Riga Dev Day 2015 : The Journey Begins

My first flight was 06:20, so I had to leave the house at 04:00, which meant getting up at about 03:00. Yuck!

The first flight was about 90 minutes from Birmingham to Frankfurt, with the smoothest landing I can ever remember in a plane the size of an A320. I was meant to have a 65 minute changeover before the flight from Frankfurt to Riga. A one hour changeover at Frankfurt is too short, but the alternative was to wait for about 6 hours. As soon as I got off the plane I did a quick march to the departure gate and arrived just as boarding was meant to start. The following plane was late getting in, so I got a 10 minute break before getting on the plane. The flight to Riga was pretty straight forward, taking a bit under 2 hours. Both planes had lots of empty seats, so I was able to get my laptop out and have a play.

At 16:00 we had a tour of the old town. It started with a quick bus tour and then we walked through some of the old town, with a tour guide telling us about a few of the key places. I really like the look of Riga. I took a few photos, which will be available here when I get to upload them.

From the tour, we went out to dinner, where we met up with some of the people who arrived too late to make the tour. This is a multi-discipline conference, so it was really cool speaking to people from different backgrounds, which helps you see how your pieces fit into the bigger picture…

From dinner it was back to the hotel and bed. It was a really long day, so I was desperate to get to bed. The conference starts tomorrow…

Cheers

Tim…

Riga Dev Day and Oracle Midlands Event #7

There are a couple of things on the radar for the coming week and unfortunately for me they are both on the same day.

In Birmingham, UK it is Oracle Midlands Event #7 (OM7) on Thursday 22nd of January. This will be the first Oracle Midlands event I’ve missed since it started. I’m a big fan of what Mike is doing with Oracle Midlands and I appreciate the sponsorship from Redgate that means it is a free event. Please remember to get off your post-Christmas asses and attend the event. It will only keep happening if you make the effort to turn up! So far the attendance and been good, but it only takes a couple of events with small numbers to let it fizzle out an die. Please keep showing your support!

On the same day it is Riga Dev Day 2015 in Latvia. It will be my first time in Latvia, so that will be fun. I think the daughter (Hell-Squirrel) has been before, so she’ll be able to look after me. :)

Cheers

Tim…

Cloud Control : 12.1.0.7 Plugin Patch

I applied some of the 12.1.0.7 plugin patches to our Cloud Control installation today. We already have Cloud Control 12.1.0.4 installed, so this was just a case of updating the plugins.

Here’s a quick overview of what I did.

  • Backup up everything! Database and file system.
  • Setup > Extensibility > Self Update
  • Download the latest versions of the plugins. The minimum you can really get away with is “Oracle Database 12.1.0.7″,  “Oracle Cloud Framework 12.1.0.2″ and “Oracle Fusion Middleware 12.1.0.7″. The Cloud Framework plugin is a dependency for the FWM plugin. Obviously, grab the extra plugins if you need them…
  • Setup > Extensibility > Plugins
  • Do a “Deploy On > Management Server” for the plugins you’ve downloaded. These require OMS downtime, so you will be monitoring progress using “./emctl status oms -details” from the “$OMS_HOME/bin” directory.
  • Wait until it is all running again.
  • Do a “Deploy On > Management Agent” for the DB and FMW plugins on just the cloud control server. I wanted to know it was all fine on this server before pushing out the updates to the agents on the monitored hosts.
  • Convince yourself nothing weird is happening.
  • Do a “Deploy On > Management Agent” for the DB plugin on any monitored database severs. Where possible I did Dev environments in one pass. Test environments in a second pass, then Prod environments.
  • Do a “Deploy On > Management Agent” for the FMW plugin on any monitored WebLogic severs. Once again, Dev, Test, Prod.

The plugin deploys to the OMS are a bit slow, but the deploys to the agents are pretty quick. Numbers will vary depending on your kit.

I much prefer the plugin patches to the main Cloud Control OMS and Agent patches as we (the DBAs) don’t have root or sudo access on the servers, so when we do the full-on patches we end up swamping the sysadmins with requests to run “root.sh” scripts. We don’t have to do that for the plugin patches.

