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Monday, August 20, 2001

Oracle for financial miracle
Sumesh Raizada

THE world of computers has undergone a drastic revolution since the beginning of electronic age. Now, these are not merely a tool for computing complex data or arithmetical figures but have numerous other utilities too. Earlier computers had application in advanced research, education, media, manufacturing or telecommunication. However, with the Internet, a new era has now begun and they are being used for chatting, sending mails, surfing entertainment sites or more serious applications like online education. Besides, these are also utilised in applications like customer relationship management, enterprise resource planning, B2B or B2C transactions, etc.

IT companies around the world are now engaged in developing new applications, software and hardware to suit varied requirement of firms or individuals. One such company that anticipated the future potential of the Web and Web-based applications in our daily lives is the US-based Oracle Corporation.


At the time when software giant Microsoft was busy in developing user-friendly software and operating systems for the PCs, firms like Oracle continued with research and development on advanced and user specific software and data base systems. Presently, Oracle’s software, databases, enterprise solutions, etc. are in application in defence, engineering, IT, power industry, etc.

In India, Oracle has established its subsidiary, mainly to utilise the full potential of locally available IT manpower and also to develop user specific software and database systems. Oracle India markets database management tools, enterprise - client / server applications, etc. to meet the domestic as well as export requirement. It also provides consultancy and technical support on client specific applications, training and education on Oracle tools and software, through its offices or training partners located throughout the country.

Oracle has taken an edge over its rivals in Web-related software, e-business solutions, CRM and WAP application. Oracle Technology Network (OTN) Xchange is an online skills exchange that helps the Internet developers to buy, sell and auction technical services as well as manage individual, corporate and open-source development projects. Oracle has developed a package for power sector, based on its database and applications. This covers ERP packages, financial and commercial modules, Data warehousing techniques, etc.

Career opportunities are in abundance for those who are certified and trained on Oracle products. These professionals can work on client specific projects for development of software and ERP packages, managing their databases or developing Web-based enterprise applications. Professionals can also work with the company at its numerous offices located throughout the world and thus get vast exposure and experience. Lucrative job and earning prospects also exist in industries where Oracle packages are in implementation. Certified Oracle professionals are also employed by training and educational institutes as faculty member or instructors.

In most organisations, Oracle professionals work as database administrator, financial analyst, data warehouse manager, application developer, system analyst and programmers. Database administrators are responsible for implementation, validation, design and support of Oracle databases. They are required to manage production, quality assurance, planning and documentation of databases. Qualifications required are MCA or BCA with proficiency in Oracle forms, programming, system design, Oracle Enterprise servers, etc.

Oracle financial administrator are involved in the financial management of the company and are required to have experience in Oracle financial reporting procedures. Data warehouse managers deal in the process methodology and client-specific projects. They design functional data models to create data warehousing repositories. Experience with full life cycle data warehouse development, data modeling, data extraction, decision support, logical and physical design is required.

Oracle financial analyst are responsible for providing services on financial applications like e-procurement, accounts payable, Web expense, etc., to the finance firms, banks or insurance companies. They need to have experience in the related applications, database, PL/SQL and must have ability to interact with the clients to provide effective solutions. Oracle Application Developers are required to perform development, maintenance, testing and documentation of business systems with the help of specialized development tools. They work in team environment and must have experience in Oracle developer software, PL/SQL skills, VSA, MVS, Oracle forms and reports, etc.

Oracle system analyst design and implement applications for the complete life cycle of a project. They must be experienced in Oracle tools and procedures, data modeling, stored procedures, triggers. Oracle clinical data manager mostly work in pharmaceutical companies or hospitals and coordinates activities related to project database, data collection, statistical analysis, etc. They should have a sound understanding of Oracle clinical, SAS, PL / SQL and CRF model.

For most of the Oracle jobs, a person needs to have a degree in engineering, science or computer applications with certification in related application or packages. Besides, they must have sufficient exposure to Java and Unix environment also to command better career prospects. Oracle is offering several long term as well as short-term certification courses through its authorised training partners throughout the world. In India leading IT education providers like NIIT, APTECH, STG, UPTECH, SSI, etc. are offering courses on its various packages. Some of the authorised training centres are at NIIT Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Noida, Gurgaon, Delhi, etc. Oracle India has tied up with some of the software firms for providing education and training exclusively on Oracle database and Web applications. Information about the courses offered can be sought through offices of Oracle Software India Ltd., located at Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai, Calcutta, etc.

Oracle Learning Network (OLN), is an online education module for the benefit of those who want to get themselves updated on latest offerings from the company or the working IT professionals who desire to sharpen their database and Web application skills. The Oracle certified professional (OCP) programs are conducted separately for corporate, individuals, client firms, consultants, etc. based upon their requirement. To become an Oracle certified professional, candidates are required to pass certain specified tests as per the Oracle curriculum.

Before taking up the certification test they need to attend a preparatory instructor led courses of duration 4 to 6 weeks or more. Different courses offered by Oracle includes Oracle 9i Application serer, Oracle8i database Administration, Oracle designer, Oracle Express & OLAP, Oracle CRM, etc., Oracle 9i, the latest offering from Oracle includes OLAP, Data mining, ETL functions and provides facility for developers to create applications with common software services.

Since Oracle is a leader in several IT applications, those getting qualified and trained on their wide range of specialised application and Web packages definitely have an advantage of others. Oracle offers range of products that include Oracle 9i Database, online services for application development, Oracle Internet application server, Oracle Internet file system, Oracle Java technology.

Oracle DBA certification course conducted by authorized training institutes first expose students on object oriented programming languages like C++, Java, Visual Basic, etc. The teaching is usually through 5 to 6 modules, which includes fundamentals, PL / SQL, architecture and administration, backup and recovery strategies, Network and distributed administration, etc. Associated Infotech through its training centres in Ahmedabad and Vadodara offer courses based on Oracle curriculum and also assists in the placement of trained software professionals in India as well as abroad. SQL Star International Ltd., Edutech Informatics, UPTECH, etc. are conducting training on the Oracle Java technology track, which gives candidates knowledge of JDeveloper and Oracle business component for Java.

Oracle Software India Limited is offering Oracle Education Career Program (OECP), that earns a student dual certification as "Oracle Application Developer" and "Web Deployment Master". Some of the courses like E-com Track, Java Track, Portal Track, etc are of duration 10 days to 45 days and fees ranges from Rs.6,000 to Rs.19,000. Eligibility required is graduate or postgraduate with experience in software. Oracle financial course is for candidates with accounting experience while Oracle CRM course is for candidates with marketing experience. Fees for both courses is around Rs.1 lakh and is of 3 month duration.

Today Oracle has its application in financial management, sales force automat ion, packaged goods industry, energy, pharmaceuticals, automobiles, supply chain management, manufacturing, human resource, etc. Thus a vast potential exists for the trained and qualified Oracle professionals and once experienced, then earning is no limit for them.