Oracle FAQ Your Portal to the Oracle Knowledge Grid

Home -> Community -> Mailing Lists -> Oracle-L -> Re: My 10 Commandments of Database Administration...

Re: My 10 Commandments of Database Administration...

From: Mark Richard <>
Date: Thu, 23 Sep 2004 13:46:02 +1000
Message-ID: <>


If you don't mind me asking...

What value do you use to imply "this record does not have an end date yet - it is current". Do you insist on an additional attribute? Use a particularly large date? I would have thought that from a design point of view a NULL end date would mean "we have no idea when this record will be end dated" and my main reason in the past for avoiding this related to indexing (rightly, or wrongly - let's not enter that debate right now).

I guess a lot of people have the idea that a record which has started to be effective, but has not ended (and has no planned end date) is best described by leaving end date null since the record has no known end date. I'm genuinely interested to hear your opinion on this because it's a discussion I've entered on more than one occaision?



                      "Nuno Pinto do                                                                                                   
                      Souto"                    To:       <>                                                     
                      <        cc:                                                                                    
            >                     Subject:  Re: My 10 Commandments of Database Administration...                         
                      Sent by:                                                                                                         
                      23/09/2004 10:40                                                                                                 
                      Please respond to                                                                                                

Quoting from AUTHOR ryan gaffuri:
> 11. Thou shalt feed me if I have to work late to fix something you
> broke.
> I'm a single guy...

Nuno's design corollary #1:

Thou shall not use end_date = NULL to mean "current row" of ANYTHING! NULL has NO MEANING whatsoever: it does NOT mean "current"!

Under penalty of having to cook for Nuno (and I'm a heavy bloke)...


Privileged/Confidential information may be contained in this message.
If you are not the addressee indicated in this message (or responsible for delivery of the message to such person), you may not copy or deliver this message to anyone.
In such a case, you should destroy this message and kindly notify the sender by reply e-mail or by telephone on (03) 9612-6999 or (61) 3 9612-6999.
Please advise immediately if you or your employer does not consent to Internet e-mail for messages of this kind.
Opinions, conclusions and other information in this message that do not relate to the official business of Transurban Infrastructure Developments Limited and CityLink Melbourne Limited shall be understood as neither given nor endorsed by them.

Received on Wed Sep 22 2004 - 22:43:51 CDT

Original text of this message