Tim Hall

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Oracle related rants (and lots of off-topic stuff)...
Updated: 10 hours 28 min ago

AMIS 25 – Beyond the Horizon – Day 1

Fri, 2016-06-03 02:58

amisWe had already been at the venue the day before for the beginning of the OTN Cloud Developer Challenge, but today was the first day of AMIS 25 – Beyond the Horizon. The day started at about 07:00, with a short minibus trip to the venue.

The first session I attended was “Get your money’s worth out of your Database” by Patrick Barel. He presented a whole bunch of database features that developers need to be using to make the most of their Oracle databases, including a bunch of 12c features. I like these kind of sessions. Much of what we end up doing at conferences is giving people pointers to what we think is interesting.

Next I went to “Smart Offices Are the Future of Work, Powered by the Internet of Things” by Noel Portugal. This started with some talk about designing for mobility, because people are connected all the time. It then moved on to the internet of things, where he discussed how small, cheap electronics can bridge the gap between the physical world and the internet, using examples like Amazon Dash, gesture controls, voice controls like Amazon Echo etc. The UX team are regularly using a lot of this stuff for their own office, kind-of making it the office of the present, not the future.

At this point, our team got together to carry on working on the OTN Cloud Developer Challenge, which took a big chunk of the day…

Later I headed off to see Jonathan Lewis present a session called “Just Don’t Do It”. As the name suggests, this session was focussed on improving performance by avoiding unnecessary work. The session was made up of examples from the OTN forums and consulting jobs where SQL was doing loads of unnecessary work. Often reframing the question allowed the statement to be rewritten to reduce the amount of work necessary to achieve the same goal. Neat!

From there it was back to the OTN Cloud Developer Challenge. All the groups got together to do the pitch for their solutions. With such a short timescale and the complexity of some of the services, most groups had hit some roadblocks, but everyone produced something. Debra actually did the pitch for two groups, but she did an exceptional job for ours. As I mentioned in a previous post, our team didn’t actually include people who do development outside of the database, and the challenge focussed on the non-DB side of things, which left us in a rather awkward position. By substituting comedy for content, Debra managed to make our pitch sound a lot better than it was. She also demoed our mobile app on her phone, and conveniently forgot to mention it was written in APEX. Your can see the home page below.

OTN Cloud Developer Challenge 2016

Thu, 2016-06-02 09:31

cloudThe Oracle ACE Program decided to tag an extra day on to the front of the AMIS 25 Beyond the Horizon conference for the “OTN Cloud Developer Challenge”. The idea was for teams of ACEs to get together and build applications using Oracle Cloud services. It was originally called a cloud hackathon, but got renamed to something that didn’t contain the word “hack”.

Paris to the Netherlands

Thu, 2016-06-02 02:04

airplane-flying-through-clouds-smallGetting to bed at 01:00 and having to wake up at 04:30 is not ideal, but it was worth it.

The alarm went off at 04:30, I had a quick shower, checked out of the hotel and took the shuttle across to terminal 2 in Charles de Gaulle airport. Despite the early hour, there were a lot of people around. I grabbed a coffee and caught up with my blog posts. By the time I had done that, it was time to board the short flight to Amsterdam.

We boarded on time, but unfortunately the flight was delayed by about 50 minutes, so a 50 minute flight became a 100 minute plane ride.

Paris Province Oracle Meetup

Tue, 2016-05-31 23:50

paris-province-oracle-meetupThe reason for me being in Paris was to speak at the Paris Province Oracle Meetup. Breaking my journey to the Netherlands with a quick trip to Paris was a really easy way to connect with more people.

The Paris meetup is very similar to those found in other cities around the world, including Oracle Midlands in my home town. We all gathered at about 19:00 in the AVNET office in Paris and I did two talks with a short break between them. The first talk was about pluggable databases and the second one was about running Oracle databases in the cloud.

I like these local meetups. They feel a lot less formal and more personal than some (but not all) conferences. It just feels more natural to me. I really enjoyed doing the talks and the crowd seemed to respond well to them, which was nice. I’ll definitely be back again, if they will have me. Maybe next time I will get to do some sightseeing in Paris too.

Birmingham to Paris

Tue, 2016-05-31 23:15

airplane-flying-through-clouds-smallThe day started at a rather civilised time of 06:00, which makes a change. I usually book early flights, forgetting I have to get to the airport a couple of hours early, then regret the decision later.

