This blog contains experience gained over the years of implementing (and de-implementing) large scale IT applications/software.

Downtime & Language Barriers

Whilst I took some time out on holiday, I was able to get away from the almost non-existent UK summer and off to a much warmer climate.
It got me thinking about the language of IT and the difficulties that other non-native English speakers may be exposed too when trying to decipher Oracle docs or SAP notes, or any other form of documentation.

In my experience, I’ve often had difficulty reading SAP notes that have been translated to English from German and Oracle docs that have been written in English from the off, but badly worded.
I think the Plain English Campaign would have a field day with some of the material I’ve had to put up with.

If you’re working with a mission critical system and you can’t be 100% sure on what the documentation is asking you to do, could it reflect badly on you as a professional?  Possibly.

I guess Google Translate is probably the most preferred tool for translating notes and docutentation, unless the reader is confident enough in what they already know.
So would this mean those that perform IT as a profession, in a non-English speaking country, must know the products more in-depth and rely less on the documentation?  Maybe.

Documenting an SAP ABAP System Technical Configuration

The following are my thoughts for documenting the technical configuration of an existing SAP ABAP stack:

                ARCHITECTURE OVERVIEW                         
                OPERATING SYSTEM DETAILS                    
                DATABASE SYSTEM DETAILS                       
                                SAP SCHEMAS  
                                DB LINK INTERFACES     
                SAP KERNEL DETAILS                     
                SAP COMPONENT DETAILS                         
                ABAP STACK DETAILS                    
                                OPERATION MODES      
                                STANDARD SAP JOBS & SCHEDULES        
                                NON-STANDARD JOBS & SCHEDULES     
                                SPOOL SERVERS               
                                OUTPUT DEVICES            
                                SYSTEM USERS 
                                DATABASE CHECKS AND JOBS   
                                CCMS MONITORING     
                CUSTOM DEVELOPMENTS                          
                                PROGRAMS AND REPORTS         
                                FUNCTION MODULES   
                                                System Landscape Directory
                                                Central User Administration
                                                Solution Manager Data Collection
                                                Integration Server
                                                Web Services
                                                JDBC Connectors
                SNOTES AND REPAIRS                    

Oracle Documentation Is a Moving Target

I appreciate that internet content is better when it’s dynamic, but sometimes there’s a need for static content; or should I say more accurately, static links to content.

I’m right in the middle of compiling a new tutorial on installing Oracle 11gR2 on Oracle Enterprise Linux 6.1.
The Oracle docs in HTML format have been on-line for years now, but I’ve never really referenced them over a period of time with such specific requirements.
I’ve been using the software pre-requisites section of the Oracle 11gR2 docs and have bookmarked them in my browser of choice.  At least I thought I had.  Until today, when I click the link I get an Oracle web page stating “404 not found”.
What happened?  What caused the move of the actual URL?
Here’s what I was using before:

Here’s the same content today:

Looks like the e16763 has been replaced with e24321 and the internal bookmark (anchor) in the page (CIHIDJAH) has been changed to (CIHFICFD).

All links internally on the page are relative links and not absolute, and when you try and navigate up the path, you get a 404.  So I guess that Oracle themselves don’t want you to bookmark the links.

Lesson learned, always capture what you need elsewhere and duplicate everything in case you can’t find it or it gets removed…