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External Tables

Natalka Roshak's picture

External Tables let you query data in a flat file as though the file were an Oracle table. In 9i, only read operations were permitted; in 10g, you can also write out data to an external table, although you can't write to an existing table.

Engineering Better PL/SQL

Bert Scalzo's picture

PL/SQL is a great language. It's relatively simple to learn, is well integrated with the Oracle database, and can often be the most efficient way to perform complex or large scale database operations. In fact PL/SQL is so useful, it's difficult to believe that its origin is SQL*Forms -- and that PL/SQL was once was an optional cost add-on to the database. Working with Oracle over the past few decades has come a long way, and PL/SQL had evolved into a mature, robust and highly functional database language.

It's time to harden and patch

Natalka Roshak's picture

There have been two high-profile Oracle security flaws in the last few months. The first, which everyone reading this article has probably heard of, is the Voyager worm. The second, which is slightly less well-known, is a very severe security hole that lets anyone with a valid logon to an Oracle database -- including an unprivileged account with nothing but CONNECT privs -- execute arbitrary code as SYS. In this article, I'll look at the two security flaws and outline the steps you need to take to protect your databases from them.

Top-n query tuning in huge OLTP applications

Marcin Miller's picture

Top-n Query is one of the more advanced SQL problems. How does one retrieve N first (or least) rows from a record set? For example, how does one find the top five highest-paid employees in a given department?

10gR2 New Features: RAC Enhancements

Natalka Roshak's picture

10gR1 revamped Oracle clustered database management and features. 10gR2 builds on this success with a long list of improvements and enhancements. Oracle has streamlined the installation process and provided more filesystem options, made some performance and monitoring improvements, and improved manageability with a half-dozen administration enhancements. This article will take a look at the major changes.

Analyzing Materialized Views for Fast Refresh

Ellis Miller's picture

This article shows how materialized views can be analyzed and optimized to ensure they can be FAST REFRESHed. As tools, the DBMS_MVIEW.explain_mview procedure and the MV_CAPABILITIES_TABLE are used. In this particular case, refresh time was reduced from more than 14 hours to less than 2!

Creating Custom Aggregate Functions in C/ C++

The aim of this article is to describe the process of creating a user-defined aggregate function. Oracle 9i was used to prepare and test the function; some parts of the code may not work with Oracle versions older than 9i. This article gathers information that is needed to write the aggregate function in one place, and presents a clear step-by-step descripion of the process.

Reverse engineering object DDL and finding object dependencies

Shouvik Basu's picture

If there is a task in Oracle for which the wheel has been reinvented many times, it is that of generating database object DDL. There are numerous scripts floating in different forums doing the same thing. Some of them work great, while others work only until a specific version. Sometimes the DBAs prefer to create the scripts themselves. Apart from the testing overhead, these scripts require substantial insight into the data dictionary. As new versions of the database are released, the scripts need to be modified to fit the new requirements.

Starting from Oracle 9i Release 1, the DBMS_METADATA package has put an official end to all such scripting effort. This article provides a tour of the reverse engineering features of the above package, with a focus on generating the creation DDL of existing database objects. The article also has a section covering the issue of finding object dependencies.

Monitoring Open and Cached Cursors

Natalka Roshak's picture

Just about every DBA has had to deal with ora-1000 errors, "Maximum open cursors exceeded." This article will discuss initialization parameters that affect open cursors, the difference between open and cached cursors, closing cursors, and monitoring open and cached cursors.

Are you secure? Securing the Oracle Network

Steven Karam's picture

Last month we talked about basic Oracle security, and set out principles for a top notch secure system. These included passwords, the principle of least privilege, and roles.

This month we journey into the fascinating world of Oracle Network Security. The topics covered will not involve the Oracle Advanced Security option: it's too big to cover here, and it is an added expense that many companies do not want. Instead, we will go over basic network security that can be implemented by anyone who uses Oracle. It is built in and so is already part of your system.