Paris and Netherlands Trip

Mon, 2016-05-30 06:16

Early tomorrow I start a small series of events in Paris and the Netherlands.

Tomorrow I fly to Paris to speak at the Paris Province Oracle Meetup. It will be my first time in Paris, so I’ll try to hit a few of the sites in the city centre if I can. I was originally hoping to fly out the same night as I have an event the following day, but the flights for that didn’t work out. Instead I’m staying in a hotel at the airport. I’ve got an early flight out of Charles de Gualle airport, so I figured I’d take the easy (but boring) approach of staying at the airport.

The next morning I fly to Amsterdam, take a train, then a taxi to the hotel, followed by a taxi to the OTN Cloud Developer Challenge (formerly known as the Hackaton). It started life as an extra day tagged on to an AMIS event by the Oracle ACE Program, like an ACE Briefing, but became a hackathon. I’m not sure if other people are allowed into it, but a few of us have got into teams and we are going to try and develop stuff with Oracle Cloud services. It’s going to be a bit of a magical mystery tour as most of the people in my team are database people and know nothing about the developer and mobile cloud services. If we are able to produce something with them, it will prove they are easy.

4 years and counting…

Mon, 2016-05-30 05:12

prisoner-296515_640It’s 4 years since I started at my current company.

No job is ever perfect. You just have to try and find a place where the pros outweigh the cons. Your judgement about what is a pro and what is a con will vary drastically throughout your life. What suits you today may not tomorrow.

Let’s see if I can make it to 5 years…

Video : Indexing JSON Data in Oracle Database 12c

Sun, 2016-05-22 04:25

Following on from last week’s post, today’s video is about indexing JSON data in Oracle Database 12c.

If videos aren’t your thing, you might want to read these articles, which the videos are based on.

The cameo in this video comes courtesy of Bertrand Drouvot, who was a silent extra in the previous video too. 

Oracle Midlands : Event #15 – Summary

Wed, 2016-05-18 03:46

Last night was Oracle Midlands Event #15 with Joel Goodman and Martin Widlake.

First up was Joel with a session called, “Oracle Storage Fragmentation”, where he discussed the potential fragmentation issues possible in tablespaces, tables and indexes. If you’ve been a DBA for a long time it’s easy to think everyone knows this stuff, but I get asked questions about this stuff a lot! The session had a good mix of content, with something to keep everyone happy from beginner to old timers. Joel is like a walking encyclopedia of Oracle, so it’s always good to hear him present.

Next up was Martin with a session called, “Performance of PL/SQL functions called from SQL”, where he discussed the pros and cons of calling PL/SQL functions from SQL statements. I like Martin’s presentation style. He’s very self-deprecating and amusing. Of course I am biased because he’s part of the family.

Video : JSON Support in Oracle Database 12c

Sat, 2016-05-14 09:58

Today’s video is a sprint through some of the JSON support in Oracle Database 12c.

If videos aren’t your thing, you might want to read these instead.

The cameo in this video comes courtesy of Yves Colin, who I’ll see again in a couple of weeks at the Paris Province Oracle Meetup. A couple of extras (Bertrand Drouvot and Osama Mustafa) wanted to get in on the act too.

Email, where art thou?

Sat, 2016-05-14 05:17

email-at-1020116_640Followers of the blog will know I’ve recently migrated the website to AWS. Yesterday I bit the bullet and cancelled my dedicated server.

As part of that process I had to move my email account from that service too. I always pull all my emails into Gmail, so there is no point paying for something cool. A little POP account is fine.

I started the process yesterday afternoon/evening, thinking it would be a quick drop on the old service and recreate on the new one. Unfortunately the old service held on to the domain reference overnight, so it was a quiet evening on the email front.

Oracle Midlands : Event #15

Wed, 2016-05-11 08:42

Don’t forget Oracle Midlands Event #15 next week!

om15

Please show your support and come along. It’s free thanks to the sponsorship by RedStackTech.

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle Midlands : Event #15 was first posted on May 11, 2016 at 2:42 pm.
©2012 "The ORACLE-BASE Blog". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement.

MobaXterm 9.0

Wed, 2016-05-11 08:21

Another recent release that I managed to miss was

KeePass 2.33

Tue, 2016-05-10 03:30

I just noticed KeePass 2.33 was released a couple of days ago. You can download it here.

