Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 13.5

The release of Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 13.5 was officially announced last week, but I think it’s been available for download for a little longer. The first I noticed was the official announcement though. ๐Ÿ™‚

That prompted the usual flurry of articles.

As well as the articles, you can find the Vagrant builds of Cloud Control 13.5 on Ol7 and OL8 in my Vagrant GitHub repo here.

Our current installation is running on an Oracle Linux 6 VM, so I was just about to start a new build on a new OS, which would have the added bonus of allowing us to use Oracle 19c under the hood. Now I can go straight to 13.5, which is nice.

I’ve mentioned before, we use EMCLI to add targets and jobs into Cloud Control, so rather than upgrading as I normally do, this time I’ll probably do a clean build on the new kit and gradually migrate services across to it.

Happy upgrading! ๐Ÿ™‚

Cheers

Tim…

How will my content change?

I was on a call a few weeks ago and the subject of technical content came up. As someone who produces a certain type of content, I had some thoughts related to cloud services. Specifically how cloud services make my style of content less meaningful these days.

A large part of my content could be described as “traditional” DBA content. As we move more systems to the cloud, and start to use increasingly automated database services, the “traditional” DBA is becoming less relevant, and therefore a certain proportion of my content is becoming less relevant with it. We are due to get an on-prem release of Oracle database 21c soon, and I’ll certainly be doing some installation articles for that, but how many more releases after that will need installation articles? How many more releases will require traditional DBA content? At some point we’ll be using cloud-based data services, so people like me won’t be installing or patching stuff anymore. What does that mean for my content?

Of course, if I’m still working I will still be producing content. As followers of the blog know, writing stuff is part of my learning process, so every time I’m learning something new, you are likely to see some articles appear on that subject. The issue is, if the traditional DBA content stops being necessary, or I’m just not doing DBA work anymore, what sort of content will I be producing?

The short answer is I don’t really know. I don’t think any DBA knows what they will be doing in five years. I suspect I will be some form of developer, but I don’t really know what type of developer. I would imagine it would be data-related, but who knows…

If this post raises any questions in your mind, I’m afraid I’m not the person to answer them. It’s just a really odd time…

Cheers

Tim…

VirtualBox 6.1.22

Nine days after the release of VirtualBox 6.1.20 and we get VirtualBox 6.1.22. ๐Ÿ™‚

The downloads and changelog are in the usual places.

I’ve installed it on Windows 10, macOS Big Sur and Oracle Linux 7 hosts with no drama.

I’ll be recreating my Vagrant boxes to use the new version of the guest additions. Thanks heavens for Packer automation!

Cheers

Tim…

Video : UTL_COMPRESS : Compress and Uncompress Data from PL/SQL

In today’s video we’ll demonstrate how to compress and uncompress data from PL/SQL.

The video is based on this article.

The star of today’s video is Chris Saxon of AskTom fame. You can check out his YouTube channel here.

Cheers

Tim…

Working From Home : Here come the hit pieces!

At the start of lockdown there seemed to be story after story extolling the virtues of working from home. There was the odd smattering of people concerned about the mental health of workers, but most of what I saw seemed to be talking about working from home being the new normal. I was fine with that as I like working from home, but I know it doesn’t suit everyone.

Now that we in the UK are starting to ease lockdown restrictions, I see more stories about companies who are pushing to get everyone back in the office, or telling us how bad working from home is for us.

Why?

It feels like something dodgy is going on here, and here are two possible explanations.

  • Companies never really had any intentions of making working from home the new normal, but were telling us they were to try and get us into that frame of mind, so we didn’t make any waves. Now they see the “light at the end of the tunnel”, they are starting the reverse campaign, trying to convince us being in the office is best for us.
  • Companies thought working from home would work, but found out it didn’t, and want to return to the more productive state.

I know which one I think it is! Here’s a clue. The first one! I’m sure there are some companies or roles where a face to face is better, but I’m sure much of that is due to them not embracing technology and not understanding how to address their issues.

But what do people really want?

During the initial part of lockdown I often felt like a lone dissenting voice at staff briefings when I expressed my preference to work from home. Much later we did a staff survey where the vast majority of people said they would like to work at least some of the time from home. A more flexible approach to work you might say.

I think the reality is there are some people who are desperate to get back to the office, some people who are dreading it, and some people who want a mix of the two.

My own company had a very backward attitude to flexible working. It was all over the website that flexible working was a thing, but when you tried to do it there were roadblocks. There was always a “good reason” why it was a bad idea.

Over the course of lockdown there have been waves of softening and hardening of attitudes to this, but I find myself in a position where today I’m signing a petition to encourage my employer to take flexible working seriously. Several hundred other people clearly aren’t confident the current attitudes to flexible working will remain once we are out of lockdown. This despite the results of the staff survey, and numerous reports of benefits of flexible working…

So what do you want?

I want employers to understand there is a spectrum of attitudes towards working from home, and they should accommodate that. If you want to get the best out of your people, you’ve got to put them in a position to excel. Forcing undesirable working arrangements on people will result in a long term negative. Acceptance of flexible working arrangements seems the only sensible way forward to me.

But what about X?

I see so many excuses about why working from home is bad, and to be quite honest most of them are clearly bullshit.

People will be lazy and slack off. If you have no real measure of productivity, then you are a bad manager/company. If you do have a real measure of productivity, then you will know if someone is slacking off or not, and you should deal with them accordingly. I’m guessing those same people will be slacking off in the office too! Being physically present in an office is not going to make a lazy person into a productivity fiend.

