Overview of Oracle Alert
Oracle Alert is your complete exception control solution.
How do you find out about important or unusual activity in your database? How do you stay aware of regular, yet critical database events? You don't have time to sort through reports, yet you need a reliable way to monitor your database.
Oracle Alert facilitates the flow of information within your organization by letting you create entities called alerts to monitor your business information and to notify you of the information you want. You can define one of two types of alerts: an event alert or a periodic alert.
An event alert immediately notifies you of activity in your database as it occurs. When you create an event alert, you specify the following:
- A database event that you want to monitor, that is, an insert and/or an update to a specific database table.
- A SQL Select statement that retrieves specific database information as a result of the database event.
A periodic alert, on the other hand, checks the database for information according to a schedule you define. When you create a periodic alert, you specify the following:
- Actions that you want Oracle Alert to perform as a result of the database event. An action can entail sending someone an electronic mail message, running a concurrent program, running an operating script, or running a SQL statement script. You include all the actions you want Oracle Alert to perform, in an action set.
- A SQL Select statement that retrieves specific database information.
- The frequency that you want the periodic alert to run the SQL statement.
By creating event alerts, you can have an immediate view of the activity in your database, so you keep on top of important or unusual events as they happen. By creating periodic alerts, you can have current measurements of staff and organization performance, so you can zero in on potential trouble spots. You can automate routine transactions, preserving your valuable time for more important issues. Oracle Alert gives you the information you need online, so you do not have to contend with a pile of paperwork.
- Actions that you want Oracle Alert to perform once it runs the SQL statement. An action can entail sending the retrieved information to someone in an electronic mail message, running a concurrent program, running an operating script, or running a SQL statement script. You include all the actions you want Oracle Alert to perform, in an action set.
Basic Business Needs
Oracle Alert gives you the flexibility you need to monitor your business information the way you want. An exception reporting system should:
- Keep you informed of database exception conditions, as they occur.
- Let you specify the exception conditions you want to know about, as often as you want to know about them.
- Keep you informed of exception conditions through a single point--your electronic mail.
- Take predefined actions when it finds exceptions in your database, without user intervention.
- Take the actions you specify, depending upon your response to an alert message.
- Perform routine database tasks automatically, according to the schedule you define.
- Be fully integrated with your electronic mail system.
- Send electronic mail messages to a distribution list you define, so you avoid typing the same set of recipients for many messages.
Event alerts immediately notify you of activity in your database as it happens. You define what a database event is--an insert or an update to a table--and Oracle Alert informs you when it happens. You can modify our precoded alert conditions or simply create your own, and Oracle Alert will send messages or perform predefined actions in an action set when important events occur.
Periodic alerts periodically report key information according to a schedule you define. You can modify our precoded alerts or simply create your own, and Oracle Alert will send messages or perform predefined actions from an action set according to the schedule you set.
You can define periodic alerts on any Oracle Financials, Oracle Manufacturing, Oracle Human Resources, or Oracle Public Sector Financials application as well as any custom Oracle application.
Periodic alerts can be set to run as often as you need during a 24-hour period, or they can be set to run once a month--the frequency is up to you. Used over time, periodic alerts can provide a regular and reliable measure of performance.
For example, you can define a periodic alert for Oracle Purchasing that sends a message to the Purchasing Manager listing the number of approved requisition lines that each purchasing agent placed on purchase orders. You can define this alert to run weekly, and provide performance measurement on a consistent and timely basis.
Easy Alert Definition
Oracle Alert can load the SQL statement for your alert definition from an operating system file, allowing you to automatically perform the functions you currently do by hand. Oracle Alert will also transfer your entire alert definition across databases. You can instantly leverage the work done in one area to all your systems.
With Oracle Alert, you can choose the frequency of each periodic alert. You may want to check some alerts every day, some only once a month, still others only when you explicitly request them. You have the flexibility to monitor critical exceptions as frequently as necessary, even multiple times during a 24-hour period. You can also check less significant exceptions on a more infrequent schedule; for example, once a month.
You can define a variety of actions for Oracle Alert to perform based on the exceptions it finds in your database. Oracle Alert can send an electronic mail message, run a SQL script or an operating system script, or submit a concurrent request, or any combination of the above. You can create your own message, SQL script, or operating system script actions in Oracle Alert, or have Oracle Alert send messages or perform scripts that reside in external files. Each action is fully customizable to the exceptions found in your database, so you have complete flexibility in your exception management.
You can choose to have Oracle Alert perform actions based on a single exception or a combination of exceptions found in your database. You can define a detail action such that Oracle Alert performs that action for each individual exception found. You can also define a summary action such that Oracle Alert performs that action once for each unique combination of exceptions found. You decide which exceptions you want Oracle Alert to consider as a unique combination. You can format a detail or summary message action to display the exception(s) in an easy-to-read message.
No Exception Actions
Oracle Alert can perform actions if it finds no exceptions in your database. You can define Oracle Alert to send electronic mail messages, run SQL scripts or operating system scripts, or submit concurrent requests, or any combination of the above.
Oracle Alert can keep a record of the actions it takes and the exceptions it finds in your database, for as many days as you specify. When you ask Oracle Alert to reconstruct alert history you see a complete record of alert activity exactly as it was performed. You can even review all responses Oracle Alert received to your messages and the actions they invoked. Oracle Alert also lets you decide which information you want to review. You can narrow your review criteria so you see only the history you specifically want to examine, without sorting through all the history information available for an alert.
Oracle Alert can search for exceptions that remain in your database over time, and can take certain actions based on the presence of those "duplicate exceptions." You can track exceptions in your database for the length of time that you save history for your alerts.
You can define a sequence of actions and have Oracle Alert perform the next action in that sequence each time it finds the same exception or exceptions in your database. For example, you can have Oracle Alert send messages of increasing severity if it finds the same exceptions over a period of time. Using action escalation, you can make sure that exceptions needing attention don't languish unattended in your database.
Oracle Alert can automatically determine whether to perform a detail or a summary action based on the number of exceptions it finds in your database. If your alert locates few exceptions, it can simply perform detail actions--one for each exception. If your alert locates many exceptions, it can perform a summary action on all of those exceptions. Oracle Alert automatically determines when it should perform a detail or a summary action.
Oracle Alert can take certain predefined actions based on a user's response to an alert message. The response can cause Oracle Alert to send another alert message, run a SQL script or an operating system script, or submit a concurrent request, or any combination of the above. Because Oracle Alert performs response actions automatically, you can delegate routine user transactions to Oracle Alert and thereby increase your organization's efficiency.
You can create an alert that checks for exceptions that are new in your database since the last time the alert was checked. The alert uses its own DATE_LAST_CHECKED value as the start time for checking for new exceptions.
Customizable Options and User Profile
You can specify exactly how you want your Oracle Alert user interface to look and behave. From choosing a printer to specifying the header text in your Oracle Alert messages.
Electronic Mail Independence
Oracle Alert allows you to send electronic mail messages directly to your mail system. Connections to Oracle Office, Unix Mail, and VMS Mail are predefined for you.
Attention: References to Oracle*Mail may be used interchangeably with Oracle Office in this guide. Oracle Alert is fully integrated with all Oracle mail products.