You can read about how I use KeePass and KeePassX2 on my Mac, Windows and Android devices here.

Cheers

Tim…

KeePass 2.33 was first posted on May 10, 2016 at 9:30 am.
©2012 "The ORACLE-BASE Blog". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement.

A week in the cloud… (Just to clarify)

Tue, 2016-05-10 03:04

AWSA comment on yesterday’s post by Andy C makes me think I should clarify a couple of things I mentioned in yesterday’s post.

“Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), not really what I consider the cloud.”

For *me* the definition of cloud must include some value-add in relation to ease of use. I’ve used IaaS on Azure, AWS and Oracle Cloud. In all cases I’m left to do the same administration stuff I had to when I was on a physical box or a VM on a local virtual machine. For *me* it only becomes cloud when I have Platform as a Service (PaaS) or Software as a Service (SaaS), where the administration is simplified greatly through tooling. IaaS is just another hosting provider. It’s not really cloud in *my* book. That’s not to say it’s not cool or useful. It’s just not cloud to *me*.

Notice the heavy use of *me* and *my*. This is not the law or even some text book definition. It’s just the way I feel about it, having used a number of hosting companies for business and personal use prior to “the cloud”. You are allowed to think differently, and certainly cloud providers do.

A week in the cloud…

Mon, 2016-05-09 04:42

cloudIt’s been just over a week since I moved my website over to “the cloud”. Well, an EC2 virtual machine on Amazon Web Services, so it’s Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), not really what I consider the cloud.

Fixing broken links to Oracle documentation… Again…

Mon, 2016-05-09 03:59

Broken-LinkWith my recent website move I thought I better check for broken links, in case I had screwed anything up during the transfer. The last few times I’ve done this I’ve used SiteCrawl, which seems to do a decent job.

After the scan had finished I looked through the results and had a couple of broken internal links and 171 broken external links. Can you guess where the vast majority of the broken external links were pointing to? Yes, it was Oracle documentation. A quick search on my blog reveals about six rants I’ve posted about this over the years. There have been many more incidents of course.

Fixing this stuff is very time consuming and boring. What’s worse, it robs me of time I could spend on creating new content.

I’m guessing most content producers don’t go back and check for broken links. Oracle certainly don’t because I see them all the time in whitepapers, articles and forum entries. The result of this is a sea of helpful content produced by the community that are littered with broken links to Oracle content. It lowers the value of the community content, through no fault of the content producer.

Oracle. Please stop doing this! You are constantly devaluing the content produced by us in the community!

Cheers

Tim…

Update: You should probably read this by Kim Berg Hansen.

Fixing broken links to Oracle documentation… Again… was first posted on May 9, 2016 at 9:59 am.
©2012 "The ORACLE-BASE Blog". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement.

WordPress 4.5.2

Sat, 2016-05-07 04:45

I woke up to find all my WordPress installations had automatically updated to WordPress 4.5.2 overnight.

It’s a security release, so if it’s not already auto-updated for you, you might want to log into your dashboard and give it a nudge.

Video : Flashback Table

Mon, 2016-05-02 07:51

Today’s video gives a quick run through of flashback table.

If you prefer to read articles, rather than watch videos, you might be interested in these.

The clip in today’s video comes courtesy of Deiby Gómez, an Oracle ACE Director, OCM 11g & 12c and consultant at Pythian.

Cheers

Tim…

Video : Flashback Table was first posted on May 2, 2016 at 1:51 pm.
©2012 "The ORACLE-BASE Blog". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement.

Server Problem : A Resolution?

Fri, 2016-04-29 09:09

AWSIt’s been a pretty annoying couple of days on the website server front.

The server locking up intermittently is one thing, and for all I know, maybe my fault? The incompetence of the hosting company is quite something else.

Just so you are aware why I was doing my nut yesterday, the hosting company had disabled my ability to force a power cycle of my dedicated server while they did a hardware test. They forgot to re-enable it when they finished. I rang to ask them to re-enable it and also power cycle to server. It took them over 70 minutes to achieve the power cycle and it was the following day before the interface to allow me to force a power cycle was enabled again. Amateurs!

They offered to give me a free month of hosting, but I refused. Last night I moved the whole thing to Amazon Web Services so that’s the new home for the website. I finished the build and testing, then flipped the DNS and went to bed, figuring the DNS propagation can take up to 24 hours, so why hang around.

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