Tim Hall

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Oracle related rants (and lots of off-topic stuff)...
Updated: 3 hours 50 min ago

Video : Flashback Version Query

Sat, 2016-04-23 10:15

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

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

The star of today’s video is Tanel Poder. I was filming some other people, he saw something was going on, came across and struck a pose. I figured he knew what I was doing, but it’s pretty obvious from the outtake at the end of the video he was blissfully unaware, but wanted in on the action whatever it was! A true star!

Learning to answer questions for yourself!

Thu, 2016-04-21 01:56

notes-514998_640It’s not important that you know the answer. It’s important you know how to get the answer!

I’m pretty sure I’ve written this before, but I am constantly surprised by some of the questions that come my way. Not surprised that people don’t know the answer, but surprised they don’t know how to get the answer. The vast majority of the time someone asks me a question that I can’t answer off the top of my head, this is what I do in this order.

  1. Google their question, often using the subject line of their post or email. A lot of the time, the first couple of links will give me the answer. Sometimes it’s one of my articles that gives me the answer.

VirtualBox 5.0.18

Tue, 2016-04-19 09:22

VirtualBox 5.0.18 has been released.

The downloads and changelog are in the usual places.

So far I’ve only installed it on Windows 7, but I’ll no doubt be doing an install on OS X El Crapitan and Oracle Linux tonight.

Video : Flashback Query

Sat, 2016-04-16 09:28

Today’s video is a quick demo of flashback query.

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

The cameo for this video comes courtesy of Dina Blaschczok, a DBA based in South Africa and a friend of the family. When the wife goes down to SA, Dina takes care of her and occasionally introduces her to big cats.

WordPress 4.5 Released

Tue, 2016-04-12 15:41

WordPress 4.5 “Coleman” has been released.

I just applied it to the five WordPress sites I manage by manually triggering the auto-update and everything went through fine.

There are some updates to the standard themes that you will need to manually trigger for update, but there was no drama there either.

I fully expect a rash of little updates to get released over the coming days as new bugs are spotted.

TABLE Operator with Locally Defined Types

Tue, 2016-04-12 05:22

postit-missed-itIn my OUG Ireland 2016 – Summary post I mentioned the Oren Nakdimon session called “Write Less (Code) with More (Oracle 12c New Features)”. One of the things he mentioned was the removal of restrictions associated with the use of the TABLE operator on local table types. If I had read about this or seen it before, it had certainly slipped my mind, so I made a note to write something about it and add a link to it from my PL/SQL new features article. So here it is.

It’s a neat little feature.

Cheers

Tim…

 

TABLE Operator with Locally Defined Types was first posted on April 12, 2016 at 11:22 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.

Video : SQL/XML (SQLX) : Generating XML using SQL in Oracle

Sat, 2016-04-09 10:16

Another video fresh off the press.

If videos aren’t your thing, you can always read the article the video is based on.

The star of this video is Kevin Closson. Kevin’s a really nice guy and has a brain the size of a planet, but you know somewhere in the back of his mind he’s wondering what it would be like to hunt you down, kill you and mount your head above his fireplace.

Playing around with JSON using the APEX_JSON package

Fri, 2016-04-08 13:26

hockey-149683_640We publish a number of XML web services from the database using the PL/SQL web toolkit, as described here. In more recent times we’ve had a number of requirements for JSON web services, so we did what most people probably do and Googled for “json pl/sql” and got a link to PL/JSON.

I know about the support for JSON in 12c, but we are not on 12c for these projects and that’s more about consuming JSON, rather than publishing it.

People seemed reasonably happy with PL/JSON, so I thought no more about it. At the weekend, kind-of by accident, I came across the APEX_JSON package that comes as part of APEX 5 and thought, how could I have missed that?

This is not a slight against PL/JSON, but given the choice of using something built and supported by Oracle, that is already in the database (we have APEX 5 in most databases already) or loading something else, I tend to pick the Oracle method. Since then I’ve been having a play with APEX_JSON and I quite like it. Here’s what I wrote while I was playing with it.

If you have done anything with XML in PL/SQL, you should find it pretty simple.

I’m guessing this post will result in a few people saying, “What about ORDS?” Yes I know. Because of history we are still mostly using mod_plsql and OHS, but ORDS is on the horizon. Even so, we will probably continue to use APEX_JSON to do the donkey-work, and just use ORDS to front it.

Cheers

Tim…

Playing around with JSON using the APEX_JSON package was first posted on April 8, 2016 at 7:26 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.

Birmingham City University (BCU) Talk #5

Wed, 2016-04-06 13:13

bcuI had a day off work today so I could go over to Birmingham City University (BCU) and do a talk to the students.

Today’s session was more about giving them an idea of where databases fit into the big picture as far as data and data processing is concerned. I obviously come at this as a relational database guy, but the presentation also included NoSQL and Hadoop. I hope nobody is naive enough anymore to think relational databases are the correct solution for every use case, so it’s important to be objective about this stuff, rather than to push your own agenda.

