directly to the company. I have no problem with that.

The problem stems with the timeliness of communication and the visibility by the travel agency into various systems.

These comments come after several attempts to secure flights back and forth to my client site. I live in Atlanta which is THE major hub for the South East so traveling to anyplace should be a piece of cake.

I usually logon to either the Delta or AirTran web sites and figure out which flight(s) I need and then call the agent.

I am currently working on a government contract in the Washington DC Metro area, so my preference is to fly into Washington National (Reagan).

In this particular case, I am logged into Delta's site and I can see a few seats left and about 15 "preferred" seats. The preferred seats are set aside for those travelers who attain Medallion status (lots of flying + frequent flyer miles). I call the travel agent who is "out to lunch."

By the time she calls me back, all of the regular seats are gone and she cannot see the preferred seats so I cannot get a seat on the flight.

I end up having to switch planes in Columbus. A flight that should be just under 2 hours gate to gate took me almost 6 hours.

So, I took matters in my own hands and using my "Medallion" status, I bought plane tickets on a very large airline headquartered in Atlanta.

Well, this earned me the "big shame on you award for the week" from my company along with threats of non-payment for these airline tickets.

Well, in principal, I understand the need to streamline (after all, this is what we do when we integrate customers..), but there doesn't seem to be any direct interface to solve the communication issue.

At least with webMethods, I can ping the port, test the JDBC connection, or query document fields on the broker... but there doesn't seem to be a satisfactory manner in which my grievances with travel agency will result in anything promising for the future.

Another case in point: The travel policy specifically states that we are to use _________ agency for Flights, Hotels, Rentals Cars, Kayaks, etc.

When I called them for a hotel, they couldn't see anything under $275.00 a night in the immediate area. My goal is to get a hotel close enough to the work location so that I can ditch the rental car totally. At the time, I was driving from Fairfax (near webMethods corporate office) into Metro DC on I-66. Anyone from up here knows that I-66 is HOV-2 after 6:30am until 9:30am, which means I had to leave at 6:00am to get into the city on time.

Sidenote on driving on the HOV lane: The first offense is $250, second is $500.00 and third is $1000.00 for just driving to work.

The travel agent seemed exasperated that she couldn't solve my travel issue and told me that all she could do is look at a screen.

So, with multiple strikes against her, I went out on my own and contacted a local hotel here that gave me a rate between $119.00 - $139.00 a night which is under the per diem rate for Metro DC.

I checked several web sites as well and they all seemingly had rooms well under the $275.00 per night she found.

Why couldn't this very capable "Corporate Travel" agent do this for me? After all, I am forced to use them but to what good use if I have to do all the work?

Anyway, the company (correctly I must add) has decided to reimburse me for these few rogue tickets (which by the way, I saved them anywhere from 15-20% on the ticket purchases) although they say it will take longer for the reimbursement as punishment for me trying to make sure that I have a life on the weekend and take a flight out that supports that!!

Anyone else have any hellish corporate travel stories? I'll add more as they happen..

Monday, June 07, 2004

Poor Laptop

I use a Sony VAIO PCG-TR1A 900mhz Pentium-M with 1gb RAM to run all of my webMethods apparatus. Since the harddrive is only 30gb, I run SQL2000 because it seemingly takes up a smaller foot print on the drive.

Anyway, lethargic describes the length of time it takes to view my audit or error logs, so today, I dropped all of my tables in my webMethods support schema by running the following drop and create scripts. These are located in the /common/db/scripts/[drop | create]/

I ran the following drop scripts:


then I ran


which produced a snappy response time when I pressed on the links relating to the error or audit logs.

I had previously created code that ran a db cleanup function that archives the data 1 day after occurence and deleted data 10 days after occurence.

My problem is that I had too many rows in the database and any attempts to trim rows, delete, etc generated a timeout error. This occurred in the SQL Query Analyzer as well which resulted in the dropping and creating of the tables.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

1/2 I would like to ...

1/2 I would like to welcome everyone to the consultant's blog. It covers travel, client interaction and general road warrior t

Friday, June 04, 2004

Welcome to the webMethods Consultant Blog

I would like to welcome everyone to the consultant's blog. It covers travel, client interaction (or lack thereof), and general road warrior observations. This will include tips on wireless connectivity for travelers, devices and of course neat tips on webMethods that should save everyone time and energy.

2/2 ips. It gives me ...

2/2 ips. It gives me a place to share observations of the world as it relates to IT consulting in the webMethods world.