It makes meetings hard. Oh FFS, there are so many ways to make meetings more efficient, the main one being don’t have so many meetings in the first place. I can’t tell you how often I’m invited to meetings with no agenda, which result in no real action points. Most of the time they could be replaced with one email saying, “This is what we plan to do. Shout up if you think that’s a bad idea or have any questions.” There is an obsession with meeting culture. For some people, their role is 90% meetings. Maybe that’s necessary for them, but it doesn’t mean it’s the same for all of us, and it doesn’t mean that we can’t cope really easily with online meetings.

What’s going to happen?

I don’t know. What I do know is after working from home for over a year, many people have a rose coloured view of working in the office. Once they start having to commute again, wasting hours of their day, wasting lots of money, and having to deal with “that annoying prick” face to face again, some will think about how things were in the good old days of lockdown…

What’s my preference?

If someone gave me the option of 100% from home or 100% from the office, I would pick 100% home. I’m not totally sure how I feel about a mix. I think it’s a bad idea and I would like to be 100% working from home, but maybe my mind would change after a little time in the office. What I do know is if my company push hard for 100% office-based work, or even a majority of time, I am not going to be happy.

I’m happy to hear other opinions, but remember your opinion is not shared by everyone. I’m expressing my opinion. I’m not assuming the world agrees with me. You are entitled to be wrong. ๐Ÿ™‚ That was a joke!

Cheers

Tim…

JSON Database and APEX Application Development on Oracle Cloud Free Tier

If you follow my Sister-in-law Maria Colgan on Twitter, you will already know the JSON Database and APEX Application Development are now available on the Oracle Cloud Free Tier. For a full list of things on the free tier, see here.

I was on a call with Oracle prior to the release of the APEX Application Development Service, and one of the points I made was it should be available on the free tier, but unfortunately that’s not what happened with the initial release. I’m glad to see that situation has been rectified pretty quickly.

When you are trying to win hearts and minds I think it’s really important to reduce the barriers to entry. These services were available on the free trial, time and credit permitting, but I don’t think the free trials last long enough for people to get a real feel for a service. Adding these to the free tier will result in a number of things.

  • More people will be able to try them and decide if these are the correct services for them.
  • People will be able to live with these services for an extended period of time, and get a true feel for them. Unless you are really well prepared, you can easily do very little with a free trial. The free tier allows you to take your time and make sure you are making the correct move.
  • The more people using the services, the more feedback Oracle will get, which will ultimately make the services better.

I’m really glad this decision has been made!

If you are new to Oracle Cloud, I have some resources that should help you get going. Sign up for the free tier.

Oracle Cloud : Free Tier Account Sign-Up

The bottom of that article has links to lots of other Oracle Cloud posts, including these links.

I’ve also got some Terraform articles, so you can learn to automate the deployment of services on Oracle Cloud, including the JSON Database and APEX Application Development services.

Have fun!

Cheers

Tim…

PS. If you’re not following Maria on Twitter, what’s wrong with you?

VirtualBox 6.1.20 & Vagrant 2.2.15

VirtualBox 6.1.20 has been released.

The downloads and changelog are in the usual locations.

While I was playing around with VirtualBox I noticed Vagrant 2.2.15 has been released. You can download it here.

I’ve installed both of those on Windows 10, macOS Big Sur and Oracle Linux 7 hosts. So far so good.

With the release of the Oracle patches I’ll be doing a lot of Vagrant and Docker builds in the coming days, so I should get to exercise this pretty well.

I’ll also do the Packer builds of my Vagrant boxes with the new versions of the guest additions. They take a while to upload, so they should appear on Vagrant Cloud in the next couple of days.

Happy upgrading!

Cheers

Tim…

Video : Rename Objects (Tables, Columns, Constraints, Indexes, Tablespaces) in Oracle Database

In today’s video we demonstrate how to rename objects in the Oracle database.

The video is based on these articles.

There is a brief mention of this too.

The star of today’s video is Jeff Smith of SQL Developer, SQLcl and ORDS fame. He’s clearly under some delusion that he’s a terminator… ๐Ÿ™‚

Cheers

Tim…

Video : DBMS_SESSION.SLEEP Replaces DBMS_LOCK.SLEEP in Oracle Database 18c

In today’s video we discuss a simple, but significant change introduced in Oracle database 18c.

The video is based on this post.

The star of today’s video is a rather giggly Joel Pรฉrez. We did more takes for this clip than you can imagine, and I still ended up using one of the first. ๐Ÿ™‚

Cheers

Tim…

The Oracle ACE Program : My 15 Year Anniversary

Just noticed itโ€™s April 1st, which means itโ€™s my 15th year anniversary of being an Oracle ACE.

As usual Iโ€™ll mention some of the other anniversaries that will happen throughout this year.

  • 26 years working with Oracle technology in August. (August 1995)
  • 21 years doing my website in July. (Original name: 03 July 2000 or current name: 31 August 2001)
  • 16 years blogging in June. (15 June 2005)
  • 15 years on the Oracle ACE Program. (01 April 2006)
  • A combined 4 years as an Oracle Developer Champion, now renamed to Oracle Groundbreaker Ambassador. (21 June 2017)

Keep safe. Have a good one!

Cheers

Timโ€ฆ