APEX 5.0 Rollout

apexLast month there was a frenzy of activity when APEX 5.0 was released. I had been having a dabble with the Early Adopter for a while, but I felt the need to do a local install.

The only slight issue I had was with static files and that was down to me not RTFMing properly. :) Patrick Wolf wrote about this issue recently here.

Having not had any problems while I was playing with APEX 5.0, I started the task of upgrading all the installations at work. We don’t do any major development, just basic CRUD screens and interactive reports, so it wasn’t too high profile a task. Anyway, the upgrades went smoothly and everything is running on APEX 5.0 now. Happy days! :)

Of course, if you are doing some complicated stuff that is pivotal to your business, you probably need to be a bit more meticulous about your planning and testing than I was, but it’s pretty good news that of the 20+ installations, none had any upgrade problems. :)

I’ve played around with ORDS 3.0 before the GA release.

We currently use the Oracle HTTP Server to front our stuff for historic reasons. I guess the next move will be to implement ORDS, but I’m not sure when that will happen…

Cheers

Tim…

 

UKOUG Systems Event 2015

ukougI have a bone to pick with UKOUG. I’m coming from Birmingham and I’m a lazy git, so why the heck am I on in the first slot? :) It was a 04:30 start to the day, for a train journey starting at 05:50. I could have got a later train, but it would have been busier and more importantly, more expensive… After putting the latest of my writing tips posts live and lying in the bath (sorry for the bad mental image) for a while psyching myself up for the day, it was a quick taxi ride to the station, then on to the train. The train was reasonably busy, but I had reserved a seat with a table and power socket, so I was able to use the time to write up a blog post about yesterday’s Oracle Midlands Event #9 and to do some last minute run throughs of my talk.

Since I was up in the first slot I missed the opening greeting to set up. The event was very Exadata-heavy and I was doing a virtualization talk, so I wasn’t really expecting anyone to come, but I had a pretty good crowd, which was nice. Many of the people in the room were already working with virtualization, some as users of the services, others as administrators. I don’t think there would be a lot that was particularly new to this audience, but I’m hoping they found at least something useful in there. After the session, I stood outside the room chatting to one of the guys about the issues he was currently going throught relating to Oracle licenses on VMware. It can be difficult, especially when there seem to be a lot of people out there actively trying to throw a you bum steer. My statement on this  matter is always, only ever deal with Oracle Licensing Management Services directly, not sales people, which working this stuff out and make sure you have everything down on paper before you start!

I only managed to catch the tail end of “Oracle Exadata Meets Elastic Configurations” by Svetoslav Gyurov so I will have to assume it was totally awesome! I love you Sve! :)

redstacktechDuring the session changeover, I got to speak to some of the folks on the Red Stack Technology booth. I popped by to say thank you for taking over the sponsorship of the Oracle Midlands events. They were also a sponsor of the UKOUG Systems Event itself, so a double thank you was in order. :)

Next up was “Oracle Exadata & Database Memory” by Frits Hoogland. Exadata is “posh-RAC”. Lots of stuff about RAC databases are also common to singe instance Oracle databases. As a result, this sesison was actually relevant to single instance, RAC and Exadata. Frits is one of those deep-dive guys, but the session had enough top-level and deep-dive content to appeal to all tastes. I really enjoyed it.

Next up was Roger MacNicol speaking about “Oracle Big Data SQL”. I had seen a bunch of this information last year at Oracle OpenWorld, but it also included some architectural information that was new to me. I was unaware of the architectural similarities between implementing smart scans in Exadata storage cells and getting Oracle to talk to Hive and HDFS. Very interesting!

I went to see “Migrating To Exadata The Easy Way” by Martin Bach because I wanted to watch him present. I don’t see working on Exadata in my future, so that aspect of the talk was not my focus. As with Frits’ session earlier, most of the content was relevant to Non-Exadata and Non-RAC environments too, so there was something for everyone here. Migration to new hardware and operating systems, no matter what the kit, comes with a similar set of issues and constraints. It also sparked some interesting discussions after the session, which meant I missed Jason Arneil‘s session on “Engineering DBaaS At Large Scale”. :( Hopefully I’ll get to see that at UKOUG Tech15?

