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Oracle Personalization

Oracle Application Server Tips by Burleson Consulting

Analyzing page viewing behavior and creating custom web page content on a busy eCommerce site is a formidable computing challenge. To address these issues, Oracle has developed the Oracle9iAS personalization and the Oracle data mining suite. Oracle personalization is extremely sophisticated and relies on internal data about end-users web-page visits, web-page clicks, and referrer statistics.  Even more powerful, Oracle personalization allows for the incorporation of external metadata such as customer demographics.  It is worthwhile to note that Oracle has several competitors in the web personalization market, notably Blue Martini, Vignette and Personify.

The goal of Oracle9iAS personalization is to accurately identify classes of end-users and correlate their behavior with the behavior of other known groups of end-users.  Using sophisticated multivariate correlation techniques; web-page contact can be customized according to predictions about each end-users preference for web page content.  The nature of this analysis is very resource intensive, and almost all large Oracle9iAS shops devote large servers exclusively for developing these predictive recommendations.

 IT marketing professionals know that it is critical of get the right products onto a custom web page. To be successful, Oracle9iAS must be able to accurately predict your propensity to buy a product, based on prior buying and browsing patterns, and buying patterns of like-minded customers (customer profiling).  The challenge in developing these predictive models is accurately placing visitors into consumer groups. A consumer group is a group of customers with similar demographics and buying patterns.

Figure 1.10 shows the process of analyzing demographic information to place visitors into consumer groups. A visitor can be placed into a consumer group in two ways:

  • Their demographic category (collected from personal information)

  • Their pattern of page views (collected from referrer URLs)

Figure 10: Architecture of Oracle personalization

Once we have defined consumer groups in Oracle Personalization, we next start a data mining procedure to correlate the patterns of each consumer group to specific products. The customized HTML personalization is based on data from three sources:

  • Known consumer group data ? These groups consist of predetermined summaries of consumer group characteristics.

  • Weighted rankings of pages viewed ? This is a measure of the popularity of product pages according to each consumer group.

  • Historical data ? This is historical sales data, correlated by consumer group.

Oracle Personalization uses these sophisticated consumer group and data mining component mechanisms to create the web content (Figure 1.11).  The administration of Oracle Personalization is simplified by using the Oracle Personalization GUI, and the Oracle documentation has an excellent discussion of Oracle9iAS Personalization administration.

Figure 11: The Oracle9iAS Personalization Engine at runtime

Oracle Wireless

The Oracle9iAS Wireless component allows for wireless communications between remote wireless servers and the Oracle9iAS architecture. The core of Oracle9iAS wireless is the use of XML communications.  Oracle wireless transforms XML data into whatever markup language is used by the wireless system, including standard HTML, Wireless Markup Language (WML), and other special wireless markups such as VoiceXML and HDML.  This allows the application to generate one set of XML data that is reformatted for the presentation device, be it a cell phone, palm pilot or pager.

Wireless communications with Oracle is becoming commonplace because of the ubiquitous nature of Internet Service Providers creating wireless infrastructures (mostly in the major cities). Within these areas, Oracle wireless can be used to establish direct communications with Oracle9iAS using a standard J2EE and XML communications model.  Oracle9iAS wireless has the benefit is isolating the database communications from the complexity of the wireless protocol by encapsulating the communications into a separate, intermediate layer.

This is one of the most exciting components of Oracle9iAS because it holds the promise for wireless voice communications with Oracle database.  This technology could bring millions of end-user is far closer and intimate contact with their valuable data.

This is an excerpt from "Oracle 10g Application Server Administration Handbook" by Don Burleson and John Garmany.


If you like Oracle tuning, you may enjoy the new book "Oracle Tuning: The Definitive Reference", over 900 pages of BC's favorite tuning tips & scripts. 

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Note: This Oracle documentation was created as a support and Oracle training reference for use by our DBA performance tuning consulting professionals.  Feel free to ask questions on our Oracle forum.

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