PDB Logging Clause : What you give with one hand, you take away with the other…

The Oracle 12c 12.1.0.2 release came with a bit of functionality called the PDB Logging Clause. Or to put it another way, it didn’t because the feature just didn’t work. I raised an SR highlighting the issue.

The PDB logging clause is meant to allow you to define a default logging clause for the whole PDB. If a tablespace is created in the PDB without an explicit logging clause, the current PDB logging clause setting should be used.

It was listed as a new feature in 12.1.0.2, but like I said, it just didn’t work. You could alter the PDB logging clause setting, but the CREATE TABLESPACE command seemed oblivious to this setting…

I wrote an article about the feature, with a big note about it not working, because it confused the hell out of me when I was looking at it and I saw a bunch of other blogs talking about the feature, without mentioning it was actually broken. I figured it might be worth setting the record straight for any confused parties out there.

Today (6 months later) I got an update to the SR telling me the issue had been fixed by patch 18902135. I downloaded the patch and applied it to a test instance. At first it looked like it was working, but it has introduced a new problem. Once patched the functionality does the following.

  • If the PDB logging clause is set to NOLOGGING, any new tablespaces created without an explicit logging clause are created as NOLOGGING. That sounds like a step in the right direction! It didn’t do this before the patch was applied. :)
  • Unfortunately, you *can’t* override this by explicitly specifying the logging clause in the CREATE TABLESPACE command.

The docs are quite clear about how it should work.

“The specified attribute is used to establish the logging attribute of tablespaces created within the PDB if the logging_clause is not specified in the CREATE TABLESPACE statement.”

Fortunately, there is a workaround, which is to assume the feature doesn’t exist and keep doing things the way you always have. That is, manually define tablespaces as NOLOGGING when you need them.

I’ve added the problems associated with the current “bug fix” to my SR and this has been referred back to development. Let’s see how long the fix for this takes… :)

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle Midlands Event #8 : Summary

Last night was Oracle Midlands Event #8 sponsored by Redgate.

There was a problem with the projector, but fortunately there were a couple of large TV screens, so it didn’t have to be a complete no-slide zone. Neither of the talks relied on displaying lots of code, so I don’t think this caused a big problem.

First up was Chris Saxon speaking about Edition-Based Redefinition. I’ve done talks on this subject, so I was interested to see how Chris approached it. The talk started with an explanation of the problems associated with deploying new versions of PL/SQL code to production, then moved on to possible solutions available prior to 11gR2. Once that ground work had been established, he moved on to explain how EBR can be used to make the process more robust, focussing on some specific pieces of the EBR functionality. I preferred his approach to the subject than my own, so I was taking a bunch of notes about his presentation style. There is always something to learn. I thought it was a really good session and Chris handled the subject (and the projector issue) really well. His recent move to Steven Feuerstein’s advocacy/evangelist team at Oracle means I should get to see him speaking some more in the future, which will be cool.

After the food break, it was my session on “Pluggable Databases – What they will break and why you should use them anyway!” It was the first time I’ve done this session in front of a crowd, which is always a bit nervy. It seemed to go down pretty well. Here is the feedback from those who filled in the evaluations.

  • “Good presentation”
  • “Good presentation, dynamic material & delivery”
  • “A lot of content, probably requires a part 2″
  • “Scary!!!”
  • “Good information and entertaining delivery style”
  • “Excellent – superb topic & presentation skills”
  • “Very good talk. Much information gained”
  • “Brilliant & scary!”
  • “Informative, passionate & useful”
  • “Brilliant”
  • “Really good insight/information. Real world understanding which makes a real difference. As always brilliant!”
  • “Not bad for a beginner”
  • “Really enjoyed & challenging subject matter”
  • “Fantastic!”
  • “Good”

The, “Not bad for a beginner”, comment made me LOL when I read it. There are a couple of people I’m putting in the frame for that one. :)

It wasn’t my intention to make the Mulitenant option seem really scary. I thought I was doing a sales pitch for it, not scaring people off. Maybe I need to re-frame things a little… :)

Thanks to Mike for getting the event sorted and thanks to Redgate for the sponsorship. Thanks to Chris for coming along. Hopefully we can get him back again in the future. Big thanks to everyone who turned up to the event last night. Let’s keep this train rolling!

Cheers

Tim…

VirtualBox 4.3.24

VirtualBox 4.3.24 has been released. Downloads and changelog are in the usual places.

Regarding the upgrades:

  • Fedora 21 : No problems.
  • Mac OS X Yosemite : No problems.
  • Windows 7 : I had to use the task manager to kill the “VBoxNetDHCP.exe” and “VBoxSVC.exe” processes from the current installation before the upgrade could continue. Once those were killed, it installed and worked fine.

