I just found this link on OTN to vote for including assertions in a future release of the Oracle database.
A great idea – please vote for it.
One of the most important votes this month…well, I do live in England!
I keep hearing this term lately and I dislike it.
There is no such thing as Unstructured Data. All data has structure. If it didn’t have structure we wouldn’t be able to use it.
What about free text? Well, that’s just a single column value (stored in a CLOB in Oracle, for example) and the free text is, more often than not, on a row with other columns, such as identifiers and timestamps, i.e. yet more structure.
I think what people mean when they use this “marketing foam”TM term is “data that we have not yet defined the structure for”, but in order to use it at some later stage, the structure will need to be defined – that definition process doesn’t actually give the data structure in and of itself, it simply defines what that structure is, in order to be able to use it.
Interestingly, the Wikipedia article for Unstructured Data calls out the imprecise nature of the term:
The term is imprecise for several reasons:
- Structure, while not formally defined, can still be implied.
- Data with some form of structure may still be characterized as unstructured if its structure is not helpful for the processing task at hand.
- Unstructured information might have some structure (semi-structured) or even be highly structured but in ways that are unanticipated or unannounced.
In other words, it does have structure, but maybe we’ve not written it down, or the structure isn’t helpful to processing or is structured in ways we were not expecting – so what?…it’s still structured!
All of the above seem to me to support the view that all data does indeed have structure.
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An interesting article from Sarah – much good advice there!
A colleague asked if there was a way to do column level dependency tracking recently. He wanted to know for a given view, which tables and the columns on those tables, it was dependent upon, without, of course, reading through the code.
I was vaguely aware that since 11gR1 Oracle has been tracking fine grained (column) dependencies, but couldn’t find a way of seeing the details stored, until I found this interesting article from Rob Van Wijk:
I passed the details on to our DBA who implemented it and it seemed to work, for us. Your mileage may vary, of course.
Some comments on Rob’s blog post, bearing in mind, of course, that it was written in 2008 and refers to 11gR1:
- D_ATTRS contains values other than “000100000A”. I’ve observed this in a basic 12c install and a production 11gR2 install
- D_ATTRS is commented in $ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/admin/dcore.bsq as “/* Finer grain attr. numbers if finer grained */”
- D_REASON is commented in $ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/admin/dcore.bsq as “/* Reason mask of attrs causing invalidation */”. On my basic 12c installation, all rows contain NULL for this value although on a production 11gR2 database I observed a handful of rows with values in this column.
- Noted from the comments against Rob’s article is the opportunity to vote for this feature on OTN here
My colleague asked me yesterday how to enable copy and paste in the command line SQL*Plus window on Windows 7 – a simple enough task…
On the shortcut that starts the command line version of SQL*Plus, right click and bring up the Properties dialog. Nagivate to the Options tab and make sure the QuickEdit mode is checked on, as below:
Now start SQL*Plus and you’ll find that you can hold the left mouse button down whilst dragging a selection area and then pressing return copies the selected text, whilst pressing the right mouse button pastes the copied text.
If you’d prefer to read this from a Microsoft source, try here, where other methods of setting this up are detailed as well as enabling the Autocomplete facility.