Cheers

Tim…

Flashback Data Archive Enhancements in Oracle Database 12c

Having played around with Flashback Data Archive in 11g, I figured I would get through the 12c enhancements pretty quickly. I didn’t account for the fact I’m a donkey and can’t see the wood for the trees. Luckily, I know some people who aren’t stupid and they gave me a nudge in the right direction, allowing me to spot my silly mistake. Thanks Bjoern and Connor:)

So after lots of wasted time, here is the article.

For the most part, it’s an evolution, but the new bits are pretty darn cool. I guess a lot of people will focus on two main things:

  • It is now a free feature, provided you don’t use compression, available in all versions. The change to use no compression by default has been back-ported to 11.2.0.4, so it’s free there too, which is nice!
  • The contents of contexts can now be stored in the flashback archive, so you can have access to the USERENV and custom context values that were set in the session when the DML was processed. This makes it possible to replace all those crappy old audit triggers with FDA!

There’s some other stuff in there that’s kind-of nice too. I think it’s worth checking it out, especially at its new price. :)

Cheers

Tim…

 

Adaptive Query Optimization in Oracle Database 12c

Over the holiday period I finally decided to tackle the Adaptive Query Optimization stuff in Oracle 12c, which resulted in these articles.

Adaptive Query Optimization is really a collection of different features, hence the links page to bring them all together. Some of the features are just renamed and slightly modified versions of stuff from previous releases. Other bits are totally new. I’ve sat through a number of talks about this stuff over the last few years and the sound-bites make it seem quite obvious and straight forward. That’s because the individual pieces, for the most part, are quite straight forward. The trouble comes when they all start to interact, at which point things can get quite confusing. While I was doing the demos for the features, I had to chop and change quite a bit. Sometimes things didn’t happen when I thought they should. Other times things did happen when I thought they shouldn’t. I think much of it was down to my misunderstanding, but that just goes to show how tricky some of this can be… That’s without adaptive cursor sharing and SQL plan management thrown into the mix…

As I keep saying, these articles will probably get revised over time as I get a better understanding of this stuff. I have a feeling I won’t really get to grips with it until we are live on 12c for a number of projects and people start throwing real situations at me to investigate.

Cheers

Tim…

 

“a SQL” or “an SQL”?

This is an age old question and of course the answer depends on how you say “SQL”.

  • … a Structured Query Language statement…
  • … a Sequel statement…
  • … an Es Queue El statement… (I say it this way)

Different people say it different ways. Most of the time I don’t notice, but I just read something by another writer and kept seeing “a SQL …” and it was freaking me out. Then I realised I always write “an SQL …”, which reads “an sequel …” to some people, which sounds really stupid. :)

According to the Oracle docs it is sequel, so “a SQL …” is the correct way.

“SQL (pronounced sequel) is the set-based, high-level declarative computer language…”

The MySQL docs go the other route.

“The official way to pronounce MySQL is My Ess Que Ell (not my sequel), but we do not mind if you pronounce it as my sequel or in some other localized way.”

According to Wikipedia, it doesn’t matter either way.

“The original standard declared that the official pronunciation for “SQL” was an initialism: /ˈɛs kjuː ˈɛl/ (“es queue el”).[11] Regardless, many English-speaking database professionals (including Donald Chamberlin himself[37]) use the acronym-like pronunciation of /ˈskwəl/ (“sequel”),[38] mirroring the language’s pre-release development name of “SEQUEL”

If one of the designers can’t make his mind up, what hope to we have? :)

Anyway, when you are reading my stuff and you see “an SQL …” everywhere, it’s correct for the way I say SQL. :)

Cheers

Tim…

PS. All the other typos are just plain typos because I’m practically illiterate. :)

PPS. PL/SQL is a lot simpler as it is “a PL/SQL …” regardless of how you say it. :)

Update: The general consensus from comments, twitter and emails seems to be:

  • When you write it, it should be “a SQL …”, regardless of how you say it. Taking me back to school, Paul Steffensen said, “if it starts with a vowel it’s an, otherwise it’s a”. In my reply, I mentioned that “an Es Queue El …” does start with a vowel. :) That being said, “a SQL …” goes with the basic written language, the sequel version and the full wording of the acronym, so it fits more of the cases.
  • If, like me, you say “Es Queue Ell”, you should probably say “an Es Queue Ell” when speaking, but still write it “a SQL …”
  • Andrew Taylor said, “just to be on the safe side I say *some* SQL.” Pure genius!
  • In many cases, you can probably reword the statement so the “a” is not necessary. This feels like a cop out, but it might be what I end up doing. :)

MobaXterm 7.4

MobaXterm 7.4 was released today. The downloads and changelog are in the usual place.