Happy upgrading!

Cheers

Tim…

The Definition of Success

After reading yet another article alluding to the death of Google+, I’m left pondering the subjective definition of success.

Success : the accomplishment of one’s goals.

Based on that definition, then Google totally failed. I’m sure their aim was to supplant Facebook as the “time-wasting app of choice”, which they’ve certainly not done.

Success : a person or thing that is successful

There are active communities on Google+, with a significantly smaller signal-to-noise ratio compared to the Facebook equivalent. I’m sure the members of those communities will consider Google+ a success.

Rating your own success is also subjective. After nearly three years in my currently role, some would describe my achievements as considerable. By my own estimates, it feels like I’ve achieved very little. It is nice to be praised for work you are proud of, but very hard to accept praise for work that falls beneath the standards or productivity level you expect from yourself.

I’m lucky enough to go round the world giving people advice about how they should be using Oracle products, but the downside of this is you sometimes look at what you are doing at work and ask yourself, “What the hell would people think if they saw this shit?”

I always try to work on the basis I want things to be as simple and clear as possible, so that if I left the company the person that followed me would sit back and think, “Wow. The boy done good!” Unfortunately, a liberal dose of reality and questionable management decisions means you are often left polishing a turd!

As you’ve probably guessed, I’m on a bit of a downer at the moment. I know I’m pretty good at what I do and I get a kick out of the level of productivity I’m capable of, when I’m not being held back. The counter to that is I hate feeling ordinary, which is exactly how I feel today as I plod along at a snails pace, polishing that turd for all it’s worth. It’s totally an ego thing and I need to get over myself, but there it is…

Cheers

Tim… (A decidedly ordinary person doing decidedly ordinary things in Birmingham)

Cloud Storage Pricing for Home Use

I’ve just done a quick survey of cloud storage pricing for some of the popular providers. Times have certainly changed since I last looked at this. Depending on what you are looking for, each service has its own sweet spot, so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. All the prices are in GBP for a whole year based on today’s exchange rate and rounded up to the nearest pound. Check the pricing in your region, as this stuff varies, as does service availability by region. :)

Provider            Free          100G        1TB       10TB      Unlimited

Google Drive        15G           £16         £78
MS One Drive        15G           £24         £80*
DropBox              2G                       £79
Box                 10G           £84                             £132
Amazon Cloud Drive   5G           £32         £325
Hubic**             25G           £ 9                   £87

* Price based on buying an Office 365 license for a whole year, which comes with 1TB space.
** Thanks to Eric Grancher for pointing out this service.

Things of note.

  • If you just want a straight 1TB of space, then Google Drive comes out ahead.
  • If you are just paying for space, One Drive is way more expensive than Google Drive, but the Office 365 deal makes it look appealing.
  • If you think you need more than 1TB, then Box looks very interesting! Of course, you need to check what they mean by “unlimited”. :)
  • The Hubic prices are amazing! For the 10TB service your data is stored in 3 data centres in France.
  • Microsoft are rolling out unlimited storage for some US customers, but this is not available for me, so I’ve not included it.

As with everything, you have to check the T&Cs for fair use policies, maximum file sizes, bandwidth throttling, data jurisdiction etc.

Cheers

Tim…

Update: Someone tweeted this Top 5 comparison.

Birmingham City University (BCU) Talk

Last year I spoke at the UKOUG Next Gen event at Birmingham City University (BCU). One of the lecturers, Stuart Hutchison, from BCU saw me speaking and asked if I was interested in coming to speak to the students about Oracle. He’s trying to get a handful of external speakers to come in during the year and speak on a range of subjects to give the students a feel for what’s going on out in the world. Life was pretty hectic towards the end of last year so it took quite a while to actually get something sorted out. On Monday I went to BCU and did my first talk to the students.

I was quite nervous in the lead up to the session. I’m used to a dealing with an Oracle technology crowd, but I didn’t really know what to expect from the students. I spent some time talking to Stuart to try and get a feel for what he wanted. He sent me some of their Oracle course material and labs, which helped me to pitch my stuff at the right level and stopped me treading on his toes. :) The students are currently in the middle of an Oracle security module, so I spoke about SQL injection, data redaction and transparent data encryption (TDE). The idea was to touch on a few subjects and leave plenty of time for questions.

I think it went pretty well, but I’ve got some room for improvement. :) Despite it being an Oracle talk, it is quite a different crowd, which needs a different approach. I’ll be going back in about a month to do another session before the exam season kicks off, so that should give me some time to work on my approach a bit.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to do some of these sessions every year. I’m interested to see how this helps me develop as a speaker. Let’s see how it goes. :)

Cheers

Tim…

Sharknado and Sharknado 2

I watched Sharknado a few months ago and it was brilliant. I have this nagging doubt that they were serious when they were filming it, which only adds to the quality of what they produced. There are great movies, good movies, bad movies and movies that are so bad they come full circle and become great. Sharknado is in the later category.

