Some years ago, my colleagues, Justin Tomlinson (Oracle Technical Services Team Leader) and Craig Sykes (Senior Oracle Development Consultant) presented an idea at the UK Oracle User Group - 'to leverage Oracle APEX to present performance data directly from Oracle OEM/Cloud-Control, in a real-time presentable way, to support desks.'
The talk was so well-received that a large UK utilities company commissioned us to develop this for them straight away. Using Oracle APEX, within just a few weeks we had developed live feeds server-by-server, of the performance of their Oracle workloads in a RAG status style, on big screens in their support area.
The concept is still a compelling one today and this article is aimed at setting out how your organisation can use these ideas to improve the monitoring of your Oracle workloads, providing enhanced capabilities and accessibility to your existing Oracle Enterprise Manager infrastructure.
Oracle Enterprise Manager includes some reporting functionality with a restricted-use version of Oracle BI Publisher. However, Oracle BI Publisher is designed for static reporting.
Our aim here is to develop a set of dynamic dashboards and for this, Oracle APEX is perfect.
Oracle APEX is declarative, low code, rapid application (RAD) development platform for web-application development on Oracle Database and is responsive ‘out-of-the-box’, so it automatically renders to PC, tablet and smartphone devices, through a browser and is extremely performant on-premise or in the cloud.
If you are (full-use) licensed for Oracle Database, you own the rights to use Oracle APEX, at no cost.
Oracle OEM’s restricted-use database license, is only permitted for use with Oracle Management Repository and Oracle Automatic Workload Repository (AWR) Warehouse, Ops Center, Real User Experience Insight, Load Testing & Test Manager. Any usage outside of those limitations, will breach Oracle’s licensing policy and potentially leave you with a large bill after your next Oracle License Review.
Therefore, you will need to set up a separate Oracle APEX environment and connect to the database repository.
Oracle APEX delivers a platform for automatic rendering of real-time data outputs via interactive dashboard graphs and charts. What’s more, it is very adaptive and easy to use.
The framework can be used to provide monitoring and reporting capabilities of the status of various applications within your environment.
As well as being used within IT groups, this could also be used for IT to share application and database performance statistics with lines of business, without the need to grant access to Oracle Enterprise Manager, where other parts of the business are interested in service monitoring;
Example of a 'Morning Check' dashboard using Oracle APEX.
In this case, Oracle APEX is used to monitor the Last Change Number (LCN) within an Oracle Access Manager environment, utilising Kerberos SSO.
This dashboard was developed using just a few very simple steps. The first being to locate the value within Oracle Enterprise Manager’s repository and then generating a query to select the relevant data from the Oracle Cloud Control repository. Next was the setting up of a database link from the Oracle APEX database environment to the repository and then creating an Oracle APEX application to create the charts on a dashboard.
Oracle APEX can be used to integrate with Oracle Database (either on-premise or in the cloud) to deliver data or usage metering and chargeback for customers.
The front screen presents, over a given period of time, a visualisation of total charges accrued against each database with the related chargeback information displayed.
More detail on these charges is available by clicking through on each database record.
Configuration of the charge plans is done in Oracle Enterprise Manager.
Server CPU Utilisation
Let DSP-Explorer build a demonstration of these capabilities for you, with a three-day Proof-of-Concept exercise.
Our suggestion for a Proof-of-Concept would be based on providing two discrete applications running on an Oracle APEX environment and linked to the Oracle Enterprise Manager repository via a database link.
The two applications would be:
This would be composed of three pie charts with a breakdown of the two availability status’s UP/DOWN as an overall percentage of the pie chart. Under each pie chart there will be a real-time incident status chart showing targets that are down.
The display will be updated in real-time with a static refresh period (approx. 30-60 seconds).
A view for each application environment which allows a user to drill down into the historical uptime status of the environment between two points in time. For the PoC we would use the existing data in the Oracle Enterprise Manager.
Time frame for the drill down report can be defined by the user using filters such as ‘the last week’ or ‘the last month’ from today.
If this blog was of interest, be sure to discover more about our Oracle APEX Services, we'd be happy to discuss the art-of-the-possible with you! You can directly book a meeting with an APEX specialist here.
Author: Neil Baxter
Job Title: Oracle Account Manager
Bio: Neil has fulfilled a number of customer-facing roles in the technology industry, from Account Management to Solution Management. He has many years of experience in advising on bespoke solutions, having even been responsible for implementing and configuring timesheet, CRM, and project management software in his time. At DSP-Explorer, Neil is very focussed on presenting the commercial benefits of the solutions that our development team can provide, with particular emphasis on the Oracle Application Express (APEX) platform.