This release has a bunch of upgrades of the core components, bug fixes and support for Windows 10 Technical Preview.

Happy upgrading!

Cheers

Tim…

The Black Hole

I was re-watching Who’s Afraid of the Big Black Hole on YouTube and I got all nostalgic about the 1979 film The Black Hole. A couple of clicks on Google Play and I bought and watched it. Flippin’ awesome!

Considering this is 35 years old, it’s stood the test of time pretty well. There are certainly a few dodgy effects on show, but most of the film looks fine. This is post-Start Wars after all. There are some scenes where people can seemingly survive in space without spacesuits, but even that could be explained away based on the tech used by the main ship I guess. :)

We definitely need more space-based Sci Fi. Can I have Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and a new FireFly series please?

Cheers

Tim…

 

The Hobbit : The Battle of the Five Armies

I’ve just got back from watching The Hobbit : The Battle of the Five Armies.

I didn’t see the previous film at the cinema because I couldn’t be bothered. I watched it on a plane some time later. When my friends texted me to ask if I wanted to see this film I started to reply no, then remembered it’s ages since I got to watch a film at the cinema with friends (I usually go on my own), so I said yes…

Spoilers below. Don’t read anymore if you care.

Basically, this feels like a montage of clips from the previous two films with some bits of L.O.T.R footage thrown in for good measure. I’m so sick of seeing a handful of people defeat an army of bigger, stronger, faster and more well armed people (orcs). I can get my head around elves being much faster and more agile. I can kind-of get my head around dwarves being solid and stronger than they look. I can’t deal with humans being able to brute-force block an attack by a giant troll because … physics!

When I see scenes of walking I think, “Not more friggin’ walking!”. When “the eagles” inevitably came I couldn’t help myself from exclaiming, “Oh for f*cks sake!” The two trilogies could have been condensed into two episodes of, “There’s a nasty thing we don’t like. Let’s send the eagles to solve our problems for us!”

As you’ve probably guessed by now, I was not very impressed with the film. This Hobbit trilogy should have been a single film. Two at the most. Making this into three films embodies everything I hate about the film industry! It was just filler shot after filler shot. Peter Jackson needs to get his head out of his ass and learn to make a film with some decent pacing.

I’ve come close to giving this a “toilet rating”, which has been reserved for Twilight films up until now…

In order to end on a positive note…

  • Benedict Cumberbatch voices were good.
  • Lee Pace looks so beautifully sinister as Thranduil. They could have made more of his part, rather than adding in Legolas in a ham-fisted attempt to appeal to the fans of the L.O.T.R. trilogy.
  • A couple of minutes of Cate Blanchett is always welcome.

Cheers

Tim…

PS. Like the other L.O.T.R. and Hobbit films, I think this is probably quite good to watch when you are sitting with a group from friends chatting and only paying it half your attention. I’m sure I’ll end up buying the DVD for this very purpose…

PPS. My friends liked it.

PPPS. It’s about 13 years since the L.O.T.R. was made, so I guess it’s about time for the Hollywood reboot of the series…

Happy Christmas from oracle-base.com

Happy Christmas to everyone out there, whether they observe the whole Christmas thing or not.

I often take a look at the website stats on occasions like this to see who is hanging about and this is what I can see at 08:00 UK time on Christmas day morning…
ChristmasMorningStats

What’s top of the list as far as content is concerned? Well that will be Data Pump of course! :)

Have a good day everyone and I hope 2015 is even better for you than 2014 was!

Cheers

Tim…

PS. FYI this is just a real-time snapshot of the people who were active as I checked. :)