I recently watched Sharknado 2 : The Second One on Netflix and it it really good! I mean properly good. It’s like they’ve almost made a parody of the first film. It’s just bigger, more outrageous and better.

Sharknado 3 is due out in July in the US. I hope they get it on Netflix pretty sharpish, because I really want to see it.

Cheers

Tim…

Fifty Shades of Grey

The wife was in town last night and decided we should see Fifty Shades of Grey. Despite having only seen each other about 4 times (including yesterday) since we got married on the boat at OUGN2014, I like to think this is not an indicator that our relationship is on the rocks…

OMG. What a terrible film!

I’ve not read the books, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. The following contains spoilers (assuming you can spoil something that is complete toilet in the first place) and some rude words. Those of a sensitive nature should not read on. You have been warned.

  • Anastasia Steel (AS) : Hi. I’m rather vacuous with low self esteem, but I’ve come to interview you because my slutty mate is ill. I would just like to say, despite being obviously attractive, I feel very dowdy and “girl next door” compared to all the supermodels you have working here.
  • Christian Grey (CG) : Wow. Despite me being a billionaire and you looking very ordinary compared to my supermodel employees, I find your vacuousness and obvious low self esteem incredibly attractive, not because I believe I can manipulate you into being my submissive or anything crazy like that.
  • Fast forward about 1 hour where nothing really happens. We see CG’s brother who is nothing like him.
  • CG : Please sign a non-disclosure agreement.
  • AS : I am relatively OK with that.
  • CG : Come and look at my playroom/dungeon. Admire all my torture devices.
  • AS : Gosh! That’s a little weird! Oh, by the way I’m a virgin who is just about to graduate from college.
  • CG : Let’s rectify that. Bish, bash, bosh, you’re not a virgin anymore.
  • Fast forward past several scenes where CG manipulates AS into believing his playroom is basically for tickling girls before having sex with them, because that’s what S&M is!
  • CG : I want to you sign a contract to become my official submissive. It’s just got a few silly rules that we will both abide by. By the way, am I allowed to perform anal and vaginal fisting on you? (WTF? A few minutes ago she was a virgin and now you are asking her that?)
  • AS : Oh. Now let me think…
  • Fast forward a bit. Meet CG’s family. His sister is Rita Ora. Is this really a normal family or am I starting to believe the kids are all adopted?
  • AS : I don’t know if I can go through with this because you are emotionally detached, but you are a bit dreamy and a billionaire. Like all stereotypical female characters, I believe I can change you into the man of my dreams. All I have to do I let you beat the crap out of me for a while until I win you over.
  • CG : Look, I’m a weirdo and get off on torturing women. That’s not going to change. When you’re asleep I’ll tell you a little about my childhood and subsequent adoption to try and justify my actions, not that you’ll know about it of course. (Wow. I totally understand why it is OK for you to torture women now… NOT!)
  • AS : Blah, blah, blah. I can’t make up my mind if I want to go through with this submissive thing. It sounds like fun in a horribly painful way and all that, but I just can’t decide. The only way I will be able to decide is if you do the worst thing you possibly can to me and I’ll see how I feel about it. Yeah. That seems like the obvious way forward for us!
  • CG : Awesome. Despite the massive array of torture implements I’ve got, the worst thing I can do is hit you with a belt 6 times. (Admittedly, this is bad, but the worst thing he can do? I don’t think so!)
  • AS : I didn’t like that. Now I’m mildly less vacuous and being beaten has somehow raised my self esteem, I’ve decided I don’t want to do this. Goodbye.
  • The End!

It’s basically Twilight for adults, but worse. OMG, did I really just say something was worse than Twilight?

For the first hour the acting was painfully bad. It was like some mix between Twilight and a “made for TV” movie. Just shocking. Later in the film, as Anastasia developed a bit of backbone, her performance got quite good, which leads me to believe she’s a pretty good actress, assuming there is something worth acting…

There are so many bad stereotypes and cliches in this movie.

Despite the terrible film it was a fun evening. Debra once described a “horror film” she had seen to me. I later found out this “horror film” was Conan the Barbarian. If someone sneezes or twists their ankle in a film, it is essentially a horror film as far as she’s concerned. There were a couple of scenes in this film that made her jump, which was hilarious.

Added to that, some of the dialog was so bad it had me laughing out loud. I don’t believe it was meant to be funny, but it was so stupid I couldn’t help myself.

Please don’t go and see this film!

Cheers

Tim…