Over recent weeks I’ve spent time trawling through material to get a feel for the subject matter, and it’s quite depressing to see the territorial pissing that goes on between all these camps. Each trying to convince you their solution is suitable for use cases where it clearly is not. To be fair, most of this is not coming from the experts themselves, but from the hangers on who can’t cope with the fact their favourite tech might not be perfect. We’ve all been there!

The Oracle ACE Program : My 10 Year Anniversary

Fri, 2016-04-01 00:02

ace-directorOn 1st April 2006 I got an email telling me I was an Oracle ACE, so either this is the most drawn out April Fools’ Day joke ever, or I’ve been in the Oracle ACE Program for 10 years. Wow!

The numbers look something like this.

  • Nearly 21 years working with Oracle technology. (August 1995)
  • Nearly 16 years doing my website. (Original name: 03 July 2000 or Current name: 31 August 2001)
  • Nearly 11 years blogging. (15 June 2005)
  • 10 years on the Oracle ACE Program. (01 April 2006)
  • Nearly 10 months making videos. (6 July 2015)

It’s quite scary when you look back at it.

10 Cloverfield Lane

Tue, 2016-03-29 17:21

I just got back from watching 10 Cloverfield Lane. The trailers don’t really give much away, but don’t watch them anyway, just in case. Also, don’t read any reviews with spoilers before seeing it. I think it will still work if you know the story, but why ruin it?

Wow! What a movie! Wow!

The story is great. The acting is great. John Goodman is great. I didn’t really know what the story was before going in. I had just seen the trailer embedded above.

I’m so glad I went to see this film! I don’t want to say anything more for fear of ruining it for someone…

Cheers

Tim…

10 Cloverfield Lane was first posted on March 29, 2016 at 11:21 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.

Deadpool

Tue, 2016-03-29 04:11

Yesterday I went to a late showing of Deadpool. If you haven’t seen the trailers already, don’t watch them as they give too much away!

I’ve been wanting to see it for a while, but I can’t get my cinema mojo back. The last thing I went to see was the new Star Wars film. I used to really love going to the cinema, but these days I really don’t like it. Even when I enjoy the film, I find the process rather irritating.

The opening credits were funny and totally irreverent. They really set the mood for the whole film.

Probably the hardest thing about introducing a “new character” to the audience (let’s forget the X-Men Origins: Wolverine stuff, since this film has) is you have to go through the backstory, which is typically pretty boring. Deadpool also had to do the boring stuff, but at least it does it in a more interesting way. Switching between backstory and “current time” crazy action is probably the best way to get it done.

The Deadpool character is very different to every other super hero. He breaks the fourth wall (talks to the audience), which is especially interesting when the characters around him seem confused, like they don’t understand who he is talking to. Added to this he self-references, is edgier and funnier than most super heroes. Also, the content is significantly more adult than any of the X-Men films that came before it.

I guess the bit I liked the least was how they gave him his mutant powers. I preferred the idea they used in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I thought the method they used in this film seemed kind-of lame.

Overall, I’m glad I went to see it. I just wish I hadn’t seen the trailers as they give away a lot of the good stuff, which I think would have been more epic and funny if I hadn’t already seen it.

Honourable mentions go out to the two female mutant characters (Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Angel Dust) who were awesome. I would have liked to see more of them in the film.

Cheers

Tim…

Deadpool was first posted on March 29, 2016 at 10:11 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.

Video : XMLTABLE : Convert XML into Rows and Columns using SQL

Mon, 2016-03-28 11:21

Here’s an Easter present for everyone out there.

WebLogic Stuff

Sat, 2016-03-26 04:11

glasses-272399_1280-smallI’ve written a bunch of stuff about WebLogic over the last few years, but it’s kind-of scattered throughout the site. When I was gearing up for my session at the Middleware SIG recently I figured it was about time I collected it all together, so I added a new WebLogic page to the site. It’s on the menu and the quick links.

Much the same as the SQL and PL/SQL pages, it really is just a bunch of links to other stuff. I tend to put my articles in version-specific locations, because it suits me, but I realise it’s not ideal for everyone. I think this gives me the best of both worlds.

I’m always a little nervous about bringing attention to articles on certain subjects on my website. If you’ve seen me present, you’ll know I’m quick to point out I’m not “the WebLogic guy”. It’s something I’m involved in, but I would never dream of making out I’m the man. If WebLogic is your thing, there are better people to follow than me!

Having said that, the website has always been me writing about the stuff I’m doing, and that’s the way it’s going to stay. If it helps you, that’s great. If not, I’m sorry, but there are lots of other websites to read.

Google as a Cloud Provider?

Wed, 2016-03-23 06:40

cloudI saw a tweet this morning that pointed me to this article.

Google To Challenge Amazon, Microsoft In Cloud Computing War

 

This comes hot on the heels of this article.

