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Oracle Issues.......

Posted on 2006-07-22
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I'm posting here instead of the Oracle DB area because I hope I can get an more honest unbiased opinion......... The company I work for uses Oracle CRM. Specifically, we are using the Telesales (I think thats what they call it) module (among others). We just had a meeting at corporate that I attended discussing the issues we are having using this clunky hard to use application. Has anyone in here had any experience with Oracle CRM? Comments please.... The IT group does not to want us to have direct access to the Oracle database (bypassing the CRM app). Knowing databases, I suspect we can solve some of our issues if we could get do some ad-hoc read only stuff with a direct connection to the database. Is the database schema so complicated that this would be impractical? Or am I correct, we could solve some issues? Based on what I have seen, surely people don't go to Oracle CRM because it works well and is fast. They are doing it to solve their IT resource issues and to have a very scalable application. Correct? I'll stop here for now. I hope this starts some discussion to help a frustrated IT professional.......
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Question by:Misledman
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by:Shakti109
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First, if there are problems with the data/getting it out, using it, interpreting it through -ANY- application, one of the first things you do is to go to the source, the database and ask -IT- what's going on.

It is very very easy to simply only allow connect/select access to the databases you need to get at.

OR, ask them to create a web service that contains the data access functions only allowing selects/etc and then use that via a very rudimentary application to pass in the SQL statements.

There is no schema that is SO complicated that you cant break it down into smaller chunks and get what you need from it. I've worked with terrabyte sized databases that had 200ish tables in them and while it took us a while to work backwards and figure out what the previous teams had done, within a couple of weeks we were mining the data just fine.

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by:Misledman
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I'm a fairly seasoned VB.NET/ASP.NET programmer.  I access SQL Server databases all the time. I've never connected to an Oracle DB, but I'm sure there is no difference. I guess what I'm after is twofold: (1) Are we the only people that are having issues with Oracle CRM functionality and speed and (2) Assuming the CRM part of Oracle CRM is just an application that accesses/updates/reports on the Oracle database, then why can't we do some custom stuff that will circumvent the issues presented by the "CRM" part of Oracle. "Custom Stuff" meaning writing some simple ad-hoc very specific apps that access the database directly and return data/information we can use. I have this suspicion that management has gotten rid of the key IT people that could do what I am suggesting we do. The people running the Oracle CRM application are Oracle people that live and breath Oracle CRM and have no idea (or respect) for Microsoft (or other ) technologys that could circumvent some of the issues presented by Oracle. If you haven't figured out yet, I'm not impressed at all with the Oracle CRM functionality. Most of the people at the meeting I went to feel the exact same way I do.
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Some of the comments I heard at a previous engagement where a client was using Oracle CRM (but was moving to Siebel) were things like : "Oracle is good at database stuff, but for applications they just dont cut it". Reports taking minutes to generate (with relatively simple parameters), odd interface flow, and other complaints related to user-interface experience as well as application performance, the convoluted flow of setting up just about everything (approver permissions, merchant(s) administrator(s), enrollment, LOV's, etc, etc.)

There is no reason you can't "get at the data" in those tables outside of the CRM interface, my team did. It may take quite a while to dig through the series of joins and relations, but once you pick apart the sections that you want, it becomes simple enough to start mining for what you want/need.

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by:Misledman
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What about editing data...... You said your team "mined" data. I am assuming your were just reading data. I want to actually replace certain functionality that is too clunky and slow. That would mean entering new transactions that I would want both my application and the native CRM app to be able to read. That's possible isn't it? Is the database THAT complex?
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Shakti109 earned 500 total points
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While it is certainly possible for you to extend the database by creating new transactions that your application can then use (to replace/enhance existing functionality), I am not aware of a way to have the CRM application itself use those transactions.

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by:Misledman
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I think you may not have understood what I said.... Or maybe I don't understand...... I'm assuming that the Oracle CRM application is merely entering/editing/displaying records from an Oracle database. The "transactions" I speak of those same transactions the CRM is entering. Wouldn't it be possible, for example, to enter records into the database just as the CRM app does? If so, one could enter those records with a custom application. Assuming I'm right, the CRM app would never know about it. However, if entered properly, the CRM app COULD display the records entered by the custom app if so desired. Surely other companys are having the same issues (as you implied previously) and have created custom applications to get around these issues. Am I wrong? Right? Do you have any knowledge of such attempts to do what I am talking about?
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