There was a panel session at end the day. It is fatal to ask me to get involved in these things as I have an opinion on everything and find it impossible to keep my gob shut! I did warn them! :)

I spent much of the social event talking to @DBASushi about Enterprise Manager Cloud Control. I made some comments about Cloud Control in the panel session, which he wanted me to clarify. I’ve said before, I think all organisations should use Cloud Control, but there are some things about it I find infuriating, totally unintuitive and bloaty. During the discussion it became aparrent that some of my issues are because I need to RTFM a bit, but others are (in my opinion) problems with the user experience (UX) of the product. No offence to anyone involved, but some parts feel beautifully crafted, while other parts feel slapped together.

From there is was a quick goodbye, then off to Euston to catch my train home. Once again, a reserved seat with a table and power socket. Happy days!

Thanks to UKOUG for letting me come out to play, as well as all the attendees, presenters and UKOUG staff I talked to. Also thanks to the Oracle ACE Program for continuing to let me fly the flag.

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle Midlands : Event #9

oracle-midlandsThe traffic on the way to Oracle Midlands Event #9 was a complete nightmare! There are a bunch of roadworks around the city that are making the traffic movement really problematic at the moment. Added to that, the always slow M6 was causing tailbacks along the Aston Express Way into the city. The traffic islands were all blocked, with people blocking exits and jumping red lights in a desperate attempt to get on them. Fortunately I started in plenty of time so I arrived with a few minutes to spare. Phew!

First up was Joel Goodman speaking about “Oracle Distributed Transactions”. This was actually quite a scary talk because it showed me both how much I don’t know and how much I’ve forgotten over the years. I’m getting old! There were a few raised eyebrows when he discussed the automatic and manual recovery of in-doubt transactions. I think a few people will be reviewing their recovery procedures. :) Joel is always good value as a presenter and as a walking Oracle encyclopedia!

The break, which included samosas and a prize draw, gave me the opportunity to chat to a few people, including @Kelloggs_ville. We had spoken at the start of the event, but in true Tim Hall style, I hadn’t made the connection between the real person and the Twitter picture. :) Don Stieler knows my skills in this respect. :)

Next up was Richard Harrison, a regular Oracle Midlands attendee and a previous “Lightning Talk” speaker. His session was on “Data Pump Tips & Tricks”. This talk really highlights to me the value of watching sessions on stuff you already know. Everyone has a different experience of the Oracle product set. Everyone has had to try and solve different problems using it. As a result, everyone is capable of putting a unique spin on the subject. I came away with a bunch of stuff I hadn’t considered before, which I will probably go back and retro-fit into some of my articles. Judging by the number of people scribbling away, I think other people were of a similar mind. :) Richard’s session was predominantly demo-based, a man after my own heart. :) I think this was Richard’s first full-length presentation and I’m hoping this will be the first of many!

I’m really getting a kick out of seeing how Oracle Midlands develops. Mike has done a truly amazing job of lining up great speakers and I feel like the group of attendees are bonding more with each event. I came away from the event feeling really hyper and enthusiastic about Oracle. It’s good to be reminded how much more there is to learn and to feel connected to other Oracle geeks. :)

Mike’s already got the speakers for the next couple of events lined up. The next one is by some new kid on the block called Jonathan Lewis. :) The one after is by Christian Antognini. Amazing!
redstacktechBig thanks to Mike for keeping this train rolling. Thanks to everyone who keeps turning up and showing their support. This stuff can only happen if you keep coming! Thanks to the speakers for taking the time out to come and educate us. Big thanks also to Red Stack Technology (my new favourite company :) ) for sponsoring the event, so it can remain free! I’ll be seeing some of you folks at the UKOUG Systems Event later today! :)

See you soon!