Google dumps ISP email support. Virgin Media takes ball, stomps home

I use a lot of Google services and I like them. Having said that, I just can’t bring myself to take their Google Cloud Platform seriously. It’s not that I don’t believe they have the capability to do cloud. The are Google after all. :) It’s more about trusting their services will exist in the future. If they are happy to dump 4.6 million email customers in one shot, why should I believe they give a crap about my IaaS stuff?

This kind of behaviour is not new from Google. They have taken an axe to many services before, but this seems so much more dramatic and significant from a company that is pushing their public cloud agenda.

Now it all comes down to money, and I guess Google couldn’t make enough off the this ISP email customer, but it is still a worrying signal. People should always have an exit strategy for every cloud project, but with Google it seems like it should be a bigger priority.

Maybe I’m just being paranoid. Maybe I’m not. I just feel unnerved.

Cheers

Tim…

Google as a Cloud Provider? was first posted on March 23, 2016 at 12:40 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.

Video : The MERGE Statement

Tue, 2016-03-22 02:28

After a what seems like an eternity of being ill and having a dodgy throat, followed quickly by a couple of conferences, I’ve finally got back on the horse and recorded another video.

I was explaining a specific aspect of the MERGE statement to one of my colleagues and while I was doing it I was thinking, “Have I done a video on MERGE yet?” Now I have.

The cameo for this video is Cary Millsap. If you watch the out-takes at the end you will see the level of respect and trust I have garnered in the community. The words confused and suspicious spring to mind! :)

An honourable mention goes out to James Morle for videobombing. :)

Cheers

Tim…

Video : The MERGE Statement was first posted on March 22, 2016 at 8:28 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.

Oracle Midlands : Event #14 – Summary

Wed, 2016-03-16 09:17

Last night was Oracle Midlands Even #14 with Lothar Flatz.

The session started with “Raiders of the Data Dictionary I: Indexing for the Workload” where Lothar discussed a project he worked on based around completely revamping the indexing of a system. I guess the best way I can describe it is to say it’s a more scientific approach to indexing, using the contents of the dictionary to provide information about columns and column groups used in queries to determine the indexes to create. In some ways the approach was quite extreme (throw everything away and start again), but I also admire the bravery of that approach!

Next up was “Raiders of the Data Dictionary II: The Curse of the Buffer Cache” where Lothar discussed the problems associated with trying to keep large, frequently used tables in the buffer cache. Once again, some interesting points made and some things that will definitely influence my approach in future.

It was great to meet Lothar in person for the first time. After being in the game for 20+ years many subjects can start to feel a little repetitive, so it’s nice when someone comes along with a different spin on a subject. I certainly found myself asking a lot of questions of him and myself, which surely must be what this knowledge spreading thing is all about!

Thanks to Lothar for taking the time to come and speak to us and to everyone that came along to listen. Thanks to Mike for doing a great job in keeping Oracle Midlands going and to Red Stack Tech for their continued support.

See you at the next one! :)

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle Midlands : Event #14 – Summary was first posted on March 16, 2016 at 3:17 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.

KeePass 2.32

Mon, 2016-03-14 06:33

KeePass 2.32 has been released. You can download it from here.

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

Cheers

Tim…

KeePass 2.32 was first posted on March 14, 2016 at 12:33 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.

Oracle Midlands : Event #14

Mon, 2016-03-14 05:33

Tomorrow is Oracle Midlands Event #14.

om14

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

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle Midlands : Event #14 was first posted on March 14, 2016 at 11:33 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.

UKOUG Application Server & Middleware SIG – Summary

Sat, 2016-03-12 08:08

ukougOn Thursday I did a presentation at the UKOUG Application Server & Middleware SIG.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I was not able to stay for the whole day. I arrived about 30 minutes before my session was scheduled to start. The previous session finished about 10 minutes early and the speaker following me cancelled, so my 45 minute session extended to about 70 minutes. :)

 

There had already been speakers focussing on Oracle Cloud and Amazon Web Services (AWS), so I did a live demo of Azure, which included building an Oracle Linux VM and doing an install of WebLogic and ADF. There was also a more general presentation about running Oracle products on the cloud. I’m not a WebLogic or cloud specialist, so this presentation is based on me talking about my experiences of those two areas. Peter Berry from Clckwrk and Paul Bainbridge from Fujitsu corrected me on a couple of things, which was cool.

After my session I hung around for a quick chat, but I had to rush back to work to do an upgrade, which went OK. :)

Thanks to the organisers for inviting me and thanks to everyone that came along. It would have been good to see the other presentations, but unfortunately that was not possible for me this time!

Cheers

Tim…

PS. Simon, the preinstall packages were installed in the Oracle Linux templates. :)

# rpm -qa | grep preinstall
oracle-rdbms-server-12cR1-preinstall-1.0-8.el6.x86_64
oracle-rdbms-server-11gR2-preinstall-1.0-7.el6.x86_64
#
UKOUG Application Server & Middleware SIG – Summary was first posted on March 12, 2016 at 3:08 pm.
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