Oracle 9i migration happening apace

About 35% of Oracle's local database customers have moved to version 9i of its database in the year since its launch.

About 35% of Oracle’s local database customers have moved to version 9i of its database in the year since its launch.

Energy software firm Peace Software will host its worldwide infrastructure on the database and Oracle 9i Application Server, which will also form the foundation for its worldwide portal.

Oracle NZ’s Carol Lee Davidson says 25 migrations are due to take place in the next two months. She says there are now 63 9i Application Server sites in New Zealand, with many, such as the Department of Corrections, using the business intelligence tools that come bundled with the server.

One of the first companies to move to 9i was Boise Cascade Office Products, which has used the database and application server as the foundation for its data warehouse.

The company, which recently consolidated its brands, Whitcoulls Office Products, Blue Star Office Products and OTC Workplace Partners, as Boise Office Solutions, has built three data marts on Oracle 9i and is now rolling the system out to end users. Boise Cascade data warehouse manager Richard Van Rynbach says 40 users access the data marts, which cover inventory, order management status and sales. Other staff also see static reports. The data marts, which run on an IBM RS/6000, pull information from the firm’s Oracle-based ERP system as well as external sources.

Van Rynbach says the data warehouse is evolving and more data marts will be built to cover purchasing, finance and marketing.

He says the data warehouse is Boise Cascade’s third-generation warehouse (the previous systems ran on an Informix database), so the company has a pretty good idea about key drivers of the business. “We also set up user groups to find out what their business requirements are and how they wanted to use it. That was extremely important.”

Van Rynbach says Boise Cascade wanted a fully integrated solution that could deliver the database engine, query and extraction functions, and a user-friendly interface.

With inventory snapshots the company can identify slow moving stock, discontinued items, shelf life and turnover. The results is a detailed picture that reveals how to better manage and reduce overall inventory holdings by using the most cost-effective approach — for example, holding a sale on a specific product that has been slow to sell.

The sales data mart means each sale can be analysed and differentiated according to branch, product and region. From this the company can identify the most profitable customers and ensure they receive the appropriate levels of service, which can range from account manager visits to customer service calls. The data mart can provide customised reports or account managers can build their own.

Other local organisations that have upgraded to 9i include IRD and Internal Affairs, Southern Cross, Peace Software, Loyalty New Zealand. Lee Davidson says version 10i is due next year.

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