Cheers

Tim…

Roll up! Roll up! This week’s events!

Here’s a quick reminder of a couple of events happening this week.

On Tuesday evening it’s Oracle Midlands Event #9 in Birmingham. First up is Joel Goodman, who is practically a walking Oracle Encyclopaedia, speaking about “Oracle Distributed Transactions”. Next up is Richard Harrison, a regular Oracle Midlands attendee and returning speaker, this time presenting about “Data Pump Tips & Tricks”. It’s going to be a good evening, so please come out and show your support! It’s sponsored by Red Stack Technology, so it’s free!

On Wednesday it is the UKOUG Systems Event. I’m in the first slot, so it’s going to be an extremely early train ride for me. There is packed agenda, so I’m sure there is something for everyone involved in the systems side of things!

Hopefully I’ll get to see some of you folks at these events!

Cheers

Tim…

VirtualBox 4.3.28

virtualboxI know you’ve all been thinking, “It’s about time there was a new release of VirtualBox so I can reinstall the guest additions on all my VMs!” If so, it’s your lucky day!

VirtualBox 4.3.28 was released yesterday. The changelog and downloads are in the usual places.

Version 5.0 is on Beta 3, so it probably won’t be long before you can get your upgrading fix again… :)

Cheers

Tim…

Partitioning Enhancements in Oracle Database 12c Release 1

I was planning to cover this subject in a single article, but it got a bit bulky, so I split it down into 6 little articles.

I’ve also created a links page to bring them all together.

I guess you could call it a list of nice-to-haves, rather than something revolutionary, but I’m sure someone will come back to me saying one of them has changed their life! :)

Cheers

Tim…

The Oracle ACE Program : My 9 Year Anniversary

ace-director

It was 9 years ago today I became an Oracle ACE. Yes, it was April 1st. :)

A couple of years ago I wrote an anniversary post called Should you aim to become an Oracle ACE? I think that post still reflects my feelings about the program. :)

So that’s 9 years done and I’m starting my 10th year. It’s crazy how quick times flies!

Cheers

Tim…

PS. After 9 years, I still can’t fill in an expense claim properly…

Windows 10 : It’s like totally amazing and junk…

I decided I wanted to play with the newly released Spartan browser on Windows 10. Spartan comes with Windows 10 (build 10049), which does not have an ISO download available at the moment. So instead, I downloaded the x64 ISO image of Windows 10 (build 10041) and installed it on VirtualBox.

To get build 10049 you have to switch the Windows Update settings from “Slow” to “Fast”, which gives you access to the latests builds as soon as they are available.

Windows10UpdateFast

That done, Windows Update will then download build 10049, which is pretty much a full OS download again. Once rebooted, the OS auto-installs for ages, with a few reboots, but when it is done you are left with the latest Windows 10 build.

It boots to the desktop and feels quite similar to Windows 8.1. If you are interested in the latest start menu, here it is.

Windows10StartMenu

If I’m honest, I’ve never seen the Windows 8.1 start menu live. The Windows 8 menu was so bad I installed Classic Shell on the Windows 8 machines for my family. I’ve never removed it since the 8.1 upgrade. As a result, I don’t really know if this Windows 10 start menu is new or like the 8.1 menu. I would probably stick with this menu myself, knowing that Classic Shell is always available if it pisses me off. :)

Most importantly, THIS IS SPARTA(N)!

Windows10Spartan

Not surprisingly, it’s a just a browser and any site that sticks reasonably close to the standards will work fine.

So that was the fun bit. Now I’ve got to look at what this is going to break. I’m guessing Oracle Forms isn’t going to like it. :)

Cheers

Tim…

PS. Alex – By “and junk” I was not implying it is junk. Este Uimitor!

Update: Installed Oracle Database 12c on Windows 10 without any problems. Happy days!

Windows10Oracle12c